Two franchises trying to break two impossibly long championship droughts will duke it out in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, and not surprisingly, that’s where much of the attention is being placed in baseball circles right now.

But alas, the rumor mill never stops churning. So below, we’ll break down the latest trade buzz making the rounds, while the Chicago Cubs get ready to battle Cleveland with anxious fans in both cities anticipating the matchup.


Where Will Derek Holland End Up?

Derek Holland’s days in Texas are numbered.

According to T.R. Sullivan of “The Rangers are not planning to pick up Holland‘s $11 million option, and a trade could be a possibility, Major League sources said Monday. Holland has been informed of the Rangers’ intention not to pick up his option.”

And Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports added that “Texas is already discussing a possible deal with multiple teams, according to a source.”

Holland, 30, had a poor season for the Rangers in 2016. He finished 7-9 in 20 starts with a 4.95 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched. Holland has started just 35 games for the Rangers over the past three years, as injuries have limited his availability. 

Nonetheless, there is never a shortage of need around baseball when it comes to left-handed starters. Holland, when healthy, is a serviceable innings-eater and a nice option to trot out at the back end of a starting rotation.

If Holland leaves, the Rangers will have an opening for their fifth starting spot. Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish are entrenched atop the rotation, and Martin Perez and A.J. Griffin likely will earn starting spots.


Players with Club Options on the Move?

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, several veterans with club options also could exchange uniforms this offseason:

As per Carlos Ruiz, Heyman wrote: “A few teams are showing interest in Ruiz. The Los Angeles Dodgers could be ready to give the backup job to Austin Barnes, but they could still pick up Ruiz’s $4.5 million option, and think about trading him. Ruiz is popular as he’s great in the clubhouse, a good game caller and can still swing the bat.”

Ruiz, 37, hit .264 with three home runs and 15 RBI in stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and Dodgers in 2016. His best days are behind him, but Ruiz remains an excellent option for teams looking to add a veteran backup at catcher. 

Pat Neshek should garner some interest around baseball. The 36-year-old reliever had a decent season for the Houston Astros. He had a 2-2 record with a 3.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 43 strikeouts and 18 holds in 60 appearances. Right-handed batters hit just .172 against him, however, making him a viable option when playing matchups in the bullpen. 

Much of the action this offseason will revolve around top-notch closers. Landing a bridge reliever such as Neshek would be a sneaky move for teams more confident in their setup men and closers, however.

Fernando Rodney, meanwhile, continues to be an option in the later innings, even at 39. He saved 25 games between the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins in 2016, with a 3.44 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 74 strikeouts and eight holds.

Rodney struggled in Miami, however, blowing three saves in 11 opportunities. He was perfect in 17 attempts in San Diego but watched his 0.31 ERA in San Diego balloon to 5.89 in Miami. Teams interested in Rodney will have to believe he can still be the pitcher he was in San Diego and will put his Miami struggles behind him.

That’s hardly a guarantee, but for teams looking to add late-innings depth on the cheap, it’s a risk potentially worth taking. 


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