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Surprises could be in store at Winter Meetings

Clubs looking to get in on action after Ohtani, Stanton deals
MLB.com @feinsand

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If you've ever been to Disney World, you already know we live in a small, small world.

Monday, the baseball community will gather from all around North America for the start of the game's annual Winter Meetings, a four-day event that could go a long way toward shaping the upcoming season.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If you've ever been to Disney World, you already know we live in a small, small world.

Monday, the baseball community will gather from all around North America for the start of the game's annual Winter Meetings, a four-day event that could go a long way toward shaping the upcoming season.

For some, it will be a magical journey to Fantasyland. For others, it could be a trip down the Tower of Terror.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2017 Winter Meetings, and fans will be able to watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage began with the Modern Era Committee voting for the Hall of Fame, which elected former Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell on Sunday.

Hot Stove Tracker

Teams had barely touched down in Florida before two free-agent relievers found new homes. The Cubs were reportedly finalizing a contract with right-hander Brandon Morrow, and a source confirmed to MLB.com that the Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with righty Luke Gregerson. Neither club has confirmed the agreements.

The first major domino of the offseason fell Friday when Shohei Ohtani chose to sign with the Angels, finally providing clarity to one of the primary storylines of the offseason.

Video: Scioscia talks about how he plans to use Ohtani

The other major move happened Saturday when the Yankees stunned the baseball world with their pending trade for reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, adding the game's most prolific home run hitter to a lineup that already featured AL home run champion Aaron Judge and plenty of other power sources.

How will the rest of the contenders react and respond to the Yankees' shocking move? All eyes will be on Lake Buena Vista over the next four days.

Video: Feinsand discusses Hosmer's high price tag

Stanton's move to the Bronx leaves teams around the game in search of their own power bat, with J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Carlos Santana representing the top position players available on the free-agent market. Lorenzo Cain, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Logan Morrison and Yonder Alonso are also out there looking to help contenders take the next step.

Of course, there's more than one way for teams to improve. They will surely explore the trade market, as well, with two of next year's free agents -- Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson -- certain to hear their names mentioned prominently in one rumor after another.

It's a long shot that either the Blue Jays or the Orioles will deal away their franchise players, but with 30 front offices all confined to the same resort for 96 hours, it's only natural to assume there will be communication between executives with regard to dozens of players, some of whom could have new baseball homes by the time the meetings break up following Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft.

Video: Atkins discusses his chat with Donaldson, extension

Ian Kinsler could be on the move as the Tigers continue their rebuild, while Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi -- and maybe even Evan Longoria -- will likely be mentioned in trade rumors given the Rays' history.

Other potential trade targets include Jose Abreu, Andrew McCutchen and Yasmani Grandal as franchises look to deal from areas of strength or move in a new direction.

Speaking of new directions, the Marlins are in the beginning stages of their rebuild under new owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, something that began with Saturday's Stanton news. Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and newly acquired Starlin Castro all figure to draw interest from other clubs as Miami continues to execute its long-term plan.

The pitching market is also flush with talent, even after Ohtani was formally introduced by the Angels Saturday afternoon.

While Los Angeles GM Billy Eppler can now turn his attention toward other items on his winter checklist, the six other Ohtani finalists are likely in search of fallback plans as they look to improve their respective starting rotations.

Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta remain on the free-agent market, and now that the Angels have reeled in Ohtani, teams including the Dodgers, Cubs and Rangers are likely to be in the mix for any and all available front-line starters. Same for two of this season's upstart clubs, the Twins and Brewers, who have been attached to virtually every arm on the market.

Video: Darvish tops free-agent pitching market

Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb are the other two notable free-agent arms, though there are several other options for the more cost-conscious teams including Andrew Cashner, Jaime Garcia, Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Vargas and Chris Tillman.

The relief pitching market is also plentiful, giving clubs an opportunity to bolster their pitching staff in reverse fashion, starting with the back end of the bullpen.

All-Star closers Wade Davis and Greg Holland highlight a deep class of relievers even with Morrow and Gregerson off the board, though they're hardly the only free agents with late-inning experience.

Addison Reed, Brandon Kintzler, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, Anthony Swarzak, Juan Nicasio, Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek and Tony Watson are all available, presenting a variety of relief options.

Video: Castrovince on trade market for relief pitchers

That doesn't even include the trade market, where Baltimore's Zach Britton and Brad Brach, Tampa Bay's Alex Colome, Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera and San Diego's Brad Hand are all rumored to be available for the right price.

The Winter Meetings present a number of surprises every December, so there's a good chance that a big move nobody has even thought about steals the show this week, giving fans an unexpected holiday treat as they prepare to ring in the new year.

The only thing we know for sure? With winter on the horizon, the Hot Stove will keep baseball fans warm this week. Grab a turkey leg and enjoy the show.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morris, Trammell get long-awaited call to Hall

Former teammates elected to class of 2018 by Modern Era Committee
MLB.com @castrovince

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- What could wind up becoming a loaded 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame class begins with a 1984 Tigers two-fer that ends two long and agonizing waits for Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.

Morris, the hero of the Twins' Game 7 triumph in the 1991 World Series and winner of 254 regular-season games in his 18 seasons, and Trammell, the four-time Gold Glove winner and MVP of the '84 Fall Classic, were teammates on the last Tigers team to win it all, and they will be joyously joined again in Cooperstown next summer. In the first big news from baseball's Winter Meetings this week, Morris was named on 14 and Trammell on 13 of the 16 ballots cast by the Hall's Modern Baseball Era Committee on Sunday. A candidate had to appear on at least 75 percent of ballots to gain entry.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- What could wind up becoming a loaded 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame class begins with a 1984 Tigers two-fer that ends two long and agonizing waits for Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.

Morris, the hero of the Twins' Game 7 triumph in the 1991 World Series and winner of 254 regular-season games in his 18 seasons, and Trammell, the four-time Gold Glove winner and MVP of the '84 Fall Classic, were teammates on the last Tigers team to win it all, and they will be joyously joined again in Cooperstown next summer. In the first big news from baseball's Winter Meetings this week, Morris was named on 14 and Trammell on 13 of the 16 ballots cast by the Hall's Modern Baseball Era Committee on Sunday. A candidate had to appear on at least 75 percent of ballots to gain entry.

"I've got to believe, in a crazy sort of way, that this is the sweetest way to go in," Morris said. "To go in with a guy who meant so much to me and, in my opinion, was overlooked."

Video: Morris, Trammell elected to the Hall of Fame

Trammell and Morris were among 10 candidates on the Modern Era ballot, which includes those whose most significant career impact was realized between 1970-87. They became the first living players to be elected into the Hall by a small committee since Bill Mazeroski in 2001.

"Overwhelmed," Trammell said. "My mind is a whirlwind. I thought that Jack was well-deserving and in my opinion should've been in a few years ago. But nevertheless, it's an honor to go in with Jack and whoever is inducted from the writers' ballot. It's going to be a great class. I'm honored to be a part of it."

Tweet from @beckjason: Tigers statement from Chris Ilitch says they'll retire 3 and 47 in August. https://t.co/2YUiWFeJl0

The Baseball Writers' Association of America is in the process of compiling ballots for its 2018 class, which will be announced at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 24 on MLB Network. With both Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero having appeared on north of 70 percent of ballots last year, and with first-time candidates Chipper Jones and Jim Thome among those with particularly compelling Cooperstown cases, this could be a grand group going in together July 29.

