Tag: MLB Trade Rumors

Updating the Hottest Questions of the 2015-16 MLB Offseason, Week 4

With David Price off the board, Zack Greinke can officially claim his place at the center of the baseball universe as Week 4 of the 2015-16 MLB offseason draws to a close.

While everyone patiently awaits Greinke‘s decision on where he’ll be pitching in 2016, Aroldis Chapman is patiently waiting to find out just where he’ll be traded.

There’s no question about it—buzz surrounding prominent pitchers like Greinke and Chapman dominated the baseball week that was. And as if the market for arms wasn’t loaded enough already, another high-upside starter has been added to the free-agent front following the non-tender deadline.

Hurlers headline the list that follows, but there’s still room for talk about one position player who’s proving to be the most popular free agent of all this winter.

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Yunel Escobar Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Nationals 3B

Washington Nationals infielder Yunel Escobar is reportedly on the trade block as front offices begin preparing their plans for the 2015 winter meetings.  

Continue for updates.

Nationals Expected To Shop Escobar Next Week

Thursday, Dec. 3

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported Escobar is one of the players who could be on the move when general managers meet up in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 33-year-old natural shortstop spent all of his time at third base for the Nationals last season. He also put together one of the most complete seasons of his career at the plate with a .314 average, .375 on-base percentage and 35 extra-base hits, including nine home runs.

In turn, the Nationals may view this as a chance to sell high on the veteran.

James Wagner of the Washington Post noted in October there might not be a spot available for Escobar next season. If Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa are both healthy and prospect Trea Turner continues to make progress, the team will become overcrowded on the infield.

So the winter meetings represent an opportunity to move Escobar while he still holds solid value in order to upgrade the roster elsewhere.

Trading for him would come with some risk, though. Before his resurgent 2015 campaign, he posted a batting average below .260 in three straight seasons. He’s also struggled in the field as of late, posting a minus-24 Defensive Runs Saved figure at short in 2014 and a minus-11 mark at third last season, per FanGraphs.

Those numbers should temper expectations in terms of what the Nationals could get in return. But, given their limited space on the infield, it sounds like they’ll at least listen to offers.


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MLB Rumors: Analyzing Trade Buzz for Shelby Miller, Hanley Ramirez and More

Most of the world looks forward to the holidays when December arrives, but Major League Baseball takes the stage first with the winter meetings beginning in Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 7. 

Even though there have been a few notable trades and free-agent signings thus far, the real action will start with all 30 teams under the same roof. Free agents will get all of the attention, but trade winds are going to be more fascinating simply because more teams can play in those waters. 

Signing free agents is great and certainly noteworthy, yet it’s also isolating because there are only so many teams that can afford to pay $150-200 million for Zack Greinke or Jason Heyward

Trades are more inclusive because, even though contract money is a factor, teams can get creative with how it gets dispersed or split between the two (or more) clubs involved.

With trade rumors picking up steam leading into the winter meetings, here is the latest chatter and what it might mean.


Everybody Loves Shelby Miller

With the Atlanta Braves basically using the Houston Astros’ template of blowing up the entire MLB roster to build a deep farm system, one of the biggest chips left for Braves general manager John Coppolella to play is right-hander Shelby Miller. 

Fortunately, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Miller is generating a lot of heat on the trade market:

The Diamondbacks and Giants are two more of the 20 or so teams that are said to have expressed interest in Miller. The Braves generally are seeking to upgrade their offense, though obviously in the case of Severino they are willing to look at young pitchers, as well.

One rival GM, while not denigrating the asking prices, said the Braves were “very aggressive” with their proposal.

Heyman noted in the same report the Braves asked the New York Yankees about young right-hander Luis Severino in their discussions, but “there is no evidence the Yanks are considering that.”

Miller’s trade value is interesting because he’s not a dominant starter. He’s posted a solid 3.24 ERA since 2013, but his advanced stats resemble more of a back-end-of-the-rotation arm. 

