Around the Horn: News and Notes 11/17
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
What is up ball, boys and girls? I hope you guys are doing super well today. Today we got Around the Horn. We got Leauge News, Free Agency News, Injury News, Trade News, Prospect News to go over today.
The Marlins helped make history on Friday 11/13 by hiring the First Female and Asian-American GM in MLB history Kim Ng. She is also the first woman to be hired as GM of a major American professional sports team. The Marlins top 3 officials in the front office are COO-Caroline O'Conner, GM- Kim Ng, and HoF SS Derek Jeter. Ng brings an impressive resume to the table for the Marlins as she started her career in 1991 in the White Sox organization. In 95, she assumed the role of assistant director of baseball operations. Ng has served in several AGM roles, including the with the Yankees in the late '90s. She then was with the Dodgers from 01-2011 as VP and AGM. With the Marlins fresh off a playoff run, oozing with young talent, Mattingly winning NL Manager of the Year. Ng and the Marlins are set to be contenders for years to come.
-Did you guys see the clip of Big Sexy Bartolo Colon, wearing a Mets shirt and throwing GAS! My goodness, If Steve Cohen and the Mets don't bring back Big Sexy for at least one start or the season would be awesome!
-Congrats to the CY Young winners- AL Winner Shane Bieber-who was a unanimous winner. With the year that he had, I am not surprised that he won this award over Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu. He had an 8-1 record and 1.63ERA and led the MLB in wins, ERA, and Strikeouts. NL Winner Trevor Bauer, which I am very disappointed because going deeper into the stats, Yu Darvish had the better season. Bauer led the NL in ERA with a 1.73ERA, 3rd in the MLB, with 100K; he is the first Red to win the award. These CY Young awards are the first of two pitchers who were teammates the year before, win the awards the following year. Since leaving the Dodgers in 2011, Ng has served as MLB's Sr VP of baseball operations.
-Congrats to the MVP winners, which I called! The NL MVP Freddie Freeman got a big hug from his 4yo son after he won the award. He is the first brave to win the award since 1999 when Chipper Jones won it. Freeman beat COVID early in the season to lead the Braves to the Playoffs as he slashed .341/.462/.540 with a 1.102OPS with 13HR and 53RBI. Congrats on the much overdue MVP award for as he will be known now MVFree.
The AL MVP winner Jose Abreu led the young White Sox back to the playoffs this season. He hit 19HR, 60RBI, slashed .317/.376/.617 with a .987OPS and 166OPS+. There was nothing that Abreu couldn't do to opposing pitching as he becomes the first member of the White Sox since Frank Thomas won the award in 1993 and 1994. Abreu was, of course, emotional after winning the award as we saw him break into tears on TV, and that moment was special! Congrats to Pito
-How one writer voted for Cub's RP Ryan Tepera and gave him a 10th place vote when he meant to give it to Nat's SS Trea Turner. I will never understand.
-The LA Angels selected former Braves AGM Perry Minasian to be their next GM. I like the pick here for the Angels, getting a crucial part from the Braves who have done a tremendous job developing and coming into contention.
-The Chicago White Sox have hired former Giants Assistant Ethan Katz will join the team as their pitching coach. He coach Lucas Giolitto in high school. Great pick up for the White Sox.
-Speaking of the White Sox and their new manager Tony La Russa stated the DUI charges. The team acknowledges the "seriousness of these charges" and will have more to say after court resolution.
-Caleb Cotham is the "clear frontrunner" to become the Phillies, next pitching coach. The fit makes a lot of sense here at Cotham pitched for Joe Giardi, who is the Manager of the Phillies. Cotham also has a link to Trevor Bauer's agency.
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Free Agency News:
-It looks like we will be getting a bidding war this off-season as KBO Kiwoom Hero's IF Kim Ha-Seong will be posted for MLB teams to bid on just after Thanks Giving. Ha-Seong is good as he slashed a .292/.368/.487 through his 6yr career in KBO. He is only 25 and will get a significant contract somewhere this winter.
-RHP Josh Tomlin resigned with the Atlanta Braves on a 1ya $1mil deal with a club option for 2022. Great move for the Braves to get Tomlin back. Tomlin posted a 4.76ERA/4.02FIP as we saw Tomlin used for spot starts and in pen for the Braves in 2020.
-The Braves also signed SP Drew Smyly to a 1yr $11MIL deal. With the Giants in 2020, Smyly posted a 3.26ERA/2.01FIP over 26.1IP. Smyly looks to be a lock in the rotation in 2021 after Max Fried and Mike Soroka.
-Phillies C JT Realmuto and Astros OF George Springer both declined their Qualifying Offers and are both Free Agents.
