The first round of GM meetings begin taking place in Orlando today. Orlando will also host the more heralded Winter Meetings in December.
Free agent and trade rumors should really start picking up steam starting today but some have already begun to percolate in the past few days.
Here are a few early trade rumors
Four teams have emerged as the most aggressive suitors for Stanton. The Red Sox, Giants, Cardinals and Phillies.
Stanton doesn’t seem inclined to go through a rebuild again, so the Phillies may be a longshot, although they have deep enough pockets and the type of prospect pool to turn things around in a hurry.
The Giants are stuck in a similar phase that the Detroit Tigers and Phillies were in just prior to hitting their reset buttons. A roster with aging veterans on expensive contracts coupled with a thinning farm system and very little payroll flexibility. The smart play would be to replenish some of the farm system so the MLB roster can be infused with some youth but the Giants seem ready to gear up for yet another run.
Stanton is from California and may favor a West Coast team which puts the Giants near the head of class in these talks. San Fransisco also has arguably the biggest need for a power hitting right fielder.
The Giants were last in baseball in home runs in 2017 and their GM Bobby Evans has the wherewithal needed to finagle this trade but it may take a 3rd team. Something to keep an eye on there.
In Boston, Dombrowski has used most of the young assets the Red Sox farm system had in it’s arsenal but the barrels aren’t empty just yet. Jay Groome, Sam Travis and Michael Chavis are all possible trade options in a Stanton deal. The Marlins want pitching, so Groome will be a must in any deal.
Boston would also need to make moves from their everyday MLB lineup to make room for Stanton and this last part may make a deal much harder to swallow for the Red Sox front office.
Boston may also take on Martin Prado‘s contract to lessen the prospect return and further entice the Marlins to deal with them. This would be akin to what the Dodgers did when they bailed out these same Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford trade. LA took on a ton of money and sent back a group of so-so prospects led by Allen Webster.
This leaves the Cardinals as the best fit as far as trade assets, payroll flexibility and needs go. St. Louis has 3 tradeable pitching prospects in Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes. They also have a power hitting Randall Grichuk that has fallen out of favor in St. Louis due to his high K-rates and they have room on their payroll if they wish to take on Stanton’s contract.
Of course, Stanton’s no-trade clause will play a huge factor here and there are always teams like the Dodgers that could sneak in at any moment.
JBJ becomes more expendable if the Red Sox land either player. Jon Morosi is reporting the Giants have interest in trading for JBJ if the Red Sox happen to land that big bat.
The Red Sox have no interest in moving JBJ at this time but he would be a perfect fit in the expansive outfield at AT & T Park. Denard Span‘s range has regressed in recent years which could force Span into LF or a 4th outfielder role.
Minnesota is expected to be after the second tier free agent starters like Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. However, the escalating prices of the closer market doesn’t provide a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ that small market teams need to compete with the big spenders.
This puts the Twins in pursuit of trade targets for closers. Iglesias, 27, stepped into the Reds closer role last season. The hard throwing, righty posted 28 saves with an impressive 2.70 FIP. His fastball is getting better with time after increasing from an average of 93 MPH in 2016 to 96.4 MPH in 2017. This increase in velocity helped Iglesias bump his K/9 rate up from 9.54 to 10.89.
He also induced more groundballs while cutting down his HR/FB rate which should continue to lower if he moves to Target Field in Minnesota.