In about one week spring training camps will open across Arizona and Florida. Cactus League and Grapefruit League play is tentatively scheduled to begin in less than three weeks. Hooray for that.and here are the latest hot stove rumblings as the offseason winds down.
Mets interested in Arrieta
The Mets have interest in free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, reports SNY's Andy Martino. Martino adds they have more interest in Arrieta than other free-agent starters like Jake Odorizzi, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. New York missed out on Trevor Bauer over the weekend and could use another veteran starter to solidify the back of the rotation.
Arrieta, 35 in March, held a showcase for interested teams two weeks ago. Carlos Carrasco and Marcus Stroman will follow Jacob deGrom in the Mets rotation in whatever order, and the fourth and fifth spots could go to some combination of David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, and Jordan Yamamoto until Noah Syndergaard returns from Tommy John surgery at midseason.
Blue Jays interest in Gonzalez
The Blue Jays have interest in free-agent utility man Marwin Gonzalez, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi. Davidi says the team's exact level of interest in unclear, and adds they remain in the market for pitching help. Toronto has a full infield at the moment, though the Jays could use an upgrade over Santiago Espinal and Derek Fisher on the bench.
Gonzalez, 32 in March, has extensive MLB experience at every position except pitcher, catcher, and center field. He probably should not play shortstop in anything more than an emergency at this point, but the Blue Jays can always use Marcus Semien to back up Bo Bichette at short. It's easy to see Gonzalez's versatility and switch-hitting bat as a fit for any contender.
Pirates looking for pitching
The Pirates are looking for buy-low starting pitchers, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Because Pittsburgh is not expected to contend, the plan would be to flip any starters who have a good season for prospects at the trade deadline. The Pirates traded Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon earlier this offseason, and declined Chris Archer's club option.
Among the unsigned free agent starters who may be available at a discount for injury or performance reasons include Paxton, Tyler Anderson, Cole Hamels, Homer Bailey, and Mike Montgomery, among others. Lefty Steven Brault and righties Chad Kuhl and Mitch Keller are the only locks for Pittsburgh's rotation at the moment.