Monday, December 5, 2016


By Michael Wong

National Harbor, MD.--The Winter Meetings are off and running and so are all the rumors and signings.

-The New York Yankees went the discount route to fill their DH spot for 2017 in signing outfielder Matt Holliday to a one-year deal worth $13 million.  While I was told this does not eliminate Edwin Encarnacion as a first base possibility, GM Brian Cashman indicated this morning to reporters that pitching is now the target.

-With Holliday and Carlos Beltran serving as one-year DH signings by the Yankees and Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays are all stepping up their efforts to fill the spot on their clubs.  The Red Sox are really moving on Mike Napoli and could have him signed by the end of the meetings.  Meanwhile the Rangers and Blue Jays are now talking more seriously about Encarnacion now that the Yanks have softened their pursuit there.  In addition, Billy Hamilton has surfaced as a possible Rangers target, while Steve Pearce is on the Toronto radar.

-A Reds official spoke to me directly early Monday morning about Hamilton and the team is really trying to move him given the expected boost in salary coming up and for his one-dimensional play.

-The Astros have already brought in Josh Reddick, Beltran, and Brian McCann and as a result, will give away Evan Gattis to the highest bidder.

-GM Sandy Alderson has gotten a flood of calls about Curtis Granderson but not so much on Jay Bruce.  Many here feel Bruce is a guy who can do his best work on a non-winning team and in a small market which limits his suitors.  Granderson though has proven to be clutch and productive in New York.

-The Miami Marlins are desperate for a top closer and are willing to overpay as they are not sold on A.J. Ramos.  They are very aggressive on Kenley Jansen but the fireballer reportedly is no keen on going there.

-Why hasn't Andrew McCutchen become a Washington National yet?  That is because the two sides are haggling over the secondary prospects involved AND because the Nats want to spread out their prospects they will ship out so they can make a run at Chris Sale.

-The Chicago White Sox are being deliberate when it comes to Sale and are under no deadline to move him at the meetings.

-The Los Angeles Dodgers will trade for Yangervis Solarte if they lose Justin Turner.  Turner is the latest veteran the San Diego Padres want to get rid of and there is a good market for the guy.

-Joaquin Benoit will sign with the Phillies and could challenge for early saves if Hector Neris is not ready for the assignment just yet.

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