In case you missed it this morning, there were multiple, significant updates regarding the Manny Machado saga.
First, we caught word that the White Sox had reportedly offered the free agent shortstop an eight-year, $250M deal – which was all well and good, except for the almost immediate pushback of it actually happening:
And then not a few hours later, Andy Martino revealed not only that Machado’s camp is intent on accepting the highest offer no matter what (i.e. personal relationships and/or former baseball heroes wouldn’t sway him), but also that multiple mystery teams are involved in the process. Martino even admits that while the mystery team angle is usually overplayed/not entirely trustworthy, it appears to be real in this instance. Clearly, this isn’t over yet, but at least it’s finally getting interesting.
Speaking of Machado, Ken Rosenthal isn’t exactly ready to count the Yankees out just yet, but does admit signing him would take something crafty after signing D.J. LeMahieu late last week. To make room for Machado, Rosenthal floats a trade of third baseman Miguel Andujar or even recently signed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Obviously, trading recently signed players is very bad practice – and Tulo has a no-trade clause, anyway – but Rosenthal points out that if the Yankees could “find a soft landing spot for Tulowitzki with one of the other clubs that pursued him in free agency,” that might work best for all parties.
And, sure, if you’re Tulowitzki and the team you picked, who already has Gleyber Torres and Didi Gregorius, signed Machado and LeMahieu after signing you … you might reconsider your options. I really doubt that happens, but like Rosenthal said, we’ll count the Yankees out when Machado’s putting on a different uniform.
As much as I believe Ken Rosenthal, I don’t think LeMahieu ever felt at risk of being signed by the Marlins this offseason:
I do still think LeMahieu will prove to be a low-key great signing for the Yankees, and I would’ve been happy to see him reunite with the Cubs. Now, I’ll be happy if water is free at the Cubs Convention this weekend (I’m kidding, I’m kidding).
According to Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres have been “out” on talks for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto for “weeks,” which strikes me as odd, because they’ve been routinely included among the active, interested parties. In fact, they were mentioned as one of the six teams – along with the Astros, Braves, Dodgers, Rays, and Reds – in “substantive discussions” with the Marlins over the weekend. I still feel very strongly that Realmuto will get moved this winter, despite the Marlins’ sky-high asking price, and one of those six teams will get him. Perhaps, with Yasmani Grandal off the board to a team (Milwaukee) without an obvious connection to Realmuto, things will heat up and someone will meet the Marlins’ price.
On Friday, Sonny Gray settled on a $7.5M contract with the Yankees, avoiding arbitration. The Yankees have been pushing Gray on the trade market all winter and this added cost-certainty can only help his trade value. The Reds are – by far – the most mentioned team in on Gray at this point, but they’re not the only ones. The Brewers are a logical landing spot, and the Padres remain a possibility.
But if recent reports are true, the Padres may have their eyes on a far bigger prize than Gray. According to Jon Morosi, “the Indians and Padres have been in contact regarding a possible [Corey] Kluber trade since January 1st.” No deal is expected to be close, but it feels like an on-going possibility. According to Morosi’s sources, the Padres are trying to land Kluber without giving up any of their top five prospects, meaning that big league guys like Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe – as well as a young starter like Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer – would have to be available. Morosi also mentions the Dodgers, Brewers, and Phillies as teams who’ve discussed Kluber with the Indians this winter, and I’ll throw the Reds into that ring (at least, as reported), as well.
I’m all over the place, now, but Morosi also reminds us that the Brewers have discussed Madison Bumgarner with the Giants, as well. So, yeah, expect the Brewers to add a starting pitcher (via trade) as high as Corey Kluber or as low as Sonny Gray. Not great.
We’re not done with the Padres, though, because they clearly still have an appetite this winter. According to Dennis Lin, Wil Myers said he and the Padres collectively decided on the move back to the outfield this year, which leaves an opening for the Friars at third base. One rumor this weekend had the Padres considering a trade for David Bote. Padres’ first-baseman Eric Hosmer has another idea on how to fill it:
Back at the outset of the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors projected a two-year, $16M deal for Moustakas, but now, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if had to settle for another one-year deal if he wants to pick his city.
Are you at all surprised to learn that the Rays are interested in signing free agent Matt Davidson as a two-way player, after drafting two-way player Brendan McKay with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft? If they get enough two-way players, they’ll only have to field a 25-man roster with 12.5 guys! Think of the savings!