After signing left-hander Rich Hill to a one-year, $6 million contract the A’s could have some pitching to trade and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that “multiple teams have shown significant trade interest” in right-hander Jesse Chavez.
Chavez has started and relieved for the A’s during the past three seasons, logging a total of 360 innings with a 3.85 ERA and 327/117 K/BB ratio. At age 32 he lacks upside and is one season away from free agency, but his salary figures to be around $4 million via arbitration and that could be attractive to contenders looking for a reasonably priced fourth or fifth starter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will retire at the end of the 2016 season.
Ortiz has one season and $16 million remaining on his contract, although the Red Sox also hold a team option for 2017.
Ortiz got off to a rough start this year, at which point many people started wondering if he was done being an elite hitter at age 39, but those debates are a distant memory after he hit .296 with 31 homers, 28 doubles, and a 1.017 OPS in 101 games from June 1 through the end of the season.
His final numbers were right in line with the rest of his great career, including a .273 batting average, 37 homers, 37 doubles, 77 walks, and a .913 OPS in 146 games. Ortiz also joined the 500-homer club late in the season.
There will be plenty of time for Ortiz to change his mind but today at least–one day before his 40th birthday–the nine-time All-Star is planning to call it a career after one more season in Boston.
Hitting coach for a team that plays half its games at Petco Park is a rough gig and the Padres have churned through a lot of them over the years. Alan Zinter will be the latest to take a crack at the job, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Zinter spent this past season as the Astros’ assistant hitting coach and previously served as the Indians’ minor-league hitting coordinator. He was also teammates with new Padres manager Andy Green a decade ago during a 19-year playing career spent mostly in the minors.
San Diego’s hitting coach this year, Mark Kotsay, parted ways with the team and recently joined Oakland’s staff as bench coach.
Adding some veteran organizational depth, the Nationals have signed left-hander Sean Burnett and outfielder Reed Johnson to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Burnett is coming back from his second Tommy John elbow surgery, but was a very good setup man for the Nationals from 2009-2012 before signing with the Angels as a free agent. He’s pitched a grand total of 10 innings in the past three seasons, so it’s impossible to know what the 33-year-old has left in the tank.
Johnson made the Nationals out of spring training this year, but then suffered a foot injury that required surgery and was out until September. He was once a very effective fourth outfielder capable of platooning against left-handed pitching, but at age 39 he no longer looks like an MLB-caliber player.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has made no secret about his desire to beef up the team’s lineup and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that they “figure to make a strong push for” free agent Ben Zobrist with an eye on using him in the outfield and at second base.
According to Davidoff the Mets have “formally reached out” to Zobrist’s agent, although it’s worth noting that just about every contending team has been named as a possible Zobrist suitor at this point.
In this specific case Davidoff speculates that Zobrist could cost $60 million for four years, which makes some sense if only because plenty of teams figure to extend three-year offers to the 35-year-old and the fourth season could put an offer over the top.