LAS VEGAS -- The Winter Meetings are more than halfway over, and Andrew McCutchen's contract with the Phillies remains the lone major transaction since the baseball industry gathered at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Monday.For the event to equal the week's glitzy venue, general managers will need to
LAS VEGAS -- The Winter Meetings are more than halfway over, and Andrew McCutchen's contract with the Phillies remains the lone major transaction since the baseball industry gathered at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Monday.
For the event to equal the week's glitzy venue, general managers will need to act quickly -- and boldly.
With that in mind, here are five moves that could be completed before the proceedings conclude Thursday.
J.T. Realmuto traded to the Mets
While sources indicate a three-team deal involving the Mets, Yankees and Marlins is highly unlikely to occur, the Mets continue to aggressively pursue a Realmuto trade.
The Mets appear determined to acquire a catcher before the start of 2019, whether Realmuto or a free agent such as Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos. But the Mets possess young Major Leaguers who appeal to the Marlins, such as Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario, and the addition of Realmuto would fit with the aggressive tenor of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen's first offseason leading the Mets.
Madison Bumgarner traded to the Brewers
The Brewers' pitching staff relied on youth and creativity to come within one victory of the World Series this past season. Through its offseason pursuits, the team is acknowledging -- if subtly -- that a different formula may be required in 2019.
The Brewers have spoken with the Indians about Corey Kluber and the Giants regarding Bumgarner. Milwaukee's chances of landing Bumgarner are perhaps better than any other team, because of its depth among young pitchers and position players.
Craig Kimbrel signs with the Phillies
The McCutchen contract is only the start of the Phillies' offseason spending. While the Phillies have been linked extensively to Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, one of their most pressing needs is at closer.
Kimbrel, 30, has the best adjusted ERA of any pitcher in baseball this decade, among those who have thrown at least 400 innings. Perhaps that is the rationale for Kimbrel's reported request of a six-year deal. A more plausible outcome is a four-year contract that surpasses Wade Davis' $17.3 million average annual value, a record among closers.
Corey Kluber traded to the Dodgers
The Indians' willingness to trade an elite pitcher has not diminished, sources say, and Kluber is drawing the most widespread interest. Amid concerns over Kluber's workload, National League teams are expected to value him most highly.
The Dodgers have had conversations with the Indians and match up well with Cleveland's needs. Alex Verdugo, a 22-year-old center fielder, could be the key player the Indians obtain in the deal.
Yasiel Puig traded to the Indians
If Kluber joins Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler at Dodger Stadium, Puig could replace (or join) Verdugo in the package of players heading to Cleveland. The Dodgers are actively trying to move Puig and/or Matt Kemp, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
The Dodgers' conversations this offseason suggest they're confronting the reality that they must trade at least one outfielder in order to rebalance their roster. Puig, the subject of perpetual trade rumors during his time in Los Angeles, might finally be on the move as he enters his final season before free agency.
Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network.