MLB's holiday lull has arrived -- hasn't this entire offseason been one big holiday lull, really? --. The good news? That means there's still a lot of activity coming this winter. Here's the latest from the hot stove.
Padres have been in contact about Darvish
The Padres have been in contact with the Cubs about a potential Yu Darvish trade, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Acee adds "signals from team sources have been mixed on how far along those talks are." The Cubs are known to be cutting costs this winter and San Diego lost starter Mike Clevinger to Tommy John surgery earlier this offseason.
Darvish, 34, finished second in the Cy Young voting in 2020. He is owed $59 million through 2023 and it is unlikely Chicago will be able to unload the entire contract and get quality prospects in return. The Padres have one of the best farm systems in the game. The more money the Cubs eat to facilitate a Darvish trade, the better the young players they'll receive in return.
Red Sox have interest in Hernandez
The Red Sox have "strong interest" in free agent utility man Enrique Hernandez, reports MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. Cotillo mentions a deal does not appear to be imminent, however. Hernandez was part of Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic team in 2017, a roster assembled by current Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Puerto Rico's general manager.
Hernandez, 29, has spent the last six years with the Dodgers as a super utility man. He's played every position in the big leagues except catcher and he's a career .263/.345/.474 hitter against lefties. The Red Sox have an opening at second base, though Hernandez's versatility means he'd provide the team coverage all over the field. There's always a way to get him in the lineup.
At least five teams pursuing Sugano
The Blue Jays, Giants, Mets, Padres, and Red Sox are among the teams pursuing Japanese righty Tomoyuki Sugano, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Sugano has been the best pitcher in Japan since Masahiro Tanaka left in 2014. His 30-day negotiating window closes on Jan. 7. The entire deal (agreement, physical, signing, etc.) must be complete by that date.
Sugano, 31, pitched to a 1.97 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 137 1/3 innings during Japan's COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. He's a two-time Sawamura Award winner (Japan's Cy Young equivalent) and a former league MVP. MLB., who's regarded as a solid middle of the rotation starter more than a slam dunk ace in
Rangers sign Arihara
. The deal will pay him $2.6 million in 2021 and $3.6 million in 2022, and Texas must pay his former team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, a $1.24 million posting fee (20 percent of his contract). Arihara had a 3.46 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings in 2020. He is regarded as a potential back-end starter in MLB.