Hall of Fame inductees, year by year

It is the inherent goal of the smaller Hall voting committees, which were revamped from the former Veterans Committee process in 2016, to give added consideration to those whose careers and impact might not have been given their just due on the BBWAA ballot. Both Morris and Trammell spent a full 15 years on the BBWAA ballot (the cutoff has since been amended to 10 years) without getting in. Trammell's highest vote percentage had been 40.9 in his final year of eligibility in 2016, while Morris maxed out at 67.7 percent in his second-to-last year of eligibility in 2013.

The reward for both men finally arrived in their first year of consideration by a smaller committee.

Video: Morris selected to HOF by Modern Era Committee

"You appreciate it so much," Morris said. "I think I have a better understanding of what it all means now than I ever would have on the first ballot. I know the emotions some of those guys are going through who didn't make it. I thought every guy had a legitimate chance. They had reasons to be considered, for sure. I hope there's no animosity because I made it, because I certainly was pulling for them."

With 12 votes required for entry, former catcher Ted Simmons received 11 votes, former MLB Players Association leader Marvin Miller received seven and Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Luis Tiant each received fewer than seven votes (the Hall did not reveal their exact tallies).

The 16-member Modern Baseball Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members George Brett, Rod Carew, Bobby Cox, Dennis Eckersley, John Schuerholz, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount; Major League executives Sandy Alderson, Paul Beeston, Bob Castellini, Bill DeWitt and David Glass; and veteran historians Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark.

Video: Trammell selected to HOF by Modern Era Committee

"To have the Hall of Famers during our era vote for us is very meaningful," Trammell said. "It means a lot. It's very humbling."

Trammell played all 20 of his MLB seasons with the Tigers, from 1977-96, including the first 14 seasons of his career as a teammate of Morris. In the '84 World Series against the Padres, he hit .450 (9-for-20) with a double and two home runs to earn MVP honors. He also hit .364 and homered in that year's American League Championship Series against the Royals.

Video: Trammell excited to be elected to the Hall of Fame

"[A scout once told me] if you play good defense and you hit .250," Trammell said, "you'll play in the big leagues for a long time."

Morris pitched for the Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays and Indians from 1977-94. He threw a no-hitter during that aforementioned '84 season, shutting down the White Sox on April 7 at Comiskey Park. In his epic Game 7 performance in 1991, he outdueled the Braves' John Smoltz, a 2015 Hall of Fame entrant, over 10 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win that clinched the Twins' second World Series title in four years.

"There's no question it's one of my defining moments in baseball, because it was the only Game 7 that I pitched," Morris said. "I knew the importance of it, but I was also at the apex of my career both mentally and physically. I've never pitched a game where I had better focus, and I don't know why. I had the best mindset I've had in my entire career."

Video: Morris on his initial reaction to HOF selection

The Hall cases for both Morris and Trammell have generated plenty of discussion over the years. Interestingly, Trammell was a darling of the advanced analytical community, while Morris' credentials were often touted by those with more of an "old school" bent. Trammell had a career Wins Above Replacement mark of 70.4 (as calculated by Baseball-Reference.com), just behind that of likely Hall of Famer Derek Jeter (71.8) and just ahead of that of Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Bobby Wallace (70.2). Morris' 44.1 career WAR pales in comparison to that of the average Hall of Famer, but his lofty win total, 175 career complete games and Game 7 gem were his strongest selling points.

After all the debates and deliberations, Morris and Trammell go in together. Teammates then and classmates now.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Breaking down all 30 clubs' needs at Meetings

Teams looking to take action after Ohtani, Stanton deals
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

The 2017 Winter Meetings are under way in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and all 30 MLB clubs have brought their shopping lists to the Sunshine State.

Some teams have already dug in on their holiday shopping, most notably the Angels' acquisition of Shohei Ohtani and the Yankees' pending blockbuster trade for slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Now that the two biggest names are coming off the board, the Hot Stove action figures to begin in full force this week.

The 2017 Winter Meetings are under way in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and all 30 MLB clubs have brought their shopping lists to the Sunshine State.

Some teams have already dug in on their holiday shopping, most notably the Angels' acquisition of Shohei Ohtani and the Yankees' pending blockbuster trade for slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Now that the two biggest names are coming off the board, the Hot Stove action figures to begin in full force this week.

Hot Stove Tracker

As front offices settle into their war rooms, MLB.com's beat writers examined each of the 30 teams' biggest needs entering the '17 Winter Meetings:

Angels: The Halos already made one of the biggest splashes so far by winning the Ohtani sweepstakes, but as manager Mike Scioscia stated Saturday, there is still work left to do. Second base, a corner infielder and additional pitching help figure to be the Angels' biggest targets. More >

Astros: The Astros have been quiet so far after capturing their first World Series championship, but look for Houston to target relief pitching going forward. More >

Athletics: The A's management has expressed its desire to add a right-handed-hitting outfielder for weeks now, and that process could accelerate at the Winter Meetings. More >

Video: CFBBQ's B.O.A.R.D. ranks Winter Meetings storylines

Blue Jays: Toronto's potential postseason competitors in the American League have already made big moves, and the Blue Jays will need to respond. The Jays will likely look for a corner outfielder, fifth starter and back-end bullpen help. More >

Braves: New general manager and executive vice president Alex Anthopoulos has spent the last several weeks familiarizing himself with the Braves' current personnel. Now he'll likely seek a third baseman or a frontline starter, beginning in full this week in Florida. More >

Brewers: Milwaukee's rebuild accelerated to a year ahead of schedule when it just missed the 2017 postseason. The addition of a frontline starter would signal that the Crew is going for more in 2018. More >

Cardinals: The Redbirds' dreams of acquiring Stanton are in the rearview mirror, and St. Louis' focus will turn toward other impact bats on the free-agent market and filling the team's open closer spot. More >

Cubs: Chicago checked off one box by signing free-agent pitcher Tyler Chatwood, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein figures to remain aggressive in adding to his rotation. The Cubs' bullpen needs replenishment as well, thanks to Wade Davis' free agency. More >

D-backs: Arizona looks to be a team on the rise, but the addition of another solid bullpen arm or two and a new catcher are the D-backs' top priorities. J.D. Martinez, who delivered serious power upon arriving in Phoenix last summer, is available for a reunion as well. More >

Dodgers: After falling one game shy of a World Series title, the Dodgers don't have any glaring needs, but Los Angeles could remain opportunistic in adding the final pieces to put them over the top. More >

Giants: San Francisco fell short in the Stanton sweepstakes, so the team's needs remain significant after finishing with baseball's second-worst record. Fortunately, the Winter Meetings should provide the Giants with plenty of opportunities, particularly in the outfield. More >

Video: Predicting Giants' moves after Stanton, Ohtani deals

Indians: The Tribe made a huge splash by signing Edwin Encarnacion last winter, yet aspirations remain high for the Indians' first World Series title since 1948. Cleveland has plenty of decisions to make on its former players who are now free agents, including Jay Bruce, Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith. More >

Mariners: Seattle has been plenty busy already in advance of the Winter Meetings, trading for Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy, while just missing out on Ohtani. But general manager Jerry Dipoto figures to always be in the mix, and another handful of impact moves could help the Mariners rise out of the race for the American League Wild Card. More >

Marlins: Miami's payroll trimming has already begun in full by unloading Gordon and Stanton. All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna could be dealt next, while relievers Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler could also be on the trade block. More >

