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Lukewarm Stove: Dodgers and Hill, Sale, Astros, Melancon, More

MLB News and Rumors

It’s the night before the night before the Winter Meetings begin, and it seems like there’s a whole lot of stuff percolating. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a fair bit of action before Monday.

To that end, it’s Saturday night, The Wife and I are watching ‘Parks and Rec’ on Netflix, and apparently typing about baseball rumors here is my version of “chill” …

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  • The top free agent starting pitcher in this year’s market, incredibly, is 36-year-old reclamation lefty Rich Hill. Given his injury history, up-and-down performance, and his age, the range of possible outcomes in a deal for Hill is anything from a guy who posts a sub-3.00 ERA over 180ish innings in each of the next few years, to a guy who gives you literally nothing, to a guy who gives you worse than nothing. To that end, it’s hard to predict a contract for Hill, but it sure seems to me like three years and a guarantee in the $40-$50 million range is a worthwhile risk. The Dodgers apparently agree:

  • Hill re-upping with the Dodgers makes plenty of sense given their need and their reported desire not to splurge too extravagantly this offseason. For me, Hill at that price makes plenty of sense for a ton of teams, including the Cubs, but perhaps I’ve become too risk tolerant in an era of repeated Cubs success and increasing spending. If Hill does return to the Dodgers, they’ll continue to be strongly left-handed in the rotation, fronted by Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias. If they were to land Chris Sale, too? ALL THE LEFTIES. In addition to the Dodgers, the Astros, Nationals, Rangers, Red Sox, and Braves are the teams in on Sale, according to Jon Heyman.

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  • Speaking of Sale, sources tell Heyman that the Astros’ binge on position players this offseason has been partly so they can make a big run at a guy like Sale or Chris Archer (the two starters specifically named as dudes in whom the Astros have interest).
  • And speaking of the Astros’ binge on position players, they have reportedly signed Carlos Beltran to a one-year, $16 million deal.
  • Mark Melancon might be the first of the bigger three closers to go off the market, and Jerry Crasnick hears he might get upwards of four years and $60 million. Crasnick adds, somewhat unrelatedly, that the closer trade market has been slower to develop, which I wonder if that’s because the teams prefer the Melancon/Kenley Jansen/Aroldis Chapman trio (because, well, they cost only money (and a draft pick for Jensen)). The trade market probably won’t get going until the involved teams know that they aren’t going to be able to land one of those three on what they deem a reasonable deal.
  • Various ESPN writers predict the Winter Meetings, and, in the spirit of fun, Crasnick predicts a Chris Archer trade to the Cubs.
  • Tell me you wouldn’t so watch this:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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