We’re less than a month away from spring training, baseball fans. Here is each team’s spring training reporting date. Now here are Monday’s hot stove rumors as you wait for baseball to return in a few weeks.
Red Sox takes over Mondesi
The Red Sox acquired oft-injured infielder Adalberto Mondesi from the Royals for lefty reliever Josh Taylor. according to MLB.com. Boston also gets a player named later in the trade. Even as Enrique Hernández shifts from midfield to shortstop, the Red Sox need depth in the field following the departure of Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story’s elbow surgery.
Mondesi, 27, has played just 50 games over the past two seasons due to multiple injuries, including a torn cruciate ligament. He flashed five tools earlier in his career, including hitting .276/.306/.498 with 14 homers and 32 steals in 75 games in 2018, though injuries have hampered his development. Mondesi will be a free agent after 2023. Taylor, 29, did not pitch in MLB last season and made only a handful of minor league appearances due to a back injury.
Royals discuss other professions
But wait, there may be more movement from the Royals, who have now shared Mondesi and outfielder Michael A. Taylor in the past 24 hours. According to ESPN, the Royals also discussed trades involving utility player Hunter Dozier and infielder Nicky Lopez.
Dozier, a 31-year-old who may have signed through the 2025 season, has failed to live up to his breakout season in 2019. The 27-year-old Lopez is under team control until the 2025 season. He also failed to build on what was a top season in 2021. His OPS+ dropped from 104 to 58.
The Royals have a plethora of young position players in the majors or on the road, making them an obvious candidate to send out at least one more batter between now and Opening Day.
The Athletics have signed first baseman Jesús Aguilar to a one-year, $3 million contract. reports USA Today. Oakland has spent nearly $30 million on six free agents (Aguilar, Aledmys Díaz, Shintaro Fujinami, Trevor May, Jace Peterson and Drew Rucinski) this offseason, even though their estimated 2023 payroll is only $58.5 million, according to FanGraphs. That is one of the lowest in baseball.
Aguilar, 32, batted .235/.281/.379 with 16 home runs in 129 games with the Marlins and Orioles in 2022. However, he wasn’t an above-average hitter until 2021, plus he’s considered an outstanding clubhouse presence. . Aguilar can pack with Seth Brown on first base and take DH at bats as well. And if he performs well, the A’s might be able to flip him for a prospect on deadline.
Marlins stop pursuing Gurriel
The Marlins have called off their pursuit of free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel, reports the Miami announces. Miami currently plays Garrett Cooper at first base and Jorge Soler at DH, but if they’re willing to live defensively with Cooper or Soler in the outfield, there’s still room in the lineup for Gurriel. Jazz Chisholm shifts to the center in the wake of the Luis Arraez trade.
Miami has been looking for high-contact hitters in the off-season, and Gurriel would definitely pass. He has one of the lowest strikeouts in baseball since arriving in 2016, though he had the worst season of his MLB career in 2022, and at age 38, his days as an above-average hitter may be over. For now, however, the Marlins have paused their pursuit. It’s unclear if they’re targeting anything else.
Rays still looking for offense
The Rays are still looking to upgrade their offense, though GM Erik Neader admitted “there aren’t that many (difference bats) that are available,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. Jurickson Profar is the best free agent still on the marketthough others such as Miguel Sanó, Franmil Reyes, Luke Voit and former Ray David Peralta also remain unsigned.
Last season, the Rays ranked 21st in points scored, scoring no more than one point in nine of their last 16 regular season games. Tampa was then held to one solo homer in 24 innings in their Wild Card Series loss to the Guardians. The Rays have added no offense this offseason. At least they deducted from their offense with the Ji-Man Choi trade.
Orioles are still seeking rotational help
Orioles GM Mike Elias hopes to add another starting pitcher for spring training, he said during an interview with 105.7 FM The Fan over the weekend (via the Baltimore sun). The O’s signed Kyle Gibson to a one-year deal earlier this winter. Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and Austin Voth complete the rotation until top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is called up.
Baltimore has been associated with Michael Wacha, the best available free agent starter, the last weeks. Other unsigned starters include Zack Greinke, Mike Minor and Michael Pineda. If nothing else, the O’s could use another veteran to chew up the innings and spare the bullpen a bit, and avoid asking the kids to carry too much of a workload too soon.
Reds are not expected to make any further additions
The Reds are not expected to make any more additions ahead of spring training and the roster is “pretty much fixed,” GM Nick Krall said at the team’s caravan event Monday (via the Cincinnati investigator). “Obviously we broke it down (after we made it to the postseason in 2020). Last year we traded some players. It’s something we had to go through. We’re trying to build it back up,” added Krall up to it.
It’s been a pretty quiet off-season for the Reds. They traded in Kyle Farmer, added Wil Myers and Luke Weaver, and that was about it. Cincinnati opened 2022 with a $114.1 million payroll. Their estimated payroll for 2023 currently stands at $81.5 million, according to FanGraphs. In terms of percent of the 2022 payroll, the Reds are expected to take the largest pay cut in baseball this year.