Here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on throughout the baseball world today:
1. How many more moves do the Mets have in them?
After their jaw-dropping signing of Carlos Correa to play third base, the Mets made another pair of moves last night, shipping James McCann out to the Orioles and adding Danny Mendick on a $1MM deal. With Mets officials reportedly expecting Mendick to be ready for Opening Day on March 30th, his signing will likely further fuel speculation that Eduardo Escobar, who has already been pushed to the bench by Correa, could be the next veteran piece the Mets ship out. Correa’s signing also leaves Brett Baty and Mark Vientos blocked at third base. While both prospects can play other positions (Baty can play the outfield, while Vientos can profiles better at first or DH than third), Billy Eppler’s front office may be more willing to dangle them in trade talks now that they have a long-term answer at third base. Such a deal could inspire even more moves. For example, the Mets are already reportedly entertaining offers for Carlos Carrasco, and they would be even more motivated to do so if they landed another starting pitcher by trade, likely pushing Carrasco out of the starting rotation. Whatever specific moves they make from here, the Mets have been among the offseason’s most active teams, and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down as of yet.
2. Will we ever hear the Giants side of the Correa situation?
After the deal between Correa and the Giants fell apart due to medical concerns, Correa’s agent Scott Boras took to the media to explain his– and his client’s– side of the story. Boras characterizes the situation as San Francisco being concerned by an injury that predates Correa’s time in the majors, and says the Giants ultimately did not return to the negotiating table before Boras felt he needed to restart negotiations with other clubs, leading to Correa’s new deal with the Mets. The Giants, for their part, have been relatively quiet on the topic, with president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi simply noting that the team is not allowed to disclose confidential medical information. Still, given the unprecedented nature of the whole debacle and the confusion and frustration it has caused among the Giants faithful, fans surely are hoping for a more clear explanation and resolution to the whole ordeal in the coming days.
3. Will the Orioles deal from their position player surplus?
The Orioles offseason so far has been decently active, even if it hasn’t been to the level some fans were hoping for. Kyle Gibson, Adam Frazier, and Mychal Givens have all agreed to one-year deals, while the organization picked up McCann to back up Adley Rutschman last night. Still, there’s much more to do in Baltimore in order to supplement a roster that surprised most by winning 83 games and avoiding a last place finish in the deeply competitive AL East last year. The most glaring hole in the team is the starting rotation, where only Dean Kremer posted an ERA below 4.00 last season, and Gibson may actually be a downgrade from innings-eater Jordan Lyles, who departed for Kansas City after the Orioles declined a 2023 team option for his services. Fortunately for the O’s and their fans, however, there’s plenty of interesting pieces in Baltimore who could draw trade interest from other clubs and make a deal possible. Slick-fielding shortstop Jorge Mateo is already known to have drawn trade interest from teams, but there’s other players who could be available as well. Ramon Urias won a Gold Glove for his work at third base in 2022, but it seems likely the pending arrival of infield prospects like Jordan Westburg and Joey Ortiz could push him out of an everyday role. The Marlins would make a particularly appealing trade partner for Baltimore, as they’re incredibly deep in rotation options but have a glaring need for bats, making the two clubs a seemingly perfect match to work out a deal. Otherwise, the Cubs and Red Sox could stand to add to their infield mixes, though Baltimore may be wary of trading with a division rival like Boston. While not necessarily on the lookout for bats, a team that lost their shortstop to free agency this offseason, such as the Dodgers or Braves, might have interest in Mateo’s glove at shortstop to supplement their internal options at the position.