Video: Frisaro on Marlins' next moves at Winter Meetings

Mets: New York has been quiet since hiring manager Mickey Callaway, but the team has no shortage of needs coming off a disappointing 2017. A setup man for the bullpen appears to be high on the Mets' wish list, as well as a second baseman and a first base/outfield hybrid player. More >

Nationals: Washington made a big splash by acquiring center fielder Adam Eaton last winter, but the team's 2018 roster appears to be all but set. Still, the Nats could make some minor tweaks in the back end of their rotation and in their bullpen as they try to get over the hump and advance past the National League Division Series. More >

Orioles: Baltimore clearly needs to bolster its starting rotation. Look for Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to try to add several quality starters, though the O's are also in the market for left-handed hitters and an improvement on the defensive side. More >

Padres: San Diego didn't end up with Ohtani, and so this up-and-coming club figures to be looking for more pitching -- both in the rotation and in the bullpen. General manager A.J. Preller hasn't been shy in the past when it comes to wheeling and dealing at the Winter Meetings. More >

Phillies: It's no secret that Philadelphia is looking to upgrade its pitching staff. A deal involving shortstop Freddy Galvis or second baseman Cesar Hernandez could help the Phillies acquire the pitchers they desire. More >

Pirates: Will Pittsburgh look to fortify its current roster, or begin a rebuild? The future of Andrew McCutchen is the Bucs' dominant storyline entering the Winter Meetings, but the Pirates could clearly use a power upgrade should they decide to go for it again in 2018. More >

Rangers: Pitching, pitching and more pitching. The Rangers' biggest need is obvious, and they figure to throw their hats into the ring on several of this offseason's big-name free-agent starters. More >

Rays: Tampa Bay features several players who figure to generate trade interest, from Chris Archer to Alex Colome to Evan Longoria. But the Rays' management has proven in the past that they can drive a hard bargain and come away with the players they want, too. More >

Red Sox: The rival Yankees sent shockwaves through baseball with their pending acquisition of Stanton. Now its Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski's turn to respond, and Boston has been linked to a number of impact bats, including Eric Hosmer and Martinez. Signing one of those players appears to be essential after Boston finished last in the AL in home runs a year ago. More >

Video: Red Sox look to respond after Stanton heads to Bronx

Reds: Cincinnati's top brass likes the young roster it has and doesn't appear to be overly compelled to make a splashy move. That being said, the Reds could target pitching depth and a bench player who can play shortstop. More >

Rockies: The young Rockies surprised many with their run to the NL Wild Card Game. Now, general manager Jeff Bridich comes to the Meetings with money to spend on improving his roster for 2018. Look for Bridich to go big on a closer, whether it be re-signing Greg Holland or exploring another marquee name like Wade Davis. More >

Royals: It's a case of "Will they or won't they?" for general manager Dayton Moore and the Royals, as Moore decides whether to begin a rebuild or re-sign free agents Hosmer and Mike Moustakas for another run at glory. Kansas City also figures to look for someone to anchor the back end after Mike Minor signed with the Rangers and Kelvin Herrera struggled in 2017. More >

Video: MLB Network: Direction of Royals at Winter Meetings

Tigers: Detroit's rebuild is underway, but the team's management will look for low-risk, high-upside signings to help soften the blow. Veteran players like second baseman Ian Kinsler will also generate interest from potential suitors, so general manager Al Avila could have some hard decisions to make. More >

Twins: Minnesota was the underdog story after its turnaround run to the AL Wild Card Game, but the Twins are looking to capitalize now on the maturation of their young talent. The Twins' top priority is finding a frontline starter to pair with Ervin Santana and young Jose Berrios. More >

White Sox: Chicago is still looking for young talent to accelerate its rebuild, but with a robust farm system in place there's not much pressure to make a big move. Adding another veteran presence could be helpful in developing the White Sox exciting young talent. More >

Yankees: Just days ago, the feeling was the Yankees would look to add a starter at the Winter Meetings and make other minor tweaks. That changed in a hurry with the blockbuster trade for Stanton, but the need for a starter remains with veteran CC Sabathia on the free-agent market. More >

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs reportedly nearing deal with Morrow

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla -- The Cubs may be close to finding their next closer. According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are finalizing a deal with free-agent right-hander Brandon Morrow. The Cubs would not confirm the report.

Morrow, 33, is coming off his best season since he was converted to a full-time reliever, posting a 2.06 ERA over 43 2/3 innings with the Dodgers. He set career-highs in strikeout rate (29.1 percent) and WHIP (0.92) while not giving up a home run all season. Morrow's 240 xwOBA was ninth-lowest among relievers with at least 100 batters faced.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla -- The Cubs may be close to finding their next closer. According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are finalizing a deal with free-agent right-hander Brandon Morrow. The Cubs would not confirm the report.

Morrow, 33, is coming off his best season since he was converted to a full-time reliever, posting a 2.06 ERA over 43 2/3 innings with the Dodgers. He set career-highs in strikeout rate (29.1 percent) and WHIP (0.92) while not giving up a home run all season. Morrow's 240 xwOBA was ninth-lowest among relievers with at least 100 batters faced.

Hot Stove Tracker

The Cubs have been in the market for a closer since Wade Davis filed for free agency. Morrow has some closing experience, saving 16 games for the Mariners in 2008-09. The right-hander does have electric stuff and his fastball averaged 97.7 mph last season.

Morrow was the Dodgers' setup man last season, although he did collect two saves in the second half. He also was used in 14 of Los Angeles' 15 postseason games, and in four games against the Cubs in the National League Championship Series, he gave up one hit, walked one and struck out seven over 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

Adding pitching has been the Cubs' primary objective this offseason. Starters Jake Arrieta and John Lackey as well as relievers Koji Uehara and Brian Duensing are all free agents, while the club non-tendered Hector Rondon.

The Cubs did make a qualifying offer to Davis and haven't ruled out his possible return. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he planned to talk to Davis' agent during the Winter Meetings, which officially open Monday.

Several reports this weekend also had free agent right-hander Addison Reed high on the Cubs' wish list.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago Cubs, Brandon Morrow

MLB Buzz: Indians make offer to Santana

MLB.com

The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.

Hot Stove Tracker

The Hot Stove is open for business. As the top free agents begin to ink new deals and clubs begin to make the moves they think will vault them into contention or put them over the top, MLB.com will have you covered with all the latest buzz right here.

Hot Stove Tracker

Tribe makes offer to Santana
In a deep free-agent market for first basemen/designated hitters, Carlos Santana has received a contract offer from the Indians, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has reportedly not accepted the offer, but informed the Indians they will have a chance to make a counteroffer should he receive a proposal from another team that is to his liking.

Santana, 31, has spent his entire career to this point with Cleveland. Last season, he slashed .259/.363/.455 with 23 homers in 154 games. He also won the first defensive award of his career, being named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. In eight seasons with the Tribe, Santana has posted an .810 OPS with 174 home runs.

There are several other teams also interested in Santana, including the Red Sox, Phillies, Rangers, Mariners and Padres.

Mets shopping Harvey?
The Mets are open to trading former All-Star right-hander Matt Harvey, according to the New York Daily News. New York is eyeing relief help, and on Sunday, two relievers reportedly went off the market in right-hander Brandon Morrow to the Cubs and right-hander Luke Gregerson to the Cardinals.

