Cleat Geeks

Remaining Rotation Rumors

Here is just some of the chatter on remaining free agent pitchers on the MLB market, as well as a few possible trade possibilities and signings with the winter meetings now in full swing.

chapmanClose-upThe Dodgers have struck a deal to acquire one of the game’s most elite bullpen arms, Aroldis Chapman, from the Reds in exchange for a pair of prospects, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Rosenthal adds that the Dodgers’ plan is to keep both Chapman and Kenley Jansen, who instantly team to become one of the game’s most dominant late-inning duos (if not the most dominant late-inning duo). The trade is pending medical reviews.

But now, as I tweeted out earlier, there is a reason the deal has not been announced officially. I am told the reason is that there are other teams involved in the deal. Speculation on my part would be the Arizona Diamondbacks, as I have heard rumblings that they are interested in second baseman Brandon Phillips, especially if the Reds receive infielder Jose Peraza as part of the deal.

The red-hot free agent pitching market will only help the Indians in trade talks, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.  With so many top starters commanding giant salaries, the Tribe’s collection of young arms becomes more attractive both to teams who are hesitant to overspend on pitching, or to teams who missed out on their free agent targets.  President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti could be making a career-defining move, Pluto believes, if he chooses to deal one of Corey Kluber,Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer for a big bat since such a trade could put the Tribe over the top as contenders.

LeakeGiantsThe Giants are still interested in Mike Leake, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets, even after signing Jeff Samardzija.  Leake’s market is “now more defined” with so many other top pitchers off the board.  The Giants may not be willing to give Leake a Samardzija-esque deal, however, as reported by Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).  This could take them out of the running for Leake given how several other teams also have interest.

The Royals have made two moves today signing starting pitcher  Chris Young to a 2 year $11.75 or something close depending where you get your information and reliever Joakim Soria to a 3 year $25 million deal with performance incentives on top of that.

The Dodgers and Giants both fell short in their search for Zack Greinke, but the Dodgers did turn around and quickly react with the signing of Hisashi Iwakuma to a 3 year $45 million contract.  As mentioned above the Giants also signed Jeff Samardzija to a 6 year $90 million dollar

There has been speculation in the Japanese media that Kenta Maeda would prefer to pitch for the Dodgers, according to NPBTracker’s Patrick Newman (Twitter link).  The Dodgers have a long history with Japanese talent and they have a need in the rotation, so a connection makes sense.  L.A. will get a chance to negotiate with Maeda if they’re one of the teams who posts a $20MM bid for his services.WeiYinChen2

Wei-Yin Chen has become a “hot topic” for the Cubs,’s Bruce Levine tweets.  Chen is another free agent whose market should benefit from other pitchers disappearing off the market.  Chicago, for instance, had interest in Price, Zimmermann and Samardzija before all of those pitchers signed elsewhere, though the Cubs already made one rotation-bolstering move in signing John Lackey.

If you want more information on the John Lackey deal, click here.

The Marlins are exploring a wide range of pitching options as they head to the Winter Meetings, president of baseball operations Michael Hill tells’s Joe Frisaro writes.  Frisaro suggests that James Shields or Wade Miley could be trade targets since Miami has been interested in both pitchers in the past, though the Marlins are trying to hang onto their core position players in deals (presumably trade candidate Marcell Ozuna isn’t necessarily part of this equation).

Wade Miley has also been linked to the Seattle Mariners. And as I write this, Ken Rosenthal has reported that it is a done deal, but we don’t know what the Red Sox are getting in return.

cliff-lee-blog-2new2The Marlins are open to the possibility of signing Cliff Lee, Frisaro reports.  Presumably Miami would be one of several clubs interested in seeing if the former Cy Young Award winner has anything left in his comeback attempt.

The Astros could look to deal 26-year-old lefty Brett Oberholtzer, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter).  Oberholtzer has a 3.94 ERA, 2.86 K/BB rate and 5.9 K/9 over 253 2/3 career innings, all with Houston since 2013.  He’s one of many young arms the Astros have on hand beyond the five-man rotation, and the southpaw could be expendable if Houston is satisfied with its other depth options.  Heyman speculates that the Orioles, Phillies, Rangers and Reds could all be fits as trade partners.

The Twins aren’t one of the reported 10 teams interested in Henderson Alvarez,’s Darren Wolfson tweets.

Parts of this article were written by 


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