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  • #46
    The stove isn't exactly hot, now is it?

    Comment


    • mjjm367
      mjjm367 commented
      Editing a comment
      They are still serving leftover turkey sandwiches.

  • #47
    Another trade:

    Mets get: Josh Hader (LHP) and Corey Ray (CF prospect)
    Brewers get: Dom Smith (1B), Jed Lowrie (Util), Wilson Ramos (C) and David Peterson (LHP prospect)

    Who says no?

    Comment


    • #48
      Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post
      Another trade:

      Mets get: Josh Hader (LHP) and Corey Ray (CF prospect)
      Brewers get: Dom Smith (1B), Jed Lowrie (Util), Wilson Ramos (C) and David Peterson (LHP prospect)

      Who says no?
      Brewers say no, they do not want Lowrie and Ramos salaries without some relief if they want them at all, especially with Lowrie being a huge question mark.

      Comment


      • yogi8
        yogi8 commented
        Editing a comment
        As Casey said back in '61' when asked why the Mets drafted Hobie Landreth first in the expansion draft..."without a C you'll have a lot of passed balls". Ramos may not be defensively anyone's first choice, but is still out starting C and better overall than any other C out there.

    • #49
      Brewers Willing to Listen on Josh Hader Trade


      by Anthony Franco
      1 Dec 2019, t 10:48 PM CDT

      Brewers’ star reliever Josh Hader is “available” in trade, reports the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. While Rosenthal indicates that no deal is close, Hader’s inclusion on the trade market could make for one of the more fascinating storylines of the coming months.

      The 25-year-old southpaw has emerged as perhaps the best reliever in baseball since making his MLB debut in 2017. For his career, Hader has tossed 204.2 relief innings with a 2.42 ERA and an otherworldly 44.6% strikeout rate. Working without a set role and capable of handling multiple innings in an outing, Hader has exceeded 75 innings each of the last two seasons, all the while recording dominant strikeout numbers.

      If there’s a blemish on Hader’s resume, he was a bit home run prone in 2019. He was hardly unique in that regard, of course, but Hader’s 15 home runs allowed pushed his ERA to a career-worst (albeit still stellar) 2.62. That’s not to diminish, though, just how dominant Hader has been. His 47.8% strikeout rate last year was easily the league’s best (minimum 50 innings); the 6.1 percentage point gap between Hader and second-place Nick Anderson equaled the gap between Anderson and fifteenth-place Chris Sale.

      Why would the Brewers consider moving Hader coming off back-to-back playoff berths of which he was an integral part? Rosenthal argues it’s simply the nature of being a low payroll organization; the front office can never afford to completely shut itself out from any opportunity. That’s not to say Hader’s priced himself out of Milwaukee. Hader qualified for Super Two and is projected for an extremely affordable $4.6MM salary, although Rosenthal notes that Hader’s reps at CAA figure to argue for something a bit greater based on Hader’s status as a player of “special accomplishment.”

      Regardless of whether that argument proves successful, Hader certainly remains a bargain. He won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season. His employer, be it the Brewers or some eventual trade partner, wouldn’t be committed to any long-term expenditure if he were to regress and/or suffer an injury. Perhaps no reliever in history can boast of Hader’s recent combination of dominance and volume.

      One speculative target whom Rosenthal points to is the Mets, although he adds it’s unclear if New York and Milwaukee have actually discussed a Hader trade. New York is certainly on the hunt for bullpen help, and Mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen co-represented Hader at CAA before taking over in Flushing. As Rosenthal notes, Van Wagenen has shown an affinity for pursuing his former clients in trade and/or free agency. While the Mets’ farm system has been depleted in recent months (most notably when Van Wagenen parted with Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to bring in former client Robinson Canó), Rosenthal speculates that New York could move pieces directly off its big league roster to facilitate a deal.

      That said, virtually every present contender- or team angling towards contention in the near future- figures to have some level of interest in Hader. He’s affordable enough to fit into any team’s budget, and he would be the biggest weapon in essentially any bullpen he’s part of. As Rosenthal notes, some clubs could have concerns that Hader’s unconventionally high volume might eventually catch up with him. To this point, though, Hader’s shown no sign of letting up. Any slight downturn in performance in 2019 can be explained by the liveliness of the baseball, and he’s never had a stint on the injured list.

      With all the appeals in Hader’s profile, Milwaukee has little urgency to make a move. If no one meets their exorbitant asking price, the Brewers could certainly bring Hader back and hope for similar dominance moving forward. Listening to offers is hardly the same as aggressively shopping a player. Perhaps nothing will come together in the long run.

      Yet Hader’s situation will be fascinating to follow. With free agency starved for relievers, teams set on acquiring one with a high-end track record will have to work the trade market. No one can quite match the track record Hader’s put together over the past few seasons, setting the stage for a potential blockbuster.

      Drew's Sig

      Comment


      • #50
        Jeff, Like Robbie Ray K's, not happy about the BB, whip and HRs. Coming off 6 M, likely will be under 10 M which would make him fit under CBT threshold. Kluber is a high risk...atmosphereically high. 5.80 ERA 1.65 whip before injured; broken forearm pitching arm and an oblique that ended his rehab. Due 17.5 M with an 18 M option.

        Mike Pineda doesn't have the upside of a Kluber, but isn't a question mark . Alex Wood is a low risk and potential high upside. Both are FA.

        Comment


        • #51
          Mets Considering Trading Jed Lowrie, Jeurys Familia
          by Packaging Them with Young, Low-cost Player

          The Mets do not have much wiggle room when it comes to the luxury tax threshold

          by Danny Abriano
          3 Dec 2019, 11:30 AM PM


          With the Mets having multiple needs to fill this offseason and potentially not much wiggle room in the budget to do so, they are reportedly exploring creative ways to clear money from the payroll.

          One thing they're considering is trading Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia and enticing potentially interested teams to take on the money owed to either player by attaching a "low-cost, zero-to-three" player to the deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

          Lowrie is signed through 2020 and is owed $10 million.

          Familia is signed through 2021 and is owed $22 million.

          When it comes to potential zero-to-three players the Mets could be willing to trade, possibilities could include J.D. Davis (under team control through 2024) and Dominic Smith (also under team control through 2024).

