MLB rumors roundup for Oct. 21

The Boston Red Sox are eyeing a number of starting pitchers this offseason, and the Kansas City Royals' Johnny Cueto is among them.

Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes that Boston is “at least considering making a serious push” for Cueto this winter. He's not yet 30, and he's steadily lowered his walk rate since his first big-league season in 2008. But will his erratic postseason performances in 2013 and this year eventually ward the Red Sox away?

Apart from an excellent ALDS Game 5 series-clincher, Cueto has demonstrated neither command nor control from the mound in the playoffs. Despite his obvious talent, in Game 2 of the ALDS, Cueto walked three batters while allowing four earned runs on seven hits through six innings. In a disastrous outing in Game 3 of the ALCS, Cueto was chased back to the dugout after the Toronto Blue Jays scored eight runs through two innings plus. He's been emotional, perhaps even heedless at times, which only adds to the mystery that is Cueto's poor play since joining the Royals at the trade deadline.

But with no evident culprit to point to (the Royals won't entertain rumors that he's experiencing elbow problems and refuse to put him in an MRI tube), the Red Sox may have difficulty justifying such a precarious free-agent acquisition with other options available on the market.

Should the Royals advance to the World Series, Cueto will have an opportunity to dispel some of the doubt surrounding him. Until then, here's the other buzz making its way around the majors today:

  • Seattle Mariners: Los Angeles Angels assistant GM Scott Servais is “gaining traction” as a managerial candidate, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Servais worked with new Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto in the Angels’ front office, but it's reported that he wishes to transition into a managerial role. He's also been linked to the opening with the San Diego Padres. Per Dutton's sources, Dipoto is interviewing five candidates: Servais, Tim Bogar, Jason Varitek, Charlie Montoyo and Phil Nevin.

  • Minnesota Twins: In their first moves of the offseason, the Twins outrighted catcher Eric Fryer, outfielder Shane Robinson and right-hander Aaron Thompson off the 40-man roster today, tweets Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. Robinson, 30, was used on-and-off with the St. Louis Cardinals before playing in 83 games this season with the Twins. Fryer, also 30, has seen limited big-league action scattered over the past five seasons. Thompson, 28, only pitched 32 innings this year in his first MLB season. All three have cleared waivers.

  • Texas Rangers: In more roster news, the Rangers announced today that they have outrighted infielder Kyle Blanks, catcher Carlos Corporan and outfielders Antoan Richardson and Ryan Strausborger to Triple-A Round Rock. Blanks struggled to overcome issues with his Achilles this year. His season ended in early September with surgeries on both feet. Corporan posted a dismal .178/.244/.299 slashline in 121 plate appearances for Texas. Richardson and Strausborger both saw limited big-league action this year.