MLB rumors: Phillies unlikely to send outfielder after Brandon Marsh injury; Padres interested in starters

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Spring training is approaching and 15 of our top 50 free agents are still unsigned, including four of the top 10. A team will eventually sign the reigning NL Cy Young winner , right? Right. Blake Snell will not be retired. Now here are the rumors about Saturday’s hot stove.

Phillies unlikely to add outside help

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Even after losing Brandon Marsh to knee surgery, the Phillies are unlikely to add to their outfield, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Friday. Marsh will resume baseball practice in 3-4 weeks and the team expects him to be ready for Opening Day. Here’s what Dombrowski said Friday (via MLB.com):

“We still think we’re the same way we were before, when it comes to Opening Day,” Dombrowski said.[Free-agent outfielders] want guarantees, and we can’t just give them those guarantees. … We talk to people all the time. The truth is we haven’t guaranteed the playtime some people want. That’s all we have. It’s not really a dollar problem because it plays time. ”

Philadelphia expects to have Marsh on the left side, Johan Rojas in the middle and Nick Castellanos on the right side with Cristian Pache and Jake Cave on the bench this coming season. Their most experienced Triple-A outfielder is journeyman Cal Stevenson. With the number of free agents still unsigned, the Phillies will see how Marsh is rehabbed, then pursue outfield help in a few weeks if needed.

Padres interested in Lorenzen, Syndergaard

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Righties Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard are among the minimum undrafted free agents the Padres have expressed interest in, according to the San Diego-Tribune Union. San Diego is in dire need of rotation depth after losing Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez and Michael Wacha to free agency. Last year’s starters Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove also ended up on the injured list.

The Padres are expected to run a payroll in the $200 million range this season and, at this time, the payroll for Opening Day 2024 is around $165 million. It looks like they have money to spend, even though MLB will broadcast the team’s games this coming season after Bally Sports dropped them in 2023. Either way, the Padres need pitching, and they’re looking for bargains.

A couple not close to the Vázquez trade

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The Twins have yet to receive any traction for the Christian Vázquez trade, reports The Athletic. The veteran quarterback lost the starting job to Ryan Jeffers last season, and is owed $20 million through 2024-25. Shedding even part of that would allow the Twins to put money into their roster elsewhere, perhaps the pitching staff. As things stand, Vázquez will be a well-paid backup.

It’s been a quiet season for the Twins, who have uncertainty over their local television deal due to the Bally Sports situation. They traded Jorge Polanco for pitching depth and signed Carlos Santana, and that was about it. Minnesota’s $119 million Opening Day payroll is well south of last season’s $154 million Opening Day payroll.

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