With the trade deadline drawing nearer, FanRag’s Jon Heyman lists 70 players who could end up on the block over the next two months. Heyman ranks the players in order of name value and includes the likes of Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Josh Donaldson and Ryan Braun near the top of the list. Check out the full piece for an in-depth look at which stars and role players might switch uniforms this summer.
- Prior to the season, Royals impending free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer shot down a report that he was seeking a 10-year deal. But there’s still a belief within the organization that he will request something close to a decadelong pact in the coming months, per Heyman, who adds that Hosmer is the soon-to-be free agent the Royals most want to keep. However, Kansas City hasn’t made a serious offer to Hosmer on account of what could be a lofty asking price, and the team expects the 27-year-old to reach free agency. Fellow longtime Royals Mike Moustakas (third base), Lorenzo Cain (center field) and Alcides Escobar (shortstop) are also likely to hit the market in the offseason. Moustakas is the Royals’ biggest priority after Hosmer, suggests Heyman, while they seem resigned to the idea that Cain will find a larger payday elsewhere. Escobar, the weakest player of the four, could re-sign if the price is right. At one point, he was seeking $10MM per year, but his cost has come down thanks to his dreadful offensive start (.174/.203/.228 in 196 plate appearances). Meanwhile, right-hander Ian Kennedy probably won’t opt out of the remaining three years and $49MM left on his contract, Heyman writes.
- Alex Rodriguez could still factor into the Marlins’ next ownership group if the faction including Tagg Romney, Tom Glavine and Dave Stewart lands the franchise. Given A-Rod’s controversial past, the Romney team is keeping him “at arm’s length” for now; even if they weren’t, Rodriguez isn’t allowed to be part of an ownership group as long as he’s still collecting a salary from the Yankees. The 41-year-old’s contract with the Bombers expires at season’s end. His former teammate Derek Jeter, who’s vying with Jeb Bush and against Romney & Co. to purchase the Marlins, isn’t planning to invest much money, says Heyman. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Saturday that Bush and Jeter are leading the race to acquire the franchise.
- Heyman reported in April that the Indians would look to extend first baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana, but discussions between the two sides still haven’t taken place. They might not occur, either, as Heyman relays that Santana is likely to hit free agency at season’s end. At .219/.321/.390 in 215 PAs, the 31-year-old hasn’t carried his typically above-average production into this season so far, but he continues to exhibit quality plate discipline with 27 walks against 31 strikeouts. Santana’s walk rate has dropped in each season since 2014, however, and is now at a career-low 12.6 percent.
- When the offseason rolls around, odds are that Tigers left fielder Justin Upton will not opt out of the remaining four years and $88MM left on his deal, reports Heyman. “Not happening,” one rival general manager said of a potential opt-out. Upton hasn’t lived up to his lucrative contract in his year-plus in Detroit, putting him on track to take the bird-in-the-hand approach.
- It appears first baseman Lucas Duda is in his final season with the Mets, as Heyman implies that he’s primed to sign elsewhere over the winter. The 31-year-old power hitter has been among the Mets’ top players this season, having slashed .267/.406/.570 with six home runs in 106 PAs, but they do have a well-regarded youngster behind him in Dominic Smith. Baseball America sees Smith, 21, as the game’s 65th-best prospect.
- Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is making $557,900 this year, according to Heyman, who reported in March that the backstop had agreed to a salary worth more than the minimum of $535K.
- Add the Astros to the list of teams interested in Cuban shortstop prospect Jose Israel Garcia, who recently became a free agent. The Astros have already exceeded their pool allotment for the 2016-17 international free agent class, which could indicate that they’re looking to sign the 19-year-old Garcia before the period ends June 15.