Spring training is set to begin here in the next two weeks and there has been a lot of player movement in the last month or so, but there are still plenty of players left needing to find a home for 2021. In fact, we ran through the leftover free agents here in a quick reset.
Now for a quick look around the rumor mill on a predictably slow Saturday.
Rangers, A's pull off intra-division trade
One takeaway is that it's possible the Rangers look outside the organization to fill a hole at third base (Isiah Kiner-Falefa will play shortstop). See the free agent list linked above for possibilities ranging from Justin Turner to a Todd Frazier reunion.
A's sign SP Fiers
The A's also signed free agent starting pitcher Mike Fiers to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Fiers has spent the last 2 1/2 seasons with the A's, after they acquired him from the Tigers in 2018. In 11 starts last season, he went 6-3 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 59 innings.
Reds looking at Villar for SS
In the remaining roundup of free agents, shortstop was blank. There are no primary shortstops left. The Reds currently don't really have one, either, with Kyle Farmer (10 career starts at short) figuring to be the opening-day starter as things stand.
The team is engaged in contract discussions with Jonathan Villar, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Villar has seen more time in the majors at short than any other position, but he's more a second baseman or utility man at this point. Still, it's not outrageous to believe he could hold down the position if the two sides work out a deal. He hit .232/.301/.292 in 52 games last season, but had a nice 2019 campaign for the Orioles, hitting .274 with a 109 OPS+, 33 doubles, five triples, 24 homers, 73 RBI, 111 runs and 40 steals.
Choo working out at 1B; Brewers looking?
Outfielder/DH Shin-Soo Choo's seven-year deal with the Rangers expired after last season and he's still a free agent. He was a productive hitter in 2018 and 2019, dipping to .236/.323/.400 (96 OPS+) last season. He's also heading to his age-38 season, so it isn't difficult to see why he'd remain unsigned.
As such, Choo is apparently looking to increase his attractiveness on the market, as he is working out at first base in hopes of increasing his versatility, reports Robert Murray of Fansided. Murray later reported that the Brewers are among the teams looking at Choo.
After signing Kolten Wong to play second, the Brewers announced Keston Hiura is moving to first base. If the righty Hiura is platooned, Daniel Vogelbach would fill the part. Choo also swings lefty, so it would be interesting to see how things shook out if the Brewers do sign Choo.