There are certain positive signs that Miller has evolved into more than those numbers suggest. Last year, the 25-year-old had the highest ground-ball rate of his career (47.7 percent) thanks to using his cutter and sinker more than ever (44.2 percent of the time, per BrooksBaseball.com). 

That change in approach will be huge for Miller moving forward because he’s always been an erratic pitcher, never posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio better than 2.96 since 2013. 

Working in the Braves’ favor, in terms of asking price, is that Miller is entering his first year of arbitration and is under team control for three years. 

Given the sky-high salaries for mid-rotation starters, a young, effective, cost-controlled arm like Miller, who has also been durable with 95 starts the last three years, can net a strong return. 

Of the teams Heyman listed as having contact with the Braves, Arizona makes the most sense as a landing spot. The Diamondbacks have been aggressively trying to upgrade their rotation, reportedly failing to convince Johnny Cueto to take a $120 million offer, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert

The Braves certainly have familiarity with Arizona’s farm system after acquiring Touki Toussaint from the team last June when the Diamondbacks just wanted to sell Bronson Arroyo’s contract regardless of the total cost. 

Miller would give Arizona the starting pitcher it desperately needs, albeit at probably a steep price in prospects, while also giving the front office a better idea of which direction the team is headed in 2016 after a surprise 79-win campaign. 


Hanley Ramirez For Sale

The Boston Red Sox new front office has already made the biggest splash in free agency, reportedly agreeing to a seven-year, $217 million deal with David Price, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. 

One player who may not be around to see the fruits of the front office’s labor is Hanley Ramirez.  

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox are looking to trade Ramirez one year after signing him to a four-year contract.

“There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal,” Cafardo wrote. “The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.”

Starting from the back of Cafardo‘s report, the Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels have huge offensive holes that need to be plugged. The Orioles are desperate to add a hitter with Chris Davis potentially leaving as a free agent and getting a .640 OPS from their left fielders in 2015.

The Mariners and Angels need to add depth to their lineups, making Ramirez potentially a strong buy-low candidate. 

There are, however, two major problems with Ramirez in a possible trade. First, which Cafardo noted, is the Red Sox “would need to eat at least half” of the $68 million he is still owed. That doesn’t include his $22 million vesting option for 2019 if he racks up 1,050 plate appearances between 2017 and 2018. 

The second problem is Ramirez was beyond awful in 2014. His minus-1.8 FanGraphs‘ wins above replacement was the third-worst in baseball last year (min. 400 plate appearances), though he was ahead of Boston’s other big signing last year, Pablo Sandoval (-2.0).

There is also the fact that Ramirez can’t stay on the field. The 31-year-old has not hit the 130-game mark in a season since 2012. 

Dombrowski‘s only real option with Ramirez at this point is essentially to pay him to play somewhere else. The Red Sox could enter 2015 with him as their first baseman, hoping he rebuilds his value, so even if the team doesn’t get back into contention he could look more attractive to a contender in July.

That doesn’t seem like the scenario Dombrowski wants to play out at this point, so he will have to make a hard sell to some team seeking offensive help. 


Seattle’s Battle Plan

The Mariners continue to be aggressive movers this offseason, dealing Mark Trumbo to Baltimore on Tuesday, according to Heyman

With that domino dropped, Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto may look to pick things up on Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Nov. 24 the Mariners were “working” on a trade involving Ozuna. One week later with no movement may mean nothing will come of those talks, though Joe Frisaro of MLB.com did outline what a potential deal could look like.

“Miami is in the market for a controllable, high-end starting pitcher,” Frisaro wrote. “If Seattle is a fit, a second source said Ozuna could be part of a bigger more substantive trade, including several players with big league experience.”

Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reported the Mariners were “unlikely” to meet Miami’s request for Taijuan Walker. 

Ozuna, thanks to his agent Scott Boras, doesn’t seem likely to stay in Miami much longer. Per Steve Wine of the Associated Press, Boras criticized the Marlins for how they handled Ozuna last season:

“He’s a lifetime .265 hitter, and I can find you 30 players in the major leagues that went 1 for 36 some time in their career, and they did not get sent to the minor leagues,” Boras said. “When you do those things, it sends a message to players, sends a message to the locker room and sends a message to everyone that looks at the organization that there is a calculus going on that is beyond performance.”

