MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Red Sox looking to trade Bradley; Strasburg signs record deal with Nationals

MLB's Winter Meetings are here, and that means activity on the free-agent and trade markets should be ramping up soon. Of course, it's already been an active week-plus by the standards of early December, so we'll see if the meetings are livelier than normal as well. You can get fully up to speed on all the latest signings with our updated Free Agent Tracker

As for Monday's rumors, let's dig in.

Nats re-sign Strasburg to record-breaking deal

In the biggest signing thus far of this offseason, the Washington Nationals have re-signed 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $245 million deal, according to CBS Sports' Jim Bowden. The contract gives Strasburg, 31, the highest average annual value and most money for a pitcher in MLB history. Here's the full story.

Red Sox trying to trade Bradley

The Red Sox are actively trying to trade center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., reports the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham. They were discussing Bradley with the Mets before New York acquired Jake Marisnick last week. Also, the Red Sox are keeping tabs on their free agents (Rick Porcello, Brock Holt, etc.) but are not actively seeking a reunion, per Abraham.

Boston needs to shed about $20 million this offseason to get under the $208 million luxury tax threshold next year. Bradley is projected to make about $11 million through arbitration, so while trading him would get them closer to their payroll goal, it wouldn't get them all the way there. Trading Bradley is preferable to trading Mookie Betts, however.

Castellanos market heating up

Before Nicholas Castellanos was traded to the Cubs midseason, the expectation around the league was that he would have to settle for a one-year contract this winter. It made sense. Castellanos was perceived as a good, not great right-handed hitter without much defensive value of which to speak. He then hit .321/.356/.646 over a 51-game stretch with Chicago -- a run so good that it shredded the previous assumption.

Indeed, Castellanos appears on his way to landing a much more lucrative contract than previously anticipated, with the Diamondbacks and Giants being among those interested, per Jon Heyman. The Marlins were also tied to Castellanos, but have faded as bidding has increased, according to CBS Sports HQ's Jim Bowden.

Castellanos, 28 come March, has hit .287/.337/.505 (120 OPS+) over the past three seasons.

Bumgarner wants nine figures

Once Zack Wheeler agreed to a deal worth more than $100 million, it seemed like only a matter of time before Madison Bumgarner landed his own deal for a similar amount. Sure enough, Bumgarner has informed teams that he's seeking a five-year pact worth $100 million, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Bumgarner is an interesting contrast from Wheeler, who offers more potential than track record. Although Bumgarner doesn't throw hard, he does generate good spin from a tough angle. He also, obviously, has a substantive history of being an above-average starter, and has earned a reputation for being a big-game pitcher.

Donaldson may land four-year deal

Josh Donaldson, through no doing of his own, is the downmarket alternative to Anthony Rendon. Yet that doesn't mean Donaldson will come cheaply. Rather, Donaldson still has a chance at landing a four-year deal, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

Donaldson, 34, posted a 127 OPS+ with the Braves last season. Just as importantly, he did so while appearing in 155 games. Donaldson had been limited by injury to just 52 games in 2018.

Presumably the Braves, Nationals, Phillies, and Rangers could each make sense for Donaldson -- depending on where Rendon lands and how the trade market shakes out.

Dodgers maintaining interest in Ryu

Here's a predictable one: the Dodgers still have interest in retaining Hyun-Jin Ryu, per Jon Heyman. The Dodgers are, of course, pursuing the top available starters on the open market -- both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg -- and it's unclear how landing either would impact their interest in Ryu.

Nonetheless, Ryu would make for a nifty fallback plan if it comes to that. Over the last three seasons he's thrown roughly 391 innings and posted a 151 ERA+ and a 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This past season was the first time he'd thrown more than 150 innings since 2014.

The Twins and Blue Jays are also said to be interested in Ryu.

Cubs among those with Lindblom interest

The Cubs might be telling everyone they're capped out, but that hasn't stopped them from maintaining interest in right-hander Josh Lindblom, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com.

Lindblom, 32, is drawing interest from numerous teams as he looks to return from a three-year run in Korea. In his most recent campaign, he threw 194 innings and posted a 2.50 ERA and 6.52 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Doosan Bears. Lindblom is no stranger to the majors -- he's made more than 100 career appearances in the Show, notching a 97 ERA+ and 2.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Lindblom is not a particularly hard thrower -- his fastball sat in the low-90s throughout his big-league run -- but he does have a broad arsenal with which he throws strikes.

Brewers interested in Gregorius

The Brewers have interest in free agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, reports The Athletic's Robert Murray. MLB Network's Jon Heyman hears Gregorius is likely to receive $14 million to $15 million per year, which may be too pricey for the Reds, who had interest in Gregorius earlier this year. The Phillies, who hired Sir Didi's former manager Joe Girardi, are also in the mix.

Earlier this offseason the Brewers acquired Luis Urias to take over at shortstop, though incumbent Orlando Arcia remains with the team. He is currently penciled in at third base with Mike Moustakas leaving as a free agent and Travis Shaw having been non-tendered. Gregorius has been a shortstop exclusively the last five years, though he has played third base in the past.

Adam Jones considering Japan

Outfielder Adam Jones is considering leaving the United States to sign a multi-year pact with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, per Ken Rosenthal. Jones, 34, spent last season with the Diamondbacks and hit just .260/.313/.414 (87 OPS+) while primarily playing right field. If that represents the end of Jones' big-league career, it'll be a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise quality run. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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