MLB rumors: Phillies win J.T. Realmuto's arbitration case; Padres, Red Sox still discussing Wil Myers
Here are the latest hot stove rumblings the day before spring training games begin
On Friday, real live baseball returns. Four exhibition games open the 2020 Spring Training schedule tomorrow, then there's a full slate of games on Saturday as the Cactus League and Grapefruit League seasons begin in earnest. Hooray for that.
Still, there are rumors out there about possible signings and/or trades. Here are the latest hot stove rumblings to help you pass the time.
Phillies win Realmuto's arbitration case
Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has lost his arbitration case, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The two-time All-Star catcher is set to earn $10 million this season, his final year of club control. Realmuto, who turns 29 next month, made $5.9 million last season, and he was seeking $12.4 million in his arbitration case. His $10 million salary in 2020 is a raise from the $6.05 million he earned in 2019 and the largest figure ever for a catcher in his third year of arbitration.
Realmuto -- who was acquired via a trade with the Miami Marlins last offseason -- finished his first season with the Phillies with a .275/.328/.493 slash line with 25 home runs, 36 doubles, three triples and 83 RBI. The Phillies before Opening Day.
The Padres and Red Sox are still discussing a potential Wil Myers trade, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Myers was part of Mookie Betts trade talks earlier this month. The Athletic's Dennis Lin adds the Padres and the Red Sox have discussed a three-team trade with the Reds that would send Nick Senzel to San Diego, though nothing is imminent.
Myers is owed $68.5 million through 2022 and the Padres are willing to give up prospects -- Acee says the Red Sox are interested in infielder Gabriel Arias, catcher Luis Campusano, and righty Cal Quantrill -- to get another team to take on some or all of that money. The Padres don't have an obvious spot for Myers, who has settled in as an serviceable platoon player and nothing more.
LeMahieu open to contract extension
Infielder DJ LeMahieu is open to an extension with the Yankees, reports Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The two sides have not had any talks yet, however. "We haven't had any discussions at this time and obviously if we did start any negotiations with anyone at any time absent of free agency, we would always try and keep them private, to the degree that is ever possible," GM Brian Cashman said.
LeMahieu, 31, signed a two-year contract worth $24 million last offseason and was a revelation in 2019, finishing fourth in the AL MVP voting. With Gleyber Torres shifting over to shortstop, the Yankees do not have an obvious long-term second baseman ready to step in and replace LeMahieu in 2021. Another strong season in 2020 could put LeMahieu in line for three or four years at $16 million annually, possibly even more.
Cingrani drawing interest
Free agent left-hander Tony Cingrani is "drawing a ton of interest," according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Shoulder problems kept the 30-year-old southpaw out of action last season -- Cingrani had surgery in June -- but he has apparently completed his rehab, and is looking for an opportunity. He is certainly looking at a minor league contract after a lost 2019 season.
Cingrani had a 4.76 ERA with the Dodgers two years ago but the underlying numbers were very good. He's a hard thrower and he struck out 36 batters against only five unintentional walks in 22 2/3 innings. Cingrani was also much more effective against righties (.564 OPS) than lefties (.749 OPS), so he's not just a specialist. That bodes well in the three-batter minimum rule era.
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