MLB rumors, free agency and trade updates: Cano/Diaz trade to Mets looks increasingly likely

Nearly a month has passed since the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series. With the winter meetings not too far away, baseball’s offseason is starting to heat up. In the past week-plus, we’ve seen James Paxton join the New York Yankees via trade and Josh Donaldson pick the Atlanta Braves as his 2019 ballclub. Even the rumors are getting juicier, most notably with our top entry below. 

As such, we’ve decided to partake in a bit of public service by rounding up the day’s transactions, news, and notes in one place. You’ll find those listed below along with some choice commentary. 

Blockbuster is coming?

The hot item of the day and night was the reported deal that seems to be coming to fruition between the Mariners and Mets that would be a bit of a jaw-dropper in terms of how many names and how much money is involved

Most reports have the framework something like this: 

Mets get: Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, money to fray Cano’s hefty contract.

Mariners get: Jeff McNeil, 2016 first-round pick Justin Dunn, 2018 first-round pick Jarred Kelenic, Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak. 

The Mets get the two huge names and some money to deal with Cano’s five years and $120 million left. The Mariners get McNeil coming off a great 63 games as a rookie with lots of affordable team control, two contracts the Mets didn’t want to further help fray costs and two prospects with upside. 

The deal could happen any minute or it could fall apart. The latest: 

The final stages will involve physicals to an awful lot of players, the league signing off and a few players (notably Cano and Bruce) accepting the deal. Even if the teams have agreed in principle, a lot of leg work would remain.  

Kluber headed to LA?

The Indians and Dodgers remained connected in rumors Thursday, with the chatter being that one from the Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco group possibly being headed to the Dodgers. We’ve previously heard Yasiel Puig’s name mentioned in rumors — the Indians need outfield help — but it’s also possible the Dodgers could send a prospect type such as Alex Verdugo. 

It’s interesting to see the Dodgers swimming in this pool. They would be dealing from strength if they move an outfielder for sure, but they also have eight capable starting pitchers. Of course, any of the above pitchers coming from Cleveland is a frontline pitcher and the Dodgers figure to have just two of those in Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. 

After losing the World Series two straight years and failing to secure a championship in six straight playoff seasons, it’s time for a knockout punch, no?

Reds looking at free agent SP

This past September, our own R.J. Anderson wrote about how the Reds were close to being competitive and that they just needed to add starting pitchers. Maybe multiple starters. Definitely good ones. 

Sure enough, the Reds know this themselves and Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that the Reds are “all over” lefty Dallas Keuchel. 

Later in the article, Heyman mentions that fellow lefty J.A. Happ is also on the Reds radar and the club isn’t ruling out bringing back Matt Harvey. 

Keuchel would be an interesting fit here. For several years, it seemed like he would be someone the Reds couldn’t afford on the open market, but he had a down year in 2018. His dwindling strikeout rate is certainly a concern, though he’s still a heavy groundball pitcher and that would play well in Great American Ball Park. 

Padres add pitcher for 2020

Righty Garrett Richards has reportedly signed a two-year deal worth at least $15 million with the Padres. He had Tommy John surgery last July and is likely to miss all of 2019. The Padres could be competitive in 2020 and this deal is eyeing that possibility.

Brewers likely to non-tender Schoop

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop was an All-Star in 2017 and in 2018 a contender traded for him. After that trade, though, Schoop hit .202/.246/.331 with the Brewers and only got eight plate appearances in the playoffs (10 games). It appears the Brewers will non-tender him Friday, making him a free agent

La Stella to Angels

The Cubs sent infielder/pinch hitter Tommy La Stella to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations (more on that here). 

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