If you don’t need a Lukewarm Stove in the middle of February, when do you need it, I ask? There’s actually been some real movement lately, so let’s check in on some of the rumors from around the league …
- The rumored deal between the Orioles and free agent starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo is expected to reach three years and $40-45 million dollars, according to Buster Olney. Which is … a lot. Gallardo has had a mild/fine career, but his strikeout rate has been dropping fast – down to nearly unusable levels. In 2015, for example, it bottomed out at 15.3%. Steamer is projecting a 4.22 ERA with a 16.2% strike out rate and just 1.8 WAR in 2016. At roughly $8 million/Win and a 0.5 WAR reduction per season, the reported deal might make sense in year one, but would quickly become a negative, thereafter.
- Brett recently speculated that Gallardo to the Orioles, as reported, might lead to some closure on Dexter Fowler. Namely, that he, too, could head to the Orioles, who need an outfielder and would presumably no longer be concerned with losing a draft pick (now from the compensatory round after the first) to sign him. And it looks like this theory has some legs. Eduardo Encina writes at length about the possibility of a combo deal, and Ken Rosenthal tweeted about the same.
- For what its worth, Roch Kubatko was hearing the same thing, too, but was decidedly less conclusive. Even so, Buster Olney later reaffirmed Rosenthal’s tweet, saying that there has at least been informal conversations between the Orioles and Fowler’s camp, but that the Orioles might limit their interest around 2 years and $20 million. Brett took a look at the possibility of Fowler settling for such a small deal here.
- Although a Visa issue was reportedly holding up new Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh, that is no longer the case. Oh, 33, (Bingo!) will be in Jupiter, FL in time for the opening of Spring Training and will also, then, be ready for the season. Oh was one of the Cardinals’ main free agent additions this offseason, and is expected to supplement the back end of the bullpen as a late-inning/high-leverage reliever. During his professional career (2005-2015), Oh has logged 357 saves in Korea and Japan. He is the all time career saves leader for the KBO with 277, and his nickname is The Final Boss.
- Because the penalty period for exceeding the IFA budget impacts the following two periods, this next market – beginning on July 2 – will be particularly devoid of the big spending teams. For example, all of the Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Rays, Red Sox, Royals and Yankees will not be allowed to sign any player for more than $300,000. That said, Jesse Sanchez is now expecting the Padres, Braves and Nationals will take their place, as the most aggressive teams in IFA, in addition to the Brewers, Cardinals and Phillies. Given the money of the Nationals and Cardinals, the rebuilds of the Brewers, Phillies and Braves and the state of the Padres, those teams are obvious fits for an international spending spree.
- Given the persistent rumors between the Cubs and the Rays, you might be interested in checking out the newly-released ZiPS projections for Tampa Bay. For what its worth, Desmond Jennings projections are a little underwhelming, though Jake Odorizzi figures to finish with 3.0 WAR in 177+ innings.
- Jeff Sullivan tries to find a fit for the big-time Cuban defector Yulieski Gurriel, by labeling each teams’ fit with a “Sure!” “Ehh,” or “Nah” – plus some additional reasoning. The Cubs, expectedly, get a “Nah,” with the smile-inducing reason of “They already have too many good players, the poor bastards.” The rest of the NL Central joins the Cubs with a “Nah,” for various reasons. Yulieski will be 32 this year, but he figures to be quite good over the next few seasons. Keeping him out of the NL Central would be nice, because the guy can rake.
- If you missed it, Lazarito’s decision has not yet been made, or at least has not yet been made public. But it could drop at any time.
- Can the Cubs get this guy just for his name? Somehow, this feels like the longest tweet I’ve ever read:
Phillies designated Bobby LaFromboise for assignment to make room for Taylor Featherston on the 40-man roster.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) February 10, 2016