Winter Meetings Recap: Day One
The Winter Meetings are here and it is time for the rumors of big trades and big signings to swirl. Generally, the meetings offer quite a bit of information on the market for free agents and what teams are up to. It’s best to call it the Christmas for baseball fans. Here is a wrap up by team of rumors and deals from the first day of the meetings.
The DBacks got started on Sunday night by agreeing to terms with right hander Junior Guerra on a one year, $2.55 million contract. He slots in as a relief option for them. The team has been linked to Madison Bumgarner. The team seems to be reallocating the money saved from the Zack Greinke offload into multiple positions so far.
The Braves already have been active this offseason with a bunch of free agent signings, but it looks like they might not be done. While no deals have been struck, the Braves have been heavily linked to Josh Donaldson all off season, and it’s been reported that he is atop their list. The Braves also seem to be in on Madison Bumgarner, even after signing Cole Hamels.
The Orioles have had most of their veterans checked in on at the Winter Meetings. Most believe that the Orioles will move Trey Mancini and Mychal Givens at some point, especially given the stage of the rebuild the Orioles are in. Rather quiet first day for the Orioles, that could change on the second day though.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are trying to cut payroll. They aren’t in on any of the big free agents as they were in the past few seasons. It seems that they are really trying to move David Price, Nathan Eovaldi and even Jackie Bradley Jr. The talk of Mookie Betts being moved seems to have gone by the wayside, but anything can happen.
There has been a lot of chatter about whether or not Kris Bryant will be dealt. The Phillies have checked in and the Braves seem like a logical landing place for him. The biggest hurdle is an arbitration grievance Bryant is involved in. The team and Bryant are awaiting a decision that would either make him a free agent in one year, or two years. That could significantly change his value to other teams.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have already been busy by showing up their catching situation with the signing of Yasmani Grandal. The White Sox are primed to take hold of a weak AL Central, and could make some moves. Nothing seems imminent, however, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change in a hurry. Seemingly, the White Sox will be active, even if there aren’t many rumors floating.
The Reds have been heavily linked to many different areas. The NL Central seems up for grabs with the Cubs likely taking a step back and the Brewers having cleaned house. It’s believed that Didi Gregorious has priced himself out of the market for the Reds, since they have Freddy Galvis in the fold. The team is said to be in on Madison Bumgarner, which would be an upgrade to their rotation.
The biggest news from the Indians is surrounding a player that plays for the team. There was speculation that the Indians would trade their star shortstop Francisco Lindor. However, it has been reported that they are unlikely to move him. The Indians brought another catcher in the fold with Sandy Leon already, and it seems that the team is intent on shedding some payroll.
It looks like the Rockies are looking to upgrade at catcher this offseason. Moreso, they’re looking for a partner to work with Tony Wolters. The catcher market has been active this offseason, and there’s no reason to believe that the Rockies won’t be able to find a fit for them that would be an upgrade.
It feels like the Tigers want to take the next step in their rebuild efforts and start to build a competitive team. They need to add a catcher, with Alex Avila signing with the Twins. Al Avila believes that there is a unique opportunity for a catcher to become a mainstay for the a Tigers behind the dish.
The Astros haven’t been involved in many rumors. The team is largely still being questioned about the investigation that is currently ongoing into the Astros. That being said, it has been reported that the Astros have not contacted Gerrit Cole since the end of the World Series. It seems that they are out on him, and would likely need to add a pitcher to their rotation.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals seem to be relatively active in talks at the Winter Meetings. They are awaiting a decision from Alex a Gordon and if he will return as their left fielder in 2020. The plan is to meet with him this week. They are also kicking the tires on bullpen upgrades. It seems that the Royals are intent on keeping Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler and Danny Duffy to build around.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are knee deep in talks with Gerrit Cole and are likely entering a bidding war for his services. The Angels are in desperate need of some pitching upgrades, and Cole would fit the bill to pair with Shohei Ohtani. Manager Joe Maddon met with the media and said that owner Arte Moreno is all-in to win now. Cole would represent a significant upgrade and could help stabilize a rotation that hasn’t quite found any success.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are also in the hunt for big fish it seems. Andrew Friedman said that Justin Turner was spoken to about switching positions should they acquire a third baseman. It likely means that the team is looking at Anthony Rendon. The team has also been reported to be in the mix for a Gerrit Cole.
