MLB rumors roundup for Nov. 30


The first big-name free-agent signing of the offseason was reported on Sunday, as the Detroit Tigers reached an agreement on a five-year, $110 million contract with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann pending the completion of a physical exam.

Did Zimmermann sell himself short, though?

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports examines the signing, noting that some agents and players are wondering why Zimmermann cut his deal before David Price and Zack Greinke established the top of the market.

While $22 million a year is nothing to scoff at, it's reasonable to think Zimmermann could have earned a larger deal (Rosenthal throws out six years, $130 million as a possibility). That said, his failure to do so could hurt other pitchers like Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija, who haven't had Zimmermann's level of success but are coveted free agents nonetheless.

Of course, the fact that Zimmermann underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 surely hurt his value. Still, it'll be interesting to see how his deal compares to those that other free-agent hurlers will sign in the coming weeks.

Here are a few others rumors making their way around the league today:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: One of the reasons the D-backs are pursuing free-agent right-hander Johnny Cueto, as Arizona GM Dave Stewart confirmed to the Arizona Republic, is the fact that signing Cueto wouldn't cost them a draft pick, Rosenthal reports. The Diamondbacks will pick 13th in next year's draft, which is just outside the range of protected picks. If the team signed another starter who received a qualifying offer (ex. Samardzija), it would have to surrender that pick, something Arizona doesn't want to do, Rosenthal reports. With that in mind, it's worth noting that Leake and Price are, like Cueto, not tied to draft-pick compensation.

  • St. Louis Cardinals: There is a belief in the industry that the Cards have enough financial flexibility to sign two premier free agents this offseason, Rosenthal also reports. Given St. Louis' new 15-year deal with Fox Sports Midwest that kicks in in 2018, the Cardinals will soon earn a significant boost in revenue. Whether or not the team is looking to spend that money so soon remains to be seen, but it is possible that St. Louis could attempt to re-sign Jason Heyward in addition to getting involved in the bidding for a name like Price.

  • Hanley Ramirez: The Boston Red Sox are shopping Ramirez this winter, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. Cafardo lists the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels as possible destinations the Sox could try to send Ramirez to. On the contrary, though, a "high-ranking" Red Sox source told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that Ramirez will be the team's first baseman in 2016. While the Red Sox have likely discussed trading Ramirez, the difficulty of moving his large contract could stand in their way of doing so. That said, Dave Dombrowski still has plenty of time to get creative with Ramirez this offseason, if he so desires.

  • Byung Ho Park: The KBO star, whom the Minnesota Twins won the bidding rights to, departed for the United States on Sunday in order to work on a deal with Minnesota, the Yonhap News Agency reports. "I hope to be able to return with a positive result," Park told Korean media. The Twins have until Dec. 8 to agree to a contract with Park and are reportedly close to doing so, according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

  • Robinson Cano: The Mariners privately acknowledge that Cano will eventually need to be moved from second base to first, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweets. Cano, now 33 and entering the third year of his 10-year deal, saw his defensive skill at second base drop significantly last season, meaning a move could come sooner rather than later. If Cano does need to change positions in the next few years, the Ms's will surely need his bat to return to form in order for him to remain anything close to valuable on the field.

  • Mike Minor: The Atlanta Braves left-hander is a non-tender candidate as Wednesday's deadline for teams to offer a contract to their unsigned players approaches, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Minor, 27, is eligible for arbitration for the third time this offseason and cost the Braves $5.6 million in 2015. Seeing as Minor missed the entire season with a shoulder injury, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him non-tendered. Atlanta GM John Coppolella told O'Brien that the Braves were "continuing to gather information" regarding a decision on the left-hander.