The Justin Verlander signing is the next big domino, and a lot of folks were expecting that one today, since it wasn’t really reliant on any other move after Jacob deGrom signed with the Rangers. Speaking of which, are you taking deGrom at five years and $185 million or Verlander at two years and $86 million? I LOVE deGrom, but that doesn’t seem like a tough call, which underscores just how nuts the Rangers went.
Some other mid-day updates from the Winter Meetings …
- I actually have been expecting that this is how the situation would play out (as soon as today, based on the earlier reporting), either by the Yankees or the Giants:
- At some point, with a market as limited as his (at his preferred price point, that is), the teams will have sufficient leverage to say, OK, now you have to make a decision or we’re moving on to other options before they leave us behind. I’m sure the teams – Yankees especially – don’t WANT to have to pull that lever, but their back-up plans might wait only so much longer, especially if things start really cooking around them at the Winter Meetings.
- That is to say, stay tuned on Judge. I could see things getting to the best-and-final stage by sometime today, not unlike Verlander.
- Speaking of the Verlander signing, the Mets won’t stop there:
- The Cubs have, at one time or another, been connected to each one of those guys.
- Meanwhile, Carlos Rodon is the best pitcher left on the market:
- A little surprise trade availability, with the Twins listening on infielder Luis Arraez, the 2022 batting champ. They want top-tier pitching in return, but I wonder what the market will look like for Arraez, given that all of his value comes from being a slappy-high-contact-batting-average guy. We’ve seen how that can, uh, not always work out.
- We haven’t heard much about outfielder Andrew Benintendi’s free agency, but Joel Sherman reports the Mets are involved as a possible back-up plan for Brandon Nimmo’s departure.
- OK, so Yoshida has NOT yet officially been posted:
- Although the Cubs are very unlikely to have interest in Yoshida (as I understand it, he’s pretty much left field only), his posting could impact the outfield market (or lefty bat market) in other ways. So I’m sure all involved would like him to be posted soon so that things can be clarified.
- Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly re-upped on a one-year, $20 million deal a month ago, but it only just today finally was made official.
- Speaking of things that happened a while ago but were only recently revealed … Although anticipated after he sat out the last two seasons, it was not made official until now: Rick Porcello has retired. He actually had decent peripherals in the pandemic season in 2020 and was just 31, so he would’ve had options, despite his ugly results – at least a minor league deal – if he’d wanted to keep going, but he says he was just ready to be with his family, especially after experiencing the start of the pandemic. Pretty understandable. Porcello did well in his career – he was already in the big leagues at age 20, so he pitched a good long time despite the early retirement – and he was ready for the next phase of life. Among the things he did while away? Literally built a house with his brothers. Physically built it.