With less than six weeks left until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on throughout the day today in the baseball world:
1. Correa Talking To Other Clubs Again
For a few weeks now, Carlos Correa and the Mets have been trying to work the kinks out of their 12-year, $315MM agreement due to issues with the same old injury that gave the Giants pause in their 13-year, $350MM agreement with the All-Star. It appears those negotiations are no longer entirely exclusive, as Correa’s camp has resumed discussions with at least one team besides the Mets due to the difficulties hammering out a final agreement in New York. Correa’s free agency has been one of the biggest and strangest stories of the offseason, and that’s sure to remain the case until it eventually reaches a proper conclusion.
2. What does the added rotation depth in Milwaukee mean for Houser?
The Brewers fortified their rotation this week by signing Wade Miley and added another depth arm with their waiver claim of Bryse Wilson, who’s out of minor league options (and thus will need to be on the roster or else again designated for assignment). With Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta already locked into starting roles for the club, it seems likely that Miley will compete with Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby for the final two spots in the rotation, with the third lefty likely joining the bullpen alongside Wilson. Adrian Houser already seemed like a possible trade candidate for Milwaukee considering the number of clubs looking for starting pitching in a thin market, but with even more depth in Milwaukee now, it’s possible that a trade has become even likelier. Houser, who’s controllable for two more seasons and projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn a reasonable $3.6MM through arbitration in 2023, could make sense for a variety of teams looking to add depth to their rotation, including the Angels, Orioles, and Padres.
3. La Stella, Moustakas To Join Free Agent Market
Just as the free agent infield market was thinning out, the Reds and Giants each added another player to the mix, as Cincinnati released Mike Moustakas and San Francisco did the same with Tommy La Stella. The two players have a lot of similarities as they enter the market. Both are lefty-swinging infielders entering their mid-thirties who are capable of playing first, second, and third base. Both have struggled with injuries and under-performance in recent years but have had success as recently as the shortened 2020 season. Perhaps most importantly, both can be had for just the major league minimum in 2023, with their former club still on the hook for the remainder of their contracts.
Either player would be a useful addition to any club if they can rediscover their old form, and there should be teams with a need in the infield who’ll be willing to give them a chance, given the minimal commitment necessary to do so. The Orioles stand out as a particularly interesting match for either Moustakas or La Stella because they recently pursued a lefty infielder in a similar contractual situation: first baseman Eric Hosmer, who ultimately landed with the Cubs. Speculatively speaking, the White Sox, Tigers, Rays, and Cubs are among the other teams who could make sense for this veteran duo.