While the big names are slowly coming off the available column in the free agency market, there are plenty of teams still active, looking for some minor, specific signings to complete their roster, with the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies & Tampa Bay Rays all looking quite busy of late.
The Yankees are probably quite happy knowing that Aroldis Chapman seems to be in the clear regarding the domestic violence allegations. After solidifying their bullpen and mostly avoiding anything that’s not a trade, it might be that their changing a bit of their concept, looking to sign Doug Fister, who last played for the Washington Nationals. They don’t want to give him more than one year on his contract, and with their lack of desire to go much higher than their currently salary spending, making $11.4 million like he did last season might be out of the question for someone who went 5-7, posted a 4.19 ERA and a 1.398 WHIP.
The Nationals, who had a very good season from Fister in 2014 but don’t want anything to do with him after a disappointing 2015 campaign, are mostly busy these days trying to sign Yoenis Cespedes. However, their trades this offseason have left them a little bit exposed when it comes to the bullpen, which means they’re not done making acquisitions in that department, although there aren’t that many quality players to be signed in that area.
A new name that has come up in the Yovani Gallardo sweepstakes are the Colorado Rockies, with a meeting set up for next week. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has downplayed the interest, but the Rockies are expected to try and improve their rotation. However, it might be via trading, especially considering how loaded they are in the outfield, with Carlos Gonzalez, who makes $37 million over the next two seasons, constantly mentioned as the one who’ll get moved.
The Cleveland Indians keep mentioning they’re satisfied with what they have, especially in the rotation. But they do want to add some power to third base or the outfield, and that’s where Juan Uribe and David Freese, both still available. Uribe’s demands are too high for everyone, coming off a year in which he played for the Dodgers, Braves and Mets, hitting a .253 with 14 home runs overall. Freese continued his hitting decline last season with a career low .257 batting average, although his power seems to be just fine and maybe even better than before.
Even the Tampa Bay Rays are in the market for some signings, although they probably want to leave one of their coveted pitchers out of the any deal they’re going to make. Right now they’ve got their focus set on Ryan Webb, who has a number of teams trying to sign him. Webb pitched 50 innings last season for the Indians, posting a 3.20 ERA and 1.145 WHIP, making $2.6 million after the Dodgers and Orioles bounced him around before signing with Cleveland.