One of the top players in the league has been traded, so I’m not sure how you could call the stove cold today:
OK, so the “league” referenced there is the NFL, but this baseball trade is quite real. As a former baseball player drafted by the Rockies and eventually traded to the Rangers (before, today, being traded to the Yankees), Russell Wilson actually has some history in MLB/MiLB. And although he won’t actually be leaving his Pro Bowl career as an NFL quarterback, he will show up to Yankees camp for a short time this Spring for a little fun. Gotta pretty cool for the Yankees players and prospects.
Can he and Tim Tebow please square off somehow in a Spring Training game?
On to the slightly more impactful stuff …
- First up, Ken Rosenthal jumped on MLB Network earlier today to discuss J.D. Martinez and his reported five-year, $125 million offer from the Boston Red Sox:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 7, 2018
- If you couldn’t/didn’t watch, Rosenthal is saying that the reported offer isn’t high enough for Martinez, and that he’s willing to sit out the beginning of Spring Training until something more gets done. On top of that, Martinez says he’s “fed up” with the lack of flexibility coming out of Boston and is ready (if not prefers) to move on to another team this offseason. Rosenthal hedges by conceding that this might be nothing more than “posturing” and believes that, in the end, Martinez will end up in Boston.
- Relatedly, Rosenthal mentions that in a conversation with Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski, Dombrowski indicated that he’s still hearing an unusually high volume of trade chatter which – along with the high number of remaining free agents – is what’s slowing down even his own actions – options are options, after all. And I have to say, while I am painfully aware of the number of remaining free agents and their potential impact jamming things up, I had mostly assumed, by this point, that significant trades were all but off the table. If that’s not true, well, I guess, stay buckled up?
- At The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal writes that, while the Royals might receive some industry/fan push back if they successfully sign Eric Hosmer to massive seven or eight-year deal, their front office doesn’t necessarily see things the same way. Despite still being high on his future, the Royals believe Hosmer’s stature in the community/fame as a Royal and leadership in the clubhouse present significant, not-quite-on-the-field-quantifiable value to their organization (honestly, that’s fair). They also know Hosmer better than any club, so sometimes these deals come down to more than numbers on a screen.
- Rosenthal also shares a story from Scott Boras, which suggests that the early season pursuit of Shohei Ohtani, followed by the fire sales in Miami, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay diverted a lot of attention elsewhere, and helped slow what was already going to be a slow market. In the end, though, Boras says “But the process is still a process. There is still a demand and there is still money to be spent. So, let’s not judge this process at great length. It has yet to happen.” Which … yeah, I agree, but also … did Scott Boras really just say that?
- Elsewhere, the Orioles are still looking for starters and have checked in on many of the second-tier (or lower) types:
The #Orioles have checked out Lance Lynn, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman, among others. They appear content to wait in hopes of signing someone to a short-term deal. Peter Angelos hesitant to commit to 4-year deal after the Ubaldo Jimenez experience.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 7, 2018
- According to Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles even went as far as engaging in discussions specifically with Lance Lynn last week, but the talks have not advanced to a serious stage yet.
- Speaking of the second tier, Mike Berardino has some news that could impact the Cubs:
Per multiple sources, #mntwins continue to show interest in free agent LHP Jaime Garcia. 31-year-old veteran won his only start for them last July before they flipped him to #Yankees for 2 young arms. Went 5-10, 4.41 in 27 starts overall last year.
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) February 7, 2018
- Lately, it seems, the Twins have been inched out of the picture for Darvish and this report – that they’re focusing on other, cheaper starting options – squares well with that. Perhaps Garcia will be the Twins’ immediate move after the injury to Ervin Santana, rather than Darvish.
- Speaking of which, at USA Today Sports, Bob Nightgale takes a stab at where the “elite eight” free agents might land, and, frankly, I think he’s nailed at least a few: Yu Darvish (Cubs), Alex Cobb (Brewers), Greg Holland (Cardinals). All three teams have a need for that exact player, and for the Brewers, Cobb is a much more affordable (and realistic) option than Darvish – honestly, I hope they don’t get Cobb, because he kinda fits in perfectly for them.
- More specifically, Nightengale writes that while Darvish was eyeing the $200+ million deals at the outset of the offseason(!), lately he’s been looking to land something at least as high as Johnny Cueto’s six-year $130 million deal from a couple years back.
- [Brett: Nightengale ultimately predicts Darvish to the Cubs at 5/$125M, which would be a very reasonable get for the Cubs, you actually wouldn’t mind 6/$130M if that was an alternative. Heck, when you consider the time value of money and the much lower AAV (and thus lower luxury tax payments if you go over), it’s possible that you more than make up the actual monetary value of that extra $5 million, even if Darvish never throws a pitch in that sixth year.]
- John Harper (Daily News) writes that while the Mets have stayed true to their word (that they’d be keeping tabs on the market and waiting out some value signings) by signing Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce, they have more room in the payroll to spare. Interestingly, according to Harper’s source, the Mets are now seriously looking at the possibility of signing a starter, given that they’ve 1) landed a couple of bargains elsewhere and 2) have an unreliable pitching staff. And although this is more speculation than anything else, Harper believes that Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn would both be in the budget range of the Mets, so I guess we should start considering them as legitimate free agent competition. Frankly, a new entrant into the market might actually speed things up, so let’s hope this is all true.
- Speaking of Frazier and the Mets, he’ll be introduced at a press conference later today, and the infamous “Thumbs-Down guy,” himself the very Mets fan from whom Frazier and the Yankees originally snagged the thumbs down rally cry, will be there to introduce Frazier – becomes sometimes, just sometimes, the world is awesome:
— Matt Dunn (@MattDunnSNY) February 7, 2018
- And finally, Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to give up just yet:
UPDATE: Tim Lincecum will throw for scouts Thursday, February 15th at Driveline Research Lab. Emails and texts will go out to teams later today. No media passes will be distributed.
— KyleB @ Driveline (@drivelinebases) February 6, 2018