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!

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MLB Top Prospects; 2019’s Rookie Class Looks Impressive

The 2018 season saw the debuts of several top prospects around the league, including AL Rookie of the year and two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and NL Rookie of the year Ronald Acuna Jr. Both phenoms have plenty of years of elite seasons ahead and no doubt will be entertaining to watch as they continue to grow as major leaguers.

They weren’t the only two to debut in impressive fashion either. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler and Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty both had strong rookie years as well, along with the arrivals of Yankees top prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, who made strong first year impressions as well. And let’s not forget Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto, who burst onto the scene at just 18 years of age and crushed major league pitching. Plenty of other future talent made brief debuts as well.

So with that being said, what does 2019 look like in regards to top prospect arrivals? Needless to say, nothing short of impressive. It could look even stronger than the 2018 season we just saw. In fact, most of the top 10 prospects over at MLB.com and other outlets may or will make their debuts, including uber prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Fernando Tatis Jr.

It may take longer for some than others, both due to service time considerations and/or teams feeling like their respective players aren’t quite ready to jump to the major league level early in 2019. Regardless, we will see plenty of top talent make it to the show and those players include the aforementioned Guerrero Jr and Tatis Jr, White Sox Top prospect Eloy Jimenez, Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley, Reds infielder Nick Senzel, Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers, and more.

There are others who have already made brief debuts in 2018 but still hold their rookie status such as Victor Robles and Kyle Tucker. Those two could very well be in the bigs to stay if they can deliver results for their respective teams(especially if the Nationals lose Bryce Harper in Robles’ case).

The end of the 2018 season left us in awe as we watched some exciting young talent ascend to the majors in a big way and 2019 could see, or will see in the case of some teams, more top talent emerge from the minor league ranks. We will all be here to watch, so get excited. So, What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments!(In case I missed anything as well)