          The Mets' apparent desire to trade one or both of Lowrie and Familia could have to do with wanting to stay under the luxury tax for 2020. And it would be unfortunate if the team included a valuable player (such as Smith or Davis) in a salary dump in order to avoid the luxury tax when Smith or Davis could likely bring back valuable assets on their own -- or be part of a bigger trade.

          The luxury tax for the 2020 season is $208 million, which means the Mets have roughly $20 million to play with if they want to stay under it.

          Basically, if the Mets' desire is to attach a player like Davis or Smith to a salary dump, they would be throwing an otherwise valuable long-term asset into a trade in order to clear short-term money when they can simply exceed the luxury tax instead (and trade Smith and/or Davis for full value).

          At present, the Mets have $126 million committed to the payroll for 2020. But when you add in the combined salary of roughly $48 million that is expected to get paid to their arbitration-eligible players who were tendered contracts on Monday, that number climbs to $174 million. Their current expected luxury tax 40-man roster payroll, per Cot's Baseball Contracts, is $187.6 million.

          Asked last month at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. if the Mets would be willing to exceed the luxury tax for 2020, Brodie Van Wagenen bobbed and weaved a bit.

          "Our goal is to identify what the acquisition costs are of players and then make recommendations to the ownership group that we think are going to put the team in the best situation to succeed," Van Wagenen explained. "So we will do that. And if the luxury tax threshold becomes something we have to consider, then we will talk about it at that time."

          Since the Mets have not exceeded the luxury tax threshold since the new rules went into effect before the 2003 season, their penalty in 2020 as a potential first-time offender would be minimal. Per the rules, a first-time offender must pay a 20 percent tax on every dollar their payroll exceeds the threshold.

          For example, if the Mets' luxury tax payroll in 2020 wound up being $217 million, they would pay a 20 percent tax on the $9 million they went over.

          As things currently stand, the Mets have only $69.4 million committed to payroll for 2021 -- when Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright are among those coming off the books. That number drops to $56.2 million in 2022 and $50.7 million in 2023. The Mets currently have zero committed to payroll for 2024 and beyond.

          Since the Mets' payroll situation clears up significantly in 2021 and beyond, they should conceivably be able to exceed the luxury tax in 2020 before easily dropping back under the threshold in 2021.

          Because of the above, the Mets should be focusing on adding to the roster without having to worry about potentially exceeding the luxury tax. And they should also be doing everything in their power to hold onto their most valuable prospects.

          If the Mets play the short-term game -- trading prospects to fill needs instead of signing more expensive free agents and potentially attaching valuable trade chips to salary dumps -- they will likely be worse off in the long run and Van Wagenen's goal of sustained winning could be much harder to attain.

          After winning 86 games in 2019, the Mets are set up to contend in 2020 and beyond. But they have to be careful when building their team that they don't lose sight of the future.


          Drew's Sig

          Comment


          • #52
            Rumors: Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler, Hader, Rendon

            3 Dec 2019, 11:30 AM ET
            MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free-agent and trade rumors right here.

            Cole, Strasburg set to meet with Yankees
            Dec. 3: The Yankees are set to meet with free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg this week, according to a report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. According to the report: "The Yankees will sit down with both Cole and Strasburg over the next two days, sources said. Other interested teams already have met with or will meet with the two pitchers, who are widely viewed as the best starters in this year's free-agent class.

            "The possibility exists that at least one of the pitchers will sign at the [winter] meetings, which begin Monday in San Diego, Strasburg's hometown. But the Cole negotiations, in particular, seem likely to extend past the meetings and possibly into January."

            Wheeler reportedly already has a $100 million offer
            Dec. 3: Zack Wheeler has been one of the buzzier names among free agents so far this offseason, and it's easy to see why given his age, high-octane stuff and recent run of durability (377 2/3 innings over 60 starts since the beginning of 2018).

            In fact, the 29-year-old righty already has received one offer of $100 million and "will land a five-year deal in excess of that amount," according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal's story citing Major League sources in The Athletic (subscription required).

            Which clubs are in the chase for Wheeler? More >

            Two Japanese players posted
            Dec. 3: Second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi and right-handed reliever Shun Yamaguchi have been posted as of 8 a.m. ET, according to MLB.com senior writer Mark Feinsand. The deadline to exchange terms is January 2.

            Kikuchi will turn 30 in March and has been playing for the Hiroshima Carp since he was 22. For his career, he's hit .271 with a .706 OPS.

            Yamaguchi is 32 and has been pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball since he was 18 in 2006. When he debuted, Yamaguchi was predominantly a starter, but he transitioned into a relief role from 2008-13. In 2014 he became a starter again, which he's done consistently since. In 2019, Yamaguchi posted a 2.91 ERA in 170 innings for the Central League's Yomiuri Giants, striking out a career-high 188 batters.

            Report: Brewers listening to trade offers for Hader
            Dec. 2: Although Brewers reliever Josh Hader still has four seasons of team control remaining before free agency, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports in an article for The Athletic (subscription required) that Milwaukee is open to trading the 25-year-old left-hander.

            There are two major reasons why, according to Rosenthal. The first is that Hader is arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, as he is a "Super Two" player. He's going to get increasingly expensive from here and will be at risk of declining after handling a heavy workload in each of the past two years.

            "The Brewers need to ask, 'How long will Hader be Hader?,'" Rosenthal writes. "The worst thing that could happen to them would be if Hader’s past workload triggered a decline in his performance as his salary started to rise."

            The second reason why Milwaukee could consider moving Hader is that his trade value could be astronomical, especially given this year's weak class of free-agent relievers.

            A model for the type of package Milwaukee might be looking for is the Edwin Díaz trade last offseason. The Mariners sent Díaz to the Mets and received multiple top prospects (Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn) while also getting the Mets to take on part of Robinson Canó's contract. At the time of the deal, Díaz had four years of club control remaining.

            Rendon has met with this AL West team already
            Dec. 2: According to a report from the Dallas Morning News and confirmed by a source to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, Rangers GM Jon Daniels and other team officials met face-to-face with free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon and his agent Scott Boras in Houston on Sunday. The Rangers have also met with Zack Wheeler already, according to the same report. The Rangers appear poised to commit significant dollars in free agency this offseason, with a brand new stadium on the horizon for the 2020 season and the team's last playoff series win being back in 2011.

