Major League Baseball's owner-imposed lockout may have caused the offseason to freeze, but that hasn't stopped the occasional rumor from slipping through concerning what teams intend to do if and when the league and the MLB Players Association ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. Below, you can find all of Friday's rumors, news, and notes from the wide world of baseball.
Rangers to pursue Olson?
The Rangers had one of the league's busiest offseasons prior to the lockout, signing shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien to long-term deals. Texas might not be done adding stars to its infield, either.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are expected to resume their pursuit of Athletics first baseman Matt Olson once the lockout ends.
Olson, who will turn 28 in March, is one of the game's premiere sluggers. Over the last three seasons, he's batted .257/.354/.522 (139 OPS+) with 89 home runs. Olson ranks fourth in the majors in home runs hit during that span, trailing Pete Alonso, Eugenio Suárez, and Nelson Cruz.
The Rangers are currently slated to have Nathaniel Lowe start at first base. Lowe posted a 113 OPS+ last season while homering 18 times in 157 games. Those marks were respectable enough for a player partaking in his first full big-league season, but Olson would represent a clear upgrade.
The Athletics, for their part, figure to move several key contributors in addition to Olson once the lockout is lifted.
Story prefers to remain at shortstop
One of the big questions surrounding Trevor Story's free agency this offseason concerned his position. That may sound odd given that he's been known as an above-average shortstop throughout his career, but, as CBS Sports noted in November, evaluators have reason to question his viability there heading forward:
This may seem like a silly nit to pick on its face. Story has appeared at a defensive position in 733 games throughout his big-league career; all of them -- yes, every single one -- has been at shortstop. Given that he's generally graded as an above-average defender, he would seem like a safe bet to remain there for the foreseeable future … except for the annoying little fact his arm strength has deteriorated over the past two seasons.
Nevertheless, Story doesn't seem compelled to move to another position at this point. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post wrote this week that "from everything I've been told, Story doesn't want to switch positions."
Of course, Story may not have a choice if every team he encounters demands he move to second base. For now, though, it's worth keeping Story's preference in mind since it could dictate which team he joins once the lockout is lifted.
Dodgers will extend Roberts
Dave Roberts has been managing the Dodgers since 2016. It doesn't appear that will change anytime soon.
While the two sides haven't agreed on a contract extension yet, they're confident one will get done before his deal expires at the end of the 2022 season. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, went so far as to tell The Athletic's Andy McCullough that "it'll get done."
Roberts has amassed a 542-329 record during his Dodgers career, or a 62.2 winning percentage. He's also won three pennants and the 2020 World Series title.