The Winter Meetings continue!
Consider this your rumor and update depot. Refresh for the newest stuff, whether it’s a garbled tweet or actual news (that we’ll cover in more depth later). Follow us on Twitter for more.
And here’s Monday’s stuff, from the Manny Machado rumors to the Pat Neshek signing.
8:39 p.m.: Now multiple reports and confirmation that the Phillies are signing Tommy Hunter. Joel Sherman reports it’s a two-year deal.
Hunter, 31, had a 2.61 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 14 walks last year for Tampa Bay. He spent parts of six seasons in Baltimore, arriving there in 2011 through a trade orchestrated by then-President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail.
8:32 p.m.: And now Gelb steps in!
Matt Gelb reports that the Phillies “are moving toward a deal with righthander Tommy Hunter.” Which makes all the sense in the world.
8:28 p.m.: Conflicting reports!
Buster Olney reports the Phillies have a three-year deal in place for reliever Addison Reed.
But wait! Jon Heyman refuted this in a wonderful subtweet!
5:06 p.m.: Jayson Stark chimes in after talking with Klentak. The GM reitterated that a deal for a major name probably isn’t in the cards, though they’re open to anything.
Stark added, in a later tweet, that he finds it hard to imagine Machado accepting an extension this year.
2:06 p.m.: From Ken Rosenthal: Phillies are in discussions about Addison Reed.
Reed had a 2.84 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 15 walks in 2017 while playing for the Mets and Red Sox. In 2016 and ’15 he was outstanding for the Mets, and he carries a K/9 right around 9.5-10 percent.
Matt Gelb tweets that Reed has been seeking at least three years in a contract.
Reed would make a fine late-innings option; also, this move fits with the narrative of a 13-man staff and eight-man bullpen.
2:04 p.m.: According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, a source from a team that has talked to the Phillies says that in a Cesar Hernandez trade, they’re interested in younger starting pitchers “or upper-level prospects” than major leaguers in their first few years.
Makes sense. The Phils don’t need young offensive talent (unless it’s a Machado type) and they don’t need major league starting pitching (because they have an influx, however poor).
1:40 p.m.: Room temperature water time! Jon Heyman tweets that there are “many hurdles” in the way between the Phillies and Orioles over Machado. One is the extension question (of course), while the other big one is that a “source says he’d be ‘shocked'” if Sixto Sanchez or Scott Kingery were part of a deal.
My two cents: If there was enough confirmation that Machado would get an extension done, the Phillies would probably hand over one of Sanchez or Kingery. Hard to see both.
1:01 p.m.: Cold water time! Local scribes Matt Gelb and Jim Salisbury both say the Phillies are not going to sign Jake Arrieta. More likely, this is about his people (Scott Boras) driving up value for his client.
Interesting things here, though. Gelb notes the Phils may move to a 13-man pitching staff in 2018, having some starters (Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta were named) top out around five innings, so that they avoid facing a lineup the third time around. This minimizes potential damage both on field and to pitchers’ arms.
Also, Salisbury mentions the Orioles may be ramping up Manny Machado trade talks, saying the Phils should “be right in it.” So yes, Machado could happen. Could. Not will. Not should. Could.
12:42 p.m.: More Machado. Buster Olney posits Machado would be open to playing either third base or shortstop on another team, but in 2018 he’d like to play shortstop for Baltimore, if he stays there.
That’s just his guess, by the way.
And either way the Phils have all the flexibility to do whatever they can to make Machado happy.
Also, by the way, Olney said on this podcast Monday that the Phillies are his front-runner to land either Machado or Bryce Harper in next year’s free agent mania.
11:44 a.m.: Ken Rosenthal reports Manny Machado wants to shift to shortstop. That could add a wrinkle to the Phils’ pursuit of him, whenever that actually happens. Meanwhile Rosenthal wrote that the Phils “are reluctant to give up prospects” for Machado in a trade.
10:35 a.m.: Alrighty. The Phillies are trying to be *that* team this year at the Meetings.
Jon Heyman reports the Phils are “considering” free agent pitcher Jake Arrieta. Heyman writes it’s not a “perfect match,” which is true because the Phils are a few players away and have already said that getting a top pitcher in free agency is unlikely, but it seems as if the team is casting a wide net in Orlando. Why not? Show the other teams you’re not far from landing a big fish.
Also Arrieta’s agent is one Scott Boras, who according to Jerry Crasnick has crafted a 75-page booklet on his client and is seeking $200 million in total for the pitcher.
Last season Arrieta put up a 3.53 ERA, striking out 163 and walking 55 in 168.1 innings. Before being traded to the Cubs, Arrieta was an Oriole under, you guessed it, Andy MacPhail.