When the Marlins sent Ozuna down to Triple-A in July for more than one month, it cost him enough service time to become arbitration eligible this offseason. 

While Boras may have a point because the Marlins’ ownership and front office are not exactly pillars of society, Ozuna‘s trade value may be overblown by his current team.

He is just 25 years old, but has a .311 career on-base percentage in 1,299 at-bats and his slugging percentage went from .455 in 2014 to .383 last year. 

If the Mariners can wait out the market for Ozuna, assuming the Marlins realize what they really have instead of hoping the player’s raw talent will entice a team to overpay, they can get a solid cost-controlled outfielder. 


Stats per Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted

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Mark Trumbo Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Mariners RF’s Future

The Seattle Mariners acquired Mark Trumbo in a trade last season, but the 29-year-old veteran’s stay in the Pacific Northwest could be brief.  

Continue for updates.

Report: Rockies Among Those Interested in Trumbo

Tuesday, Dec. 1

According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the M’s could tender Trumbo a contract prior to Wednesday’s deadline before trading him, with the Colorado Rockies emerging as one of the top suitors.

Trumbo is a versatile player capable of playing both corner outfield positions, first base and even some third base. His true value, however, lies in his power at the plate, as he has 131 home runs in 690 career games.

The former 18th-round draft pick hit at least 29 home runs in every season from 2011-2013 with the Los Angeles Angels, and he is coming off of a 22-homer campaign, 13 of which came after the Mariners picked him up in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Although Seattle didn’t make the playoffs, Trumbo provided them with some solid pop as he also hit .263 with 41 RBI in 96 games.

The Mariners are under new management with Jerry DiPoto assuming the GM spot, and per ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, Trumbo doesn’t necessarily jive with what the former Angels general manager is trying to accomplish:

Any number of teams could use a right-handed power bat of Trumbo’s ilk, but the Rockies certainly make a ton of sense due to a number of factors.

They have an opening at first base, which may be the safest place to put Trumbo in the field. Also, while the Coors Field effect isn’t what it once was, Trumbo’s light-tower power should still play well in the thin air.

Safeco Field in Seattle tends to stifle power, so Colorado would undoubtedly be a better fit for him and the skill set he brings to the table.

Provided the Rockies are able to pry him away from the Mariners for a reasonable price, a middle of the order featuring Trumbo, Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado could finally make Colorado a factor in the NL West.


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MLB Trade Ideas Based on Hot Stove Week 4 News, Rumors and Speculation

There was no bigger rumor coming out of the Thanksgiving break than a report from the Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo that Boston is trying to move Hanley Ramirez and has targeted three American League clubs—Baltimore, Los Angeles and Seattle—as potential trade partners.

But despite our best efforts—and the fact that a healthy, motivated Ramirez would help all three of those teams—putting together a potential trade proved to be impossible, even with Boston kicking in more than half of the money left on Ramirez’s contract.

While HanRam dominated the headlines, his name wasn’t the only one to create buzz on the rumor mill. From young, front-of-the-rotation arms to veteran infielders, trade chatter and speculation is beginning to pick up in advance of baseball’s winter meetings, which get underway on December 7.

Keep in mind these proposed deals are only ideas and pure speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there’s no indication any of them has actually been discussed.


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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Ivan Nova, Pedro Alvarez and Brett Lawrie

The MLB hot stove is fully engulfed. Trades, free-agent moves and the rumors in between have been running rampant, and things are only going to get crazier as we approach the winter meetings.

Held in Nashville from Dec. 6-10, the winter meetings will see a massive amount of deals get done in short order. While 24/7 communication abilities make talking with fellow general managers easier than ever, the ease of everyone being all in one place remains the most conducive factor in making deals.

Until the important decision-makers actually make the trip to Nashville, however, it’s just a stream of rumors instead. The small rumblings about which players are available will help inform discussions that take place at the winter meetings, so they’re a good look at what to expect. 

