The MLB hot stove season is going strong, and speculation is heating up across baseball. Here is what our writers are hearing today:
Cubs remain interested in a reunion with Jeff Samardzija. But buzz in the industry is that his price is rising beyond their comfort level— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 4, 2015
Stark's take: Even if Samardzija doesn't quite reach the $100-million plateau that he was said to be seeking earlier in the week, clubs that have spoken with his agent, Adam Katz, now believe he has positioned himself as Plan B for the runner-up in the bidding for Zack Greinke. And that figures to push his price tag close enough to that level that the Cubs, who have talked to his representatives extensively, in another direction. The Dodgers and Giants both are said to have strong interest if Greinke goes elsewhere.
"I don't know if he gets to nine figures," said one exec whose club kicked the tires on Samardzija. "But if you put the over/under on him at $90 million, I'd go `at' or `over.'"
The #Orioles have been reaching out to other relievers -- a sign they might not be optimistic about Darren O'Day.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 3, 2015
Crasnick's take: Just as the David Price signing with Boston figured to help ease the logjam for free agent starting pitchers, Darren O'Day could help set things in motion for the rest of the relief market once he settles on a team. Washington, the Los Angeles Dodgers and (surprisingly) Atlanta are making serious pushes for O'Day, whose signing will pave the way for Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, Tyler Clippard, Shawn Kelley and other righty relievers in search of new clubs.
Sources say O'Day is likely to land a deal just south of Andrew Miller's four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees. O'Day's wife, Elizabeth Prann, is a reporter for the Fox News Channel and is based in Washington, D.C., and he would prefer to sign with an East Coast club, according to several people with knowledge of his discussions. But the Dodgers have been among O'Day's most ardent suitors since he filed for free agency, and they see him as a nice fit in front of closer Kenley Jansen. Although the Orioles haven't officially moved on from O'Day, their decision to begin a dialogue with other relievers is a potential sign that O'Day might be too expensive for their taste.