- Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel takes an interesting look at Marlins CEO Derek Jeter’s crash course in running a baseball front office. Jeter has called the move “overwhelming” in the same way it was to finally reach the majors as a player, acknowledging he’ll have to “learn on the job” to a large extent. President of baseball ops Michael Hill suggests the two have established a good working relationship out of the gates. As ever, the proof will be in the doing; the Marlins made a small swap yesterday, but have much bigger fish to fry this winter.
As detailed earlier this morning at MLBTR, the deadline for Major League clubs to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 Draft is tonight. Because of that, there will be literally dozens of moves between now and 8pm ET as teams make final determinations on who to protect and who to risk losing in next month’s Rule 5 draft. This process will lead to smaller-scale trades, waiver claims and DFAs, but for some clubs the only necessary moves will simply be to select the contracts of the prospects they wish to place on the 40-man roster. We’ll track those such moves in this post…
- Heading onto the Blue Jays’ roster, per a club announcement, are righty Connor Greene, lefty Tom Pannone, first baseman Rowdy Tellez, and catchers Dan Jansen and Reese McGuire.
- The Rays have selected the contracts of righties Brent Honeywell, Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose Mujica, lefty Ryan Yarbrough, first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers, and outfielder Justin Williams, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
- The Diamondbacks placed lefty Jared Miller on the MLB roster, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports on Twitter.
- A list of six players is heading onto the Reds’ 40-man, per Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter): infielders Alex Blandino and Shed Long, outfielder Jose Siri, and righties Jose Lopez, Jesus Reyes, and Zack Weiss.
- The Padres and Brewers have joined the teams announcing their additions. For San Diego, lefties Jose Castillo and Brad Wieck are heading to the 40-man. Milwaukee has selected shortstop Mauricio Dubon, catcher Jacob Nottingham, and righties Marcos Diplan and Freddy Peralta.
- The Marlins and Yankees just struck a trade relating to their 40-man maneuvering, and each announced their selections shortly thereafter. Miami is placing outfielder Braxton Lee on the MLB roster along with righties Merandy Gonzalez, Pablo Lopez, and James Needy. New York, meanwhile, will select righties Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo, and Jonathan Loaisiga to the 40-man along with outfielder Billy McKinney and infielders Thairo Estrada and (last but not least) Gleyber Torres.
Click to check in on other teams that have selected players to their 40-man rosters …
The Marlins have struck a deal to acquire first baseman Garrett Cooper and lefty Caleb Smith from the Yankees. New York will receive righty Michael King and $250K of international bonus pool money in the swap. A deal involving Cooper and another player was first reported by Robert Murray of Fan Rag (via Twitter); the dollar value was tweeted by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Cooper, 26, is a right-handed hitter who made his MLB debut in 2017 after going to the Yankees in a mid-season swap. He turned in 45 productive plate appearances, slashing .326/.333/.488 despite not hitting any long balls and drawing only a single walk. Cooper was quite productive on the year in the upper minors, posting a composite .359/.423/.634 batting line in 350 total plate appearances.
Smith, who’s also 26, struggled in his first MLB action in 2017. But he showed a 93.6 mph average heater from the left side along with a 13.0% swinging-strike rate in his 18 2/3 frames. And he also pitched to a 2.39 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 over 98 innings in his first full attempt at Triple-A this year. For the pitching-needy Marlins, that’s a background worth taking a shot on.
The Yanks have been hustling to sort their 40-man roster in advance of today’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. Cooper, clearly, was not seen as a significant part of the team’s future while Smith had perhaps been bypassed by other relief options. In King, the club will add a 22-year-old who just turned in 149 innings of 3.14 ERA ball at the Class A level — and won’t create any 40-man pressures for quite some time.
Meanwhile, the club has padded its international bonus availability as part of a possible push for Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. The Marlins reportedly had $1.74MM left to work with. But teams can only trade for 75% of their original pool amount. In the Yankees’ case, the team started with $4.75MM, meaning they are capped at $8.3MM total. And the organization had already boosted its pool to $8MM (a good portion of which it has already spent). As things stand, the Yanks have $3.5MM left to dangle for Ohtani or utilize on other international amateur talent.
