Red Sox may not trade Betts
Tsutsugo, 28, has spent the last 10 seasons with Yokohama of Japan’s Central League. Over that span, he’s batted .284/.382/.525 with 205 home runs. In 2016 alone, he tallied 44 home runs.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports that the market for Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo appears to be heating up. Tsutsugo is probably best suited to being a DH in MLB, and that’s why all the suitors that Morosi is hearing about are in the AL. Those suitors are the Blue Jays, Tigers, White Sox, and Twins. Morosi cites the Blue Jays as perhaps being the best fit.
Phillies interested in Rendon, Strasburg
Rendon would seem to be the likeliest of the three, as the Nationals feel most confident about retaining Strasburg, per Heyman. Cole, meanwhile, is also drawing interest from the Yankees and Angels, among other perspective big spenders. Of course, Rendon has his fair share of suitors, too, so the Phillies are by no means guaranteed to land any of the three. In case you were wondering if the Yankees were moving any closer to re-signing outfielder Brett Gardner, the answer is maybe. The Yankees have made Gardner another offer, continuing talks that seem destined to result in a reunion, per Jon Heyman.
Yankees continue negotiations with Gardner
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The Phillies have made plenty of big moves over the past year-plus, including this week’s signing of Zack Wheeler. They might not be done shopping at the top of the market, either. The Phillies are reportedly interested in Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, and Stephen Strasburg, according to Jon Heyman.
Pirates willing to talk about Marte
Fully in keeping with offseason expectations, the Pirates are willing to listen to trade offers for outfielder Starling Marte, Jon Heyman tweets. As Heyman notes, the Pirates would like to land a top catcher prospect as part of any return package. Elsewhere, the Cubs are close to bringing back right-hander Brandon Morrow on a minor-league contract, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Morrow, 35, had a sparkling 1.47 ERA in 30 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2018, but he missed all of last season after suffering setbacks in his recovery from elbow surgery.
Japanese slugger Tsutsugo drawing interest
The good news for Sox fans is that rival execs don’t think they’ll trade Betts this offseason. That’s what they’re telling Bob Nightengale of USA Today, anyway. Betts is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season and is due for a big raise in his final year of arbitration. To be sure, Betts will be worth that and more, but given that he has only one more season of control left means that the Sox may not get their asking price. That’s actually a good thing for Boston.
Gardner, 36, is coming off a season in which he hit .251/.325/.503 (117 OPS+) with a career-best 28 home runs. The Yankees could use the outfield help, given Aaron Hicks‘ Tommy John surgery and Cameron Maybin’s free agency.