The latest candidate linked to Chicago's South Side is Andre Ethier, who is scheduled to make $35.5 million over the next two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as a vesting option for 2018. Earlier this week, Phil Rogers of MLB.com reported the White Sox are exploring the idea of a deal for Ethier, who will be 34 in April.
Rogers hears the Dodgers would prefer to deal Carl Crawford, but are getting more bites on Ethier, who had a bounce-back season of sorts in 2015, posting a .294/.366/.486 slash line in 142 games.
The Dodgers are motivated to deal. They are looking to trim their mammoth payroll and have an abundance of outfielders, including Ethier, Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Scott Van Slyke, Alex Guerrero, Enrique Hernandez and Trayce Thompson.
The question is what the Dodgers will want in return. Levine notes the White Sox already have moved five prospects in trades this offseason to acquire All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier and infielder Brett Lawrie. The Dodgers might be willing to take less depending on how much of Ethier's salary the White Sox are willing to absorb.
The White Sox also have been linked to Dexter Fowler, and any deal with the free-agent outfielder likely would end any quest for Ethier.
Here are more rumors making the rounds on Wednesday:
Mark Buehrle: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports the veteran left-hander is not planning to sign with a big league club, but is not ready to officially retire either. The 36-year-old Buehrle won 15 games for the Blue Jays last year, but faded in the second half and was left off Toronto's postseason roster.
Jonathan Lucroy: Brewers GM David Stearns reiterated to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "there are no budding trades in the works" for the All-Star catcher. In Sunday's Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo cited "a few baseball folks" who feel "something's brewing" with Lucroy, noting the Astros and Nationals may be interested.
Greg Bird: The Yankees’ prospect had surgery to repair his labrum Tuesday, and is scheduled to miss the entire 2016 season. If all goes well, Bird is expected to take over for Mark Teixeira as the everyday first baseman in 2017. John Harper of the New York Daily News cautions that recovery from such shoulder surgeries "can vary rather dramatically," so the Yankees may need contingency plans.
Juan Uribe: ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday that the Indians continue to pursue Uribe to be their third baseman. Uribe, who will be 37 next month, hit .253/.320/.417 for three teams last season, finishing with the Mets. In the aftermath of the injury to Bird, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests the Yankees should look into a deal for Uribe, who could serve as a backup to third baseman Chase Headley. That would give the Yankees the flexibility to also use Headley as a backup at first base behind Teixeira.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are making a "strong push" to sign Cuban outfield prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, known as "Lazarito," according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and Royals also have been linked to Armenteros, who turns 17 in May. Sanchez hears Lazarito could command a signing bonus in the $15 to $20 million range.
Dansby Swanson: The Braves think the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft could be ready to move into the lineup in 2017, but it remains to be seen if he will play shortstop or move to second base, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Swanson was acquired from the Diamondbacks in December as part of the trade for Shelby Miller.