AL News & Rumors: G. Richards, BoSox, Twins, Cruz, Angels, Astros (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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The Red Sox and free-agent right-hander Garrett Richards “are in active discussions,” Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes. However, there has been more than one team talking with Richards as of Friday, Morosi adds. The starter-needy Red Sox were rumored to be pursuing Richards as of a week ago. Richards was once at the front end of the Angels’ rotation, but a series of injuries limited him from 2016-19. The 32-year-old stayed healthy and produced decent results with the Padres last season, though, throwing 51 1/3 innings of 4.03 ERA/4.55 SIERA ball and averaging 95 mph on his fastball. [UPDATE: Talks between the Red Sox and Richards “are active and evolving,” according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.]

  • The Twins have increased the value of their one-year offer to free-agent designated hitter Nelson Cruz, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets, though Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News reports that actually happened earlier in the offseason. Cruz was looking for a two-year contract at the beginning of the winter, but even for someone who’s as dominant as he is at the plate, that could be difficult to obtain for a 40-year-old. Of course, with no official announcement on whether the universal DH will remain in place in 2021, Cruz probably isn’t in a hurry to sign anywhere.
  • The Angels are “very active” in their pursuit of starting pitching, general manager Perry Minasian told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic and other reporters Friday. While Minasian did sign veteran left-hander Jose Quintana to a one-year, $8MM contract this week, adding him to a group led by Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning and perhaps Shohei Ohtani, there still appears to be room for improvement. In light of Minasian’s comment, it’s worth noting that the Angels reportedly remain in the mix for two of the best starters on the market in Trevor Bauer and Jake Odorizzi.
  • Speaking with reporters Friday, Astros GM James Click suggested the team doesn’t expect to be that aggressive for the rest of the offseason, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets. The Astros agreed to re-sign outfielder Michael Brantley and reunited with catcher Jason Castro this week, but their roster took a hit with the loss of outfielder George Springer to the Blue Jays. Otherwise, the bullpen has come up as a potential area of the need for the team (it did address it by signing Ryne Stanek and Pedro Baez in free agency), but the Astros don’t necessarily feel a sense of urgency to address it further. It’s possible they will enter 2021 without someone who has extensive experience as a closer, per Click (via McTaggart).



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