MLB hot stove rumors: Cardinals, Rockies take step in Nolan Arenado talks; Twins land Josh Donaldson

Mid-January generally doesn't bring lots of baseball news. Suffice it to say, this week has been different -- though it hasn't yet had anything to do with player transactions. The Astros were hammered for their 2017 sign-stealing scandal, and the league's punishment included one-year suspensions for GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch. In the wake of the news, Astros owner Jim Crane fired them both. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was heavily implicated in the MLB report and was fired on Tuesday night.

With regards to on-field play, there are rumors worth poking at. Let's get to them.

Cardinals, Rockies swap names in Arenado talks

The Cardinals and Rockies have exchanged names in Nolan Arenado trade talks, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Morosi adds that the Rockies desire a package that contains both big-league and minor-league talent in exchange for their star third baseman, with right-hander Dakota Hudson being among those the Rockies have interest in adding to their mix.

To be clear: exchanging names doesn't necessarily mean a deal is likely; it just means the two sides have advanced beyond a preliminary stage and are now discussing concepts.

We covered the Cardinals farm system earlier this offseason, touching on their top five prospects as well as other names to know. Outfielder Dylan Carson, third baseman Nolan Gorman, and catcher Andrew Knizner were considered the top three. The Cardinals have since added left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who they acquired last week from the Rays in a deal that sent Jose Martinez to Tampa.

Arenado has seven years and $234 million remaining on his contract. His deal also includes an opt out after the 2021 season. Morosi suggests the Cardinals may ask Arenado to waive that opt-out as part of the trade.

Angels acquire Andriese

The Angels have acquired righty Matt Andriese in a trade with the Diamondbacks, the team announced. Minor-league righty Jeremy Beasley is going to Arizona in the one-for-one swap. Andriese will make $1.395 million in 2020 and that seems to be more than the D-Backs want to spend on a swingman given their depth.

The 30-year-old Andriese had a 4.71 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings spread across 54 appearances in 2019. The Angels are still trying to add pitching depth before spring training and Andriese gives them a viable long reliever and also a possible rotation option. Beasley, 24, had a 4.49 ERA in 122 1/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. MLB.com ranks him the 18th best prospect in Anaheim's farm system.

Cardinals acquire Dean

In a minor trade, the Cardinals have acquired outfielder Austin Dean from the Marlins, the team announced. Outfield prospect Diowill Burgos went the other way. The trade helps St. Louis replenish its right-handed hitting outfield depth after trading Randy Arozarena and Jose Martinez to the Rays last week.

Dean, 26, has hit a weak .223/.268/.388 in 98 big-league games the last two seasons. He's a classic 'tweener who has punished Triple-A pitching (.944 OPS in 160 games) but has yet to find his way in the show. Burgos, 17, has spent the last two years in rookie ball. Last season he authored a .316/.420/.579 batting line in 58 games.

Twins sign Donaldson

The Twins have finally made a big splash. The club has agreed to a four-year contract with slugger Josh Donaldson. The move pushes Miguel Sano to first base and adds another power bat a lineup that hit an MLB record 307 home runs in 2019. Minnesota could still use an established starter behind Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, but there's nothing wrong with adding to a strength, and the Twins now have one of the most fearsome offenses in the game.

Phillies designate Herrera

The Phillies have designated center fielder Odubel Herrera for assignment. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Nick Martini, who was claimed off waivers from the Reds. Herrera was arrested last May and suspended the rest of the season under MLB's domestic violence policy. His production has been on the decline and the Phillies still owe him $19.5 million the next two years. Either they'll release him or he'll report to Triple-A as a non-40-man roster player to ensure he keeps his contract. We have more on the move here.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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