The Yankees needed a designated hitter.
Matt Holliday needed an American League club with which to ride into the sunset of his career.
The stove is downright piping, so be sure to keep refreshing Rotoworld's constantly-updating player news page for all the latest. And while you're at it, follow @Rotoworld_BB and @nate_grimm if you are on Twitter.
Both problems were solved Sunday when the team and the slugger agreed in principal to a one-year, $13 million contract. The deal is pending a physical.
For the Yankees, Holliday is a cheaper alternative to other options such as Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran, who signed a one-year, $16 million deal with the Astros on Saturday. Encarnacion is expected to receive not only a large, multi-year contract, but the first-round draft pick compensation required to sign the free agent was a negative Yankees general manager Brian Cashman publicly acknowledged he would like to avoid.
“Our preference is to retain a draft pick if we can. We have a certain amount of money we want to allocate to allow us to do a number of different things," Cashman told the New York Post. “Trying to get a bat, an arm and maybe more.”
By saving some money on Holliday, the Yankees retain that flexibility to pursue an arm, and by holding onto that first-rounder they could be more willing to part with prospects in a trade to acquire that arm.
For 36-year-old Holliday, a move to Yankee Stadium and the AL should benefit him. Holliday's defense in left field has long been a negative, and Busch Stadium is notoriously unfriendly to power hitters. Yankee Stadium, which is above average for sluggers on both sides of the plate, could help Holliday rebound after a down 2016 at the plate.
Marlins Targeting Bullpen Splash
Blueprint for postseason success laid, the Marlins have decided they want to build the next great bullpen.
The club is committed to signing one of the preeminent free agent closers on the market -- Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon -- and have entered this week's Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland, with just that intent, according to MLB.com Marlins writer Joe Frisaro. Frisaro suggested Chapman, a Cuban pitcher who would appeal to Miami's large Cuban population, could be the club's "top priority."
But Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said late Sunday that it's Jansen who some rival executives believe is on the Marlins' wish list. Rosenthal tweeted that other execs think the team is willing to offer Jansen a five-year, $80 million contract, a deal that would also lead the Marlins to forfeit the No. 14 overall pick in next year's MLB Draft. The Marlins, per Rosenthal, are still discussing the idea.
If they are able to land a top-flight closer, the team's bullpen would rank among the best in the league. Incumbent closer A.J. Ramos saved 40 games in 2016, and Ramos, David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough all had earned run averages below 2.86 this past season.
Nats Aiming For Cutch, Sale
The Nationals want both, simultaneously.
The club is attempting to put together deals for both the Pirates outfielder and the White Sox ace, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. And, per Nightengale, the team believes it has the prospects to do both.
That's hard to imagine, given what we think we know about the asking price for Sale and the fact that the Nationals almost certainly won't part with Trea Turner to make any deal. The Bucs are reportedly motivated to move McCutchen, but the team certainly won't just give away the former league MVP, regardless of their desire to move him.
The Nats do have some highly regarded prospects, including Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles, around whom to build a package. If the team is to make some major moves this winter, both -- and many more -- will likely be former Nationals prospects before spring.
Quick Hits: ESPN's Jim Bowden reports a deal between the Dodgers and free agent Rich Hill "will get done." According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Hill's new deal is expected to be in the neighborhood of three years and $48 million. That's a big raise for Hill, who inked a one-year, $6 million pact with Oakland last offseason. The 36-year-old had his best season in 2016, contributing a stellar 2.12 ERA over 110 1/3 innings ... MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that if the Braves trade for a top starter, Chris Archer is the "most likely" target. It's been reported that the Braves are one of the main suitors for Chris Sale, but Bowman says the White Sox are insisting on Dansby Swanson being included in any deal and the Braves consider that a non-starter. That said, it doesn't sound like Atlanta is close to anything on Archer, either, with Bowman adding that so far "the Rays' ask far exceeds the Braves' comfort zone." It could all be posturing at this point, of course ... Nightengale reports that the Dodgers are the "most aggressive" team in trade talks with the Twins involving Brian Dozier. Twins general manager Thad Levine indicated recently that team wasn't going to trade Dozier unless they were "really inspired" by an offer, but of course that could just be GM-speak. Dozier has a very team-friendly contract that will pay him $15 million over the next two seasons, but the Twins might want to capitalize while his value is at its highest following a 42-homer season ... Rosenthal reports that the Padres are aggressively shopping Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old slashed an impressive .286/.341/.467 with 15 homers and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances with the Padres in 2016 while serving primarily as their cleanup hitter. He's in his first year of arbitration though and is projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to earn $2.7 million in the process. While that may not seem excessive, the Padres are trying to cut payroll and may look to get what they can now for one of their top trade chips ... Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Pedro Alvarez is on the Red Sox' radar. Heyman says that Boston is "favoring a short-term deal" as they look to fill David Ortiz's vacated designated hitter spot, so they appear likelier to sign an Alvarez, Matt Holliday or Mike Napoli rather than an Edwin Encarnacion. Alvarez batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 homers over just 376 plate appearances for the Orioles this past season ... Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that the Astros would listen to offers for Evan Gattis. The Astros acquired Brian McCann earlier this offseason and also reportedly have a deal in place for Carlos Beltran, so it's not a surprise that they're willing to listen on Gattis. The slugger hit 32 home runs last season, although he sported a .319 on-base percentage and is very much an all-or-nothing hitter. Gattis will make $5.2 million in 2017 and will be arbitration-eligible for a final time next winter ... MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and Indians are showing interest in Mitch Moreland. Morosi says that "others" are interested, as well. Moreland batted just .233/.298/.422 overall last season, but he popped 22 home runs and won a Gold Glove for his work at first base. The 31-year-old isn't the first choice for either the Jays or Indians, but he qualifies as a decent Plan B.