Hot Stove rumblings: Swanson, Mets catchers, more

December 16th, 2022

Nobody would argue that was the biggest winner after signing his 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants this week, but Correa wasn’t the only one celebrating that night.

With Correa, and signing free-agent deals worth a combined $930 million, stands to cash in when he becomes the fourth star shortstop to sign a deal this offseason.

Swanson is the lone unsigned player from this year’s four-man shortstop sweepstakes, and with no fewer than six teams still in the market for a marquee player at the position, he has left himself in an enviable position.

The Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Twins and Cardinals all remain in the shortstop market, while the Braves can’t be counted out when it comes to retaining Swanson.

Swanson isn’t expected to approach the contracts signed by the other three, but the idea of him matching or even exceeding the seven years and $175 million  signed for with the Rangers last year is certainly in play.

“I would have said no a month ago,” one American League executive said. “But with the money out there, who knows?”

“I think I would lean Swanson slightly,” another AL executive said. “Aging curve factors in and he is younger [than Semien was when he signed].”

Add a National League executive: “He’ll probably get more because he’s the last one standing.”

On the move?
The Mets’ signing of Omar Narváez leaves New York with a glut of catching, opening the door for a trade between now and Opening Day.

Narváez joins Tomás Nido and Francisco Álvarez, MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect, as catchers on the Mets' 40-man roster.

Álvarez, who turned 21 last month, could begin 2023 as the Mets’ designated hitter, though it seems more likely that he will open the season at Triple-A to get more time behind the plate.

Narváez gives the Mets their best offensive option at catcher, as McCann -- who signed a four-year, $40.6 million deal two years ago -- struggled at the plate in 2021 (.643 OPS in 121 games) and hit even less (.538) while playing in only 61 games in 2022.

According to a source, the Mets could make McCann available to other teams, though with two years and $24 million remaining on his contract -- $2 million more annually than Christian Vázquez just signed for with Minnesota -- New York would likely need to pay down part of the contract to trade him. The Mets could try attaching a prospect to McCann in order to move him.

Nido does not have any Minor League options remaining, so the Mets would be forced to carry all three catchers or designate either McCann or Nido for assignment if they don’t move one of them between now and Opening Day.

Hot stove rumblings
• The Blue Jays were open to trading catcher Danny Jansen for a starting pitcher prior to their signing of Chris Bassitt, but now that’s not a certainty, according to a source.

With the top free-agent catchers off the market and Sean Murphy dealt to Atlanta, Toronto is the ideal trade partner for a catching-needy team. But the Blue Jays aren’t likely to force a deal for the sake of making one.

Toronto could carry Jansen, and  on the roster, giving Kirk a number of at-bats as the DH. Moreno can also start the season at Triple-A if the Blue Jays don’t find a deal to their liking.

• The Rangers continue to search for a left-handed-hitting left fielder, with  a potential fit.