- Dickerson adds to what’s becoming a large collection of candidates to play outfield, first base and DH for the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. That group includes Dickerson, Kevin Kiermaier, Desmond Jennings, Steven Souza, Brandon Guyer, James Loney, Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison. Of those, Dickerson, Pearce and Morrison are new additions, and Jennings essentially will be a new addition as well, having missed most of the 2015 season due to a knee injury. “It’s hard to predict how it’s going to actually turn out, but having this group gives us a lot of confidence that we’re going to score the runs that we need to this year,” says Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman.
- Rockies GM Jeff Bridich says that, in addition to adding a potential closer in McGee, they’ve improved their defense and baserunning by replacing Dickerson with Gerardo Parra, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. Of course, they’ll be losing Dickerson and his career .299/.345/.534 line, a good one even in Colorado. “Offensively, I’m not sure how it improves our outfield,” Bridich says. “Corey is a very talented offensive player. The things he always needed to work on at the major-league level were his outfield defense and his baserunning. And I think those two places are two places of strength for Gerardo.”
- Dickerson for McGee is a “weird trade” from the Rockies’ perspective, FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron writes. The Rockies are giving up four years of control of a talented young hitter in exchange for two years of a reliever, and they could have moved Dickerson to first base, where they have a vacancy. And adding a short-term relief acquisition makes little sense for a team that doesn’t seem poised to contend, Cameron argues. For the Rays, Dickerson wasn’t exactly a necessity, but they added talent in the deal and can figure out what to do with their OF/1B/DH surplus later.
After two weeks of strong speculation about the possibility of the Rockies trading an outfielder, the club has announced the trade of left fielder Corey Dickerson and third base prospect Kevin Padlo to the Rays in exchange for left-hander Jake McGee and right-handed pitching prospect German Marquez.
The trade accomplishes multiple goals for the Rays, who will add a high-upside young bat in the form of Dickerson and also clear a bit of money from the payroll by shedding McGee’s $4.8MM salary in the deal. That’s not to suggest in any way that this is a salary dump, of course, as McGee has quietly emerged as one of the better left-handed relievers in the game in recent years.
Dickerson, 26, is not yet arbitration eligible and comes with four years of club control remaining. The former eighth-round pick missed most of the 2015 season as he dealt with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and, later, a broken rib, but he should be healthy enough to take regular at-bats for Tampa Bay in 2015. The left-handed hitter is a career .299/.345/.534 hitter with 39 home runs in just 925 big league plate appearances, although those impressive numbers do come with some caveats. For one, Dickerson has crushed right-handed pitching at a .313/.358/.577 clip in his time as a Major Leaguer, but lefties have given him a fair amount of difficulty, limiting to a .246/.299/.377 slash. Beyond that, there’s a nearly 400-point difference between his OPS at the hitter-friendly Coors Field and his mark on the road. Then again, as MLB.com’s Mike Petriello explained back in December, there’s reason to believe that the so-called “Coors Field Effect” is overblown, and Rockies hitters can excel once leaving the team even if they initially possessed gaudy home/road splits. Dickerson’s troubles against lefties, then, could be the greater cause for concern.
Defensively, Dickerson has spent the bulk of his Major League time in left field, though he’s seen 200 innings in center as well. Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating are down on his work in left, although his worst ratings in the eyes of those metrics came in 2015, when he endured multiple DL stints due to the aforementioned plantar fasciitis. It’s easy to imagine that such a painful condition in one’s left foot could hamper outfield range and lead to considerably diminished contributions with the glove.
From a broader perspective, it’s not entirely clear how Dickerson will fit with the Rays’ roster. Tampa Bay already has a wealth of outfielders, with Desmond Jennings slotted into left field, Kevin Kiermaier in center field and Steven Souza in right field. With Brandon Guyer and Mikie Mahtook as possible reserve options and the yet-formally-announced newcomer Steve Pearce also carrying significant corner outfield experience, the Rays didn’t have a clear need for an outfield upgrade. Then again, positional depth is a trademark of the Rays, and the team is never shy about adding controllable young talent — especially in instances like this, where the cost of acquisition (at least at the big league level) is a player with just two years of club control remaining.