-SP Marcus Stroman accepted his QO offer from the Mets. This is great for the Mets as next season; they will have deGrom, Syndergaard, and Stroman and could still add Trevor Bauer.
-RP Kevin Gausman accepted his QO from the SF Giants. The Giants showed how much they value the reliever, and they will look to keep him and sign him long term.
-Free Agent SP Taijuan Walker has been connected to the Tigers in Free Agency. As the Tigers have had talked to Walker about signing him.
-The Blue Jay's have been linked to everyone: Taijuan Walker, Geroge Springer, Jackie Bradley Jr., and now SS Andrelton Simmons. I don't understand why the SS is a fit. The Jay's have Bo Bichette, and unless they move him(Simmons) to 2B or even 3B, the fit isn't logical.
-Since I mentioned Jackie Bradley Jr., the Astro's have made signing the vet OF a "priority." With Springer, Brantley, Reddick all free agents, JBJ would be great to fill into the OF with Kyle Tucker. The Phillies are also strong contenders to land the OF as well.
-The Mets and Yankees have contacted-Free Agent C Yadier Molina. But the Cardinals remain the favorite to re-sign their franchise catcher.
-The Mets will be busy this offseason and have been linked early to FA SP Masahiro Tanaka. If the Yankees don't resign Tanaka, then the Met's are rumored to be targeting Tanaka. The Met also has OF Marcell Ozuna high on their list.
-It is all but likely that the Dodgers move on from OF Joc Pederson and 3B Justin Turner this offseason. I am more surprised by Justin Turner's news here, but the Joc Pederson news not so much because they did try to trade him last offseason. Comments from Dodgers President Andres Friedman suggests these moves.
-The Padres and Mike Clevinger are working on a 2-year deal. The deal would buy out the remaining two years of arbitration, and they would avoid arbitration altogether. Clevinger, who is 30, would still be on track to hit free agency post-2022. The deal should come in just shy of $18-20Mil.
-The Pittsburg Pirates have been linked to Free Agent OF Kevin Pillar thus far in Free Agency. I do like the Pirates' fit as they need veteran leadership on the team and in the OF.
-The Minnesota Twins and Free Agent DH Nelson Cruz have NOT been in contact this winter. The news of this tells me that he could still end up back with the Twins, but he will also test the waters elsewhere.
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-Indians SS Francisco Lindor is rumored to land with the Yankees, Mets, Blue Jay's, Phillies, and Cardinals as the most logical spots. I like the fit with the Phillies and Cardinals the best for Lindor as both have established stars and could use another one to help. I do like the fit with the Met's because they could also use a star at SS. The Indians have said they want three major league level players in return for Lindor.
-The NY Yankees are expected to "at minimum to listen to offers" for All-Star C Gary Sanchez. The Yankees are in play to sign JT Realmuto this winter and haven't loved Sanchez's lack of consistency. The Yankees are ready to move on from the young catcher.
-Orioles 1B/OF Trey Mancini is planning on attending spring training in 2021. His most recent blood work showed no tumor DNA. Great news for the O's and Mancini.
-SP Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox is not expected to be ready for 2021. Maybe not start 2021, but we could see him about a mid-year or later in 2021. To the Red Sox, Sale being healthy and 100% is the most important thing for the club. The Red Sox did get good news on SP Eduardo Rodriguez as he has started a throwing program and should be 100% by opening day for the Red Sox.
-Mets Ace Noah Syndergaard is throwing off a mound. His rehab is going exceptionally well and looks to be healthy and ready for 2021.
-The Pirates have lofty expectations for P Cody Bulton and OF Travis Swaggerty. Swaggerty is getting the comp to Brett Gardner, who has had an excellent career to his point. I like both of these players as long term options for the Pirates. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes looks to be ready to impact the field for the Pirates in 2020 as he has shined so far in Fall Ball.
-Red Sox fans, if you don't know the name Gilberto Jimenez, get to know him now. If you are a rival of the Red Sox or a baseball fan, get to know the CF. Jimenez is a threat in the OF with the glove, the plate with the power, and the bases with speed. Fellow CF prospect Jarren Duran is set to take over the CF job is JBJ isn't resigned. It could be as early as 2022 that the now 20yo OF Jimenez is playing every day in CF for the Red Sox.
The Giant's top prospects Marco Luciano and Hunter Bishop have excelled in the Giants' instructional league. Giants fans, get excited for these two young men as they are on their way. It is the second time I have written about both these players, and it will not be the last.
Thank you guys for reading, I appreciate the support, and I hope you enjoyed all the news!