Blue Jays call off Overbay-for-Snyder trade

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Blue Jays have backed away from a nearly completed Lyle Overbay-for-Chris Snyder trade because of concerns about the catcher’s surgically repaired back. Snyder underwent microdiscectomy surgery in September to relieve pressure on a nerve in his back after hitting just .200/.333/.352 this season in his least playing time since 2004.
He’s expected to be ready for spring training, but with two years and $11.25 million remaining on his contract new general manager Alex Anthopoulos apparently decided against taking the risk on a replacement for free agent Rod Barajas. Piecoro speculates that the Diamondbacks will continue to shop Snyder, who’s purely a backup now that Miguel Montero has emerged as the starter, but may have to wait until spring training to find a taker given the uncertainty surrounding his health.
Also look for Anthopoulos to continue shopping Overbay, because while he had a solid season by hitting .265/.372/.466 in 132 games a mediocre all-around first baseman who’s older than the new GM likely isn’t part of the long-term plan. Overbay has one year and $7 million remaining on his contract, so he’d certainly be a decent fit for contenders looking for a short-term fix at first base and obviously Anthopoulos’ asking price isn’t very high.

Four teams are in on Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas
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Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.

Moustakas, 30, declined a $15 million mutual option with the Brewers at the end of the 2018 season, and like many others left on the market, has yet to find a landing spot in advance of spring training. While he’s several years removed from his last All-Star performance, he ran a decent campaign with the Royals and Brewers last year, slashing a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, a .774 OPS, and 2.4 fWAR across 635 plate appearances.

He certainly appears to be a fit in Anaheim, where he could supplant Zack Cozart at the hot corner and balance out the Angels’ right-heavy lineup alongside Kole Calhoun, Justin Bour, and Tommy La Stella. Even if the Angels have serious interest in the third baseman, however, they’re likely to wait and see what kind of contract Machado (and the as-yet unsigned Bryce Harper) fetches before extending any serious offers of their own. They’re far from the only club to use the four-time All-Star as a litmus test this offseason, which has only fueled a growing unrest among MLB players who believe that more serious action — such as a midseason walk-out or a league-wide strike — will need to be taken over the next few months.