Cooling on Cole
The trade market for Pirates’ right-hander Gerrit Cole appears to be losing steam as well.
Despite reports that a deal was nearing completion, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported Friday afternoon that a trade to send Cole to the Yankees was “neither close nor imminent”.
The Yankees have been the most ardent pursuer of Cole this offseason, but have been reluctant to include top prospect Gleyber Torres in the trade discussions.
Clint Frazier has been rumored to be included as part of any package that would bring Cole to the Bombers. With Torres out of play, speculation has centered around Chance Adams and/or Miguel Andujar as the other pieces of any hypothetical deals.
There has been ongoing talk between the two clubs, but they appear to be in more of a holding pattern rather than actually working toward getting a deal consummated.
The Yankees still would like to add another starting pitcher, but they aren’t going to overpay to get Cole. There are several viable fallback options available on the free agent market, like Alex Cobb or Yu Darvish, who wouldn’t require the club to surrender prospects.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that the holiday season was in full swing over the weekend, but the hot stove chatter around Major League Baseball was as blistery and cold as the North Pole.
The Nationals added another bat to their already lethal offensive attack on Sunday, officially signing Matt Adams to a one-year, $4 million contract. Adams slashed a healthy .274/.319/.522 with 20 long balls and 65 RBI in his 367 plate appearances with the Cardinals and Braves.
With Ryan Zimmerman entrenched at first base and a crowded outfield situation in Washington, Adams will be relegated to being the first left-handed bat off of the bench, which will limit his fantasy appeal until injury strikes.
Still, it seems like a good get for the Nationals on a very reasonable one-year deal.
Hooray for Hirano!
The Diamondbacks officially signed Japanese right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano to a two-year, $6 million contract on Friday.
The D’Backs won out over the Dodgers, Tigers and Cardinals who had also expressed interest in his services.
Hirano has been one of the top relief pitchers in Japan for the last several seasons. In 2017, he compiled a 2.67 ERA and 47/16 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings in 2017 for the Orix Buffaloes.
While Hirano has extensive experience as a closer in Japan, it's much more likely that he’ll settle into a setup role in front of Archie Bradley with the Diamondbacks.
Quick Hits: The Cubs added some depth to their bullpen and rotation by signing Anthony Bass to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training… Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Friday that the market has begun to heat up for free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill. The Giants are one team known to be in the mix for his services…The White Sox snagged Jose Ruiz off of waivers from the Padres… Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Friday that the Marlins have been attempting to attach Starlin Castro to several of their trades in order to shed his contract… The Dodgers picked up Henry Owens off waivers from the Diamondbacks… The Braves signed Rob Brantly to a minor league deal complete with a spring training invite… THe Phillies brought back Pedro Beato on a minor league pact… The Giants signed former Pirates’ prospect Alen Hanson to a minor league deal… According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Blue Jays are “unlikely” to trade Josh Donaldson… The Rangers inked Brett Eibner to a minor league deal… The Yankees bolstered their already strong farm system with a pair of international signings (Antonio Cabello and Raimfer Salinas)... The Rangers signed Oslevis Basabe to a $500,000 contract… The Indians officially announced their two-year, $16 million deal with Yonder Alonso… Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN reported that the Twins are hoping to soon have a face-to-face meeting with Yu Darvish… Indians’ general manager Chris Antonetti said Saturday that Jason Kipnis could be used as a contingency option in left field if Michael Brantley isn’t ready for the start of the regular season… Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Bartolo Colon could be open to returning to the Mets on a minor league contract… According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Blue Jays have received “a lot of inquiries” on closer Roberto Osuna… LaVelle Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune noted that the Twins are still interested in free agent slugger Mike Napoli… Matt Dominguez signed a one-year contract with Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines… The Rockies inked Dante Bichette Jr. to a minor league deal.