Spring training is less than three weeks away and still, including 12 of the top 20. and here are the latest hot stove rumblings.
Turner has four possible options
Free agent infielder Justin Turner has four possible options, including re-signing with the Dodgers and joining the Blue Jays, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Heyman adds the Dodgers would prefer a two-year contract and are optimistic they can get a deal done. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Turner the No. 7 free agent available.
Turner, 36, remains productive, though his defense and durability have slipped in recent years. Los Angeles could easily plug Turner, a clubhouse leader, back in at third base to help balance their righty heavy lineup. Toronto could also put Turner at third base with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remaining at first. The Braves and Nationals stand out as other possible destinations, though that is my speculation.
Red Sox still in touch with Bradley
The Red Sox remain in touch with free agency center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters, including Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. Bloom added staying under the $210 million luxury tax threshold is "a factor, but not a mandate." Cot's Baseball Contracts has Boston's 2021 luxury tax payroll at approximately $202 million.
Our R.J. Anderson ranked Bradley the No. 12 free agent available. Bradley, 31 in April, is an elite defender who fits best toward the bottom of a contender's lineup. Boston's outfield currently includes Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe, , though Renfroe struggles against righties, and none are as good defensively as Bradley. Also, the less time J.D. Martinez spends in the outfield, the better.
At least three teams after Simmons
The Blue Jays, Phillies, and Reds are among the teams pursuing free agent shortstop Andrelton Simmons, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Last week, three of four CBS Sports MLB writers said they prefer Simmons to other free agent shortstops like Didi Gregorius and Marcus Semien. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Simmons the No. 9 free agent available.
Simmons, 31, remains an above-average defender, though his defensive ratings have been trending down the last few years. That is not the most surprising thing now that he's in his 30s (and has dealt with several leg injuries recently). The Phillies and Reds have big openings at short. The Blue Jays have kicked around moving Bo Bichette to third to make room for a new shortstop this winter.
Phillies wrap up Realmuto deal
. At $23.1 million, the contract establishes a new record average annual salary for a catcher, and the $115.5 million guarantee is the third largest ever for a catcher, behind Joe Mauer ($184 million) and Buster Posey ($159 million). Realmuto, 30, authored .273/.333/.492 batting line with 36 home runs in 192 games with Philadelphia the last two years. He led all catchers with 7.5 WAR from 2019-20.
Mets make offer to Bauer
Gerrit Cole holds the average annual salary record at $36 million. .. The club is said to be "evaluating all aspects of Bauer's strong social media presence." Bauer, 30, won the NL Cy Young with a 1.73 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 73 innings in 2020. Former UCLA teammate