No matter what, the 2016 MLB season ends Wednesday. Either the Chicago Cubs will complete a historic comeback, or the Cleveland Indians will escape by the skin of their teeth and avoid a collapse.

Either way, the season’s over. Or the actual baseball season is over. If there is anything we know about sports in our 24/7 culture, it’s that they’re never really over. The actual sport merely paves the way for the hot-stove season, which has already been festering under the surface of a classic World Series.

Twenty-eight teams already finished their seasons. They’re making decisions about potential free agents, sending out nibbles on trades and even reconsidering how their organizations are structured.

For now, though, things remain largely dormant, as MLB typically discourages moves of any magnitude taking place during the Fall Classic. Here are a couple of players who have been making waves on the rumor mill while we await Game 7.


Rangers, Derek Holland to Part Ways Soon

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported that the Texas Rangers are looking to move pitcher Derek Holland. The veteran has an $11 million club option for 2017 and an $11.5 million option for 2018 remaining on his contract.

Appearing in only 22 games (20 starts), Holland went 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He has made just 37 starts over the last three seasons and has not thrown well since suffering a sprained shoulder early in the 2015 campaign.

The Rangers can buy their way out of their option for $1.5 million this offseason.’s T.R. Sullivan reported that the team has already informed Holland it will not pick up his option—meaning it’s a trade-or-bust scenario.

The Rangers will have to move quickly after the World Series to get something done. The guarantee date on Holland’s contract is likely in the days immediately after the Fall Classic’s conclusion; the Rangers would have to either pick up that $11 million on spec in hopes of making a trade or have something wrapped up and ready to go as soon as possible.

Given Holland’s injury history and lack of recent success, it’ll be interesting to see if any team even gives up a mid-tier prospect. Holland really has only two full seasons of good baseball under his belt, and the last one came in 2013. Plus, $11 million is a lot of money to pay for someone who might command half of that as a free agent.


Brian McCann Could Be on Houston’s Radar?

The New York Yankees quite clearly have their catcher of the future on the roster with Gary Sanchez. The slugger set all sorts of records during his short stint in the bigs this season, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 42 runs in 53 games.

Incumbent starter Brian McCann also posted 20 home runs and drove in 58 runs. That’s a pretty good season. McCann is also a good defender and has been for most of his career.

One problem: McCann put up his numbers in 130 games.

McCann spoke to reporters in August about Sanchez: 

Listen. He’s a stud. You know what I’m saying? It’s a time where he’s gonna play and he’s gonna play a lot.

He’s a future All-Star, year in and year out. There’s not many guys walking around with his talent. It’s gonna be nice to see him grow into that player. … I consider him one of the better, if not best, young catchers since I’ve been in the big leagues.

That sounds like a man who knows his job is being taken away. The Yankees have clearly made a concerted effort to build their roster around youth. They shipped out Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran for prospects and could look to do the same with more veterans this winter.

McCann’s contract contains a full no-trade clause, but he’s naturally the next potential guy on the move. Joel Sherman of the New York Post said to “keep an eye” on the Houston Astros regarding a potential McCann trade. The Astros will be looking to return to the playoffs after falling to third in the American League West.

Sherman noted that two-thirds of baseball could wind up targeting a catcher in one form or another. He also suggested that the Yankees could pick up a third of the tab owed to McCann in 2017 and 2018—$6 million per season—to help grease the wheels.

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