Chicago White Sox

MLB rumors: Giants target Nicholas Castellanos had good Rangers meeting

MLB rumors: Giants target Nicholas Castellanos had good Rangers meeting

Free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos reportedly thought highly of the Giants' clubhouse culture, but another team might have caught his eye as of late.

The 28-year-old met with the Texas Rangers and "came away with a favorable impression," MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Monday, citing sources. The Rangers, according to Morosi, are one of the finalists to sign Castellanos.

New Giants general manager Scott Harris was the Chicago Cubs' assistant general manager when they acquired Castellanos at last year's trade deadline. In 664 plate appearances with the Cubs and Detroit Tigers, Castellanos slashed .289/.337/.525 and hit 27 home runs. The Giants could use that kind of power and have an opening in their outfield, but the Rangers have a need, too.

[RELATED: Which free agents still on market fit Giants' 2020 plans?]

Texas traded right fielder Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox last month, and, as Morosi noted, Castellanos has spent most of the last few years playing the position. Plus, following their trade for former Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, the Rangers are far closer to contention than the rebuilding Giants. ESPN's Jeff Passan pointed out Monday that the Giants have handed out just $9 million in major league contracts this offseason, which is fewer than all but eight teams.

Morosi listed the Giants and White Sox as the other teams still interested in signing Castellanos, but the Rangers' latest pitch seems to have resonated with the free agent.

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

[RELATED: How Wheeler's reported $118M contract could affect MadBum]

While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.

MLB rumors: Twins, White Sox 'heaviest suitors' for Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Twins, White Sox 'heaviest suitors' for Madison Bumgarner

The hot stove slowly is picking up heat ahead of next week's MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego. 

With the Phillies signing pitcher Zack Wheeler and veteran starter Cole Hamels heading down south to the Braves, there is the potential of a Madison Bumgarner signing sooner than later -- possibly before the meetings.

There reportedly are three additional teams in the mix:

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal tweeted that despite the Hamels signing, that doesn't necessarily mean the Braves are out of the MadBum sweepstakes. But let's talk about the two teams Martino mentioned.

The Twins (and the White Sox) were one of the teams that was in pursuit of Wheeler and even extended an offer to him. They do need the starting help, despite Jake Odorizzi accepting a qualifying offer and Jose Berrios already in the rotation, but that doesn't leave them with much.

It would be fair to think the Twins are going to continue to be aggressive when pursuing pitching, but it doesn't appear MadBum would be that guy. 

The White Sox also wanted Wheeler, and according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the team has yet to even enter into negotiations with Bumgarner's people. 

The current rotation for Chicago consists of young, mainly right-handed pitchers -- a lefty veteran could be beneficial, but they might be waiting for some of the bigger names to sign before they take a Bumgarner pursuit seriously.

And as much as Giants fans, and Bum himself, would want to continue his career with San Francisco, that doesn't appear to be a possibility

Bumgarner spent the entirety of his career with the organization, tallying a career 3.13 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across 11 seasons. He also beefed up his resumé with four All-Star selections, three World Series rings and an MVP for the 2014 Fall Classic. His numbers during the postseason are sensational as well, with a career 0.25 World Series ERA. 

[RELATED: What MadBum's free agency looks like early on]

The Yankees, who always manage to be lurking in the shadows, currently are concentrating on star right-hander Gerrit Cole after a four-hour meeting discussing who knows what, but it certainly became a promising conversation as MLB Network's Jon Heyman tweeted there was no West Coast bias for the former Astros pitcher who loves the idea of coming home to California.

The wait continues ...