Harvey, 28, is coming off his worst season in the Majors, posting a 6.70 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts). He was an All-Star in 2013, posting a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts to finish fourth in National League Cy Young Award voting. But he missed the entire 2014 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and his 2016 campaign was cut short by thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

Red Sox interested in Schwarber?
The Red Sox entered the offseason hoping to upgrade the middle of their lineup, and with the Yankees set to acquire slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the pressure has only increased.

Boston has long been connected to free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has made almost all of his big moves since taking over through trades.

According to ESPN's Scott Lauber, the Red Sox have shown interest in Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, who would add a much-needed left-handed bat to the middle of the order. Furthermore, Schwarber's defensive shortcomings could be masked at designated hitter.

Video: CHC@TB: Statcast™ measures Schwarber's 114.3-mph homer

The Red Sox only hit 168 home runs last season and finished last in the American League for the first time since 1993. Furthermore, their top two home run hitters last season -- Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez -- are both right-handed.

However, the Cubs are unlikely to move Schwarber, who is a favorite of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Even in a down year coming off a knee injury, Schwarber launched 30 home runs.

Blue Jays interested in Harrison
The Blue Jays are showing interest in Pirates utility player Josh Harrison, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Though they recently acquired Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals to bolster depth behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Devon Travis, each of whom missed significant time due to injury in 2017, the Jays appear to be looking for further depth up the middle.

Harrison, 30, was an All-Star for the second time in 2017, slashing .272/.339/.432 with a career-high 16 home runs in 128 games. His season ended when he broke his left hand after being hit by a pitch on Sept. 2. Harrison has one year and $10.25 million remaining on his contract, with club options for 2019 and '20.

Rockies interested in LoMo
The Rockies are showing interest in free-agent first baseman Logan Morrison, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, which could lead to some positional shuffling in Denver.

Colorado signed Ian Desmond to play first base last offseason at a price of $70 million over five years. That move did not start out as Rockies fans would have hoped, however, as Desmond needed surgery after he was hit in the left hand by a pitch during Spring Training and contributed only seven home runs in 95 games. Signing Morrison would likely move Desmond back to the outfield to replace Colorado mainstay Carlos Gonzalez, now a free agent.

Morrison, 30, broke out for a career-best 38 home runs for the Rays in 2017, and it's intriguing to picture his power transferring to Coors Field.

Morrison's home run surge came with a spike in strikeouts, too, but he and a healthy Desmond could improve the Rockies' offense after the club already made a run to the National League Wild Card Game.

Angels interested in CC
Now that the Angels acquired two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani to complement two-time MVP Mike Trout, they're expected to make a playoff run, and a veteran addition to the rotation could be their next move.

The Angels are showing interest in CC Sabathia, who has spent the last nine years with the Yankees, according to George A. King of the NY Post.

Born and raised in Vallejo, Calif., it would make sense for Sabathia to return to the West Coast if the Angels offered the right deal.

Video: Ohtani's impact on the Angels' offseason plans

Meanwhile, the Bronx Bombers could use a one-year deal around the $11 million range with Sabathia. Taking on $265 million for Stanton curbs New York's options at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

Sabathia went 14-5 in 2017 with a 3.69 ERA with 120 strikeouts and proved valuable in the Yankees' exciting and unexpected playoff run.

Giants seek power at hot corner
After an unsuccessful attempt in trading for Giancarlo Stanton, the Giants have turned their sights to a few power-hitting third basemen.

The club has reportedly begun focusing in on free agents Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier. The 29-year-old Moustakas hit a career-high 38 home runs for the Royals last season, while the 31-year-old Frazier hit 27 home runs for the White Sox and Yankees.

The Giants would pay a higher price for Moustakas, who is a qualifying offer recipient, so signing him would cost the Giants their second- and fifth-highest Draft picks in 2018 and $1 million in international bonus pool space.

The Giants were last in the Majors in home runs in 2017, hitting just 128. The second-lowest team, the Pirates, hit 151.

Cards, Gregerson agree on two-year deal
The Cardinals and free-agent reliever Luke Gregerson have agreed on a two-year, $11 million deal that includes a vesting option, according to a source. The deal is pending a physical.

The club has not confirmed the deal.

Gregerson, 33, struggled with the Astros in 2017, posting a 4.57 ERA and surrendering 13 home runs in 61 innings pitched. But the right-hander has a career 3.02 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 rate over nine MLB seasons.

Prior to joining the Astros in 2015, Gregerson had pitched five seasons for the Padres and one for the Athletics.

Marlins exploring trade options
The Marlins are continuing to explore ways to advance their rebuild and cut salary, after agreeing to trade National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees.

Although they did take on Starlin Castro and the $22 million he is owed in the deal, the Marlins are not in a hurry to flip the second baseman, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale. The Marlins believe Castro, who is coming off one of his best offensive seasons, has enough value that they can wait for the right offer.

Castro, 27, slashed .300/.338/.454 for the Yankees last season with 16 home runs. He was one of six second basemen with at least 450 plate appearances to hit .300, joining Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy, Jose Ramirez, DJ LeMahieu and Dee Gordon.

In addition to Castro, the Marlins are taking offers on All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who has two years of team control left. Ozuna set career-highs across the board in his age-26 season -- with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs, while hitting .312/.376/.548.

Video: MIA@ARI: Ozuna crushes two homers in Arizona

The Cardinals, who agreed to a trade with the Marlins for Stanton before the slugger vetoed the deal, "badly desire" Ozuna, according to Nightengale, so a deal could come together quickly. The Marlins are known to have interest in right-handers Jack Flaherty and Sandy Alcantara, who are the Cardinals' No. 3 and No. 9 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com, respectively.

St. Louis is also intrigued by Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, if Miami makes him available. Yelich slashed .282/.369/.439 last season -- with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases and has $44.5 million remaining on his contract, plus a 2022 team option.

Mets open to moving starting pitchers
The Mets have signaled to other teams that they are open to moving starting pitchers other than Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, sources tell Newsday's Marc Carig.

Adding a second baseman has been a priority for the Mets this offseason, so they could deal some of their starting-pitching depth for help at the keystone position -- similar to their 2015 swap of Jon Niese for Neil Walker.

Although Carig notes that the Mets haven't received much interest yet, they do have eight potential starting options for 2018. After Syndergaard and deGrom, the Mets could turn to Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo or Rafael Montero.

Harvey could be of particular interest, as he is entering his final year of team control before free agency and has an All-Star pedigree. Although he has battled injuries the past two seasons and posted a career-worst 6.70 ERA in 2017, he registered a sub-3.00 ERA as recently as '15.

Yankees open to moving Ellsbury, Headley
On the verge of acquiring Stanton, the Yankees are weighing trading some of their higher-priced veterans, including Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Shedding salary becomes even more important, as Stanton's $25 million average annual value on his contract would put the team even higher into the luxury tax. The Yankees reportedly tried to include Ellsbury and/or Headley in the Stanton trade to offset Stanton's salary, but Castro ended up in the deal instead.

Headley, 33, is entering the final year of his four-year contract and is due $13 million. He is currently slated to start at third base, but could be replaced by Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade or MLBPipeline.com Top 100 prospects Gleyber Torres (No. 1 organizational, No. 2 overall) or Miguel Andujar (No. 5 organizational, No. 92 overall).

Video: NYY@BAL: Headley belts a two-run shot to right-center

The switch-hitter slashed .273/.352/.406 last season -- a career-best in New York -- but was replaced at the hot corner toward the end of the season by current free agent Todd Frazier.

