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American League

Seven Marquee Free Agents Still Available As Spring Training Nears

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If we’re being honest, the 2017-18 Major League Baseball offseason has been drier than the Sahara. There’s been a major lack of the high profile transactions that baseball fans eagerly await as a way to bridge the gap between seasons. It’s resulted in a slow and boring winter for fans and more than a month without a post from yours truly, sorry about that.

It’s not as if there are no stars available either. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 13, just 23 days from now. Despite this, some of the biggest free agents of this winter are still unsigned.

The most high profile free agent of the offseason is arguably RF JD Martinez, who is reportedly seeking a seven-year, $200 million deal. His only known suitor has been the Boston Red Sox, but the slugger remains unsigned. The Boston Herald reported yesterday that the team has offered Martinez five years for $125 million. Martinez has obviously not accepted (yet, at least).

“We are in active negotiations with J.D. Martinez,” Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said to the Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato yesterday. “We’re hopeful to make a deal. But as I’ve said it takes two people to make that deal.”

Based on that statement, it seems as if Martinez is the one prolonging negotiations, but it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. With the amount of moves made by arch-rival New York this offseason, the Red Sox cannot at all afford to be outclassed. They need to up their power game in a big way, as evidenced by the team finishing last in the league in homers last season. Martinez is their best available option to do so, but one side is going to have to budge before that happens.

What’s also baffling is that the Kansas City three also remain unsigned.

https://www.tsn.ca/polopoly_fs/1.872512!/fileimage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_620/lorenzo-cain-eric-hosmer-mike-moustakas.jpg

CF Lorenzo Cain, 1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Mike Moustakas all decided to move on from Kansas City (TSN).

Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer all rejected qualifying offers from their longtime team the Royals and became free agents after last season ended. Hosmer was thought of as a major target for the Red Sox, but the team’s resigning of Mitch Moreland ended that. I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention to the MLB Hot Stove but I honestly haven’t heard of any teams being interested in Moustakas or Cain, which is baffling seeing as Cain is one of the game’s best outfielders and Moustakas hit 38 home runs last season.

Another slugging third baseman, Todd Frazier, has not found a home either. Formerly of the Yankees, it still appears that Frazier could be resigned, but there’s been speculation that the other New York team could be interested as well. The power hitter came to the Bronx from Chicago midway through last season and helped propel the Bombers to the ALCS. The Yankees would certainly be wise to resign him but it would take a lot, and the team’s payroll is certainly strained after the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton.

On the pitching side of things, 2015 NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and multiple-time All-Star Yu Darvish are still out there.

Like Martinez, Arrieta is searching for the $200 million range. His performances have declined since his phenomenal Cy Young campaign, but the 31-year-old is still guaranteed to have to have a big impact on whatever team that picks him up. Surprisingly, the Phillies are reportedly trying to land the right hander. Philadelphia OF Nick Williams has been training with his friend Arrieta in Texas this offseason, and states that Arrieta is interested in helping the rebuilding franchise get to the next level.

“I don’t even need to recruit him,” Williams said to Philly.com. “He loves this place. He said, ‘I like working with young guys.’

31-year-old Yu Darvish hasn’t spoken on the amount he’s looking for, but he could still command a good price. 2017 was a solid comeback season for the Osaka native and it saw him get sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers from his longtime Texas Rangers. He faltered in Game 7 of the Fall Classic against Houston, though it can be argued that he shouldn’t have been put in that situation to begin with. The Minnesota Twins have been in on Darvish all winter and owner Jim Pohlad recently confirmed his interest, per CBS Sports.

“I’m totally on board with that,” Pohlad said at the team’s annual TwinsFest event. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there. I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”

Darvish could serve as a big time lift for a Twins team that turned a lot of heads in 2017 despite very little assets on paper.

As Cactus and Grapefruit League play draws closer and closer, all of these players are still up for grabs. Will they get signed, or will they still be out there as the 2018 season begins? We can only wait and see. Check back with Home Run Daily for further developments!

 

American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights

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In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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American League

Athletics Acquire Tanner Roark

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Tanner Roark

The Oakland Athletics have acquired right hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder Jamerson Hannah will be heading to Cincinnati, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the Reds will pick up $2.1 million of Roark’s remaining salary.

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American League

Astros Acquire Martin Maldonado

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Martin Maldonado

The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp will be heading to the Cubs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

Maldonado has posted a .217/.285/.349 slash line this season.

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