The Marlins, meanwhile, are engaged in their own roster maneuvering this winter under new ownership. It’s not tough to see how a young lefty would fit. But the team is set at first with Justin Bour, who is deserving of near-everyday time after a breakout 2017 season. He handled lefties just fine when allowed the chance, though he could also stand to be paired with a right-handed hitter. And it’s still possible that Bour could be dangled in trades, though he’s plenty cheap as a pre-arb player. In any event, the Marlins are surely focused mostly on finding as much affordable and controllable talent as possible.
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 MLB.com 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.
Rumors continue to swirl around Marlins right fielder and trade candidate Giancarlo Stanton early this offseason. Here’s the latest on the NL MVP:
- The Cardinals “have made a formal offer” to acquire Stanton, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com (Twitter link). They’re at least the second team to make a pitch to the Marlins for Stanton, joining the previously reported Giants.
- There are some evaluators around MLB who believe the Marlins need a “reality check” with regards to their asking price for the slugger, Buster Olney of ESPN writes. With $295MM left on his contract and an opt-out clause after 2020 on his deal, Stanton lacks surplus value, per Olney, which jibes with a Morosi report from earlier this week. One executive told Olney that the Marlins are “not going to find teams willing to give up both the money and the prospects, and that’s why [they’ll] probably have to choose: They can either take the talent and eat some of the money, or they’ll have to prioritize the [money] savings.”
After the announcement that Joe Girardi won’t be back to manage the team in 2018, the Yankees are now looking for just their third skipper in the last 22 seasons. The new manager will step into an enviable situation, taking over a team with one of the sport’s biggest payrolls and an array of young star talent, though there will be immediate pressure on the new dugout boss to win. Eight years without a World Series counts as a major drought by the Yankees’ standards, and since the current roster finished just a game shy of the AL pennant, there is reason to believe this group is ready to win now.
- The Yankees’ first round of interviews seemingly went well, Heyman writes. Boone and Meulens, in particular, “aced” their initial interviews, according to Heyman.
- Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward is slated to interview, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets. The former big league infielder has been a base coach and an infield instructor with the Dodgers and Mariners for the past four seasons. It is not known at present whether others will also get a shot at an interview, but owner Hal Steinbrenner did make clear the club will meet with “less than ten” candidates, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch recently tweeted. (The team’s plans for additional interview rounds are also not apparent.)
- Broadcaster Aaron Boone and Giants coach Hensley Meulens have each had their interviews, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported would take place. Boone’s candidacy was first reported by ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). The long-time big leaguer, who spent a small but memorable portion of his career with the Yankees, does not have any big league coaching experience. Meulens is also a former Yankee player; Sherman first called him someone “who could come into play” for the job.
- The Yankees have interviewed former Mariners and Indians skipper Eric Wedge for the post, tweets ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand. The 2007 American League Manager of the Year, Wedge hasn’t been in a big league dugout since the 2013 season — his final in Seattle. Since that time, he’s spent two seasons as an analyst with ESPN and another two working with the Blue Jays’ player development department. He’s currently a field coordinator in the Toronto organization.
- Bench coach Rob Thomson sat down with the organization about the managerial opening on November 8th, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter), though it doesn’t seem as if he faced the press afterward. Thomson has been on Girardi’s staff since 2008 and previously worked in the Yankees’ player development department.
Preliminary Candidates (Interview Status Unknown)
- If Boone was an unexpected candidate, then the most recent possibility to be floated comes straight from left field — almost literally. Even as he announced the end of his playing career today, Beltran was generating buzz in relation to the Yankees managerial opening. In interviews with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and ESPN.com’s Marly Rivera, Beltran said he wants to manage (at least eventually) and suggested he’d have interest in the gig. Cashman did not commit to anything when asked to comment, saying that he’s “aware of [Beltran’s] interest in managing in the future” but declining to elaborate otherwise on the matter. Carlos Beltran tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that he had a “brief conversation” with GM Brian Cashman and that he has a desire to apply his knowledge and passion for the game to a managerial role in the Majors. Beltran also indicated that he hasn’t been asked to come in for an interview, though, and Sherman suggests that the Yankees may only interview one or two additional candidates for the position, casting some doubt as to whether Beltran is truly a possibility.
