Via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said of pitcher Taijuan Walker, regarding recent trade rumors, "I expect Taijuan to be with us."
The Mariners have been rumored to be very interested in acquiring Rays lefty David Price and recent reports have indicated that the Rays would want the 21-year-old Walker in any such deal. Walker was rated among the top-20 prospects by Baseball America prior to each of the past two seasons and seems likely to stay put.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke with Corey Hart's agent, who says that the Brewers have made the free agent slugger "a priority."
Hart missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee. When healthy, he's usually a lock for at least 25 homers and an OPS north of .850. It's easy to see why the Brewers would want to continue their relationship with Hart, who turns 32 years old in March. It is worth noting, though, that Hart has drawn serious interest from a number of other deep-pocketed major league teams, including the Mariners, Red Sox, Giants, Rays and Rockies.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Indians are close to bringing back first baseman David Cooper.
Cooper was released by the Tribe in August and failed to latch on with a new team. He is recovered from back surgery and hoping to reestablish himself in 2014. The 26-year-old has a .750 career OPS in the major leagues.
According to WFAN's Sweeny Murti, the Mets met Monday with the agent for free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon.
But the general feeling is that the price will be too high. The Mets are hoping to bring in a new starting pitcher this offseason and Colon is among the better options still available on the open market. The 40-year-old righty posted a 2.65 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 190-plus innings with the A's in 2013. He is also reportedly drawing interest from the Mariners, Angels, Orioles and Royals.
Jose Ramirez is likely facing surgery after injuring his left thumb in winter ball.
Ramirez, 20, spent most of the 2013 season with Double-A Akron. He got a taste of the big leagues as a September call-up, hitting .333 in 12 at-bats. The expectation is that he will be recovered by the middle of spring whether he goes under the knife or not.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says the White Sox "would love to offload" John Danks' contract.
But Passan then notes that they're unlikely to find any takers. Danks posted a 4.75 ERA and 89/27 K/BB ratio in 138 1/3 innings this year for Chicago after returning from left shoulder surgery in late May. He is owed $14.25 million per season through the 2016 campaign. The White Sox are expected to unload a starter -- possibly Chris Sale -- at some point this winter.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports hears from a source that the Phillies are actively shopping outfielder Domonic Brown.
The Phillies are reportedly looking to sell high on Brown, who had a career year in 2013. Getting everyday playing time for the first time, he finished with 27 home runs and an .818 OPS. 12 of his homers came in May, which may lead some to conclude his true talent level is lower than it seems. Opening up a spot in the outfield could give the Phillies a reason to more intently shop closer Jonathan Papelbon as well.
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Indians have moved on from free agent righty Jason Hammel.
That was fast. It took just a few minutes between media reports to learn that the Indians had moved on. Olney suggests the Tribe could take their time and allow the free agent starting pitching market to further develop before potentially circling back to Hamel. Cleveland is certainly in no rush to lock up an injury-prone starter who has finished with an ERA north of 4.75 in three of the past four seasons.