Spring training is less than five weeks away and there is a whole bunch of hot stove activity that needs to happen between now and then. Only 13 of our top 60 free agents have signed, including only one of the top 14. Here's our breakdown of the Andrew Benintendi trade market, and here are the latest hot stove rumblings.
Padres still looking for pitching
Even after adding Yu Darvish and Blake Snell last month, the Padres remain in the hunt for pitching, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal speculates free agent righty Masahiro Tanaka could be a fit given his connection to Padres pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who served as Yankees pitching coach from 2011-19. San Diego's rotation is currently slate to included Darvish, Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, and either Adrian Morejon or Joey Lucchesi.
On one hand, there is so such thing as too much pitching, so of course the Padres remain in the market. On the other hand, their continued interest in pitching may suggest there are lingering concerns about Lamet, who went down with a biceps injury late last year and did not pitch in the postseason. Lamet has a long injury history and Mike Clevinger went down with Tommy John surgery soon after suffering a biceps injury of his own. The Padres may want to hedge against Lamet's health.
Kluber holds showcase
Free agent righty Corey Kluber held a showcase at a Florida training facility on Wednesday. Among the many teams expected to attend were the Cubs (per The Athletic's Sadahev Sharma), Diamondbacks (per The Athletic's Zach Buchanan), Mets (per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo), Nationals (per The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli), Pirates (per The Athletic's Rob Biertempfel), Tigers (per Chris McCosky of the Detroit News), and Twins (per LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune).
Nearly 25 teams showed up at Corey Kluber's showcase today, and scouts came away impressed. His fastball sat 88-90 -- and he's got more velocity in the tank as he builds toward spring training. Kluber threw 30 pitches, including all of his off-speed stuff. Strong market expected.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2021
Kluber, 35 in April, when down with a serious shoulder injury one inning into his first start last year. He's thrown only 36 2/3 innings the last two years because of several injuries, including a broken forearm in 2019. In 2018, Kluber's last full and healthy season, he threw 215 innings with a 2.89 ERA and finished third in the Cy Young voting. The injuries and his age figure to limit him to a one-year "prove yourself" contract, and there are worst players to roll the dice on than a two-time Cy Young winner.
Angels intend to add pitching
Angels GM Perry Minasian intends to add starting pitching, he told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Minasian also said he is seeking catching and outfield depth. "It's been a different offseason. It seems like there's been less activity. We've been one of the more active teams and it seems like we haven't done anything in a year ... I have been as active as I can be," Minasian said.
Anaheim's rotation currently includes Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning, Andrew Heaney, and a hopefully healthy Shohei Ohtani. Jaime Barria and Patrick Sandoval are also in the mix. Southern California native Trevor Bauer would look lovely atop the rotation. If not Bauer, the Angels at least need a veteran innings eater. The Halos also need a depth catcher given Max Stassi's offseason hip surgery, and outfield help given Jo Adell's poor debut last year.
Giants seeking lefty starter
The Giants are looking to add a left-handed starting pitcher, GM Scott Harris told MLB.com's Jon Morosi. At the moment, their rotation is set to include five righties: Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Logan Webb, and Shaun Anderson. Anderson spent most of 2019 and all of 2020 in the bullpen and had some success, and may remain there permanently.
Our top 60 free agents list includes only two unsigned lefty starters: James Paxton (No. 18) and Jose Quintana (No. 52). Unranked southpaws like Brett Anderson, J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels, Rich Hill, Martin Perez, and Alex Wood could interest San Francisco. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has ties to Hill and Wood from his days with the Dodgers, and Anderson from his time with the Athletics.
Blue Jays extend Shapiro
The Blue Jays have signed president Mark Shapiro to a five-year contract extension. Rogers Communications, the company that owns the team, made the announcement Wednesday. "We're extremely pleased that Mark will continue to lead the Toronto Blue Jays and build on the team's progress as we work towards our goal of bringing as World Series championship back to Canada," chairman Edward Rogers said in a statement. Shapiro spent 25 years with Cleveland before joining the Blue Jays in 2015.