FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal shares some hot stove items in his latest Full Count video…
- It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Royals dealt Kelvin Herrera this winter, as the closer is in line for a big salary bump in his last year of arbitration eligibility. Rosenthal estimates Herrera will earn something in the $7.5-$8MM range in 2018, up from the $5.325MM Herrera earned this season. Brandon Maurer or Ryan Buchter could take over as Kansas City’s closer if Herrera is dealt. Herrera drew some trade buzz earlier this season as one of the many bullpen options the Nationals were exploring, and surely he would garner interest this offseason, even if Herrera hasn’t quite been as dominant this season as in recent years. This all assumes, of course, that Herrera’s current forearm issue doesn’t prove to be anything serious. With Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer all potential leaving K.C. in free agency this winter, a Herrera trade could further portend the start of a rebuild for the Royals.
- The Angels were one of Justin Upton’s targets when he was a free agent two winters ago, and he has a home in Arizona, which could facilitate remaining on the west coast if he doesn’t opt out of his contract. Ultimately, Upton’s September performance will decide whether or not he chooses to stick with the Angels or opt out of the four years and $88.5MM remaining on his deal. In an MLBTR poll from Thursday, just under 56% of respondents feel Upton will indeed opt out and look for a bigger deal this winter.
- Reports have suggested that Justin Verlander was initially hesitant to waive his no-trade clause and join the Astros, as he would’ve preferred to instead be dealt to the Cubs or Dodgers. As Rosenthal notes, “there’s no guarantee” either Chicago or L.A. would have looked to acquire Verlander in the offseason, so the former Cy Young Award winner decided to join a contender now rather than stay with the rebuilding Tigers. Rosenthal also points out the interesting fact that Minute Maid Park has been the most depressed run-scoring environment of any ballpark in the league since the start of the 2016 season, belying its hitter-friendly reputation.