Ellsbury, meanwhile, could be far harder to trade, as he has three years and $63.4 million remaining on his contract -- with a $5 million buyout of a $21 million option -- and a full no-trade clause.

Earlier this offseason, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Aaron Hicks will be an everyday starter in 2018 -- leaving Ellsbury in a fourth-outfielder role. But Ellsbury reportedly wants to win the center-field job back.

Ellsbury was still productive in his age-33 season, as he stole at least 20 bases for the fifth straight year and reached base at a .348 clip, a four-year high. However, he has not shown much power lately -- with one season of double-digit home runs since 2012.

Mets in market for second baseman
The New York Mets are doing their due diligence in scouring the trade market as they look for an upgrade at second base for the 2018 season.

The Mets have checked in with the Tigers regarding the availability of Ian Kinsler, and with the Indians about Jason Kipnis, according to Carig. Carig also noted that the Mets could utilize the Winter Meetings to reach out to the Pirates about acquiring Josh Harrison.

Additionally, the New York Post's Mike Puma reports that the Mets plan to speak to the Marlins about Castro once the Stanton trade is made official.

The Mets "have had the most dialogue" with Detroit at this time about Kinsler, per Carig, but "there's skepticism" about a deal getting done.

Carig notes that the Mets could also consider moving Asdrubal Cabrera to second base and try to trade for a third baseman instead. However, second base remains the team's top priority.

Kinsler hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 139 games for the Tigers last season. Kipnis was limited to 90 games in 2017 because of shoulder and hamstring injuries, hitting just .232/.291/.414 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs for the Indians.

Harrison batted .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 128 games while earning his second All-Star nod for the Pirates last season.

Castro is coming off one of his best offensive seasons to date after slashing .300/.338/.454 with 16 home runs for the Yankees. He is due $22.7 million over the next two seasons and has a $16 million team option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.

Cubs pushing to land Cobb
The Cubs inked free-agent right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a three-year, $38 million deal on Thursday, but Chicago isn't done looking for starting pitching with two members of the club's 2017 rotation, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey, on the open market. According to Levine, the Cubs are continuing their push to land Alex Cobb.

Particularly with the Winter Meetings set to get underway on Sunday, Levine notes Chicago would like to sign the 30-year-old right-hander before other suitors potentially enter the picture.

Cobb pitched for Cubs manager Joe Maddon from 2011-14 while Maddon was managing the Rays, and rumors of a potential reunion have been out there for several weeks. New Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey was also Cobb's pitching coach for his entire career with Tampa Bay.

Cobb went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts for the Rays in 2017. In six MLB seasons, he has a 3.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

Video: BOS@TB: Cobb strikes out Bradley Jr. swinging

Brewers fielding calls on outfielders
Though the Giants lost out in the Stanton sweepstakes, they do not appear to have halted their pursuit of a power-hitting outfielder, and the club has reportedly shown interest in Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Milwaukee has fielded calls on multiple outfielders, per Rosenthal, though Santana could be the most coveted. With four years of club control remaining, he won't be arbitration-eligible until after next season. Ryan Braun, who has been linked to trade talks each of the last two seasons, is probably the least likely to be moved of Milwaukee's outfielders due to his no-trade clause via 10-and-5 rights. Center fielder Keon Broxton, the defensive standout of the trio, has five years of club control remaining.

Video: MIL@STL: Santana clobbers two-run shot for 30th homer

Santana, 25, took a major step forward in 2017 as a key cog in a powerful Brewers lineup. He slashed .278./371/.505 with 30 homers and 85 RBIs, both career highs. Due to his tremendous upside, as well as his club control, he would likely cost a significant return in any potential trade.

The Giants have been aggressive in their pursuit of outfield help this offseason. In addition to making the Marlins an offer for Stanton, San Francisco has also been linked to Andrew McCutchen, who has one year and $14.5 million left on his contract with the Pirates. The Giants finished 2017 with the fewest homers (128), lowest slugging percentage (.380), second-lowest on-base percentage (.309) and second-fewest runs scored (639) in the Majors.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Meetings musings: 7 not-so-crazy predictions

MLB.com @RichardJustice

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- You want crazy, don't you? Manny Machado to the Cardinals? Yeah, that would do it. How about Evan Longoria to the Giants? See, you're starting to get into the spirit of the thing.

If we can't throw a little caution to the wind, what's the point of gathering all these baseball people in one place?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- You want crazy, don't you? Manny Machado to the Cardinals? Yeah, that would do it. How about Evan Longoria to the Giants? See, you're starting to get into the spirit of the thing.

If we can't throw a little caution to the wind, what's the point of gathering all these baseball people in one place?

Hot Stove Tracker

Baseball writers have a long history -- a long history -- of nudging trade talks along. Sometimes they do this with helpful suggestions. Sometimes they pass along tidbits from the lobby that may or may not be true. That's the point of this column: to offer food for thought, to get a little crazy.

Here now on the eve of the Winter Meetings, we give you seven not-so-crazy predictions:

1. The Giants rebuild in a day

OK, make it two days. The dynamics are in place. That is, the will to upgrade and the availability of players. First, Lorenzo Cain is a perfect fit in center field. Or maybe J.D. Martinez in left.

Crazy would be signing both. Slightly less crazy would be grabbing Todd Frazier to play third. The Giants might not be completely fixed, but they would have taken a huge step in the right direction.

There's one another possibility. What if the Rays decide to deal Longoria? Do the Giants have the Minor League players to make that deal happen? Let's talk.

2. A Big Bird swap?

Let's begin by noting that there's absolutely no indication the O's are thinking of trading Machado, their best player. Instead, they seem committed to adding a couple of starting pitchers and keeping the band together for one more dance.

On the other hand, Machado is a year from free agency and teams have begun asking the O's about him. What if Baltimore gets an offer so good that it has to be discussed? The Cardinals seem intent on making a big trade to bolster their offense and have the Minor League depth to do such a deal with the Orioles. If the O's don't bite on this concept, the Cardinals are likely to make an aggressive play for Marlins All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

Video: Cubs' focus remains on adding pitching

3. The Cubs pay for a Price

David Price's first two years in Boston have been a bit uneven, as he's posted a good but not great 3.84 ERA and sparred with the media. On the other hand, he has a long, productive relationship with Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey. The Red Sox need a power hitter. The Cubs happen to have one in Kyle Schwarber who doesn't really have a position. The Cubs also happen to be shopping for a top-of-the rotation starter. Bingo. And this would have the added drama of Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein swinging a blockbuster with his old team.

4. Yanks get Cole in their stocking

You think the Yankees are going to stop now? Of course, this one would have to be different than the Giancarlo Stanton trade, as Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole is an elite arm with two years of arbitration remaining. The Bucs aren't doing this without getting elite prospects -- ideally close to the Majors -- in return. Lucky for the Yankees, they have plenty. The Yanks originally selected Cole in the first round of the 2008 Draft out of high school, but he chose to go to UCLA instead. Yankees GM Brian Cashman and scouting director Damon Oppenheimer were in their same roles then, so they would finally be getting their man, so to speak.

Video: After Stanton deal, Yanks could look at pitching

5. Milwaukee brews trade for an ace

The Brewers need a big arm. The Rays may be ready to trade Chris Archer in the right deal. Milwaukee's farm system is not baseball's deepest, but it may be deep enough to get this deal done. Last season convinced the Brewers they're not that far away from a return to the postseason.

