The 2018 Winter Meetings are currently underway. As the sessions commence at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, MLB teams strive for a chance to bring big names to their teams. Everyone has their eyes on certain prospects, but competition is rough as teams enter the hunt for their next players.
Though very few things are set in stone, no shortage of buzz and trade rumors fill the air. Here is some of the biggest buzz going on in Las Vegas.
Buzz: The Blue Jays Latest
As of Tuesday, December 11, The Toronto Blue Jays released shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki, now 34-years old, is a five-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and two-time Golden Glove Winner. Tulowitzki began his tenure with Toronto in 2015. Last season, he missed the entire season due to a bone spur in his ankle. Despite being released, he is still owed $38 million over two years. Troy is among many former Blue Jays either finding new homes or have one already, including J.A. Happ and Josh Donaldson.
Most recently, the New York Yankees are seeking out J.A. Happ, and the two parties are working on a deal. Reports indicate that Happ has been seeking a three-year deal, while most of his suitors have been offering two-year deals.
Buzz: The Harper/Machado Sweepstakes
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are two of the biggest free agents on the market, along with being the most expensive. Harper and Machado have yet to find new homes for 2019, but a few teams are leading the hunt.
The New York Yankees, one of those teams, have made big moves already, such as re-signing C.C. Sabathia and bringing in James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners. The Pinstripes are in the hunt for big league standouts as well. In the Harper vs Machado topic, New York seems more set on snagging Machado over Harper. They already have a stacked outfield as is.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper is set to meet with the Philadelphia Phillies, who many initially believed to be the favorite for signing Harper. Bryce notably turned down a 10-year, $300 million extension from the Washington Nationals, which indicates a return as unlikely.
On Tuesday, the Phillies picked up Andrew McCutchen on a three-year, $45M dollar deal.
Buzz: The Seattle Mariners Fire-Sale
The rebuilding of the Seattle Mariners has a significant influence on the Winter Meetings. Notable Mariners found themselves in new homes before the meetings began. With Jean Segura with the Phillies and Robinson Cano with the Mets, among several others, many Mariners fans are pulling out their hair during this process. Yes, the Mariners have not seen October action in almost 20 years, but they had the roster to get them there.
Now, DH Nelson Cruz may be the next name leaving the roster. The 14-year power hitter belted 37 home runs and 97 RBIs last season. Tampa Bay and Minnesota are among those expressing interested in signing the seasoned power hitter.
Rumors: Another Fish Enters the Pond
From one rebuilding team to another, the Miami Marlins have once again could have their best player finding a new home. Miami has entered discussions of a multi-team deal with the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. The Mets have been on the move in search of a catcher upgrade, and are looking at Miami’s All-Star catcher, J.T. Realmuto, as their go-to guy. Realmuto led the league in Wins Above Replacement for catchers last season. He was also the lone Marlin at the All-Star game in Washington D.C. With Cano and Diaz from Seattle, The Mets have made huge moves to get into playoff contention. However, the Mets may not have Noah Syndergaard in their ranks if this deal comes to fruition. The Marlins are looking for something big in return, but as of right now, many critics and experts are calling this trade a “long-shot scenario” at the moment.
Featured image courtesy of Grantland
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