A month into the 2014-2015 MLB offseason, most of the free agents that have signed new contracts have done so with different teams. The likes of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Nelson Cruz have found new homes, and many of the best free agents are still available.
With the New Year approaching, rumors are beginning to circulate, regarding who the teams in the biggest markets are targeting. Below is a look at a few teams and what players they are targeting.
New York Yankees, Andrew Miller
After missing the playoffs for a second straight season, the Yankees are one of the top suitors for the free-agent reliever, according to ESPN. New York would pay Miller close to $40 million over four years, though they are reportedly competing with the L.A. Dodgers and Houston Astros.
Miller’s future with the Yankees could be dependent upon the team’s negotiations with their closer in the 2014 season. David Robertson is a free agent, and he is reportedly seeking a four-year deal worth $50 million. New York could decide to save money and let Robertson walk, signing Miller at a cheaper price and inserting Dellin Betances into the closer’s role.
Splitting time with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, Miller was an elite reliever last year. He struck out 103 batters in 62.1 innings, posting a 0.80 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP. He’s been an above-average reliever for the past three seasons, though Robertson has been one of the Yankees’ top relievers since 2009.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Jon Lester
While many have suspected that Lester might return to the Red Sox this offseason, WEEI.com in Boston reports that the Dodgers have “serious interest” in the starting pitcher. The Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants are also thought to be suitors for Lester.
After being sent to the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline, Lester was unable to catapult his new team beyond the wild-card round of the playoffs. However, he continued to put up strong numbers, finishing the year with a career-low 2.46 ERA. He won two World Series titles with Boston, posting a record of 110-63. As he enters his 10th MLB season, Lester is reportedly looking for a contract worth close to $150 million.
Adding Lester to their rotation would give the Dodgers three potential aces. Clayton Kershaw won the 2014 NL MVP and Cy Young awards, and Zack Greinke posted a 2.71 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 202.1 innings.
San Francisco Giants, Melky Cabrera
The outfielder could find himself back with the Giants, even though his time with the team ended in 2012, after he was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that San Francisco has expressed interest in Cabrera, who wants a five-year deal.
Before his suspension in 2012, Cabrera was one of the best players in the National League. His .346 batting average would have been good enough for the batting title, had he not only played in 113 games. After playing just 88 games in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Cabrera posted an .809 OPS in 2014.
The Giants have already lost Pablo Sandoval from last year’s championship team. Outfielder Michael Morse is also a free agent.