As MLB’s offseason continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. What’s next for the Blue Jays?
The Blue Jays are reportedly in agreement with right-hander Yariel Rodriguez on a four-year deal worth $32MM. The 26-year-old hurler is set to undergo a physical in the United States in the near future, though he’s currently waiting for a visa that would allow him to enter the country. Once that’s sorted out and Rodriguez is officially signed the club will have to make room for the righty on its 40-man roster, which is currently at capacity. In the meantime, Toronto appears likely to turn its attention to addressing DH, where they’ll need to replace the strong production Brandon Belt offered last season. The Blue Jays have been connected to plenty of slugging bats this offseason including Joc Pederson and J.D. Martinez. The addition of a big bat at DH could help the club boost an offense that is at risk of taking a step back in 2024 as currently constructed.
2. Will the recent activity on the starting market continue?
With plenty of teams still on the lookout for starting pitching and all signs pointing to the likes of Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery taking their time in free agency, Jon Heyman of the New York Post recently suggested that the next tier of free agent starters could begin to see some activity in the coming days. Heyman highlighted arms such as James Paxton, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Michael Lorenzen while noting that clubs like the Pirates, Nationals, Red Sox, Orioles, and Padres could all be players in this tier of free agency.
It wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise to see activity on the pitching market over the next few days, seeing as it’s been the most active area of the market in recent weeks. Including the reported deal Rodriguez, a look at MLBTR’s Contract Tracker shows that Rodriguez is the sixth free agent starter that’s agreed to a multi-year deal since Yoshinobu Yamamoto landed with the Dodgers just before Christmas, joining the quintet of Lucas Giolito, Sean Manaea, Shota Imanaga, Marcus Stroman, and Jordan Hicks.
3. Yankees signing to be made official:
The Yankees made the aforementioned Stroman signing official yesterday and designated outfielder Oscar Gonzalez for assignment to make room for the veteran righty on their 40-man roster. It won’t be the only 40-man roster move the club makes in the coming days, as their signing of right-hander Luke Weaver has not yet been made official. The club could simply look to designate another player on its roster for assignment, as they did with Gonzalez, though an alternative solution could be working out a minor trade with another club to acquire non-roster talent in exchange for a player towards the back of the club’s 40-man.