MLB rumors roundup: Astros shopping outfielders?

Rumor has it team have inquired about Astros outfielder George Springer. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros checked a huge item off their holiday wish list Wednesday night, acquiring closer Ken Giles from the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Astros surrendered right-hander Vincent Velasquez, left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and a third player, believed to be minor league outfielder Derek Fisher, in return for the 25-year-old Giles, who has a career 1.56 ERA in 115 2/3 career big league innings.

As ESPN.com’s David Schoenfield points out, the Astros were willing to surrender a big haul for a closer after a questionable bullpen kept them from advancing past the wild-card round in last season's playoffs. (Just think back to Game 4 of the ALDS against the Royals, when a 6-2 cushion turned into a 9-6 defeat.)

But are the Astros done dealing this winter? The Astros are looking to add starting pitching and could use a prized outfielder as bait. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports the Astros have received inquiries on their outfielders and are open to moving George Springer "if the haul is big enough."

Springer hit .276/.367/.459 in 102 games last season, missing two months with a broken wrist.

Drellich adds the Chicago Cubs have an interest in Carlos Gomez, who is a year away from free agency. In a similar situation last winter, the Astros traded free agent-to-be Dexter Fowler to the Cubs. But the Astros have some incentive to keep Gomez given the injury history to Springer and Colby Rasmus.

The Astros also have interest in free-agent pitcher Yovani Gallardo, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggert, so they are far from done with their holiday shopping.

Our rumors roundup continues with other teams making news as the winter meetings wind down:

  • Jose Fernandez: The possibility of the Marlins dealing their ace right-hander generated plenty of buzz at the winter meetings, but those discussions have “run their course” president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the Miami Herald. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, however, hears the Giants would "be all-in" if Fernandez is available.

  • Mike Leake: The Nationals' interest in the free-agent pitcher has cooled and a deal appears unlikely, tweets Ken Rosenthal>/a> of Fox Sports. Earlier Wednesday, James Wagner of the Washington Post reported the Nats had made an offer to Leake, who posted a 3.70 ERA in 192 innings between the Reds and Giants in 2015. Washington is looking for additional rotation depth after losing Jordan Zimmermann to free agency.

  • Ian Desmond: Desmond is the most accomplished shortstop on the free-agent market, but he's generating interest at second base, third base and the outfield, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. This makes plenty of sense since no player has committed more errors over the past two seasons than Desmond (51).

  • San Diego Padres: Finding a shortstop remains the top priority for the Padres, but a deal by the end of the winter meetings seems unlikely. The Padres have maintained contact with Desmond’s representatives, but they remained active in trade discussions as well, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune.

  • Bartolo Colon: A source tells Adam Rubin of ESPN New York there is “mutual interest” between the Mets and the free-agent right-hander who won 29 games in Queens over the past two seasons. A deal with Colon seems even more likely after the Mets traded Jonathon Niese to the Pirates on Wednesday. Colon could be used as a starter early in the season and head to the bullpen when Zack Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery in June.

  • Mike Napoli: The Pirates, who are exploring options at first base after non-tendering Pedro Alvarez, have expressed interest in Napoli, reports Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Napoli had an underwhelming 2015 season in Boston and Texas, hitting just .224, but he does have six seasons with 20 or more homers. He could be part of a platoon with Michael Morse.

  • Freddie Freeman: The Braves continued their massive overhaul by trading away Shelby Miller this week, but their best hitter appears to be going nowhere. Atlanta GM John Coppolella told MLB Network Radio the club is not trading Freeman, who is under contract through the 2021 season.

  • Carlos Gonzalez: The Nationals have talked with the Rockies about Gonzalez but have backed off for now, tweets Ken Rosenthal. The Orioles have inquired as well, but Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com is doubtful a deal would be done because Baltimore does not want to part with Kevin Gausman.

  • Todd Frazier: The Reds and White Sox discussed a deal for Frazier, but talks stalled when Cincinnati asked for shortstop prospect Tim Anderson as part of the deal, claims MLB.com's Phil Rogers.

  • Steve Pearce: The Tigers have talked with the agent for Pearce, but so far deem the price tag as too high for the role they envision, tweets Jon Morosi. Pearce had a career year in 2014, but his slash line plummeted to .218/.289/.422 last season, numbers his agent would like to push under the table.