As baseball takes a break until Tuesday night, we’ll touch on a few items pertaining to the upcoming offseason and looking back at how last offseason laid the foundation for where we stand.
- Aaron Hicks made a remarkable return to action in the ALCS after sitting out over two months with a flexor strain in his right elbow. We knew at the time that Tommy John Surgery was in consideration for the 30-year-old, and with the season now over, Hicks admits it was actually recommended by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (via Twitter). Hicks reiterated last night he believes he’ll avert the operation given the progress he’s made with less drastic rehabilitation methods. Hicks, who signed a seven-year extension entering the season, is surely an integral part of the Bombers’ plans moving forward.
- It’s less clear if Didi Gregorius is part of the team’s future, but the five-year Yankee tells reporters, including James Wagner of the New York Times (Twitter link), he’d like to return to the Bronx. The 29-year-old is ticketed for free agency, where he profiles as the top shortstop option on the market. Gregorius didn’t play in the majors this season until June 7 owing to a Tommy John of his own, and he never got on track offensively, slashing .238/.276/.441 (84 wRC+) in 344 plate appearances. Nevertheless, Gregorius’ pre-2019 track record, age, and the scarcity of shortstops available in free agency make him a reasonable qualifying offer candidate. With a glut of infielders on hand, among them former shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, Brian Cashman’s front office will have some tough decisions sorting out the infield mix this winter.
- The Reds discussed Jackie Bradley, Jr. with the Red Sox last offseason, relays the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale. While there’s no indication talks progressed very far or have picked up since, it’s still noteworthy to hear Cincinnati’s front office liked the player not too long ago. Bradley’s one of the offseason’s most obvious trade candidates, as we’ve already heard rumblings Boston would shop him this winter to ameliorate payroll concerns. MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently explored Bradley’s market in full and noted that the Reds have some uncertainty in center field if they believe Nick Senzel to be more valuable at second base. Bradley didn’t have a banner 2019 season and comes with a rather significant arbitration projection ($11MM), but the free agent market in center field isn’t particularly robust.
- The Nationals aren’t turning their attention to next spring just yet. As the team gears up for a World Series showdown with the Astros, the Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli looks back to the organization’s roster construction work last winter. General Manager Mike Rizzo was aggressive early in free agency, re-signing Kurt Suzuki and bringing aboard Patrick Corbin and Brian Dozier. A willingness to dangle a sixth year was perhaps the driving factor in getting Corbin (the Phillies and Yankees stopped at five), the prize of last offseason’s pitching market. That said, Rizzo’s forthrightness in negotiations certainly didn’t hurt, Corbin explains, and Dozier tells Ghiroli he declined more lucrative offers elsewhere out of a belief in what the Nats were building. It’s a worthwhile read for Nationals’ fans soaking up the enjoyment of the franchise’s first pennant.