D.J. Short

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Hot Stove Warming?

Friday, December 1, 2017


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After a very quiet start, the Hot Stove finally appears to be warming up. We’ll get to a couple of notable trades in a hot second, but most of the attention on the trade market continues to center around the Marlins’ efforts to move National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton and his monster contract. And we have some developments.

According to Craig Mish of Sirius XM, Giants’ front office executives were in Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with representatives for Stanton. Mish adds that vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, general manager Bobby Evans, and manager Bruce Bochy were all in attendance. It’s safe to say that the two sides wouldn’t be meeting unless things were getting serious. The Marlins would have to authorize such a discussion. Still, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that a trade is not considered imminent and the Marlins remain engaged with other clubs.

It’s believed that Stanton would prefer to be dealt to the West Coast, but Heyman of FanRag Sports reported earlier Thursday that the slugger has some concerns about the Giants’ roster depth and their down 2017 season. He holds all the cards with his no-trade clause, so the Giants are trying to make their pitch at the very least.

As for a potential return package for Miami, Mish reported last month that a scenario with the Giants was discussed where Stanton would be packaged with Dee Gordon for second baseman Joe Panik and prospects Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw. While Jon Morosi of MLB.com couldn’t confirm that these specific names were part of a formal offer, he reported Thursday that he heard from a source familiar with the Marlins’ plans that the team would likely accept Panik, Beede, and Shaw for Stanton alone, assuming the Giants covered roughly $250 million of the $295 million remaining on his contract. Of course, the big money owed to Stanton is a key consideration for Miami’s new ownership group.

The timing couldn’t be better to move Stanton coming off his 59-homer season, but Marlins fans understandably aren’t going to be happy if a deal with the Giants goes down as rumored.

Finally, Some Real Moves

Yes, we actually saw a couple of moves of note on Thursday. With Friday’s non-tender deadline looming, the Diamondbacks acquired right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger from the Rays for prospect right-hander Curtis Taylor.

After missing the first three months of the season with a lat injury and a strained flexor tendon, Boxberger posted a 3.38 ERA and 40/11 K/BB ratio over 29 1/3 innings with the Rays this year. The 29-year-old made $1.6 million in 2017 and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason. The Rays are expected to move multiple pieces this winter in an effort to cut payroll, so the Diamondbacks were happy to take advantage.

With Fernando Rodney hitting free agency, Boxberger could be a potential closer option with his new team. While he’s dealt with injuries over the past two seasons, he led the American League with 41 saves in 2015. Archie Bradley, who dominated with a 1.73 ERA in 63 appearances this past season, could also be in the mix.

Boxberger wasn’t the only notable reliever to be moved on Thursday, as the Braves swapped Jim Johnson and $1.21 million in international pool space to the Angels for minor league left-hander Justin Kelly. Johnson, 34, lost his closer gig with Atlanta this season while struggling with a 5.56 ERA and 61/25 K/BB ratio in 56 2/3 innings. He’s owed $4.5 million in 2018.

Make no mistake, this deal is mostly about the international pool space. Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Thursday that the club intends to pursue Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. After Thursday’s trade with the Braves, the club can now offer $1.315 million to Ohtani. According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that figure ranks seventh in the majors. The bonus is only going to be a small part of Ohtani’s decision, but the additional funds can’t hurt. Ohtani is expected to be officially posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters on Friday.

Athletics Ink Petit

After swapping Ryon Healy to the Mariners for right-hander Emilio Pagan last week, the Athletics added another arm to their bullpen on Wednesday by signing free agent Yusmeiro Petit to a two-year, $10 million contract. According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the deal includes a $5.5 million club option or $1 million buyout for 2020.

Petit enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017, posting a 2.76 ERA and 101/18 K/BB ratio over 91 1/3 innings with the Angels. The 33-year-old led the majors with 87 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. Petit made one start and notched four saves, but he has plenty of experience in a multi-inning, swingman-type role. Having someone like him could prove valuable with a mostly young rotation.

Quick Hits: According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Rockies have expressed interest in free agent closer Wade Davis … Marc Craig of Newsday reports that the Mets and free agent slugger Jay Bruce have mutual interest in a reunion … Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today adds that the Rockies and Mariners are also interested in Bruce … According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Rays are expected to tender a contract to infielder Brad Miller before Friday’s deadline … Anthony DeSclafani said Thursday that he’s having a normal offseason after completing his rehab from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow … The Rangers signed oufielder/left-handed pitcher Anthony Gose to a minor league contract … Tim Adleman, who struggled with a 5.52 ERA in 20 starts and 10 relief appearances with the Reds in 2017, has signed a one-year deal with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization … The Mariners claimed left-hander Sam Moll off waivers from the Pirates … The Braves signed reliever Rex Brothers to a one-year, $1.1 million contract…



D.J. Short is a Rotoworld senior baseball writer and hosts the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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