A Trio of MLB Transactional Notes: Correa Soon, Phillies-Tigers Trade, Pollock to M's

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A Trio of MLB Transactional Notes: Correa Soon, Phillies-Tigers Trade, Pollock to M’s

Chicago Cubs

A trio of unconnected MLB transaction bits that were of interest to me, so I thought they might be of interest to you …

Carlos Correa and the Mets

We are now something like three+ weeks into the New York Mets and Carlos Correa doing the re-negotiation thing, and still no final deal. Rumors this past week – effectively just public statements from each side – had it that both are near ready to walk away, unable to wrap things up on the would-be 12-year, $315 million deal because of medical concerns about Correa’s surgically-repaired ankle.

Mets owner Steve Cohen, who can’t seem to stop discussing the deal publicly, says the finish line is coming:

The Twins have reportedly been brought back in by Scott Boras, who is likely just trying to apply whatever pressure he can to the Mets. But if this deal does fall through in the coming days, you can expect a new deal with the Twins to be revealed soon thereafter (followed by, you know, the physical). Either way, it’d be nice to see something final with the Mets this week.

(A reminder that, if and when the Mets do finalize their deal with Correa, they will likely move quickly to trade Eduardo Escobar and/or Luis Guillorme, each of whom could generate plausible interest from the Cubs.)

Big (in Volume) Phillies-Tigers Trade

The Phillies and Tigers got together on a five-player trade this weekend, and it was certainly an interesting one. All five guys are on the 40-man roster:

Soto, 27, is nominally the main piece of this trade, having served as the Tigers’ closer last year. The arbitration-eligible lefty has been a successful reliever – 3.34 ERA over 124.0 innings the last two years – but his peripherals have him more like a slightly-better-than-average mid-to-late-inning option, rather than a true setup man or closer. The 98-100 mph fastball tells you there could be more upside there, but for now, his strikeout rate has mostly been around league average.

Hence a return that includes a trio of 40-man roster, 25-ish-year-old guys who all have the look of decent bench pieces, rather than impactful contributors (Kody Clemens, who goes in the other direction, is right there in that same mold). I think all three of Maton, Sands, and Vierling are interesting enough to want in your organization, and if you were thin on big-league-caliber complementary options, this looks like a perfectly solid return for Soto. Maybe one of ’em breaks out to become a regular, but more likely, you’re just hoping to have some solid, cheap bench options for several years.

It sounds like new Tigers President Scott Harris (formerly the GM of the Giants, formerly an AGM with the Cubs) sees the trio as possible big league starters, though, and was insistent on getting near-big-league talent in the deal, rather than younger prospects. Makes you wonder if he isn’t anticipating selling off this year, or if he’s already thinking of this as a lonnnnnnng rebuilding process, and is hoping that a couple of these guys can become useful trade pieces in a couple years …

A.J. Pollock to the Mariners

Anyone remember when A.J. Pollock shocked everyone by taking the $5 million buyout from the White Sox on his player option, rather than locking in $13 million? You know, because we were all pretty sure there was no way he could get $8 million on the open market?

Well, indeed he did not get $8 million. He did get close, though:

At 35, I suppose Pollock could make the argument that he wanted to have one more chance at a multi-year contract, and if he felt better playing for the Mariners than the White Sox, maybe that $1 million “loss” will wind up worth it next offseason.

Last year was Pollock’s first below-average offensive season, among his semi-healthy full seasons, in nearly a decade. The advanced metrics suggest there might’ve been some bad luck in there, and the Mariners may wind up with a steal here.

Given that the Mariners parted with Jesse Winker, Mitch Haniger, and Kyle Lewis this offseason, I don’t think adding Pollock (and Teoscar Hernández) means any other moves out of the outfield are coming for the Mariners. Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammel will probably just rotate in as complementary options unless they finally break out.

Man, it is truly remarkable how good Kelenic has been in the upper minors, and how abysmal he’s been in the big leagues. Not sure I can remember the last time I saw a spread quite like his among true big-time prospects (130-ish wRC+ at Triple-A across two seasons and well over 100 games, 70-ish wRC+ in MLB across two seasons and well over 100 games). Just 23, there’s still time for Kelenic to right the ship, but you wonder how much he’s going to get in the way of everyday opportunities with the Mariners.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.