Hot Stove talk: Who signs first, Arrieta or Darvish?

Duquette answers questions about NY's infield, possible Braves moves, more

February 2nd, 2018

To provide some clarity on the current offseason, analyst Jim Duquette fielded fans' Hot Stove questions on Twitter at @Jim_Duquette on Friday.
Check out the best of the best below. (Questions have been edited for clarity.)
Who do you think will sign first, or?
-- @BigA_place2b

Teams have seemingly been more aggressive with Darvish, with as many as six teams pursuing him. The market for Arrieta, however, has been relatively quiet, possibly because his asking price was rumored to be near the level of Zack Greinke's deal with the D-backs in December 2015 (six years, $206.5 million). Darvish seems to be the linchpin in the market and likely will sign first, with Arrieta, Cobb, Lynn and others to follow.

What should the Mets do with their current hole at second base? Is movingthere an option, or would you leave him at third?
-- @PogoStickFred1

I think moving Cabrera has always been an option for the Mets if they could sign Mike Moustakas, or to play third base. But I wouldn't be surprised if they pieced together the second-base position with , and (when he recovers from Tommy John surgery) and used the savings to sign a starter such as , Alex Cobb or . An innings-eater would help alleviate some of the health concerns surrounding the Mets' rotation. If the Mets don't sign a starter or third baseman, they likely will keep Cabrera at the hot corner and look to add free agent or trade for Josh Harrison to fill their second-base spot.

If you were Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, what free agent would you sign to add some power to the lineup?
-- @maclee31

I think Anthopoulos is still assessing what he has in the organization, but I'd like to see them add an experienced third baseman in Frazier to help the young players continue to develop, then put their efforts into signing a premium bat such as Manny Machado or next offseason. The future is bright for Ronald Acuna, and I wouldn't be surprised if he pushes his way onto the roster in April to give the club another significant offensive asset. However, I'd be cautious on the 2018 expectations for him because of his youth.
Any chance the Phillies make a play for a starting pitcher?
-- @EricDavies01

The Phillies are in the envious position of having a lot of money to spend without much salary committed for 2018 and beyond. They still view this year as a rebuild, but this market may present an opportunity for them to expedite the process by adding a difference-making free agent. Philadelphia is rumored to have explored Arrieta, as Phillies president Andy MacPhail and general manager Mike Klentak are very familiar with him from their Orioles days. He would help stabilize a young inexperienced staff, much like did when he joined the Cubs before the 2015 season.
Do you think the Cardinals will make any significant moves before the season starts? I would think that with this market, they might be able to get a bargain on someone.
-- @CardinalWay1

The Cardinals' front office continues to monitor the market. While most of their heavy lifting was done when they traded for and signed Luke Gregerson to a two-year, $11 million deal, I think they still need a proven closer. Adding Greg Holland makes sense, especially after watching the back end of the Cardinals' bullpen struggle in 2017. The market has softened for closers, pointing toward a potential bargain for St. Louis.