Several teams that have inquired about Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber have been told that he's not available. Schwarber swings and misses a lot, but he also has a ton of power from the left side, hitting .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs and 61 RBI in 137 games in 2018. Schwarber has 56 dingers in the last two seasons and doesn't look to be on the move this offseason.
Free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli announced on Twitter on Saturday that he is retiring from baseball. His best season in the big leagues came with the Red Sox in 2011 when he hit .320 with a .631 slugging percentage, 30 home runs and 75 RBI. He'll finish his 12-year career with a .246/.346/.475 slash line, 267 home runs and 744 RBI in 1,392 games. He last played for the Rangers in 2017 and had 29 homers and 66 RBI.
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (knee) will have surgery on his knee next week, but his agent, Melvin Roman, described the procedure as "a simple thing" to help clean out the knee. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said it will be a "very small procedure" and that Molina should only be out a few days. It's not expected that this surgery will have a negative affect on his spring training or 2019 season. Although this shouldn't affect him heading into next year, it's a remind that Molina will be 37 next July and has a ton of tread on his tires. Still, he hit .261/.314/.436 with 20 home runs and 74 RBI in 123 games last year and was one of the league's better hitting catchers. He could have a few more strong seasons left in him, but the risk of injury is very real at this stage of his career.
San Diego Padres second baseman Carlos Asuaje was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for newly-signed starting pitcher Garrett Richards on the 40-man roster. The move likely concludes Asuajes three-year stint with the Padres where he slashed .240/.312/.329 across 586 plate appearances. With Luis Urias projected as the starting second baseman for 2019, the move isnt unexpected. It could also mean the arrival of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is more imminent than previously thought. Asuaje could land with another squad but his long-term role as a major leaguer is uncertain.
Free-agent starting pitcher Trevor Cahill is drawing interest from "four or five" teams after going 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 over 21 outings (20 starts) for the A's last season. The right-hander has been injury-prone, which keeps his value somewhat limited in mixed leagues, but Cahill can be quite underrated when healthy and can put up decent strikeout numbers in the right matchups. A return to pitcher-friendly Oakland would probably be the best for his fantasy value in 2019.
The Chicago White Sox are believed to be interested in free-agent infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez. While Gonzalez wasn't as good in 2018 as he was in 2017, he still managed 16 home runs and 68 RBI in 489 at-bats and offers fantasy owners with a variety of positions to play him at. The switch-hitter will be 30 next March but can play all over the diamond and would surely see regular at-bats with the rebuilding Pale Hose in a nice hitting environment. Gonzalez can be useful for his power and versatility in deep mixed and single-universe leagues.
The Cincinnati Reds and second baseman Scooter Gennett haven't made any progress in contract-extension talks after starting discussions in July. "I wouldn't expect it before the calendar turns [to 2019]," president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. "There's too much up in the air in terms of roster construction going forward. I don't think you'll see us working on any extensions for anybody -- that's not just Scooter-specific. But I don't see any other extensions happening in the next 30 days while we're working out the roster." Gennett will become a free agent after next season and has put up two great years with the Reds basically out of nowhere. He hit .310/.357/.490 with 23 home runs and 92 RBI in 2018 and has solidified himself as one of the better hitting power second baseman in the big leagues.
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner virtually ruled out the team re-signing outfielder Bryce Harper on Friday. The Nats offered Harper a 10-year, $300 million deal on the last day of the regular season and are unlikely to make another offer after he rejected it for a shot at the free-agent market. "Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, 'This is the best we can do.' We went right to the finish line very quickly,' Lerner said. Lerner spoke of Harper in the past tense during his interview. If he doesn't return, the Nationals project to have an outfield of Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael Taylor and Victor Robles in 2019. The Nationals probably wouldn't have the money to make Harper a better offer after they just signed starting pitcher Patrick Corbin this week. "It very well may be," Lerner said. "We'll have to sit down and figure it out. If he comes back, it's a strong possibility that we won't be able to make it work. But I really don't expect him to come back at this point."
The Oakland Athletics are focused on re-signing catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a one-year deal, according to sources, but it's unclear if he's interested in just a one-year contract. The A's don't want to give a multi-year deal to a catcher with prospect Sean Murphy waiting in the wings. They have checked in on free-agents Wilson Ramos and Matt Wieters in case they don't bring back Lucroy. They are unlikely to spend more than $5 million at the position. Lucroy handled Oakland's pitching staff very well last year, but he hit just .241/.291/.325 with four home runs and 51 RBI in 126 games. He's fallen far since his All-Star season in 2016 with the Brewers, and remaining in the pitching-friendly environment in Oakland won't make him attractive to fantasy owners in single-catcher leagues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers could finally trade outfielder Yasiel Puig this winter, as he's set to be a free agent after the 2019 season. Puig remains inconsistent with his production and the Dodgers have a surplus of outfielders. Los Angeles has made several attempts to trade Puig in recent seasons but couldn't find a taker. Even if the Dodgers agree to take on some of Puig's salary, the return for him in a trade would likely be minimal. He hit .209 against left-handed pitching and was disgruntled about his part-time role in 2018. Puig is now described as distrustful of management and open to playing for another team. When he's not distracted, Puig can be a difference-maker both on defense and with his bat. He played excellent defense and hit a career-high 28 home runs in 2017 but fell down to a .267 average, 23 homers, 63 RBI and 15 steals last year. He's still a useful fantasy outfielder in mixed leagues, but his value would go up with guaranteed everyday playing time for a different club.