We are fast approaching the start of spring training, and almost all of the big-name free agents are spoken for. That said, it's still the offseason, and that means rumors can be found. We have found them and rounded them up for Friday. Here they are, those rumors that we spoke of just now ...
Phillies close to signing Miller
The Phillies are moving toward a deal with free-agent infielder Brad Miller that will be a one-year pact worth between $3 million and $3.5 million, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports. Miller, 31, is coming off a solid abbreviated 2020 season with the Cardinals. In 48 games, Miller batted .232/.357/.451 (120 OPS+) with seven home runs and eight doubles. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 103 across parts of eight seasons, but he's been at a higher level with the bat since the start of the 2019 campaign. Miller's best suited to the infield corners these days, but he can get by up the middle as long as it's spot duty. As a left-handed hitter, Miller would pair well on occasion with Alec Bohm at third and Rhys Hoskins at first, who are both right-handed hitters. Jean Segura at second base also bats righty.
Yankees have had talks with Gardner
Gardner, 37, hit .223/.353/.392 (108 OPS+) last season and has played his entire professional career with the Yankees. It's worth noting that the Yankees have about $10 million sparing them from the luxury-tax line, which for some reason they're worried about. Gardner made exactly $10 million last season.
Turner has multi-year offers from the Brewers and the incumbent Dodgers, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Murray followed that up by reporting that the Brewers' offer is said to be "competitive" but that his source believes it is "unlikely" Turner leaves the Dodgers.
Right now, Milwaukee likely is in line to give Luis Urias primary duty at the hot corner, and Turner would indeed constitute a substantial upgrade.
Coming into the offseason, we ranked Turner No. 7 among the top 60 free agents, and he's the highest ranked player left on the board. Here's part of what our R.J. Anderson wrote about him:
"It's a shame Turner made the irresponsible and potentially harmful decision to return to the field after learning that he had tested positive for COVID-19 during Game 6 of the World Series, because this was as good of an opportunity as any for him to receive his flowers for an impressive seven-year run out west. He hits the ball hard, he commands the zone, and he's homered at least 20 times in three of the last five seasons. He's an All-Star caliber player with a lovely backstory."
Turner's 36, but he figures to remain an asset with the bat and the glove, at least in the near-term. He'd significantly help the Brewers' chances in the NL Central.
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Rays agree to sign Hill
Hill heads to his age-41 season. Since returning to a starting role in 2015, Hill has gone 43-22 with a 2.92 ERA (140 ERA+), 1.06 WHIP and 584 strikeouts against 163 walks in 505 innings. Most of that came with the Dodgers, but he made eight starts for the Twins last season.
Cubs, Arrieta get together in reunion
The Cubs and free agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta have agreed on a one-year deal. The best four years of Arrieta's career (2014-17) came with the Cubs. He won a Cy Young and World Series, though he's not nearly as productive these days. Full story here.
Diamondbacks sign Cabrera
Cabrera, 35, hit .242/.305/.447 (98 OPS+) with nine doubles, three triples, eight homers, 31 RBI and 23 runs in 213 plate appearances with the Nationals last season. He appeared only at first and third base in game action, but he's handled second base as recently as 2019 and shortstop as recently as 2018.
The Diamondbacks' infield appears full, which makes Cabrera a utility backup and bench bat, which is the most suitable role at this point in his career.