Ooooh yeah. It’s Winter Meetings: After Dark.
Actually, it’s not all that sexy. Today was full of rumors and connections – some surprising (Cubs and Matt Harvey?), some wholly unsurprising (Cubs and Addison Reed and/or Brandon Kintzler). But as far as actual transactions or even gettin’-hot-talks go, today was really quiet.
Great tease for the rest of the post, Brett.
Here’s some more from the not-yet-percolated coffee pot of rumors …
- Even as they did not land Giancarlo Stanton because he hates them and would sooner die than approve a trade to them (I’m paraphrasing), the Cardinals are still hoping to land a Marlins outfielder:
Nats and cardinals are among teams to check in on marcell ozuna. With 2 years to go before free agency, and marlins at least 3 years away from contention (at least!), he seems sure to go. Huge 2017 season, team leader.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
- And if Ken Rosenthal’s sources are right, the Cardinals are going to have a great shot at it:
#Marlins pushing Ozuna, telling teams he will be easier to acquire (lower acquisition cost) than Yelich. Two years of control for Ozuna, five for Yelich.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2017
- Here’s the thing about the failed Stanton negotiations: the cards are now all on the table. The Cardinals know who the Marlins want, and the Marlins know who the Cardinals are willing to part with. Given the contractual aspects at play, Ozuna has more value than Stanton did in trade, but they’re probably in the same rough plane that the sides can put a deal together if they’re so inclined. I’m girding my loins for the announcement of a trade sometime this week.
- Of course, lots of teams are in on Ozuna, who hit .312/.376/.548 last year and was worth 4.8 WAR:
The market for @Marlins Marcell Ozuna is starting to build. I'm hearing 6-8 clubs have some level of interest in the All-Star outfielder. The #Nationals #STLCards and #SFGiants are among teams interested.
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 11, 2017
- If the Cardinals do get Ozuna, they’d probably immediately look to move an outfielder – the A’s reportedly have interest in Stephen Piscotty and, to a lesser extent, Randal Grichuk.
- A report out of Baltimore attached the Phillies to superstar Manny Machado earlier today, but as Michael noted, the fit would be a little odd, what with the Phillies not necessarily a “go for it” team in 2018, and Machado a free agent after the season. Thus:
While the phillies love Manny Machado (most of their top execs were with the orioles at 1 time), they acknowledge they aren’t a great trade match because he has only 1 year to go and they aren’t a likely contender. Inclined to give Franco 1 more try.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
- When you really look over the Orioles’ roster, and consider the AL East situation, they would be very wise to sell off. The problem they’ll have, though, is that their best short-term assets – Machado and Zach Britton – are both coming off of down seasons. The Orioles therefore might be better off holding them until the Trade Deadline, when the playoff races (combined with a bounce back) can sometimes increase the price tag even over what you’d get for a full year of their service right now.
- Contrast that approach with what it seems like the Rays are planning, which is a much more aggressive selling process. With Stanton headed to the Yankees and the Red Sox still loaded, the Rays are being pretty candid about where they see themselves in the pecking order. This really might finally be the offseason they trade, among others, Chris Archer.
- As for the slow pace of the offseason overall, it would be incredibly weird if we got *past* the Winter Meetings without a major position player or starting pitcher having signed a deal:
Things heard today:
1) Relief market should explode in coming days. Some think we see 5+ relievers come off the board at Winter Meetings.
2) Hitting market is slow. Teams seem to be waiting for one of Eric Hosmer or J.D. Martinez to sign.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) December 12, 2017
- Frankly, it’s nuts that we’re already this deep into the offseason without a truly major free agent signing yet taking place. Stanton and Shohei Ohtani being resolved only just recently is, of course, a significant factor in that, but I’ll be honest – I expected more rapid movement on some of these fronts after those two situations were resolved.