Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are upon us, and the rumor mill only figures to speed up from here. Let’s see what’s new on the hot stove.
Yankees Will Meet With Machado
As per Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, after initial reports seemed to indicate otherwise, confirmed on Sunday evening that the New York Yankees will indeed meet with free agent Manny Machado this week, but “will not pay $300 million” for the 26-year-old superstar.
Last month, New York’s managing general partner, Hal Steinbrenner, spoke about the Yanks potentially bringing in Machado after his comments to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic about not exactly being the hustling type.
If we’re interested any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him [about it], “Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball.”
Despite his lack of hustle and perceived dirty play, Machado has a career slash line of .282/.335/.487 with 175 home runs, 513 runs batted in, 211 doubles, and a 121 OPS+ rating through his first seven MLB seasons.
Dodgers Appear to Be Quite Busy
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers “appear to be in the middle of the outfield market”, alluding to action on both the trade and free agency fronts.
Olney lists Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Joc Pederson as Dodgers who could potentially find themselves in new cities next season, as well as naming Bryce Harper — who had previously been linked to Los Angeles — and former D-Backs’ centerfielder A.J. Pollock as possible free agent targets.
Olney also listed the Dodgers — as well as the Astros and Mets — as being “all in” on the catching market. The reigning National League champs lost backstop Yasmani Grandal to free agency and the only catchers with over 20 MLB at-bats in 2018 on their roster are Austin Barnes and Kyle Farmer.
“Several teams have inquired on [Schwarber],” Nightengale wrote. “But they’ve all gotten the same response […]. No, he’s not available.”
Schwarber, 25, hit .238/.356/.467 with 26 homers, 61 RBI, 14 doubles, and a 115 OPS+ rating in 510 plate appearances in 2018.
After signing Carlos Carrasco to an extension earlier in the week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cleveland Indians “are going to trade one of their veteran starting pitchers” Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber.
Kluber would be a haul for any team looking for a frontline, ace-type starting pitcher. The 32-year-old two-time AL Cy Young Award winner continued his reign of excellent last season, pitching to a 20-7 record with a 2.89 ERA, 6.53 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and 0.991 WHIP over a league-leading 215 innings.
Bauer, 27, had a breakout year in 2018, going 12-6 for the AL Central champions with a 2.21 ERA, 1.089 WHIP, 11.3 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings, and a league-leading 2.44 fielding independent pitching rating.
Kluber signed a five-year, $38.5 million deal before the 2017 season, made $10.5 million last year, and is set to earn $17 million in 2019, $17.5 million in 2020, and $18 million in 2021. Bauer made $6.525 million last year and is arbitration-eligible through the 2020 season.