San Diego Padres – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-12-11T09:00:30Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Claim Carlos Asuaje]]> 2018-12-10T19:37:43Z 2018-12-10T19:31:29Z The Rangers have claimed infielder Carlos Asuaje off waivers from the Padres, per a club announcement. The San Diego club had designated Asuaje for assignment recently.

It’s unclear just how Asuaje will fit into the Texas roster mix. He’s mostly a second baseman by trade, a position that ought to be filled regularly by Rougned Odor. Asuaje has also seen some time in the minors at third base, though Jurickson Profar presently profiles as the everyday piece there. All of these players hit from the left side, though Profar is also a switch-hitter, and have historically performed much better against right-handed pitching.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Notes: Marwin, Kikuchi, Eovaldi, Realmuto, Tatis]]> 2018-12-10T05:38:29Z 2018-12-10T05:38:29Z Here’s the latest from sunny San Diego…

  • The Padres have interest in super-utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reports (subscription required).  Gonzalez’s versatility would make him an important figure on a roster with so many moving parts, with Lin suggesting that Gonzalez could initially play shortstop until top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready for the majors (likely early 2020 but potentially by late in the 2019 season).  Once Tatis has been promoted, Gonzalez could be used all around the diamond.  This multi-position ability, of course, will make Gonzalez a popular target around the league; earlier reports suggested that the free agent has drawn some interest from almost every team in baseball.
  • Pitching is a big priority for the Padres this winter, though Lin has updates on two notable arms that didn’t quite fit into the team’s plans.  The Friars were unwilling to offer more than three years to Nathan Eovaldi, who landed a four-year deal to re-sign with the Red Sox.  Meanwhile, San Diego “has not placed a high priority” on pursuing Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi.  The Padres, like other west coast teams, had been mentioned as a logical suitor for Kikuchi given their closer proximity to Japan.
  • While the Padres have had a long-standing interest in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, their chances of trading for the All-Star could be limited.  As outlined by both Lin and Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Realmuto is something of an imperfect fit for a Padres team that may not be planning to contend for another year, as Realmuto is only under contract through the 2020 season.  As Acee notes, while the team may be open to Realmuto as essentially a rental (with catching prospect Luis Campusano perhaps ready to take over by 2021), that would limit what the Padres are willing to offer the Marlins, who have been unwilling to accept anything less than a sky-high return for Realmuto’s services.  One scenario that doesn’t seem to be an option is the idea of San Diego acquiring Realmuto only to flip him elsewhere in another trade — Lin writes that the Padres value Realmuto as “a rare impact player” on their own roster.
  • The Padres have reportedly been unwilling to discuss trading top prospects MacKenzie Gore or Luis Urias, though’s AJ Cassavell feels Tatis is the only absolutely untouchable prospect.  Gore, Urias, or any of the other blue chip talents in San Diego’s deep farm system could all be moved “for the right price,” and Cassavell feels the team would make such a move for a frontline MLB star (such as, for instance, Noah Syndergaard).
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Notes: Realmuto, Gray]]> 2018-12-10T03:17:27Z 2018-12-10T03:17:27Z
  • The Padres have a “genuine interest” in acquiring J.T. Realmuto, while the Yankees aren’t in serious talks with the Marlins about the All-Star catcher.  Yankees GM Brian Cashman was quick to deny rumors about his team’s interest in Realmuto last week, and New York already has Gary Sanchez behind the plate for the foreseeable future (though some rumors indicated that Sanchez would’ve gone back to Miami as part of a Realmuto swap).  San Diego, meanwhile, has its own established catcher in defensive whiz Austin Hedges, plus one of the game’s top prospects in Francisco Mejia behind the plate.  It’s fair to speculate if Mejia could potentially head back to the Marlins as part of a package for Realmuto, and the Padres certainly have the overall prospect depth that Miami is demanding for Realmuto’s services.  Since Realmuto is controlled only through the 2020 season, his acquisition would indicate that the Padres and GM A.J. Preller are perhaps ready to end their rebuilding process and begin to compete by at least 2020, if not even next season.
  • Speaking of the Padres and Yankees, the two teams continue to discuss a potential Sonny Gray trade.  Morosi noted on the continued talks between the two sides earlier this week, and rumors of the Padres’ interest in Gray date back to last month.  Pitcher-friendly Petco Park would seemingly be an ideal place for Gray to rebound from his rough stint in the Bronx, especially since Gray’s drastic home/road splits from 2018 already indicated that his struggles were particularly contained to Yankee Stadium.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Noah Syndergaard Trade Talks]]> 2018-12-10T00:17:08Z 2018-12-10T00:17:08Z
  • In other Mets news, the team continues to explore possibilities on the trade front, though some of their most high-profile options (both internal and external) don’t seem to have much traction at the moment.  Both Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman and’s Andy Martino report that the Mets and Padres don’t seem close on a possible Noah Syndergaard swap since San Diego refuses to include elite prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. in talks (not to mention some other top minor leaguers, as Heyman reported last week).  On the acquisition front, Martino also notes that there doesn’t seem to be much cooking between the Mets and the Marlins or Indians in respective talks about J.T. Realmuto or Corey Kluber.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Designate Carlos Asuaje, Announce Garrett Richards Deal]]> 2018-12-08T00:20:10Z 2018-12-07T23:32:11Z The Padres announced this evening that they have designated infielder Carlos Asuaje for assignment. His roster spot will go to righty Garrett Richards, whose previously reported two-year deal is now official.