The 29-year-old McGee missed the beginning of the 2015 campaign after undergoing offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. He returned in mid-May, however, and showed no ill effects from the operation, cruising to a 2.41 ERA with outstanding strikeout and walk rates of 11.6 and 1.9 per nine innings pitched, respectively. A partial tear in his left meniscus cost McGee another month later in the season, but he did return at the end of the year to fire 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Over the past four seasons, McGee has been terrific, pitching to a combined 2.58 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 40.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s exhibited dominance against not only left-handed batters in that time but right-handed opponents as well. In fact, lefties have actually hit McGee harder than opposite-handed opponents, although neither has mustered much in the way of meaningful offense against him.
McGee could enter the season as the favorite to close games in Colorado as right-hander Adam Ottavino recovers from 2015 Tommy John surgery. McGee has saved 25 games across the past two seasons and looked to have cemented himself as Tampa Bay’s primary ninth-inning option prior to last winter’s elbow surgery. (In his early-season absence, righty Brad Boxberger seized the role and never looked back.) The Rockies will have control of him for at least two seasons, although the possibility of course exists that Colorado will flip him either in July if the team is not contending or perhaps next offseason, when he gets another bump in his $4.8MM salary via arbitration and is only one year removed from free agency.
The Rockies have long been expected to trade an outfielder — in spite of the front office’s suggestion that a deal wasn’t a necessity — due to their own surplus of left-handed-hitting outfielders that was created upon signing Gerardo Parra to a three-year deal. In Dickerson, Parra, Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies were carrying four somewhat redundant assets, with each of the three incumbent options representing an appealing option to clubs in search of a bat. Given Colorado’s own need for pitching, a trade certainly seemed plausible, even if, as GM Jeff Bridich said on several occasions, a deal was far from a given.
Turning to the prospects in the deal, Padlo was a fifth-round selection by the Rockies in the 2014 draft. Selected out of high school, Padlo hit .257/.372/.447 across two Class-A levels in 2015 and has amassed a composite batting line of .271/.388/.494 with 19 homers and 41 stolen bases early in his pro career. Baseball America rated Padlo 14th among Rockies farmhands last offseason, noting that he had “impressive power” for a high school player in the draft but has a thick lower half and can get flat-footed at third base, so he’ll need to work on his agility and be conscious about his weight.
Marquez, who was on the Rays’ 40-man roster, rated 25th among Tampa Bay farmhands, according to MLB.com’s most recent prospect rankings (a new version of the list will be out soon, as will Baseball America’s full Top 30). The 20-year-old Venezuelan right-hander that spent last season pitching at Class-A Advanced, where he worked to a 3.56 ERA with 6.7 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 in 139 innings. MLB.com notes that Marquez has been consistently challenged by facing older competition — he was three years younger than the league average this past season, for instance — and has succeeded despite being one of the younger players in each league in which he’s pitched. Marquez offers a low- to mid-90s fastbal with the makings of an average or better curveball and a changeup that’s still a work in progress. His control has improved with each season in the minors as well.
Nonetheless, it’s somewhat surprising, in my eyes, that the Rockies felt comfortable parting with four years of Dickerson for two years of a reliever, however excellent he may be, and one mid-level pitching prospect. Colorado, of course, may see considerably more in Marquez than others in the industry, and they may also have had concerns about Dickerson’s diminished plate discipline and increased strikeout rate.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that Dickerson was going to the Rays in a trade (Twitter link). Joel Sherman of the New York Post added that McGee would go to Colorado, and prospects were also involved (Twitter link). Rosenthal further tweeted some additional details on the structure of the deal, and Jon Heyman reported that Marquez was going back to the Rays as well (on Twitter). Rosenthal later tweeted that Padlo was the fourth player in the trade.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
With Gerardo Parra on board, the Rockies have four left-handed-hitting outfielders. A trade may not be inevitable, but it isn’t hard to see how one would make sense, particularly given that Colorado is still in need of pitching. Here’s the latest:
- It may be that Corey Dickerson, rather than Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon, could be the likeliest player to be traded, a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests (Twitter links). There’s a sense from some in the game, he says, that the 26-year-old may be on the move this winter, due in part to the fact that he might not cost as much as his more established teammates.
