Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.
STILL TRYING: The Houston Astros are still engaged in trade talks for a number of elite pitchers, including Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana. The 27-year-old lefty posted a 3.20 ERA over 208 innings last season. The White Sox have shown a willingness to part with talented players in the right deal this winter, and the Astros have consistently been named as a possible partner for Quintana. Despite that, the two sides haven’t been able to come together on a deal just yet.
If a trade fails to materialize with Chicago, the Astros are also considering Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer and Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray. While both of those players could be available, the Rays and the Athletics haven’t been as eager to part with significant talent this offseason. [@BNightengale]
DONE DEAL: The San Diego Padres have announced a six-year, $83 million extension with first baseman Wil Myers. The 26-year-old Myers experienced a breakout in 2016, hitting .253/.336/.461, with 28 home runs, over 676 plate appearances. If he can keep up that performance moving forward, San Diego should be happy with the deal. But considering his previous injuries and the fact that he’s now a first baseman, Myers’ extension comes with considerable risk. [The Stew]
COMING HOME: Jose Bautista will likely return to the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $18 million deal. The deal is dependent on a physical, and hasn’t been finalized just yet, but it seems likely he’ll open the year with his former club. While it’s technically a one-year deal, it’s expected the contract will contain one or two possible option years that could keep Bautista in Toronto past 2017. Even if he earns those options, Bautista will make a lot less than he expected coming into the offseason. [The Stew]
GUT IT OUT: Texas Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will miss roughly half the season after undergoing surgery to help alleviate ulcerative colitis. Diekman, 29, posted a 3.40 ERA between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Rangers last season. He’s been very open about discussing his disease in the past. [@JeffWilson_FWST]
THINKING ABOUT IT: With Tyson Ross off the board, the Chicago Cubs are turning their attention to other free-agent starters still on the market. Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson is a possible target. Anderson, 28, was limited to just 11 1/3 innings last year due to injury. He’s been an effective pitcher when on the mound, as evidenced by his career 3.86 ERA, but he’s had issues staying healthy. [@Buster_ESPN]
DONE DEAL: The Rangers have signed outfielder Josh Hamilton to a one-year deal worth the major-league minimum. If Hamilton makes the Rangers’ 25-man roster, he’ll receive $535,000 from the club. If he’s not a member of the major-league team by April 1, Hamilton can opt-out and become a free-agent. While the Rangers are only on the hook for a small financial commitment, the Los Angeles Angels will pay Hamilton a little over $26 million to play for their division-rival this season. [The Stew]
NOT A CHANCE: The St. Louis Cardinals have no plans to reduce catcher Yadier Molina’s playing time in 2017. Molina, 34, played in a career-high 147 games behind the plate. The workload didn’t seem to impact his numbers, as the reliable Molina hit .307/.360/.427 over 581 plate appearances. When asked whether Molina would be given more breaks moving forward, manager Mike Matheny said he’ll ride the catcher until he’s unable to produce solid numbers. [MLB.com]
MINOR MOVES: The Rangers have also signed pitcher Dillon Gee to a minor-league contract. Gee, 30, posted a 4.68 ERA over 125 innings with the Kansas City Royals last year. He had surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in October. Gee will make two million if he reaches the majors, and has a chance to earn an additional million based on incentives. Gee can opt-out of his contract if he doesn’t make the Rangers’ 25-man roster by the end of March. [@ChrisCotillo]
GET HIM: The Rays are close to signing reliever Shawn Tolleson. The 28-year-old opened 2016 as the Rangers’ closer, but struggled early on before losing the job. In 36 1/3 innings, Tolleson posted a 7.68 ERA. [Tampa Bay Times]
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