            Reds add Moose; is there still room for Didi?
            Dec. 2: The Reds made a big addition to their infield on Monday, but it wasn't Didi Gregorius. Rather, the club has agreed to a four-year contract with Mike Moustakas, a source told MLB.com.

            Moustakas, whose deal is for a reported $64 million, is expected to get the majority of his reps at second base. After previously picking up Freddy Galvis' $5.5 million option, Cincinnati appears to have the middle-infield spots covered, making it more unlikely the team will pursue a reunion with Gregorius. That said, the Moustakas move may have inadvertently reopened the door for Gregorius to join another team. More >

            Cole an unlikely target for Nats, even if Strasburg departs
            Dec. 2: Could the Nats sign Gerrit Cole to replace Stephen Strasburg? MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal mentioned the scenario as a possibility last week.

            However, Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic doesn't consider it very likely. Cole is expected to command a larger deal than Strasburg, and he could be on the market for much longer. Waiting for Cole's market to move could prevent Washington from addressing its myriad of other needs, and its chances of signing him at that point might not even be all that great, given the other teams that are expected to be in the mix. More >

            Nats more confident in re-signing Strasburg than Rendon
            Dec. 2: When it comes to long-term contracts, the Nationals have shown a preference for deferring money. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg signed deals with significant deferrals, and Bryce Harper's $300 million offer from Washington last September included roughly $100 million in deferred salary that wouldn't have been fully paid until 2052, per a report from the Washington Post. Harper didn't go for the offer, and he ultimately signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in March.

            Similarly, the club's reported seven-year offer to Anthony Rendon, which was said to be in the $210 million to $215 million range, included deferrals that were to be paid within seven years of the end of the contract.

            In an article for The Athletic, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports that Rendon wasn't all that keen on proceeding with such a contract structure, according to some in the organization. The Nationals remain more confident in re-signing Strasburg than Rendon, per Rosenthal. Rendon's lack of interest in a deal with deferred money might be a major reason why. More >

            Competition for Donaldson could heat up with Moose off the market
            Dec. 2: The third-base market just got a little thinner, as Mike Moustakas has agreed to a four-year contract with the Reds, a source told MLB.com.

            While the supply of free-agent third basemen has diminished, the demand has not. With Eugenio Suárez in the fold, the Reds were not expected to be among the contenders for Anthony Rendon or Josh Donaldson, but they added Moustakas to play second base.

            Without having Moustakas as a fallback option, teams in need of a hot-corner option might get more aggressive in their pursuit of Rendon and/or Donaldson.

            Donaldson is three years older than Moustakas, so it's still uncertain if he can land a four-year contract, but he arguably has a better chance of doing so now.

            Twins reportedly have interest in Ryu
            Dec. 2: Although Jake Odorizzi accepted the Twins' one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer, the team still needs to replace three-fifths of its rotation. Minnesota is unlikely to pursue Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, but it has interest in the next tier of free-agent hurlers, writes the Minneapolis Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III, who names Zack Wheeler, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Madison Bumgarner as specific targets. More >

            What might the market for Marte look like?
            Dec. 1: With the Pirates possibly headed for a rebuild, Starling Marte is a candidate to be traded this offseason. The outfielder is on an affordable deal, as he's owed $11.5 million in 2020 and can make $12.5 million in '21 if his club option is picked up.

            The Mets reportedly have interest in the veteran, and Marte made it clear he'd welcome a chance to play with the club in an interview tweeted Thursday by reporter Héctor Gómez from Z101, a Dominican Republic radio station.

            "Los Mets lo tienen todo," said Marte. "Sería una gran oportunidad jugar con ellos." That translates to: "The Mets have it all. It would be a great opportunity to play with them."

            On Saturday, John Perrotto of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review broke down some other potential suitors, naming the Cubs and Phillies in addition to New York.

            From the Mets, Perrotto thinks catcher Francisco Alvarez (Mets' No. 5 prospect), left-hander David Peterson (No. 7) and first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith could be of interest to the Pirates.

            Like the Mets, the Cubs have an acute need for a center fielder, given Albert Almora Jr.'s offensive struggles (lifetime 85 OPS+). Almora also took a step backward on defense in 2019, recording -5 Defensive Runs Saved. Perrotto names catcher Miguel Amaya (Cubs' No. 2 prospect, No. 90 overall), right-hander Adbert Alzolay (No. 5) and Almora as players the Pirates could seek in a Marte deal.

            In Philadelphia's case, Marte could replace Odubel Herrera, who missed much of 2019 while serving a suspension for violating MLB's Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. "There are indications the Phillies want to move on from [Herrera]," Perrotto writes, pointing to right-hander Enyel De Los Santos (Phillies' No. 7 prospect), outfielder Mickey Moniak (No. 8) and catcher Rafael Marchan (No. 13) as possible targets for the Pirates.

            Jim Bowden, a former MLB general manager and current writer for The Athletic, suggests new Pirates GM Ben Cherington should call the Dodgers to shop Marte.

            "[Los Angeles is] probably where you can make a deal," Bowden said Sunday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. "One thing we do know is [president of baseball operations] Andrew Friedman wants a right-handed hitter. And although [Mookie] Betts and [Francisco] Lindor are on the top of his list, those are two really hard guys to trade for without giving up too much, and we know Andrew doesn't like to give up too much.

            "I could see Marte playing center field with L.A., move [A.J.] Pollock to left. … If I'm the Dodgers, I'd love to have Marte at the top of that lineup."


            The Blue Jays are another club that could use an upgrade in center field, but Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star has gleaned from "multiple conversations over the last few weeks with people inside and outside the organization" that neither Marte nor Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama is viewed as a solution.

            Could Sale's clean bill of health pave way for trade?
            Dec. 1: Red Sox principal owner John Henry has publicly stated that he would like the team to get below the $208 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold, leading to trade speculation surrounding Mookie Betts. The outfielder can become a free agent next offseason, and he's due to receive another raise in his final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $20 million in 2019.