- Though he hasn’t even yet cracked 1,000 MLB plate appearances, Dickerson does appear to offer the greatest value upside of the three trade candidates. That’s due in large part to the fact that he’s cheaper and subject to greater control than are the other two. But he also has shown some serious potential with the bat, putting up a .299/.345/.534 slash that is quite impressive even with Coors Field as a home park. On the other hand, defensive metrics haven’t been in love with his glove.
- As Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported, and Rosenthal echoes, the Rays are still involved in chatter with Colorado. Topkin adds that he believes left-handed reliever Jake McGee could be the key name involved in talks from Tampa Bay’s side. That’s certainly an interesting development, as the Rockies have already done some bullpen work this winter and seem more in need of rotation help. Of course, there’s still room for improvement there and McGee is a premium arm. Notably, too, Topkin adds that the addition of Dickerson would likely force the Rays to pursue additional moves.
Red Sox players and personnel are keeping close tabs on Hanley Ramirez this winter, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Last year, the former shortstop failed spectacularly in his first season as an outfielder. At times, observers questioned Ramirez’s commitment to improving defensively. The club now plans to use him as the starting first baseman where he’ll be involved much more often than last year. It’s viewed as an easy defensive position but that can be misleading. While it’s true first base demands less raw athleticism than other skill positions like shortstop, it’s a highly technical position and requires precise footwork. Boston hopes to rebound from a cellar dwelling season, and their hopes depend on Ramirez.
Here’s more from the AL East:
- Boston outfielder Rusney Castillo believes he has made critical adjustments in preparation for 2016, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Castillo felt fatigued last season and has adopted a more rigorous training program this winter. He’s also tinkered with his swing to make it a bit shorter to the ball. Theoretically, that will help his contact rate.
- Steve Pearce’s signing with the Rays didn’t drive headlines like Yoenis Cespedes, but he’ll fill an important role in 2016, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Pearce will split time between first base and designated hitter. He won’t be a pure platoon bat despite a history of better numbers versus lefties.
- Lack of movement in Ian Desmond’s market has increased the possibility of a “pillow” contract with the Rays, suggests Topkin. Desmond is a Sarasota native which could be a lure. He’d represent a meaningful and highly visible upgrade to the Rays current roster. Brad Miller projects as the starting shortstop, but he could move to an outfield or utility role.
- Also per Topkin, in trade talks with the Cubs and Rockies, the Rays are focused more on Javier Baez and Corey Dickerson than Jorge Soler or Charlie Blackmon. Tampa Bay is shopping Jake McGee and starting pitching. Based on past rumors, Chicago and Colorado could be interested in either or both assets.
- Doug Fister could be a smart target for the Orioles, opines Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Dan Duquette has already said the club prefers to hang onto its first round draft pick. It would have to surrender that pick and perhaps $50MM to sign free agent Yovani Gallardo. Fister, meanwhile, has had a slightly superior career, would cost about $22MM total over two years, and didn’t receive a qualifying offer. Of course, there’s a reason why Fister is so much cheaper – he dealt with injury during a rough 2015 campaign. If the O’s stay in house, Melewski sees Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Vance Worley, and Chris Jones as rotation candidates.
The Rays have begun ticking through their long list of arb-eligible players in advance of Friday’s deadline to exchange filing figures. According to Jon Heyman, the “file-and-trial” organization struck deals to avoid a hearing with lefty reliever Jake McGee, righty Alex Cobb, and outfielder Brandon Guyer. (Links to Twitter.)
