The Atlanta Braves won the World Series one week ago Tuesday and already we've seen our first notable trade (Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers), free agent signing (Andrew Heaney to the Dodgers), and waiver claim (Wade Miley to the Cubs) of the offseason. The MLB hot stove is now open for business, though the looming expiration of the collective bargaining agreement threatens to halt activity.
Here are Tuesday's hot stove rumors as the GM Meetings get underway in California.
Mets expected to talk to Bryant
The Mets are expected to talk to Kris Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, at the GM Meetings this week, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. Boras represents several prominent free agents, including Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and former Mets outfielder Michael Conforto. Bryant, though, stands out as an obvious fit given the team's need at third base.
Keep in mind the Mets pursued Bryant multiple times within the last year. They tried to get him last offseason and again at the trade deadline, when they instead settled for Cubs teammate Javier Báez. Now Bryant is a free agent and the only thing to discuss is money. Also, Bryant was not eligible for the qualifying offer because he was traded at midseason, so the Mets would not have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him.
Verlander throws for teams
Free agent righty Justin Verlander threw for teams at a showcase Monday, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports Verlander threw 25 pitches and sat in the 94-97 mph range with his fastball. The soon-to-be 39-year-old future Hall of Famer had Tommy John surgery last Oct. 1, so he is roughly 13 months out from surgery. .
Among the teams in attendance at Verlander's showcase: Rangers, Tigers, Yankees (per The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli), Blue Jays (per TSN's Scott Mitchell), Angels (per The Athletic's Sam Blum), Red Sox (per the Boston Globe's Alex Speier), and Mets (per Sherman). Verlander won the Cy Young in 2019, his last healthy season, and he is likely to sign a high base salary one-year deal this winter. I wouldn't rule out a two-year deal either, even after elbow reconstruction.
Taylor drawing significant interest
Free agent super utility man Chris Taylor is already drawing significant interest, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. and at this point it's a safe bet he will decline it, and sign a long-term contract. The 31-year-old Taylor is one of those players who fits just about every team because he's a productive hitter who can play almost any position, and play it well. You don't have to try too hard to find a way to get this guy into your lineup on a given day. Taylor's versatility is immensely valuable.
Marlins may trade a starter
The Marlins are considering trading one of their arbitration-eligible starting pitchers -- specifically Sandy Alcantara, Elieser Hernandez, and Pablo López -- to address needs elsewhere on the roster and also to clear a path for another young arm, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. In addition to those three, Miami has youngsters Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers, Sixto Sánchez, and Nick Neidert as rotation options going into 2022, among others. Alcantara in particular would generate significant interest and command a massive return. López missed time with a shoulder injury this past season but is very good when healthy.
Angels interested in Ray, Rodriguez
No surprise here: the Angels are seeking at least one impact pitcher this offseason, possibly two, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Morosi mentions the club has already shown interest in free agent lefties Robbie Ray and Eduardo Rodriguez, . The only stone cold lock for Anaheim's rotation next season is Shohei Ohtani, though Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez pitched well enough this year to be considered part of the mix going into 2022. Including arbitration projections, the Angels have about $140 million on the books for next season, so the club has some money to throw around this winter.
Reds open to discussing more trades
Even after unloading Barnhart and Miley, the Reds are still reportedly open to discussing any player making significant money..