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November 18, 2016

Rumor Roundup

Oh Good, a Mike Trout Rumor

by Demetrius Bell


Red Sox “aggressively” pursuing Holland

Earlier this week, left-handed starter Derek Holland’s name was bandied about as the center of free agency rumors. Now, there’s another Holland whose name is making its way through the rumor mill--right-handed reliever Greg Holland. One team in particular has emerged as “aggressive” players in their pursuit of the former Royals closer: the Red Sox. According to a source for Rob Bradford of WEEI, the Red Sox are one of “several teams” planning on making a very serious run in acquiring the 30-year-old reliever’s services.

The most interesting development here is the fact that the Red Sox are only the most prominent of what appears to be plenty of teams going after Holland. He had his showcase last week and his velocity was reportedly around 88-91 mph. Granted, you shouldn’t expect anybody to immediately return to their pre-Tommy John surgery velocity and Holland is no different. Still, going from having a four-seamer that was regularly in the mid-to-upper-90s to only hitting 91 on the radar gun is a very steep drop--one that could potentially scare off any potential suitors.

However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The logical explanation is that the Red Sox (and other teams) probably figure that Holland’s velocity could make a return to normalcy once the 2017 season rolls around. If that’s the case and Holland also rekindles the form that he showed before he pitched through a torn UCL, then he and Craig Kimbrel could provide the Red Sox with a pretty formidable 1-2 punch at the end of games should Boston continue their pursuit. Holland is definitely a risky signing, but the Red Sox appear to be ready to take on the risk.

Marlins may make a run at Jansen

There are no such worries about Kenley Jansen, who will definitely be one of the most expensive relievers on the free agent market. He’s coming off of an excellent season that was conveniently timed, and he figures to cash in on that lovely season in a major way. However, should his value dip down a bit, one team appears to be ready to pounce in that situation--the Marlins.

Jon Heyman is reporting that the Marlins have identified Jansen as their “top target” on the free agent market. Heyman went on to explain that the Marlins figure that they aren’t going to be able to build a strong rotation at a “reasonable cost” so they’re going to focus on making their bullpen as strong as possible. Adding a reliever who is coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.95 DRA and a 58 cFIP would go a long way toward accomplishing that goal, and he’d instantly turn Miami’s bullpen into one of the best in baseball.

Still, Miami has to be considered longshots here. They’ve proven capable of handing out big-money deals, but there was still an implication that they probably wouldn’t break the bank completely in order to acquire Jansen. Heyman noted that the Marlins do have location and Jansen’s relationship with Don Mattingly in their favor, but those two factors may not be enough to overcome the financial overtures that come from other teams. With that being said, the Marlins are once again filling the role of intriguing dark horse in a free agent race.

Scout believes Yankees are gearing up for Trout

Congratulations are in order for Mike Trout, who now has two American League MVP awards to show for being the best player in the American League for five seasons running. It’s no small feat that Trout was able to lift what was a less-than-impressive Angels team out of the cellar and into fourth place in the AL West. Naturally, that has a lot of people wondering what would happen if the Angels decided to do the unthinkable and free him from Orange County, sending his beautiful brand of baseball elsewhere. There’s a scout who believes that “elsewhere” may be the Bronx.

CBS New York’s Sweeny Murti was told by an anonymous scout that the Yankees were building up their organization, not with the purpose of building from within, but instead for using their newly talent-rich farm system and other assets to make a whopper of an offer for Trout. It’s almost impossible to get fair value back in a trade for Trout, but the Angels are desperately in need of a rejuvenation for their farm system, and the Yankees are the type of franchise that enjoys doing stuff like shaking up the baseball world by acquiring great players. This is one of the rare scenarios where if you clean your glasses and squint really hard, a Trout trade actually makes sense.

As always, there’s a kicker when it comes to an incredibly ambitious rumor like this--an anonymous GM told Murti that he agreed with the idea, but that a Trout trade has a “zero percent chance of happening.” Again, it would be incredibly difficult (if not outright impossible) for the Angels to receive an offer that would make their front office be comfortable being the crew who traded away the best player of his generation. If Trout is going to be freed, he’s either going to bring the Angels kicking and screaming with him on his way to liberation, or a team is going to have to sweeten the pot with such a ridiculous return for Los Angeles that the possibility of the Angels accepting could go up from “zero” to “not zero.”

Plain and simple, the newly re-crowned AL MVP is probably going to continue wearing a halo for the foreseeable future--though you’re completely welcome to speculate as to what in the world it would possibly take for any team in baseball to swing a deal for Mike Trout. Have fun with that.

Demetrius Bell is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Demetrius's other articles. You can contact Demetrius by clicking here

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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (11/18)
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Rumor Roundup: Everyon... (11/16)
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