Nick Nelson

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Trade Rumors Rumbling

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


The GM Meetings are underway in Orlando, providing an opportunity for many of the league's front office execs to start laying groundwork for trades and free agent signings. So it's no surprise that we've begun to hear rumors trickling out from the Sunshine State.


Let's run through some of the most noteworthy trade rumblings that are catching our attention, along with the rest of the biggest offseason news updates from the past couple of days.


White Sox Unloading Again?


As we all know, Chicago's all-out firesale was one of the commanding storylines in baseball last offseason. Although they've already shipped out most the pieces that comprised their previous core, it sounds like they might not be done.


White Sox GM Rick Hahn said recently, "We're still in the same spot that we were a year ago, in that we're focused on the long term." He added that the club has received interest in names like Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia.


Garcia's a nice player coming off a career year, so the sell-high opportunity there is evident. Abreu, meanwhile, is coming off his best season since 2014, when he won AL Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in the MVP voting. He has driven in 100 or more runs in each of his four seasons as a big-leaguer and is two years away from free agency. The Cuban slugger would be a huge addition to the middle of any lineup, so we'll be tracking his market closely.


Giants Eyeing Hamilton?


It's been awhile since Bruce Bochy and the Giants have had a true speedster at their disposal. No San Francisco player has topped 25 steals since 2010, and none have reached 30 in the past decade. Perhaps this is driving their reported interest in Billy Hamilton, who might be the game's fastest player and is certainly its most prolific base-stealer.


Hamilton has swiped 230 bags in four full seasons with the Reds, and that's 28 more than the next-highest finisher (Dee Gordon). He's also extremely rangy in center field, which is undoubtedly a factor in San Fran's interest with an aging Denard Span currently holding down the position.


Adding Hamilton would certainly provide an electrifying jolt to an offense that ranked as one of the league's worst in 2017, though his overall production has never come close to matching his world-class wheels.


Top NL Contenders Closing In On Britton?


His value certainly isn't where it was a year ago, when he was coming off one of the best seasons for a closer in history, but Zach Britton is still a highly enticing piece, and he's drawing interest from some of the National League's biggest heavy-hitters. Among them? The Dodgers and Cubs, who recently faced off in the NL Championship Series.


It would certainly make sense for the Orioles to make their star reliever available, as they're coming off a last-place finish and he's entering his final year of team control. From a fantasy perspective it'd obviously be preferable to see him land in Chicago as Wade Davis's replacement in the ninth, but if the Dodgers were able to acquire Britton they'd be able to pair him with Kenley Jansen for an absurd two-headed monster in the late innings.


The upside is huge but concerns around Britton's knee, which hampered him for much of the summer and required a PRP injection in September, will carry weight.


Quick Hits: The Blue Jays and Mets have reportedly shown early interest in free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain ... Minnesota's Paul Molitor and Arizona's Torey Lovullo were named Managers of the Year for the AL and NL, respectively ... Some rival execs view the asking price for Giancarlo Stanton in trade discussions to be "shockingly high," per Buster Olney ... The Mets are weighing a pursuit of Japanese star Shohei Otani, and have reportedly reached out to free agent Carlos Santana's reps ... Cards GM John Mozeliak stated that he expects electric young righty Alex Reyes to return to the mound as a reliever for St. Louis around mid-May of next year following his Tommy John surgery rehab.




Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.
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