Aaron Gleeman

Alex Hassan

Orioles claim Alex Hassan off waivers from A’s


Alex Hassan has now been claimed off waivers twice in 72 hours, as the A’s snagged him from the Red Sox earlier this week and the Orioles claimed him from the A’s today.

Baltimore apparently wanted him the first time around, but Oakland had earlier dibs via the waiver wire pecking order.

As for Hassan, he’s a 26-year-old corner outfielder who hit .287 with eight homers and an .804 OPS in 114 games at Triple-A this season. He’s a career .291 hitter with good on-base skills, but lacks power and would probably be best suited for a platoon role versus left-handed pitching.

Phillies have “cooled” on signing Yasmany Tomas

yasmany tomas getty

For months now the Phillies have been heavily linked to Cuban free agent Yasmany Tomas, but now Paul Hagen of MLB.com reports that they’ve “cooled on the idea of signing the 23-year-old.”

Apparently they still like his offensive potential a lot, but are worried that Tomas may be “more of a designated hitter-type player” defensively.

And of course their declining interest may also have something to do with his increasing price tag, as numerous other teams have been linked to him recently.

Nationals telling teams Jordan Zimmermann is “available”

Jordan Zimmermann

Reports of the Cubs trying to acquire Jordan Zimmermann from the Nationals last week were mostly shot down, but now Bob Nightingale of USA Today writes that Washington is indeed “informing teams that Zimmermann is available” in trade.

Zimmermann has just one season remaining until he’s eligible for free agency and the 28-year-old right-hander is in line for a massive payday, so shopping him makes some sense considering the Nationals still have Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, and Tanner Roark in the rotation.

Oh, and here’s a potential added wrinkle: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote this morning that the Nationals are one of five teams he thinks will make a serious run at Max Scherzer. Would they trade Zimmermann and then spend huge money while also losing a draft pick to bring in a different ace?

Who are the favorites to sign Max Scherzer?

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer’s agent is Scott Boras, which means he probably won’t be signing anywhere quickly, but whenever the free agent ace does choose a long-term home Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com thinks it’ll be the Nationals, Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, or Dodgers.

Rosenthal explains all of those inclusions, noting among other things that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo originally drafted Scherzer while with the Diamondbacks and Scherzer is a St. Louis native. And then of course the Yankees and Dodgers are no surprise, and Scherzer has not ruled out re-signing with the Tigers.

For now at least there doesn’t seem to be a clear front-runner, although perhaps that just means Boras and Scherzer haven’t started trying to truly push for a deal yet.

Dan Haren might just retire if the Dodgers trade him

Dan Haren Getty

Dan Haren exercised his $10 million option for next season to return to the Dodgers and now the 34-year-old right-hander is saying he’ll probably retire if they trade him to a team other than the Angels.

There’s been some speculation that the Dodgers might look to deal Haren, but here’s what he told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:

My signing with the Dodgers last year and my decision to exercise my player option were based on my desire to play in Southern California near my family. I had other opportunities but at this point in my career I have no interest in playing in a city away from my family.

Haren is from California and played for the Angels from 2010-2012, so basically he either wants to play near his home or doesn’t want to play at all.

Players don’t often walk away from a guaranteed $10 million salary, especially at age 34, and Haren was a useful starter this season with a 4.02 ERA and 145/36 K/BB ratio in 186 innings.