Hot Stove Rumor Roundup: Offseason Wheels Keep Turning

Things are starting to heat up in Queens, as it is around the rest of the baseball world. Let’s see what’s cooking on the hot stove.

Catching Market is Evolving

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe gave an update on the varying levels of interest in a number of backstops around the league, noting that before acquiring Yan Gomes from Cleveland, the Nationals made “a few attempts” to pry J.T. Realmuto from Miami.

According to Cafardo, “the Marlins are asking for three top prospects” but he expresses doubt that they will fetch that type of return, especially with guys like Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos, and Robinson Chirinos available in free agency and Francisco Cervelli and Russell Martin via trade.

Phillies Reportedly Showing Interest in SS Segura

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that in addition to keeping tabs on Manny Machado as an infield option, the Phillies are intrigued by Seattle middle infielder Jean Segura.

Segura, 28, is a career .287/.327/.404 hitter and slashed .304/.341/.415 in 632 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2018.

As per Rosenthal, “[the] Mariners have shown interest in shortstop J.P. Crawford as one piece […] in a possible deal for [Segura]”.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports cites a source as saying “the Phillie remain committed to pursuing Machado with the hope of playing him at third base should they be able to land Segura”.

Braves Determining Best OF Approach

Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports is reporting that “Nick Markakis remains a candidate to return to the Braves”¬†while discounting the possibility of Atlanta bringing in A.J. Pollock.

Markakis, 35, experienced a resurgence in 2018, hitting .297/.366/.440 while playing in all 162 games for the Braves. Since coming to Atlanta in 2015 after spending nine seasons in Baltimore, the Woodstock, GA native has slashed .284/.359/.400 with a 105 OPS+ rating.

Quick Notes

As per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays are “considering high-end upgrades” and “exploring the top shelf” of the free agency pool, naming such starts as Paul Goldschmidt, Nelson Cruz, J.T. Realmuto, Noah Syndergaard, Nathan Eovaldi, and Madison Bumgarner as potential targets.

The Indians are “in discussion with [right-hander] Carlos Carrasco about an extension” as per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Carrasco, 31, has a 3.40 ERA and 130 ERA+ rating since 2015, including a 3.38 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 5.37 strikeout-to-walk ratio campaign in 2018.

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