    Asuaje, 27, originally came to the organization as part of the multi-player package received in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel. The left-handed hitter has appeared in each of the past three seasons with the Padres but will now make way for a more-hyped crop of middle-infield talent.

    Though he showed promise at the plate in 2017, Asuaje struggled quite a bit last year. He finished with a .196/.286/.280 slash through 218 plate appearances, though he did have a much better showing during his time at Triple-A (.314/.386/.463).

    Teams considering Asuaje may find some comfort in the underlying numbers. Asuaje boosted his walk rate to 11.0%, which could bode well for the future. And he carried only a .243 batting average on balls in play in the bigs. That was an unlucky figure, Statcast suggests, crediting him with a .288 xwOBA that dwarfs his .255 wOBA.

    Of course, even Asuaje’s hypothetically deserved offensive output wasn’t all that exciting. If he’s to carve out a role, it’ll likely be as a utility player. Asuaje has hit much better against right-handed pitching, which limits him but also suggests he could be useful in a platoon role. Defensive metrics have not loved him in a limited sample, though he’s generally considered a solid defender.

    There’s some value in the fact that Asuaje is still optionable for another season. On the other hand, it doesn’t help his cause that he has never been considered capable of playing shortstop, though he does have plenty of lower-level experience at third base and has also spent some time in left field. All told, it’s possible he’ll be claimed, but by no means a given.

    As for Richards, he’s still a long ways away from contributing on the field in San Diego, as his first priority will be to rehabilitate from Tommy John surgery. He’ll reportedly receive a hefty $15.5MM guarantee in hopes that he’ll be able to get back to full strength and provide the Friars with a high-quality rotation piece in 2020.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Interested In Sonny Gray]]> 2018-12-05T04:50:17Z 2018-12-05T04:28:23Z
  • The Padres and Brewers are among the teams still in contact with the Yankees about a potential Sonny Gray swap, per Jon Morosi of (Twitter links). Both organizations have been tied to various starting pitching options, though the Padres are a particularly curious fit, given their focus on the 2020 season and Gray’s status as a one-year rental. However, as Morosi’s colleague, AJ Cassavell, explains in greater detail, San Diego’s interest has some logic to it. Gray’s stock is down, and a resurgence in San Diego (like many arms before him) could allow him to either be traded for a greater price next July or position him to receive a qualifying offer next offseason. Even if the acquisition doesn’t pan out, he wouldn’t put a huge dent into a deep San Diego farm system. As for the Brewers, they’ve already got a deep collection of right-handed starters, but perhaps they view Gray as a premium rebound candidate and/or feel that acquiring him could allow them to deal from the back end of their current collection of rotation candidates.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Bryce Harper]]> 2018-12-04T19:30:12Z 2018-12-04T19:30:57Z TODAY: Johnson has denied any recent meetings with Harper, leading to a significantly revised Yahoo report. It’s not entirely clear from the current version of the story whether the Dodgers have or will send a contingent to meet with Harper at all.

