With the Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton dominos falling just before the start of the Winter Meetings, the feeling was that it would clear the way for the action to be fast and furious at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando.
Well, we’re still waiting for that action to pick up. Other than the Stanton trade being made official, nothing terribly noteworthy happened on Monday aside from a decent number of rumors and reports floating around.
Rest assured, however, there’s sure to be plenty of wheeling and dealing this week and the Rotoworld Baseball team (@Rotoworld_BB) will be here to guide you through it. Be sure to keep refreshing the constantly-updated Rotoworld player news page and give myself (@RyanPBoyer), Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot), D.J. Short (@djshort) and Drew Silva (@drewsilv) a follow on Twitter.
Yankees to Target Cole Next?
The Yankees have added Giancarlo Stanton to a lineup that already led baseball in home runs last season. It appears they might turn their attention to their rotation next.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Monday that the Yankees are interested in trading for Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole. The Bronx Bombers actually took Cole in the first round of the 2008 Draft, but they were unable to sign him, Cole went to UCLA and was then the first overall pick by the Pirates in the 2011 Draft.
Heyman added that the “initial impression” is that the Pirates aren’t going to trade Cole, but ESPN’s Buster Olney later reported that they “are willing to listen” to offers for the righty. Olney also rightly pointed out that the Yankees and Pirates match up well to deal currently and general managers Brian Cashman and Neal Huntington have made multiple trades in the past.
The Rangers have also reportedly checked in on Cole’s availability, as did the Twins earlier this offseason. Cole posted a 4.26 ERA and 196/55 K/BB ratio over 203 innings covering 33 starts for the Pirates this past season and is under team control through 2019.
Mets Mulling Trade of Harvey?
Cole isn’t the only big-name pitcher who has been buzzed about early on in the Winter Meetings. The much-maligned Matt Harvey has also popped up as a potential trade target for a few clubs.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported on Sunday that the Mets have discussed Harvey with at least two different teams this offseason. On Monday, it was reported that the Orioles, Rangers and Cubs are known to have interested in the right-hander.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Mets are discussing swapping Harvey for an Orioles reliever, and Newsday’s Marc Carig says that reliever is Brad Brach. They also talked about a Harvey-for-Jurickson Profar swap with the Rangers, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, but a one-for-one trade of those two doesn’t look like a fit at the moment.
It looks to be a real question as to whether the Mets will ultimately wind up trading Harvey. Carig hears that it’s unlikely to happen, as the Mets are leery about trading away rotation depth after so many of their starters got hurt this past season.
The Mets would certainly be selling low on Harvey if they did cut him loose. The 28-year-old has posted a 5.78 ERA over the last two seasons, including an ugly 6.70 mark in 2017 after making his way back from thoracic outlet surgery. He’s seen his velocity tumble in the wrong direction. Of course, Harvey will be a free agent next winter, so if the Mets doubt his ability to regain at least some of his old form, they might opt to get what they can for him now.
Colome Commanding Interest
The Rays could wind up selling off many of their assets this offseason, and most feel that the first player to go will be closer Alex Colome.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported nearly a month ago that the Rays and Cardinals were discussing a deal involving Colome. The Cards remain in the thick of things in the Colome trade talks, and there have been reports that a potential deal could be expanded to include Evan Longoria or Chris Archer.
St. Louis isn’t the only team in on the Rays’ closer, though, as the Cubs, Rockies and Mets have all reportedly expressed varying degrees of interest. Colome is coming off a season when he saved a major league-leading 47 games and he boasts a 2.63 ERA over the last two years. He also is under team control through 2020. It’s no wonder Tampa is getting a bunch of calls on their ninth-inning man.
Winter Meetings Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, said Monday that his client has "no desire" to opt out of his contract after 2020 … Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Astros are interested in adding a top-flight pitcher. The list of possibilities includes Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Chris Archer … MLB.com’s Thomas Harding has reported that the Rockies are interested in Carlos Santana. The Rangers, Padres, Phillies, Red Sox, and Mariners have also been connected to the first baseman, and the Indians’ top choice at first base is to bring Santana back, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports … MLB.com's Joe Frisaro has reported that the market for Marcell Ozuna "is starting to build," with as many as 6-8 teams in the mix. The Cardinals, Nationals, and Giants are three of those clubs … USA Today’s Bob Nightengale has reported that the Red Sox have told teams Jackie Bradley is available via trade, and the Giants and Royals have been connected to the outfielder. For what it’s worth, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said reports of Bradley’s availability are "not accurate." … Heyman has reported that the Phillies are going to bring back Pat Neshek on a two-year contract worth $16-17 million … Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that Jed Lowrie "could be on the move sooner rather than later." … ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Brewers are listening to offers for Domingo Santana, but a trade of the outfielder doesn’t appear likely … Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has reported that the Angels have had discussions with Mike Moustakas and also Logan Morrison … Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post has reported that the Nationals have expressed interest in retaining Brandon Kintzler … Heyman has reported that the Mets, Rockies, Blue Jays and Mariners "are among the teams eyeing" Jay Bruce. Bruce is reportedly looking for a five-year, $80-90 million contract this offseason … Tigers general manager Al Avila said Monday that the team has received "mild inquiries" on Michael Fulmer, but the team isn’t inclined to trade him … Joel Sherman of the New York Post has reported that the Royals are fielding interest in Kelvin Herrera … Craig Mish of Sirius XM has reported that Fernando Rodney is drawing interest from several teams, including the Diamondbacks and Mets … Heyman has reported that the Padres "will take a look at" Zack Cozart … Newsday's Marc Carig has reported that Tommy Hunter is a "prime target" for the Mets and that the club is also interested in Steve Cishek … Rosenthal has reported that the Rangers have signed Chris Martin to a two-year, $4 million contract … Crasnick has reported that the Indians, Royals, and Nationals have inquired on Matt Adams …