St. Louis Cardinals

MLB rumors: A's free-agent target Matt Wieters returning to Cardinals

mattwietersdugoutcardinalsap.jpg
AP

MLB rumors: A's free-agent target Matt Wieters returning to Cardinals

The A's could use a veteran catcher on their major league roster, but Matt Wieters will not be that guy.

The veteran catcher will be returning to the St. Louis Cardinals, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Sunday.

A little over a week ago, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported, citing sources, that Wieters was drawing interest from the A's and Cardinals.

Wieters to the A's would have made sense because both catchers on Oakland's big league depth chart, Sean Murphy and Austin Allen, are rookies.

Instead, Wieters decided to stick with the team he played for in 2019. In 67 games last season, the 33-year-old slashed .214/.268/.435 with 11 homers and 27 RBI.

[RELATED: Buddy Reed hopes to reunite with Puk]

With Wieters reportedly off the board, there still are several attractive veteran catchers on the free-agent market for the A's to consider: Russell Martin, Caleb Joseph, Nick Hundley, Jonathan Lucroy, Bryan Holaday and Welington Castillo, just to name a few.

The A's have been relatively quiet this offseason, so we'll see if they make any more additions before pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz. on Feb. 12.

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.

Why Giants signing Marcell Ozuna in MLB free agency would make sense

Why Giants signing Marcell Ozuna in MLB free agency would make sense

It seems like the Giants enter every offseason in search of a power-hitting outfielder. Could this be the winter when they finally land one?

While San Francisco has its own pending free agents to consider, the Giants surely will be looking for ways to upgrade their roster. MLB Trade Rumors predicts they'll sign outfielder Marcell Ozuna, which surely would be a step in the right direction.

Ozuna, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Cardinals, and is coming off a year in which he slashed .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI over 130 games with St. Louis. He also was a two-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove over his five seasons with the Marlins. 

MLB Trade Rumors forecasts Ozuna to sign a three-year, $45 million contract with San Francisco. While his production dipped with the Cardinals, his Statcast numbers provide reason for optimism.

"Ozuna’s average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were both in the 93rd percentile or better this year, suggesting that his current skill level will produce better results in the future," MLB Trade Rumors wrote. "Plus, he turns 29 this month, so he’s young enough to present some upside. Assuming Ozuna turns down his qualifying offer from the Cardinals, he’s expected to sign elsewhere. The Giants, Marlins, Reds, Padres, Indians, Tigers, and Royals could make sense."

[RELATED: Why MLB's awards season won't be worth watching for Giants]

As mentioned, Ozuna was given a qualifying offer by the Cardinals, so if the Giants signed him, they would have to forfeit a draft pick to St. Louis. However, it would not be San Francisco's first-round selection, which comes in at No. 13 overall.