MLB rumors: Cubs, Javier Baez to discuss extension; Athletics shopping Jurickson Profar, Blake Treinen
Here are the latest rumors on the MLB hot stove
With the Thanksgiving holiday nearing, teams and players are rushing to wrap up business ahead of what's likely to be a lull in the offseason. Fortunately, there's still ample time for a few moves to happen.
Let's run down the latest from Tuesday's MLB rumor mill.
Cubs to discuss extension with Baez
The Cubs are expected to shake up their roster this winter, which could entail moving a part of their core. Yet if Chicago has its way, Javier Baez won't be going anywhere. That's because Baez and the Cubs' front office are expected to discuss a long-term deal at the Winter Meetings, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
Baez, 27 in a week, won't be free-agent eligible until after the 2021 season. The past three years, he's posted a 116 OPS+ and made two All-Star Games while playing stellar defense all over. He's expected to make $9.3 million next season through the arbitration process, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Another free agent catcher inks deal
So far this season, it seems like only catchers and relievers are signing early. Add another backstop to the list. The Diamondbacks have agreed to sign free-agent catcher Stephen Vogt to a one-year deal with a vesting option for a second year, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Vogt, 35, .263/.314/.490 (111 OPS+) in 99 games for the Giants last season, posting a 1.2 WAR in part-time action.
A's looking to shed payroll
Profar, 26, was just acquired by the A's last offseason from the Rangers. Serving mostly as the primary second baseman, Profar hit .218/.301/.410 with 24 doubles, 20 homers, 67 RBI, 65 runs and nine steals. He's seen time all over the diamond in his big-league career. Our own R.J. Anderson ahead of next week's deadline.
Treinen, 31, isn't exactly a sell-high candidate. He was one of the best relievers in baseball in 2018 but took a big step backward in 2019, when he lost his job as Oakland's closer and pitched to a 4.91 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. Still, some suitors might believe they'll get back the good version of Treinen, so it's not as though he's without value.
Phillies grab Harrison
Former All-Star utility man Josh Harrison has joined the Phillies on a minor-league deal, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Harrison, 32, is a two-time All-Star and was selected as recently as 2017, but he's gone downhill rather sharply since. In just 147 plate appearances for the Tigers last season, Harrison hit .175/.218/.263. He had a 26 OPS+ and -1.0 WAR. He was so ineffective that the 47-win Tigers released him in August.
Harrison isn't too old to believe a bounce-back season is possible and he was hampered from May on by a hamstring injury. There's very little risk in a minor-league deal, so the move here by the Phillies make sense. The upside is a good utility man off the bench. The downside is basically nothing.
Astros sign catcher
The Astros stand to lose both Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado to the free-agent market. But on Tuesday they added a veteran to help shore up their catching depth, signing Dustin Garneau to a one-year deal, per The Athletic's Jake Kaplan.
Garneau isn't going to move the needle, but he's a 32-year-old with nearly 400 career big-league plate appearances. He's posted a 63 OPS+ in those trips to the dish, suggesting he's not much of a hitter. To be fair, Garneau has graded well as a framer on the minor-league level, per Baseball Prospectus' metrics.
Garneau may well serve as Houston's backup to open the season.
Mariners ink Graveman
There was a time when Kendall Graveman was an above-average big-league starter with the Athletics. If he's to return to that form in 2020, it'll be as a member of the Mariners. On Tuesday, Graveman agreed to terms with the Mariners on a one-year deal with a club option for the 2021 season, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
It's worth noting that Graveman spent last season as a member of the Cubs organization, albeit nominally. He missed most of the year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. The Cubs declined his club option earlier this offseason.
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