Rosenthal: What I’m hearing on the MLB Hot Stove about the Dodgers, Brewers and more

The Dodgers are able to pivoting in just about any course, which is simply how they prefer it.

Including the return of Clayton Kershaw, whose deal is pending a bodily, the Dodgers are about $45 million underneath the first luxury-tax threshold of $233 million. And if their historical past underneath Andrew Friedman is any indication, they’re prepared to chop a short-term, high-dollar take care of any prime free agent who is likely to be — Justin Verlander, for instance — although some gamers clearly are more preferable than others .

One potential situation: Trade for Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong, a participant the Dodgers like, based on major-league sources. Sign considered one of the massive 4 free-agent shortstops. Play Gavin Lux at third.

The Giants and Mariners, sources say, are additionally amongst the groups keen on Wong, who will earn $10 million subsequent season, then turn into a free agent. The Brewers, who’ve already traded outfielder Hunter Renfroe and parted with relievers Brad Boxberger and Brent Suter, are anticipated to maneuver Wong to create a gap for rookie Brice Turang.

The Wong situation is probably going considered one of dozens the Dodgers are contemplating. But with regards to free company, they not often function at the prime of the market. Freddie Freeman final offseason was an exception, however his six-year, $162 million contract included important deferrals. Mookie Betts was additionally an exception, however his 12-year, $365 million deal was an extension, negotiated with out competitors, and additionally had important deferrals.

So, if the Dodgers are to signal Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom or Carlos Correa, it should probably be on their phrases. Otherwise, they’re going to simply determine one thing else out.

Kolten Wong (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

• In addition to Wong, major-league sources say rival groups are asking the Brewers about trades for his or her prime gamers — right-handers Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, and shortstop Willy Adames. The subtraction of 1 or more from that group is probably more probably at the commerce deadline, and provided that the group falters. But the heightened curiosity is comprehensible, contemplating the Brewers’ cost-cutting tendencies to this point.

A commerce of Burnes, Woodruff or Adames can be out of character for proprietor Mark Attanasio, who has averted taking a step backwards in the previous. But the group’s newly promoted GM, Matt Arnold, isn’t any stranger to the unconventional. Arnold labored for the Rays from 2006 to 2015, and was the Brewers’ assistant GM underneath David Stearns when the group traded Josh Hader final season.

The Brewers supposed the Hader deal and their accompanying strikes at the deadline to be a reshuffling, not a retrenching, however Stearns later acknowledged that the lack of Hader soured the clubhouse. An offseason transfer, with gamers scattered in every single place, wouldn’t create as a lot dissent. But if the Brewers are considering about making arduous selections, may or not it’s higher for them to behave sooner quite than later?

If they open the season with Burnes, Woodruff and Adames, they are going to in all probability be in some type of rivalry at the deadline, due to the expanded playoff format. And then they is likely to be a Hader situation over again.

• In my earlier column, I wrote that for the Padres, “including a shortstop would basically be making an attempt to suit a sq. peg right into a spherical gap.” But whereas the group has different wants — first base, a beginning pitcher, bullpen, bench — major-league sources proceed to recommend the Padres are certainly in the shortstop market, probably even for Trea Turner, a participant common supervisor AJ Preller traded to the Nationals as a participant to be named in 2015, and has just about coveted ever since.

To make it work, the Padres might transfer Ha-Seong Kim to second and Jake Cronenworth to first, whereas going with an outfield of Fernando Tatis Jr. in left, Trent Grisham in heart and Juan Soto in proper. But how a lot is proprietor Peter Seidler prepared to spend with a luxury-tax payroll that’s already inside $4 million of the first threshold? And might the Padres outbid the Phillies, who maintain a number of built-in benefits in the Turner sweepstakes?

As a member of the Nationals, Turner was a teammate of Bryce Harper’s from 2015 to 2018 and of Kyle Schwarber’s for the first 4 months of 2021. He thrived underneath hitting coach Kevin Long, who was with the Nats for 4 years earlier than becoming a member of the Phillies final season. And his spouse, Kristen Harabedian, is from Flemington, NJ, a drive of about 51 miles from Philadelphia.

• Salvador Perez is shut with new White Sox supervisor Pedro Grifol, his former catching teacher and bench coach with the Royals — so shut, it stands to cause that the Sox may at the least suppose about asking for Perez in a commerce.