6. Ian Kinsler to the Angels

After landing Shohei Ohtani in the coup of the offseason, the Angels need just one more piece, and Kinsler could be that. His former manager, Brad Ausmus, who happens to be one of his biggest fans, just joined the Angels' front office.

7. A Motown-Lonestar swap

After missing out on Ohtani, the Rangers need a high-end starting pitcher. Enter Michael Fulmer. Dealing the 24-year-old right-hander is not at the top of Detroit GM Alex Avila's to-do list. On the other hand, the Tigers are beginning a rebuild and the Rangers might just have the pieces to speed up that process. Fulmer is recovering from ulnar nerve surgery that ended his season a few weeks early, but he should be fine for Spring Training. He's also under team control through 2022, so he could command some serious prospects.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Cards, Gregerson agree to 2-year deal

Club expected to make more moves to replenish bullpen
MLB.com @LangoschMLB and @MannyOnMLB

ST. LOUIS -- In what is expected to be the first of multiple moves made to improve their bullpen, the Cardinals have a reached a two-year, $11 million agreement with free-agent reliever Luke Gregerson, MLB.com has confirmed.

The deal, which was first reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, includes a vesting option and is pending a physical. The club has not confirmed.

ST. LOUIS -- In what is expected to be the first of multiple moves made to improve their bullpen, the Cardinals have a reached a two-year, $11 million agreement with free-agent reliever Luke Gregerson, MLB.com has confirmed.

The deal, which was first reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, includes a vesting option and is pending a physical. The club has not confirmed.

After a quiet November, the Cardinals have now made a pair of free-agent signings in the days leading up to the Winter Meetings, which officially open in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Monday. Five days after signing starter Miles Mikolas to a two-year contract, the Cardinals reunited with a player they selected back in the 28th round of the 2006 MLB Draft.

Gregerson, however, never made it to the Majors with St. Louis. Instead, that debut came with the Padres, who acquired the right-hander as the player-to-be-named to complete a trade that brought Khalil Greene to the Cardinals.

Hot Stove Tracker

Gregerson spent five years with the Padres before pitching for the A's and Astros. He became a free agent after the 2017 season, which was the final year under the $18.5 million contract Gregerson signed with the Astros in December 2014.

Gregerson, 33, labored with Houston this past season, posting a 4.57 ERA and surrendering 13 home runs in 61 innings pitched. But the right-hander has a career 3.02 ERA and a 9.1 K/9 rate over nine MLB seasons. Gregerson saved 31 games for the Astros in 2015 and has averaged 69 appearances per season over his Major League career.

How the Cardinals plan to utilize Gregerson will be addressed by the club once the deal is finalized. The Cardinals are in the market for a closer, but Gregerson's 2017 struggles and limited closing experience suggest that he may not be an automatic pick to fill that vacancy.

General manager Michael Girsch stated previously that the Cardinals hope to add multiple relievers with big league experience before the 2018 season. The need to replenish the 'pen comes after the Cardinals lost four relievers -- Seung Hwan Oh, Zach Duke, Juan Nicasio and Trevor Rosenthal -- to free agency.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to her podcast.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals, Luke Gregerson

Winter Meetings wish list: FA, trade targets

MLB.com @jonmorosi

Shohei Ohtani is the first Japanese star to join the Angels in his prime, instantly transforming the franchise into a global brand while upgrading the rotation and lineup in a single move. Mike Trout, the best baseball player on the planet, has reason to believe his team can win the World Series.

Giancarlo Stanton, whose longing for championship contention and mass-market stardom went largely unrequited in Miami, is about to don one of the most famous sports uniforms in the world. With Aaron Judge, Stanton could join Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle as the only Major League teammates to each hit 50 or more home runs in the same season.

Shohei Ohtani is the first Japanese star to join the Angels in his prime, instantly transforming the franchise into a global brand while upgrading the rotation and lineup in a single move. Mike Trout, the best baseball player on the planet, has reason to believe his team can win the World Series.

Giancarlo Stanton, whose longing for championship contention and mass-market stardom went largely unrequited in Miami, is about to don one of the most famous sports uniforms in the world. With Aaron Judge, Stanton could join Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle as the only Major League teammates to each hit 50 or more home runs in the same season.

The whirlwind 24 hours left the industry gobsmacked. Legions of weary baseball professionals will shuffle toward airport check-in counters this weekend, wondering if the Winter Meetings' main menu can match the mind-boggling hors d'oeuvres.

The answer: Absolutely.

Although Ohtani and Stanton are the unquestioned stars of this winter's Hot Stove, they've shown their peers the courtesy of ceding center stage before the Meetings commence. With power brokers, deal-makers and the hardball punditry all under one roof in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the moment is ripe for major moves to unravel, each one linked to the other.

Here are the key free agents and trade candidates to watch over the coming week.

Free agents

J.D. Martinez, OF: With Stanton off the market, Martinez is the top power hitter available via free agency or trade. He hit 45 home runs this year, trailing only Stanton and Judge among all Major Leaguers. Martinez ranks third among all MLB outfielders in adjusted OPS over the past four years, behind Trout and Stanton. And thanks to a July trade to Arizona, he's familiar with the pitching in both leagues.

Likely suitors: The Red Sox and Giants.
While Martinez's outfield defense improved in Arizona due to better positioning, he is probably a better long-term fit for the American League. Boston needs power, after finishing at the bottom of the AL in home runs for only the second time since 1934. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski knows Martinez well from their time in Detroit. The Giants, rebuffed by Stanton, have an even greater need to add offense.

Video: Will the Red Sox be active at the Winter Meetings?

Mike Moustakas, 3B: Agent Scott Boras is adept at basing the valuation of a free agent on his unique production at the position, and Moustakas has given him plenty of material: His 38 home runs were the most of any full-time third baseman in the Majors this year, and he did so in his age-28 season. While he's older than Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, who will become free agents in the near future, Moustakas is younger than trade candidates Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson.

Likely suitors: The Angels and Giants.
Ohtani was the perfect addition in so many ways, one of which was the minimal acquisition cost. Ohtani's presence doesn't preclude Angels general manager Billy Eppler from signing Moustakas; if anything, the circumstances make the move more logical. While Ohtani wields a powerful left-handed bat, he can't be an everyday presence there because of pitching obligations. Moustakas has no such limitation and would be a significant upgrade over incumbent Luis Valbuena. The Giants, desperate to add power and without a concrete plan at third base, are another possible fit.

Video: Moustakas earns AL Comeback Player of Year Award

Jake Arrieta, RHP: To many baseball observers, Yu Darvish's postseason struggles solidified Arrieta's place as the top free-agent pitcher this offseason -- at least, with the exception of Ohtani. While Arrieta's Fielding Independent Pitching has declined in each of the past three seasons, his 2.71 ERA since 2015 is second only to Clayton Kershaw among MLB pitchers who've thrown 500 innings or more in that span.

Likely suitors: The Brewers and Twins.
Milwaukee's robust fan support has sustained $100 million payrolls in the past, and a general lack of onerous contracts means GM David Stearns can spend strategically. Arrieta would fill the rotation spot once occupied by the injured Jimmy Nelson -- and remove a former Cy Young Award winner from the division-rival Cubs. The Twins, meanwhile, are encouraged by this year's Wild Card berth and realize they are one quality starter away from more seriously challenging the Indians.

