The Dodgers Are Waking Up, Verlander’s Coastal Options, Orioles-Cubs Overlap, Trading for a D-Back, More

I’m hopeful, however I do not assume we all know but if this offseason goes to be “regular” once more.

And by regular, I imply the best way it was from, say, 2000-2016. In case you forgot, the Winter Meetings was once a hotbed of precise commerce and free agent *exercise* … not simply a assortment of rumors and Scott Boras puns. And earlier than the Winter Meetings, we used to see a load of rumors and strikes.

But for a variety of causes (an expiring CBA, the pandemic, the lockout, groupthink amongst executives, these previous collusion rumors, and many others.), it hasn’t been that means in FOREVER. And I actually miss it! Especially the Winter Meetings. That week was once as intense because the commerce deadline, however with the potential for WAY extra strikes. It additionally spurred exercise simply earlier than and after the occasion itself, which turned a actual pivot level within the MLB offseason.

Optimistically, the tempo of rumours this offseason is possibly forward of schedule, and was from the outset of the GM Meetings. But on the flip facet, there’s normally a little extra precise exercise earlier than Thanksgiving. Or, once more, that is how I bear in mind it from 6+ years in the past. We’ll see.

The Dodgers Are Ready to Spend

The Dodgers are up and seeking to disrupt.

Over the weekend, a few rumors have popped up in regards to the Dodgers’ willingness to spend large this offseason, first with Jon Heyman mentioning phrase going round that they are going to “make a run at Aaron Judge.” Which means Judge might doubtlessly have the Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers vying for his providers (which … CHA-CHING).

And then Jon Morosi calling the Dodgers the most effective match for Justin Verlanderas properly:

Via Morosi: Verlander, 39 and 9 months, needs to pitch till he is 45 years previous. As such, he could also be searching for a 2-3 12 months deal this offseason. And that, in flip, strains up with the Dodgers’ MO of short-term, high-AAV deal buildings. Ultimately, with their expiring contracts, want for beginning pitching, and theoretical contractual match, the Dodgers are a higher match for Verlander than the Mets or Astros, in Morosi’s estimation.

For what it is price, that is additionally why I see Judge as a poor match for LA He’s going to take the most important, longest deal provided, however the Dodgers normally stick to large AAV, shorter-term offers. It’ll be a aggressive supply, I’m positive, however I simply do not see him heading that means.

Other Justin Verlander Rumors

Switching again to Verlander… do not sleep on the Mets. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets spoke with Verlander through Zoom final week, apparently (to me) out of worry of dropping Jacob deGrom to free company.

The Mets probably nonetheless choose deGrom, who’s reportedly prepared to select the Mets if the provides are related, however they don’t seem to be going to place all their eggs in that basket:

For the Mets, the casting of a large internet is due diligence and hardly a shock. Carlos Rodón, one other prime free agent, is probably going on their potential goal checklist as properly. The workforce’s rotation at the moment consists of Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco and the much less established Tylor Megill, David Peterson and Elieser Hernandez, whom the workforce acquired in a commerce from the Marlins on Friday.

Rosenthal provides that the Astros, Dodgers, and Yankees are additionally in on Verlander, who, like Judge, is gonna get PAAAAID.

Orioles Rumors

Roch Kubatko has a sequence of attention-grabbing rumors on his Baltimore Orioles that I feel are price sharing/discussing:

  • The Orioles are going to be lively this offseason, and are already “speaking to representatives for a number of free agent pitchers.” Apparently, these conferences embrace GM Mike Elias and supervisor Brandon Hyde (former Cubs bench coach), who’s made a good impression on his clubhouse.
  • The Orioles usually are not anticipated to be severe bidders for the costliest pitchers in the marketplace (I’m guessing that is deGrom, Verlander, and Rodon), however they’re anticipated to maintain involved with guys in that tier. Meanwhile, the “second” tier of starters is of their sights, which may have some vital overlap with the Cubs. I feel Kodai Senga, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker match into this tier, for instance.
  • The Orioles are additionally wanting for left-handed hitting nook outfielders, first baseman, and DHs, which has some overlap with the Cubs, in case you’re considering Cody Bellinger or Jose Abreu. Bellinger will get a particular point out.
  • The excellent news: Kubatko says he hasn’t heard something in any respect in regards to the Orioles concentrating on free agent shortstops to enhance their lineup. That’s good as a result of they have been as soon as considered a potential risk in that positional group this offseason, they usually have been briefly linked to Carlos Correa final winter.

Will Diamondbacks Trade a Lefty CF?

Aside from a number of beginning pitchers, an anchor for the bullpen, a first baseman, and a third baseman, and a shortstop… the Cubs may actually use a left-handed hitting middle fielder. And that is precisely what the Diamondbacks have (and are prepared to maneuver).

Ken Rosenthal stated it: “Nimmo is the main free agent in middle subject, however not the one choice for rival golf equipment in want at that place. The Diamondbacks, whose roster contains 4 left-handed hitting middle fielders, are open to a commerce.”

But they don’t seem to be all obtainable. According to Rosenthal, Corbin Carroll is “off limits,” and Daulton Varsho is the least prone to transfer of the remaining three gamers (he may nonetheless play some catcher).

So … are we taken with Alek Thomas or Jake McCarthy? I say sure!

In truth, I already made a case for an Alek Thomas commerce earlier this offseason, as I’m a sucker for gamers along with his upside (Thomas, 22, was a top-40 prospect one 12 months in the past and solely simply made his large league debut this season. Who cares if it did not go properly, the pattern is TINY). And by “did not go properly,” I imply solely offensively, as a result of his middle subject protection charges out simply swell.

Plus, it is not like he is not a hitter. In his first style of Triple-A motion in 2021, Thomas slashed .369/.434/.658 (168 wRC+) with a 20.5% strikeout fee over 34 video games. In 2022, he slashed .322/.397/.539 (133 wRC+) with a 13.7% strikeout fee over 27 video games. I’d be completely stoked if the Diamondbacks wished to “promote low” on this 22-year-old prospect.

If they wish to play it a little safer (however with far much less upside), McCarthy, 25, additionally made his debut final season and had some reputable success: 116 wRC+, 2.3 WAR. He does not hit for a lot energy and his protection is not fairly as extremely praised, however he is nonetheless a good participant.

In any case, Rosenthal says Arizona is searching for “vital main league assist,” particularly mentioning “pitchers or right-handed energy hitters.” I may conceive of the way the Cubs may line up right here.

Odds and Ends

  • Joel Sherman could be “shocked” if a minimum of one in all Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa weren’t traded earlier than subsequent season. We’ve seen Torres dangled in a variety of rumors currently, relationship again to the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline, so I’d say he is a affordable guess to get dealt.

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