Perez, 32, regressed offensively final season from his spectacular 48-homer, .859 OPS marketing campaign in 2021. He will earn $20 million subsequent season, occupying about one-fourth of the Royals’ payroll. He is also assured $20 million in 2024, $22 million in 2025 and a $2 million buyout on a $13.5 million membership possibility in 2026.

Salvador Perez (Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports)

The Royals, nonetheless, will not be inclined to maneuver Perez, and actually to not a group of their division. Perez is the final participant remaining from their 2015 World Series champions. Club officers see him as an necessary a part of the Royals’ offense and an asset in the improvement of their younger pitchers.

As a participant with at the least 10 years of service, 5 with the identical membership, Perez would have the proper to veto any commerce. Teams will not be even bothering to ask the Royals about him, major-league sources say. Catcher MJ Melendez is drawing curiosity, however he hit 18 house runs as a rookie, additionally performs left and proper subject, and is underneath membership management for 5 more seasons. The Royals in all probability aren’t inclined to maneuver him, both.

• Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, when requested about probably including a beginning pitcher, stated, “We have six starters.” True sufficient, if you happen to embody Dakota Hudson. But 4 of these starters — Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery — are getting into their stroll years.

Hudson, arbitration-eligible via 2024, and Steven Matz, signed via 2025, are the solely Cardinals starters underneath membership management past this season. The Cardinals, then, would seem a logical darkish horse for considered one of the starters at the prime of the market — deGrom, Verlander, Carlos Rodón. There isn’t any indication they’re in the combine for a kind of pitchers, nonetheless.

A more probably free-agent goal is left-hander José Quintana, who had a 2.01 ERA in 12 begins for the Cardinals after arriving in a commerce from the Pirates final season. “They actually need to re-sign him,” a supply acquainted with the group’s plans stated.

• The lack of decision with Judge, deGrom and different prime free brokers is making a logjam in the market typical of this stage of the offseason. One membership govt, nonetheless, cites a contributing issue to the delay — groups making an attempt to commerce gamers with inflated contracts to create more payroll flexibility for his or her free-agent pursuits.

Among the gamers who match the profile and can be found, based on the govt: The Yankees’ Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks; Mets’ James McCann; Braves’ Marcell Ozuna; Mariners’ Marco Gonzales and Jesse Winker; Diamondbacks’ Madison Bumgarner; and Reds’ Mike Moustakas.

In such instances, groups are prepared to incorporate money in a commerce and/or take again one other inflated contract, something to assist create larger flexibility for different strikes.

• Left-handed reliever Zack Britton recovered from Tommy John surgical procedure in time to pitch in three video games for the Yankees close to the finish of the season, however the group shut him down earlier than the begin of the playoffs, citing shoulder fatigue. For Britton, who returned in simply over 12 months, it was merely a case of pushing too arduous, too quickly.

The excellent news: Britton, a free agent, has began his regular offseason throwing program and must be a full go in spring coaching. He is looking for a one-year deal as he approaches his thirty fifth birthday on Dec. 22, and groups determine to be intrigued. Britton had a 1.90 ERA in his first two seasons with the Yankees earlier than his elbow hassle started in 2021.

• And lastly, this is an instance of how completely some golf equipment dig into the commerce and free-agent markets: The Braves, with Travis d’Arnaud, William Contreras and Manny Piña, possess considered one of the deepest catching corps in the majors. Yet based on major-league sources, they’re considered one of the groups that has checked in on the Athletics’ coveted Sean Murphy — simply in case.

Why would the Braves need Murphy? First and foremost, he is a very good participant. Equally necessary, he would give the Braves the depth to make different strikes. Perhaps they may commerce Contreras or d’Arnaud for a younger shortstop, a younger beginning pitcher, a nook outfielder. Contreras is more a hitter than a game-caller at this level. d’Arnaud has just one assured 12 months left on his contract, though the Braves maintain an $8 million possibility on him for 2024.

The possibilities of the Braves buying Murphy or finishing any of the different strikes talked about above are slim. If they do something involving a catcher, it should probably be a commerce of Piña, in whom they’re drawing curiosity. With Murphy, they’re merely investigating the chance, and seeing what may occur.

(Top picture of Trea Turner: Denis Poroy / Getty Images)

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