The MLB GM Meetings are still underway in Arizona and there is a lot that is needed to be discussed. From player movements with guys such as Stephen Strasburg, to game time to the allegation that the Houston Astros may have cheated in previous seasons, the topics are many and time is limited.
Yankees Discuss Cole & Strasburg
The GM of the New York Yankees, Brian Cashman, isn’t too concerned about the $208 million luxury tax coming in 2020. That’s good news, since it gives him a lot of leeway in trying to attract top-level players like Stephen Strasburg or Gerrit Cole, inarguably two of the top pitchers in the league. He told reporters Monday night, “I’ve got no mandate from [managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner] as we move forward, but I would think that if I do, we’ll be transparent about that as well. If there was an issue with it for us, we would communicate it.”
Speaking of Cole and Strasburg, the former may ultimately not be in contention for the Yankees. His agent indicates that he most likely won’t be ready to make a decision until January, while Strasburg, as well as Anthony Rendon, will be ready sooner. Unless the Yankees truly feel that Cole is worth the wait, they may make a move on Strasburg. That might not be a difficult decision since at least one team, the San Diego Padres, have now stated they’re not interested in him, or in Cole.
The allegations by former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers that his team had cheated in the 2017 season have now been substantiated by at least four people. The team has been accused of using cameras to steal signs and report them to batters, and the MLB is taking the allegations seriously. In 2017, there was no specific rule that prevented cameras from being used, so there is no indication on what penalties the league might create. However, according to a new revelation, the team did it again this last season – after the rules were put in place. That could be a game-changer.
The Oakland A’s know what they need to do to turn things around. The team has had two consecutive winning seasons, only to have everything fall apart in Wild Card games. GM David Forst has figured out what to do, even if he isn’t yet sure how to do it, and states, “We need to get better. We need to try and catch the Astros and get out of that one-game playoff. We have a number of things to do, but addressing the bullpen is definitely at the top of the list.”
The Philadelphia Phillies want to win the upcoming season, regardless of what it might mean in the future. In order to do that, the team is willing to give up a draft pick in exchange for a big-time free agent during the offseason, and GM Matt Klentak says that the Phillies might be willing to trade a second-round draft pick, as well as $500,000 in international bonus pool money, to sign the right player. The “right player” hasn’t been identified, but the team is undoubtedly looking at Cole and Strasburg, as well as Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, Zack Wheeler and others.
The San Francisco Giants now have a new manager. Gabe Kapler is the 39th manager of the team and the 17th since the Giants began calling San Fran home. His appointment was officially announced today at Oracle Park, and Kapler replaces the retiring Bruce Bochy. He also comes after the Phillies let him go last month as their manager.
David Peterson could be coming to the New York Mets. The left-handed pitcher was actually drafted by the team in 2017, but went to the Brooklyn Cyclones before playing for the Columbia Fireflies and the St. Lucie Mets. He started this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and could be ready for the big leagues.
The Seattle Mariners might be ready to give up on Mitch Haniger. The right fielder is reportedly finding his name being thrown around as a trade option, even though he hasn’t played since June 6.
The Toronto Blue Jays are seriously interested in two Japanese players, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and Shogo Akiyama. GM Ross Atkins told reporters on Tuesday that there is definite interest and added,
“We’ll continue to engage with their representatives and understand if they’re potential fits.”