We're clear of the recent general managers' meetings, and that means we're moving deeper into the MLB offseason calendar. While most of the focus right now is on the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations and hopes that we'll avoid a labor stoppage, it's still the hot stove season. That means rumors and in some instances actual transactions. Speaking of which, here's a roundup of Saturday's supply of those things.
Dodgers interested in Castillo, Gray
The Dodgers have interest in Reds right-handers Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It's unclear whether the two sides seriously discussed (or are still discussing) a trade, or whether the Dodgers were just doing due diligence. . If they are truly available, dozens of teams figure to check in. There would be a bidding war for both.
Los Angeles signed Andrew Heaney to one-year contract last week and right now he joins Walker Buehler, Luis Urías, David Price, and Tony Gonsolin in the team's projected rotation. The Dodgers are expected to try to re-sign both Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, though Kershaw's health remains a question. The safe bet is on the Dodgers bringing in another two starting pitchers this offseason, either Scherzer and Kershaw, Castillo and Gray, or two others entirely.
Brewers acquire Brosseau
The Brewers have acquired utility man Mike Brosseau from the Rays for minor league righty Evan Reifert, the team announced. Brosseau famously hit an ALDS-winning home run against Aroldis Chapman last year, a few weeks after Chapman threw over his head. The 27-year-old spent much of this season in the minors, hitting .187/.266/.347 in 57 MLB games and .218/.342/.382 in 51 Triple-A games. Reifert, 22, had a 2.10 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 60 Single-A innings this year.
Mets interested in bringing back Báez
The Mets acquired Javier Báez from the Cubs leading up to last season's trade deadline and installed him at second base next to shortstop Francisco Lindor. He thrived on the Mets' watch with a slash line of .299/.371/.515 with nine home runs in 47 games. Add that to his pre-trade production with Chicago, and Báez had a quality OPS+ of 117 for 2021. Throw in his plus baserunning and the fact that he's a notable defensive plus at shortstop or second base, and Báez should have plenty of suitors this winter.
Speaking of which, here's this dispatch from MLB.com's Mark Feinsand:
"The Mets sat down with Báez's camp on Wednesday to discuss the idea of bringing the infielder back to New York, but sources said the market for Báez is far deeper than many expected."
Báez is going into his age-29 campaign, and given his power, glove, and speed, yes, he's going to be a sought-after name. The Mets are in on bringing him back, as Feinsand notes, and perhaps they'll benefit from what's a pretty crowded crop of free agent shortstops. While the Mets' 2021 season didn't come close to yielding preferred results, Báez fit well with Lindor, who's a long-time friend. The Mets of course still need a GM, but bringing back Báez, who's a known quantity to them, feels like the kind of step they'd take even if a new front-office lead decision-maker isn't in place. As always, it likely come down to whether the Mets are willing to make an offer that's competitive with the market place.
Rockies re-up with Chacín
The Rockies announced on Saturday that they've re-signed veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacín to a one-year contract. Chacín, who turns 34 in January, worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen last season and was solid in that role. He's spent seven of his 13 big-league seasons with Colorado. Presumably, Chacín will once again be ticketed for a relief role, although he does have 227 career starts to his credit.