Free Agent Notes: Ozuna, Semien, Simmons, Miller, Moreland, Richards (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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The latest buzz from the free agent market…

  • The Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, and Red Sox are among the teams interested in Marcell Ozuna, according to Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 (via Twitter).  These four clubs are new additions to Ozuna’s market, while the Twins and Mets (also mentioned by Gomez) were linked to the slugger earlier this winter.  Ozuna is looking for at least a four-year contract, Gomez writes.  While financial demands weren’t mentioned, it can be assumed that Ozuna is looking for enough money to put the Dodgers and Yankees well over the $210MM luxury tax threshold, so it’s possible their interest is somewhat limited.  Such a signing would also put Boston close to the threshold, and while the Brewers are nowhere near the tax line, it would represent a very bold move by a Milwaukee team that wasn’t expected to spend much this winter.  It has been a relatively quiet offseason for Ozuna on the rumor mill, as his market may be dependent on whether or not the NL has a designated hitter spot available in 2021 and beyond.
  • Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien, and Andrelton Simmons “are viewed within the industry as similar enough that no team is compelled to set the market with a contract,” according to Matt Gelb and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic,  This has created a lot of uncertainty about when any of the shortstop trio might sign, what their next deals might be worth, or what teams will eventually make the leap.  Gelb and Rosecrans discussed the three shortstops with nine  evaluators, who broke down the pros and cons of each player and ranked them 1-2-3 on a ballot.
  • In other news about the shortstops, the Red Sox are likely no longer a fit for Semien now that Enrique Hernandez is heading to Boston.  The Sox were reported to have interest in Semien as a second baseman, but MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter links) hears from a source who believes “Semien still wants to sign as a shortstop,” despite interest from teams at other infield positions.  Boston is still looking to add a left-handed hitter to the bench mix, with Cotillo reporting that Brad Miller and Mitch Moreland are possibilities.
  • The Blue Jays were known to have interest in Simmons back in November and in the leadup to the trade deadline, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that Simmons is still on Toronto’s radar.
  • Garrett Richards is one player who seems to no longer to be under consideration for the Blue Jays, as Cotillo reports that the Jays aren’t one of the teams still looking to sign the free agent righty.  “At least other teams” besides the Red Sox are still vying for Richards, Cotillo writes, though Boston seems to be relatively far along in discussions with Richards’ camp.



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