It’s that time of year. The general managers from across Major League Baseball get together with their crews and try to figure out who needs to go, who needs to be brought in and who is the best option to secure the next World Series title. The GM meetings are now underway, having gotten started yesterday, and news is already filtering out about some of the possible moves coming to the league, including talk over Mookie Betts’ future.
Given how well the Houston Astros did this past season, having the World Series title ripped out from under them by the Washington Nationals, they are going to want to try to hold onto Gerrit Cole. Cole, however, might have different plans and could seek a new home. Of the all the possibilities, the LA Dodgers, the New York Yankees and the LA Angels are the most likely candidates.
Betts’ Future In The Balance?
There’s talk that Mookie Betts might be up for a deal in the near future, if the Boston Red Sox can find a team willing to cover his value. Boston is in a tight spot as it has to lower its expenses, and Betts would be an easy way to help make that happen. In total over $30 million needs to be stripped from the salary budget in the next few months, and giving up Betts would take a serious chunk of that out of the equation.
Betts isn’t the only one’s future that could be up for grabs. Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians has two years left on his contract, which is reportedly worth $150 million in each of the years. With that much money at risk, the Indians may try to find a new home and save themselves more than just a few extra pennies in exchange for some decent talent.
While the Red Sox want to reduce the payrollby looking at Bett’s future, the New York Rangers are ready to spend more. The team’s GM, Jon Daniels, has acknowledged that the salary cap has been increased for the team, and that might be an indication that the team is seriously considering a run on Cole, or possibly Stephen Strasburg.
The Pittsburgh Pirates need some help. They don’t have a GM, or even a manager, and are scrambling to put the ship on course. A new owner at the helm, Travis Williams, is in unchartered waters and has brought in a consulting firm to help with the search. Kevan Graves, who has been filling in as the interim GM, most likely won’t be the candidate selected for the position.
MLB Exec Award to Erik Neander
The MLB Executive of the Year Award has gone to Erik Neander, the senior VP of baseball operations and the GM of the Tampa Bay Rays. He almost made it last year, when the award was first introduced, but fell just short. The 30 ball clubs each get one vote to select a candidate and Neander, who helped the Rays make it to the AL Wild Card game, rallied the team to its second-most successful record in franchise history.
Perhaps the Astros weren’t as talented on the field this past season as they had everyone believe. News has surfaced, thanks to former pitcher Mike Fiers, that alleges that the team used cameras to steal signs during the 2017 season. Fiers asserts that Astros hitters were given an advantage thanks to a hidden camera at center field that was able to read the signs, send them to a monitor near the dugout, have them decoded and relayed to the hitters. If the allegations are true, there isn’t much reason to think they couldn’t have done the same in the most recent season.