We’re less than a month from spring training, baseball fans. Here is the report date for each team’s spring training. So here are Monday’s hot rumors while you wait for baseball to return in a few weeks.
Red Sox buys Mondesi
The Red Sox have traded infielder Adalberto Mondesi, who is often injured, from the Royals for left-back Josh Taylor. according to MLB.com. Boston will also receive a player to be named later in the trade. Even with Enrique Hernández moving from midfield to shortstop, the Red Sox need depth infield following the departure of Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story’s elbow surgery.
The 27-year-old Mondesi has only played 50 games in the last two seasons due to multiple injuries, including a cruciate ligament rupture. Earlier in his career, he showcased his five-tool ability, including hitting .276/.306/.498 with 14 homers and 32 steals in 75 games in 2018, though injuries have hampered his development. Mondesi will be a free agent after 2023. Taylor, 29, did not play in MLB last season and only played a handful of minor league games due to a back injury.
Royals discuss other trades
But wait, there could be more movement from the royals, who have now been at odds with Mondesi and outfielder Michael A Taylor over the past 24 hours. According to ESPN, the royals have also discussed trades involving utility player Hunter Dozier and infielder Nicky Lopez.
Dozier, a 31-year-old who may be signed for the 2025 season, has failed to make up for what appeared to be a successful 2019 season. He’s racked up 89 OPS+ over the past three years while bouncing around the corner positions. Lopez, 27, is under team control throughout the 2025 season. He also failed to build on a banner season in 2021. His OPS+ dropped from 104 to 58.
The Royals have an abundance of young positioners, either in the majors or on the way, making them an obvious contender to deliver at least one more hitter by Opening Day.
The Athletics have signed Jesús Aguilar, first baseman, to a one-year, $3 million contract. reports USA Today. Oakland has spent nearly $30 million on six free agents this offseason (Aguilar, Aledmys Díaz, Shintaro Fujinami, Trevor May, Jace Peterson, and Drew Rucinski), though their estimated 2023 payroll is just $58.5 million, according to FanGraphs dollars. That’s one of the lowest in baseball.
Aguilar, 32, hit .235/.281/.379 with 16 home runs in 129 games with the Marlins and Orioles in 2022. However, he was only an above-average hitter in 2021, in addition he is considered a formidable presence in the clubhouse. Aguilar can platoon with Seth Brown at first base and also take DH-At bats. And if he does well, maybe the A’s could turn him over for a prospect on deadline.
Marlins stop pursuit of Gurriel
The Marlins have dropped their pursuit of free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel, the Miami Herald reports. Miami are currently scheduled to play Garrett Cooper at first base and Jorge Soler at DH, but if they’re willing to live outfield with Cooper or Soler on defense, there’s room for Gurriel in the lineup. Jazz Chisholm takes center stage after dealing with Luis Arraez.
Miami has been looking for high-contact hitters all offseason, and Gurriel would certainly fit. He has recorded one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball since arriving in 2016 despite having the worst season of his MLB career in 2022, and at age 38 it’s possible his days as an above-average hitter are over. For now, however, the Marlins have suspended their pursuit. It’s unclear if they’re concentrating elsewhere.
Rays is still looking for offense
The Rays are still trying to improve their offense, although GM Erik Neader conceded that “there aren’t that many (making the difference bats) out there that are available,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. Jurickson Profar is the best free-agent positional player left, although others like Miguel Sanó, Franmil Reyes, Luke Voit and former Ray David Peralta are also not signed.
Last season, the Rays ranked 21st in runs scored and they didn’t score more than one run in nine of their last 16 regular-season games. Tampa was then held to a solo homer in 24 innings in his Wild Card Series loss to the Guardians. The Rays didn’t add offense this offseason. If anything, trading Ji-Man Choi has deducted them from their offense.
Orioles is still seeking rotation assistance
Orioles GM Mike Elias is hoping to add another starting pitcher before spring training, he said during an interview with 105.7 FM The Fan over the weekend (via the Baltimore Sun). The O’s signed Kyle Gibson to a one-year deal earlier this winter. Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and Austin Voth are scheduled to round out the rotation until top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is called up.
Baltimore has been linked in recent weeks with Michael Wacha, the top free-agent starter available. Other unsigned starters include Zack Greinke, Mike Minor and Michael Pineda. If nothing else, the O’s could use another veteran just to chew up innings and take a little rest on the bullpen and avoid having the kids carry too much work too soon.
Reds are not expected to make any further additions
The Reds aren’t expected to make any more additions before spring training and the roster is “pretty settled,” GM Nick Krall said at the team’s Caravan event Monday (via the Cincinnati Enquirer). “Obviously we tore it down (after doing the postseason in 2020). We traded some players last year. It’s something we had to go through. We’re trying to rebuild it,” Krall added.
It’s been a fairly uneventful offseason for the Reds. They swapped out Kyle Farmer, added Wil Myers and Luke Weaver, and that was about it. Cincinnati opened 2022 with a payroll of $114.1 million. Her estimated 2023 payroll is currently $81.5 million, according to FanGraphs. In terms of salary percentage in 2022, the Reds are expected to have the biggest pay cuts in baseball this year.