ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported via Twitter Wednesday morning that a possible deal between the Orioles and right-hander Yovani Gallardo is "gaining momentum." Any proposed value is unknown, but last month Gallardo was openly seeking a contract in the ballpark of three-years, $40 million.
MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman adds that both parties are "moving close" to a contract including three guaranteed years, but that no agreement is yet in place. He also notes that the deal could include a buyout.
Baltimore's interest in Gallardo, who turns 30 later this month, has been widely speculated this offseason, but it seems more likely now that other teams have reportedly sidelined talks (Colorado Rockies) or signed other arms (Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox). MASN's Roch Kubatko suggests that the Orioles' decision to review Gallardo's medicals again this week further indicates that they are the favorites to sign him.
Toronto Blue Jays: Simply put, Toronto's other rotation needs outweighed the cost of re-signing ace David Price this offseason. Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro had telling comments for Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio: "Every team has a budget. Every team has operating parameters. I don’t know why it’s not fashionable to just say the truth. David Price would’ve represented almost our entire offseason. It’s that simple, Jim. Almost no one would make that decision. … To me, it comes down to we had a very, very, very challenging pitching dilemma here in that we lost him, we lost [Marco] Estrada. We had zero Triple-A pitchers — not one, not a name to fill our rotation in Triple-A. We had to take the money, which was ample, and figure out how to both solve the Major League rotation, which was two spots in the rotation, along with solving a depth challenge. … Regardless of how great one pitcher is, you need to build a team around the guy, too."
Milwaukee Brewers: Is being traded to a rebuilding team always a bad thing? Apparently not, as new Brewers infielder Aaron Hill and Brewers manager Craig Counsell explained to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Hill, 34, wasn't distraught over the trade that sent him from the Arizona Diamondbacks to Milwaukee. "It means the team wants you," he told Haudricourt, and added that the element of competition doesn't evaporate from non-contending clubhouses. As for Counsell, he welcomes the veteran in the clubhouse: "I do think his experience is valuable on this club with a lot of new faces and a lot of young faces, and a lot of players who are going to go through experiences in the big leagues for the first time." Counsell added that Hill should expect a lot of playing time between platooning with Scooter Gennett at second base and occasional starts at third against right-handed pitching.
Cincinnati Reds: Young lefty John Lamb isn't yet ready to compete for a rotation spot this spring due to a disc surgery that he underwent in December, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "John Lamb is a little bit behind schedule," Reds manager Bryan Price told MLB Network's High Heat on Monday, "So he'll be competing for a job but probably won't be ready until the middle of the month of April." The club had anticipated that Lamb, who was part of a July deal that sent Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals, would be in the mix for a starting spot this spring, but only Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias are locked in. The remaining three rotation spots could go to Jon Moscot, Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson or Brandon Finnegan.
New York Mets: Catcher Kevin Plawecki opened up to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron about his offseason sinus surgery. Plawecki often played through severe dizziness, which worsened considerably each time the team would fly. The dizzy spells were caused by a blocked right sinus that prevented airflow. Now that his sinuses have been cleared out, the 25-year-old has reason for optimism as spring training approaches.