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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.
GOING AWAY? Chicks may still dig the long ball, but it’s unclear whether teams feel the same. Just a few months after being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers, reigning home run champ Chris Carter is considering taking his talents to Japan.
Carter’s agent, Dave Stewart, confirmed Carter has been in touch with the Tampa Bay Rays, but there hasn’t been significant movement to get a deal done. With the offseason coming to a close, he could opt to sign with a Japanese team.
If that’s the case, it would represent quite the fall for Carter. The 30-year-old led the National League in home runs last season, blasting 41 long balls. While his power is immense, his propensity to strike out is the reason he’s freely available. Carter hit just .222/.321/.499, with a league-leading 206 whiffs. He walks and hits for enough power to make up for that deficiency, but will never post high averages due to his low contact rates. Despite his flaws, it’s still somewhat of a surprise he hasn’t drawn more interest on the free-agent market. [Fox Sports]
HE’S BACK: The Colorado Rockies have agreed to a minor-league with outfielder Domonic Brown. Brown, 29, is a former top prospect who smashed 27 home runs in 2013. He hasn’t been able to recapture that success in recent years, and spent 2016 in Triple-A. He’s considered a lottery ticket at this point in his career. [@JeffPassan]
DRAWING INTEREST: Utility infielder Erick Aybar is beginning to draw some interest from teams. Aybar, 33, got off to a rough start with the Atlanta Braves. He was eventually traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he performed better in limited plate appearances. [@JeffPassan]
WHO TO SIGN? The Rangers are considering both Mike Napoli and Pedro Alvarez at first base. Napoli is reportedly the team’s No. 1 target, but a deal isn’t close. Alvarez is being pushed on the club by agent Scott Boras. It’s unclear whether Boras envisioned both men signing with the team in a platoon situation, or whether he believes the left-handed Alvarez would be the better all-around fit. [@jcrasnick]
BILL OF HEALTH: Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is expected to be 100 percent healthy by spring training. The 28-year-old catcher has been severely limited by injuries, playing in just 39 games over the past two seasons. He hit .273/.359/.534 the last season he was healthy, but it’s unclear if he can recapture that success after missing out on the last two years. [@jonmorosi]
PICKING UP DEPTH: The Washington Nationals added two veterans to their bullpen Tuesday, picking up both Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. The 42-year-old Nathan is a former All-Star closer, but has pitched just 6 2/3 innings in the majors since 2015. Albers, 34, is looking to bounce back after posting a 6.31 ERA over 51 1/3 innings with the Chicago White Sox in 2016. [@BNightengale]
GET HIM: The Arizona Diamondbacks have shown interest in reliever Craig Breslow. Breslow, 36, posted a 4.50 ERA over 14 innings with the Miami Marlins in 2016. He has some familiarity with the staff in Arizona. Both the team’s general manager Mike Hazen and assistant general manager Jared Porter were with the Boston Red Sox when Breslow pitched for the club. [@jonmorosi]
SIGNED: The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to sign pitcher J.P. Howell on a one-year deal. The 33-year-old posted a 4.09 ERA over 50 2/3 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. He’ll make roughly $3 million next season. [@Buster_ESPN]
DONE DEAL: The Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign pitcher Nick Hagadone to a minor-league deal. The 31-year-old Hagadone missed last season after fracturing his elbow in February. In 2015, he posted a 4.09 ERA over 27 1/3 innings with the Cleveland Indians. [@MarinersPR]
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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