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.
REEL HIM IN: The Miami Marlins have signed pitcher Edinson Volquez on a two-year deal. The 33-year-old Volquez is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.37 ERA over 189 1/3 innings with the Kansas City Royals. Volquez was much better in 2014 and 2015, posting a 3.30 ERA over those two seasons. The deal is said to be for two years and $22 million, according to Chris Cotillo.
Should the deal get completed, Volquez would likely slot in behind Wei-Yin Chen as the club’s No. 2 starter. Our own Jeff Passan ranked Volquez as the 48th best free-agent on the market this offseason. That actually made him the 10th best starting pitcher available in a weak free-agent class. [@clarkspencer]
PITCHERS FOR SALE: The Arizona Diamondbacks expect teams to show interest in some of their young starting pitchers. Zack Greinke is expected to head the team’s rotation next year. He’ll be followed by the recently-acquired Taijuan Walker and some combination of Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin, Archie Bradley, Shelby Miller and possibly Braden Shipley. At 27, Corbin is the oldest of that bunch.
While some of those players have succeeded in the majors (Bradley) or are coming off poor seasons (Miller), the market for starting pitching is weak this offseason. All it takes is one team to believe they can get the most out of one of these players for a deal to get done. Having cheap, young pitchers under team control for multiple years is always desirable. [@Ken_Rosenthal]
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN: A number of significant Latin American players attended the MLB/MLBPA bargaining session Monday in order to share their concerns regarding an international draft. The two sides have until Thursday to reach a new CBA, and the international draft remains the most contentious issues.
The owners are in favor of the draft, while the players aren’t willing to budge. By flying in Latin American players to defend their position, the Players Association is making it clear this isn’t an issue they are willing to budge on. That strategy may have worked. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says the owners have backed off on the international draft as a way to move negotiations forward. [@JeffPassan]
SPEAKING OF: If the MLB and the MLBPA can’t make significant progress in negotiations this week, there’s some concern teams might just skip the winter meetings. [@Buster_ESPN]
LET HIM GO: The New York Yankees released pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on Monday. The move may come as a shock considering Eovaldi’s age and expectations, but the 26-year-old will be rehabbing from two major arm injuries in 2017.
Though he may miss the entire 2017 season, there should be significant interest in Eovaldi. He’s always had tremendous velocity, and has shown promising signs as a starter. At the very least, he seemed to be settling in as a solid mid-rotation option prior to the injury. [@JoelSherman1]
DONE DEAL: The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Alex Jackson from the Seattle Mariners. Jackson was the sixth-overall selection in the 2014 draft. As a 20-year-old, he hit .243/.332/.408, with 11 home runs, in 92 games at Class A. The Braves will also receive a player to be named later.
In exchange for Jackson, the Mariners received pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse. The 22-year-old Whalen posted a 2.40 ERA in 120 innings spread across Double-A and Triple-A in 2016. He struggled during his brief debut in the majors, putting up a 6.57 ERA over 24 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old Povse posted a 3.36 ERA over two levels in 2016. He topped out at Double-A. [@Braves]
AVAILABLE: The Milwaukee Brewers have non-tendered first baseman Chris Carter, making him a free-agent. The 29-year-old Carter was due a raise in arbitration, and it appears the Brewers were hesitant to pay around $10 million for his services. Carter hit .222/.321/.499, with 41 home runs for Milwaukee last year. His propensity for strikeouts will always lead to low batting averages, but he’s patient and has a ton of power. He should draw interest from a number of clubs. [@BNightengale]
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