Is there any realistic scenario that would have Robinson Cano leaving the Pacific Northwest?
The New York Daily News reported Monday that Cano, just two seasons into a mammoth, 10-year, $240 million deal, is unhappy with the Mariners’ new management teams and wants out of Seattle. General manager Jerry Dipoto, however, tells MLB.com’s Greg Johns that the situation is "quite the opposite" after speaking with one of Cano's agents.
"Since the season ended, we've had a couple phone conversations and texted back and forth on a couple occasions. I don't have any reason to believe he has a problem,” Dipoto said.
But even if Cano is desperate to turn back the block and return to the Bronx, a deal seems unlikely. Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com lists five obstacles to any deal, noting the Yankees have no desire to pick up Cano’s bloated contract.
If any deal were to happen, Marchand said it could involve the Yankees sending Oregon native Jacoby Ellsbury and the $92 million left on his deal to Seattle. But ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets there is no truth to any possible Cano-Ellsbury trade talks.
So it looks like Cano is staying put for now. In the meantime, our rumors roundup continues:
Jonathan Papelbon: Clubs who have talked to the Nationals tell ESPN’s Jayson Stark they are trying to remake the back of their bullpen by trading both Papelbon and Drew Storen. Papelbon has a partial no-trade clause for 2016 which he recently updated, but if a deal is lined up, that is not expected to be an issue, says James Wagner of the Washington Post.
Jason Heyward: The Angels aren’t ruling out a run at the coveted free agent outfielder, reports Ken Rosenthal and JP Morosi of FoxSports.com. If Heyward were to be signed, the Halos would move Kole Calhoun from right to left field.
Marcell Ozuna: Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post lists his top five candidates to be traded this offseason and includes Ozuna, who was demoted to the minors over the summer but played much better following a mid-August promotion. It could all come down to whether the Marlins see themselves as a serious contender to the Mets and Nationals in the NL East. If not, Ozuna would fit in nicely with the Mets or Cubs.
Jonathan Lucroy: The Texas Rangers contacted Milwaukee about the catcher before the trade deadline, but then-GM Doug Melvin was not interested. Now that David Stearns has taken over the front office, it might make sense for the Rangers to call again, suggests Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The Rangers started five different starting catchers last season, with Robinson Chirinos getting the bulk of the playing time (73 starts). Grant notes Lucroy provides power and can be under club control through 2017 for a reasonable $9.5 million.
Brett Gardner: The Angels could be a nice fit for Gardner given they still need a leadoff hitter and have an excess of major league starting pitchers, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. The Yankees are looking to add controllable starting pitching and a piece of the deal could very well involve Gardner, a 32-year-old outfielder who plays Gold Glove-caliber defense. While Gardner earned his first All-Star berth last season, his offensive production plummeted after the break (.296/.300/.292), which could impact his value. It seems more and more likely that the Yankees will trade Gardner, Erik Boland of Newsday reported.
Jay Bruce: The rebuilding Reds have made it clear that they are willing to deal a host of veterans, and that list includes Bruce, the outfielder who is due to make $12.5 million in 2016 and has a $13 million club option for '17 with a $1 million buyout. ESPN’s Jerry Cranick reports the Orioles have examined the market for Bruce and other impact hitters, but most teams bring up Kevin Gausman or second baseman Jonathan Schoop, a price the Birds consider too steep.
New York Mets: Finding a left-handed relief specialist remains one of the offseason priorities. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com lists Antonio Bastardo and Tony Sipp as free agent options, noting “one of whom may well land in Flushing.”
Tommy Hunter: The Indians, Tigers and Padres are among the teams interested in the free agent right-hander, but don’t expect him to sign early in the offseason, reports Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com.