Following a weekend that saw the Toronto Blue Jays linked to Francisco Lindor trade talks with Cleveland, we've got plenty more news and notes that will pique Blue Jays fans' interest in our latest MLB rumour roundup. Let's dig in.
White Sox out on Springer
We don't know where free agent George Springer will play ball in 2021, but we could be one step closer to finding out.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan on Monday, the 31-year-old is "extraordinarily unlikely" to sign with the Chicago White Sox -- one of the teams that has been considered a possible landing spot.
This is, of course, good news for the Toronto Blue Jays, who along with the New York Mets have been among the clubs that have shown plenty of interest in Springer from the start.
Springer has been widely considered tone of the biggest names available since the market opened in early November, and the Blue Jays' interest in the centre fielder has been apparent throughout the marathon that is MLB free agency.
Just last week, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said his team is in regular contact with Excel Sports Management -- the group that represents Springer and a number of other big-name players.
"Like any other agency that's representing, they have several free agents," Atkins said, during an interview on Tim and Sid last Thursday. "(Excel) have a pretty good group of free agents this year so we've had pretty consistent contact with that group."
Because Houston extended Springer a qualifying offer, any team that signs Springer (other than the Astros) will have to give up a draft pick as a result.
No DH in 2021?
This past summer, ahead of its shortened 60-game campaign, MLB brought in a universal DH rule. The temporary change (one of several measures put in place as teams dealt with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) meant National League clubs could play the season using a designated hitter -- a position typically implemented by American League teams. As plans for 2021 continue to be sorted out, will we once again see the DH in the NL?
Nothing has been made official on this just yet, but The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal wrote on Monday that it looks like that aspect of the game could be going back to normal. Rosenthal reported that league brass "instructed clubs in a memo last week to proceed under the assumption the DH will not be used in the NL this year."
Mets, Jays talked Matz
Rosenthal's piece on Monday also included another interesting tidbit that Blue Jays fans will be interested in.
Per Rosenthal, the Mets contacted the Blue Jays "to gauge their interest" in the left-handed pitcher Steven Matz.
There was, as we know, ultimately no trade made. The Mets wound up signing Matz to a one-year deal worth $5.2 million for the upcoming season, which is his final year of arbitration eligibility.
"The idea, sources said, was to see if the Jays or another club would offer something of value for Matz at his arbitration salary, giving the Mets more flexibility for other pursuits. The team, of course, is considering virtually all of the top free agents, and could have back-filled its rotation if it had traded Matz and then failed to sign righty Trevor Bauer."
Kim officially posted
Let the bidding begin!
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, infielder Ha-seong Kim has officially been posted by the Kiwoom Heroes of Korea's KBO League and, thus, is able to sign with an MLB team between now and New Year's Day.
He'll likely have tons of interest -- he's versatile as an infielder who's suited up at both shortstop and third base, put up excellent numbers on offence (.493 career slugging with a .373 OBP) and is just 25 years old. The Blue Jays, per a prior Morosi report, were among the teams taking a particularly close look at Kim. According to Sportsnet's own resident insiders, Toronto would be wise to pursue him.
Blue Jays showing interest in Fiers
In their quest to move from rebuild to contention, Toronto brass has been checking in on plenty of players this off-season, from big-name stars to depth additions. Pitcher Mike Fiers could fall into the latter category as they first pursue some of the bigger names on the market. Still, a rumour to keep an eye on -- especially once more pieces move this winter.