Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports believes there is "mutual interest" in Stephen Drew returning to the Nationals next season.
Drew enjoyed a solid second half (.308 AVG after the break) and has been a leader in the Nats' clubhouse. His return will depend on how the Nats plan on using Trea Turner, who played almost exclusively in center field this year but spent most of his minor league career at shortstop. If Turner moves back to shortstop, the Nats would likely keep Danny Espinosa as a backup infielder, eliminating the need for Drew.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, there is "no urgency" for the Mets to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes is fully expected to opt out of his three-year contract this offseason. While the Mets are certainly open to keeping Cespedes (particularly if he's willing to accept another front-loaded deal), the team has plenty of outfield depth with Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto all under contract for 2017. Cespedes led the Mets in home runs (31), RBI (86) and runs scored (72) this past season.
Cubs designated LHP Giovanni Soto for assignment.
The move clears a roster spot for Kyle Schwarber, who has moved his rehab to the Arizona Fall League in hopes of returning for the World Series (if the Cubs make it). Soto spent all of 2016 at the Triple-A level, compiling a disappointing 5.14 ERA over 33 outings for Iowa. The 25-year-old made six relief appearances for Cleveland in 2015.
When asked about Kyle Schwarber's availability for the World Series, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said, "We're not ruling anything in, we're not ruling anything out."
Manager Joe Maddon confirmed there's a "chance" Schwarber could DH if the Cubs advance to the World Series. Schwarber resumed batting practice on Monday after being cleared by Dr. Daniel Cooper at his six-month check-up following ACL surgery. He's also slated to begin playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday. If the Cubs do get past the Dodgers, the DH will be available for Games 1, 3, 6 and 7.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests Rich Hill could be in line for a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency.
It would be a hefty raise for Hill, who earned $6 million this past season. He's certainly earned it. The 36-year-old pitched to a marvelous 2.12 ERA in 20 starts for the Dodgers and A's this year, though blister issues and a minor groin injury limited him to just 20 starts. It's possible the Dodgers could extend a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Hill, though Cafardo believes he would reject it given the dearth of starting pitching available this offseason.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Nationals are expected to "go hard" for Mark Melancon in free agency.
Melancon was dominant in his two-month stretch with Washington, converting 17-of-18 save chances to go with a magnificent 1.82 ERA. The soon-to-be free agent should have a robust market this winter, so the Nats will have to pay top dollar to retain him. Per Cafardo, Melancon would welcome being used in an Andrew Miller-type role as long as he earns closer money. Cafardo believes Melancon could draw interest from the Red Sox, who he played for in 2012.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Tigers will attempt to dump Justin Upton's salary this winter.
In other words, he's available for trade. Upton, who is just one year into a six-year contract, carries a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to 20 teams. The 29-year-old matched a career-high with 31 homers this past season, though Upton's .246 average was his lowest since 2007. He also struck out 179 times, which was fourth-most in the major leagues. Despite finishing just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot this year, Olney said the Tigers will listen to trade offers for anyone including Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.
Andrew Toles will start in left field and bat leadoff for the Dodgers Saturday against the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS.
Toles didn't start Game 5 with lefty Jon Lester on the mound but he's back in there Saturday versus right-hander Kyle Hendricks. The rookie has had a marvelous postseason, hitting .368 with two RBI over 10 contests. Toles saw just one at-bat out of the leadoff spot during the regular season. The Dodgers' full Game 6 lineup is as follows: Andrew Toles LF, Corey Seager SS, Justin Turner 3B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Josh Reddick RF, Joc Pederson CF, Yasmani Grandal C, Chase Utley 2B and Clayton Kershaw P.