Earlier tonight, the Yankees traded for Josh Donaldson *and* Isiah Kiner-Falefa, two starting caliber players for the left side of their infield, and the Nationals surprised everybody by signing free agent DH Nelson Cruz.
It’s not just wishful thinking anymore, the market’s getting crazy. Here’s the latest.
Now What, Padres?
In the wake of the surprise Nelson Cruz signing, the Padres may be the team to watch. They were among the most heavily involved teams until he signed and are still desperately seeking a big bat for the middle of their lineup (which no features a DH, mind you). But they could be quickly pivoting to option 1-A, Seiya Suzuki.
According to Kevin Acee (San Diego Union Tribune), the Padres are still “talking with and waiting on” the Japanese outfielder, who has the added benefit of being more than just a DH. San Diego has been connected to Suzuki often this offseason, though I’m still hoping the Cubs can come away with a surprise.
Ope, as I’m typing, I see this:
Seiya Suzuki visited with Yu Darvish and his family before the pitcher left for Arizona. (The two share an agent.) Suzuki also worked out for the Padres at Petco Park over the weekend, sources tell @TheAthletic. The rest of his travel itinerary is not known.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) March 14, 2022
But as you should know by now, any significant financial addition for the Padres will almost certainly be tied to a cost-saving trade that forces them to part with a significant prospect, like the one discussed on multiple occasions with the Cubs. And according to Acee, that desire is as strong as ever (emphasis mine):
The Padres continue to court suitors for first baseman Eric Hosmer and have re-upped making outfielder Wil Myers available.
At this point, the Padres’ predicament with Hosmer borders on an imperative. They almost must trade him.
There do seem to be some other potential versions of a deal, however, including “various trade talks,” wherein the Padres sough lesser-priced outfielders. Pirate All-Star Bryan Reynolds was name-checked, specifically. This is one to watch.
Yankees Out on Correa? What About 1B?
The moves to add Donaldson and Kiner-Falefala sure seemed to suggest that the Yankees are out on Carlos Correa. And the latest out of New York underscores that belief. The messaging implies that Correa was nothing more than a smoke screen and that the Yankees were always leaning toward a stopgap at short until top prospect Anthony Volpe is ready.
I do think the Yankees were in on Corey Seager (perhaps for his better left-handed bat?). And they could still get a first baseman (more on that in a second). But it does really seem like Correa is not in the cards. Maybe he will end up taking a one-year deal … Nah. Right? Nah.
As for first base, the Yankees’ odds for Freddie Freeman seem to be dropping by the second, and the meaning behind the words from Andy Martino is not quite clouded enough (emphasis mine): “The Yankees are not ruling out a pursuit of a first baseman of the caliber of Freddie Freeman.” Matt Olson and Anthony Rizzo are reportedly both in play.
The Outfield Market:
The Blue Jays and Phillies are among the “half-dozen or so” clubs demonstrating an interest in free agent outfielder and former Cub Kyle Schwarber.
I think we can safely add the Brewers to that conversation, but the Rockies are out there, as well (and for Kris Bryant and Michael Conforto, too):
The Rockies continue to search for a middle-of-the-order bat. Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Michael Conforto are among Colorado’s potential targets, per sources.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 13, 2022
Brett and I have been pushing our interest in a 3-4 year deal for Michael Conforto all offseason. Given their age and upside, both Conforto and Suzuki really strike me as the right kind of financial risk for this club right now.
Odds and Ends:
• The Rays keep getting mentioned as a potential suitor for one of the big remaining first basemen (Rizzo, Olson, Freeman), but they don’t strike me as the most likely destination for any of the above.