Report: Free agent Carlos Torres has several suitors

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Free agent right-hander Carlos Torres is talking to several teams, per a report from SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Torres elected free agency in November and has yet to land another major league gig this offseason. No interested parties have been identified so far, though there appear to be plenty of potential landing spots for the reliever as a number of teams are still looking to bolster their bullpen ahead of the 2018 season.

Torres, 35, closed out 16 games for the Brewers in 2017 and produced a 4.21 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over 72 2/3 total innings in relief. As Cotillo points out, his main appeal lies in his consistency and remarkable durability. His 72+ innings were good for 10th-most among relievers in the National League last year, and he hasn’t sustained a serious injury since a left calf strain sidelined him for two weeks in 2015 (to that point, he’s never officially served time on the disabled list in eight seasons in the majors).

While Torres may not have the lights-out stuff that, say, the Astros and Dodgers are seeking this winter, that shouldn’t stand in the way of his next stint in the majors. He can still offer teams a relatively affordable veteran depth piece with enough proven experience to make a difference on the big league level.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.