With that in mind, here’s a look at the latest rumors around baseball.  


Yankees Willing to Talk Nova Trade

The 2015 season could have gone better for Ivan Nova. Returning from Tommy John surgery that limited him to four starts in 2014, Nova went 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. He walked 3.16 batters per nine innings, his worst since 2010, and saw a marked drop-off in strikeout rate.

Things got so bad toward the end of the season that Nova was briefly pulled from the Yankees rotation. This isn’t exactly an ideal time to be putting him out on the trade market.

Yet, it appears that’s exactly what the Yankees are doing. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the club is open to trading Nova, provided he returns a young pitcher with years of team control remaining. Nova turns 29 in January and will hit free agency for the first time after the 2016 campaign.

The Yankees remain in cost-control mode, but their logic here is pretty obvious. They don’t necessarily want to pay Nova what he’d command in the open market next year and believe they can get a similarly skilled, cost-controlled player if they float him on the market. Nova is still only two years removed from his brilliant 2013 campaign, and he’s been a two-win player twice in his career, per FanGraphs.

Before needing Tommy John surgery, Nova’s career also appeared to be trending upward. He’d upped his strikeouts per nine to 7.49 and was a legit middle-of-the-rotation stud in 2013. We’ve seen too many Tommy John pitchers need more than a year to recover to think Nova should be written off.

Still, it’s hard to imagine any team giving the Yankees what they’re looking for.


Pedro Alvarez Wants a Trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates are understandably disappointed in the development of Pedro Alvarez. After moving to first base to lessen his defensive responsibility, Alvarez hit .243/.318/.469 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI last season. While an improvement from his downright bad 2013, Alvarez still hasn’t become the consistent masher the Pirates envisioned after his back-to-back 30-homer seasons in 2012 and 2013.

FanGraphs WAR formula credited him with 0.2 wins, which is a 0.2-win improvement over his nonexistent WAR in 2013. The move to first base proved to be a disaster, with Alvarez ranking as far and away the worst defensive player at his position. Jose Abreu was closer to being an average first baseman than he was to matching Alvarez’s poor defensive grades.

The Pirates were rumored to be interested in Korean first baseman Byung-ho Park and have rising prospect Josh Bell sitting in the minors. It’s pretty obvious they do not view Alvarez as their first baseman of the future from an organizational perspective.

Likewise, it appears Alvarez would prefer plying his trade elsewhere. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported Alvarez is looking for a “change of scenery,” and the Pirates would be happy to oblige if the right deal was put on the table. This continues a trend from the regular season, during which Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the Pirates wanted to “get rid” of Alvarez.

It’s worth noting Alvarez still led this team in home runs, so he brings something to the table. But his defensive issues and upcoming free agency make it more likely than not he’ll wind up elsewhere sooner than later.


Lawrie to Be On Move

A year ago, Brett Lawrie was a centerpiece in the deal that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto. Now, Donaldson is the American League’s reigning MVP, while the Athletics appear ready to move on from Lawrie.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Oakland will move either Lawrie or third baseman Danny Valencia this offseason, with the former being far more likely. The move comes after Oakland reacquired Jed Lowrie, who spent the 2015 season with the Houston Astros. 

It’s clear Billy Beane and Co. are prioritizing defense with this move, but the Lawrie-Lowrie switch seems strange on paper. Lawrie is a talented 25-year-old who is coming off career highs in home runs (16) and RBI (60), and was an otherwise good defensive player before falling apart in 2015. Lowrie is 31 and basically who he’s going to be at this point: a perfectly fine, slightly above replacement level option who has had just two truly excellent offensive seasons.

The A’s are adding a player six years older than their current option for what appears to be a lateral move. Lawrie also doesn’t become a free agent until after the 2017 season, the same year Lowrie‘s three-year deal he signed in Houston runs out.

Beane always deserves the benefit of the doubt. There’s obviously something he sees in Lowrie‘s presence that the numbers aren’t showing. But he better hope a team offers a talented young player in exchange for Lawrie to make the deal worth it.