            However, Betts' projected salary and limited team control remaining could make it difficult for Boston to get back suitable value in a trade. As a result, the club could explore other trade options to achieve its payroll goals, with Chris Sale, David Price and J.D. Martinez representing possible alternatives.

            Sale is coming off a left elbow injury that ended his 2019 season in August, and he's also entering the first year of the five-year, $145 million extension he signed last offseason, making him a risky trade target. But Sale was recently cleared to resume throwing by Dr. James Andrews, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told WEEI radio in Boston on Sunday, perhaps increasing the southpaw's chances of being dealt.

            When healthy, Sale has proven to be one of the top pitchers in baseball, recording a 138 ERA+ with a 25.3 percent K-BB% since he became a starter in 2012. Even last season, when he struggled to the tune of a 4.40 ERA, Sale still had a stellar 29.6 percent K-BB% with a 3.39 FIP and a 1.09 WHIP.

            Given the recent buzz that 29-year-old righty Zack Wheeler could make more than $100 million in free agency, it's not far-fetched to think a team might take a chance on the 30-year-old Sale in a trade.

            In November, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic (subscription required) broke down what a possible trade for Sale could look like, pointing to the Astros' deal for Zack Greinke in July as a good comp. Houston sent four prospects -- first baseman Seth Beer, right-hander J.B. Bukauskas, right-hander Corbin Martin and outfielder Josh Rojas -- to the D-backs for Greinke and cash. Greinke, now 36 years old, is owed $70 million over the next two seasons. All of the prospects Arizona received were among Houston's top 10, but Beer (No. 96) was the only one ranked in the Top 100 overall, per MLB Pipeline.

            Report: Treinen, Profar could soon be free agents
            Dec. 1: Blake Treinen was the American League’s best closer just two seasons ago, but he could be hitting the free-agent market within the next 30 hours. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that “indications are that” the A’s will not tender Treinen a contract for 2020 before Monday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.

            Infielder Jurickson Profar, who finished his Oakland debut with a .218 average, is also a non-tender candidate, Slusser reports.

            Treinen, 31, saw his ERA balloon from 0.78 to 4.91 in a tough 2019 campaign. His salary is projected to jump from $6.4 million to roughly $8 million via arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors, making him a prime non-tender candidate for the small-market A’s. Oakland could also trade Treinen or Profar before Monday’s deadline, and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that the Yankees were among the teams interested in acquiring Treinen. The A’s could non-tender either player and still re-sign them at a lower price; the team did just that with starter Mike Fiers last winter.

            Andújar trade next on Rangers' to-do list?
            Dec. 1: Now that the Rangers have agreed to a deal with right-hander Kyle Gibson, what's next for Texas? According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, third base and the starting rotation remain the club's biggest priorities. And at third base, a Baby Bomber may be on its radar.

            "[The Rangers] are definitely intrigued by the possibility of trading for Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar," Sullivan writes. "He missed most of last season after undergoing right shoulder surgery and has been replaced by Gio Urshela. The Yankees would expect much in the way of a trade, but acquiring Andújar would allow the Rangers to use their financial resources elsewhere. New York needs starting pitching, but it also has an affinity for hard-throwing relievers and Texas has depth in that area."

            Texas has been looking for consistency at the hot corner since the retirement of Adrián Beltré following the 2018 season, and given how a deal could benefit the Rangers in multiple ways, Andújar may be the right fit. Other options include Texas-native Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson, though Sullivan writes that Rendon might be out of the Rangers' price range. More >

            This Red Sox OF is a trade candidate...but not the one you think
            Dec. 1: There's been plenty of talk this offseason about the feasibility of a Mookie Betts trade for Boston, but MLB Trade Rumors puts another Red Sox outfielder -- Jackie Bradley Jr. -- fourth on its list of offseason trade candidates.

            Given the fact that the Red Sox appear to be trying to get below the luxury tax threshold, Bradley's salary (projected at $11 million according to MLBTR) could be of note here. Bradley can become a free agent following the 2020 season, and is likely to cost less in a potential trade than Betts, who won the 2018 American League MVP Award. Bradley hit .225 in 2019, his worst since 2014 in a 127-game stint, but his defense sets him apart.


            Drew's Sig

            Comment


            • #53
              Mets acquire Josh Hader and sign Blake Treinen. If Jeremy Hefner can help Treinen Diaz and Familia right the ship, Mets can have best bullpen in baseball. Boom or bust?

              Comment


              • #54
                Rumors: Bryant, Rendon, Lindor, Dodgers, Betts


                6 Dec 2019, 4:53 PM EST

                MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free-agent and trade rumors right here.

                Could Braves trade for Bryant to replace Donaldson?
                Dec. 6: The Braves have addressed their bullpen, rotation, catching situation and outfield this offseason, but they still have a hole at third base. Atlanta is seeking a reunion with Josh Donaldson, but the competition for the veteran's services could be heavy, even within the National League East.

                With Mike Moustakas joining the Reds on a four-year, $64 million contract and Anthony Rendon likely out of the Braves' price range, the club may need to explore the trade market if Donaldson signs elsewhere. David O'Brien of The Athletic (subscription required) names the Cubs' Kris Bryant as a potential trade target.

                The Cubs are open to dealing the 27-year-old Bryant, who can become a free agent in two years, and Atlanta can put together a package of young players that could entice Chicago to move the 2015 NL MVP Award winner.

                The Cubs might be interested in third baseman Austin Riley as a replacement for Bryant, or Drew Waters (MLB Pipeline's No. 23 overall prospect) as someone who can fill the club's void in center field. The Braves also have a number of highly touted pitching prospects, including Ian Anderson (No. 31 overall) and Kyle Wright (No. 35 overall).

                Back in November, multiple executives predicted that at least one player from the group of Bryant, Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor would be traded this offseason, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. All three reportedly remain available, and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal on Friday chose Bryant as the most likely of the three to be moved.

                Phillies reportedly have interest in Rendon
                Dec. 6: After following up last offseason's bonanza by adding Zack Wheeler for $118 million over five years on Wednesday, the Phillies might not be done spending big money.

