Things have been quiet for the Washington Nationals; however, around Major League Baseball, there have been some interesting, to say the least, rumors floating around on some big-name free agents.
Here is a quick wrap-up of the latest offseason rumors of some of the big name Free Agents
Jacob DeGrom prefers to stay in New York.
We all know that the two-time Cy Young Award RHP Jacob DeGrom will command some big money this offseason after opting out from his contract and making him a free agent. According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, “The Mets have received enough indications from deGrom’s camp, according to a source, that they believe the two-time Cy Young award winner wants to stay, provided there isn’t a significant discrepancy in offers.” The article in the Post said that the New York Mets are considering giving DeGrom a short term contract “that could include options for additional seasons based on reaching certain incentives. The Mets do not view a four- or five-year deal (and even three years guaranteed might be stretching it) as prudent investment on a 34-year-old pitcher who has missed significant portions of the last two seasons with injuries.”
If the Mets do not re-sign DeGrom, could they be in the market for another starting pitcher-free agent? It seems like that is so…
Mets Considering Justin Verlander
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Verlander has emerged as a “prominent possibility” for the team.
Verlander who is now 39, showed no signs of age in 2022, making one of the more remarkable returns from Tommy John surgery to pitch 175 innings of 1.75 ERA ball for Houston, win the Cy Young award and take home a World Series ring. Though his strikeout rate dipped below 30% for the first time since joining Houston (down to 27.85), his fastball velocity remained in tact (and actually improved on his last full season), and he accounted for the dip in strikeouts by posting the equal-best walk rate of his lengthy career (4.4%).
MLBTR recently predicted he’d take home a three-year, $120MM deal, even though he’ll turn 40 in February.
Aaron Judge to the Dodgers?
One of the other big free agents on the market this offseason is MVP Aaron Judge. There has been a lot of speculation on where Judge will end up next. The New York Yankees are looking to retain the MVP outfielder for the long term, and from statements that have been made, the Yankees do not lose the outfielder. According to Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s ownership has had multiple conversations with Aaron Judge since the season ended. Just the two of them. Steinbrenner said, “I’ve absolutely conveyed that I want him to be a Yankee for the rest of his life… No doubt about that. He knows that.” [Twitter link]
Also, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman confirmed to reporters last week that the team has already made a new offer to Judge (Twitter link via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com), stating that because Judge’s free agency is playing out “in real time… we’re certainly not going to mess around.”
But what is interesting is that the LA Dodgers might have something to say about this. According to The New Post’s Jon Heyman, “word is going around now that the Dodgers are increasing their focus on Aaron Judge in free agency. Los Angeles has significant money off the books, with Bellinger, Trea Turner, Craig Kimbrel, Tyler Anderson, David Price, and Justin Turner all potentially moving on.” [Tweet link]