    YESTERDAY: The Dodgers have held a sit-down with free agent superstar Bryce Harper, according to a report from Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. It’s a must-read update on the still-developing market for one of the winter’s marquee free agents.

    Of particular note, the Los Angeles behemoth has now made a notable foray into the Harper market — a possibility that was never quite clear but always tantalized. Minority owner and NBA legend Magic Johnson led a delegation to Harper’s home town of Las Vegas, suggesting at a minimum that pursuing Harper is a serious consideration for an organization that has not generally chased top free agents under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

    At the outset of the offseason, we did predict that Harper would land with the Dodgers, and score a massive contract in the process. But that was anything but a high-probability prediction, as the outfielder’s market was then and remains difficult to assess in the usual manner. Harper, after all, is a rather unique commodity. Like fellow free agent Manny Machado, he’s an established star who only recently turned 26 years of age. Both players also have their blemishes, to be sure, but the talent ceilings and volume of potentially prime seasons are, in both cases, immense.

    Thus it is that, as the Yahoo duo report, “upward of a dozen” organizations across the league have or likely will follow Magic in a Vegas road trip to chat with Harper. The Yankees are among them, despite a litany of reports suggesting they won’t pursue this particular opportunity, while the Phillies are an unsurprising club in the market as well.

    We’ve heard plenty about the White Sox to date, of course, but the seriousness of their pursuit has been tough to gauge. According to Yahoo, the South Siders have dispatched Jim Thome and others to help woo Harper to a rebuilding situation. Other possibilities abound, with the Cubs, Padres, Astros, and Cardinals all tabbed as teams with at least speculative potential interest. (That’s all in addition to the incumbent Nats, of course.)

    The report cautions that these early visits don’t necessarily signal an all-in commitment to chase the market on Harper. Certainly, it’s worth bearing in mind that the teams are still assessing their respective levels of interest. Still, it seems promising for Harper that he has drawn this much focus from nearly half the teams in baseball — particularly given that they’re all already aware that he reportedly turned down a $300MM offer to stay in DC.

    There was never any doubt, of course, that he’d be heavily pursued. But there are relatively few big-spending teams with clear-cut needs in the corner outfield, making it tough to guess at interest based upon team need and even historical spending patterns. It seems, though, that there are at least quite a few teams that are willing to assign significant resources to assess whether Harper is enough of an asset, on and off the field, to warrant not only an enormous outlay but also some roster maneuvering to fit.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Interested In Nathan Eovaldi]]> 2018-12-04T07:09:07Z 2018-12-04T05:06:57Z
  • The Padres also have interest in Eovaldi, per Dennis Lin of The Athletic (via Twitter). It has long been rumored that the San Diego club would hunt for starting pitching this winter, but the injury-prone, high-octane 28-year-old would make for a particularly interesting target. After all, numerous big spenders (see above) are in the fray. For the budget-conscious Friars, beating the market for Eovaldi would surely mean taking on a rather significant risk. Perhaps that’s part of a more general strategy for a team that has plenty of interesting arms filtering through the system and is looking to move toward contention now while adding players who’ll contribute for some time to come. The San Diego franchise has also kicked around trade concepts with the Mets on Noah Syndergaard and, as Lin notes, already agreed to a hefty two-year pact with Garrett Richards in hopes he’ll recover and turn in a strong 2020 campaign.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pitching Market Notes: Eovaldi, Yankees, Happ, Kikuchi, Gray, MadBum]]> 2018-12-01T07:14:12Z 2018-12-01T07:14:12Z After a busy day of arbitration decisions, it’s worth taking stock of some recent developments in the broader market. We’ve already touched upon some major storylines today, with looks at Patrick Corbin (link), Zack Greinke (link), and Carlos Carrasco (link). Here’s more …

    • Though Corbin seems to be captivating the market at present, chatter on Nathan Eovaldi is also “heating up,” per’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox and Astros are presently seen as prime contenders to land him. With the American League shaping up to be another clash of titans, those organizations are positioned t stake some dough on Eovaldi’s upside.
    • The Yankees are a major player on Corbin, of course, but also some other arms — and not just as a backup plan. Indeed, per Jayson Stark of The Athletic (via Twitter), the club could even add another significant starter if it does get Corbin. That’d be quite a surprise, given that the team would appear to have a clear starting five if Corbin signs, but perhaps there’s a way to pull something off that would still make sense and leave the club with immense rotation depth.
    • Meanwhile, southpaw J.A. Happ is said to have “ten teams chasing” him at this point, per Jon Heyman of Fancred. One of those is the Brewers, who’d presumably like to bolster their rotation but also don’t appear to have an immense amount of money to use. Of course, giving up on Jonathan Schoop clears a big piece of payroll, so long as the club finds a way to address its infield needs without using all the savings.
    • There’s also a “strong” market for Japanese hurler Yusei Kikuchi, Heyman tweets. Unsurprisingly, west coast clubs — the DodgersPadresGiants, and Mariners, at least — appear to be lining up for the 27-year-old. It’s still hard to know what kind of salary and duration he’ll be able to command. But as this particular list of clubs shows, Kikuchi’s unusual youth will play a major role in his market by opening the door to quite a few organizations to pursue him.
    • Elsewhere, the Yankees are still trying to offload an asset in Sonny Gray. Per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, with GM Brian Cashman saying he has discussed a multitude of different scenarios involving Gray, including some larger deals. That suggests that the Yanks are comfortable hanging onto Gray for a while as they sort through the possibilities, rather than putting him on the market and taking the best deal then available.
    • Gray is as good as gone from the team’s perspective, but that’s clearly not the same situation for Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The burly southpaw is reportedly on the table. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be priced at a level that will lead to a deal. Indeed one organizational source tells Heyman (Twitter link) they “don’t see [Bumgarner] going anywhere this winter.” Certainly, the Giants have little need to dump Bumgarner if they aren’t getting something worthwhile in return. Teams with interest, though, will remain wary of a big price for one season of a player with recent shoulder woes and some performance questions.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration Prior To Non-Tender Deadline]]> 2018-12-01T05:55:41Z 2018-12-01T01:00:56Z Tonight marks the deadline for MLB clubs to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. As such, there’ll be a slew of pre-tender agreements announced today — particularly for arbitration-eligible players who might have otherwise been non-tender candidates. As we saw yesterday (and frequently in previous seasons), players agreeing to terms before the tender deadline will often sign for less than they’re projected, as the alternative in some cases may simply be to be cut loose into a crowded free-agent market.

    We’ll track today’s pre-tender agreements here, with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

    • Giants infielder Joe Panik settled at a $3.8MM price tag, per Heyman (via Twitter). That’ll represent a savings as against the $4.2MM projected salary. Many had wondered whether the new San Francisco front office would move on from Panik, who has one more year of arb eligibility remaining. Meanwhile, Heyman tweets that reliever Sam Dyson has agreed to a $5MM pact. That also comes in $400K below his projection.
    • The Padres settled with righty Bryan Mitchell for $900K, Heyman tweets. Mitchell had been a non-tender candidate at a projected $1.2MM sum.
    • Newly acquired first baseman C.J. Cron has agreed to a $4.8MM contract, the Twins announced. He projected to a $5.2MM salary; this becomes the latest of many indications of the unstable market position of defensively limited slugger types.
    • The Indians have settled with righty Danny Salazar for $4.5MM, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. He was projected at $5MM, with some wondering whether the Cleveland organization might non-tender him. The talented hurler missed the entire 2018 season. Meanwhile, righty Nick Goody is slated to earn $675K, Heyman tweets.
    • Southpaw Jonny Venters avoided arb with the Braves, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. It’s a $2.25MM deal, sitting well over the $1.5MM projection, though certainly his unusual career path could have led to some additional arguments for a stronger raise.
    • The Cardinals announced an agreement with lefty Chasen Shreve. Terms aren’t yet known. The 28-year-old had projected to take home $1.2MM for the 2019 campaign, but will settle at $900K per Heyman (via Twitter).
    • Pirates righty Michael Feliz has avoided arbitration with the club, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic was among those to report on Twitter. Feliz projected at a $900K salary and will get $850K, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’s a split agreement that promises $375K in the minors, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter).
    • Infielder Tyler Saladino has agreed to a $887,500 salary with the Brewers, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. That comes in below the $1MM he projected to earn.
    • The Athletics settled at $2.15MM with Liam Hendriks, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), all of which is guaranteed. That’s just where he projected ($2.1MM) on the heels of a fascinating 2018 season. Hendriks was dropped from the MLB roster in the middle of the season but returned late in the year in dominant fashion as the A’s “opener.”
    • Lefty Sammy Solis agreed to terms with the Nationals to avoid arbitration, the club announced. He profiled as a potential non-tender candidate, so it seems likely the organization pushed to get something done before the deadline. Solis, who has an intriguing power arsenal but struggled through a homer-prone 2018, projected at $900K. He’ll earn $850K, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
    • The Athletics announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with righty Ryan Dull in advance of tonight’s deadline. He’ll get $860K, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets, which checks in pretty closely with his $900K projection. Dull, 29, posted a 4.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 25 1/3 innings of relief in 2018.
    • Heyman also tweets that the Padres and Greg Garcia, whom they claimed off waivers earlier this offseason, settled on a one-year deal worth $910K that aligns with his $900K projection. Garcia hit .221/.309/.304 in 208 plate appearances with St. Louis last season and is a career .248/.356/.339 hitter in 860 plate appearances.

    Earlier Agreements

    • The Brewers and Hernan Perez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM, as first reported by Heyman. He’ll check in a bit shy of his $2.7MM projection but remain on hand as a versatile utility option in Milwaukee.
    • Left-hander Tony Cingrani and the Dodgers avoided arb with a one-year deal worth $2.65MM. That checks in just south of the lefty’s $2.7MM projection. Cingrani turned in a brilliant 36-to-6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings but was also tagged for a considerably less palatable 4.76 earned run average.
    • The Red Sox announced that they’ve agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2019 season with right-hander Tyler Thornburg. They’ve also tendered contracts to the remainder of their arbitration-eligible players, though the terms of those deals will be negotiated in the coming weeks. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston tweets that Thornburg will earn $1.75MM i 2019 and can earn another $400K via incentives. I’m told that includes $100K for reaching each of 45, 50, 55 and 60 appearances. Thornburg, 30, was roughed up to the tune of a 5.63 ERA in 24 innings for the Sox this season — his first action for Boston since being acquired prior to the 2017 season. His Boston tenure has been utterly derailed by thoracic outlet syndrome and the ensuing surgery. Thornburg was excellent for the 2016 Brewers, and Boston parted with Travis Shaw in order to acquire him, so the Sox will surely hope that a regular offseason of rest and further removing himself from TOS surgery will get the righty back on track. This will be Thornburg’s final season of club control. He’d been projected to earn $2.3MM.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres To Sign Garrett Richards]]> 2018-12-08T01:11:46Z 2018-11-30T03:37:14Z DECEMBER 7: The signing is now official. Richards will earn $7MM in the first year of the deal and $8.5MM in the second, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. The contract includes $250K bonuses for every start he makes from his 21st through his 30th.

    NOVEMBER 29, 7:14pm: Heyman tweets that Richards will be guaranteed $15.5MM and can earn another $2.5MM worth of incentives on the deal.

    3:59pm: It’s a straight two-year deal for Richards, Passan further tweets. With incentives, the contract can max out at a total of $18MM.

    3:49pm: Richards’ two-year agreement comes with a hefty guarantee of roughly $15MM, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That’s a new precedent for a player coming off Tommy John surgery, though the timing of Richards’ surgery also makes it at least plausible that he could return to the mound before the end of the 2019 season.

    3:45pm: The Padres have reached an agreement with free-agent right-hander Garrett Richards, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. The ISE Baseball client was reported earlier today to be a target of both the Padres and the division-rival Dodgers.

    Garrett Richards | Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Richards may not pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in mid July, but other free-agent starters in his situation have recently landed two-year guaranteed deals with an eye toward contributing in the second season of that pact. Namely, both Michael Pineda and Drew Smyly signed two-year, $10MM contracts last winter (with the Twins and Cubs, respectively), while Nathan Eovaldi inked a two-year, $4MM pact with the Rays an offseason prior. All three of those hurlers had undergone Tommy John surgery and were known to be out for the vast majority of the first season of those two-year deals.

    A former top 50 overall draft pick (No. 42 in 2009), Richards established himself on the Angels’ pitching staff in 2013 and looked to be one of the more promising young arms in the American League by the end of the 2015 campaign. In 2014-15, the righty pitched to a combined 3.18 ERA through 376 innings (58 starts) and averaged 8.1 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 along the way.

    Injuries, however, have limited the now-30-year-old Richards to just 138 2/3 innings in the three seasons since that time. He’s been quite good when healthy enough to take the mound — 3.05 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 3.59 FIP — but by the lengthy slate of arm injuries that has slowed his career now make him an upside play in free agency rather than the potential frontline starter many expected he’d become after that strong 2013-15 showing.

    The most recent ulnar collateral ligament injury for Richards was actually the second of his career; he also suffered a UCL tear back in 2016 but opted to undergo stem cell treatment to avoid surgery. While that did stave off Tommy John surgery for awhile, Richards was ultimately forced to undergo the procedure this past summer when he was diagnosed with another tear.

    For the Padres, the addition of Richards dovetails nicely with the organization’s projected timeline to contend. The Friars have begun to mix in some win-now moves with their longstanding efforts to rebuild the organization and were said this offseason to be eyeing pitchers who can help them contend in 2020, when much of the upcoming wave of young talent has surfaced at the MLB level. The Friars have little in the way of rotation certainty at the moment, so it’s still possible that they could add another arm on a multi-year deal — likely one who’d still be in his prime into 2020 and beyond. They’ve been tied to younger free-agent starters like Nathan Eovaldi and Yusei Kikuchi this offseason, and they’ve also been rumored to have interest in Mets righty Noah Syndergaard.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Noah Syndergaard]]> 2018-11-29T19:40:33Z 2018-11-29T19:21:56Z While other major rumors swirl, the Mets appear to have a line open with other organizations regarding power righty Noah Syndergaard. Chatter on Thor has been percolating for some time now, but there’s increasing indication that the Mets actually prefer to move the franchise cornerstone.

    Indeed, the New York org is “motivated” to move on from Syndergaard, according to Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs (Twitter link), with the organization said to be reaching out to rivals to gauge interest. As others have suggested, the Mets would then anticipate turning around and bringing in another starter via free agency.

    It remains somewhat unclear precisely why the Mets have determined that trading Syndergaard is the right course, but new GM Brodie Van Wagenen is clearly out to re-shape the roster. That the big righty is a former Van Wagenen client only adds to the intrigue. In any event, there’ll be no shortage of suitors. When healthy, Syndergaard is a monster on the mound and a rather marketable asset to boot.

    The rival club most frequently tied to Syndergaard of late is the Padres. As Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets, though, the San Diego outfit is not only unwilling to part with top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., but won’t part with MacKenzie Gore or Luis Urias, either. It seems that the Friars are more amenable to discussing other prospects, though it’s arguable there are a few others who are or ought to be just as untouchable as that trio.

    Otherwise, the Brewers are now a team to watch on Syndergaard, according to Andy Martino of Their level of interest isn’t clear, but it’s obviously not hard to imagine the Milwaukee org liking the idea of placing Thor atop their rotation. The Reds and Yankees, however, are not involved in the pursuit.

    As for the Mets’ apparent plan to add another arm if they move Syndergaard, it’s anyone’s guess how that’ll play out. Certainly, with other moves afoot that’d add salary, this approach would indicate a real willingness to boost the payroll. Just how far, though, remains to be seen. The top-available pitchers would require significant contracts. Other, lesser hurlers are obviously under consideration — Mike Puma of the New York Post cites Gio Gonzalez on Twitter — but assuredly will not bring Syndergaard’s upside and will still out-earn him in 2019 (he’s projected at just $5.9MM).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers, Padres Pursuing Garrett Richards]]> 2018-11-29T21:50:13Z 2018-11-29T17:50:10Z The Dodgers and Padres are among the teams pursuing free agent righty Garrett Richards, with Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter) reporting that both have made offers. The Los Angeles organization, in particular, is said to be “making a push” to keep the long-time Halos hurler in the region.

    Richards has been derailed by elbow issues for some time now, recording only 138 2/3 total innings since the start of the 2016 season. While he was able to stave off Tommy John surgery for quite some time, he finally went under the knife last July and is expected to miss most or all of the 2019 season while recovering.

    In all likelihood, then, the clubs pursuing Richards will be angling for some sort of multi-year arrangement. The current standard for this sort of situation is a two-year, $10MM pact. That’s what Drew Smyly (with the Cubs) and Michael Pineda (Twins) took home last year under similar circumstances, and it’s also what MLBTR predicted for Richards in our annual ranking of the top fifty free agents.

    Of course, market forces could push the money or years in a different direction in this case. Richards is quite an accomplished pitcher, after all, having thrown 744 2/3 career MLB innings of 3.54 ERA ball. The high-velocity hurler is a consistent groundball producer (52.5% career GB rate) but has increasingly shown an ability to get whiffs (he has generated more than an eleven percent swinging-strike rate in each of the past four seasons and carries 9.6 K/9 in the past three).

    It’s notable that these two California organizations are pushing for Richards, though he’d fit comfortably with any club that likes him and is interested in taking some financial risk for a potentially high-quality starter. There are some connections to the state that are worth noting: not only has Richards obviously spent his professional career to date in California, but he has family roots there as well. (He was born in the state, though spent most of his childhood in Oklahoma.)

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres’ Franmil Reyes To Undergo Knee Surgery]]> 2018-11-29T05:08:22Z 2018-11-29T05:08:22Z Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will be sidelined for the next four to eight weeks, tweets Dennis Lin of the Athletic. The team expects him to be ready for Spring Training.

    Reyes, 23, sustained the injury while playing in the Dominican Winter League, where he was off to a ludicrous start through 13 games: .444/.510/.689 with three homers and two doubles in 51 plate appearances. The knee issue will likely end his DWL season, though even an eight-week timeline would have him back up to speed by the end of January.

    The injury is of some note, however, given that Reyes has seen his name surface in past trade rumors. San Diego has somewhat of a crunch in the outfield corners, with Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Franchy Cordero all on the 40-man roster, to say nothing of center field options like Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski.

    Certainly, a relatively minor knee surgery won’t eliminate trade interest in the young slugger. But, the added health questions could nonetheless give some teams pause and/or lower the amount that an interested party would be willing to surrender in a theoretical deal. The Padres’ efforts, to this point in the offseason, have seemingly focused on potentially shedding the remainder of Myers’ contract, but they’ll undoubtedly explore a wide swath of options with regard to their outfield as the Winter Meetings approach.

    Reyes, listed at a hulking 6’5″ and 275 pounds, made his MLB debut with the Padres this past season after laying waste to Triple-A pitching early in the year. The big man somewhat quietly posted a .280/.340/.498 batting line and clubbed 16 home runs through just 285 MLB plate appearances — production that’s all the more impressive when considering the spacious nature of San Diego’s Petco Park. Reyes has his flaws — he graded out below average in right field and struck out at a 28.1 percent clip — but there’s plenty about which to be encouraged when looking at his under-the-radar rookie campaign.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Market Chatter: Indians, Moose, Cano, Diaz, Thor, Pads]]> 2018-11-28T15:30:17Z 2018-11-28T14:25:08Z The Indians’ rotation has come up in trade rumors over the past month, as Cleveland looks to manage a roster with multiple holes and a crowded payroll that is already at franchise-record levels. However, while Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco have been speculative candidates to be moved, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that teams who’ve spoken to the Indians get the sense that Cleveland is more amenable to trading right-hander Trevor Bauer. Kluber is controlled through 2021, while Carrasco is locked into a club-friendly deal through the 2020 season. Bauer, though, is arbitration-eligible for another two seasons. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects him to earn $11.6MM in 2019 — a projection he explored at greater length earlier today. If the Indians are to move a starter, there’s some sense behind making it the one of their “big three” who has the shortest amount of team control and least cost certainty, though there’s still no indication that the team is aggressively shopping any of its starters. The ask on Bauer would figure to be huge — likely including pre-arbitration, MLB-ready help — given Bauer’s 2.21 ERA, 11.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.46 HR/9 and 44.5 percent grounder rate in 175 1/3 innings in 2018.

