Another calendar page turns, and another day of crazy MLB rumors bubble to the surface. The last 24 hours have provided quite the surprise in that, for what seems to be the first time in days, there are no new updates on the Giancarlo Stanton front.
However, there is still plenty of action going down.
Could JD Martinez be headed to the Great White North? Will Jake Arrieta and Lance Lynn turn heel and join a rival of their respective teams?
Most notable of all, could a trade be brewing in Flushing?
No time to waste, folks. Here’s the daily roundup!
Canada loves JD
It’s no secret that JD Martinez is the most in-demand hitter on the free agent market this year. That comes with slugging 45 home runs and having 104 RBI in just 119 games played. Martinez also hit .303 last year as he split time between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, the latter of whom he helped reach the playoffs and has interest in retaining him long-term.
Arizona may not have the funds necessary to re-sign Martinez, who is said to want a seven-year contract worth $210m, but a team well north of the desert could.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays could be a “dark horse” to land Martinez. This is certainly possible since the team just cleared $18m in payroll by not picking up Jose Bautista’s option and could clear even more if team president Mark Shapiro finds a buyer for third baseman Josh Donaldson at the upcoming Winter Meetings, though Donaldson has yet to be named in any potential moves.
Martinez’s bat would definitely be a welcome addition to a Blue Jays squad that plays in the hard-hitting AL East but again, it’s a matter of money in this case. Toronto would have a hard time justifying a $30m a year salary for any player, let alone Martinez, and payroll for next year is set to be just $87.5m ahead of arbitration and free agency.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Toronto’s AL East rival Boston Red Sox also have their eye on Martinez and much more money available to spend on him.
Brewers looking at arms
The Milwaukee Brewers want to add pitching as Jimmy Nelson recovers from shoulder surgery, and they could find it in arms from NL Central teams. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported yesterday that the team was interested in adding right-hander Jake Arrieta, formerly of the Chicago Cubs. He is a Scott Boras client who could command a deal worth north of $100m, but he has an NL Cy Young under his belt and has gone 64-29 with a 2.67 ERA since 2014. He’ll be expensive, but Milwaukee has the money to spend.
But wait, there’s more! Morosi also reports that the Brewers have interest in Lance Lynn, who looked tremendous in his first year back from Tommy John surgery (11-8, 3.43 ERA). Lynn is slightly younger than Arrieta and will also come much cheaper, so he could wind up being the more attractive option if Arrieta proves too expensive for GM David Stearns’ blood.
Between the two, it’s hard to say who would be the better option. Lynn gave up 27 home runs in 186.1 innings last year and posted a home run-to-fly ball ratio (HR/FB) of 14.2%. His ground ball rate (GB%) was 44% and a solid defense behind him led to a BABIP of .244. Arrieta posted similar numbers in giving up just 23 home runs in 168.1 innings, a HR/FB of 14% and a GB% of 45.1. His BABIP was higher at .279, but that can likely be attributed to the Cubs’ season-long World Series hangover.
Either way, count on the Brewers to be active and aggressive in the free agent market for adding pitching, be it Arrieta, Lynn, or someone else entirely.
Mets like Kinsler
The New York Mets have been fairly quiet about offseason plans so far, but a move could soon be brewing. Morosi reports the team has reached out to the Detroit Tigers about a trade involving veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler, who turns 36 in June and has a year and $11m remaining on his contract.
Kinsler appeared in 139 games last year and though he posted a meager slash line of .232/.313/.412, he still hit 22 home runs and had 52 RBI to go with 14 stolen bases. He is an interesting addition for the Mets, especially since GM Sandy Alderson already picked up the option of Asdrubal Cabrera and also has Wilmer Flores on the roster.
However, Kinsler won a Gold Glove at the position and has a career defensive runs saved (Rdrs) of 108 there. Cabrera, who can play all around the infield, is a defensive liability at second base and posted a Rdrs of -6 in 32 games at the position last year and holds a mark of -4 at second base for his career. Flores is not much better, holding a -7 Rdrs in 88 career games at the position.
One has to assume that at least Flores or Cabrera would head to Detroit in any deal, but neither team has tipped their hand so far in terms of who else would be part of the trade. Just the same, this is a rumor to watch in the coming days. Kinsler could bounce back in Citifield after posting a BABIP of .244 in 2017 and would be a welcomed leader on a young Mets squad, so don’t be shocked if Alderson pulls the trigger on a deal at the Winter Meetings.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?