NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Baseball’s top executives have all gathered at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. this week for one purpose: To talk baseball.
Which means rumors are swirling and moves are bound to be made.
MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of this year’s winter meetings, but there’s plenty of off-the-record conversations taking place behind the scenes.
Join MLive.com’s James Schmehl and Chris Iott at noon today to discuss absurd rumors, and chat about the latest news and developments during Day 1 of baseball’s annual winter meetings.
We’ll be in and out of the comments all day, so feel free to drop us a comment or a question and we’ll get back to you. Promise. Also, be sure to refresh this page often — we’ll be providing updates and reports as soon as we hear about them.
7 p.m.: Forget those Yoenis Cespedes/Alex Gordon rumors. Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila is ruling them out at this point. When asked a follow-up question about whether his position could change before the start of the season, Avila responded: “Not that I see in front of me, no.”
4:11 p.m.: The Tigers are in the market for a left-handed reliever, I’m told. And one name they could consider is Tony Sipp, who is said to be seeking a three-year deal for roughly $5 million per season, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Sipp has reportedly been linked to the Orioles, Astros and Royals this winter.
3:50 p.m.: Interesting twist in the Aroldis Chapman saga. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that Reds officials are telling other clubs a trade for Chapman has not been agreed upon. In other words, it appears there’s still time for another club to swoop in and snag Chapman.
3:12 p.m.: Tigers reporters will be meeting with Avila and manager Brad Ausmus at 5 p.m. We’ll make sure to inquire about Monday’s report about Cespedes and Gordon. Ausmus will also have media availability with the national guys at 6 p.m.
2:46 p.m.: ICYMI, the Tigers are reportedly “looking” at free-agent outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon. Here’s my take on the report. Spoiler alert: Don’t hold your breath, Tigers fans. I don’t think it’s going to happen.
2:15 p.m.: Less than a day after the Tigers announced the signing of backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports the Texas Rangers have expressed “some interest” in Bryan Holaday. A TCU alum, Holaday is out of minor-league options, and if Saltalamacchia wins the backup role this spring, the Tigers would need to designate him for assignment and get him through waivers.
1:33 p.m.: Scratch that. Rosenthal is now reporting the deal for Lowe is expected to be two years for $13 million “or close to it.” Ouch. Not nearly the bargain that Tigers fans were initially led to believe.
1:25 p.m.: MLive.com can confirm that the Tigers have reached an agreement on a two-year deal with reliever Mark Lowe. The deal is believed to be worth $6.5 million, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal notes that Oakland also made a run at Lowe, but the Tigers one-upped their offer. MLive.com recently projected Lowe to sign a one-year deal for $3.5 million this offseason.
12:38 p.m.: MLB Network’s Peter Gammons suggested Sunday that Indians star Michael Brantley “might not be back until August.” The Indians, however, have refuted the report, announcing Monday that Brantley is on track in his recovery from shoulder surgery and confirmed that there’s no change at this point from the original return estimate. In other words, he’s expected to return in April or May.
12:01 p.m.: The Royals have reached an agreement on a two-year deal for $11.5 million with free agent Chris Young, according to The Kansas City Stars’ Andy McCullough. The deal is pending a physical. MLive.com recently projected Young to receive two-year deal for $10 million.
11:36 a.m.: The Tigers are considering adding bench depth and possibly upgrading their utility spot, according to a baseball executive. But don’t expect the Tigers to go after free agent Ben Zobrist. There’s nearly a half-dozen teams inquiring about Zobrist, but the Tigers are not expected to target the 34-year-old, I’m told. Zobrist has reportedly drawn heavy interest from four teams, including the Mets, Nationals and Giants, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
10:58 a.m.: Whoa. We have our first blockbuster move during winter meetings. The Dodgers have reached a deal with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire Aroldis Chapman, arguably baseball’s most elite bullpen arm, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The Dodgers reportedly gave up a pair of prospects, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports highly touted prospects Julio Urias, Corey Seager and Jose De Leon are not part of the package — which suggests Los Angeles didn’t give up a lot. Then again, Chapman only has one year left before free agency.