The Winter Meetings are over, but MLB’s Hot Stove continues to bubble. The free agent market is slowly setting itself thanks to Carlos Santana signing with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, and the New York Yankees brought back a key piece in veteran lefty CC Sabathia on a one-year, $10m contract.
But as we kick off a new week of the MLB offseason, the storm is far from over. Another blockbuster trade that rivals the Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton could be in the works, the Phillies appear far from finished with their offseason moves, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as the offseason creeps towards the holiday season.
Strap in, folks. This is the Rumor Roundup.
Machado trade looms
The Baltimore Orioles really want to trade Manny Machado. GM Dan Duquette figures it best to restock the farm system and get strong young pitching by dealing his star infielder now rather than lose him for nothing when he is a free agent this time next year. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported over the weekend that the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox had emerged as the most aggressive suitors for Machado’s services, but no deal was close.
Fast forward to today, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports a trade involving Machado could happen as soon as this week and that the Orioles received what they considered satisfactory offers over the weekend. Chicago and Arizona are still in the mix, but the St. Louis Cardinals are still dark horses despite their hesitance to give up top prospects for a rental player.
One thing is certain. Machado had 33 home runs with 95 RBI in 2017 and is far better than the .259 batting average he posted. He will be playing baseball somewhere next season, we’re just not sure where.
Phillies seek arms
The Philadelphia Phillies took care of their lineup in adding Carlos Santana to play first base, but GM Matt Klentak must now address the team’s serious needs in the starting rotation. The only surefire arm in that group is youngster Aaron Nola, with guys like Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez yet to prove themselves as reliable options.
The good news for the Phillies is that with the addition of Santana, someone like Aaron Altherr or Tommy Joseph could be moved in a trade for an arm. Matt Gelb and Matt Breen of Philly.com reported the team has inquired on several young and controllable pitchers, namely Tampa Bay Rays righty Chris Archer, Toronto Blue Jays youngster Marcus Stroman, and Kansas City Royals southpaw Danny Duffy.
Each of these three pitchers would be a great fit in the City of Brotherly Love. Archer is 29 and has 734 strikeouts in 614.1 innings thrown over the last three years and has $13.75m owed to him through 2019, plus a pair of club options worth $8.25m each. Stroman has three years of arbitration remaining and turned in a 3.09 ERA last season, plus his being 26 years old doesn’t hurt either.
Duffy is an odd case. He went 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA in 2017 but also has a history of elbow problems. He is also about to turn 29 and has four years and $60m remaining on his contract. That’s a good deal for any team to have on its books, but the Phillies would have a hard time justifying the risks that come with Duffy. He would come cheaper than Archer and/or Stroman, but that’s not a reason to gamble on his elbow staying healthy.
Another Marlin wants out
The Miami Marlins will be a bad team next year and one of the squad’s more beloved players has decided he wants no part of it. Craig Mish of SiriusXM tweeted this morning that catcher JT Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami in wake of the deals that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners, and Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals.
The good news for Miami is that if Realmuto is traded, he should bring a significant talent return to the Marlins. Realmuto turns 27 next year and hit .278 with 17 home runs and 65 RBI last year and is one of the better young catchers in the game. He also has three years of arbitration ahead of him, making him a great cost-effective piece for any team with a hole behind the plate.
The Marlins aren’t in a position where they really need to move Realmuto, especially since owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter have already shed a lot of money in payroll as they look to clean up the mess left by previous owner Jeffrey Loria. Just the same, the Marlins still need to field a team that will entice fans to come to Marlins Park in 2018 and if Realmuto is traded, that becomes significantly harder.
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