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Stock Up, Stock Down on Top Available MLB Stars Entering December

Zack Greinke remains unsigned and Aroldis Chapman remains with the Cincinnati Reds, but the top available MLB stars are starting to vanish off the shelf.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Jordan Zimmermann has inked a new deal with the Detroit Tigers, which means that the loaded class of free-agent aces just shrank by one.

Last week, we took a look at potential surprise destinations for the top names on the winter market. This week, it’s time to check in on that group and determine whose stock is up and whose stock is down based on all of the most recent buzz.

The list that follows includes the top five players from Bleacher Report’s free-agent big board and the two most prominent targets on the trade block. In the process of fitting those two trade targets into the rankings, 2015 performance was the most important consideration, but their respective contract situation was also factored into the equation.

Now that Jose Fernandez has been deemed “not currently available,” a new trade piece replaces him in the rankings. Unfortunately for that outfielder, his stock is definitely not on the rise.

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Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey Blockbusters Need to Wait Until Next Winter

Jordan Zimmermann busted through the 2015 free-agent logjam Sunday when he inked a five-year pact with the Detroit Tigers. Now, the offseason’s deep pool of pitchers can (and will) flow in his wake.

But there are two ostensibly available arms who should tread water. Or, more accurately, their teams should.

We’re talking about the New York Mets‘ Matt Harvey and the Miami MarlinsJose Fernandez. Neither is due to rock the open market until 2019, but both have been the subject of trade rumors that understandably put the baseball world on high alert.

They’re two of the top young right-handers in the game, after all, bursting with velocity and pure, nasty stuff. And with Fernandez just 23 years old and Harvey 26, both may get better—a wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat thought for opposing hitters.

Yet the Mets could choose to move Harvey from a crowded rotation that features fellow burgeoning studs Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, with Zack Wheeler set to return at some point next season from Tommy John surgery.

New York needs a bat, at least, with free agents Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy possibly about to walk, and Harvey could likely fetch one from a club with holes in its rotation.

As for Fernandez, his name began churning through the rumor mill in earnest on Nov. 17 when SiriusXM host Craig Mish reported there’s “growing sentiment” the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year will be dealt this offseason.

The rumor came with whispers about a growing rift between Fernandez and the Marlins brass, which CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry outlined:

With regard to Fernandez, he’s reportedly already rebuffed one attempt to sign him to a long-term extension, and there’s been hints of tension between Fernandez and the Marlins over a post-Tommy John workload plan. It doesn’t help matters that Fernandez is represented by Scott Boras, and the Marlins’ high command doesn’t much care for the super-agent.

So perhaps the fear that Fernandez isn’t open to signing an extension coupled with some personal animus for his agent has prompted the Marlins to shop their franchise hurler.

“I have heard something,” Fernandez said of the trade scuttlebutt, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. “I’m not paying attention to it at all.”

Perhaps not. But everyone else is, as they are with Harvey. If either player were to be moved, it’d immediately shift the balance of power somewhere.

Again, though, both the Mets and Marlins would be wise to hang on to their rising-star assets, at least for one more year.

The argument is simple, and it centers on supply and demand. Even with Zimmermann off the board, clubs in search of pitching have a buffet of appetizing options.

There’s David Price and Zack Greinke, the Cy Young Award runners-up in each league. After that, you’ve got strong No. 2 and No. 3 candidates like Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir, Mike Leake and Wei-Yin Chen plus high-upside reclamation projects like Jeff Samardzija.

Next year’s pitching class, by contrast, is a veritable wasteland after right-hander Stephen Strasburg (himself a subject of persistent trade speculation). Here, compare the lists of MLB’s 2015-16 free agents to the projected 2016-17 crop, per MLB Trade Rumors. Pretty striking disparity, right?

By holding back and making Harvey and Fernandez available next winter, the Mets and Marlins would be able to demand absolutely insane packages of top prospects and big league talent and would almost certainly get it from someone.

