The Rockies’ efforts to acquire Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox fizzled rather quickly, but they aren’t ready to throw in the towel on their search for another option at second base.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies “remain strongly interested” in Mets’ infielder Justin Turner. This isn’t the first time Turner has been linked to the Rockies, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported last month that he was being mentioned as part of a potential deal that would bring speedster Eric Young, Jr. to New York.
Turner, who was claimed off waivers from the Orioles in May of 2010, batted .260/.334/.356 with four home runs, 51 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .690 OPS with the Mets last season while making 71 starts at second base and 31 at the hot corner. He currently projects as a backup at both positions for the Mets in 2012, which is probably how he’s best utilized in the long-term. As of now, Chris Nelson, D.J. LeMahieu and Jonathan Herrera figure to compete for the Rockies’ second base job during spring training.
First baseman José Abreu and starter Jake Odorizzi have accepted their $17.8 million qualifying offers from the White Sox and Twins, respectively, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Reliever Will Smith signed a three-year contract with the Braves ahead of Thursday’s 5 PM ET deadline to accept or reject the qualifying offer.
The remaining seven players — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, and Marcell Ozuna — have rejected their qualifying offers, per Passan. They are officially free agents and will have draft pick compensation attached to them, a potential deterrent for some interested teams.
The QO is unlikely to materially affect the fates of Cole, Rendon, and Strasburg, but it could limit the markets for the other four players. Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel both had draft pick compensation attached to them after the 2018 season and didn’t end up signing until June. It seems unlikely that Wheeler, Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Ozuna would have to wait until June next year to sign but it may take a while for their markets to develop.