Dodgers, Bumgarner like each other
An odd fit? Not at all. The Dodgers are World Series contenders, which no doubt matters to the playoff legend Bumgarner, and they have room under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold — for some reason a priority for the wealthy Dodgers — to pay Mad Bum’s going rates. That’s why this report from Alex Pavolivic of NBC Sports Bay Area makes a lot of sense. Pavlovic writes:
The Brewers announced that they’ve signed lefty Brett Anderson to a one-year contract for 2020. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Anderson, who turns 32 in February, last season put up an ERA of 3.89 in 31 starts for the Athletics. Over that span, he struck out just 90 batters in 176 innings. For his career, Anderson owns an ERA+ of 102 across parts of 11 major league seasons. Injuries have been an issue throughout Anderson’s career, but last season he was able able to work a qualifying number of innings for the first time since 2015.
The Cubs have agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran reliever Brandon Morrow, per Bob Nightengale. Morrow had technically been part of the organization the past two seasons, but tallied just 30 innings (all in 2018) due to injury. If Morrow can stay healthy — and he hasn’t often during his career — he could prove to be a worthwhile low-cost addition.
Nationals after Donaldson
The Padres haven’t been mentioned often as a potential destination for the top remaining free agents. Yet San Diego is showing interest in Madison Bumgarner and Dallas Keuchel, per Jon Heyman.
The Nationals’ search for an Anthony Rendon replacement has led them to Josh Donaldson. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Nats and Donaldson are in talks and that the team realizes they’ll need to go at least four years with him. “Signing an experienced catcher was high on our list of offseason priorities, and we believe Austin will have an impact both on the field and in the clubhouse,” Tigers GM Al Avila said in a statement released by the team. “He’s a proven leader and game caller who has earned respect around the league for the tenacious and passionate manner in which he plays the game.”
Padres interested in vet lefties
Puig, who just recently turned 29, last season batted .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs in 149 games combined for the Reds and Indians. For his career, he’s got an OPS+ of 122 across parts of seven major league seasons. Puig previously played under Marlins manager Don Mattingly when both were with the Dodgers.
Outfielder Yasiel Puig is a free agent, and the Marlins are looking to make a name addition that fits within their tight budget. The market for Puig thus far has been quiet, and that means he may be slipping into Miami’s price range. Here’s more from Jon Heyman:
Marlins in on Puig
After missing out on Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, the Dodgers are still looking to make a splash in free agency. When it comes to bolstering the rotation and replacing Hyun-Jin Ryu, who figures to sign elsewhere, the Dodgers may turn to old enemy Madison Bumgarner. The free agent lefty is at present a Giants lifer, and the Giants are of course the Dodgers’ blood rival. Donaldson, who turned 34 just days ago, is fresh off an impressive bounceback season with the division rival Braves. In 155 games with Atlanta, Donaldson put up a 127 OPS+ with 37 home runs. He also logged almost 1,300 defensive innings at the hot corner and according to advanced defensive metrics got back to being a force with the glove. The Nats have already laid out 5 million to bring back Stephen Strasburg, and signing Donaldson might also entail another nine-figure investment.
The Tigers on Friday announced that they’ve signed veteran catcher Austin Romine to a one-year contract. Bob Nightengale puts the salary at .1 million for the upcoming season. Romine. Romine, 31, is a career .239/.281/.366 hitter in eight seasons, all with the Yankees. Although he’s never caught more than 611 1/3 defensive innings in a major league season, Romine is expected to become Detroit’s primary behind the plate in 2020.
Brewers sign Anderson
The Marlins in 2019 ranked last in the NL in home runs, and they’ve attempted to address that deficit the recent additions of Jonathan Villar and Jesus Aguilar. Puig would certainly provide additional help on that front. The Marlins are also reported to be interested in Corey Dickerson, and Heyman also adds Kole Calhoun to the list of possible Miami outfield targets.
Tigers sign Romine
“There is mutual interest between Madison Bumgarner and the Dodgers, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area this week, and the Dodgers met with Bumgarner’s representatives at the MLB Winter Meetings.” It’s unclear if the Padres are in serious pursuit of either — especially Bumgarner, who figures to sign a deal worth nine figures — but the Padres are likely to have a more veteran rotation when next season begins. They’ve already acquired Zach Davies this winter, and should receive a full season from Garrett Richards.
Cubs bring back Morrow
Baseball’s Winter Meetings are newly behind us, and. That said, there’s plenty of activity yet to come, and the crop of Friday rumors makes that readily apparent. Now let’s see what’s buzzing as we barrel toward the holidays.