Video: Arrieta stands tall as front-line free agent starter

Eric Hosmer, 1B: It's odd to hear analysts suggest Hosmer's value is based largely on intangibles. He may not be a prototypical slugging first baseman, but the numbers are there: He posted a career-best .882 OPS this year and hit 25 home runs in each of the past two seasons, to go along with the elite defense for which he's best known. And, yes, his magnetic personality and winning reputation will matter to teams that are increasingly aware of the impact that clubhouse culture has on winning.

Likely suitors: The Cardinals and Red Sox.
Infield defense has been a concern in St. Louis for far too long. Hosmer is a four-time Gold Glove winner whose range and wingspan have improved the play of Royals teammates throughout his career. Based on the money they had earmarked for a potential Stanton acquisition, the Cardinals have plenty of resources to sign Hosmer and make one or two more major moves. The Red Sox may be the best fit of all, if they are unable to land Martinez.

Video: Hosmer enters free agency at top of first-base crop

Wade Davis, closer: One year after Mark Melancon, Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman took turns setting records for closer contracts, Davis awaits his payday. Davis's FIP over the past four seasons was slightly better than that of Melancon's during a similar span before he signed with the Giants for $62 million over four years. Davis is likely seeking a similar package.

Likely suitors: The Rockies and Cardinals.
Even with a youthful rotation, Colorado must maximize its opportunity to win now. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu are eligible for free agency after the upcoming season, and Arenado the year after that. With Greg Holland, Pat Neshek and Jake McGee all free agents now, the Rockies must rebuild a bullpen that helped them navigate often-frenetic games at Coors Field in 2017. The Cardinals have been active on the trade market for closers -- Tampa Bay's Alex Colome, most notably -- but they could apply some of their Stanton money to Davis, as well.

Video: Davis headlines free-agent relievers market

Trade candidates

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates: Turns out, the chances of a McCutchen trade were over-hyped last offseason and under-hyped this time. That should change, now that the Stanton agreement has opened up bandwidth for chatter across the industry. McCutchen, 31, is coming off a quietly strong season in which he posted an .849 OPS, and Pirates officials have done little to downplay reports that he is available on the trade market.

Likely suitors: After their tedious and ultimately unfulfilling courtship of Stanton, the Giants would welcome a simpler trade negotiation. Enter McCutchen, who is signed for one more season at $14.5 million and does not have a no-trade clause. The Giants' outfield situation is so fluid that the uncertainty over McCutchen's optimal role -- center field or a corner -- is not problematic. One word of caution: McCutchen's .818 OPS at AT&T Park, albeit in only 120 plate appearances, is below his overall career mark. The Blue Jays have had interest in McCutchen previously and remain a good fit, especially given the organization's short-term focus.

Video: Justice on McCutchen being possible target for Giants

Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins: The Marlins will save money by trading Stanton to the Yankees, but they have yet to restock their depleted farm system -- the other half of their offseason checklist. They should be able to achieve that by moving Yelich, who's proven that he can hit 20-plus home runs while playing a smooth center field. He's under control through 2022 on a very reasonable contract.

Likely suitors: The Giants and Cardinals, naturally. The Marlins had extensive talks with both clubs regarding Stanton, and so it shouldn't be too challenging to resume the conversations -- if that hasn't happened already. The Cardinals have the top-level pitching prospects the Marlins need.

Video: Must C Combo: Yelich hits and robs a home run

Chris Archer, RHP, Rays: Archer is a prime change-of-scenery candidate. His ERA has surpassed 4.00 in each of the last two seasons, but his FIP suggests he's been unlucky. And he's demonstrated his durability as one of only five MLB pitchers to surpass 200 innings in each of the last three seasons. His performance likely would improve away from the AL East.

Likely suitors: The Cubs are a natural fit, given Archer's familiarity with new Chicago pitching coach Jim Hickey. But if the Cubs address their rotation need by signing Alex Cobb, then the Twins could emerge as a top suitor for Archer. As long as the prospect price isn't too steep, the Twins would rather have Archer on a club-friendly deal through 2021 than pay the market price for Arrieta or Darvish.

Video: TOR@TB: Archer strikes out 10 in six strong frames

Longoria, 3B, Rays, and Machado, 3B, Orioles: The attainability of Longoria and Machado will be a key storyline early in the Winter Meetings. The Orioles have had preliminary dialogue with teams on Machado, but their true motivation to move him remains unknown, entering the final year of contracts for GM Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter, center fielder Adam Jones and Machado himself. Longoria is more readily available than Machado, given the Rays' economic circumstances. Longoria's reliability is one key attribute: He has played 798 games over the past five seasons, the most in the Majors during that span.

Likely suitors: The Cardinals and Giants. Sense a theme? Both teams could upgrade at third base, for many of the same reasons they pursued Stanton. (The Cardinals and Rays have been engaged in talks on Colome, so it wouldn't be a surprise if they reached a larger deal that involved Longoria, too.) The Phillies also are a fit for Machado or Longoria, because they possess the most flexible payroll of any MLB team and are ready to begin adding veteran talent.

Video: BAL@NYY: Machado clobbers a 470-foot homer to center

Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers: Detroit remains in the early stages of its rebuild, with burdensome contracts still weighing down the payroll. Kinsler, though, is priced to move. He has only one year and $11 million left on his contract. And while he does have a no-trade clause that permits him to block deals to 10 teams, he'd likely welcome the opportunity to play on a contender at age 35.

Likely suitors: The Mets have shown interest in Kinsler, who would bring much-needed experience to an infield that could include shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith. The Angels and Brewers reportedly have pursued trades for Kinsler in the past, but it's not clear if either team is actively discussing proposals with the Tigers now.

Video: MIN@DET: Kinsler launches a two-run homer to left

Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feeney remembered at leadership symposium

MLB preserves executive's legacy, aims to create more opportunities for women
MLB.com @RichardJustice

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Katy Feeney blazed a quiet trail in baseball, opening doors, breaking barriers. She did this in the most basic of ways. By doing her job well. By treating others with respect.

She left an enduring legacy of kindness and charity, and her death last April at 68 left a gaping hole in the souls of the hundreds of people she touched during a lifetime in the sport.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Katy Feeney blazed a quiet trail in baseball, opening doors, breaking barriers. She did this in the most basic of ways. By doing her job well. By treating others with respect.

She left an enduring legacy of kindness and charity, and her death last April at 68 left a gaping hole in the souls of the hundreds of people she touched during a lifetime in the sport.

"I still find myself picking up the phone to call her," her brother, Stoney Feeney, said Sunday. "What would Katy do?"

He told that story to a gathering of female executives from Major League Baseball and its teams during the first Katharine Feeney Leadership Symposium.

Amid a mixture of tears and laughter, some of the people who knew Katy best began an effort to preserve her legacy and to create more opportunities for women in the sport.

They did this by discussing their own experiences and listening to others. In this way, they were reminded that they do not walk their walk alone.

"We wake up everyday with news of horrible events regarding women's experiences in the workplace," said Dan Halem, MLB Deputy Commissioner and chief legal officer. "It's more important than ever that we have events like this to both empower women and meet each other and provide resources that will help you advance.

"Katy cared deeply about the role of women in baseball. She was one of the pioneers. She didn't really talk about that or trumpet that. She was more concerned each and every day with mentoring and helping other women achieve her level."

Representatives of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Executive Education did seminars on team building and inclusion in the workplace. And from all that, the hope is that these women will serve as sounding boards and role models for a new generation of women in baseball.