                According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Philadelphia plans to "strongly pursue" Anthony Rendon and will consider Josh Donaldson as a fallback option. The Phillies have an opening at third base after non-tendering Maikel Franco. More >

                Dodgers have flexibility to go big this offseason … but will they?
                Dec. 6: The Dodgers have been one of MLB's most successful franchises for more than half a decade, winning seven consecutive National League West titles and making a pair of World Series appearances. They've managed to accomplish that without being major players at the top of the free-agent market. During Andrew Friedman's tenure as president of baseball operations, the club hasn't signed any outside free agent for more than the $55 million the club gave to A.J. Pollock last offseason, and the $93 million contract Clayton Kershaw signed last November is the largest deal Los Angeles has given to one of its own free agents.

                But as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal notes, the team could take a different approach this offseason.

                "The Dodgers under Andrew Friedman, who took over in October 2014, have never been in this flexible of a payroll position," Rosenthal said Thursday on MLB Network's "Hot Stove" program. "They're well under the luxury-tax threshold. They've been under the last two years, so they've got their penalty rate reset to the minimum.

                "So, in essence, they can do anything they want. That means Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon in the free-agent market, or one of the big trade pieces -- whether it's [Mookie Betts] or [Kris] Bryant or Francisco Lindor. … They have spent years -- literally, years -- trying to get into this position. … Why work toward this moment, and not seize it?"

                On Friday, Rosenthal went as far as predicting the Dodgers will swing a trade for Lindor during the Winter Meetings, pointing to the hypothetical deal -- Gavin Lux (MLB's No. 2 overall prospect), Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson for Lindor -- Jim Bowden suggested in an article for The Athletic (subscription required) as an offer that could get Cleveland to part with its superstar shortstop.

                With rivals skeptical about Betts trade, Red Sox exploring other options

                Dec. 6: Betts' future in Boston will likely remain a topic of speculation throughout the offseason, but USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that rival clubs remain "highly skeptical" the Red Sox will actually trade the outfielder, who can become a free agent next offseason.

                Meanwhile, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is exploring other avenues to help Boston get below the $208 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold. More >

                Pirates reportedly covet top catching prospect for Marte

                Dec. 6: Now that the Pirates have their manager in place after hiring Derek Shelton, new general manager Ben Cherington can put his full focus on the roster. Cherington's most pressing task this offseason might be deciding whether to trade Starling Marte.

                According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Marte is said to be available, but trade talks haven't gained much traction yet. Heyman has heard Pittsburgh covets a top catching prospect in exchange for Marte, who is signed for $11.5 million in 2020 and has a team option for $12.5 million in '21.

                Earlier this week, MLB.com's Adam Berry broke down the potential market for Marte, naming the Mets, Blue Jays, Rangers, Reds, Cubs, Phillies, Braves and Padres as potential suitors. New York might have been the early favorite to land Marte, but its acquisition of Jake Marisnick could change the team's priorities.

                Texas (Sam Huff), San Diego (Luis Campusano, Francisco Mejia), Atlanta (Shea Langeliers, William Contreras), Chicago (Miguel Amaya), New York (Francisco Alvarez), Cincinnati (Tyler Stephenson) and Toronto (Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire) all have young backstops they can offer Pittsburgh.

                Nationals owner says club cannot afford to bring back both Strasburg and Rendon

                Dec. 6: The reigning champions may be preparing to lose at least one of their very best players, Stephen Strasburg and/or Anthony Rendon. Given that the former won MVP of the Fall Classic and the latter finished third in NL MVP voting, that's potentially a very big development this offseason.

                "We really can only afford to have one of those two guys,” Nats owner Mark Lerner said to Donald Dell of NBC Sports Washington in an exclusive interview. “They’re [expected to sign for] huge numbers. We already have a really large payroll to begin with."

                Per Roster Resource, the Nationals' payroll for 2020 was projected to be around $135 million before the club agreed to a one-year, $6.25 million contract with Howie Kendrick on Friday. In theory, re-signing Strasburg and Rendon -- both of whom could score north of $30 million per year -- would then push Washington's payroll close to $200 million, just under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold of $208 million.

                Of course, the Nats did just win the World Series -- the franchise's first -- and should benefit financially from that (via ticket sales, merchandise, concessions, etc.), which could be a factor in the possibility of keeping both Strasburg and Rendon. Lerner's remarks, however, indicate otherwise.

                For what it's worth, Lerner also commented last offseason that he thought it would be unlikely Bryce Harper -- the longtime franchise face -- would return to Washington. That proved to come true when Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies.

                Report: Yanks ownership approves record offer for Cole

                Dec. 6: If it wasn't perfectly clear just yet, it is now -- the Yankees' top priority this offseason is signing Gerrit Cole, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, who added that the team's brass has "ownership-level approval to offer him a record deal."

                SNY's Andy Martino notes that the Yankees are "full, full, full steam ahead on Cole" and "haven't been this into the top free agent in years." More >

                Ryu, Keuchel could be Angels' fallback options

                Dec. 6: The Angels are among the clubs that have met with Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg already, along with the Yankees and the Dodgers. And given the state of the Angels' rotation, the club arguably has a greater need to sign one of the free-agent aces than the Yankees or Dodgers.

                Currently, the Angels' starting staff consists of Andrew Heaney, Shohei Ohtani, the newly acquired Dylan Bundy and a bunch of question marks.

                If the team strikes out on both Cole and Strasburg, it's interesting to wonder where general manager Billy Eppler would turn next. In an article for ESPN+ (subscription required), Buster Olney suggests that the Angels would consider Ryu, Dallas Keuchel and/or Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner, though, may be off the market by then, which means the Angels' best options could be Ryu and Keuchel.

                Will Cubs set up a Contreras sweepstakes?

                Dec. 5: Yasmani Grandal and Travis d’Arnaud have already signed free-agent deals, and the Brewers found their Grandal replacement Thursday with a trade for Omar Narváez.

                But the Hot Stove isn’t simmering on catchers yet: The Cubs might be set to position Willson Contreras as a trade option for teams that missed out on the top free-agent backstops, industry sources tell The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma (subscription required).

