With the Marlins deciding to undergo a full-scale rebuild and major payroll slashed, players like Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto are less than pleased about the prospect of playing for a team that will likely finish at the bottom of the standings by design. Realmuto has requested a trade and reports seem to indicate that Yelich isn’t happy with the situation either, so this has resulted in plenty of teams poking around to see what it would cost to get one or both. However, there appears to be one team shooting for the stars.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Braves are showing a decent amount of interest in potentially acquiring both Yelich and Realmuto from the Marlins. While Morosi makes sure to note that nothing is imminent, he does say that if any team has the prospect depth and talent to pull off a trade like this, it’s Atlanta. It wouldn’t be much of a financial commitment for Atlanta to make when you consider their contracts, but it would surely require a large return of prospects and perhaps major-league talent in order to get both Yelich and Realmuto.
However, if the Braves are willing to make that big trade then it could potentially turn them into Wild Card contenders. It would probably come at the price of having to go deep into their highly-talented farm system and also giving up some of their young major leaguers, but that’s the price to pay if you want to add a catcher who is coming off of a five-WARP season and an outfielder who had a five-WARP season back in 2016.
Depending on who you ask, there could be multiple teams willing to put a nearly $150 million offer on the table for Eric Hosmer. Bob Nightengale of USA Today is in the camp that suggests the Royals are willing to go that far in order to keep their first baseman around. Nightengale reports that Kansas City has offered a seven-year, $147 million deal to Hosmer during contract negotiations. This is in tandem with a reported seven-year, $140 million deal that the Padres are also offering.
However, if you ask other people, the information that’s been shared may be inaccurate. If you choose to believe this report from Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, then it turns out that the Royals haven’t actually offered Hosmer the $147 million deal and this is all an effort to help get things rolling in this (suspiciously) slow offseason. Meanwhile, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune is disputing the financial number that the Padres have offered, while also saying that the years offered is accurate.
Either way, you have to figure that the big winner in this situation is Hosmer himself. Even though Scott Boras was talking about potentially getting $200 million for his client, getting nearly $150 million offers from a couple of small-market teams would be a great bit of business for Hosmer. Although he’s coming off of a career-best offensive season, $150 million would be plenty of money to pay for a player of Hosmer’s quality.
The Cubs and Cardinals have one of the most storied rivalries in baseball. The battle could continue into this offseason as well, as there are reports that the two teams are fighting for the signature of one player in particular. In fact, it would probably cause a minor controversy between the two fan bases if the red side of this rivalry ended up being the ones to get the player involved.
According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score out of Chicago, both the Cubs and Cardinals are showing interest in signing Jake Arrieta. While Arrieta is coming off a relatively disappointing season that saw his DRA rise to levels that haven’t been seen since his days in Baltimore, he’s still one of the premier starting pitchers on the free agent market.
Bob Nightengale had relevant information to share here, with the news being that the Cubs may have offered Arrieta a four-year deal around $110 million. You have to imagine that the Cardinals would need to beat that deal if they wanted to get Arrieta to move from Chicago to St. Louis, and maybe they would pull the trigger on a deal if they wanted to “salvage” their offseason after losing out on the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes. Nothing appears to be concrete here, but it would be interesting to see the two rivals clash in the offseason for one of the market’s best starters.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now