Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings are in the rearview mirror, but there's still plenty of time before the holidays for more moves to be completed. Let's round up the news and rumors for Sunday right here. We'll be updating this throughout the day, so definitely come back.
Swanson and Dodgers a match?
We've heard plenty about the shortstop market this offseason in free agency. Trea Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Phillies, while Xander Bogaerts inked an 11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres. Carlos Correa is the bigger name left, and that means we haven't been hearing as much about Dansby Swanson. Perhaps that starts changing right now.
There is a possibility that Swanson and the Dodgers match up, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Heyman mentions that other teams, including the Cubs, are involved in talks with Swanson, while the Braves are either "stealthy or quiet."
Swanson, 28, has spent all seven of his MLB seasons with the Braves. Last season, he hit .277/.329/.447 (115 OPS+) with 32 doubles, 25 homers, 96 RBI, 99 runs, 18 stolen bases and 5.7 WAR. He's an exceptional defender at shortstop, and with shifting limited, his range could take on even greater importance moving forward.
It's worth mentioning that reports have indicated the Dodgers aren't sure they'd want to bring in Correa for fear of fan backlash relating to the 2017 sign-stealing scandal. Swanson would also be reunited with Freddie Freeman in L.A. He got married over the weekend, and his wife plays for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League for those looking for an extra reason to connect him to the Cubs.
Yankees preparing offer for Rodón?
The Yankees are reportedly preparing to make an offer to left-hander Carlos Rodón, according to Heyman. The Yankees, Giants, and others are believed to be involved in the bidding process. Sources have confirmed to CBS Sports that the Cardinals are also involved. (It means nothing to these talks, but it's worth noting for narrative purposes that the Yankees just outbid the Giants earlier this week in order to retain AL MVP Aaron Judge.)
Rodón is the top remaining free agent pitcher. CBS Sports ranked him as the eighth-best free agent overall entering the offseason. Here's what we wrote at the time:
Rodón is a living testament to some of the game's recent philosophical shifts. Starters needing a reliable third pitch? Pff, that's the old religion. These days, Rodón chucks his fastball and slider more than 90 percent of the time combined and it isn't just allowed, it's encouraged. His mid-90s heater had the second-highest whiff rate (min. 1,000 thrown) in the majors last season behind Gerrit Cole, a byproduct of its velocity and rising movement, as well as the tough angle created by his release point. It's easy to think of Rodón's formula as being "elevated fastballs early, buried sliders late," but that's not the case. He's thrown his fastball more in two-strike counts than his slider the last two seasons, and it's reasonable to bet on him extending that streak. His injury history and lacking performance track record limited him to a short-term deal last winter. Rodón seems far more likely to get a long-term deal this offseason.
Earlier this week, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Rodón is seeking a seven-year term. Clearly that desire isn't scaring off teams.
Giants not currently interested in Bassitt
Speaking of the Giants' interest in veteran starters, they do not appear to have present interest in former Mets right-hander Chris Bassitt, according to Slusser.
Bassitt, who might have been frozen out of a return to the Mets after New York agreed to terms with Kodai Senga, was ranked as the 13th-best free agent available this offseason by CBS Sports. Here's what we wrote:
Bassitt will turn 34 years old in February, suggesting he'll have to settle for a higher rate over a shorter term. Fair enough. He shouldered a career-high workload in his first season with the Mets, crossing the 160-inning threshold for the first time in the big leagues. When most people think about Bassitt, they think about the unusual mechanics that end with him dipping his glove low and away from his body. Not us. We're Students of the Game who instead think about all the potential dog puns offered by his surname. We also, ahem, think about his contact-management skills. Bassitt has good command over a deep arsenal that includes three fastball variants and a pair of breaking balls. Some pitchers are fortunate if they can spin the ball east and west, Bassitt can do that and put backspin on the ball, giving him a trove of looks.
As mentioned above, the Giants are known to have interest in signing Rodón to address their rotation needs. Bassitt, though, appears to be destined for another team.