Pitchers and catchers have started reporting to Florida and Arizona. In the meantime, we still have plenty of big names left on the board in free agency, including superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
That means we’ve got a healthy supply of hot stove buzz in February. To give you an idea of what’s out there this Wednesday, we’re here to round up all the notable rumors. As always, our free agent tracker is a great way to catch up on what’s already happened on that front.
Let’s round up the activity for the day here.
Phillies extend Nola, avoid arbitration hearing
The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a contract extension with right-handed ace Aaron Nola on Wednesday. The club confirmed the four-year deal that includes a club option for 2023. Nola’s new contract is worth $45 million, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Nola had one of the best seasons by a Phillies starting pitcher in 2018, and finished third in voting for the National League Cy Young Award. In the breakout season, he went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA in 33 starts. Nola finished second in the NL in ERA (2.37) and third in innings (212 1/3) and WHIP (0.97). Nola, out of LSU, was the Phillies’ first-round draft pick in 2014.
Severino, Yankees have discussed extension
Two parties who probably took interest in the Nola deal? Luis Severino and the Yankees. Per Jon Heyman of Fancred, Severino and the Yanks have discussed an extension of their own:
Severino, 25 in a week, is coming off a ninth-place finish in Cy Young Award voting. He started 32 times last season, recording a 129 ERA+ and 4.78 strikeouts per walk.
Presumably the Yankees would like to secure Severino on a deal similar in length and payout to the one Nola just signed. Severino, though, would be within his rights to want more money over a shorter term.
Red Sox still unwilling to spend for Kimbrel
Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski seemed to shut down any possibility of re-signing top free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel when he addressed the media Wednesday as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training. Dombrowski told reporters that their closer in 2019 will likely be “internal.”
Back in January, Dombrowski told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that the Red Sox “have not anticipated having a large expenditure for a closer.”
Kimbrel, 30, had a 2.74 ERA while converting on 42 of 47 saves in 2018. Although he was shaky in last year’s postseason, Kimbrel still converted on all his saves. In his career, he has converted on all seven of his save opportunities in the postseason, six of those came during the Red Sox’s World Series run last year.
Kimbrel’s former teammate Chris Sale isn’t too happy about how this winter has treated the seven-time All-Star and On Wednesday, Sale shared some of his thoughts with media…
A’s sign free agent outfielder Grossman
The Oakland Athletics have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent outfielder Robbie Grossman, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is worth $2 million and also includes some incentives, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Grossman, a switch hitter, spent last season with the Minnesota Twins. He slashed .273/.367/.384 in a career-high 129 games. The 29-year-old has mostly played corner outfield positions throughout his six-year MLB career.
Grossman’s role for the A’s in 2019 is unclear, but he seems like a good platoon outfielder along with Nick Martini, Chad Pinder, Mark Canha and/or Dustin Fowler. The club is most likely planning to use Grossman against left-handed pitchers. The Grossman signing also makes any one of the A’s extra outfielders available in a trade, if necessary.
Giants acquire Gott from Nats, Cuteo moved to 60-day DL
The San Francisco Giants acquired right-handed reliever Trevor Gott from the Washington Nationals, the teams announced on Wednesday. In return, the Nationals will receive cash considerations. The Giants placed Johnny Cueto on the 60-day disabled list to clear a roster spot for Gott. Cueto, , won’t be ready until the end of 2019, at the earliest.
Gott had been designated for assignment Friday when the Nationals needed to open up a roster spot for the re-signing of starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. After a promising 2015 rookie campaign, Gott did not pan out as hoped for the Nationals, who acquired