After picking up righty Tanner Roark, Reds president of baseball ops Dick Williams promises there’s “more to come,” as Bob Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Certainly, the Cinci front office has been engaged in quite a few intriguing trade scenarios of late, according to reports. It’s still anyone’s guess which will come to fruition. The addition of Roark, after all, largely came together over the course of the last few days, according to Williams and GM Nick Krall. It emerged recently that the Reds are engaged with the Marlins in talks on catcher J.T. Realmuto, the precise parameters of which aren’t clear. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that Cinci receiver Tucker Barnhart is not being discussed between these teams. But Barnhart also would not likely end up on a roster with Realmuto. Rather, the idea seems to be that the Reds would ship out Barnhart in a subsequent deal. It would seem possible for the Reds to recoup a quality hurler or backfill on any sacrificed prospect depth in a Barnhart deal, though there are obviously quite a few moving parts here.
More recent market chatter …
- Agent Gene Mato chatted with MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes about client Anibal Sanchez, who’s an intriguing open-market option after an eyebrow-raising 2018 turnaround. Many wonder whether that’s sustainable given the 34-year-old’s struggles over the prior three campaigns, in which he maintained strong K/BB numbers but was torched repeatedly by long balls. Mato points to the development of a cutter that has had a profound impact on Sanchez’s “pitch sequence” — a characterization that certainly matches the righty’s rapidly expanded use of that offering. “Teams realize it wasn’t luck,” says Mato, who points to Sanchez’s success at limiting hard contact after failing to do so in the preceding seasons. Indeed, the veteran was something of a Statcast darling, checking in with an excellent .272 xwOBA and permitting a meager 25.8% hard-hit rate and 83.7 mph average exit velocity. Interestingly, Sanchez has continued to produce yawning reverse platoon splits, but in some regards that only increases his appeal since he’s not susceptible to lefty-loaded lineups. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Sanchez’s market plays out; he’s one of several hurlers who now seem in position to sign with most of the top assets already leaving the board.
- The Phillies are “very much in pursuit” of top lefty relievers Zach Britton and Andrew Miller, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. We’ve seen that connection before, of course, but it’s of added note now with the relief market on the move and the Phils having missed on several potential rotation targets. It’s certainly possible the club views these pursuits as largely unrelated, and there are other starters to be had, but it could also redirect its focus to bolstering the pen.
- It seems the Rangers and Mets have chatted about possible matches over the past few days, with pitching the topic of conversation. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan hints via Twitter that the Texas club would be interested in young hurlers such as David Peterson and Anthony Kay. But the Mets evidently would only be interested in parting with such long-term assets if the Rangers put closer Jose Leclerc on the table. It’s worth noting that, having now already made two significant relief acquisitions, the Mets may be less inclined to do what’d be needed to get the Rangers to cough up the controllable and flame-throwing Leclerc.
- The Mariners seem quite unlikely to make any big expenditures on veterans after embarking upon a strategy that prioritizes the near future over the present. Still, the organization is lined up to bring in some more solid and reliable pieces, TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. A veteran infielder that can spend time at short, established backstop, and right-handed-hitting outfielder are all on the menu, GM Jerry Dipoto has indicated recently. The relief corps may also be addressed through low-risk, open-market signings, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets.