As the offseason continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Press conference in Arizona:
At 2:00pm CT this afternoon, the Diamondbacks will be holding a press conference to introduce newly-signed left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the press. Both Rodriguez himself and GM Mike Hazen will be in attendance. Rodriguez, who signed a four-year, $80MM contract as the Winter Meetings were coming to a close last week, is the largest free agent signing by the D-backs since the ill-fated Madison Bumgarner deal signed prior to the 2020 season. The press conference could shed some light on Arizona’s payroll flexibility going forward this offseason, as the reigning NL champs are into uncharted territory with regards to their payroll. RosterResource projects them for a $127MM payroll in 2024, a figure that comes in just below the club’s all-time high payroll of $131MM back in 2018 (per Cot’s Baseball Contracts). That would seemingly leave little room in the budget for further additions, but Arizona has nonetheless been connected to bats at the top of the DH market such as J.D. Martinez and Jorge Soler.
2. Contracts yet to be made official:
Yesterday saw the Royals make their one-year agreement with left-hander Will Smith official, designating right-hander Collin Snider for assignment to make room for Smith on the club’s 40-man roster. With Smith now officially on the roster in Kansas City, it’s possible that two other signings that were agreed upon over the weekend could be made official in the near future as well: fellow southpaw Andrew Chafin’s $4.75MM deal with the Tigers, and catcher Austin Hedges’s $4MM pact with the Guardians. Cleveland already cleared a spot for Hedges on their 40-man roster by shipping catcher Christian Bethancourt to the Marlins the day of their agreement with Hedges, while the Tigers currently have just 38 players on their 40-man, leaving them room on the roster for another addition even after Chafin’s deal is made official.
3. MLBTR Chat today:
With the Winter Meetings now in the rearview mirror and baseball’s biggest free agent off the board, are there any questions burning in your mind about the offseason? Are you wondering what’s next for your favorite team, or perhaps curious about what the market for a particular free agent looks like? If so, tune in this afternoon when MLBTR’s Steve Adams hosts a live chat with readers at 1pm CT. You can click here to ask a question in advance, and that same link will allow you to join in on the chat once it begins or read the transcript after its completed.