While the Thanksgiving break did not come with any MLB free-agent or trade activity, the market remained active.
There are numerous players who are drawing widespread interest whose markets are beginning to move, sources say. The pitching landscape remains active and if the Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson deals are any indication – the 36-year-olds are earning a combined $23 million in 2024 – acquiring pitching will be an expensive proposition for clubs.
Here’s what I’m hearing on the market, via major-league sources.
Former San Francisco Giants bench coach Kai Correa is joining the Cleveland Guardians’ major-league coaching staff in an unspecified role, according to major-league sources. It serves as a reunion for Correa, who was the Guardians’ complex league’s infield coach and defensive coordinator in 2018-2019.
After a down 2023 season, free-agent right-hander Noah Syndergaard is viewed by some teams as a low-risk signing that could have upside.
Syndergaard signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers last offseason. He then posted a 7.16 ERA in 12 starts and was traded to the Cleveland Guardians in a salary dump deal at the trade deadline, only to be designated for assignment by Cleveland only minutes after his sixth appearance.
Free-agent pitcher Kenta Maeda and the Detroit Tigers are having continued conversations, league sources say. There is some optimism that a deal will ultimately be reached, but there are other teams that are showing interest in the veteran right-hander.
Free-agent pitcher Seth Lugo is drawing interest from more than half the league, sources tell FanSided, and is a strong candidate to land a 3-4 year contract in free agency.
Lugo, 34, is coming off a strong season with the San Diego Padres in which he posted a 3.57 ERA and 140/36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 146.1 innings.
The Minnesota Twins are trying to shed payroll, and one player that’s available is catcher Christian Vazquez, according to major-league sources.
Vazquez, 33, was signed to a three-year, $30 million contract last offseason, but struggled to the tune of hitting a mediocre .223/.280/.318 with a .598 OPS, six home runs and 32 RBI. The emergence of Ryan Jeffers at catcher last season has made Vazquez expendable and while his $10 million annual salary is high, it’s possible a catcher-needy team explores acquiring him based on his previous track record.
Elsewhere on the Twins: the team has been exploring the center field market, according to sources.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates explore the first base market, among the options to watch are Rowdy Tellez and Dom Smith.
Tellez was recently non-tendered by the Brewers and has familiarity with hitting coach Andy Haines from their time in Milwaukee. He would provide a power-hitting left-handed bat in the lineup. Smith, meanwhile, was once a highly touted prospect with the New York Mets, and is coming off a solid season with the Washington Nationals in which he hit .254/.326/.366 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 153 games.