MLB rumors, free agency and trade updates: Patrick Corbin joins Nationals; Mets interested in Realmuto, Pollock
Thus far, the offseason has mostly comprised of the Mariners making trades. Sure, there was a Josh Donaldson signing with the Braves, but all the other high-profile moves have been revolving around the Mariners cleaning house. It’s been fun. There’s a lot more to come throughout the league, especially with the winter meetings less than a week away.
We’ll be rounding up all the best rumors, transactions, news and notes from the day.
Corbin reportedly inks with Nationals
We had a major offseason plot twist on Tuesday, as coveted lefty starter Patrick Corbin, according to multiple reports, agreed to a six-year contract with the Nationals. Jon Heyman puts the total value at $140 million. .
Phillies talking Bumgarner?
After missing out on Corbin, the Phillies, who figure to be among the most active teams this offseason, are still looking to fortify the front of the rotation alongside Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. On that front, they’re reportedly talking to the Giants about the availability of ace lefty Madison Bumgarner..
And speaking of the Phillies’ post-Corbin rotation plans, here’s this …
Now that Corbin is off the board, Dallas Keuchel is in the discussion (along with Nathan Eovaldi, J.A. Happ, and Charlie Morton) for best free agent starter left standing. The Phillies of course have a great deal of room in the budget this winter, and they can easily afford the going rates for Keuchel while still remaining in play for the even bigger names they covet.
Mets interested in Realmuto
Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has multiple years of team control left and has emerged as perhaps the best all-round catcher in baseball, could be one of the biggest names moved this offseason. Any number of teams could use him, and that list reportedly includes the Mets …
And here’s more …
There’s some reported reluctance on the part of the Marlins to trade Realmuto within the division, but that could be posturing designed to get their NL East rivals to fatten offers. As for the Mets, their recent acquisition of Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz suggests their all-in on contending in 2019, and they indeed have a glaring need at catcher. Realmuto would obviously be a great fit, but the bidding for the All-Star catcher will likely be intense.
Also on the Mets front …
We haven’t heard all much A.J. Pollock scuttle this offseason, but he’s indeed a premium free agent who adds value at the plate, in field, and on the bases. Given that the Mets may need to tap into their outfield depth for forthcoming trades, a space for the likes of Pollock may be opening soon.
Dodgers meeting with Harper?
We knew young superstar Bryce Harper was going to be wined and dined this offseason, sitting as a free agent at just 26 years old. Sure enough, Yahoo Sports initially reported that Harper is being courted by the Dodgers, including by part-owner and NBA legend Magic Johnson. They have since changed the story with a denial from Johnson and now say it’s “unclear” how interested the Dodgers are in courting Harper.
If they are involved, they are far from alone.
The article also lists the following teams being involved with Harper: White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, Cubs, Padres and obviously the Nationals. It curiously mentions that Harper has “affection” for the Astros and that the Cardinals have affection for him. It doesn’t specify on whether or not those affections go both ways.
Harper is a Scott Boras client and many of Boras’ high-profile guys take until January to sign. A fun wrinkle here is that Harper hails from Las Vegas and that’s where the winter meetings are next week. Might he want the spotlight in his home city with a press conference announcing the largest contract in MLB history?
Brewers, Padres talking with Yankees about Gray
Sonny Gray and the Yankees need a divorce. Everyone surely knows this, especially the Yankees and Gray. He’s pitched to a 4.51 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 195 1/3 innings in the past season-and-a-half since they acquired him. A change of scenery is necessary and perhaps a move to the National League would be best. On that note …
“Spoken with” isn’t exactly phrasing that says the Brewers are overly interested, but they have at least checked in. He’s on their radar. They had success with pitchers like Jhoulys Chacin, Wade Miley and others last season, though they did lose their pitching coach to the Reds.
Morosi further reports that the Padres are also speaking with the Yankees regarding Gray. That’s obviously a much easier division in which to pitch and the Padres don’t look to be too far off from contention. Gray is a free agent after next season, but if he starts to put together a good season in 2019, maybe an extension would be in the cards.
Mets blocked Phillies from Diaz; won’t trade Syndergaard
The Mets held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss their blockbuster trade that has brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Big Apple. The presser was aired live on CBS Sports HQ. There were some interesting things, but two especially stood out.
- Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said there was urgency to get the deal done because the Phillies were in on Diaz. In fact, he said if they didn’t quickly get the deal done, the thought was that the Mariners would send Diaz to Philly. The Mariners with the Phillies, too, so it holds water.
- Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen indicated the Mets were now unlikely to trade Noah Syndergaard, since the “chips are in” to win now after this trade.
I’ll maintain the Mets were going to have to be utterly knocked over to deal Syndergaard in the first place and I long found it unlikely. Now that this deal has gone down,.