MLB rumors roundup: How will Chris Davis respond?

Are the Baltimore Orioles serious about signing Yoenis Cespedes, or are they merely trying to force the hand of Chris Davis?

The high stakes poker game between the Orioles and Scott Boras, the agent for Davis, took another twist Thursday when Baltimore made an offer to Cespedes, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears the Orioles are willing to offer up to a five-year deal in the $75-$90 million range.

The Orioles reportedly offered Davis a seven-year deal worth $150 million that was turned down earlier this offseason. Crasnick reports the Orioles have grown “increasingly frustrated” with the Davis saga and “might be close to walking away.”

The next move will come from Boras, who reportedly is shopping Davis as an outfield option and as a first baseman. He could step up his efforts to sell Davis to the Tigers or the Angels, two teams that could use upgrades in left field.

Earlier this week, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe identified the Tigers as a “sleeper” in the Davis sweepstakes. The Angels, however, have shown no willingness to sign a high-priced outfielder.

The Orioles have been linked to trade talks with the Rockies regarding their surplus of outfielders, including Carlos Gonzalez. Those talks would cease if Baltimore were to land Cespedes.

Our rumors roundup continues with a look at some available pitchers:

  • Yovani Gallardo: The Blue Jays have had conversations this past week with the free-agent right-hander, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. Nicholson-Smith cautions there are “significant questions” as to whether a Gallardo deal is feasible. The Blue Jays have already committed approximately $134 million to their 2016 payroll, so a deal would require ownership approval. Gallardo also would require draft-pick compensation.

  • Ian Kennedy: The Royals are said to be “making progress” on a deal with the free-agent right-hander and the talks are ongoing, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Kansas City also is said to have interest in Gallardo, the other notable free-agent starter still on the market.

  • New York Mets: There was increased speculation this week that the Mets would make a push to bring back Cespedes on a short-term deal. ESPN’s Adam Rubin says the likelihood of the Mets signing Cespedes “is not zero but not likely.” Rubin adds the Mets are searching for a backup, righty-hitting outfielder to replace Michael Cuddyer, who announced his retirement.

  • Alexei Ramirez: On Thursday, the Padres agreed to a one-year deal with Ramirez, who will keep the seat warm at shortstop until top prospect Javier Guerra, acquired from Boston in the Craig Kimbrel trade, is ready to take over sometime in 2017. Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune says it is “a step toward fielding a competitive team without hamstringing future decisions.”

  • Fernando Rodney: The Padres are not out of the chase for the free-agent reliever and could offer him the chance to close games, tweets Dennis Lin of the Union-Tribune. The short-term deal with Ramirez may give the Padres some financial flexibility to add another free agent. Rodney’s production fell off badly with the Mariners, but he did restore some of his value in a late-season stint with the Cubs (1.00 WHIP). The Blue Jays, D-backs and Cubs all have been linked to Rodney, but Toronto’s interest may have waned after acquiring Drew Storen last week.

  • Ian Desmond: San Diego was seen a logical destination for Desmond, who now has very limited options at shortstop following the Padres’ deal for Ramirez. Desmond has been mentioned as a left field option for the Tigers, who so far refuse to pay big bucks for Cespedes or Justin Upton. Desmond is just 30, so he might be tempted at some point to sign a one-year deal, restore his value with a big season and re-enter what is expected to be a weak free-agent class next winter.

  • Gregory Polanco: The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder told reporters, including Adam Berry of MLB.com, that he remains open to the idea of an extension with the team. "Whatever offer they bring, I'll check it out. I'll never say never," Polanco said. "I'm not thinking about a contract right now. Whenever they come to me, I'll be here. Now, my mind is on baseball." The 24-year-old isn't arbitration eligible until 2018, but his immense potential could motivate Pittsburgh to explore a deal with him.