                Pressure is building on Theo Epstein’s front office to make a splash and shake up the clubhouse in Chicago, and this isn’t the first time Contreras’ name has been rumored in the trade market. Mooney and Sharma report that the Astros, who need a starting catcher, are interested in Contreras. The Rays also make sense as a trade partner, and Mooney and Sharma identify the Rockies, Pirates, Reds, Rangers and the Angels -- now led by Joe Maddon, Contreras’ former manager -- as other teams who could use a significant upgrade behind the plate.

                With so many teams that missed out on Grandal still needing a frontline catcher, a Contreras sweepstakes could build plenty of interest -- and a healthy return for the Cubs. Contreras remains affordable and under club control, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting him to earn $4.5 million for 2020 after his first go-around in arbitration.

                Feinsand: Cards could join the Bumgarner bidding

                Dec. 5: In the wake of a busy Wednesday during which Cole Hamels finalized a one-year contract with the Braves and Zack Wheeler agreed to a five-year, nine-figure deal with the Phillies, it seems likely the run on the market for starting pitchers could continue.

                And Madison Bumgarner is the one with the most buzz surrounding him at the moment. So much so, in fact, that it's been speculated he could sign by next week's Winter Meetings.

                The 30-year-old lefty has been connected to the Twins, Reds, White Sox and Braves in recent days, and a new team appears to have entered the mix, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand: the Cardinals.

                There's more, too, as Feinsand pointed out that Bumgarner is "widely expected to land a deal worth at least $100 million," particularly after the Phillies gave Wheeler $118 million. That in and of itself is news. More >

                Rendon is 'top target' for Rangers

                Dec. 5: The Rangers have been linked to Rendon -- the top free-agent position player on the market and a Houston native, to boot -- since the start of the offseason. In case there was any question regarding how serious the Rangers are about pursuing the third baseman, Rendon is the club's "top target," according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

                "The Rangers see Rendon as a right-handed bat who can fit in the middle of their order for the next 5-7 years," Sullivan wrote. "He would be similar to what Adrián Beltré did during his time in Texas.

                Report: Angels have met with Strasburg

                Dec. 5: The Angels hired Joe Maddon to be their new manager. They've got the best player in the game in center field, Mike Trout, which adds pressure to win during his prime years. They traded for right-hander Dylan Bundy on Wednesday. Is signing Strasburg the next step in building a winner? According to an Orange County Register report, the club has met with the World Series MVP face-to-face, indicating a serious level of interest in signing him.

                Strasburg had a rough 2018 campaign that was shortened due to injury, but bounced back in a big way last season, posting a 3.32 ERA over a National League-leading 209 innings, striking out 30 percent of the batters he faced. He then helped lead the Nationals to the franchise's first World Series title by giving up four runs in 14 1/3 innings (2.51 ERA) over two starts against the Astros.

                Strasburg is a Southern California native and was drafted by Washington out of San Diego State University. He has not, however, expressed a West Coast bias so far in free agency.

                These teams could be favorites to land Betts -- if he's traded

                Dec. 5: Mookie Betts' name continues to be bandied about on the rumor mill, although perhaps not quite as much as it was at the start of the offseason, before the Red Sox hired new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. That said, any hints and whispers that the 2018 AL MVP could be available at all via trade are worth considering and discussing.

                Hence, the Mookie Betts Potential Trade Destination Power Rankings, courtesy of MLB.com's Will Leitch, who admittedly does concede that the most likely scenario still has Betts remaining in Boston in 2020, which is scheduled to be his final year before becoming a free agent.

                But if not ... which clubs could be the favorites to make a blockbuster deal happen? More >

                Tsutsugo drawing interest

                Dec. 5: The position-player market isn't limited to North America. MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is drawing interest from a number of teams, including the White Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers and Twins.

                The 28-year-old ranks among Nippon Professional Baseball's most productive hitters, averaging nearly 35 homers over the last four seasons with Yokohama. Morosi reports that Tsutsugo's posting window is open for another two weeks, and while it's always difficult to project how a hitter's production will translate overseas, Tsutsugo could represent an opportunity for a club to add a power hitter at a below-market rate.

                Morosi: Lindblom has multiple multiyear offers

                Dec. 5: Looking to return to the bigs after starring in the Korea Baseball Organization, former Major Leaguer Josh Lindblom has flown a bit under the radar as a free agent this offseason.

                Until now, at least. The right-hander has more than one multiyear offer, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.


                Now 32 years old, the right-hander -- who was a prospect with the Dodgers after being selected in the second round of the 2008 Draft -- pitched in parts of five MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers, A's and Pirates. He appeared in 114 games, including six starts, compiling a 4.10 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP from 2011-17.

                Amid a '17 with Pittsburgh in which he gave up nine earned runs on 18 hits in 10 1/3 innings, Lindblom headed to Korea to try to reinvent himself -- a similar path to the one taken by Merrill Kelly, who returned to MLB and had an effective '19 with the Diamondbacks after spending four seasons in the KBO.

                Lindblom finished '17 with the Lotte Giants before moving to the Doosan Bears, where he became one of the KBO's top pitchers. Across 56 starts from 2018-19, Lindblom posted a 2.68 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP and 346 strikeouts over 363 1/3 innings, showing the ability to handle a starter's workload as well as improved control (1.7 BB/9) in what is typically a hitter-friendly circuit.

                For context, Kelly last offseason landed a two-year deal with Arizona that includes a pair of option years for '21 and '22. Judging by the interest so far, Lindblom could be in line for something similar.

                Brewers trade for Narváez

                Dec. 5: Two weeks after the Brewers saw catcher Yasmani Grandal sign with the White Sox, Milwaukee found his replacement. The Mariners are sending backstop Omar Narváez to the Crew in exchange for right-hander Adam Hill, the Brewers' No. 24 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and a competitive balance round pick in the 2020 Draft between rounds two and three.


                Narváez, 27, was a solid left-handed hitter for Seattle in 2019, slashing .278/.353/.460 with 22 homers and a 119 wRC+. There are questions about his defense, including his pitch framing -- an area in which Grandal excelled for Milwaukee last year. But the Crew has a solid defensive veteran in Manny Piña, who they could platoon with Narváez behind the plate in 2020.

                How did Yankees' meeting with Cole go?

