The Hot Stove season is underway, and we’re keeping you up to date with the latest free-agent news, trade buzz, rumors and more.
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O’s still looking at bats
The Orioles’ trade for Mariners outfielder Seth Smith on Friday doesn’t mean they’re done making moves on the offensive front.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the O’s are still looking at hitters — and could try to add another left-handed-hitting option at a corner position, like free agent Brandon Moss.
The Smith trade, in which Yovani Gallardo went to Seattle, saves Baltimore $4 million in salary for 2017, giving them some additional financial flexibility that could help them make another signing.
Moss, who can play first base and both corner-outfield positions, would provide the O’s lineup with another lefty power hitter to go along with Smith and Chris Davis. The 33-year-old Moss hit .225/.300/.484 with 28 home runs and 67 RBIs in 128 games for the Cardinals last season.
Moss has averaged 25 homers a season over the past five years, with a 119 OPS+ over that span.
Dodgers seeking righty setup man
The Dodgers locked down the ninth inning when they re-signed closer Kenley Jansen in December. Now, they’re looking for someone to help get him the ball.
Los Angeles is looking for a right-handed reliever who can pitch the eighth inning, sources told Morosi on Friday — with free agent Neftali Feliz among the options the team is considering.
The 28-year-old posted a 3.52 ERA in 62 relief appearances for the Pirates in 2016, with 61 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. Feliz pitched mostly in the seventh and eighth innings, recording 29 holds.
The former closer has a 3.22 career ERA and has averaged 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings in eight Major League seasons with the Rangers, Tigers and Pirates.
Astros emerge in continuing Quintana talks
Trade talks continue regarding White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana, and the Astros are one of the most serious suitors, sources told Morosi on Friday.
With the Astros trying to get back to the playoffs after a disappointing third-place finish in the American League West in 2016, Quintana would slot in nicely at the front end of their starting rotation along with Dallas Keuchel.
Quintana, who turns 28 this month, is under a relatively team-friendly contract for the next four years. He’s thrown at least 200 innings in each of the last four seasons with a 3.35 ERA in that span. Quintana went 13-12 with a career-best 3.20 ERA in 32 starts in 2016, his fifth year in the big leagues with Chicago.
On Wednesday, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal had reported that in addition to Houston, the Pirates and Yankees also remain in the mix for Quintana, although the Yankees are considered long shots to land him.
Rosenthal noted that the White Sox are standing pat on their steep asking price for Quintana, and while pitching remains a priority for the Yankees, they’re seemingly less willing than others to part with top prospects like outfielder Clint Frazier or infielder Gleyber Torres.
“I think the most important currency to have nowadays is high-end prospects, and I think we — by everyone’s evaluation — have collected a number of those,” New York general manager Brian Cashman told MLB Network. “So I think we can easily do that. It’s just, will we do that?
“I think we’ll stay engaged in the marketplace, and over time, if we do match up favorably with anybody where we can get what we want and they get what they want, then yes, we’ll try to pull something down.”
If Chicago can’t find a trade partner this winter, it could look to deal Quintana at next season’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. The White Sox already completed one blockbuster trade involving a pitcher this offseason, dealing ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox early last month.
Should they move on from Quintana, Rosenthal said the White Sox could turn to the free-agent market for a veteran replacement on a one-year deal to complement the club’s young starters.
Braves could be in mix for Dozier
The Braves might end up being the team that grabs star Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, according to a report from the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino on Friday.
A source told Berardino that Atlanta could be a “stealth landing spot” for Dozier, with trade chips like 24-year-old right-handers …