Best Major Leaguer field full of sluggers

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The much-anticipated announcement of the Esurance MLB Awards is set for 8 p.m. ET Friday, live on MLB Network and MLB.com, and that includes the biggest prize after all the industry-wide debate and balloting: Best Major Leaguer.

Latest On Cubs’ Bullpen Targets

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Cubs’ bullpen search figures to be expansive this offseason, but Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago provides some insight into the team’s thinking. Per Mooney, while the Cubs performed their due diligence on Zach Britton at this week’s GM Meetings, they found the asking price to be too high this past summer and aren’t likely to rekindle those talks. Rather, they’ve landed on free-agent righty Brandon Morrow as one potential ninth-inning option and will also monitor the market for former White Sox/D-backs/Mets closer Addison Reed in free agency, according to Mooney. Chicago got an up-close look at Morrow in the National League Championship Series as he made four practically unblemished appearances against them (4 2/3 innings, one hit, one walk, no runs, seven strikeouts).

NL East Notes: Nationals, Mets, Conforto, Marlins

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Nationals have yet to hold any extension discussions with stars Bryce Harper or Anthony Rendon, agent Scott Boras told reporters at the GM Meetings on Wednesday (via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post). Asked whether there’d be any talk about a deal for Harper before he reaches free agency next winter, Boras suggested that the matter is presently up to the Nationals. GM Mike Rizzo told the New York Post’s Joel Sherman yesterday that he’d be “surprised” if there were no extension talks with Harper this winter, though as Janes points out, those types of negotiations typically occur later in the offseason. A bit more from the division… With both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle under team control next season, the Nationals are less inclined to pursue top-tier free agent relievers, Janes writes in a second piece. Rizzo expressed confidence in that duo and offered a generally encouraging review of his relief corps overall, health permitting. Injury concerns are present, though, as Janes notes; both Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley were heavily limited by arm troubles in 2017. As such Rizzo indicated that it’s possible his team will pursue some right-handed bullpen help this offseason. Janes runs down several options that Nats fans will want to check out, and she also notes that Matt Albers may ultimately end up elsewhere as he cashes in on a career year. Mets GM Sandy Alderson strongly downplayed the notion of signing an outfielder upon leaving the GM Meetings, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. Alderson indicated that a player that can handle some outfield as well as first base, or even just a pure first baseman are considerations, however. 

AL, NL MVP reveals next on Network

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

There’s jaw-dropping power on the ballot. There’s craftsmanship on there as well, players who’ve elevated hitting a baseball into an art form. Actually, that’s all of them. Finally, there’s the basic — and unanswerable — question of what constitutes “value.”

Qualifying offer deadline set for Thursday at 5 p.m. ET

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

Here are the nine free agents who received qualifying offers from their teams and the Draft compensation those teams stand to receive if the players sign elsewhere.

Kluber, Scherzer win Cy Young Awards

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

No strangers to the Cy Young Award, Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber once again proved themselves as aces among aces in 2017. Now, they’re back atop baseball’s pitching totem pole.

Yanks not ‘rushing against time’ to name skip

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

Satisfied that he accomplished as much as possible during the General Managers Meetings, Brian Cashman checked out of the hotel on Wednesday, eager to board his flight back to New York and resume the search for the Yankees’ next manager on Thursday morning at Yankee Stadium.

Mets Rumors: Ohtani, Smith, Asdrubal, Bullpen, Free Agency

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

The Mets are weighing an earnest pursuit of Japanese star Shohei Ohtani if and when he is posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, David Lennon and Marc Carig of Newsday report. While the Mets are limited in what they can offer at present, the team could potentially trade for additional pool money. The greater allure than the signing bonus they can offer, though, comes with the endorsement opportunities available to Ohtani by signing with one of the two teams in the nation’s largest market, Carig and Lennon posit. The Mets also have a strong relationship with Ohtani’s agency, CAA, and they could offer Ohtani opportunities to bat not only on the days he’s pitching but occasionally in the outfield. Lennon notes that the Mets should still be considered a long shot, but it’s nonetheless worth noting that another large-market club could be in the mix for his services. A few more notes out of Queens… Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets are indeed interested in Carlos Santana, as FanRag’s Jon Heyman recently suggested, adding that the interest in Santana has a correlation with some executives’ feelings toward prospect Dominic Smith. The former first-round pick made his big league debut late in the 2017 season and didn’t do much to impress, hitting just .198/.262/.395 with a 26.8 percent strikeout rate in 183 plate appearances.

NL East Notes: Harper, Marlins’ Payroll, Anthopoulos

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

The Nationals only control Bryce Harper for one more season, but GM Mike Rizzo tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he would be “surprised” if the two sides don’t discuss an extension prior to Harper reaching the open market. “I feel like I have a great relationship with Bryce and his family since he was 16,” said Rizzo of Harper, whom the Nationals selected with the No. 1 overall pick back in 2010. “…I think Bryce has comfort with [Washington], loves his teammates, likes our organization and has a loyal mentality. But this is a unique player in a unique situation.” Rizzo adds that there’s no set time for extension talks to begin, but Sherman notes that the Nats were able to secure a seven-year extension with fellow Scott Boras client and fellow former No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg less than one year before Strasburg was set to hit the open market. Any talks with Harper would likely be precedent-setting; there’s been plenty of speculation that he’ll ink a contract in excess of $400MM, which would of course shatter Giancarlo Stanton’s record-setting $325MM deal. More from the NL East… Not only are the Marlins hoping to trim their payroll to $90MM for the coming season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they’re also hoping to limit the 2019 payroll to roughly that same level.

Stanton a hot topic on Day 2 of GM Meetings

Nov 14, 2017 | No Comments

The Dodgers are in the mix on a potential trade for Marlins All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.