Baseball's offseason may be moving at a slower pace than expected, but that just means anticipation is mounting for when the floodgates open.
The latest developments include new movement regarding Miami Marlins star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, a star player has hired a new agent, and a pair of first basemen could soon have new homes.
Oh, and what about the New York Yankees continuing their search for a new manager?
Strap in, fans. This is the rumor roundup!
Stanton sets terms
Giancarlo Stanton's inevitable trade has been the slowest of slow burns but there finally appears to be some movement. Per yesterday afternoon's report from Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Stanton's management team has given Marlins ownership a list of teams to which he would approve a trade. Morosi reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers were among them and that though Stanton has not outright vetoed any trades yet, the general sentiment is that he prefers a move to LA and would be reluctant to go elsewhere unless the Dodgers were officially out of the mix.
Morosi also reported the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals as still having "sustained interest" in Stanton, but it's clear the SoCal native would prefer to head home in any trade. More momentum on this front is expected now that the Marlins know the teams of which Stanton approves in terms of a trade, but don't expect the trigger to be pulled anytime soon.
First basemen, anyone?
The first base position is one meant for a big body who can mash the ball and two men who can do just that could be on the move. The first could be Atlanta Braves lefty bat Matt Adams who, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, is being shopped ahead of Friday's tender deadline. Adams hit .294 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI with the Braves and Cardinals last year and posted a .896 OPS against right-handed pitchers, so teams looking for a lefty bat in the middle of their lineup could definitely use him.
Adams has a year of team control left and only made $2.8m last year, so it's not as though he'll cost a boatload of prospects. If anything, a pair of mid-level prospects should be enough to close a potential deal. Olney speculated the Cleveland Indians could get involved because of Adams' ability to also serve as a DH, but look for the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox to also get involved as they look to fill potential needs of their own.
Meanwhile, up in New York, Olney also reports the Mets are interested in veteran Adam Lind to play first base. Lind hit .303 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 116 games with the Washington Nationals in 2017, and his left-handed swing would provide some pop in the lineup under new manager Mickey Callaway. There's just one problem.
New York has a fine young prospect in 22-year-old Dominic Smith, who hit .330 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2017 before being promoted. However, Smith posted a lowly slash line of .198/.262/.395 at the MLB level, though he slugged nine home runs and had 26 RBI. He is the Mets' first baseman of the future, mind you, but could need another year of development before taking the reins full time. Thus, adding Lind on a one-year deal could make sense.
Yankees skipper search continues
As of now, the New York Yankees have interviewed the following people for their managerial vacancy: bench coach Rob Thomson, Toronto Blue Jays field coordinator Eric Wedge, TV analyst Aaron Boone, Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, and Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward. All five men are fine fits for the job in their own right but don't expect GM Brian Cashman to make an announcement just yet.
MLB Insider Jim Bowden reports that the Yankees will interview more candidates soon and former ESPN analyst and GM Steve Phillips stated that one of those candidates is the recently retired Carlos Beltran. This is an interesting development not only because of Beltran being a surefire Hall of Famer who spent two-and-a-half years in pinstripes but also because one would think he'd step away from the game for at least a year just to spend time with his family.
Beltran also has no experience, but that doesn't seem to be much of a factor what with Boone also interviewing. It also helps that Beltran, who is from Puerto Rico, speaks fluent Spanish and could help further develop young catching stud Gary Sanchez. Either way, expect New York to further take its time in hiring its new skipper.
Charlie Blackmon pulls out the ACES
Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon had a phenomenal year in 2017 and with 2018 set to be his contract year, he's getting ready to demand a big contract. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Blackmon has left Sports One Athlete Management and is now represented by ACES, the agency whose clients include Royals southpaw Danny Duffy, Indians righty Carlos Carrasco, Chicago Cubs ace Jon Lester, and more.
Make no mistake, fans. This is a sign that Blackmon is looking to cash in big. He hit .331 with 37 home runs last year and his 104 RBI set a record for leadoff men. That Coors Field is his home stadium could make teams wary of paying him big money, but ACES takes care of its clients and will make sure Blackmon gets a contract deserving of his talent.