Here is the past week’s original content from MLB Trade Rumors…
- Five officials working for Major League teams in an international scouting capacity provided MLBTR contributor Chuck Wasserstrom with a wide-ranging and comprehensive scouting report on Japanese superstar Shohei Otani. Widely rumored to be pursuing a move to North American baseball this winter, Otani’s two-way abilities drew heavy praise from the five evaluators. Names like Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson and Paul O’Neill were mentioned as possible comps for Otani’s pitching and hitting abilities, though there was a general feeling that Otani has a better chance at elite status as a pitcher.
- Also from Chuck, the latest installment of his Inside The Draft Room series features an interview with Mike Trout, as the Angels superstar re-lives the experience of being picked 25th overall in the 2009 draft.
- MLBTR is happy to welcome Twins right-hander Trevor May to our roster of contributors. Trevor’s first entry focuses on why he is available to write for MLBTR in the first place — the torn UCL he suffered during Spring Training that required Tommy John surgery and a year-long rehab.
- The 2017-18 free agent class could get a boost from several notable players who can exercise opt-out clauses in their contracts after the season. MLBTR’s Steve Adams looks at Justin Upton, Masahiro Tanaka, Johnny Cueto and others who will have to decide whether to forego their current guaranteed deals in search of more money and more years on the open market.
- Lorenzo Cain is having another good year for the Royals, providing his customary strong defense and baserunning while increasing his walk totals. On the flip side, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd notes in his Free Agent Stock Watch profile of Cain, the Royals outfielder has seen a big dropoff in power department. This could have implications on Cain’s next contract, as Jeff considers what Cain could earn in free agency this offseason with or without some solid power numbers on his resume.
- Also from Jeff, he looks at 10 relievers who were forced to settle for minor league deals last winter but are providing their teams with strong results this season.
- Which New York outfielder would you rather have as a long-term cornerstone — the Mets’ Michael Conforto or the Yankees’ Aaron Judge? Connor Byrne put the question to the MLBTR audience, with just under 56.5% of readers polled preferring Judge.