The Red Sox are interested in free agent third baseman Trevor Plouffe, Evan Drellich reports for the Boston Herald. If the two sides were to reach an agreement, Plouffe would likely be utilized in a utility or platoon role.
Plouffe, 30, was limited to 344 plate appearances this past season due to strained intercostal and oblique muscles. He hit .260/.303/.420 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI. He has twice crossed the 20-homer plateau in his seven-year career. Plouffe also has a career OPS more than 100 points higher against lefties than righties in his career.
The Red Sox seem set on letting Pablo Sandoval prove himself at third base, but Plouffe could make for a fallback option while also providing backup behind Mitch Moreland at first base.
The Dodgers have made no secret about its interest in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. The new wrinkle, though, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, is that the Cardinals are “very much in it” as well. Wolfson adds that the Nationals and Giants remain in dialogue with the Twins, too.
The Cardinals, of course, have a crowded infield as is with incumbent second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong played some outfield last season but it would make more sense if Wong were included in a deal that brought Dozier to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Dodgers traded veteran 2B/OF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies and regular second baseman Chase Utley is still in free agency. If the season were to start today, Enrique Hernandez and Micah Johnson would handle the position.
Dozier, 29, had an outstanding 2016 campaign, finishing with a .268/.340/.546 triple-slash line along with 42 home runs, 99 RBI, and 104 runs scored in 691 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement, only Jose Altuve (6.7) and Robinson Cano (6.0) were more valuable than Dozier (5.9) at the second base position.
The Indians have signed 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. The deal is worth $60 million with a $5 million option, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The fourth year option is worth $25 million.
Encarnacion was pursued by several teams in the run up to Thursday night’s signing, including the Athletics and Rangers as well as the Astros and Blue Jays.
Encarnacion, 33, hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI for the Jays this past season. He, of course, hit the memorable game-winning home run in the AL Wild Card game against the Orioles to send the Jays to the ALDS.