As we approach the New Year, MLB fans anxiously await for those four wonderful words, “pitchers and catchers report.” While Spring baseball is still a little over a month and a half away, teams are still working to improve their clubs in an effort to win it all in 2023.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the noticeable news and signings from the previous week.
Carlos Correa Raises Doubts From Second Team
After the San Francisco Giants got cold feet due to concerns over a physical, the New York Mets apparently have their own hesitations in regard to superstar free agent Carlos Correa.
The Giants originally had an agreement with Correa for $350 million over 13 years, but after the physical, it appears that they got cold feet. That gave New York the opportunity to snag Correa on a 12-year, $315 million deal.
However, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, it appears as if the Mets also have some concerns after his physical. The major source of concern is focused on his right leg, which he had previously had surgery on.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that even though there are concerns, it is still likely that a deal gets done. It remains to be seen if there are any provisions to the original deal, but it does appear as if Correa will eventually join the Mets.
Last season, in 522 at bats, the 28-year-old Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 64 runs batted in, and 70 runs scored. Correa is part of a massive offseason by the Mets that has also seen them bring in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Omar Narvaez, Danny Mendick, Brooks Raley, and Elieser Hernandez. They also re-signed Brandon Nimmo and Adam Ottavino.
With all of their movement, the Mets are currently tied for the best odds of winning the World Series at +650.
Giants Try To Make Amends With Fans
At different times this offseason, it appeared that the San Francisco Giants were going to sign outfielder Aaron Judge and shortstop Carlos Correa. In the end, they got neither.
Earlier this week, they tried to make some amends with fans by making a pair of moves that won’t exactly strike excitement in the fanbase in quite the same way.
First, the Giants brought in outfielder Michael Conforto on a two-year deal worth $36 million. The deal does include an opt-out after the first year.
Conforto missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury; however, the 30-year-old has had plenty of success throughout his career. Back in 2019, he hit .257/.363/.494 with 33 home runs, 92 runs batted in, and 90 runs scored for the Mets.
To add to the back end of their rotation, the Giants also added lefty reliever Taylor Rogers. The Giants are bringing him in on a three-year, $33 million deal.
Last season, with both the Padres and Brewers, Rogers went a combined 4-8 with a 4.76 ERA and 31 saves. His best season was in 2019 with the Twins, when he went 2-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 30 saves.
Interestingly, Rogers’ twin brother Tyler Rogers also plays for the Giants, and the pair will partner up in the bullpen.
Especially after their shortcomings in free agency and playing in a loaded division that also includes the Dodgers and the Padres, there are not super high hopes for the Giants next season. They are just +1200 to win the NL West and +5000 to win the World Series.
Blue Jays And Diamondbacks Make Interesting Trade
Right before Christmas, the Toronto Blue Jays and Arizona Diamondbacks made an interesting trade that saw them both deal from areas of strength. For the Blue Jays, they acquired outfielder Dalton Varsho from Arizona.
Last season, the 26-year-old hit .235/.302/.443 with 27 home runs, 74 runs batted in, and 79 runs scored in 531 at bats.
While he technically has caught, he is primarily an outfielder at this point and a pretty good one at that. In fact, his Defensive Runs Saved was +19, which was the best in the majors.
In return, the Diamondbacks are acquiring top catching prospect Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
For Moreno, last year was his first crack at the big leagues, and he hit .319/.356/.377 with a home run, seven runs batted in, and ten runs scored in 69 at bats. While Carson Kelly is the incumbent in Arizona, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Moreno take over the job full-time in the near future.
For Gurriel, the 29-year-old hit .291/.343/.400 with five home runs, 52 runs batted in, and 52 runs scored in 453 at bats.
While the Diamondbacks are not expected to compete this upcoming season (+12000 to win the World Series), the Blue Jays have the eighth-best odds to win it all at +1500.