The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us but that doesn't mean hot stove activity will slow to a crawl. Plenty of signings and trades have been finalized during the long holiday weekend over the years and this offseason figures to be no different. Here are Wednesday's hot stove rumors as you await Turkey Day.
Judge meets with Giants
Aaron Judge, the No. 1 available free agent, met with Giants representatives in San Francisco on Tuesday, including members of ownership, reports MLB Network's Jon Morosi. Morosi anticipates a formal offer could come later this week and that Judge could sign by the end of the Winter Meetings in two weeks. To date Judge has only met with the Giants and, of course, the Yankees.
For what it's worth, Giants outfielder Joc Pederson is doing his part to recruit the reigning AL MVP:
Joc Pederson doing his part in recruiting Aaron Judge to the Giants 👀— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) November 23, 2022
(via @yungjoc650 / IG) pic.twitter.com/44FB3rwBym
Let it be known the Giants will open the 2023 regular season in New York against the Yankees. Pretty good chance Judge will be at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day next season. Which uniform will he be wearing? We'll find out soon enough.
Yankees looking for bullpen help
In addition to trying to retain Judge, the Yankees are also seeking bullpen help, GM Brian Cashman told NJ.com. "I'm looking to improve our bullpen, but yeah, I believe we have a closer. That doesn't mean we can't play on someone who is a quote-unquote closer because ultimately the more the merrier. You want as many high-leverage guys that you can collect as you possibly can," Cashman said.
The closer Cashman is referring to is All-Star Clay Holmes, who struggled in August and September and missed the end of the regular season with a shoulder injury. He returned in October and was lights out, though he was used carefully. This is New York's bullpen at the moment:
- Closer: RHP Clay Holmes
- Setup: RHP Jonathan Loáisiga, LHP Wandy Peralta
- Middle: RHP Albert Abreu, LHP Lucas Luetge, RHP Ron Marinaccio, RHP Lou Trivino
- Long: RHP Clarke Schmidt
- Injured: RHP Scott Effross (Tommy John surgery), RHP Michael King (elbow fracture)
King could be ready in time for spring training and, if he is, it likely pushes Abreu off the roster or Schmidt to Triple-A. The Yankees have a steady high-leverage group -- Holmes, Loáisiga, and Peralta were all great in October -- but there's no such thing as too many quality relievers. With King's status uncertain and Effross set to miss 2023, looking for more bullpen help is sensible.
Rangers a serious suitor for Rodón
The Rangers are a major player for free agent lefty Carlos Rodón, reports MLB.com. Texas has already added Jake Odorizzi and retained Martín Pérez this offseason, though they're expected to pursue a top of the rotation starter as well, and Rodón is one of the best available. Our R.J. Anderson ranked the southpaw the No. 8 available free agent this offseason.
At the moment, Odorizzi and Pérez are penciled into the rotation alongside Jon Gray and likely Dane Dunning. Internal candidates for the No. 5 spot include Glenn Otto, Cole Ragans, and maybe Spencer Howard. Clearly, there is room for improvement there. The Rangers want to sign a frontline starter to help them contend and also push the kids down a peg on the depth chart.
Red Sox sign Rodríguez
The Red Sox have signed lefty reliever Joely Rodríguez to a one-year contract with a club option, the team announced Wednesday. He will earn $1.5 million in 2023 with a $500,000 buyout of a $4.25 million option, according to The Athletic. The 31-year-old southpaw was slightly more effective against righties (.625 OPS) than lefties (.645 OPS) this season. Rodríguez and Josh Taylor, who did not pitch in the big leagues due to injury in 2022, figure to be manager Alex Cora's two lefty relievers next season.
Red Sox trade for Park
The Red Sox acquired utility player Hoy Park from the Pirates in exchange for minor-league left-handed pitcher Inmer Lobo, the clubs announced Wednesday.
Park, 26, has appeared in 68 career games with 210 plate appearances. He's played second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions. He's a .201/.291/.346 hitter with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 20 RBI, 23 runs, two stolen bases and -0.5 WAR.
Lobo is 18 and has only played in the Dominican Summer League, appearing in five games and pitching to a 0.82 ERA with a 0.77 WHIP and 28 strikeouts against two walks in 22 innings.