Rockies consider Lo Duca on minor league deal

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The Rockies are considering signing Paul Lo Duca to a minor league contract, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Such a deal would seem to give Lo Duca nothing more than a chance to prove he can still play. The Rockies would only have room for him on the major league roster if either Chris Iannetta or Miguel Olivo got hurt. The Rockies are short a veteran third catcher, so Lo Duca would be useful to have stashed away in Triple-A.
Lo Duca, 37, last played in the majors in 2008, when he hit .243/.321/.295 in 173 at-bats. He was the Mets’ starting catcher in 2007, and he came in at .272/.311/.378 in 445 at-bats that season.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.