Major League Baseball's owner-imposed lockout may have caused the offseason to freeze, but that hasn't stopped the occasional rumor from slipping through concerning what teams intend to do if and when the league and the MLB Players Association ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. Below, you can find all of Wednesday's rumors, news, and notes from the wide world of baseball.
Chipper thinks Freeman will be listening to other offers
First baseman Freddie Freeman will be one of the top free agents remaining on the market once MLB's lockout is lifted.
When that occurs, don't be surprised if Freeman's name surfaces in conjunction with teams other than the Braves. Longtime Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones suggested as much during an appearance on the Dukes & Bell radio show on Tuesday:
"The Braves have made some offers, didn't make him happy," Jones said. "He's being courted by some of the prettiest girls on the block right now, he's gonna listen to them. I hope that he thinks about his legacy here in Atlanta and they can come to some sort of an agreement to bring him back because I'd love nothing more than for his number to go right in there in between Dale Murphy and Bobby Cox."
It's worth noting that Jones acknowledged he hasn't talked to Freeman in some time. In other words, his comments are probably closer to speculation than anything more.
Still, Freeman drawing interest from other teams is no revelation; the Yankees have been connected to him here recently, and sources informed CBS Sports early in the offseason that both the Dodgers and the Rangers had at least some interest in him. (MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the Blue Jays had also shown interest.) All three of those teams were mentioned by CBS Sports in November as potential landing spots for Freeman if he and the Braves were unable to reach an agreement.
The Braves, for their part, have been reported to have interest in trading for Athletics first baseman Matt Olson, and in signing free-agent first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Orioles to sign Long
The Orioles are expected to sign former Mariners prospect Shed Long to a minor-league contract, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Long, 26 years old, has appeared in each of the last three big-league campaigns. He's accumulated a .216/.284/.376 slash line (81 OPS+) in 380 at-bats during that time. He's also homered 12 times and tallied -0.4 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference's calculations.
Long should provide the Orioles with additional depth on either the infield or in the outfield.