There has been no shortage of chatter on Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani over the past few weeks. We gathered up more news and rumors on each of these significant players yesterday — here and here, respectively. It’s fair to wonder whether their still-unsettled situations could be to blame for a notably sluggish start to the free agent market. The former, in particular, is a potential cause given that his massive contract and complicated trade situation might be hindering the development of the markets of premium free agents — though certainly other structural factors may be playing a far greater role, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports argues in a must-read piece.
- Free agent righty Yu Darvish evidently still has a broad class of suitors, according to a report from Jim Bowden of Sirius XM (via Twitter). Six (unidentified) clubs have engaged on the veteran hurler, with about as many others seemingly having shown some degree of interest. That’s not surprising for a pitcher of Darvish’s stature — he entered the offseason atop MLBTR’s list of the top fifty free agents — but it does suggest that the back-and-forth is only just getting underway.
- Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron has explored the hypothetical possibility of the Blue Jays dangling star third baseman Josh Donaldson in trade. He first posited that Toronto could match up with the Cardinals in a swap that might allow both teams to maximize their resources and stay in contention. (Of course, this is presented as analysis, not a report of actual discussions.) And yesterday, Cameron argued that Donaldson might not bring maximum value if he’s ultimately shopped at the deadline (supposing, of course, that the Jays end up in a selling posture). Other premium hot corner rentals could also be available this summer, Cameron notes, and it seems unlikely that there’ll be a whole lot of demand.
- Third baseman Todd Frazier is likely to plug a gap for one of the few contenders that does need a new option there. But he’s also still interested in returning to the Yankees, he tells MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link). Of course, that’s an organization that may well decide not to add at that position; we covered just that subject in some detail about a month back. Frazier says it’d be “great” to remain in the Bronx, but also suggests he may be resigned to finding a new home, noting that he “understand[s] the business” side of things.