Even though we’re three weeks or so from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring-training sites, a number of notable free agents and potential trade targets remain available. That, in turn, means an ongoing supply of daily rumors. Speaking of which, Tuesday’s supply is just below.
Dodgers add Paxton
No team has been as active as the Dodgers this offseason, as the NL West juggernaut has already added to the fold the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, and Teoscar Hernández to an already star-stuffed roster. They added another notable name to the mix on Monday.
Indeed, the Dodgers signed veteran lefty starter James Paxton to bolster the back-end of the rotation. Paxton, 35, is coming off a solid season of 19 starts with the Red Sox in 2023. Coming into this offseason, CBS Sports ranked Paxton as the No. 38 available free agent. Here’s part of our write-up:
“You know what you’re getting with Paxton. Or, at least, you know what you’re not getting: a full slate of starts. He threw 96 innings in 2023, his most since the 2019 campaign. In the three years between those seasons, he notched a total of 21 2/3 frames. Paxton nevertheless pitched well when he was able to contribute. His fastball still sits in the mid-90s, and it plays faster thanks to a deep release point. He also has a pair of secondary offerings, in his curve and cutter, that he could probably stand to throw more often. Different teams have different appetites for risk, making Paxton difficult to rank. We’re putting him here because we think his upside will help him clear some with higher floors.”
Given that Ohtani won’t pitch this year, Yamamoto will be making his MLB debut, Glasnow has a substantial injury history, and Walker Buehler will be making his return from Tommy John surgery, additional depth will probably be needed. That’s especially the case given that the back end right now is pinned down by somewhat unproven youngsters Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan. Paxton will alleviate those concerns somewhat.
Angels add Moore
The Angels have agreed to a one-year deal worth $9 million with veteran lefty Matt Moore, according to CBS Sports HQ MLB insider Jim Bowden. Moore split last season between the Guardians, Angels, and Marlins, amassing a 2.56 ERA (176 ERA+) and a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his return to the Angels, Moore, 34, figures to serve in a high-leverage role.
Veteran starters work out for teams
Right-handers Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard both threw for teams on Tuesday, according to Robert Murray of FanSided. About 16 teams, or a little more than half the league, attended the session.
Lorenzen, 32, is coming off an All-Star season that saw him post a 105 ERA+ and a 2.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He performed poorly following a deadline trade to the Phillies, however, with his seasonal ERA swelling from 3.58 all the way to 4.18 over his final 11 appearances.
Syndergaard, 31, had a miserable year overall. He appeared 18 times between the Dodgers and Guardians, compiling a 66 ERA+ and a 2.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Although he tried a number of tweaks to his arsenal, none allowed him to regain his old form.
Angels sign Sano
The Angels have reached a minor-league agreement with former All-Star infielder Miguel Sano, according to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas. Sano, who did not play in MLB last season, spent parts of eight seasons with the Twins. He posted a 116 OPS+ and 162 home runs during that time. He also made an All-Star Game and finished third in Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2015.
Astros seeking lefty outfield bat
Houston has added Josh Hader as closer and Victor Caratini as depth behind the plate, and now they’re looking to add an outfielder who bats lefty. General manager Dana Brown recently told reporters as much:
In some ways, this would be in response to the recent retirement of veteran batsman Michael Brantley. Peruse the roster, and you’ll find that center field may be the Astros’ biggest current uncertainty, and a lefty bat at that position would pair well with righty-swinging Jake Meyers in a platoon arrangement. Top remaining free agent Cody Bellinger would obviously be a perfect fit, but it’s highly unlikely that Houston is open to paying the going rates for him.
Nats land Gallo
Gallo, 30, is coming off a 2023 season with the Twins in which he slashed .177/.301/.440 (101 OPS+) with 21 home runs in 111 games. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 109 across parts of nine MLB seasons. The lefty-swinging Gallo has platoon weaknesses and strikeout issues, but he does provide good home run power from the left side. He figures to be in line for semi-regular duty in the Washington outfield for the upcoming season.