Christmas is behind us and we're still waiting for the first significant free agent signing of the offseason., including only five of the top 25. There have been some notable trades this week thanks to the San Diego Padres. Here are the latest hot stove rumblings.
Phillies add Alvarado in three-team trade
- Phillies receive: LHP Jose Alvarado
- Dodgers receive: LHP Garrett Cleavinger
- Rays receive: 1B Dillon Paulson, PTBNL
Both Alvarado and Cleavinger have pitched in the majors, with Alvarado amassing more service time.
Alvarado, arb-eligible for the first time, had seemingly established himself as a late-inning fixture in 2018. He's since dealt with elbow and shoulder woes that have limited him to 44 appearances in 2019-20 and that have taken several ticks off his bowling ball sinker. The Phillies must figure the reward outweighs the cost. Given the poor state of their bullpen, they could be correct.
Cleavinger made one appearance for the Phillies in 2020. He recorded two outs and allowed a run on two hits (one of them being a home run). His fastball sat in the mid-90s during that outing, according to Statcast. He's likely to receive burn in L.A.s bullpen at some point in 2021.
Cubs shopping Contreras
As the Cubs continue their teardown, it's fair to expect their players to continue to populate trade rumors. One such Cub doing exactly that is catcher Willson Contreras, who, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, is being shopped extensively.
Contreras, 28, has two years of team control remaining. He's hit for a 113 OPS+ during his big-league career, and this season he graded as an improved receiver, making him more of a well-rounded player.
Should the Cubs move Contreras, he would be the second catcher they've dealt this winter. Chicago included backup Victor Caratini alongside Yu Darvish in their trade with the Padres.
Twins ink Robles
The Twins have signed former Angels closer Hansel Robles to a minor-league deal, according to the team. Robles, 30, battled command woes and velocity loss in 2020 en route to a disappointing season. Prior to 2020, he had emerged as a high-leverage reliever. In parts of three seasons with the Angels, Robles had a 3.65 ERA and a 3.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Royals sign Santana
Here's a fun one. The Royals announced on Tuesday they have signed veteran right-hander Ervin Santana to a minor-league deal.
Santana, 38, hasn't pitched in the majors since a three-game stint in 2019. It did not go well. His five appearances in 2018 didn't, either. Prior to that, though, he was a reliable mid-rotation starter who amassed more than 27 Wins Above Replacement over his first 13 seasons in the majors.
Santana, who was an All-Star as recently as 2017, seems highly unlikely to play a meaningful role in the Royals' 2021 season. Rather, this is likely a case where the Royals are paying a favor to an old friend. Santana spent the 2013 season in Kansas City.