The Toronto Blue Jays have not had any serious trade discussions regarding staff ace Marcus Stroman, per the MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). That does not mean, however, that teams haven’t asked. The Reds, in particular, are one team with noted interest in the Jays’ right-hander. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as the Reds have a well-documented mandate to add pitching this winter. For the Jays, to move Stroman now would definitely be selling low. Coming off back-to-back 200-inning efforts in 2016 and 2017, Stroman labored through only 102 1/3 innings in 2018, with 6.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 5.54 ERA in nineteen starts. He twice went on the disabled list, including a six-week stint for shoulder fatigue in May. As the winter action continues to wind up, keep warm with some quick hits from around the league…
- Yesterday’s report that the Diamondbacks were “aggressively shopping” ace Zack Greinke speaks to the current challenge facing Arizona GM Mike Hazen. The greater existential hurdle that Hazen needs to clear this winter is the question of whether to trade star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan portends Hazen’s future through the eyes of two men who have been there before: Pirates GM Neal Huntington and Royals GM Dayton Moore, each of whom faced a similar crisis point for their respective franchises. What makes the Diamondbacks situation unique, of course, is both the quality of their star and the quality of their competition. With current juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers firmly atop the division, and the best farm system in baseball lurking in San Diego, the Diamondbacks have a tough row to hoe no matter which route they take. The consensus “smart baseball move” is to trade him, but there’s more than just baseball to consider in trading a club icon as locally popular as Goldschmidt. No doubt Hazen is staring down the decision that will define his tenure in Arizona.
- This Tuesday, November 20th is the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft in December. That doesn’t give new Orioles GM Mike Elias a ton of time to acclimate himself to the Orioles’ farm system. While other teams are finalizing the decisions they’ve had months to ponder, Elias will have to hit the ground running with deadline decisions to clean up his 40-man roster. It’s likely the Orioles will make at least one selection in December’s upcoming draft – which requires opening up a spot on the currently-full 40-man roster. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com takes a look at some of the players that could be on the chopping block. Veteran backstop Caleb Joseph is one DFA candidate, as is injury-prone catcher Andrew Susac. It should be noted, Elias has until November 30th to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, giving Elias some extra time to decide on a player like shortstop Tim Beckham. The urgency before Tuesday is in protecting anyone likely to be poached by another organization, such as right-hander Dillon Tate, catcher Martin Cervenka or left-handed pitcher Luis Gonzalez. Tate is the likeliest of the bunch to be protected, as the Orioles probably won’t want to risk losing the 24-year-old just a few months after acquiring him from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade.
- Seattle team chairman and CEO John Stanton sent an email to Mariners’ employees on Friday regarding the recent allegations brought against the team by former employee Dr. Lorena Martin, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. In the letter, Stanton calls the allegations “disturbing” and “totally unexpected,” while also claiming progress “in reshaping our organization’s culture.” Nevertheless, an internal investigation conducted by the team’s human resources and legal departments determined Martin’s allegations to be unfounded. The MLB is conducting their own investigation into the matter, which is still pending.