With the Winter Meetings upon us, let’s round up the latest chatter on the market to start the morning …
- The Dodgers could play a fascinating role in the proceedings. As the L.A. front office works on major potential free agent moves, it’s also dabbling in the trade market involving some existing pieces. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter that the club is open to discussing trade scenarios involving A.J. Pollock and Enrique Hernandez, along with the previously rumored Joc Pederson. Pollock just finished the first season of a complicated free agent contract, while Hernandez and Pederson each project to earn significant arbitration salaries in their final seasons of eligibility. MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently broke down a potentially complicated offseason for the seven-time defending NL West champs.
- Outfielder Nicholas Castellanos may be down a suitor, but the news seems to be good. The Marlins are “out of the bidding,” according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic (via Twitter), owing to the fact that the auction ask has “sky rocketed” in the wake of the surprisingly lofty Mike Moustakas deal. Castellanos has always seemed a tricky player to predict. The youthful, bat-first performer might in past years have been a candidate for a top-of-the-market contract. But recent trends have not favored defensively marginal sluggers. We guessed he’d get four years and $58MM; now that Moustakas has topped that guarantee, perhaps Castellanos can be expected to go higher. His market still appears to be taking shape but could conceivably come together quickly over the next few days.
- Free agent shortstop Didi Gregorius appears “likely” to secure a significant, multi-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). Heyman hears that Gregorius could land an average annual value of $14MM to $15MM — which is just what we predicted he’d get (over three years) in our top-50 free agent ranking. It’s still unclear where Gregorius will land. Heyman suggests that the bidding may go too high for the Reds, possibly leaving the Phillies and unknown others to pursue the veteran infielder.