As baseball's offseason continues, it's becoming clearer that teams are more than happy to play the waiting game as the market sets itself. No key free agent has yet signed a new contract, only one major trade has gone down and, notably, the New York Yankees STILL don't have a new manager.
No time to waste, baseball fans. Here's the daily rumor roundup!
Giancarlo the Cardinal?
As the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes continue, one team is reported to have submitted a formal offer for the Miami Marlins star's services. According to MLB Insider Jon Morosi, the St. Louis Cardinals have done just that in speaking with Miami's new ownership group led by local investor Bruce Sherman and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
This is where things get complicated because as was reported last week by Chad Jennings of The Boston Herald, Stanton has apparently said he would veto any trade to St. Louis and also the Boston Red Sox, likely due to his preference for the west coast. This could wind up hurting his trade value since the Marlins are sure to demand top prospects in any trade while covering as little of the remaining $295m on his contract as possible, but there could be hope yet.
It's been no secret the San Francisco Giants are also keen on acquiring Stanton, and SiriusXM's Craig Mish reported earlier this morning that the Marlins talked a potential trade that, if it happens, could change the landscape of the National League. In the rumored deal, Stanton and infielder Dee Gordon would head to San Francisco while the Marlins received second baseman Joe Panik and two key prospects in pitcher Tyler Beede and outfielder Chris Shaw. Beede went 6-7 and posted a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A Sacramento last season and could use some more seasoning in the minors, but Shaw hit .292 with 24 home runs across Double and Triple-A in 2017 and could soon be ready to debut. Both prospects are 24 years old and have high ceilings, so this could really just come down to money and the combined $333.9m Stanton and Gordon have owed to them over the remainder of their contracts.
Suitors for Santana
Switch-hitting first baseman Carlos Santana is expected to be a hot commodity on this year's free agent market and over the weekend, two suitors emerged. Jon Morosi tweeted yesterday afternoon that Santana was "drawing continued interest" from the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.
Boston is the cleaner fit for Santana, hands down. The Sawx have a gaping hole at first base and also need a middle of the order bat to help fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement in 2017. The team ranked last in the American League in team home runs and given Dave Dombrowski's penchant for handing out big contracts, Boston could be a prime fit for Santana.
The Phillies are a more interesting case that could require GM Matt Klentak to make some moves. Philadelphia has a fine first baseman in Rhys Hoskins though he is expected to remain in the outfield for the foreseeable future. That leaves Tommy Joseph penciled in at first base and though he had 22 home runs and 69 RBI in 2017, he posted a meager slash line of .240/.289/.432. Joseph is also a defensive liability as he has posted a defensive runs saved (Rdrs) of -16 for his career.
Santana, on the other hand, had a Rdrs of 10 in 140 games at first base last year. Combined with his big bat and strong defense at the position, don't be shocked if the Phillies ramp up their pursuit of him while also shopping Joseph at the upcoming Winter Meetings.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tyler Chatwood!
If there's one name I didn't expect to be a hot commodity on this year's free agent market, it's Tyler Chatwood. The 27-year-old righty posted a 4.69 ERA for the Colorado Rockies in 2017 and led the NL with 15 losses compared to just eight wins and also posted a sub-average WHIP of 1.44.
But that hasn't stopped teams from being interested. Morosi reports that Chatwood is "drawing widespread interest" because of his 3.49 ERA away from Coors Field last season, not to mention his holding opposing hitters to a .695 OPS on the road. It's also worth noting that despite his inflated ERA last season, Chatwood still gave up less than a hit per inning. In 147.2 frames, he allowed just 136 hits while also posting an incredible ground ball rate of 58.1%.
The man turns 28 next month and though any multiyear deal he receives won't set the market for other pitchers like Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish, it could finally get the rest of the market moving.
Void in the Bronx
The New York Yankees are taking their time in finding a successor for former manager Joe Girardi, who was not retained after the ALCS, but new traction in the search suggests that some finalists could be emerging.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, ESPN TV analyst and former Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone "aced" his interview as did San Francisco Giants bench coach and former Yankees prospect Hensley Meulens. That's quite the news considering the two candidates could not be more different from one another.
Boone won the hearts of fans in 2003 when he hit the walk-off home run against the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS that sent the Bronx Bombers to the World Series, but a knee injury suffered in the offseason led to the team making the legendary trade for Alex Rodriguez. It's also worth noting that though Boone has no managerial experience, he is a third-generation ballplayer. His grandfather Ray was an infielder who played 13 MLB seasons and won a World Series ring with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 while his father Bob played 19 years and won seven Gold Gloves as a catcher, also winning a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980. Boone's brother Bret was also an All-Star second baseman.
Meulens is a different candidate entirely. Unlike Boone, his MLB career never panned out, and he appeared in just 182 games in seven seasons. He found success playing overseas in Japan and Korea, but came back to MLB as a coach and has seen tremendous success. He joined the San Francisco Giants' staff as the hitting coach in 2010 and has won three World Series rings with the team. Meulens, who is from Curaçao, also served as the manager for Team Netherlands in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Between coaching under an excellent manager in Bruce Bochy and speaking five languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, and Papamiento), Meulens' experience definitely trumps that of Boone. However, the Yankees hold the cards in this case and given GM Brian Cashman's penchant for making key and beneficial moves in recent years, it will all come down to who he likes best.