The prior week in MLB was about a team in the National League keeping an eye on the catcher market, a club in the American League looking to retain a slugger and another AL team might deal a young starter.
Diamondbacks Eyeing Wieters for Catcher Upgrade
The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a quiet offseason making minor moves to improve their ballclub. The team still has other needs before the season begins and one them could involve adding a premium catcher.
Matt Wieters is still available and is on the team’s radar, said the Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen.
“Anyone still left on the market makes sense in some circumstances,” Hazen mentioned to Nick Piecoro of azcentral sports. “Matt’s a really good player and a good leader. We’ve kept upon everybody in the catching market.
Hazen has also expressed interest in Boston Red Sox catchers Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.
It’s unlikely that Hazen could swing a deal to get either Vazquez or Swihart from his former team as their both integral parts of the Red Sox future.
Wieters would be a solid addition to the Diamondbacks.
He has accumulated a lifetime .256 average and .739 OPS during eight seasons in the Majors and is adept at controlling baserunners as his caught stealing percentage was 35% last season.
The Diamondbacks plan to platoon with Chris Herrmann and Jeff Mathis behind the plate in 2017, but Wieters would be a significant upgrade.
Blue Jays, Bautista Engaged in Talks
Jose Bautista remains an attractive option for teams looking for a slugger. The Toronto Blue Jays are a team that could use his bat as they already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency.
Bautista and the Blue Jays are active in contract negotiations, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Sources: #BlueJays, José Bautista’s reps engaged in active contract discussions. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) 29 December 2016
It’s been reported that Bautista is willing to accept a one-year deal, but he wants it to exceed the qualifying offer that he already rejected from the Blue Jays.
Bautista battled injuries in 2016, and it prevented him performing well. He hit .234 in 116 games with 22 home runs and 69 RBI.
The fact that Bautista is willing to take a one-year deal means that a reunion with the Blue Jays is possible.
The Jays will probably have to overspend to bring the king of the bat flip back for another season. He will 36 years old next season, but if healthy can make a difference in their lineup.
White Sox Looking to Deal Quintana
The Chicago White Sox are in a rebuilding phase with their club.
Jose Quintana might be the next high-profile player to switch teams as the front office tries to continue improving the farm system.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the New York Yankees have expanded talks with the White Sox regarding Quintana, adding a potential deal would include closer David Robertson if the White Sox are willing to eat some of his salary.
The #Yankees have expanded their Jose Quintana talks with #Whitesox that would include closer David Robertson, if Sox eat part of contract
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) 27 December 2016
Quintana had another stellar season in 2016, by tossing 208 innings and compiling a 3.20 ERA with 181 strikeouts and issuing just 50 walks.
This was the fourth consecutive season that Quintana threw more than 200 innings and posted a sub-four ERA.
He also has a very team-friendly contract that will pay him $37 million over the four years if the team options in 2019 and 2020 are exercised.
It will take a substantial offer by the Yankees to acquire the talented southpaw.
- Chris is a 29-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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