McGee leads the way with a $4.8MM contract for the coming season, per the report. He had been projected by MLBTR to earn $4.7MM through the arbitration process, so he landed just ahead of that figure. The 29-year-old has been lights out for Tampa Bay, racking up 259 2/3 innings of 2.77 ERA pitching in his six seasons there, with 11. K/9 and just 2.5 BB/9. He remains one of the most intriguing names on the trade market for pen arms.
Cobb was an easy case, unfortunately, because he missed all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery. As projected, he landed a repeat salary of $4MM. Tampa Bay will hope he’s able to return to the form that allowed him to compile a 2.82 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 over the 2013-14 campaigns.
The deal with Guyer also lands right along the expected amount, as he’ll earn just a shade less ($1.185MM) than his projection ($1.3MM). Now 29, Guyer has turned into a useful piece over the last two years. In his 679 plate appearances dating back to the start of 2014, he’s slashed a solid .266/.348/.393 with 11 home runs and 16 steals.
With many — but not all — of the top free agent arms now gone from the market, the Rays appear to be ramping up discussions involving their pitchers. Tampa Bay has long been said to be willing to listen on its array of starters and late-inning relievers, though it hasn’t made any deals since shipping Nate Karns to the Mariners to kick off the winter’s activities.
Here’s the latest:
- The Rays are engaged in “’many’ active trade conversations” involving pitching, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday on Twitter. It seems as if the club’s previous talks, which appeared to have some steam during the Winter Meetings, have been re-joined now that the market has gained additional clarity.
- Indeed, Tampa Bay has “picked up the pace” on discussions, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The team is still holding conversations involving top relievers Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger as well as various starters. The one name that clearly is not in play is staff ace Chris Archer.
- The Cubs have remained in “constant contact” with the Rays, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (audio link). It’s previously been suggested that Chicago could have interest in Alex Cobb, but Bowden hints that Jake Odorizzi could make a nice fit for Chicago in a deal. The hang-up, though, is that the Cubs are trying to swing a deal without giving up Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, or other major league pieces.
The Rockies have made a few small moves this offseason, but they haven’t yet addressed their rotation, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. It’s unclear where the Rockies will go from here, Saunders writes — a deal with the Indians might have made at least a bit of sense, although, via ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider-only), the Indians don’t appear to see any urgent need to deal Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar. A trade with the Rays might be a possibility, but the Rays have already been connected to a number of other teams (including, today, the Cardinals). And as was reported yesterday, the Rockies weren’t able to get Kevin Gausman from the Orioles in return for Carlos Gonzalez. Here’s more from the NL West.
- Giants GM Bobby Evans says his team’s MRI of Johnny Cueto’s elbow “looked great,” Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area tweets. Cueto had a flexor strain last season, but it appears to be healed. It sounds, then, like the Cueto’s physical exam reassured the Giants that their $130MM commitment to him was the right move.
- The Dodgers’ end of the three-way Todd Frazier trade (in which they received youngsters Frankie Montas, Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson) added talent to the organization, but their return also initially appeared a bit puzzling given that they presumably plan to compete in 2016. The deal might, however, be part of a broader plan to add talent that they can use to acquire veterans, Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles writes. That could mean they trade for a young starter like Jose Fernandez or Sonny Gray. As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times recently tweeted, top Dodgers exec Andrew Friedman answered affirmatively when asked if the Frazier deal made him feel better about dealing prospects. “Obviously, we’re having a lot of conversations that involve us potentially trading some prospects in different-type scenarios,” says Friedman. “This wasn’t necessarily directed at that, but it’s connected in the same way every move we make has some connection. Expanding our talent base is helpful on multiple fronts.”
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs , meanwhile, suggests a package that the Dodgers could use to land Chris Archer of the Rays. Such a deal could conceivably be based around young Dodgers infielder Corey Seager, with the deal also potentially including someone like Rays reliever Jake McGee. Cameron notes that the Dodgers would be reluctant to part with Seager, but, of course, the Rays would be reluctant to part with Archer as well, and the two teams have plenty to offer one another.
