Rockies making “aggressive push” for Michael Cuddyer

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Colorado’s interest in Michael Cuddyer has been well known all offseason and now they’re stepping up their pursuit of the free agent outfielder, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Rockies are making an “aggressive push.”

Cuddyer is said to have a three-year offer on the table from Minnesota worth around $25 million and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Twins were willing to go at least a little higher.

Whether or not that would be a sound decision by the Twins is another issue, of course, because if they were to let Cuddyer walk and sign Josh Willingham to replace him as a right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup Minnesota would gain two first-round picks in the switch. And might end up with the better player, too.

Because of changes in the collective bargaining agreement the Rockies wouldn’t lose a draft pick for signing Cuddyer, who’s spent his entire professional career with the Twins and hit .284 with 20 homers and an .805 OPS in 139 games this year at age 32.

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.