Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video from FOX Sports.
- The Royals’ best course with potential free agents Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer might be to extend qualifying offers to all of them, Rosenthal opines. That would at least give them a windfall of draft picks if all three players were to sign big contracts elsewhere. The Royals seem to be running out of time to contend, and the extra draft picks would give them a head start on reloading.
- There has been some chatter about the possibility that teams could circumvent posting rules to lure Shohei Otani by promising to sign him to a small deal now and a big extension in the future. Rosenthal, though, notes that the league would not allow such an arrangement. Of course, as FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron pointed out, the signing team would have plausible deniability if it waited to officially strike the second deal until after Otani had played in the Majors for a year, since teams frequently try to sign top young talents to extensions. Such a deal would have to fit in with established precedents, however.
- The Nationals’ recent promotion of top prospect Victor Robles underscores just how many outfield options the team will have even if Bryce Harper departs via free agency following the 2018 season, Rosenthal says. In addition to Robles, they have Michael Taylor, Adam Eaton and Brian Goodwin, all of whom are under team control for the next several seasons, plus another top young prospect in Juan Soto.
- The Dodgers’ outstanding depth could allow them to use lefty starter Alex Wood and righty Kenta Maeda as multi-inning relievers in the playoffs, Rosenthal notes. That means the Dodgers would be able to use quick hooks on any starter having a bad outing.