Destination Speculation; Winter Meetings Edition

We are officially to the annual GM winter meetings, which means executives from every MLB organization will get together and is also a time where we usually see the most offseason activity amongst all 30 clubs around the league(it also includes the Rule 5 draft, which is held on the last day of the meetings).

With that being said, rumors will be all over the place pertaining to free agents and trade candidates alike. There’s always that move or two that will catch us all off guard, so it’s important to keep up with the latest news concerning each team around baseball, including the team you root for, because well, you never know. Here we will speculate on places we could see some oft-talked about players potentially going during the upcoming week. First we start with:

-Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer

The Cleveland Indians have been one of the most talked about teams thus far, due to their desire to shop starters Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco was just signed to an extension which makes him less likely to be traded, but that still leaves Kluber and Bauer. Both would fetch potentially huge returns in trades and Cleveland will not settle for anything less than a large return. Teams we’ve heard discussing the Indians’ starters so far have been the Mets and Dodgers. Other speculative fits could also be the Braves, Padres, Reds, Phillies, and Astros. Perhaps Houston namely, could include Kyle Tucker in a deal for Kluber or Bauer due to the Indians’ desire to acquire some outfielders.

-Noah Syndergaard Trade?

Rumors have swirled around Syndergaard thus far, to the point where multiple teams have discussed players with the Mets however no deal has come to fruition. Since then, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made it known he doesn’t intend on dealing the Mets No.2 ace unless a massive offer comes along. Could he get dealt? The Padres have been the most aggressive team on Syndergaard yet Mets brass has insisted San Diego include one of Fernando Tatis Jr or Mackenzie Gore as part of a trade package that, unsurprisingly, the Padres don’t want to offer. The same teams listed above in the Kluber/Bauer section could be in on Syndergaard, but the Mets surely wouldn’t deal “Thor” to the Braves or Phillies. Don’t be surprised if he gets dealt despite Mets management saying they are unlikely to deal him.

-Does Dipoto Continue Dealing?

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has been wheeling and dealing over the past several weeks, both building up the farm system and adding young, MLB ready talent. While Seattle has already dealt most of its top trade chips, could Dipoto still surprise us by biting on an offer for star outfielder Mitch Haniger or perhaps starter Marco Gonzales? We will find out this week. Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, and other high priced veterans recently acquired have been talked about already too. Don’t underestimate dealin Dipoto, he always has something up his sleeve.

-Bryce Harper and Manny Machado Sweepstakes:

It’s not entirely known if Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado will sign at the winter meetings but if they do, expect record contracts like we’ve all predicted. It will surely be fascinating to see who will end up with one of these two(or even both).

-Yusei Kukuchi

He’s been posted by his home team in Japan, and while it’s unlikely he signs during the meetings, whoever wins the bidding for his services will surely be adding a quality, young starter who can slot in well in any big league rotation. Expect west coast teams to have the most interest.

There will be A LOT more moves this week, including plenty of free agent signings(at least we hope due to last year’s free agent freeze), and trades will flow in with notable players such as Zack Greinke, J.T. Realmuto, and Madison Bumgarner potentially being dealt this week. It will make for another fascinating week this hot stove season so stay tuned and feel free to continue the discussion with your comments below!

Advertisements

Trading Manny Machado? Can The Orioles Make A Deal And Still Compete In 2018?

With Manny Machado one year away from free agency, it’s no surprise that we all question the fact that should the Orioles deal Machado to build up their farm system or acquire major league ready players to fill other needs on the team, or should they ride out the last year of his contract and go for a title with their franchise 3rd baseman? Indeed, the latter is just what option Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette is going for.

The Orioles are focused on adding pitching to a decimated rotation that was among the worst in baseball in 2017, so their focus right now is clearly elsewhere. But the Orioles nonetheless are still receiving calls regarding Machado, and those rumors will only heat up more as we approach the winter meetings. Duquette has continued to state that Machado will be in an Orioles uniform heading into next season, but if an offer too good to pass up comes along, Duquette should pull the trigger on a deal.

There are plenty of different routes the Orioles could take to still compete for a playoff spot in the 2018 season without Machado and among those could be signing a top free agent to replace Machado in the event he does get dealt.

One option would be to add Mike Moustakas to fill the hole that would be created in the event of a Machado deal. Now while the Orioles don’t want to take on a big salary on a long-term deal, Machado’s big salary being shipped out would create room for Moustakas, and the way the free agent market has been this offseason, maybe Moustakas could even be had on a not too long four-year deal.

Now trading Machado could fill the biggest need on this team overall, the rotation. There are plenty of spots open and any acquiring team would need to come up with major league ready starting pitching, among other pieces, if Baltimore is to consider a Machado deal. Some have said that the Yankees and Phillies could be fits in a Machado trade, but the Orioles will most likely not trade with a division rival in the Yankees, especially if they have intentions to compete for a playoff spot.

The Phillies do have some young starters that were pitching in the big leagues last year, but the Orioles may not be interested in their unproven starters. Then there’s the the St. Louis Cardinals, who have been connected to just about every third baseman on the trade market. They do have pitching to offer, however.

Teams are going to try to pry Machado away from the Orioles this offseason, but it will take a substantial offer to even get Dan Duquette to consider dealing the team’s franchise cornerstone.