Though many expected Brad Miller to land the everyday shortstop job for the Rays following Tampa Bay’s trade with the Mariners, that’s not necessarily the case, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays could still very well swing a trade for Javier Baez or another young infielder if they’re willing to part with a starting pitcher, he notes. And, even if the Rays don’t add another shortstop option, Miller’s struggles with lefties create the possibility of at least a platoon situation with the right-handed-hitting Tim Beckham. Nick Franklin remains an option as well, though a poor 2015 campaign likely means he’ll head to Triple-A to begin the 2016 season. Manager Kevin Cash noted to Topkin, though, that his hope is for someone to take the reins early and cement himself as the man for the job.
More on the Rays and more from their division…
- Topkin also writes that virtually every club in baseball expressed some interest in Kevin Kiermaier at the Winter Meetings, though the Rays probably don’t have much interest in parting with the elite defender. Topkin adds that the Brewers and Pirates seem like possible fits for a potential James Loney deal, noting that both have had interest in the past. He also speculates that Jake McGee could be a fit with the Dodgers now that their pursuit of Aroldis Chapman has been halted by his domestic violence allegations.
- Gary Sanchez is the front-runner to be Brian McCann’s backup for the Yankees in 2016, writes George A. King III of the New York Post. While Austin Romine will be in the competition and might get the job early on due to Sanchez’s lack of experience at Triple-A, King suggests that Sanchez will hold down the job for the majority of the season. GM Brian Cashman praised Sanchez, stating that the 23-year-old has “improved in every category” from last season, specifically citing his improved pitch blocking, game calling and throwing.
- J.J. Hardy spoke with MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko at the Orioles’ recent FanFest event and provided an update on a shoulder injury that plagued him throughout the 2015 season. Hardy has been working out for seven weeks and expects an offseason of rest and rehabilitation to lead to improvements in 2016. While he said it was a very difficult decision to forego surgery on the shoulder to repair the small tear in his labrum, Hardy noted that he’s been through that process before and felt last time that it took a full six months of actually playing baseball after the recovery for him to feel normal again. Surgery also could’ve sidelined Hardy through Spring Training and into the regular season.
- Kubatko also spoke with Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph about Matt Wieters’ return to the team. While Wieters’ decision to accept the qualifying offer impedes Joseph’s path to regular playing time behind the plate, Joseph had nothing but positive things to say about Wieters, calling him a mentor and praising him for his willingness to provide insight on hitters, his work to help Joseph improve his defensive techniques and more.
- Red Sox vice president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye interviewed for the Blue Jays’ GM vacancy before the job went to former Cleveland vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
The Rays’ trade discussions about left-handed relief ace Jake McGee have intensified over the past 24 to 48 hours, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). McGee and teammate Brad Boxberger have drawn significant trade interest, and several have suggested that one of the two is likely to be moved. McGee makes a bit more sense as a trade candidate, given MLBTR’s $4.7MM salary projection (Boxberger is not yet arbitration eligible) and the fact that he has only two years of club control remaining to Boxberger’s four.
Morosi tweets that the Dodgers — who are reportedly moving on from their pursuit of Aroldis Chapman in light of his domestic violence allegations — make sense as a landing spot, given president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s familiarity with McGee (Friedman was formerly the Rays’ GM). The Astros have been linked to Tampa Bay’s relievers as well, though they’ve reportedly agreed to a deal to acquire Ken Giles from Philadelphia, so perhaps they’re no longer in the market for top-tier relievers. The Twins are also known to be looking for left-handed relief help, and indications late in this week’s Winter Meetings were that Minnesota isn’t likely to make a play for top-of-the-market free agent lefties.