The Marlins do not have any rumors to speak of. The Rule 5 draft may yield some nice additions to the roster for the Marlins. The team is said to be out on Nicholas Castellanos, even though they were in at one point.
The Brewers have cleaned house, and it’s time to restock the pantry. The Brewers are reported to be in on free agent Didi Gregorious. They have acquired Omar Narvaez, and signed Alex Claudio as well. Their roster stands at 35 and there will likely be more additions incoming as they try to fill out their roster to make another run.
The Twins have been active so far this offseason and it will likely continue. After nontendering C.J. Cron, the Twins don’t seem very active in the corner infield market. They believe Marwin Gonzalez can pick up some of the slack. They will likely need a pitching upgrade, and have been in on both Sergio Romo and Madison Bumgarner.
New York Mets
Interestingly, the Mets didn’t believe that Zack Wheeler was worth the money he received from Philadelphia. The Mets don’t really seem to have much of anything swirling around them, but odds are they will have to make a few upgrades if they want to compete with the arms race in the NL East that is happening.
New York Yankees
The Yankees are focusing all of their attention to Gerrit Cole, much like they did with CC Sabathia when they first signed him. The team is also trying to figure out the Brett Gardner situation as it seems he should be back in the fold with the Yankees.
Not much going on in Oakland for rumors. As usual, they are trying to manage under payroll constraints while still fielding a competitive team. Billy Beane has Kyler Murray on his fantasy football team, for what it’s worth.
Money seems to be no object for the Phillies this offseason. They signed Zack Wheeler, and seem to be in on a third base upgrade. The tires have been kicked on Kris Bryant, and they’re looking at a short term option with Alec Bohm waiting in the wings. Kris Bryant fits that mold, while Anthony Rendon does not. The Phillies are likely engaged in talks on multiple fronts at the Winter Meetings.
The Pirates are said to be trying to move Starling Marte, but have been pretty quiet. They are still rounding out the management switches and such, so it will likely be a quiet week for them at the Winter Meetings.
San Diego Padres
Apparently, the Padres really want to contend. They’ve made some moves to beef up the team already, and they aren’t done. The word on the street is that they want to offload Wil Myers. It seems to be a pretty big motivator for the Padres. The team has been busy, and it seems that that won’t stop this week either.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are in rebuild mode. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping tabs on what is happening. They seem to be in on Nicholas Castellanos. However, it is hard to envision them signing him as they enter a rebuild.
It seems that Jerry Dipoto and company have decided that it’s time to completely rebuild the team. They nontendered Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham. They offloaded Omar Narvaez as well. However, All seems quiet for the Mariners as the Winter Meetings roll into town.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals seem to be looking for some left handed thump for their lineup. They have Matt Carpenter in the fold, but there seems to be some issues for him, injury and production wise. There has not been much else for the Cardinals since that.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays may be quiet, but as always it’s tough tell given their budget constraints. The team may be looking to utilize a traditional five man rotation next year, as there were standouts in 2019. There have not been any significant rumors for the Rays at the Winter Meetings.
The Rangers seem to want to compete now. The Rangers are in on Anthony Rendon for a to base upgrade. There have been rumblings that they are also in on some rotation upgrades beyond the couple of guys they have signed already. The team is likely focusing most attention to Rendon at this point.
Toronto Blue Jays
The team has been pretty aggressive in free agent talks this year. The Winter Meetings are likely no different. The lineup seems to be mostly put together, but the rotation does need some work. The Blue Jays are looking to get active on the starting pitching market. There are also links to Travis Shaw as a bat the Blue Jays might pick up.
What better way to end the team wrap up than with the World Series champs? The team just signed Stephen Strasburg to a 7 year, $245 million deal. That likely puts them out on Rendon, but it is reported that the team could still entertain that possibility. The team is likely to do minor moves, as they have completed quite the shopping list so far. The team also believes Carter Kieboom can take a step forward this year.
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