Rangers have interest in Arenado
The White Sox have agreed to sign free-agent starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The terms are unknown. The lefty Gonzalez is heading to his age-34 season. He was 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 78 strikeouts against 37 walks in 87 1/3 innings last season for the Brewers.
Senzel, 24, hit .256/.315/.427 (89 OPS+) with 20 doubles, four triples, 12 homers, 42 RBI, 55 runs and 14 stolen bases last season in 104 games as a rookie.
What’s interesting here is the Brewers continue to add veteran volume. They’ve recently added Avisail Garcia, Omar Narvaez, Ryon Healy, Eric Sogard and now Smoak. It looks like they’ll be deploying lots of platoons and matchup-based lineups next season.
Reds looking at Lindor
Souza hit .220/.309/.369 with five homers in 272 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks in 2018, but in 2017 he hit 30 homers and stole 16 bases.
Gonzalez, for now, slots as the only lefty in the White Sox’s rotation behind Lucas Giolito. Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease and Dylan Covey, but that’s assuming they don’t add another arm at some point this offseason. They’ve been connected in rumors to some upper-level starting pitchers, so it’s possible things change. Third baseman Maikel Franco was non-tendered by the Phillies last month and granted free agency. The Royals agreed to a one-year deal with Franco worth million, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Franco, 27, hit .234/.297/.409 with 17 homers and 56 RBI in 123 games last season. He’s flashed upside throughout his career but has never really been able to consistently produce since a very encouraging half-season as a rookie in 2015. Perhaps a change of scenery shakes something loose.
The Rangers may have missed out on Anthony Rendon, and might be out on Josh Donaldson, but they’re still looking at a star-caliber third baseman. The latest name in connection to the Rangers’ third-base gig? Nolan Arenado, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Gonzalez was drafted and developed by the White Sox, but he was traded as a prospect for Jim Thome. The next offseason, he was traded back to the White Sox, but then was traded away before he ever reached the majors. So this is his third time with the organization, but he’s never pitched for the big-league team.
Angels get Teheran on one-year deal
The Reds have been aggressive in looking to turn things around into a contender while the Indians seem ready to deal players close to free agency. There’s a match here, but talks haven’t been said to be serious just yet.
White Sox add Gonzalez
The Reds have been engaged in trade talks with the Indians regarding superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Jon Heyman of MLB Network adds that the “Indians are said to like Nick Senzel very much.”
The Angels have signed right-handed starting pitcher Julio Teheran to a one-year, million deal, per reports. , including a discussion on why they still need a frontline starting pitcher.
Free agent outfielder Steven Souza is fully recovered from knee surgery and drawing interest from several teams, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Morosi names the Rangers, Rays, Cubs and Giants as interested teams.
Royals land Franco
It’s unclear if a deal is realistic at this point.
Brewers sign Smoak
Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger was 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 169 strikeouts against 37 walks in 126 innings last season. Stellar, right? He doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2022 season, so even with the Indians apparently in sell mode, one would imagine the price would be high. One would be right, according to Robert Murray. Murray reports that the Dodgers and Padres are among the teams that have asked the Indians about Clevinger but that the price is “crazy high.”
The Indians are fresh off trading starting pitcher Corey Kluber and could certainly use the outfield help. Meanwhile, the Reds currently have Freddy Galvis slotted as their starting shortstop and obviously Lindor would mark a substantial upgrade.
Price on Clevinger ‘crazy high’
Lindor, 26, hit .284/.335/.518 (118 OPS+) with 40 doubles, 32 homers, 74 RBI, 101 runs and 22 steals last year, good for 4.7 WAR after starting the season injured. He’s two seasons away from free agency, so this would appear to be the optimal time for the Indians to deal him.
Souza drawing interest
We’re now less than a week from Christmas and can expect MLB teams to continue shopping up until the last minute before taking a short break. There are still a few high-profile free agents on the board and several big names being bandied about out there on the trade market. Speaking of which, let’s round up the biggest rumors and transactions for the day. The Brewers and free agent first baseman Justin Smoak have agreed to a one-year, million deal, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. Smoak, 33, hit .208/.342/.406 (101 OPS+) with 22 homers and 61 RBI in 121 games for the Blue Jays last season. He was an All-Star with them in 2017 but has regressed since. He’s got plenty of power and takes walks, but he’s likely to hit for a low average while striking out plenty.