                Dec. 4: The Yankees had a "very nice" introductory meeting with Gerrit Cole on Tuesday, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported. While specific financial terms were not discussed, Heyman noted that the team made it clear "the dollars will be there" in addition to selling Cole on the Yankees' winning tradition.

                The pitch was similar to the one the Yanks gave CC Sabathia in 2008, according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN Radio in New York, and Cole assured the Yanks he has "no West Coast bias" during Tuesday's four-hour meeting, per Heyman. Former Yankees and Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte attended the meeting as part of New York's contingent, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. More >

                Bumgarner's market heating up

                Dec. 4: Madison Bumgarner's market was already "looking good," according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in an article for The Athletic (subscription required) on Tuesday, and it may only get better after Zack Wheeler agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. One executive went as far as predicting Bumgarner would join Wheeler in signing before the Winter Meetings next week, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

                The Phillies, Reds and White Sox were the three teams "heaviest" on Wheeler before Philadelphia landed him, per Rosenthal, and the Astros, Rangers, Twins, Blue Jays, Angels, Yankees and Padres also were connected to the right-hander. It's fair to expect at least some of those teams will be in on Bumgarner as well. The Braves remain in the mix for Bumgarner, even after signing Cole Hamels on Wednesday, a source told Rosenthal.

                SNY's Andy Martino reports that the White Sox and Twins are among the clubs that have turned their attention to Bumgarner. The Yankees are involved, too, though their level of interest may be below that of Chicago and Minnesota. More >

                How serious are Yanks about pursuing Strasburg?

                Dec. 4: After meeting with free agent Gerrit Cole on Tuesday, the Yankees turned their attention to Stephen Strasburg, another Scott Boras client.

                The Yankees sat down with Strasburg on Wednesday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, who reported that the meeting was "said to have gone well," according to a source. MLB Network insider Joel Sherman reports that former Yankees legend Andy Pettitte was among the club's contingent at the meeting. More >

                Many execs think Lindor will be traded. What about Kluber?

                Dec. 4: Many executives around baseball think the Indians will trade star shortstop Francisco Lindor either this offseason or prior to next year's Trade Deadline, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. He cites the belief that the Tribe is too efficient not to trade Lindor at the height of his value ahead of free agency following the 2021 season.

                Lindor, who turned 26 last month, is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner. In each of the last three seasons, he has hit more than 30 home runs while posting an OPS of .842 or better.

                "Maybe if Cleveland is excellent, it's a different story, but executives who covet Lindor believe it's the logical outcome, because the Indians don't want to find themselves in a similar situation as Boston, with [Mookie] Betts' value diminished because he's so close to free agency," Passan writes.

                At this time, though, the Indians appear to be more focused on exploring the market for Corey Kluber, multiple execs told Passan. Kluber, 33, is signed for $17.5 million in 2020 and has an $18 million team option ($1 million buyout) in '21.

                The right-hander last pitched for Cleveland on May 1, when he was hit by a line drive and fractured his right forearm. He was on track to return in late August or early September but was set back by an oblique strain. Kluber had a 5.80 ERA before his injury but has been one of baseball's elite pitchers since 2014, winning two American League Cy Young Awards and recording a 2.94 ERA in the past six years.

                Braves, Nationals pursuing Donaldson

                Dec. 4: Josh Donaldson's market continues to pick up steam, and news that he won the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award on Wednesday after an injury riddled 2018 could add to the push.

                The Braves -- for whom Donaldson excelled in 2019, posting a .900 OPS with 37 homers and 94 RBIs over 155 games -- still are in the running for the third baseman after signing Cole Hamels to a one-year deal Wednesday, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who added that the Nationals also are pursuing Donaldson as an alternative if Anthony Rendon signs elsewhere.

                Are Nats still the favorites for Strasburg?

                Dec. 4: Before Stephen Strasburg opted out of the four years and $100 million remaining on his contract with the Nationals, it was widely assumed he would use his leverage to squeeze an extra year out of Washington, like Clayton Kershaw did with the Dodgers last year. Then, when he decided to opt out, many speculated it wouldn't be long before a new deal was agreed upon between the 31-year-old and the only franchise he's ever played for.

                Although Strasburg remains unsigned with the Winter Meetings looming next week, the sense around the game doesn't seem to have changed much. According to baseball reporter Peter Gammons, multiple people within the Nationals organization and a couple of rival general managers whose teams are pursuing Strasburg have said they are convinced Washington GM Mike Rizzo is going to get a deal done with the right-hander. That confidence might stem from the uncertain nature of Strasburg's market. At this point, the Nats are the only team that seems to consider Strasburg its top priority. More >

                Which teams are in on Cole so far?

                Dec. 4: The Yankees' sitdown with Gerrit Cole and agent Scott Boras on Tuesday apparently wasn't the first meeting the right-hander has had this offseason.

                Which other clubs have met with Cole, and which ones are making it known they're in the mix so far? Let's try to round 'em up. More >

                Morosi: Rangers, White Sox eyeing Ozuna, Castellanos

                Dec. 4: As corner outfielders with big bats, Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos are drawing interest from multiple clubs, and some of them are overlapping suitors.

                The Rangers and White Sox, who have a need for a middle-of-the-order hitter and a left or right fielder, are eyeing both sluggers, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. More >

                What Wheeler's deal means for Phillies

                Dec. 4: The market for Zack Wheeler heated up very quickly in recent days, and with good reason -- the hard-throwing righty has made a decision. Wheeler has a deal with the Phillies for $118 million over five years, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

                There are signs, though, that the Phillies may not be finished addressing their rotation. More >

                Even Rizzo not off-limits for Cubs

                Dec. 3: Even star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a Cubs stalwart since 2012, isn't off-limits when it comes to the trade market in an offseason during which Chicago has been described by various executives around the game as "aggressive," "manic," "motivated" and "obvious" in their intention to trade a big name, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

                Other names that have often been mentioned as possible trade candidates are third baseman Kris Bryant, shortstop Javier Báez and catcher Willson Contreras. Those names had been floated in rumors early in the offseason, but if Rizzo is also in the mix, it underscores just how much change the Cubs are foreseeing after falling short of the postseason for the first time since 2014, two years before they won their first World Series in 108 years.

