Free agent first baseman Chris Carter has been linked to the Orioles and Rangers, per agent Dave Stewart’s comments to Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of MLB Network. Stewart has discussed his client with at least four teams since the beginning of the year, with the Athletics being the only notable exception so far.
Carter, 30, set a few personal records in 2016, batting .222/.321/.499 with a career-high 41 home runs and 27 doubles in his first season with the Brewers. He was non-tendered by the team in November, and has struggled to find a landing spot with other power-hitting first basemen still on the market.
Neither the Orioles nor the Rangers have Carter pegged as their first choice, as Baltimore is reportedly pursuing Mark Trumbo and Texas has its eye on Mike Napoli. Should either of those deals fail to come to fruition in the next couple of months, however, Carter could be a viable candidate for either team. For now, Stewart says, he doesn’t anticipate a quick signing process for Carter in the week to come (via FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman).
Update (7:54 PM EST): MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that the two-year deal is for $11 million with another $3 million available in performance bonuses.
Robert Murray of FanRag Sports is reporting that the Athletics are close to completing a two-year contract with free agent reliever Santiago Casilla.
Casilla, 36, was originally signed by the A’s as an amateur free agent in 2000 and stayed with the club through 2009. He spent the last seven seasons with the Giants. 2016 was arguably his toughest season as a Giant, finishing with a 3.57 ERA, 31 saves, and a 65/19 K/BB ratio.
The Athletics have lots of ninth-inning options as Casilla joins a cast that includes Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, and John Axford.
The Athletics have signed free agent third baseman Trevor Plouffe, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The deal is pending a physical. Financial details are not yet known.
Plouffe, 30, had an injury-shortened 2016 campaign, finishing with a .260/.303/.420 triple-slash line along with 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 344 plate appearances. He was limited to 84 games due to an intercostal strain and a fractured rib.
Plouffe, who hits right-handed, is likely to take the lion’s share of playing time at third base. Ryon Healy may shift across the diamond and share time at first base with Yonder Alonso. The club hasn’t announced anything officially yet, and spring training is likely to provide more clarity on that situation.