- As the winter holidays commence, the baseball world remains active as teams are still making plans on both the free agent market and trade market. The Toronto Blue Jays have been especially busy in the wake of losing slugger Edwin Encarnacion as they have kicked around the idea of going after Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The Blue Jays current outfield consists of Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera, Steve Pearce and Melvin Upton, Jr. The jury is still out on whether a reunion between the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista is still in the cards but the loss of Encarnacion certainly leaves a hole in the lineup. While the Blue Jays did ink veteran slugger Kendrys Morales to take over the designated hitter’s spot, it will take more than just Morales to overcome the loss of Encarnacion. McCutchen makes sense as he could help fill that void. He was reportedly being shopped by the Pirates prior to the Winter Meetings. They were in advanced talks with the Washington Nationals but things broke down and the Nats ended up getting Adam Eaton from the White Sox for a steep price. McCutchen has two years of control left on his deal and would most likely slide to a corner outfield spot given the outstanding glove work of Pillar in center field but the price could potentially gut the Blue Jays already thin farm system. There is no indication whether or not talks have gotten serious with the Pirates but the Blue Jays appear to be a team worth keeping an eye on when it comes to speculation regarding the future of McCutchen.
- The Baltimore Orioles are showing interest in free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Orioles appear unlikely to bring back Mark Trumbo so they are searching the market for other sluggers and Napoli appears to be an ideal fit. He hits for plenty of power and should see a healthy amount of home runs at the homer-friendly Camden Yards but is also drawing interest from his old team the Texas Rangers. It appears there may be a bidding war for his services in the near future.
- The Atlanta Braves are continuing to show interest in free agent catcher Matt Wieters per Jim Bowden of ESPN. Wieters is in his second straight free agent year and is tied to a qualifying offer tendered by the Orioles. His return seems highly improbably given the Orioles recently signed Wellington Castillo to be their everyday catcher. Wieters played college ball at Georgia Tech so he is familiar with the area and could be a good fit on a team that has brought in veterans on short-term deals to add some needed guidance in a young clubhouse.null