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Trade/FA Notes: Yankees, Pirates, Mets, JTR, A’s, Tigers

It was reported last week that the Yankees and Pirates have discussed Bucs right-hander Jameson Taillon and first baseman Josh Bell. It turns out the Yankees initiated those talks in an “intelligence gathering” effort, according to Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic. Even though he’s still recovering from August 2019 Tommy John surgery, it seems Taillon would be the more difficult player for the Yankees or any other team to pry from Pittsburgh. The club “would have to be blown away to deal” the 29-year-old, writes Biertempfel, who notes that Taillon is on a cheap salary ($2.25MM) and under control through 2022.

  • The Mets made their choice at catcher with the signing of James McCann, whom they added on a four-year, $40MM contract. Before picking up McCann, though, the team had “great conversations” with the best catcher in the game – free agent J.T. Realmuto – president Sandy Alderson told Tim Healey of Newsday and other reporters Monday. However, with other needs to address, the Mets didn’t want to wait around for Realmuto. Alderson noted (via Steve Gelbs of SNY) that the top of the free-agent market is moving at a glacial place.
  • The Athletics “have been in touch with Tommy La Stella’s representatives,” Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. A’s executive vice president Billy Beane and general manager David Forst have made it clear in the past they’d like La Stella back, but this is the first indication they’re making an effort to re-sign him. The 31-year-old infielder made a good impression on the A’s after they acquired him from the Angels over the summer, wrapping up a very productive two-season run between the teams. La Stella appeared in 55 of 60 regular-season games in 2020 and batted .281/.370/.449 (129 wRC+) with five home runs in 228 plate appearances. And with 27 walks against a mere 12 strikeouts, he ranked first in the majors in K rate and BB/K ratio.
  • Tigers manager AJ Hinch discussed some of the team’s offseasons plans with MLB Network Radio on Monday, per Jason Beck of (Twitter links). As you’d expect, one of the Tigers’ priorities is to “enhance” their pitching staff by adding at least one more starter. The Tigers have already been connected to righty Taijuan Walker in the rumor mill, but he’s far from the only affordable starter they could target in free agency. Likewise, the Tigers could choose from any number of free-agent hitters to improve their offense.The players have to want to come to Detroit,” Hinch said of potential offensive additions. “It has to fit in our budget. We’re being patient, but we’re also being opportunistic when the time comes.”
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