Add the Pirates to the clubs planning to attend for Corey Kluber’s January 13th workout, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Athletic (via Twitter). The Nationals and Diamondbacks were previously mentioned as two among many planning to view Kluber in Florida. The Pirates don’t seem like the likeliest team to sign Kluber, though he could conceivably provide some veteran stability with the upside of becoming a mid-season trade chip. It’ll be interesting to see how Kluber shows after two mostly lost seasons. Before he ran into health troubles, the 34-year-old reeled off an exceptional five-season run.
Here are a few other items of open-market chatter …
- Though there’s no evidence of recent progress, there’s still cause to remain bullish on the odds of a reunion between the Twins and slugger Nelson Cruz. The match, after all, has worked out well for both sides to date. In an appearance on the Locked On Twins podcast, Darren Wolfson of KSTP 5 indicated that mutual interest remains strong. But the club and the 40-year-old DH could also be eyeing alternatives. Wolfson suggests the Padres would have interest in Cruz if it turns out that the DH will remain in the National League. Remaining uncertainty in that regard has iced the market for lumbering sluggers. Depending upon how things shake out, per Wolfson, the Twins may have interest in a slate of options that includes Michael Brantley, Kyle Schwarber, and even Marcell Ozuna.
- Several of those players would also be of interest to the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems that Ozuna is likely to require too much space on the balance sheet. But Brantley and Schwarber, along with Joc Pederson, are each seen as possibilities to take up a post in the D.C. corner outfield. The Nats have an opening after allowing Adam Eaton to depart.
- Free agent righty Jake Odorizzi appears to be in position to land a three-year deal, an executive tells Rosenthal. The expectation from that industry source is that the veteran starter could secure a guarantee in the realm of $ 36MM to $ 42MM — just where MLBTR predicted he’d land. There’s still no clarity as to Odorizzi’s slate of suitors, but it stands to reason he’ll have fairly widespread appeal given that Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman each accepted qualifying offers, removing two primary targets from the market.