- Former major league infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. is a potential candidate, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears (Twitter link). Hairston was a member of the Yankees’ most recent World Series-winning team in 2009, but he doesn’t bring any coaching experience to the table. Interestingly, though, former ESPN.com writer Mark Saxon noted back in 2013 that managing could be in Hairston’s future. As Saxon detailed, Hairston is fluent in Spanish – a valuable asset for a manager – and, at the time, was a mentor to some of his younger teammates on the Dodgers. That season went down as the last of Hairston’s playing career. The 41-year-old has been working as a Dodgers broadcaster since retiring in December 2013.
- Per Sherman and MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, some of the internal candidates likely to receive consideration include bench coach Rob Thomson, first base coach Tony Pena, minor league hitting and baserunning coach Reggie Willits, and minor league managers Al Pedrique (Triple-A), Jay Bell (advanced A-ball) and Josh Paul (short season A-ball).
Unlikely Candidates/Not In The Mix/No Longer Under Consideration
- The Yankees asked the Athletics for permission to speak with manager Bob Melvin, but were not given authorization, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).
- Former Yankee outfielder and current Dodgers special adviser Raul Ibanez was mentioned by both Sherman and Hoch. But he decided not to pursue the position after being contacted, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tweets.
- Recently fired Tigers manager Brad Ausmus also declined a chance to interview, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter).
- Josh Paul isn’t considered a candidate, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
- Kevin Long was initially cited by Sherman as “a long shot,” but has since signed on to become the Nationals’ hitting coach.
- Yankees VP of baseball operations Tim Naehring tells ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand that he isn’t interested in being considered for the job. Naehring has worked almost entirely in front office capacities for the Reds and Yankees since he retired from playing, and Marchand suggests that Naehring is a future GM candidate for other teams.
- The Yankees have not contacted the Marlins about manager Don Mattingly, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported. Miami has announced more recently that Mattingly will remain with the organization as manager.
- The idea of Alex Rodriguez becoming the Yankees’ manager is “the longest of long shots,” according to Hoch. Given the controversy and hard feelings that seemed to accompany A-Rod’s final years in New York, Rodriguez would indeed seem like a very unlikely fit, especially given how he has seemingly moved onto a new career in broadcasting.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman discussed the search with reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Cashman said that the organization prefers a “fresh voice” to connect with its young players, indicating that Girardi wasn’t the man to improve “the connectivity and the communication level of the players in that clubhouse.” The veteran executive says he did not enter the search process with a list of candidates already prepared, suggesting it’s a wide-open search.
- Interestingly, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter links), the plan is for candidates to meet with the media — in part, perhaps, as part of the evaluation process. And though Cashman says he may in the past have sought out employees with whom he had previously worked, he notes that won’t be a “driving force” in this case. Sherman previously discussed that potential factor.
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 MLB.com’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.”
Even as we anxiously await news as to whether and where he’ll be traded, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins has been tabbed as the National League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2017 season by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Joey Votto of the Reds came in a very close second; Paul Goldschmidt of the D-Backs rounds out the top three in the National League.
Stanton outslugged the rest of the National League’s batsmen by a healthy margin, launching 59 long balls and posting a .631 slugging percentage. Even as the Marlins fell shy of hopes, and Stanton came up short of his bid for sixty home runs, the big man was rewarded for his startling power output. Of course, he’s also an accomplished overall batter and a quality defender; while many will disagree with the outcome, he plainly was a worthy candidate given the output of the rest of the field.
Truth be told, it was an exceedingly close race — and that was reflected in the voting tallies. Stanton and Votto each received ten first-place votes, but Stanton took one more second and third-place ranking to nudge into the lead. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies joined Goldschmidt in receiving top consideration on multiple ballots, ultimately placing fourth and fifth in the final count.
- Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill about the team’s need for rotation help. Adding starting pitching is reportedly a priority for the Fish even as they look to pare down payroll by roughly $50MM and market several of their biggest stars, including Giancarlo Stanton, in trades. Of course, as Hill alluded to, the composition of the returns on their trades could well help to satisfy that priority. “We know we need to get better,” Hill said of his team’s starting pitching options.“Some of the trades may dictate what that looks like, what shape or form that looks like.” Hill also indicated that the Marlins could look at smaller trades and waiver claims as a means of adding additional options.
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 …
- MLB.com’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.
- 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 WEEI.com’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.