The Mets could shore up their offense, and Miami could get, well, whatever it’s looking for at the time. You just never know with the perpetually rebuilding/retooling/floundering Fish.

Of course, there is an inherent risk. Injuries can strike at any time, diminishing value. In fact, they already have struck: Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2013, and Fernandez had the procedure in May 2014.

In a way, though, that’s another argument for pumping the brakes on any trade. Fernandez started just 11 games last year, his first season back from TJ. And while he teased with 79 strikeouts and a 2.92 ERA in 64.2 innings, a full campaign of ace-like dominance would assuage any concerns about his durability.

Speaking of which, Harvey just weathered a controversy about his supposedly doctor-imposed innings limit to toss more than 200 frames between the regular season and playoffs for the NL champion Mets. If he can do it againand replicate or improve upon his 2.71 ERA and 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings—he’ll officially have put the Tommy John talk to bed.

Surely, there are many in Mets and Marlins land who don’t want their teams to trade Harvey and Fernandez now or later. These are guys you can build a franchise around, and they’re a joy to watch every fifth day.

But even if you support flipping these young aces, patience is the operative word. There will come a time when a Harvey and/or Fernandez deal makes sense. That time isn’t now.


All statistics and contract information current as of Nov. 30 and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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MLB Teams Already off on the Wrong Track Early in the Hot Stove Season

The MLB offseason is nearly a month old, and thus far, there hasn’t been the overwhelming activity we saw at the same point last winter.

Despite it still being early, there are a few teams already headed toward failed offseasons. The New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians still have time to right their wrongs, but each organization is already behind the eight ball with the 2016 season on the horizon.

Let’s take a closer look at what each team is plotting this winter, and why they are missing golden opportunities to improve through a loaded free-agent class. 



Cleveland Indians


A refusal to spend in free agency could cost the Indians a chance to truly compete in 2016. 

Cleveland has the makings of an elite rotation. Indians starters finished second in the AL in ERA and topped MLB in strikeouts per nine innings last season. Carlos Carrasco (fifth), Corey Kluber (sixth), Danny Salazar (12th), and Trevor Bauer (24th) all ranked in the top 25 in K/9 last season.

The issue was that the Indians paired a fairly anemic offense with that electric rotation. The Tribe scored 669 runs in 2015, which put them 11th out of 15 AL squads. 

Seems fairly simple, right? Add a few offensive pieces, and the Indians could be really dangerous in 2016. 

Unfortunately, Cleveland may have to rob Peter to pay Paul to accomplish that. Per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Indians are actively shopping their starting pitchers in hopes of acquiring outfield upgrades. 

With outfielder Michael Brantley out until at least May with a shoulder injury, the Indians have become even more desperate for offense. As B/R’s own Zachary Rymer points out, Cleveland has little leverage in potential trade talks due to its lack of options. 

It may be uncharacteristic for Cleveland to make a splash in free agency, but this is the winter to do so. If new general manager Mike Chernoff decides against that course of action, the Indians will have no choice but to subtract from one of the top rotations in MLB. 



Miami Marlins


My, how things have changed. 

Last winter, the Marlins seemed like a team on the cusp of contending for a playoff spot. With a core of young talent developing into everyday players at the same time, Miami was a trendy pick to make noise in the NL. 

But that hype didn’t translate to wins in 2015. The Marlins finished 20 games under .500, firing manager Mike Redmond in the process. Now, Miami seems to be running off some of its young talent that had so many baseball folks drooling prior to last season. 

The most damning rumors involve ace Jose Fernandez. Andy Slater of 940-AM WINZ and iHeartRadio has reported that the Marlins have grown tired of Fernandez’s attitude:

As I reported last week and on Tuesday, the Marlins front office is not happy with Fernandez’s attitude. “Jose talks to management like they are children,” another player source told me. I’ve now learned, it goes beyond that.

On at least two occasions in the Marlins clubhouse this season, Fernandez approached [Miami president of baseball operations Michael] Hill — according to multiple player sources — and openly said “when are you going to trade me?”

