Spring training is imminent. Next week is when pitchers and catchers report for the majority of the teams, but the mandatory report date for the Dodgers is Feb. 9 (all dates here). Plus, a good number of players report before the mandatory dates, meaning there are plenty of workouts already taking place in Florida and Arizona right now.
Still, a decent list of free agents remain, so the
hot stove will remain, um, tepid, in the coming weeks.
As long as that’s happening, we’ll round up the daily rumors here.
Rangers agree to deal with postseason hero
The World Series champion Rangers and right fielder Adolis García were set to have an arbitration hearing on Thursday. Instead, the two sides not only avoided arbitration but agreed to a two-year contract, the team announced. The deal is for $14 million with “a ton of escalators,” per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
The language can get tricky here, as it is technically a contract extension, but García wasn’t set to hit free agency until after the 2026 season anyway. The two-year deal buys cost certainty for both sides and they don’t have to worry about hitting the arbitration table again next year.
García, 30, hit .245/.328/.508 (123 OPS+) with 29 doubles, 39 homers, 107 RBI, 108 runs, nine steals and 4.2 WAR last season. He started the All-Star Game and won the Gold Glove. He also came through with several clutch home runs in the playoffs, including a walk-off homer in Game 1 of the World Series. He was ALCS MVP after hitting five home runs with 15 RBI in the seven-game series. In his 15 playoff games, he hit .323/.382/.726 with eight homers and 22 RBI.
Astros will make extension offer to Bregman
In the wake of Astros second baseman Jose Altuve‘s five-year contract extension, might third baseman Alex Bregman be the next in line as an “Astro for life?” Our Mike Axisa already explored what a deal might look like here and Astros general manager Dana Brown said Thursday that “at some point, we will make an offer.” (via The Athletic)
Bregman has one year left on his five-year, $100 million deal, which was originally an extension reached before he ever hit free agency. If he and the Astros agree to another extension, it’s entirely possible that both Altuve and Bregman will retire without having ever hit the market.
Bregman, 29, hit .262/.363/.441 (122 OPS+) with 28 doubles, four triples, 25 homers, 98 RBI, 103 runs and 4.9 WAR last season. The two-time All-Star has twice finished in the top five of MVP voting and has been — along with Altuve — a fixture on this Astros group that has gone to the ALCS seven straight years, a stretch that includes four pennants and two championships.
Rays extend president, manager
President of baseball operations Erik Neander and manager Kevin Cash have agreed to contract extensions with the Rays. Full story here.
Red Sox sign reliever
The Red Sox have signed right-handed reliever Michael Fulmer to a two-year deal, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive. Fulmer is coming off elbow surgery (UCL revision, a few years after Tommy John) and is unlikely to pitch in 2024, hence the two-year deal.
In 58 appearances for the Cubs, Fulmer pitched to a 4.42 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 65 strikeouts against 28 walks in 57 innings. The 2025 season will be Fulmer’s age-32 campaign.