McGee, who will pitch the bulk of next season at age 29, missed the beginning of the 2015 campaign recovering from offseason surgery on his left elbow and was sidelined again in September by a torn meniscus. He was brilliant as ever when healthy enough to take to the mound, though, firing 37 1/3 innings of 2.41 ERA ball with 11.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 38.9 percent ground-ball rate. He has a collective 2.07 ERA with 138 strikeouts against just 22 unintentional walks over the past two seasons — a span of 108 2/3 innings — and averaged better than 96 mph on his fastball from 2013-14 (94.5 mph in 2015). He’d be a boost to any club’s bullpen and should fetch the Rays a considerable return if a trade is ultimately agreed upon.
Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti tells MLB Network Radio (audio link) that he’s chasing offensive upgrades, with interest in hitters from both sides of the plate. “I think it’s probably safe to say … that if you’re a corner bat or an outfielder, that we are investigating those options,” said Antonetti, who added that Cleveland is “definitely looking to improve our position player club.” The executive made clear in his comments that the team is open to adding multiple bats.
Here’s more from the central divisions:
- The Reds “have made everyone available,” Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets, including third baseman Todd Frazier. President of baseball operations Walt Jocketty indicated that would probably be the case back in November, as C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported at the time. “I don’t know if we’re in a position to say there’s any untouchables,” said Jocketty. With the Winter Meetings opening tomorrow, it seems that Cincinnati will be one of the major sellers to watch.
- While the Reds have fielded the most active recent interest from the Dodgers and the Astros in star southpaw Aroldis Chapman, per another Heyman tweet, Cincinnati and Houston have been “having [a] hard time matching up.” All indications are that the ’Stros have been casting a wide net in their search for a top-notch reliever, possibly indicating a focus on achieving value, and it’s certainly possible to imagine that the team will be hesitant to cough up a major prospect haul after cashing in some significant assets at the trade deadline. Cincinnati will no doubt be looking to add near-MLB talent to plug onto a roster that has dealt with injury and performance issues in recent years, though MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the team has some encouraging news on the progress of shortstop Zack Cozart and catcher Devin Mesoraco.
- The Cubs have been chatting with the Rays about “some match ups,” tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, who notes that lefty reliever Jake McGee is “intriguing.” We have heard recently that Chicago could be looking to add a major arm via trade.
- Tigers GM Al Avila says his focus this week in Nashville will be on bolstering the pen, Jason Beck of MLB.com tweets. Detroit might still look to make changes on the position player side of the equation, but that probably will not occur this week.
- The Tigers have already addressed their rotation, of course, after announcing the signing of Mike Pelfrey to go with the previously-inked Jordan Zimmermann. As Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports, Avila called the move a “scout signing” in that the team believes the big righty has shown the ability to produce solid results moving forward. “He’s a guy we were very comfortable with,” Avila explained “He’s a guy that’s a good bet for us that he can bounce back and build off last year. Our intent was to get a guy that can get us 30 starts, give us some innings, a veteran guy that has good clubhouse makeup.”
- Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. says that his club will “stretch again if we see the right opportunity” after putting in a big offer for lefty David Price, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. All told, Goold writes, the organization appears primed to have a major impact on the market even after missing on Price.
- Another team that chased Price, the Cubs, sought to woo him with a seven-year, $161MM offer, per Levine (via Twitter). That is believed to be the third-highest offer, behind the Cards and the ultimately successful Red Sox. Of course, Chicago ultimately went on to add John Lackey for two years and $32MM, a signing that drew strong praise from at least one rival GM, per Heyman (via Twitter).
- Meanwhile, the Pirates have a host of needs that remain open at this time, as Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Team president Frank Coonelly tells Sawchik that the organization anticipates a rise in payroll, and has “flexibility to add by free agency and/or trades.” He also made an interesting observation on the club’s range of possible actions, saying the 2016 ballclub “may include players who are available to us in part because we have made other moves.” That could be a reference to high-priced veterans Mark Melancon and Neil Walker, both of whom have emerged as trade candidates. It seems that Pittsburgh could be a major mover at the GM Meetings, one of the many topics that Zach Links and I covered in this week’s Winter Meetings preview on the MLBTR Podcast.