To be fair, Slater backtracked on those comments and numerous MLB sources, like Joel Sherman of the New York Post, have since reported that Fernandez is unavailable this winter. Still, the club’s rocky relationship with its ace is a development that Marlins fans can’t be happy to see. 

A Miami youngster who most certainly is available is outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Fish are seeking a young starter in return, and that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria “can’t standOzuna

Owners and players disagree all the time, but it seems counter-productive to trade away a 25-year-old one year removed from a 23-homer, 85-RBI season from a squad loaded with young talent. 

But that’s what Loria is reportedly looking to accomplish. The Marlins should be adding cost-effective veterans to pair with its young core, not shopping two players with immense upside. 



New York Yankees 


In one of the surprises of the winter thus far, the Yankees have been relatively quiet on the free-agent front. 

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Under the late George Steinbrenner, the Yankees were notorious for throwing money at high-profile free agents that allowed the club to remain somewhat relevant each season. However, those long-term deals often left the Yankees with aging stars making way more than they should.

With new principal owner Hal Steinbrenner, there’s been a renewed focus on growing young talent and maintaining draft picks instead of losing them as compensation for signing free agents. The Yankees have been active in free agency, but it’s been a far cry from the free-spending days of the early 2000s.

As for 2015, Steinbrenner has announced publicly that the Yankees will maintain their newfound thinking by trying to upgrade the roster without splurging on a free-agent splash.

“Yet an interview session with the Yankees’ managing general partner left little doubt that, for now, this winter’s plan is similar to last winter’s, only with less financial wiggle room — and, to be fair, fewer holes to fill,” said Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

However, New York isn’t far away from being a serious player in the American League. If there is an offseason to revitalize the old Yankee free-agent philosophy, it’s this one.

The Yankees could use another arm to pair with a promising rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi. New York’s starting staff is talented, but Tanaka, Pineda and Eovaldi each dealt with injuries last season, and Severino remains relatively inexperienced. 

With so many starters waiting to ink their signatures on the free-agent market, it seems like the Yankees should be interested in bringing one of them to the Bronx. If Steinbrenner deems David Price or Zack Grienke too expensive, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are more cost-effective options. 

Trading for a starter is obviously a possibility, but that would seem to defeat the purpose of grooming homegrown players for major league roles. The Yankees have the farm system that should allow them to be aggressive in free agency to fill their holes, but are holding firm on their new way of thinking.

In the meantime, other AL teams are passing them by. 


All stats courtesy of FanGraphs

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Brett Lawrie Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Athletics 2B’s Future

After just one season as a member of the Oakland Athletics, infielder Brett Lawrie could very well be on the move via trade this offseason.

Continue for updates.

Report: A’s ‘Likely’ to Deal Lawrie

Friday, Nov. 27

In the wake of the A’s acquiring second baseman Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros Wednesday, Lawrie looks to be the odd man out in Oakland.

According to Susan Slusser of SFGate.com, both Lawrie and third baseman Danny Valencia are on the trade block and are drawing interest from American League teams, but Lawrie is more likely to go due to his versatility.

The 26-year-old Lawrie can play both second base and third base, and he is coming off his best statistical season at the plate as he hit .260 with career highs in home runs (16) and RBI (60).

Lawrie—who was born in Canada—spent the first four seasons of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was shipped to the A’s, however, in a deal that sent 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson up north.

Although Lawrie certainly didn’t compare to Donaldson, he was fairly productive for Oakland, which is why it came as something of a surprise when they brought back Lowrie just one year after allowing him to walk via free agency.

While Lawrie has yet to reach the full potential he has displayed since the Milwaukee Brewers made him a first-round pick in 2008, he showed signs of progress in 2015.

Lawrie may not be a great fit for Billy Beane’s Moneyball approach in Oakland, though, as his on-base percentage of .299 last season was a career low.

Team’s are often willing to pay for potential in Major League Baseball, and since Lawrie should be on the verge of entering his prime, the A’s may be able to get a solid return if they decide to send him packing.


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