Correction (9:29 PM EST): Duquette was referring to Matt Wieters — who accepted a qualifying offer — not Chris Davis. I apologize for the confusion.
1B/OF Chris Davis was one of 16 players to decline a $15.8 million qualifying offer, but the Orioles held out hope they would still be able to bring him back. Apparently discussions with agent Scott Boras didn’t go very far. Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said his discussion “was the shortest & quickest negotiation I’ve ever had with [Boras],” per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun.
Davis, 29, has hit 126 home runs over the last three seasons, by far the most in baseball. Former teammate Nelson Cruz has hit the second most in that span of time at 111.
This past season, Davis led the majors in strikeouts with 208, but also led the majors in home runs with 47 while batting .262/.361/.562 and knocking in 117 runs.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have taken preliminary plans to begin an innings plan for starter Jose Fernandez. The right-hander made his season debut on July 2 after working his way back from Tommy John surgery, then landed back on the disabled list in August due to a biceps injury.
The Marlins will work with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to come up with a specific number for Fernandez. Frisaro notes that the Marlins won’t be consulting directly with Fernandez’s agent Scott Boras, who also represents Mets starter Matt Harvey. Boras and Harvey drew criticism during the season due to an imposed innings limit.
Fernandez, 23, recently rejected a multi-year contract extension offered by the Marlins. In 47 starts over three seasons, he has a 2.40 ERA, a 1.014 WHIP, and a 336/85 K/BB ratio spanning 289 innings.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins will explore extending second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon is receptive to the possibility, saying, “I love it here –– the ballpark, the coaches, the staff.”
The Marlins acquired Gordon in a trade with the Dodgers last December. He won the National League batting title, batting .333/.359/.418 with a major league-best 205 hits and 58 stolen bases while scoring 88 runs in 653 plate appearances. Gordon is eligible for arbitration for the second of four years and can hit free agency after the 2018 season.
Jackson notes that the Marlins also want to extend shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, but he wants a deal similar to the eight-year, $120 million contract Elvis Andrus signed with the Rangers.
Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said in an interview with Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that starter Homer Bailey isn’t expect to rejoin the club’s rotation until mid-May. Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery this past May and only recently began a throwing program.
Bailey, 29, threw only 11 1/3 innings before hitting the shelf this season. He signed a six-year, $105 million contract extension in February 2014, but that was the season his injury woes flared up. He battled a neck injury and underwent flexor tendon surgery in September. The contract hasn’t been working out well for the Reds thus far.
Over the course of nine seasons in the majors, Bailey has a career 4.19 ERA with 832 strikeouts and 325 walks in 1,010 innings. He was the Reds’ first-round selection (seventh overall) in the 2004 draft.
Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reported on Thursday that Twins executive vice president and GM Terry Ryan won’t have any restrictions from CEO Jim Pohlad this offseason.
The Twins boosted their Opening Day payroll from $85 million in 2014 to $108 million this past season and wound up winning 13 more games. Of course, their success had more to do with their burgeoning young talent, particularly Miguel Sano, who posted a .916 OPS in 335 plate appearances.
Adding a few free agents to bolster the roster, however, could be what allows the Twins to challenge the Royals’ AL Central supremacy. By record, the Twins were the second-best team in the division, finishing higher than fourth for the first time since 2010.
If the Twins were to dive into the free agent market, they almost certainly won’t be players for the more elite names like Jason Heyward, David Price, and Justin Upton.