"What I hope this does is send a message to the rest of the industry how much the Commissioner values the role of women in baseball," said Jean Afterman, Yankees' senior vice president and assistant general manager.

"I've exchanged emails with most of all of these women," Afterman said. "Now knowing each other personally will make us stronger as a group. I hope we can learn from each other and go back perhaps more empowered and have more of a sense of community among all of us."

Katy's dad, Chub Feeney, was president of the National League from 1970-86 and an executive with the San Francisco Giants from 1946-70. His grandfather, Charles Stoneham, and great uncle, Horace Stoneham, owned the Giants for almost 60 years.

"Our dad's office was Candlestick Park," said John Feeney, another of Katy's brothers.

Katy Feeney's primary responsibilities at MLB were to help formulate the regular-season schedule and to coordinate some of the logistics at big events.

Beyond that, though, she and her best friend, Phyllis Merhige, another retired former MLB executive, did their jobs with such grace and efficiency that gender simply was not an issue.

"Katy was the strong, silent leader," said Kim Ng, MLB senior vice president for baseball operations. "I knew her for 25 years. She was never one to put herself out there in a very public way.

"But I think by the mere fact that she was out there among hundreds of guys during our jewel events, and be as professional as one would expect, she was always a great example of a woman doing extraordinarily well in this business."

And this event, Ng said, came at a particularly poignant time in the history of this country.

"It's long overdue," Ng said. "We're in 2017, and with some of the issues we've seen come to light in recent days, it's even more important for women to get together and be able to learn and feel empowered in their careers.

"A lot of these things are things that guys just don't realize until they experience it by our sides or by sitting across from us. I hope something all these women, including myself, get out of this is that there is this entire network of leaders out there in baseball that have experienced each other's pain in a lot of ways. It's empowering to hear how they deal with it."

For some, like Kathy Killian, Phillies vice president of human resources, simply meeting Ng, a groundbreaking executive in her own right, was inspiring.

"She's one of the most amazing superstars in baseball," Killian said. "To be able to share stories and connect with other women is one of the coolest things about this, and I hope it will continue. It's such an honor to be in this room."

At a time when the challenges women face in every industry have never been more clear, these women shared a common pride that baseball is committed to fair play and opportunity for all.

"A lot of brave and courageous women are really sharing some of the things they've experienced on a daily basis working in a male-dominated industry," said Ellen Hill Zeringue, Tigers' vice president of marketing. "I'm extraordinarily hopeful because this type of a seminar, this type of a gathering of women, proves that Major League Baseball is committed to helping women be a larger voice in baseball.

"There are women here from baseball operations, from HR, from marketing. There are women here from park operations. It's really exciting for me to see all the different women in all the different roles they play in making baseball the great game that it is. Hopefully, this symposium will mean there'll be many, many more Katy Feeneys in the world."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton deal doesn't signal big-spending Yanks

NY's push to go young, reshape roster made deal financially feasible
MLB.com @feinsand

We've all heard that these aren't your father's Yankees anymore. That's been the narrative around this current incarnation of the Bronx Bombers as they've worked through an effective rebuild focused on youth, athleticism and homegrown talent.

On Saturday morning, the Yankees reminded the baseball world that some things never change. The swift, shocking decision to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins was a move that would have made George Steinbrenner proud.

We've all heard that these aren't your father's Yankees anymore. That's been the narrative around this current incarnation of the Bronx Bombers as they've worked through an effective rebuild focused on youth, athleticism and homegrown talent.

On Saturday morning, the Yankees reminded the baseball world that some things never change. The swift, shocking decision to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins was a move that would have made George Steinbrenner proud.

Hot Stove Tracker

No reason to let Aaron Judge's presence in right field stop you from adding the only guy who hit more homers than he did last year, not when the price was Starlin Castro and a couple of B-level prospects.

The Yankees have created a modern-day Murderers' Row, giving new manager Aaron Boone the most power-packed lineup in the game with Judge, Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird filling the Nos. 2-6 spots in the lineup.

Stanton, Judge, Sanchez and Gregorius combined for 169 home runs last season. The Red Sox -- all of them -- hit 168.

The Baby Bombers are no more. The Bronx Bombers are back.

Video: Frisaro on how Marlins, Yanks developed Stanton trade

The Yankees have tried to get away from simply being the team that can out-spend everybody else, but the Stanton acquisition is a not-so-gentle reminder that when it comes to financial wherewithal, they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Still, don't mistake Saturday's move as a concession by Hal Steinbrenner that the Yankees will blow past the luxury-tax threshold. They did that in 2014 when they signed Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, but this is different. That team had numerous holes that needed to be filled for the Yankees to fancy themselves a contender. This one does not.

How will Stanton look at Yankee Stadium?

Second base is the only position of uncertainty, though general manager Brian Cashman has already stated publicly that Gleyber Torres -- the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 2 overall prospect in the Minors, according to MLBPipeline.com -- will have a chance to win a job this spring. If he's not quite ready, Ronald Torreyes or Tyler Wade can keep the position warm until Torres' arrival.

Beyond that, the rotation has one opening, though it's widely assumed that CC Sabathia will return to the Bronx for at least one more season. Following the Game 7 American League Championship Series loss in Houston, Sabathia spoke of coming back to finish the job. Now that they've added Stanton to an already potent lineup, why wouldn't he want to come back?

Video: After Stanton deal, Yanks could look at pitching

The bullpen? Loaded. Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green and Adam Warren all return for another season, so there's no heavy lifting to be done in that area.

As for the payroll math, the Yankees now have about $123 million guaranteed to seven players (Stanton, Tanaka, Ellsbury, Chapman, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner and Robertson), plus a projected $35-40 million that will go to their eight arbitration-eligible players. Add in $6-7 million for the 0-3 service guys -- there are a whopping 10 of them, which is why this all works out for the Yankees -- and you're looking at about $170 million before paying Sabathia or another starter. Things can and do change, but that's a rough estimate.

DYK: Stanton, Judge facts and figures

As old-Yankees as the Stanton move appears on the surface, it was far from it. Hal Steinbrenner is a measured businessman, always looking for the best opportunity to improve the club without being reckless. He's made it clear that getting under that threshold is a priority, and with about $80 million dropping off the payroll this offseason, 2018 is the best opportunity for that to happen. It's difficult to believe that he would have approved such a move if it would have pushed his team past the $197 million threshold.

Video: Yankees reportedly owe most of Stanton's contract

Likewise, the Yankees would not have been involved in a bidding war for Stanton, sacrificing the upper echelon of their prized farm system, even for the reigning National League MVP. But once Stanton rejected proposed trades to both the Giants and Cardinals -- and it became known that the Yankees were one of four teams to which he would reportedly accept a trade -- the Marlins had very little leverage and the Yankees knew it.

The Dodgers were hesitant to add Stanton's contract to their hefty payroll, while the Astros and Cubs never seemed to engage in any serious manner with the Marlins. That left the Yankees seizing an opportunity to acquire Stanton.

Gary Denbo, Miami's vice president of player development and scouting, certainly had a good feel for the Yankees' prospects following his recent stint running their Minor League system, but for the Yankees, holding on to the likes of Torres, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield and Estevan Florial was crucial.

The Marlins thought they needed to get rid of as much of the $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract, even if it meant taking back lesser prospects.

Thanks to their work over the past few years to reshape and rebuild their roster, that money wasn't an issue for the Yankees, even as they strive for financial responsibility.

These are not your father's Yankees. Even they would be envious of this move.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton