MLB Trade Rumors » » San Francisco Giants 2017-12-11T19:08:15Z Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Sports Science, Iglesias, Moylan, Rangers]]> 2017-12-11T12:51:12Z 2017-12-11T12:51:12Z Though baseball hasn’t publicly embraced sports science the way it has analytics, the Giants are looking towards that very field as a way to gain an advantage. A fascinating article by Ian MacMahan of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) provides some insight into the goals of Geoff Head, San Francisco’s newly-promoted assistant director of player development. “Everybody in baseball is tired by August,” Head tells MacMahan. “But if we are a little less fatigued than our opponent, it gives us an advantage.” The field of sports science focuses heavily on factors such as hydration, nutrition, workload and sleep; experts attempt to put together a formula that will keep players performing at their optimal levels as often as possible. According to Dr. Glenn Fleisig, the main difference between sports science and analytics is that sports science focuses on the “physical and medical aspects of a player,” as opposed to gameplay-based statistics. Less than half of all MLB teams currently have a dedicated sports scientist on their staff, and heavier use of sports science data could lead to big improvements by baseball players. As MacMahan puts it, “no one hits a home run sitting in the dugout nursing lead-filled legs and a tight back.”

  • Evan Woodbery of provides some insight into the questions the Tigers face as the winter meetings commence. Most notably, Woodbery reports that there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding shortstop Jose Iglesias, who will become a free agent after the 2018 season. With no open spots on the 40-man roster, Iglesias is one player Detroit could consider moving in order to take advantage of having the first pick in baseball’s Rule 5 Draft this Thursday (As Woodbery points out, Ian Kinsler could also be on the move before then). Though Iglesias hit just .255/.288/.369 across 489 plate appearances last year, his excellent defense boosted his fWAR to 1.6. Because he’s projected to earn just $5.6MM in his final year of arbitration, there would seem to be some surplus value in his contract.
  • Reliever Peter Moylan is generating some interest, specifically from the Royals and Braves (hat tip to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston). As Drellich notes, Moylan held opposing right-handed hitters to a .161/.244/.236 batting line in 2017 (and may have also provided the Royals with some intangible value thanks to his espresso skills). The 38-year-old Moylan has typically been excellent against righties over the course of his 11-year major league career; he’s posted a 2.22 ERA against them in 280 innings with the Braves, Dodgers and Royals.
  • Even after losing out on Shohei Ohtani, the Rangers may still elect to use a non-traditional rotation, Evan Grant of SportsDay writes. Texas has reportedly kept contact with Yu Darvish, who has pitched in a six-man rotation in Japan and prefers such a setup; that might be one item which could help entice him to return to Arlington. Grant mentions Cole Hamels, who is generally a stickler for routine, as someone who could present a roadblock to such a strategy. However, based on Hamels’ quotes in the piece, he’d be willing to consider it if the modification helped bring about a postseason berth. “I’d love to get to the postseason again and win a World Series. That’s what I want to do here,” said Hamels. “If we can be stronger and healthier, not as worn down, you have the advantage.”
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Notes: Stanton, Moustakas]]> 2017-12-10T18:40:35Z 2017-12-10T18:40:35Z Before the Giants’ pursuit of Giancarlo Stanton failed, they offered the Marlins a package including right-hander Tyler Beede and catcher Aramis Garcia, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Beede and Garcia, both 24 years old, rank among the Giants’ top 10 prospects at and Baseball America. Along with surrendering those two, San Francisco would’ve absorbed $230MM of the $295MM owed to Stanton (the Yankees, who won the Stanton derby, will take on $265MM). That package was to the Marlins’ liking, but Stanton put the kibosh on a deal by declining to waive his no-trade clause for San Francisco.

More on the Giants and a few other National League clubs:

  • The Giants will reportedly pursue the top free agent third baseman available, Mike Moustakas, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle casts doubt on the possibility (via Twitter). The club is wary of going after free agents who have rejected qualifying offers because of the compensation it would have to give up to land them, Schulman notes, and Moustakas is part of that class. Signing him would cost the Giants two draft picks (their second- and fifth-highest choices) in 2018 and $1MM in international bonus pool space.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Will Reportedly Pursue Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier]]> 2017-12-10T16:35:24Z 2017-12-10T16:35:24Z
  • With an obvious need at third base, the Giants are primed to go after the top two free agents at the hot corner – Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier – Cafardo notes. The 29-year-old Moustakas (a California native) figures to reel in a much larger pact than Frazier (32 in February). Moustakas is also a qualifying offer recipient, so signing him would cost the Giants their second- and fifth-highest draft picks in 2018 and $1MM in international bonus pool space.

  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Among Teams Showing Interest In Domingo Santana]]> 2017-12-10T14:34:29Z 2017-12-10T14:34:40Z SUNDAY: The Giants also have interest in Broxton, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). After breaking out during an abbreviated 2016 campaign, Broxton took steps backward last season, hitting .220/.299/.420 across 463 PAs and earning poor marks in center field (minus-7 Defensive Runs Saved, minus-2.2 Ultimate Zone Rating). The soon-to-be 28-year-old still managed to rack up 20 homers and 21 stolen bases, however, and comes with five years of team control.

    FRIDAY: The Brewers are “getting hits” on quite a few outfielders, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). That includes Domingo Santana, who has been pursued by teams including the Giants.

    It’s hardly surprising to hear that rival organizations are prodding the Brewers to move an outfielder. The team has numerous talented players that fit several different profiles. Veteran Ryan Braun is unlikely to be traded, per the report, due at least in part to his no-trade rights. But with a few other roster needs and other areas to upgrade, it’s certainly reasonable to think that Milwaukee is amenable to considering a move involving some of its other outfielders.

    Santana is likely the most valuable player of the bunch. He’s just 25, is controllable for four more seasons (one of them at the league minimum), and is fresh off of a season in which he posted a .278/.371/.505 slash with thirty home runs in 607 plate appearances. If the team prefers to keep the established asset, it might consider swaps involving Keon Broxton, Lewis Brinson, or Brett Phillips, each of whom could conceivably be a long-term answer in center field for the Brewers or another team.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean the Brewers are offering up any bargains. As Brewers GM David Stearns told’s Adam McCalvy today (Twitter link), the club is not exactly anxious to pare back its depth and can still option Brinson and/or Phillips. There’s no question whatsoever that Santana, among others, would only be dealt if the Brewers felt they were receiving compelling value — likely, in a manner that would allow the team to improve both now and in the future. Milwaukee is most clearly in need of starting pitching.

    Santana makes for an interesting target for the Giants, who could also compete with the Cardinals for the best outfielders on the free agent and trade markets after being spurned by Giancarlo Stanton. San Francisco is clearly working through a variety of possibilities now that the Stanton deal won’t be happening. Rosenthal also notes that San Francisco has maintained its interest in free agent outfielder Jay Bruce, and’s Mark Feinsand tweets that the same holds true of Lorenzo Cain.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Details On Giants' Offer For Stanton]]> 2017-12-09T07:27:43Z 2017-12-09T06:35:16Z
  • Both the Giants and Cardinals are now out of the running to land Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but their pursuits still carry some information worthy of note. In the case of San Francisco, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links) that many of the players rumored to have been in the teams’ agreed-upon trade package were not, in fact, slated to be moved. None of Joe Panik, Tyler Beede, Chris Shaw, Heliot Ramos, and Christian Arroyo would have been dealt, per the report. Meanwhile, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that the Cards would have absorbed about $250MM of the $295MM still owed to Stanton.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Informs Giants He Will Not Waive No-Trade Clause]]> 2017-12-08T23:41:02Z 2017-12-08T23:10:44Z The Giants have joined the Cardinals in announcing that Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has rejected the chance at a trade. Both clubs had worked out deals with Miami and then sat down with the slugger to convince him to waive his no-trade protection.

    In combination with the earlier announcement from St. Louis, this operates as a huge shift in the market for Stanton — one of the game’s preeminent stars, its highest-paid player, and a nearly-necessary trade piece for the cost-cutting Marlins. The Giants and Cardinals were both willing to take on at least the bulk of Stanton’s contract. It’s not clear at all that other teams will do so.

    Stanton, of course, is under no obligation to green-light a deal. He bargained for his no-trade protection and has every right to use it however he sees fit. But his stance has certainly jammed things up for the Marlins, who have little alternative but to find a trade that he’ll authorize given the team’s determination to oversee a drastic payroll reduction.

    The only reason that Stanton ended up meeting with these two teams, of course, is that they were the preferred matches from the Marlins’ perspective. Now, with both evidently out of the picture, the Fish will have to be fishermen, seeking another team to take the hook.

    Indications last night were that Stanton has indicated he’d be open to joining the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, or Cubs. But only the first two of those clubs have been tied to Stanton in any meaningful way, and both are also reportedly uninterested in taking on the full $295MM still owed to Stanton, owing at least in part to luxury tax considerations. Working something out, then, will surely require some creative accounting work. And there’s also little question that the Dodgers and Yanks will milk their leverage for everything it’s worth.

    It’s tempting, perhaps, to label this an instance of miscalculation by the Marlins. Entering the winter with new ownership and a new payroll plan, the team certainly did roll the dice that it would generate enough interest and that Stanton’s no-trade rights would not pose too great an obstacle. Clearly, there’s some blame to be distributed around South Beach.

    At the same time, it’s understandable in some regards that the organization penciled in finding an acceptable Stanton deal — and disappointing in some respects to see this situation unfold this way. The Marlins were the relatively rare small-market team that was able to extend a youthful star. When circumstances changed, they might have reasonably hoped to have some way of relieving the pressure. Stanton, after all, is still in his prime and just wrapped up an MVP performance. As things stand, though, it seems that the Miami organization may end up stuck in the middle of baseball’s two biggest-spending clubs — unless, at least, they can find a way to cook up a new strategy after Plan A evidently failed.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: 12/7/17]]> 2017-12-08T13:40:14Z 2017-12-08T04:38:17Z The market for Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton has been stagnant for a few days now. That could change at any moment, if Stanton green-lights one of the deal structures currently in place. And we’ve heard there’s some anticipation of some kind of resolution by the end of the week. But the longer things drag out, the more time and space there is for the existing top suitors to waver — and, perhaps, for others to enter the picture more clearly. It’s still not evident how this will all turn out, but there are some hints that the situation is not necessarily nearing resolution:

    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic offers an updated look at the market in a subscription piece, with some interesting tweaks on what has become the status quo. It’s well worth a full read. There seems to be a split of opinion among Rosenthal’s sources as to just where things stand with regard to the Giants and Cardinals, with some saying Stanton is disinclined to approve a trade to either organization and others insisting his “thinking is fluid.” Regardless, those two clubs likely won’t linger around waiting forever, particularly if they come to believe they aren’t going to be able to convince the star to approve a deal. Should that come to pass, says Rosenthal, the Fish will be in a tough spot. If there’s a way out (beyond hoping Stanton says yes to one of the existing suitors), it may come from engaging both the Dodgers and — yes — the Yankees, each of whom Rosenthal says are still “on the periphery.” And Rosenthal adds that Stanton is open to a move to the Bronx. Of course, both of those mega-market clubs are in the process of reining in long-burdened balance sheets; Rosenthal writes that Miami would need to hang onto some significant cash (or take on pricey veterans in return) to get something done and perhaps entice real prospect value.
    • Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio hears similarly to Rosenthal regarding the Los Angeles and New York organizations (via Twitter). And his colleague Craig Mish even suggests (links to Twitter) that Stanton has now given the Marlins more clarity than had previously been known, with a list of four teams to which he’d approve a deal. The Astros and Cubs — neither of whom have been linked substantially to Stanton — are said to be on this list along with the Dodgers and Yankees. While the Giants and Cardinals are not on this “preferred list,” as Mish terms it, Stanton was at least willing to hear their pitches. Ultimately, this leaves it unknown whether Stanton has been swayed in his initial thinking and does not really conflict with prior reporting that has indicated Stanton would maintain an open mind entering the process.
    • Jon Heyman of Fan Rag painted at least a somewhat different picture earlier today, writing that the Dodgers are a “long shot” for Stanton if a move is to happen in the near future, as their limited engagement to date would leave them with quite a bit of work to do to sort out an agreement. With some indication that Stanton could make some kind of decision on interest from the Giants and Cardinals by the end of the week, it does not seem as if the Dodgers are likely to swoop in — but, perhaps, could still enter the picture if Stanton declines to go to San Francisco or St. Louis. It’s worth noting, too, that Heyman recently broached the topic of the Yankees’ ongoing interest in Stanton.
    • Speaking of the Giants’ interest in Stanton, Heyman writes that chief executive officer Larry Baer was among those to meet with the reigning MLB home run king. The CEO was previously reported to have met with Ohtani, too, so he’s clearly getting involved personally in these highly significant decisions for the organization. Baer “loves” the reigning NL MVP, according to Heyman, who adds that a free-agent pursuit of J.D. Martinez is viewed as the Giants’ primary alternative to Stanton.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Wednesday]]> 2017-12-07T05:45:44Z 2017-12-07T05:40:07Z Shohei Ohtani has completed meetings with the seven finalists for his services, reportedly going through an exhaustive set of seven face-to-face meetings in Los Angeles over a 48-hour period. Now that he’s met with each of the Mariners, Padres, Cubs, Angels, Rangers, Dodgers and Giants, Ohtani will spend anywhere from the next few days to the next two weeks deciding on where he’ll sign his first pro contract in the United States. He has until Dec. 22 to make that call, though the expeditious manner in which he met with the finalists lends some speculative optimism that he could reach a conclusion well before that deadline.

    Here’s the latest on Ohtani…

    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes (subscription required & recommended) that there are those in the game who wonder if Ohtani’s decision has already been made. The expedited manner in which Ohtani eliminated 23 teams and then met with seven finalists has been a point of frustration for some clubs, Rosenthal writes, noting that execs from some East coast teams have privately wondered why they were asked to put so much time into their presentations for Ohtani when he ultimately eliminated the East coast in one swoop.

    Earlier Updates

    • Giants GM Bobby Evans tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that in addition to manager Bruce Bochy and several front office executives, the Giants brought Buster Posey to their meeting with Ohtani and his representatives. Ohtani’s translator said at the meeting that the 23-year-old was impressed by Posey’s “great aura, and Evans tells Shea that Ohtani has watched and admired Posey’s play in the World Series and other settings. The Giants envision Ohtani starting once per week, and Evans wouldn’t even rule out the possibility of him playing some center field. “Some scouts see him being able to play all three [outfield positions] very capably,” says Evans. “It’s a matter of what’s best for him.”
    • In an excellent column at, Mike Petriello utilizes Statcast to break down Ohtani’s skills and generate comps based on current big league stars. obtained Trackman data on Ohtani’s 2017 season, giving them 231 plate appearances and six starts to dive into, and while the sample is small, it’s certainly enough to see some trends in terms of velocity, spin rate and average exit velocity. Per Petriello, Ohtani’s average 97.5 mph fastball would’ve ranked second among MLB starters, and his max velocity of 101.6 mph would rank among the hardest pitches thrown by any starter in the Statcast era. The velocity and spin rate on Ohtani’s fastball are strikingly similar to Luis Severino, Petriello points out (though spin rate may not be a direct comp due to the different balls used between MLB and NPB). On the offensive side of the coin, Ohtani’s max 111.1 mph exit velocity was greater than the hardest-hit ball of more than 70 percent of MLB players in ’17. His exit velo on fly-balls and liners ranks alongside several of the game’s top overall sluggers. The fascinating column only further builds intrigue around what Ohtani can do in a Major League setting.
    • Fangraphs’ Travis Sawchik, meanwhile, notes that the Cubs can offer a unique benefit that no other suitor can: (relatively) limited travel time. While all Major League players spend an obscene amount of time flying from destination to destination, the Cubs’ setting in the Midwest means they travel as many as 10,000 miles less per season than the Rangers and upwards of 23,000 fewer miles than the Angels and Mariners in a given season (based on Chris Ford’s mileage estimates for the 2017 campaign). It may be a minor benefit, but as Sawchik notes, for a player whose recovery time will be monitored closely than just about any in baseball as he attempts the rigors of two-way play (at least to some extent), there’s some degree of appeal.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Expect Decision From Giancarlo Stanton By End Of Week]]> 2017-12-06T22:23:32Z 2017-12-06T22:05:28Z 4:05pm: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Evans about the Giants’ recent meeting with Stanton. The GM states to Shea that Stanton “had a good feel for what he wanted to hear from us” and acknowledged that AT&T Park is one of his favorite places to play. Stanton was complimentary of the Giants’ fans and the way in which they support the team.

    Though the process has dragged on for quite some time now, Evans reminds of the human side of what is a life-altering decision for Stanton: “There’s a lot of personal factors people don’t know about. We don’t necessarily know those personal factors as well.” Evans also, once again, confirmed that the two sides did reach an agreement, with contingencies, one of which (of course) is Stanton waiving his no-trade clause.

    2:44pm: The Giants anticipate that Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton will decide whether to waive his no-trade clause by the end of the week, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter), who does also note that the timeline is hardly set in stone.

    Pavlovic also notes that San Francisco views the Dodgers as a bigger “threat” to land Stanton, not the Cardinals — the other team that has been most involved in trade talks to this point. Along those same lines,’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Dodgers and Marlins were in contact as recently as Tuesday, though their Stanton discussions are still not advanced.

    Giants GM Bobby Evans also acknowledged earlier today that the organization had a sit-down with Stanton, in an interview with KNBR (via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter). He also said that the team did put the terms of a deal in place with Miami in advance. Evans’ surprisingly candid comments run counter to yesterday’s comments from Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who said in an appearance on WINZ-AM radio (link via the Associated Press) that his team is still “gathering information” and that “anything up to this point has been speculation.”

    Whether or not a deal will come together in that time frame remains to be seen, of course. It’s conceivable that Stanton could simply decide he is not interested in waiving his no-trade clause at this point. But the report does hint that we could see resolution on the situation before the Winter Meetings, potentially freeing up other market movement — including the Marlins’ potential efforts to market other players and subsequent pivots to other targets for the Giants and Cardinals.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Has Completed In-Person Meetings With Prospective Teams]]> 2017-12-06T20:14:08Z 2017-12-06T20:14:17Z As young Japanese star Shohei Ohtani moves toward a decision on where he’ll sign, it seems he will sit down in person with representatives from each of the seven MLB organizations that have been selected to continue on in his unique posting/signing process. Those seven teams are the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rangers, and Cubs. Ohtani will have to make his selection no later than December 22nd under the new posting rules established between Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

    Those that wish to learn more about the exciting two-way performer may want to visit some of these prior posts:

    We’ll track the latest updates on meetings in this post:

    • The Padres met with Ohtani on Tuesday night, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. While that stage of the process is completed, the remaining steps and timeline are not yet known.

    Earlier Updates

    • Ohtani also held court with the Angels on Monday night, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports, meaning that he held at least three meetings on each of the past two days.
    • The Mariners had their meeting with Ohtani this morning (Tuesday the 5th), Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Their delegation has yet to be identified. Likewise, the Cubs had a slot today, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link), with no other details known of their presentation.
    • Ohtani and his representatives also met with the Dodgers on Monday the 4th, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). Rosenthal notes that Ohtani’s camp is moving through the courtship process quickly and will have some days on which he meets with two prospective suitors in the same day.
    • Officials from the Rangers went to L.A. for their turn to pitch Ohtani, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, with the meeting taking place on Tuesday evening. Texas has long coveted Ohtani, like many clubs, and sent GM Jon Daniels to Japan earlier this year as part of an early play to draw his interest. As Wilson notes, the organization has $3.53MM available in pool space for a bonus; while that may not be a very telling factor, it’s the most that any of the seven teams will be able to promise Ohtani.
    • The Giants are the first known team to have met with Ohtani, and perhaps also the first actually to do so. According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the San Francisco organization sent representatives to meet with Ohtani and his representatives today (December 4). All of the team’s top brass was on hand, with CEO Larry Baer heading to Los Angeles along with president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, GM Bobby Evans, and skipper Bruce Bochy. And the Giants had at least one top player attend, with superstar catcher Buster Posey joining the delegation. Pavlovic has more details on the team’s longstanding interest in Ohtani and its plans for him in the event he signs there. While the team can’t offer DH at-bats, Bochy has indicated that Ohtani would stand to see time in the corner outfield. (You can find Pavlovic’s full article on that subject here.)
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Plans To Meet With Seven Teams]]> 2017-12-04T13:34:05Z 2017-12-04T13:34:05Z Shohei Ohtani has already narrowed his list of potential landing spots to seven team, according to multiple reporters (with Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM the first to tweet the final seven). Only the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs will receive meetings with Ohtani. While Ohtani has three weeks to negotiate with teams, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that Ohtani could make a decision well before that point, noting that he could be introduced by his new club at next week’s Winter Meetings.

    Of the remaining teams in the fold, the Rangers still have the most money to offer Ohtani, at $3.535MM, though his signing bonus seems increasingly to be a secondary consideration in where he ultimately signs, especially after last week’s reports that Ohtani could top $20MM in annual earnings in marketing endorsements. Certainly, his list of finalists reflects a preference for West Coast teams and a proximity to Japan, though the presence of the Rangers and Cubs indicates that he’s not quite locked into that mindset just yet.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners, Giants, Padres, Rangers, Cubs, Angels Among Teams To Meet With Shohei Ohtani]]> 2017-12-04T05:40:13Z 2017-12-04T05:40:33Z 11:40pm: The Angels are indeed one of the finalists, as per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter).

    10:39pm: The Angels are thought by “multiple sources” to be one of the finalists, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets.  The Tigers are out of the running, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

    8:59pm: The Rangers and Cubs will both meet with Ohtani, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (Twitter link), and they’re also the only two non-West Coast teams who appear to still be alive in the candidate process.  The Rangers, Grant notes, have yet to comment on their status one way or the other.

    7:22pm: The Nationals won’t be receiving a meeting, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes reports (Twitter link).

    6:58pm: The Braves are out,’s Jerry Crasnick reports (via Twitter).

    6:50pm: The Padres will receive a meeting with Ohtani, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter links).  The Dodgers are also thought to still be active in the Ohtani sweepstakes though Heyman doesn’t have confirmation; regardless, the Dodgers aren’t thought to be favorites to land Ohtani.

    6:38pm: The Rays, Cardinals and White Sox are out, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (all Twitter links).

    6:15pm: The Diamondbacks won’t receive a meeting, Ken Rosenthal tweets.

    6:12pm: The Blue Jays, Pirates, and Brewers are all out, as respectively reported by’s Shi Davidi,’s Adam Berry, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt (all Twitter links).

    5:48pm: The Mets are also out, as per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).

    5:38pm: Ohtani’s list is “heavy” on West Coast teams, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, though the Cubs may still be involved.  Not every west-based team is included, however, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the A’s aren’t involved.

    5:28pm: The Red Sox are also out of the running, president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  The Twins also won’t be getting a meeting with Ohtani, Heyman tweets.

    5:16pm: The Giants and Mariners are among the teams that will receive meetings with Shohei Ohtani and his representatives next week, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link).  It isn’t known who the other finalists are in the Ohtani sweepstakes, though the Yankees are one of the teams that didn’t make the cut, as Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including’s Brendan Kuty and’s Bryan Hoch).

    According to Cashman, Ohtani seems to be leaning towards West Coast teams in smaller markets.  This ties to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman saying that Ohtani’s reps are informing teams that the two-way star would prefer to play in a smaller market.

    The news adds another fascinating layer to the Ohtani sweepstakes, which was already one of the more intriguing free agent pursuits in recent memory.  Given the seeming lack of immediate financial motive that inspired Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball, it opened the door for every team in baseball (regardless of market or payroll size) to make a push for the 23-year-old.  There had been speculation that Ohtani might look to avoid playing in a larger market, so this apparent confirmation creates a realistic possibility that he will land with a team that wouldn’t normally be considered a favorite to land such a coveted free agent.

    Of course, San Francisco isn’t exactly a small market, though Ohtani wouldn’t necessarily be the center of attention on a club with such established stars as Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner (and maybe even Giancarlo Stanton in the near future).  Playing for an NL team, however, would force Ohtani into a pinch-hitting or even a part-time outfield role for the at-bats he seeks in his attempt to be a two-way player in the big leagues.  The Mariners do have such a DH spot available (in a timeshare with Nelson Cruz), and were considered to be a contender for Ohtani given their long history of Japanese players.

    The Yankees also have had several significant Japanese players on their past and current rosters, and were widely seen as one of the major favorites for Ohtani’s services from a financial (in terms of available international bonus money) and positional (openings at DH and in the rotation) standpoint, not to mention their international fame and their young core of talent ready to make a World Series push.  With Ohtani now out of the picture, the Yankees could move to signing more pitching depth — a reunion with C.C. Sabathia has been widely speculated as a possibility — or a veteran bat to serve as designated hitter, if the club doesn’t just rotate its DH days to find plate appearances for everyone on the current roster.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Agree To Framework Of Giancarlo Stanton Deals With Cards, Giants]]> 2017-12-04T04:14:42Z 2017-12-04T04:14:35Z 10:14pm: The 2-3 day timeline is “quite a hopeful estimate,” sources tell Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    5:47pm: The Stanton deal is expected to be wrapped up within the next 2-3 days, Craig Mish tweets.

    4:41pm: The Cardinals are offering to take on more of Stanton’s money than the Giants, according to Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link).

    3:17pm: Neither the Cardinals nor Giants have set timetables for Stanton to make a decision, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

    1:58pm: The Marlins have agreed to the “general framework” of Giancarlo Stanton trades with both the Cardinals and the Giants, Jon Morosi of reports (Twitter links). Buster Olney of ESPN suggested earlier this week that was the case when the Stanton camp (him and agent Joel Wolfe) met with those clubs.

    Whether a deal ultimately occurs with the Cardinals or Giants will depend on Stanton’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause to join either club, which looks far from certain. In fact, Jim Bowden of SiriusXM tweets that the Dodgers are the only team he’d agree to waive his no-trade rights for as of now. Bowden adds that the Giants would have a better chance than the “long shot” Cardinals of landing the right fielder if the Dodgers were to pass on acquiring him. A Stanton trade is not expected to come together Sunday, per Mark Feinsand of (Twitter link).

    The 27-year-old Stanton is a Los Angeles native who grew up rooting for the Dodgers, so his desire to join them more than anyone else isn’t surprising, especially when you consider their on-field success. Having never even played for a .500 team, let alone gone to the playoffs, since making his major league debut in 2010, Stanton made it clear during this past season that he’s tired of losing and wants to compete for championships. Stanton would likely get his wish to play meaningful baseball into the fall with the Dodgers, who are fresh off a National League-winning campaign, but Morosi reported earlier Sunday that the big-spending club is wary of the luxury-tax implications that would come with reeling in the NL MVP.

    Stanton is due $295MM over the next decade, and while the Marlins could eat a large portion of that in order to maximize their return for the 59-home run man, Olney reported Saturday that Miami’s primary goal is to get Stanton’s money off the books. That would seemingly be a problem for the Dodgers, who will incur significant penalties if they run a mammoth payroll again in 2018. The Dodgers spent $237MM-plus in each of the past several seasons, and if it happens again next year, they’ll have to pay an extra 45 percent surcharge tax. Additionally, their top draft pick for 2018 (No. 30 overall) will drop 10 spots. Jason Martinez of MLBTR and Roster Resource currently estimates LA’s payroll for next season to open at $208MM-plus, but that’s obviously without factoring in Stanton or any other potential additions.

    Meanwhile, although the Giants are already near the $197MM luxury tax for 2018 (they have upward of $190MM in payroll commitments), they’re reportedly willing to take on the majority of Stanton’s money if he’d waive his NTC to go to San Francisco. The Cardinals have far less money on the books for next year ($127MM-plus), but it’s unclear how much of Stanton’s money they’d add in a trade. Of course, along with the cash left on his deal, Stanton’s ability to opt out of the pact after the 2020 season has added another complication to trade talks between the Marlins and other teams. Despite the roadblocks, though,  the cost-cutting Marlins are seemingly in position to ship out Stanton if he green lights a move to St. Louis or San Francisco.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Sunday]]> 2017-12-03T19:27:00Z 2017-12-03T18:08:06Z In case you were unaware, Giancarlo Stanton is still on the Marlins. We’ll keep track of today’s rumblings on the National League MVP and trade candidate here…

    • The Red Sox are no longer involved in the Stanton race, per Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). A report on Wednesday indicated that Boston and Miami hadn’t discussed Stanton since the general managers meetings in mid-November, so the Red Sox’s apparent exit from the sweepstakes doesn’t come as a surprise.
    • While Stanton has personally met with the GMs for the Giants and Cardinals, the Los Angeles-born slugger is still waiting to see how serious the Dodgers’ interest is before he’s willing to completely embrace going to another team, according to Jon Morosi of (Twitter links). However, the Dodgers and Marlins haven’t made any “substantial progress” in talks, Morosi adds, as LA is wary of the luxury-tax implications that would come with acquiring him. Meanwhile, both the Giants and Cardinals are still “in the dark” about whether Stanton would waive his no-trade clause to join them, Mish relays on Twitter.
    • San Francisco and Miami have reportedly discussed Giants outfield prospect Heliot Ramos; however, there’s “no indication” the Giants have actually offered Ramos to the Marlins, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Saturday]]> 2017-12-03T03:04:30Z 2017-12-03T03:04:54Z Both the Cardinals and the Giants have recently been given permission to speak with NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton’s representatives. As we get deeper and deeper into the Stanton Saga, we’ll keep track of today’s rumors in this post.

    • Stanton was actually present with his lead representative, Joel Wolfe of Wasserman, at meetings with the Cardinals and Giants last week, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag. Both teams’ GMs attended those summits, adds Heyman, who suggests that Stanton’s presence shows he’s serious about joining either club. Indeed, neither the Cardinals nor Giants have been eliminated from the Stanton derby, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.


    • In a detailed piece, Heyman references a number of different anonymous sources in expressing skepticism that Stanton would approve a trade to St. Louis. Five different people close to Stanton apparently told Heyman that they believe he’d choose the Giants over the Cardinals if given a choice, and with a full no-trade clause on his side, Stanton has a big say in the matter. One of Heyman’s sources states that the West Coast would be the outfielder’s first choice, the East Coast would be his second choice, and the Midwest would be his last choice. Of course, as Heyman also notes, it’s worth mentioning that talks with St. Louis have progressed to a point at which their front office reps were invited to meet with Stanton’s camp; it seems unlikely that would happen if a trade to the Cardinals was a firm “no” from the reigning home run champ. According to another one of Heyman’s sources, the Marlins believe a trade agreement can be reached with the Giants. However, the Dodgers (who are reportedly Stanton’s first choice) are “not disinterested”. If that’s indeed the case, he could simply choose to wait out the trade process and hope L.A. and Miami can work out an agreement.
    • Buster Olney of ESPN reports via Twitter that the Marlins are more focused on moving as much of Stanton’s salary as possible than they are on maximizing their prospect return. As Derrick Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel both point out in their own tweets, this news is considerably in the Giants’ favor. The Cardinals have far more to offer in terms of prospects, but they don’t have a history of doling out enormous contracts to free agents. The Giants, on the other hand, are payroll juggernauts, and although they have nearly $190MM in payroll guarantees for 2018 already, that number could drop considerably next year with the potential departures of Hunter Pence and Denard Span. This doesn’t mean a deal with the Giants is imminent, but it does seem to make them a better trade partner for the Marlins.
    • Giants manager Bruce Bochy was apparently not present at the meeting between the San Francisco brass and Stanton’s representatives on Thursday, according to a tweet from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s a fairly minor detail, but it does seem to decrease the likelihood that a trade is truly on the brink of taking place.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Non-Tenders]]> 2017-12-02T07:43:50Z 2017-12-02T01:10:38Z The deadline to tender 2018 contracts to players is tonight at 8pm EST. We’ll keep track of the day’s non-tenders in this post (all referenced arbitration projections courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz) …

    • The Giants non-tendered righty Albert Suarez, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Suarez, 28, was not yet eligible for arbitration.
    • Righty Tom Koehler and infielder Ryan Goins are heading to the open market after being non-tendered by the Blue Jays, per a team announcement.
    • The Rays announced that lefty Xavier Cedeno has been non-tendered, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
    • The Cubs non-tendered catcher Taylor Davis, per a team announcement. He was not yet eligible for arbitration.
    • Four Rangers players have not been tendered contracts, per a club announcement. Righties Chi Chi Gonzalez, A.J. Griffin, and Nick Martinez have been cut loose along with infielder Hanser Alberto. Griffin ($3.0MM projection) and Martinez ($2.0MM) were both noted as non-tender candidates by MLBTR. The other two players were not yet eligible for arbitration. Gonzalez was a former first-round pick who had struggled of late and underwent Tommy John surgery in July.
    • The Diamondbacks have also non-tendered lefty T.J. McFarland, who had projected at a $1.0MM salary.
    • The Reds non-tendered lefty Kyle Crockett, a pre-arb lefty who was only recently claimed on waivers, per a club announcement.
    • Per a club announcement, the Brewers have non-tendered veteran righty Jared Hughes. He will end up being the only 40-man player not to receive a contract from Milwaukee. Hughes had projected at a $2.2MM arbitration value. The 32-year-old is a master at inducing grounders and has turned in repeatedly excellent results. He also averaged a career-best 93.9 mph on his sinker in 2017.
    • The Mariners have non-tendered lefty Drew Smyly and righty Shae Simmons, per a club announcement. While the former was expected, due to Smyly’s Tommy John surgery, the latter rates as something of a surprise given his cheap $700K projection. Of course, it’s possible the club is not optimistic of his chances of bouncing back from arm troubles.
    • The White Sox will not tender a contract to reliever Jake Petricka, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). He had projected to take home $1.1MM in his second trip through the arb process. Also non-tendered, per a club announcement, were righties Zach Putnam and Al Alburquerque as well as infielder Alan Hanson.
    • It seems that righty Bruce Rondon will wind up his tenure with the Tigers, as the organization is set to non-tender him, per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press (via Twitter). Rondon was long viewed as a potential late-inning arm for the Tigers, but had some notable run-ins with the organization, struggled with control, and never consistently produced at the MLB level. Though he projected to earn just $1.2MM, Rondon will be allowed to find a new organization. He will turn 26 later this month.
    • The Diamondbacks will non-tender righty J.J. Hoover, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). Hoover projected at just $1.6MM, but Arizona is watching every penny as it seeks to return to the postseason with a tight payroll situation. The 30-year-old turned in 41 1/3 innings of 3.92 ERA ball in 2017 with 11.8 K/9 but also 5.7 BB/9 on the year.
    • The Royals announced that they have non-tendered outfielder Terrance Gore. Though Gore was not eligible for arbitration, teams occasionally utilize today’s deadline to prune their 40-man rosters. Gore had quite an interesting run with Kansas City, scarcely playing at all during the regular season and then appearing as a speed-and-defense asset in the team’s two storied postseason runs. Now, though the fleet-footed 26-year-old is out of options. With an upper minors OPS that hovers just over .600, Gore just was not going to break camp with the club. It seems reasonable to think there’s a chance he’ll return to the organization on a minors deal, though Gore will also have a shot at exploring the broader market.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Cardinals Will Meet With Giancarlo Stanton’s Representatives]]> 2017-12-02T00:45:26Z 2017-12-01T23:50:29Z The Cardinals have a meeting scheduled with representatives of star Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, according to Jon Morosi of (Twitter links). The 2017 NL MVP, who is being shopped as the Marlins seek to trim payroll, has the ability to block any trade by virtue of his full no-trade rights.

    Yesterday, Stanton’s reps sat down with the Giants’ brass, so it seems that at least these two organizations have obtained authorization from Miami to discuss their pursuit of Stanton directly with his camp. Tonight’s news rather clearly indicates that there is no deal in place with San Francisco, so it seems there’s still time for the situation to develop before Stanton ends up changing hands. (Of course, it’s also still possible that won’t come to pass.)

    With respect to the Giants, there’s also no reason to believe they are out of the race. To the contrary, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that Miami is still eyeing some of San Francisco’s young talent. He says the Marlins are looking specifically at top Giants prospect Heliot Ramos as well as righty Tyler Beede, first baseman Chris Shaw, and catcher Aramis Garcia — along with major league second bagger Joe Panik. That’s not to say that all of those players would be included in any prospective deal, of course; rather, it seems those are the names in play at the moment.

    While it’s within the Marlins’ rights to allow other teams to speak with Stanton, it seems there are at least some parameters to be minded. Per’s Buster Olney, via Twitter, MLB rules require that the team “have a general understanding on trade terms.”

    All things considered, this is rather an unusual state of affairs for a trade candidate. But in a year in which Shohei Otani has been recruited like a five-star high school athlete, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising to see anther unique situation arise.

    Certainly, Stanton is a fairly unique asset. Beyond the fact that there’s an opportunity to grab a 28-year-old player who is arguably the game’s preeminent power hitter, his contract creates quite some opportunity and risk. Stanton is owed another $295MM on his long-term deal but also has the right to opt out after three seasons.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Meet With Giancarlo Stanton’s Representatives]]> 2017-12-01T06:46:37Z 2017-12-01T04:42:50Z 10:42pm: The meeting should not be read as an indication that a deal is about to go down,’s Joe Frisaro cautions on Twitter. Rather, he says, “a trade is not considered imminent” and the Marlins “remain engaged with other clubs” regarding Stanton.

    8:42pm: The Giants have sent executives to meet with representatives of star Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, according to Craig Mish of Sirius XM (Twitter links). It is not clear whether the meeting, which is said to be taking place in Los Angeles, will also include Stanton himself. Top organizational figures are on hand for the Giants, though,with president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, GM Bobby Evans, and skipper Bruce Bochy all trekking south.

    Obviously, such a sit-down could only occur if the Marlins have authorized the discussion. In all likelihood, it seems, permission would only be given if the teams believed they could potentially finalize a deal involving Stanton, whose approval would be needed for any swap given his full no-trade rights.

    Earlier today, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discussed the parameters of possible interactions between Stanton and his pursuers. Of course, he was addressing the point in reference to the Cardinals’ efforts to land the star performer, and it’s not clear at this point whether the St. Louis organization will be afforded such an opportunity.

    Throughout the offseason, rumors have surrounded the possibility of the Marlins dealing Stanton — their biggest star, and also the league’s highest-paid player. The west coast native is believed to prefer to play close to his Los Angeles home, but the hometown Dodgers have only operated at the fringes of the market thus far.

    Some have suggested of late that the situation — which has seemingly backed into something of a stalemate since the end of the GM Meetings — could end up playing out more slowly. Both Stanton and the Marlins, perhaps, would prefer to see the Dodgers enter the fray. Or, perhaps, other organizations could join the Giants and Cardinals, the clear top two pursuers to this point.

    There has been some discussion of possible trade scenarios between the teams, but on the whole it is not clear just what kind of package could be contemplated if the San Francisco brass can convince Stanton to join on.’s Jon Morosi discussed a potential return for Stanton in an article earlier today, but also made clear that had not confirmed that any of the rumored players had actually been formally offered or asked for. And others — such as Bob Nightengale of USA Today, on Twitter — have cast doubt on the idea that the true potential trade package has yet been stated publicly. There is, however, indication from some quarters that the Giants are willing to take on the bulk or even all of Stanton’s contract, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.

    With respect to the talks between Stanton’s representatives and his would-be new employers, it’s possible to imagine any number of topics being discussed. No doubt Stanton will be interested to learn more about the organization’s plans to return to contention after a disastrous 2017 campaign. As Nightengale notes in another tweet, though, it’s also possible there could be some contractual negotiations. Because Stanton would stand to take a hit to his bottom line by playing half his games in California, his representatives might conceivably request some kind of compensation.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Have Discussed Andrew McCutchen With Pirates]]> 2017-11-29T18:39:29Z 2017-11-29T18:39:29Z The Giants and Pirates have “remained in contact” regarding star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). McCutchen could represent an alternative to Giancarlo Stanton for the San Francisco organization, Morosi suggests.

    This is the first time we’ve seen the 31-year-old McCutchen come up clearly in trade rumors this winter. He’s owed $14.5MM for the 2018 season and will reach free agency thereafter.

    McCutchen is no longer the superstar he once was, but did just wrap up a productive 2017 campaign. In 650 plate appearances, he slashed .279/.363/.486 and hit 28 home runs.

    Metrics are not enamored of McCutchen’s glovework in center, so he doesn’t seem like a direct replacement for Denard Span, who’s expected to move into a corner spot. But Cutch’s ability to handle some time up the middle certainly doesn’t hurt. He’s also a far less committing acquisition target than is Stanton.

    It’s not immediately clear what it might take to get the Bucs to part with their franchise icon. Moving the salary would help the organization seek some other improvements, though losing McCutchen would also mean creating an immediate hole — even if the team is comfortable relying upon Austin Meadows and/or piecing together some platoon pieces. Given McCutchen’s standing with the fan base, there’s added motivation for the Pirates to hold out for a worthwhile return. And the organization will be cognizant of the possibility of instead dealing him at the trade deadline, if the ballclub does not compete, or making him a qualifying offer at the end of the coming season.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Tuesday]]> 2017-11-28T22:13:31Z 2017-11-28T22:13:43Z Though Shohei Ohtani has not even yet been officially posted — that’s expected as soon as Friday — the supreme young talent is drawing plenty of attention from MLB organizations. Those clubs received a memorandum over the weekend asking them to provide information to Ohtani and his representatives on a variety of subjects, which is only the beginning of a highly unusual and utterly fascinating recruitment process.

    Here’s the latest:

    • Though Ohtani is limited to a signing bonus and a minor league contract in coming to the Major Leagues, he stands to earn substantially more through marketing endorsements, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Marketing agents have predicted to Nightengale that between endorsements back in Japan and in the United States, Ohtani could command north of $20MM annually. That’d make him MLB’s highest-paid player in terms of off-the-field revenue.
    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic spoke to agent Scott Boras (who was in the running to represent Ohtani before Ohtani signed CAA and Nez Balelo) as well as MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem about Ohtani’s earning capacity. Unsurprisingly, Boras offered sharp criticism of a system that won’t allow Ohtani to top a $3.535MM signing bonus at this point. “He is precocious, greatness cast adrift, forced into the MLB lifeboat,” said the always colorful Boras. “And his admission is handcuffs that prevent him from getting at least what his older, lesser valued peers received—in Tanaka’s case, more than $150 million.” Halem, as one would expect, wholly disagreed with Boras’ notions, pointing out that it was Ohtani who passed on the chance to sign with MLB clubs as an amateur out of high school, which could have jump-started his earning potential. And, it was Ohtani who asked to be posted as an amateur just two years before he could have been posted as a professional. The free column has quite a few quotes from both Boras and Halem on the matter and is well worth a full look.

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Outright Orlando Calixte]]> 2017-11-27T21:42:34Z 2017-11-27T21:42:34Z
  • The Giants announced that infielder/outfielder Orlando Calixte has been outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento after clearing waivers. The 25-year-old batted .143/.185/.163 in 55 MLB plate appearances in San Francisco and hit .243/.283/.421 in 401 Triple-A plate appearances last season. Calixte has seen brief action with the Giants and Royals over the past two seasons and is a career .247/.300/.382 hitter in parts of eight minor league seasons. He was designated for assignment last week when San Francisco was setting its roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Monday]]> 2017-11-28T00:04:29Z 2017-11-27T20:49:58Z The Giancarlo Stanton trade saga has been one of the top storylines of the offseason, and there’s no end in sight at the time being. To date, the Cardinals and Giants have reportedly submitted formal offers, while the Dodgers and Red Sox have also been linked to the slugger.

    We’ll track today’s developments on the Stanton front right here:

    • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that other clubs have gotten the sense that there’ll be resolution on the Stanton talks one way or another by the time the Winter Meetings kick off on Dec. 10 (all Twitter links). That is to say, the Marlins will either have traded him by that point or interested parties will have exhausted their patience and begun to explore other possibilities on the trade and free-agent markets. Crasnick also notes that while the Cardinals and Giants are the most-cited suitors, there are other clubs that are in active pursuit of Stanton.

    Earlier Updates

    • Jon Morosi of reports that Stanton has given the Marlins a list of teams to which he’d accept a trade, and the Dodgers are among those teams (all links to Twitter). Per Morosi, the Dodgers and Marlins have discussed some Stanton trade scenarios, but the Giants and Cardinals have shown more focused interest in Stanton. Some teams interested in Stanton feel the Dodgers are his top choice, which could slow negotiations as Stanton could veto any deal until knowing for certain that the Dodgers don’t plan on making a move for him. At this point, however, Stanton has not rejected any trades, according to Morosi.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rays Claim Micah Johnson From Giants]]> 2017-11-27T20:43:24Z 2017-11-27T20:43:24Z The Rays announced on Monday that they’ve claimed infielder Micah Johnson off outright waivers from the Giants. San Francisco had designated Johnson for assignment last week prior to setting the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.

    Once considered the second baseman of the future for the White Sox, Johnson went from Chicago to the Dodgers by way of the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the Reds to the ChiSox. Johnson spent the 2016 season in the Dodgers’ organization but was flipped to Atlanta last January. He enjoyed a solid run with Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate, hitting .289/.377/.400 in a small sample of 155 plate appearances but also missed a significant portion of the year due to a fractured left wrist.

    Thus far in the offseason alone, Johnson has gone from the Braves, to the Reds, to the Giants, to the Rays — all via claims off of outright waivers.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Giants' Giancarlo Stanton Pursuit]]> 2017-11-25T21:55:49Z 2017-11-25T21:55:49Z While it’s unclear how much of Stanton’s deal the Red Sox would be open to absorbing, the Giants are “willing to take on a lot” of it, Cafardo writes. The Giants have shown more interest than anyone else in Stanton, Cafardo hears, and he adds that they’re prepared to exceed the luxury tax threshold for the fourth straight year if necessary. As of now, they and the Cardinals are the only known teams that have submitted offers to the Marlins to acquire Stanton.

    • The Giants, White Sox and Royals “will likely keep inquiring” about Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. throughout the offseason, Cafardo contends. Each of San Francisco, Chicago and Kansas City have pursued Bradley recently, but the Royals already had Lorenzo Cain occupying center when they went after JBJ in 2015. Now, with Cain likely to depart via free agency, the fit between the Royals and the affordable Bradley is obvious. However, it’s fair to wonder whether the Royals have a good enough farm system to put together a deal for Bradley, who’s controllable through 2020 and will make around $5.9MM next season.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[What We Know About The Giancarlo Stanton Situation]]> 2017-11-25T03:37:39Z 2017-11-25T03:36:29Z As of Black Friday, the 2017 offseason has been astonishingly quiet. The trade and free agent market seems as though it’s being held up in large part by the situation surrounding NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Once that massive domino falls, it’s possible we’ll see a flurry of free agent activity follow. In the meantime, however, Stanton rumors are a heavy focus of the baseball media cycle, and as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd pointed out in an in-depth piece earlier this month, his market is wide and complex. As we approach the weekend, here’s an overview of what we know about the Marlins’ attempt to deal their All-Star outfielder.

    He’s the best player available on the market- This may be redundant considering I already mentioned his brand new MVP award, but the subject is well worth its own spotlight. His .281/.376/.631 batting line is other worldly, and his 59 homers paced all of baseball in 2017. While his 6.9 fWAR only tied for fifth among all players in the majors, the rest of the top seven (Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout) won’t be available for teams to acquire in a trade. The top three free agents (Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer) aren’t anywhere near as valuable in terms of expected WAR output as Stanton.

    Teams perceive his remaining contract as close to market value- According to these three tweets from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, multiple teams told the Marlins that the remaining 10 years and $295MM left on Stanton’s contract are a pretty good estimate of what he’d earn on the open market, were he a free agent this offseason.

    He has a lot of power over his own fate- Not only does Stanton have a full no-trade clause in his contract, but he also has the ability to opt out after the 2020 season, at which point he’d leave 7 years and $218MM on the table in search of a new deal. The opt-out makes trading him even more complicated, as it caps the contract value upside for his would-be new team. Meanwhile, the full no-trade protection gives him enormous leverage in the process. Many teams would love to add Stanton to their lineup, and the Marlins are looking to shed payroll. Ultimately, this means the Fish may not end up being able to accept the best offer, and could have to simply settle for the proposal from the city Stanton wishes to play for most.

    The Marlins’ leverage over him is nonzero- While Stanton is a coveted asset and enjoys no-trade protection, he’s made it well-known that he isn’t interested in being around for a rebuild. The slugger’s desire to leave Miami could result in him approving a trade he’s not thrilled about just to play for a contender. On the other hand, it could also result in a tense game of chicken between Stanton and the Marlins to see who will bend first. Although the Marlins have a firm mission to shed payroll, they can do so in other ways; they don’t actually have to trade Stanton at all. And as much as Stanton wants to be traded, he might be willing to hold out for a team of his choice and risk staying put. The case is fascinating.

    Some evaluators believe the Marlins’ asking price is unrealistic- While Miami’s asking price isn’t entirely clear, it seems as though they’re looking for a team to pay all (or nearly all) of his salary while including prospects. This has led some to suggest that the Fish need a “reality check” in terms of their asking price. If the contract is indeed roughly market value, then it’s difficult to imagine that a team will give up good prospects for the privilege to pay Stanton his full dollar value over the course of the deal.

    He prefers to play near a coast- While this doesn’t seem to be a firm deal breaker, it complicates matters for teams like the Cardinals and Phillies, who have the payroll space and prospect depth to swing a trade for the prolific slugger.

    The Cardinals and Giants have made formal offers- The Giants were the first to officially submit a trade proposal, with the Cardinals following suit later that same week. This doesn’t mean the trade discussions are finished; those trades could still be tweaked or even scrapped entirely in favor of starting from scratch. But the fact that there are at least two offers on the table gives the Marlins some options to weigh for the time being. It’s not known what those offers are, however, though we do know that the Cardinals included Sandy Alcantara in their proposal. It’s equally uncertain whether Miami even takes those offers seriously.

    As many as eight teams are engaged in talks for him- While only six of those eight teams are thought to be serious pursuers, the fact that so many teams are showing strong interest bodes well for Miami and their power in negotiations. In addition to the Cardinals and Giants mentioned above, we know that the Dodgers, Phillies and Red Sox have had some level of dialogue with the Marlins. The Yankees, too, have reportedly done their due diligence, though it doesn’t sound as if they’re actively pursuing Stanton.


    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Designate Micah Johnson, Orlando Calixte]]> 2017-11-21T01:27:31Z 2017-11-21T01:27:31Z The Giants have designated infielder Micah Johnson and utilityman Orlando Calixte for assignment, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to report on Twitter.

    San Francisco also removed righty Dan Slania from the 40-man via outright assignment. He cleared waivers. Another 40-man casualty, infielder Engelb Vielmadid not. Joining the Giants’ MLB roster are catcher Aramis Garcia and a trio of pitchers:  righties Tyler Herb and Tyler Beede along with lefty D.J. Snelten.

    Johnson has already bounced around between a few organizations this winter, moving from Atlanta to Cincinnati and then out west. The Giants will gladly stash him in Triple-A if he ultimately clears waivers.

    As for Calixte, the 25-year-old has touched the majors briefly but hasn’t hit much at all in limited opportunities. At Triple-A in 2017, he posted a .243/.283/.421 slash over 401 plate appearances.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Phillies Claim Engelb Vielma, Designate Mark Appel & Alberto Tirado]]> 2017-11-21T03:13:15Z 2017-11-20T23:04:18Z The Phillies have claimed infielder Engelb Vielma off waivers from the Giants, per a team announcement. Philadelphia also designated righties Mark Appel and Alberto Tirado for assignment while outrighting lefty Elniery Garcia.

    To round out a busy day of 40-man moves, the Phillies also added righties Seranthony Dominguez, Franklyn Kilome, and Jose Taveras, as well as lefty Ranger Suarez, to their MLB roster.

    Vielma is seen as a gifted defender. But his switch-hitting bat has yet to develop. Still just 23, Vielma ended up with San Francisco through a late-season waiver claim from the Twins. He had earned his first promotion to Triple-A earlier in the year, but slashed just .206/.233/.260 in his 314 trips to the plate at the highest level of the minors..

    Appel, 26, was the first overall draft pick in 2013. He landed in Philadelphia along with righty Vince Velasquez and others in the swap that sent reliever Ken Giles to the Astros. At the time of the swap, he was seen as something of a change-of-scenery candidate. But he never really found his footing with the Phils while dealing with arm problems. In 2017, he pitched to a 5.27 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 5.8 BB/9 over 82 Triple-A frames.

    The 22-year-old Tirado was also once considered a significant prospect, but hasn’t shown enough to hang onto a MLB roster spot. He pitched to a 3.69 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 63 1/3 High-A innings last year. Despite those marginal numbers, Tirado earned his first shot at Double-A, but coughed up 19 walks against just eight strikeouts in a dozen frames.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Monday]]> 2017-11-20T17:15:29Z 2017-11-20T17:15:29Z Another day, another slew of rumors pertaining to the game’s top slugger. Reports over the weekend indicated that the Cardinals have submitted a formal offer to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any indication a trade involving Stanton is any closer. Here’s the latest on the 2017 home run king…

    • Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that the Marlins and Giants have discussed second baseman Joe Panik, right-handed pitching prospect Tyler Beede and outfield prospect Chris Shaw. The Giants have also discussed the possibility of taking Dee Gordon back in the deal, which would make some sense with Panik possibly being of interest to Miami. It’s worth noting that Mish doesn’t specifically state that the two sides have talked about a Panik/Beede/Shaw for Stanton and Gordon package. To the contrary, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that he hears that is not the framework of a deal being discussed (nor is it close, according to Schulman). It seems, then, that the two sides are likely discussing multiple scenarios and those names have been involved (likely with others) in various permutations. The Giants reportedly made some type of trade proposal on Friday.
    • Mish also tweets that the Cardinals are willing to part with hard-throwing right-handed pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara, who was included in the aforementioned formal offer to Miami. Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of rank Alcantara ninth among Cardinals farmhands, noting he sits at 96 mph with a fastball that scrapes triple digits and also has the potential for a pair of average or better secondary offerings. Baseball America rated Alcantara fourth among Cardinals farmhands just two weeks ago (subscription required & recommended for their full scouting report).
    • Meanwhile, Schulman tweets that the Marlins haven’t reached the point where they’re asking interested teams for their best and final offers for Stanton, thus indicating that an actual trade involving Stanton is not especially close at this time.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Friday]]> 2017-11-18T00:12:13Z 2017-11-17T23:32:03Z You didn’t think we were going to make it to the weekend without another look at the market for Giancarlo Stanton, surely? The Marlins slugger, fresh off of receiving the National League MVP Award yesterday, is still the biggest name to watch. Here’s the latest:

    • Offers are flowing in on Stanton now that the GM Meetings have wrapped up, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes. The Giants have submitted some kind of proposal, according to Rosenthal, with the Cardinals and Red Sox among the other teams believed to be lining up their own concepts for Miami to consider. Rosenthal adds that the San Francisco organization would be willing to take on much of Stanton’s contract, but may in turn need to shed salary elsewhere. It’s interesting to note the Sox’ active interest, since president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski had thrown some cold water on the idea of a major acquisition of late.
    • Stanton himself discussed the odd situation he faces — with his name splashed about headlines due both to his evident availability in trade and his MVP nod — as Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel reports. The Marlins star says he’d rather remain with the Fish, but thinks the team needs to “thoroughly address[]” its pitching with “a huge push” that, frankly, does not seem likely. (Stanton says he’s “not entirely sure” it’s realistic, but adds: “But I know all teams have plenty of money.”) Generally, Stanton called the situation “interesting,” but seems to be at peace with the process. “This is the only place I’ve known,” he said, “but I also understand the business part of it and the direction the new ownership wants to go.”
    • Super-agent Scott Boras sided with Stanton on the spending point in his recent comments to the media, chiding teams like the Marlins for drawing up plans to reduce payroll. But MLB commissioner Rob Manfred defended the rights of organizations — particularly, those with new owners — to modify payroll as part of their long-term strategies, as’s Mark Feinsand reports on Twitter“I think it’s unfair, really, to criticize a decision — if it turns out to be the decision — to move a player who has a contract that somebody else negotiated,” Manfred said in an oblique reference to Stanton’s situation. “… I hope that the fans of Miami — whatever decisions are made — give [new Marlins owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter] an opportunity to show what their plan for moving that franchise forward is.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Have Discussed J.D. Martinez]]> 2017-11-17T18:52:25Z 2017-11-17T18:52:25Z Scarcely a day goes by in which the Giants are not linked to Giancarlo Stanton on multiple occasions, but John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Francisco is also considering the other top right-handed slugger that is available this offseason: J.D. Martinez. It’s not clear if the Giants have sat down with agent Scott Boras, and Shea is careful to note that the Giants are internally discussing a wide number of options to improve their offense. Martinez would represent the most aggressive means of doing so on the free-agent market. He’ll command fewer years and dollars than the remaining decade and $295MM on Stanton’s contract, though Boras is reportedly seeking a sky-high $210MM over seven years early in the offseason. (Martinez will quite likely sign for less than that, as early asking prices are always on the high side for any free agent.)

    Working against the Giants is a payroll that is already dangerously close to the luxury tax barrier and that Martinez doesn’t help the Giants’ stated goals of improving the outfield defense or getting better in center field.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Heyman’s Latest: Moore, Cain, Rangers, Vargas/O’s, Rodney/D-Backs]]> 2017-11-17T05:17:25Z 2017-11-17T05:17:25Z In his latest Inside Baseball column, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag looks into the Royals front office. Owner David Glass is “considering a possible two-year extension” for GM Dayton Moore, writes Heyman, even though Moore has “no leverage” given that he’s already under contract for three more seasons. This all arises after Glass declined to allow the Braves to speak with Moore about changing squads. While Moore has expressed gratitude to ownership, his recent comments were interesting, if difficult to interpret with any precision. All told, it seems there could still be some unresolved matters in the Kansas City front office.

    Let’s look at a few more items from Heyman of particular relevance to the still-developing hot stove season:

    • Top free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain has drawn some early interest from the Mets and Giants, according to Heyman. As regards the New York organization, this information seems to conflict with recent statements from Mets GM Sandy Alderson — though as ever it’s worth taking things with a grain of salt and acknowledging fluidity this time of year. As for the Giants, we at MLBTR pegged San Francisco as the likeliest landing spot for Cain, though some doubt whether the organization will go over the luxury tax line and sacrifice draft choices to land him. At a minimum, though, the organization would seem to be wise to do some diligence on the possibility.
    • The Rangers have “looked into” free agent righties Lance Lynn and Tyler Chatwood, says Heyman. While it’s not clear just how serious the interest is, the link isn’t surprising. Texas clearly needs arms; indeed, MLBTR guessed they’d land Lynn. While Chatwood doesn’t have nearly the track record of results that Lynn does, he is an intriguing option in his own right and shares some of the characteristics of Andrew Cashner — the former Ranger free agent signee who is himself back on the open market.
    • Another team with a desire to add several starters (and with reputed interest in Chatwood) is the Orioles. The Baltimore front office met with agents for lefty Jason Vargas during the GM Meetings, Heyman reports. The 34-year-old veteran seems to be a good match for the O’s, as we predicted, since the team needs to find so many rotation innings and can’t afford to make major long-term commitments to multiple starters.
    • The Diamondbacks are “open” to bringing back Fernando Rodney, GM Mike Hazen tells Heyman. Arizona is facing a difficult payroll situation but obviously will be looking to maintain and improve upon a Wild Card-winning roster. Though Rodney didn’t dominate last year, he’s still throwing mid-nineties heat and generating quite a few swings and misses — and obviously met with the approval of the D-Backs’ brass in the closer’s role. Beyond improving the pen, the Arizona priority is to improve in the outfield, per the report. That could mean pursuing under-the-radar additions; though Hazen says he’s not ruling out a return for J.D. Martinez, that’d almost certainly require the kind of payroll increase that does not appear to be under consideration.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Wednesday]]> 2017-11-15T23:18:09Z 2017-11-15T23:17:56Z The Giancarlo Stanton rumor mill was churning yesterday as teams jockey for position with the Marlins — and, perhaps, with Stanton himself, who can veto any trade. At the end of the day, though, it seemed there was no greater clarity as to where he might be dealt and when a trade might go down.

    We’ll use this post to track any new developments today …

    •’s Jon Morosi reports that teams that have spoken to the Marlins have informed them that they feel the 10 years and $295MM on Stanton’s deal is a rough approximation of his market value (all Twitter links). In other words, other clubs don’t perceive there to be much, if any, surplus value on Stanton’s deal. As such, the Marlins will have to pay down a notable portion of the deal to also extract premium prospects from a potential trade partner. One exec suggested that Miami would need to pay as much as $5MM annually in order to receive good prospect value. Morosi notes that the Cardinals and Marlins once again discussed trade concepts today.
    • The Marlins initiated a brief conversation with the Yankees regarding Stanton, writes FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The Yankees aren’t considered a serious suitor, though, and the Yankees simply said they’d be open to hearing what the Marlins had in mind, perhaps as a matter of sheer due diligence. Both Yankees GM Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner have publicly stated a desire to dip under the $197MM luxury tax barrier, and Stanton’s $25MM annual salary would obviously get in the way of that goal.

    Earlier Updates

    • Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says he has not yet spoken with Stanton, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald was among those to report on Twitter“If there’s a reason to call him, I’ll call him,” said Jeter. The new Marlins boss did not commit to dealing Stanton and noted that such a move would be complicated, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. But Jeter also suggested that the team cannot continue operating in the same manner financially as it did under prior ownership.
    • Of course, president of baseball operations Michael Hill sat down with Stanton and says he has a sense of what the slugger is interested in. He’s also running point on Stanton talks with other teams. Hill tells Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he is putting the onus on suitors to come forward with some information on what they are willing to do to land Stanton. “Until I know where you’re at on the contract, the money, all that stuff, I can’t engage,” Hill said of his rival executives.
    • Rosenthal said that eight teams had engaged on Stanton to this point. Six of those are fairly serious pursuers, according to a report from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
    • There’s “little momentum” regarding Stanton between the Dodgers and Marlins, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Of course, the most notable point at this stage seems to be that the Dodgers are involved at all. Los Angeles seems like a solid fit for Stanton, though it’s also not difficult to imagine the organization preferring not to tie up such a significant portion of its payroll in one contract.
    • John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle ran down the latest on Stanton from the Giants’ perspective. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did the same with regard to the Cardinals. And’s Rob Bradford explained why he still thinks the Red Sox could be in Stanton (or another superstar hitter) despite some indications to the contrary.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Hunter Cole To Complete Sam Dyson Trade]]> 2017-11-15T20:07:15Z 2017-11-15T20:05:21Z The Rangers have acquired minor-leaguer Hunter Cole from the Giants, per a club announcement. Cole becomes the player to be named later from the deal that sent reliever Sam Dyson to San Francisco over the summer.

    Cole, 25, has topped out at the Double-A level thus far in his career. Indeed, he has played there in each of the past three seasons without yet cracking the highest level of the minors. In 2017, he slashed only .249/.323/.431 over 319 plate appearances with seven home runs, though Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that he finished strong.

    Dyson, whose unbelievable struggles early in the year prompted the swap, turned things around to some extent upon landing with the Giants. While he was still far from the high-quality hurler he had been previously, Dyson managed a 4.03 ERA and even picked up 14 saves in his 38 frames with the Giants.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Have Talked To Cardinals About Outfielders]]> 2017-11-15T05:33:12Z 2017-11-15T05:33:12Z
  • The Cardinals are looking to trade multiple outfielders given their logjam of upper-level talent, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The PhilliesOrioles and Giants have had interest in some of the Cards’ outfielders in the past, Goold notes, adding that Randal Grichuk is the outfielder that “comes up the most often.” Goold also reports that the Dodgers tried to pry Tommy Pham away from the Cardinals prior to the non-waiver trade deadline but were unsuccessful in doing so. In addition to Grichuk and Pham, the Cards have Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler and Jose Martinez at the big league level. Beyond that, younger options include Harrison Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Randy Arozarena (who Goold profiles at the beginning of his column) and Tyler O’Neill.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Could Move Hunter Pence To Part-Time Role]]> 2017-11-15T04:56:32Z 2017-11-15T04:47:39Z The Giants are casting a wide net as they search for outfield help, and they’re prepared to move Hunter Pence to a part-time role if their other acquisitions necessitate such a transition, GM Bobby Evans tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

    Evans tells Crasnick that the team’s “focus is center field” and upgrading the defense, though San Francisco has, of course, been widely linked to Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton in trade talks as well. The acquisition of a center fielder wouldn’t appear to force Pence into a timeshare at first glance, though John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted this afternoon that if the Giants are successful in adding both a center fielder and a right fielder such as Stanton, the team could put Pence and Denard Span into a left-field platoon.

    Landing Stanton and an established center fielder would be a lofty goal, though Shea also tweets that a short-term fix could be an option in center field. The organization is high on 24-year-old Steven Duggar and believes he could eventually be an internal candidate to man center on a long-term basis. The 2015 sixth-rounder is likely to open next year in Triple-A, per Shea.

    Of course, it remains to be seen just how the Giants will remedy their outfield situation. Joel Sherman of the New York Post also chatted with Evans, and the GM acknowledged that the poor reputation of San Francisco’s farm system makes trading with other organizations more difficult. Evans also plainly stated that the Giants would “prefer not to go over [the luxury tax barrier] for the fourth straight year.”

    Adding Stanton’s $25MM average annual value to the luxury tax ledger would almost certainly put the Giants right up against that threshold. Between the average annual values of Buster Posey, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Mark Melancon, Denard Span, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Moore and Pence (plus $13.9MM in arbitration projections), the Giants already have nearly $154MM on the luxury tax ledger. That’s not even including a potential center-field addition, pre-arbitration players or the roughly $13MM of player benefits that is included in luxury tax calculations. Nevertheless, Sherman characterizes them as a legitimate suitor for the 2017 home run king.

    [Related: San Francisco Giants payroll outlook]

    As Crasnick notes, the Giants have been tied to virtually every outfielder on the free-agent or trade market. In addition to Stanton, San Francisco has been linked to Lorenzo Cain (link), Jackie Bradley Jr. (link), Billy Hamilton (link) and Jay Bruce (link) in the past week alone.

    San Francisco outfielders were far and away the least productive unit in all of Major League Baseball last season, hitting just .255/.309/.375 while also posting the fifth-worst Defensive Runs Saved total in the game (-42). Pence, 35 next April, played no small role in those struggles. The former All-Star hit .260/.315/.385 with passable but unspectacular defense in right field. He’s owed $18.5MM next season — the final year of a five-year, $90MM contract with the Giants.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Tuesday]]> 2017-11-14T22:43:36Z 2017-11-14T22:43:35Z Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton has already generated plenty of buzz at the GM Meetings. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, given that his massive contract represents a key factor in the Miami organization’s offseason — and those of the teams that will consider acquiring it. Given the unique circumstances at play, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to be dealt at a relatively early stage.

    Here’s the latest:

    • The Dodgers are indeed in the mix for Stanton, tweets’s Mark Feinsand. To what extent Los Angeles is interested remains unclear, but the Dodgers certainly have the payroll capacity to take on the contract as well as the young talent in order to entice the Marlins to part with Stanton.
    • Stanton actually has not ruled out the Red Sox — or, it seems, any other organizations — according to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. While the slugger may have initial preferences, Drellich writes that he’s maintaining a “’completely’ open mind.” It’s ultimately not too surprising to hear some competing information flying about Stanton’s approach, for the reasons Goold explores in the below-linked piece. But if the slugger is indeed willing to entertain any possibilities, then that will presumably make for a more wide-open process — and keep things interesting right up to the point that Stanton weighs an actual opportunity t change teams, should it arise.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Giants have at times given signals of going big for Stanton (or another expensive player) or instead trying to stay under the luxury tax line. But it seems the organization is engaged with the Marlins in earnest. Per’s Joe Frisaro, via Twitter, the clubs are discussing Giants prospect Heliot Ramos as a possible element of a hypothetical return for Stanton. San Francisco is joined by at least three others in chasing the slugger at this point, he adds. (Those looking for subtle signals will also note that Giants GM Bobby Evans and Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill were spotted on a joint foyer foray this morning, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.)
    • Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, meanwhile, hears at least seven clubs have shown some level of interest in Stanton, noting that the Marlins front office is “encouraged” by the early dialogue. Front office sources from other organizations framed things a bit differently;’s Buster Olney tweets that there’s a perception that the Marlins are seeking a “shockingly high” package for the rights to pay Stanton at a premium rate, particularly since his deal includes an opt-out clause.
    • Importantly, per Heyman, Miami is said to be open to hanging on to some of Stanton’s contract. Additionally, the team is focused on achieving value rather than on getting young pitching, specifically.
    • Of course, Stanton’s own preferences hold the final say in any deal. While it’s far from certain, there are rumblings that Stanton is not inclined to approve a swap that would send him to the Cardinals or Red Sox, as Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports. If nothing else, anything less than a full blessing from Stanton with regard to a given organization would likely complicate any effort to finalize a deal.
    • The no-trade clause obviously ties into the subject of leverage, which is a key issue for the Fish, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains. Since Miami would do well to keep its cards close to the vest with regard to Stanton’s preferences, the information flow is critical to the Marlins’ effort to maximize their return while finding a landing spot Stanton that will authorize.
    • While the Red Sox “may have checked in” on Stanton, they seem to be focused elsewhere. And the Dodgers haven’t engaged yet at all, Heyman adds. Both of those teams were highlighted by MLBTR as among the best fits on paper for the star slugger.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Blue Jays, Mets Showing Interest In Lorenzo Cain]]> 2017-11-14T22:10:03Z 2017-11-14T22:10:03Z The Blue Jays and Mets have both reached out to the representatives for free-agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick also lists the Rangers, Mariners and Giants as more speculative fits for Cain’s services.

    While both Toronto and New York already have standout defensive center fielders in Kevin Pillar and Juan Lagares, respectively, adding Cain to the outfield mix in either organization could create an elite defensive unit. The Blue Jays have a more pronounced need in the outfield, though young Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford could both work their way into regular roles next year. The Mets would appear to be more set with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto both in the mix alongside Lagares, but Conforto’s status is something of a question mark following shoulder surgery. Speaking purely speculatively, acquiring Cain could also allow either club to trade from its stock of outfielders.

    Cain, 32 next April, hit .300/.363/.440 with 15 homers and 26 steals in 645 plate appearances with the Royals in 2017. While he’s never turned in a below-average season in the outfield by virtually any defensive metric, this past season was his weakest in that regard. Defensive Runs Saved pegged him at +5 runs in center field, while Ultimate Zone Rating had him at +1.6. Statcast’s new Outs Above Average metric still pegged Cain as one of baseball’s truly elite outfielders; he ranked fifth among all outfielders with a sterling mark of +15.

    Cain will reportedly reject the Royals’ $17.4MM qualifying offer, meaning he’ll cost any club that signs him some resources in next year’s draft. Specifically, the Jays and the Mets would forfeit their second-highest pick and $500K worth of next year’s international signing pool in order to sign Cain, as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently explained. The Rangers would face that same penalty, while the Mariners would only need to forfeit their third-highest selection. Of the teams listed by Crasnick, the Giants would pay the steepest penalty — forfeiting their second- and fifth-highest draft selections as well as $1MM worth of international spending money. San Francisco is “juggling a lot of balls” at present, per Crasnick.

    The Royals, meanwhile, would land a compensatory draft pick after the first round so long as Cain signs a contract worth more than $50MM in total guarantees. That seems exceedingly likely to be the case, wherever he signs. In the off-chance that Cain somehow comes up shy of $50MM, Kansas City’s comp pick would come after Competitive Balance Round B in next year’s draft.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Interested In Billy Hamilton]]> 2017-11-14T00:26:05Z 2017-11-14T00:23:07Z As the Giants canvas the market for center field upgrade options, the team has “shown interest” in Billy Hamilton of the Reds, per’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). The 27-year-old projects to earn an even $5MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility.

    It’s no secret that the Giants are looking to add a center fielder. And it’s clear that defensive capability is a significant consideration, given that Denard Span is being moved to the corner in large part due to his inability to cover sufficient swaths of the spacious grassland of AT&T Park.

    Hamilton would no doubt help in that regard, as he’s one of the game’s premier defenders — and has been ever since becoming regular in 2014. The fleet-footed Hamilton is also one of the very most valuable players in baseball on the basepaths. Trouble is, he has a tough time getting there, with a .298 lifetime on-base percentage.

    Unsurprisingly, Hamilton is likely just one of several possibilities at this stage. Morosi recently connected San Francisco to Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox, who’d be a more appealing all-around option if he’s made available.

    No doubt the Giants are looking into others as well, with trade talks and the open market both offering possibilities. Lorenzo Cain is the top free agent available, though he’ll require a significant outlay to acquire. Other names on the open market that could conceivably factor into the Giants’ thinking (some of them as potential fourth-outfield options) include Jarrod Dyson, Carlos Gomez, Austin Jackson, Jon Jay, and Cameron Maybin.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Crasnick’s Latest: Stanton, Ohtani, JDM, Darvish, Royals, McCutchen]]> 2017-11-13T15:20:45Z 2017-11-13T15:20:45Z In this year’s edition of his annual Hot Stove survey (an always-excellent read), ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick surveyed 40 front office execs and scouts from around the league on nine offseason issues as this week’s GM Meetings kick off. Among the topics discussed, at length, are the possibility of a Giancarlo Stanton trade (and his likeliest destination), where Japanese star Shohei Ohtani will land, how much J.D. Martinez can command in free agency, and whether Yu Darvish’s poor World Series showing hampered his free-agent stock. Crasnick also polled the 40 baseball ops/scouting minds on multiple groups of free agents and trade candidates, asking which will provide the most value and which are likeliest to be dealt.

    If you follow the offseason even loosely, you’ll want to be sure to read through the entire column, which is packed with quotes and insight from general managers, scouts and other front-office executives on the players in question and their potential landing spots. Some abbreviated highlights…

    • Three quarters of the respondents indicated that they expect Stanton to be traded this offseason, with nearly a third listing the Cardinals as the likeliest landing spot. The Giants were the second-most popular spot, though one scout tells Crasnick he has a difficult time envisioning that match, calling the Giants a “bottom-five farm system.” One respondent who felt Stanton would stay in Miami suggests to Crasnick that the Marlins may be underestimating just how much of the contract they’ll need to pay down.
    • The Yankees and Dodgers split the vote on the surveyed group’s likeliest destinations for Ohtani, with the Rangers not far behind. Several other clubs received a few votes, and four of the 40 respondents suggested that they believed Ohtani would remain with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2018. There’s still some work to be done with the league, the players’ union and Nippon Professional Baseball before the posting process can begin in earnest. The agreement between MLB and NPB on the current iteration of the posting system expired this offseason.
    • The Red Sox were the overwhelming favorite when it came to the question of Martinez’s next team, though expectations for his contract varied in size. One GM pegged Martinez at around six years and $140MM, Crasnick notes. Some execs felt he’d fall closer to Justin Upton’s $106MM guarantee.
    • Only three of the 40 respondents thought that Darvish’s pair of World Series meltdowns would have a substantial impact on his offseason earning capacity. Crasnick’s piece has plenty of insightful quotes on Darvish — more than any other player — from the scouts that were polled. An AL scout tells Crasnick that 15 years ago, the World Series might’ve hurt Darvish, but in a largely sabermetric environment, his late struggles are a “void blip in the radar.”
    • Crasnick also asked respondents which of the Royals’ big three free agents (Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain) would provide the best value on his next deal, which of Carlos Gomez or Carlos Gonzalez had a better chance of reestablishing himself as a star, and which major 2018-19 free agent among Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado is likeliest to be traded this winter. I found it somewhat of a surprise to see Hosmer as the decisive favorite in that Royals question, though many scouts praised his glovework despite poor reviews from defensive metrics. McCutchen, less surprisingly, was deemed likeliest of his trio to go, while Gonzalez topped Gomez handily in their own respective face-off.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Tim Federowicz Elects Free Agency]]> 2017-11-13T05:58:42Z 2017-11-13T05:58:42Z
  • Catcher Tim Federowicz chose to become a free agent after being outrighted off the Giants’ 40-man roster.  Federowicz hasn’t hit much (a .558 OPS) over 318 career MLB plate appearances, though he has a very impressive .304/.374/.503 slash line over 1654 PA at the Triple-A level.

  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Sunday]]> 2017-11-12T16:29:13Z 2017-11-12T16:29:13Z Heading into the upcoming week’s general managers meetings, Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton ranks as the majors’ best on-the-block player. Here are the latest rumblings involving the 27-year-old National League MVP hopeful:

    • Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported Saturday that Boston is “definitely in play” for Stanton, but sources tell Jon Heyman of FanRag that the Red Sox don’t look like the front-runners for him at the moment. Rather, the Sox are more focused on other players, including free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, per Heyman.
    • The Cardinals, who have discussed Stanton with the Marlins, are “determined” in their interest, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The two clubs expect to continue their Stanton talks at the meetings, according to Goold, who adds that the Cardinals also have Marlins closer Brad Ziegler on their radar. The 38-year-old Ziegler is due $9MM in 2018, and it’s fair to surmise that the payroll-slashing Marlins would like to remove as much of his money as possible from their books.
    • Stanton has also piqued San Francisco’s interest, though the Marlins are bearish on the Giants’ farm system and don’t believe the team could put together a satisfactory package for the slugger, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. So, to increase their odds of acquiring Stanton, the Giants would have to commit to taking on more of his enormous contract than a team with better prospects, Shea contends. That would seemingly be problematic for the Giants, who don’t want to spend past the $197MM luxury tax threshold in 2018 and already have significant money on their books.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Interested In Acquiring Jackie Bradley Jr.]]> 2017-11-14T02:46:58Z 2017-11-12T15:02:31Z The Giants are interested in acquiring Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network (Twitter link). Bradley is one of “many” outfielders the Giants are eyeing, notes Morosi, who reported Friday that they have discussed right fielder Giancarlo Stanton with the Marlins.

    The 27-year-old Bradley would be a much less exciting addition for San Francisco than Stanton, who’s a National League MVP finalist after bashing 59 home runs in 2017, but he’d nonetheless upgrade its outfield. The Giants’ starting center fielder in 2017 was the 33-year-old Denard Span, who easily ranked last in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-27) and posted a similarly dreadful minus-7.5 Ultimate Zone Rating. Unsurprisingly, then, executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean has identified center field as a position where the Giants must improve.

    “Center field needs to be upgraded,” Sabean said this week.

    Bradley would fit the bill from a defensive standpoint, having combined for 34 DRS and a 23.5 UZR in center dating back to 2014, his first full season. The lefty-swinger complemented his excellent glove work with terrific offense from 2015-16, slashing .262/.345/.489 with 36 home runs and a .227 ISO in 891 plate appearances, but his production in that department took a step back last season. In 541 trips to the plate, Bradley hit a disappointing .245/.323/.402 and saw his ISO plummet to .158. On the positive side, Bradley still went deep 17 times, and he ranked as one of the premier baserunners in the game for the second straight year, according to FanGraphs’ BsR metric.

    While it’s unclear what the Giants would have to give up for Bradley, he’d presumably bring back a solid haul as someone who still has three years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He’s projected to earn an easily affordable $5.9MM in 2018, which surely appeals to a San Francisco club that already has approximately $170MM committed to 16 players for next season and is trying to stay under the $197MM luxury tax threshold. Conversely, the Red Sox are more than willing to spend upward of $197MM if it means improving their offense, which struggled in 2017. Dealing Bradley and acquiring a big-hitting outfielder like Stanton or free agent J.D. Martinez would help them do that.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Giancarlo Stanton: Talks Between Marlins, 4 Teams]]> 2017-11-11T03:39:30Z 2017-11-11T03:39:30Z The Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants and Phillies are early contenders to put together a trade for Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). There has been “preliminary communication” regarding the right fielder between each of those teams and the Marlins, according to Morosi, who adds that talks are likely to “intensify” at next week’s general managers meetings.

    With the Marlins primed to slash payroll under new owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, Stanton stands out as their most obvious trade candidate. The 2017 major league home run king (59) and National League MVP finalist is owed either $295MM through 2028 or $77MM through 2020, depending on whether he exercises his opt-out clause. The amount of money left on the contract, the opt-out and Stanton’s full no-trade rights could combine to make a trade rather complicated. But the 27-year-old Stanton’s no-trade clause may not be a major hindrance, given that he is fed up with losing and would like to join a contender. The Marlins appear poised to embark on a lengthy rebuild, so it seems doubtful Stanton would stand in the way of a deal if he feels the acquiring team would give him a chance to play meaningful games into the fall – something he hasn’t done since bursting on the big league scene in 2010.

    While the Marlins have never even posted an above-.500 season during Stanton’s eight-year career, the Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants have typically served as contenders during that span (though San Francisco’s coming off a major league-worst 68-win season). The Phillies, meanwhile, have finished toward the bottom of the NL East for five years running, but several of their young players showed progress in 2017, and the club figures to return to its high-spending ways when it’s officially ready to leave its own long rebuild behind. Stanton reportedly wasn’t willing to waive his NTC to go to Philadelphia as of late in the season, though, and it could also hurt the team’s cause that it shares a division with the Marlins, who would have to face the p.r. backlash of dealing the face of their franchise to a close rival.

    As with the Phillies, there are reasons why a Stanton acquisition would and wouldn’t work for each of the other three suitors (and several other teams), as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd deftly laid out on Thursday. Regardless of whether the Marlins ultimately send him to one of the four front-runners or another club, the Stanton sweepstakes will go down as one of the most fascinating sagas of the offseason.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[NL Notes: Giants, Mattingly, Stanton, Braves, Schu]]> 2017-11-10T05:26:24Z 2017-11-10T05:26:24Z Giants executive Brian Sabean discussed his organization’s chief needs recently with reporters including’s Chris Haft. While the team is facing a difficult situation with regard to payroll — both in 2018 and beyond — Sabean says there’s urgency to improve in several areas. “Center field needs to be upgraded,” he said. We have to find an everyday third baseman. And we have to be resourceful in how we reconstruct the bullpen.” Those are the primary spots that seem in need of improvement from the outside; truly getting better, though, will require some combination of creativity and tough tradeoffs.

    Here’s more from the National League:

    • The Marlins have confirmed that Don Mattingly will, as expected, be back as manager, as Tim Healey of the Sun-Sentinel writes. The veteran skipper is under contract, as president of baseball operations Michael Hill noted, but the organization had not yet made clear in the midst of an ownership change that he would retain his role. (Of course, it would have rated as a big surprise had the team suddenly gone in a different direction at this point in the offseason.) Mattingly has said he’s excited to get underway with the new ownership group led by fellow Yankees legend Derek Jeter, but it’s yet to be seen just what kind of roster he’ll have to work with.
    • Speaking of notable possible roster changes, Hill has held a conversation with Giancarlo Stanton, Healey reports, but the Marlins are understandably keeping things close to the vest. Expectations remain that the club will slash salary through some significant trades; Hill acknowledged that things haven’t gone as hoped of late and says the goal is to “build a sustainable, consistent, productive major league organization.” Stanton’s massive contract and excellent 2017 season seemingly make him a rather obvious trade piece, and we took a look earlier today at some teams that could line up on paper for Stanton, but his no-trade clause gives him quite a lot of say in a future destination.
    • We’re still waiting to hear about league punishments for the Braves slate of alleged amateur signing transgressions, and it seems the wait will take a while longer. A decision is expected sometime between the GM Meetings and Winter Meetings, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. It’s likely that word won’t come down until December,’s Jerry Crasnick adds on Twitter. Interestingly, though, Sherman says that the organization could end up making a front office decision before the commisioner’s office acts. Indeed, the team has been “quietly interviewing” some potential candidates that could join the front office in some capacity, per Sherman, who adds that the preference remains to seek a reunion with Royals GM Dayton Moore — who hasn’t been allowed to speak with the Atlanta organization to this point.
    • The Giants have hired Rick Schu as their assistant hitting coach, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports on Twitter. Schu, a former big league third baseman, had served as the Nationals’ hitting coach since 2013 but was among the personnel allowed to seek other opportunities after the Nats decided not to retain Dusty Baker. Washington ended up hiring Kevin Long as its new hitting coach.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Could Be In Mix For Bruce]]> 2017-11-10T01:49:27Z 2017-11-09T22:22:29Z
  • Jay Bruce’s camp is reportedly setting its sights high and asking for a five-year deal worth $80-90MM, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported yesterday. High asking price notwithstanding, Heyman reports today in his weekly notes column that the Blue Jays, Giants, Mariners and Cardinals are four potential landing spots for Bruce in free agency. Heyman notes that Bruce should be able to comfortably land a three-year commitment that could price him out of the comfort zones of the Mets and the Indians.
  • ]]>