More late maneuvering in store for the Baltimore Orioles? Just as Baltimore reportedly nears a deal with Yovani Gallardo, reports have surfaced that the Orioles are also interested in center fielder Dexter Fowler, right fielder Jay Bruce and first baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweets that if the Orioles forfeit their No. 14 overall draft pick as a result of signing Gallardo, they would also be willing to surrender their second pick (29th overall) for Fowler. ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Orioles like a contract in the ballpark of two years, $20 million for Fowler and that both parties have at least discussed this possibility informally.
Regarding Alvarez and Bruce, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Orioles previously considered the tandem of Alvarez and Yoenis Cespedes as a backup to signing Chris Davis, suggesting that continued interest remains. Rosenthal adds Baltimore lacks the prospects necessary to trade for Bruce.
Boston Red Sox: Boston is eyeing free-agent lefty relievers, according to a report from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, with Neal Cotts and Franklin Morales heading up the list. Abraham did not specify if the team is considering major league or minor league contracts. Morales, 30, played with the Red Sox from 2011-13. He struggled quite a bit after being traded to the Colorado Rockies but posted a respectable 3.18 ERA in 62 1/3 innings with the Kansas City Royals last season. Cotts, who will turn 36 in March, stormed back from irrelevance in 2013 with the Texas Rangers. Right-handed hitting is a concern for Cotts, but he's posted a 3.03 ERA in 187 innings since his return to the major leagues.
New York Mets: Jacob deGrom's comments to the New York Post's Kevin Kernan indicate he would be open to exploring a long-term extension with the Mets: "I’m a little bit older so I might be more willing to do something like that. You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with … I haven’t thought that much about it and I have to talk to my agents and stuff and look at the numbers and decide what [is] favorable." Even though deGrom is 27, he has only a year and 139 days of service time under his belt, which pushes back his free-agency status to just before his age-33 season. If deGrom continues to pitch this successfully, there will still be plenty of money waiting for him, but landing a deal spanning five to six years is less likely as teams turn to younger candidates in the open market. This could make a long-term extension now far more appealing to deGrom.
Atlanta Braves: Carlos Torres has agreed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, reports the Santa Cruz Sentinel's Jim Seimas. Seimas adds that Torres chose to sign with the Braves over the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. It's possible that Atlanta could use Torres in the rotation, but it's far more likely he'll pick up relief duty given the wide-open bullpen picture. Torres, 33, pitched for the Mets over the past three seasons and posted a combined 3.59 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. In 2015, however, Torres' 4.68 ERA prompted New York to designate him for assignment. Aside from Arodys Vizcaino, Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson, who are locked into the bullpen already, Torres is among a handful of non-roster invitees who'll compete with Mike Foltynewicz, Daniel Winkler, Ryan Weber and Shae Simmons for a spot.
Minnesota Twins: General manager Terry Ryan spoke with 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson on his weekly podcast and touched on why he hasn't made any moves for left-handed relievers this offseason. Within the Twins' farm system, prospect duo Taylor Rogers and J.T. Chargois have stood out as future possibilities: "I’m looking forward to seeing Taylor Rogers, for instance, a left-hander that’s been with us for quite a few years. He's going to get every opportunity to make this team. I’d like to see J.T. Chargois, obviously, grow into a guy you can count on. He might have the best assortment of pitches of those young pitchers that you guys read about it."