- The first official signing of the offseason has taken place. The Atlanta Braves have struck first and brought aboard veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on a one-year, $8MM deal per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The deal also contains a 2018 option in which the Braves can pick up for another $8MM or buyout for $500K. Dickey is coming from Toronto where he spent four years with the Toronto Blue Jays after being shipped there in an offseason trade from the New York Mets. The knuckleballer never quite lived up to what the Blue Jays hoped he would be as he ended up being a back-of-the-rotation starter and didn’t even pitch in the starting rotation in the playoffs. The Braves priority in the offseason was to find some quality pitching to add to their rotation and Dickey fits the bill. The Braves bolster a tremendous amount of promising pitching in their system but need some stopgaps to fill out the rotation to give the pitching time to reach the majors when fully developed. The Braves will look to find one more veteran pitcher to bring aboard to fill out their starting rotation.
- Cleveland Indians right-hander Cody Anderson underwent surgery in which he had arthroscopic debridement of his right elbow per a club announcement. He is expected to miss eight weeks but should be able to start up a throwing program after that in plenty of time to be ready for Spring Training. He started the year in the rotation but scuffled early and was sent down to the minors then moved to the bullpen. The Indians plan to have him workout as a starting pitcher coming into Spring Training to give them some depth in the rotation.
- The St. Louis Cardinals have big plans for reliever Trevor Rosenthal in 2017. The team plans to stretch out the former closer into a starter over the offseason and have him potentially compete for a job in the rotation per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While it seems like a long shot he can stick as a starting pitcher, it seems more conceivable he’ll end up becoming a long man and be called on to get more than three outs in each outing.
- The San Francisco Giants are casting a wide net in search of some relief pitching. The club reportedly met with the representatives of the likes of Aroldis Chapman, Mark Melancon and Kenley Jansen per Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The Giants led the majors in 2016 with 30 blown saves from the bullpen so it’s not a shock to see them in on the likes of Chapman, Melancon and Jansen.
- The Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes continue as the agent for Encarnacion went on record Thursday and said that the slugger’s first choice is to return to Toronto. An offer has been made to Encarnacion but it’s not in the range he’s reportedly seeking but he and his camp are hopeful the Blue Jays can offer a better deal so he can return to the Blue Jays and help lead them to another postseason.
- The New York Mets still want Yoenis Cespedes back but are not hedging their bets either. The Mets reached out to the representatives of Jose Bautista and Dexter Fowler per Mike Puma of the New York Post. Nothing serious has been reported but it is clear the Mets do not intend to be held hostage in the free agent market.
- The Seattle Mariners are focusing on getting a left-hander for their bullpen and are interested in the likes of Brett Cecil and Boone Logan per Morosi and Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. With a General Manager like Billy Eppler not shy about making moves, it will be a surprise if the Mariners don’t land a proven lefty to add to the pen.
- The Texas Rangers search for starting pitching in the offseason may cost them one of their most coveted assets in Jurickson Profar per T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The team does not want to move Profar as they like his versatility and youth but if the Rangers want to add a starting pitcher via trade, they’ll have to part with something valuable.
- The Minnesota Twins are generating plenty of hits on second baseman Brian Dozier per Morosi. The second baseman enjoyed a career year in Minnesota as he slugged 42 home runs, so it comes as no surprise that teams are calling about him given his team-friendly contract. However, the cost will be high as he remains under club control for several more years.
- The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly after outfielder Josh Reddick per Morosi. Reddick has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in Camden Yards and the Orioles are looking for a left-handed outfielder to shore things up. Reddick makes sense but the price will not be cheap as he is not attached to draft pick compensation.
- Mets closer Jeurys Familia has pleaded not-guilty to a domestic violence charge and will prepare for a hearing in December per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. It is a troubling look for the Mets closer and even if he is not charged, MLB may still hand him a suspension as they have taken a much tougher stance against domestic violence charges as of late.
- Cardinals veteran outfielder Matt Holliday has officially become a free agent per Goold. The veteran was not supposed to become an official free agent until after MVP voting if he was in the top 10 but due to his becoming a free agent early, it is apparent he is not under consideration for MVP. His return to the Cardinals remains unlikely but he could provide another team with valuable bat and veteran presence in their lineup and clubhouse.null