    Some more notes on the trade and free-agent markets…

    • Mike Moustakas is “on the radar” for the Cardinals as they look for a corner infield bat, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. While Cards didn’t show much in the way of interest last winter, the absence of draft-pick compensation being attached to Moustakas is an important distinction that has them at least exploring the possibility this time around. Meanwhile, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Cards “made a competitive bid” for Josh Donaldson before the 32-year-old signed a one-year, $23MM contract with the Braves. There were similar reports about the Cardinals’ efforts to sign Jason Heyward and David Price, and the Cardinals also came up shy in their pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton last year when the slugger wouldn’t waive his no-trade protection to approve a deal to St. Louis. Of course, Moustakas is not likely to generate the level of market interest that those players did.
    • There has been quite a lot of chatter regarding Mariners infielder Robinson Cano since it emerged recently that the club would like to find a way to dump his contract, though it’s far from evident whether there’s a particularly realistic match to be found.’s Mark Feinsand says that some feel the M’s will find a taker, though he later added that Cano hasn’t yet been approached by the team about waiving his no-trade rights or about giving a list of destinations as to which he’d be amenable. (Twitter links.) One key factor in the Cano situation is the notion of the Mariners dealing star closer Edwin Diaz as a means of offloading the money owed Cano. There is indeed some willingness to do so on the part of the Seattle organization, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. But it seems clubs with interest in Diaz aren’t necessarily amenable to taking on enough of the $120MM still owed to Cano to make it work. Sherman lists the MetsYankeesBravesPhillies, and Red Sox as teams angling for Diaz, not all of which have any inclination to pick up Cano. That’s not surprising, as it’s an awfully steep dollar amount, even though the long-time star second baseman does still have value himself on the ballfield. That said, Diaz arguably could command something approaching that whopping sum in a hypothetical open-market scenario. After all, he stands out against any other potentially available relievers this winter for his excellence, age, and control. That makes this general structure at least somewhat plausible, though it’ll surely be quite complicated to pull something off.
    • It seems the Mets have quite a few balls in the air at the moment as new GM Brodie Van Wagenen searches for a significant deal that will help jumpstart the franchise. Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link) and Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter) each doused the flames of speculation involving the Mets as a possible match in a Cano swap. But that doesn’t mean the team didn’t explore the subject with the’s Andy Martino suggested some possible scenarios involving Cano, though really the basic framework does not seem workable from the Seattle side. Martino says the clubs have batted around a concept in which Seattle would both pay about $50MM of Cano’s salary and take on more in return, such as through Jay Bruce’s $26MM contract, while sending Diaz or Mitch Haniger to New York. Trouble is, the implication there is that the Mets could buy one of those excellent young players for less than $50MM, which doesn’t seem like sufficient salary relief for the Mariners to justify the loss of such core talent.
    • Meanwhile, the biggest name seemingly in play on the Mets’ side is Noah Syndergaard, the uber-talented but health-questionable young righty. The Padres have made clear they won’t part with top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., per Martino, which dovetails with expectations. While the report indicates that the teams have also discussed San Diego backstop Austin Hedges, he certainly does not profile as a centerpiece in a deal for Syndergaard. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription links) suggests the Rockies could be an under-the-radar suitor for Syndergaard, who’d turn their rotation into a potentially outstanding unit. Though the offense is surely the priority in Colorado, that can be addressed through relatively low-cost investments; adding Thor, meanwhile, is surely an intriguing thought.