Tuesday night. That is quite a class. . Hard to come up with a more deserving player for that honor.
With the Hall of Fame announcement now in the rear-view mirror, attention shifts back to the slow-moving hot stove., including the top two and four of the top seven. We're going to keep track of the day's hot stove rumblings right here in this handy post. Make sure you check back often for updates.
Padres have checked in on Harper, Machado, others
If nothing else, the Padres have many irons in the fire this offseason. According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, San Diego has checked in on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, as well as Mike Moustakas and Marwin Gonzalez. Their level of interest is unknown and it's unclear whether any offers have made. For what it's worth, . There's a fit.
The Padres have one winning season in the last 11 years and they've lost at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons. They do have a monster farm system though, one with high-end talent and depth, and many of their best prospects will arrive in 2019 (or did arrive in 2018 in Luis Urias' case). San Diego has money, as the Eric Hosmer signing shows, and signing a prime-aged star like Harper or Machado would advance the rebuild considerably. Moustakas or Gonzalez would be solid signings as well.
Giants sign Pomeranz
The Giants have signed free agent left-hander Drew Pomeranz, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. He will earn a mere $1.5 million in 2019 with another $3.5 million available in incentives. Pomeranz made $8.5 million in 2018 with Boston. The deal represents a return to the Bay Area for Pomeranz, who pitched for the A's from 2014-15.
Pomeranz, 30, battled injuries and ineffectiveness last season, throwing 74 innings with a 6.08 ERA for the Red Sox. He did, however, pitch to a 3.32 ERA in 344 1/3 innings from 2016-17, so there is some upside here. Pomeranz has experience as a starter and a reliever, though it's unclear how the Giants will use him going forward. With Johnny Cueto rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Giants could go with Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija, Derek Holland, Dereck Rodriguez, and Pomeranz as their five starters. That would leave Tyler Beede, Chris Stratton, and Andrew Suarez as depth options.
Dodgers still in talks for Realmuto
Even after acquiring Russell Martin, the Dodgers remain in trade talks with the Marlins about All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz is among the names being discussed as part of the trade package. Baseball America ranked Ruiz as the 20th best prospect in baseball on Wednesday. Frisaro says the Astros, Braves, Padres, Rays, and Reds also remain in the mix for Realmuto.
The Dodgers have had a relatively quiet offseason thus far -- to be fair, most teams have had quiet offseasons -- bringing in Martin and Joe Kelly while trading away Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood. They also lost Yasmani Grandal to free agency. The Dodgers have two top catcher prospects in Ruiz and Will Smith. They could, in theory, trade Ruiz for Realmuto, then install Smith behind the plate when Realmuto becomes a free agent in two years.
At least three clubs scout Gonzalez
The Diamondbacks, Royals and Tigers had scouts in attendance at Adrian Gonzalez's recent workout, reports J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. It's unclear whether those teams (or any others) are interested in signing Gonzalez or have made him an offer. The 36-year-old Gonzalez has said he wants to play in 2019.
Last season Gonzalez played 54 games with the Mets and was released after hitting .237/.299/.373 with six home runs. Back trouble limited him to 71 games in 2017 and you have to go back to 2016 for the last time he was a comfortably above-average hitter. The D-Backs, Royals, and Tigers are all rebuilding and have an opening at first base, however, and Gonzalez could be a cheap short-term stopgap option.
Cuban shortstop prospect cleared to sign
According to Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs, Cuban shortstop prospect Yolbert Sanchez has been cleared by MLB, and will be free to sign starting Feb. 5. Sanchez turns 22 in March and will therefore be subject to MLB's international hard cap. Sanchez will work out for teams in the coming weeks. Here's a brief scouting report from the FanGraphs scribes:
Sanchez draws mixed reviews for his offensive potential, but scouts agree he has above average-to-plus running, fielding, and throwing tools, and he will stick at shortstop.
The international signing period runs from July 2 to June 25 each year and, at this point, most clubs have spent their hard cap space. The Orioles have approximately $6 million available after missing out on Victor Victor Mesa, who instead signed with the Marlins, likely giving them the best shot to land Sanchez. They have far and away the most money to offer. The Cubs, Dodgers, and Phillies are believed to have $1 million or more in hard cap space remaining as well.
Ichiro returning to Mariners
Athletics in Japan. Seattle and Oakland will play a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome from March 20-21. They'll be allowed to use a 28-man roster for the series. It has been speculated Ichiro will retire following that series, but it is not set in stone.. GM Jerry Dipoto has already confirmed Ichiro will be on the team's active roster for their opening series with the