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 Rays?
The Rays pulled off a pair of trades over the weekend, shipping out right-hander Andrew Kittredge and outfielder Luke Raley in exchange for outfielder Richie Palacios and infielder Jose Caballero. The moves added an optionable lefty bat and shortstop depth to the mix in Tampa, and it appears the Rays may not be finished; they’re reportedly shopping DH/first baseman/outfielder Harold Ramirez as well. If the Rays can successfully move Ramirez, it could allow the club to address other areas of need on its roster.
Rotation depth is a concern for the Rays because of injuries to Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs and Shane McClanahan last season — not to mention the Tyler Glasnow trade last month — but the biggest weakness in Tampa appears to be behind the plate. The Rays currently have Rene Pinto, a 27-year-old backstop with just 63 games of big league experience, penciled in as their starting catcher. The backup catcher spot on the roster sports even less certainty, with non-roster options like Rob Brantly and Alex Jackson currently slated to try and win the job this spring.
2. Signings to be made official:
Sunday saw a pair of the offseason’s Top 50 free agents find new homes, as left-hander Sean Manaea signed with the Mets on a two-year deal while outfielder Teoscar Hernandez landed with the Dodgers on a one-year pact. Those deals have not yet been made official, but once they are, both the Dodgers and Mets will need to make corresponding 40-man roster moves to make room for their newest additions. That typically comes in the form of designating a player near the back of a club’s 40-man for assignment, though teams will oftentimes try to work out a minor trade to recoup some value while cleaning up their roster. The Dodgers themselves pulled off this sort of maneuver last month by swapping a pair of players on the 40-man roster to the Yankees in exchange for prospect Trey Sweeney, who does not require a 40-man spot of his own.
3. MLBTR Chat today:
Now that 2024 is upon us, are there any questions burning in your mind about the offseason with Spring Training a matter of weeks away? 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.