                Blue Jays eyeing Keuchel and Ryu

                Dec. 3: The Blue Jays have a nice young core of promising position players, headlined by the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, among others. If they want to get back to contending in the competitive AL East in the near future, however, it's going to take an upgrade to the rotation.

                That's where Dallas Keuchel and fellow lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu come in.

                Both pitchers are "possibilities for the Blue Jays," MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi said in a Tuesday appearance on MLB Network's Hot Stove show. "Because of where the overall starting pitching supply is going to be next winter, it makes a lot of sense for the Blue Jays to court both Ryu and Keuchel now. And I'm told both are on their list." More >

                Rendon reportedly met with Rangers, Dodgers

                Dec. 3: Coming off a fantastic 2019 in which he earned both a third-place finish in NL MVP voting and a World Series title, Anthony Rendon is widely thought of as the best position player available in free agency. Typically, a player of that caliber doesn't sign early in the offseason, particularly when he's represented by Scott Boras, like Rendon is.

                But things could play out differently with the 29-year-old third baseman. Put another way, Rendon actually might wind up signing sooner than later, especially considering he's already met with the Rangers and now the Dodgers, too, according ESPN's Buster Olney. More >

                Nats could pivot to Donaldson after Winter Meetings

                Dec. 3: The Nationals would like to bring back Anthony Rendon, but it doesn't appear as though the club is willing to wait around all winter. According to The Athletic's Jayson Stark, agents and rival execs who have spoken with Washington general manager Mike Rizzo say he wants an answer from agent Scott Boras "by the Winter Meetings or shortly thereafter."

                If Rendon isn't ready to sign at that point, the Nationals are expected to move on to other options, including Josh Donaldson, per Stark. More >

                Morosi: Cubs 'still pursuing' Castellanos, Giants also interested

                Dec. 3: After being acquired by the Cubs at the Trade Deadline last season, Castellanos was an offensive force, hitting .321/.356/.646 with 16 homers and 36 RBIs in 51 games.

                It's not such a surprise, then, to hear that Chicago is "still pursuing" the free-agent outfielder, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi. There is at least some question, however, of how Castellanos might fit on the North Side -- both in terms of position and budget.

                Castellanos is also drawing interest from the Giants, per Morosi. More >

                Which non-tendered players might the Astros pursue?

                Dec. 3: Now that the free-agent pool has grown with non-tendered players hitting the market, which of those players might the Astros pursue? Looking for pitching, both of the starting and relief variety, as well as a starting catcher, Houston may be looking at several of them.

                According to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, the list includes reliever Blake Treinen, whom the A's non-tendered after he struggled to a 4.91 ERA a season after enjoying one of the most dominant relief performances in recent memory, with a 0.78 ERA and 38 saves for Oakland. Others the Astros might have on their radar include starters Taijuan Walker and Jimmy Nelson. More >

                Mets open to moving Smith in package deal?

                Dec. 3: Dominic Smith's name has been part of the trade rumor mill pretty much since fellow Mets first baseman Pete Alonso proved he was ready -- and then some -- for the big leagues early in 2019. With Alonso settled in at the position as the reigning MLB home run champ and NL Rookie of the Year, Smith's role in Flushing is something of a question going forward.

                Which could be why the Mets may be willing to part with the 24-year-old former first-round Draft pick, especially if it means packaging him with another player to unload some payroll. For instance ... More >

                White Sox reportedly discussing trade for Pederson

                Dec. 3: The White Sox have been one of the busiest teams in the Majors this offseason, signing catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million contract and giving José Abreu a new three-year, $50 million deal after the first baseman accepted the team's qualifying offer. More big moves could be on the horizon.

                Chicago has been connected to right-hander Zack Wheeler, and USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the team is engaging in preliminary trade discussions with the Dodgers regarding outfielder Joc Pederson.

                Right field is an area of need for the White Sox. Chicago had the lowest OPS (.565) in MLB at that position in 2019.

                Free agent Nicholas Castellanos has been mentioned as a potential target, but Pederson would require less of a financial commitment, leaving more money for the pursuit of a starting pitcher. Pederson is in his final year of arbitration-eligibility after earning $5 million in 2019. Pederson is also a left-handed hitter, which would further balance a White Sox lineup that skewed right-handed last season.

                Two Japanese players posted

                Dec. 3: Second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi and right-handed reliever Shun Yamaguchi have been posted as of 8 a.m. ET, according to MLB.com senior writer Mark Feinsand. The deadline to exchange terms is January 2.

                Kikuchi will turn 30 in March and has been playing for the Hiroshima Carp since he was 22. For his career, he's hit .271 with a .706 OPS.

                Yamaguchi is 32 and has been pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball since he was 18 in 2006. When he debuted, Yamaguchi was predominantly a starter, but he transitioned into a relief role from 2008-13. In 2014 he became a starter again, which he's done consistently since. In 2019, Yamaguchi posted a 2.91 ERA in 170 innings for the Central League's Yomiuri Giants, striking out a career-high 188 batters.

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                          MLB Winter Meetings Rumor Roundup:
                          Mets Buzz on Wednesday, Dec. 11


                          Things remain quiet as Mets continue to talk with Pirates on Marte

                          11 Dec 2019, 12:06 PM ET

                          Day 3 of the Winter Meetings are upon us, and the Mets remain active in trying to bolster their 2020 roster. Here's the latest news today..

                          Dec. 11, 12:06 PM:
                          SNY's Andy Martino reported Tuesday that he is hearing the Mets are willing to trade Brandon Nimmo in a deal that suits it. With the Pirates looking for a major league outfielder in a Starling Marte deal, Nimmo would certainly fit the bill.

                          Would it be worth it though? That will be the ultimate question for GM Brodie Van Wagenen if Pittsburgh would want Nimmo in the deal.

                          The Mets are also still in conversations with the Pirates for Starling Marte, per SNY's Andy Martino. Despite trading for Jake Marisnick, they still have their eyes set on Marte, who would be a big upgrade at center field for the club.

                          Martino also adds here that Jed Lowrie's contract is being shopped, so they can clear some space to sign a pitcher. In the starter market, Rick Porcello is a name linked to New York, while Dellin Betances could be a huge bullpen signing to help that unit.


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