Tuesday, November 8, 2016


By Michael Wong

Scottsdale, Ariz.--Closers figure to dominate the early free agent market and that seems to be the word here in Arizona as the respective GM's from around the league have convened here.  Here is what is making its way around:

-The Los Angeles Dodgers want to bring back Kenley Jansen but they also are in on Aroldis Chapman.  In fact the Dodgers could offer the same deal to both under the idea that whoever takes it first gets the dough.  Menawhile the Yankees continue to talk with Chapman's reps and seem to be making him their clear top priority out of the gates here.

-The Cleveland Indians were thought to be offering up Andrew Miller for trade as the ultimate sell high off his spectacular 2016 postseason and for the fact they have a very good Cody Allen in the ninth inning already.  However multiple reports say Miller will stay put but I hear that is far from a guarantee. 

-Rich Hill is one of the better free agent starters on the market which is not saying much.  While Hill was very dominant in 2016, he will be 38 and is an injury waiting to happen.  The Yankees, Rangers, and Orioles are all going to kick the tires here, with the Yanks being quite interested. Hill will be looking for at least two years but most teams are likely going to just want to do one. 

-Kendrys Morales' name has come up a lot here with almost all of the AL East involved here.  The Red Sox have Morales as a DH option along with Carlos Beltran and Edwin Encarnacion.  Also the Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays will be courting him as well. 

-Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that Matt Carpenter will begin 2017 as the team's starting first baseman which means he will gain eligiblity there to go with second and third base. 

-Huston Street will have to win the closer role for 2017 after a truly horrendous campaign last season where more injuries and an ERA that went over 6.00 (6.45) made him arguably the worst stopper in the game.  Cam Bedorosian is the other candidate for saves but this looks like a training camp battle that won;t be settled until late March. 

-The Orioles will try and bring back Mark Trumbo before they dive fully in on Ian Desmond.  The Orioles have Desmond, Carlos Beltran, and Kendrys Morales as DH options but they will be battling it out with the Boston Red Sox for most of those names. 

-Neil Walker and the Mets reuniting seems like a good bet as GM Sandy Alderson is interested in a reunion and has little concern about the back surgery he went under. 

-Chris Archer and J.D. Martinez remain names that have come up in trades.  The Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers have been connected to Archer. 

-The Mets are Jerry Blevins are making progress on a new deal. 

-The Blue Jays are making every effort to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion and they are optimistic a deal can be worked out soon. 

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