MLB Rumors: Astros looking for outfield help, Joey Gallo gets job, Angels add former All-Star slugger

Even though pitchers and catchers have had three weeks or more to report to spring-training sites, there are still several notable free agents and potential trade targets available. This, in turn, means a constant supply of daily rumors. Speaking of which, Tuesday’s supply is a little less.

No team has been as active as the Dodgers this offseason, as the NL West juggernaut has added players like Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and Teoscar Hernandez to their already star-filled roster. They added another notable name to the mix on Monday.

In fact, Dodgers sign veteran lefty starter James Paxton will solidify the back-end of the rotation. Paxton, 35, is coming off a solid 19 season with the Red Sox in 2023. Coming into this offseason, CBS Sports ranked Paxton as the No. 38 available free agent. Here is an excerpt from our article:

“You know what you’re getting with Paxton. Or, at least, you know what you’re not getting: a full slate of starts. He pitches 96 innings in 2023, the most since the 2019 campaign. In the three years between those seasons, he totaled 21 2/3 frames. Paxton still pitched well when he was able to contribute. His fastball was still in the mid-90s. in, and plays faster due to the deeper release point. He also has a pair of secondary offerings in his curve and cutter, which he could potentially stand to throw more often. “There are different appetites for players, which makes it difficult to rank Paxton. We’re putting him here because we think his upside will help him clear some have higher floors.”

Given that Ohtani will not pitch this year, Yamamoto will be making his MLB debut, Glasnow has a long injury history, and Walker Buehler will be returning from Tommy John surgery, additional depth will probably be needed. This is especially the case as the back end is currently set up by some unproven youngsters Bobby Miller and Emmett Sheehan. Paxton would ease those concerns to some extent.

Experienced rookie players work out for teams

According to FanSided’s Robert Murray, right-handers Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard both threw for the teams Tuesday. About 16 teams, or more than half the league, participated in the season.

The 32-year-old Lorenzen is coming off an All-Star season in which he posted a 105 ERA+ and a 2.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, his performance remained poor following a deadline trade with the Phillies, his seasonal ERA rising from 3.58 to 4.18 in his final 11 appearances.

Overall, it was a disappointing year for the 31-year-old Syndergaard. He appeared in 18 times between the Dodgers and Guardians, compiling a 66 ERA+ and a 2.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Although he tried making several changes to his arsenal, none allowed him to regain his old form.

The Angels have reached a minor-league deal with former All-Star infielder Miguel Sano. According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, Sano, who did not play in MLB last season, spent parts of eight seasons with the Twins. During that time he scored 116 OPS+ and 162 home runs. He also made an All-Star Game and finished third in Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2015.

Astros looking for lefty outfield bat

Houston has added Josh Hader as a closer and Victor Caratini as depth behind the plate, and now they are looking to add an outfielder who bats lefty. General manager Dana Brown recently told reporters this much:

In some ways, this will be in response to the recent retirement of veteran batsman Michael Brantley. Peruse the roster, and you’ll find that center field may be the Astros’ biggest current uncertainty, and a left-handed bat at that position could pair well with right-swinging Jake Meyers in a platoon arrangement. Top remaining free agent Cody Bellinger would obviously be a perfect fit, but it’s highly unlikely Houston is willing to pay going rates for him.

nets land gallo

CBS Sports HQ insider Jim Bowden has confirmed that the Nationals have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Joey Gallo on a one-year, $5 million contract.

Gallo, 30, is coming off a 2023 season with the Twins in which he slashed .177/.301/.440 (101 OPS+) with 21 home runs in 111 games. For his career, he has an OPS+ of 109 over parts of nine MLB seasons. The lefty-swinging Gallo has platoon weaknesses and strikeout issues, but he provides good home run power from the left side. He is in line for semi-regular duty in the Washington outfield for the upcoming season.

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