In roughly five weeks pitchers and catchers will report to spring training camps in Arizona and Florida. Six weeks after that, it will be Opening Day for the 2023 season. Baseball isn't too far away. Until then, here are Thursday's hot stove rumors.
Rangers still among most serious suitors for Reynolds
In their search for left field help, the Rangers remain among the most serious suitors for Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. "I am told the Rangers are among the most serious suitors right now," Morosi said, adding Pittsburgh is seeking arms and the Rangers have several high-end pitching prospects who could entice them (Jack Leiter, Owen White, etc.).
Reynolds requested a trade earlier this offseason, though the Pirates are under no obligation to meet his request. That said, it has created an awkward situation that will only grow more awkward once spring training begins, and the questions are asked daily. The Dodgers and Yankees are also rumored to be in the mix for Reynolds. If the Pirates are dead set on getting pitching for Reynolds, the Yankees figure to be at a disadvantage in trade talks because their top prospects are all position players.
Mets have interest in McCutchen
After losing out on Carlos Correa, the Mets are showing interest in Andrew McCutchen as a spare outfielder and DH option, reports the New York Post. The 2013 NL MVP is a league-average hitter and not much of a defender these days, though he's hit left-handers hard in recent years, and he still puts together long, grinding, quality at-bats. Plus he's a Grade-A clubhouse presence.
Unless the Mets swing an unexpected trade, a big move to replace Correa isn't out there right now, so any further offseason moves figure to only tinker with the margins of the roster. The club needs a better fourth outfielder than Khalil Lee and a better righty platoon bat than Darin Ruf. McCutchen would check both boxes. He did not rank among our top 50 free agents (here's why).
Giants interested in Sánchez
The Giants are showing interest in free agent catcher Gary Sánchez, according to Z101 Digital. Joey Bart and Blake Sabol, a Rule 5 Draft pick with no MLB experience, are the only catchers on San Francisco's 40-man roster. Sánchez offers power, something the Giants are short on at the moment, and league average framing behind the plate. Plus Sabol has outfield experience, so the Giants would be able to easily carry him and Sánchez on the roster. It wouldn't necessarily be a true three-catcher setup.