Despite signing Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers could entertain several trade options, including the long-speculated deal for right-hander Corbin Burns and/or Willie Adams.
Burns will help fill a void in the Dodgers rotation, and Adams will give them a defensive upgrade at shortstop over Kevin Lucks. A native of Kenosha, Wi., Lux could return to the Brewers in a trade to become the team’s second baseman, with Bryce Durang moving to shortstop.
Another possibility for the Dodgers looking for a right-handed utility/outfield bat: Reuniting with free agent Kike Hernandez, who underwent double hernia surgery on Oct. 24 but should be ready for spring training.
• The Reds’ interest in a one-year trade option like Rays righty Tyler Glasnow depends on how they see themselves in 2024.
The NL Central is one of the weakest divisions in the game, and the Reds competed well last season, finishing 82-80 and missing a wild-card berth by two games. But as the younger players mature, the team’s best chance to compete in 2025 and beyond will make a controllable starting game a higher priority.
The problem, at least from a trade perspective, is that the Reds aren’t willing to meet the White Sox’s price for righty Dylann Seaz, who will be in control for two more seasons. The Reds prefer their young talent, though like the Orioles, their depth is enough to cost them some players in trades.
• Some in the industry interpreted the Braves’ trade with the Mariners for outfielder Jared Kelenic, lefty Marco Gonzalez and first baseman Evan White as a possible precursor to a cease-fire deal, but the two did not appear to be connected.
Gonzalez, in theory, could have helped fill a hole in the White Sox’s rotation, but the Braves traded him to the Pirates on Tuesday night. The White Sox are familiar with Kelenik from his scouting days at Waukesha West (Wy.) High. But now that Kelenic has been traded twice, some clubs are questioning whether he’ll ever fulfill the potential he showed as the 6th overall pick in the 2018 draft.
However, the Braves still have Kelenic, a 24-year-old left-hander and under club control for five more seasons. Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said Kelenik is the only position player he has targeted this offseason.
• Free-agent left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has met in person with several clubs in meetings, and those clubs have made offers or outlined the parameters of a deal, according to the pitcher’s agent, Jean Matto.
Mato said the plan now is to “take a breather,” weigh potential matches and continue to engage with those specific clubs. Athlete Jim Bowden signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $90 million contract. MLB Trade Rumors Predicted Four years, $82 million.
• Free agent Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 28, is a hot commodity, with the Marlins and Brewers showing interest. Given his age and versatility, a multi-year deal is within reach.
After a trying season as the Yankees’ shortstop in 2022, Kiner-Falefa reinvented himself as a super utility man last season, playing the outfield for the first time in the majors, including 29 starts, 28 appearances and four in center. on the right. His previous experience in the outfield was just 10 combined games in the minors from 2015-17.
• Three men who once worked closely together — president of baseball operations David Stearns, Cubs manager Craig Counsell and Brewers manager Pat Murphy — were all on the same flight from Milwaukee to Nashville Sunday night.
While the situation screams “bad,” it’s really anything but. All three maintain a strong relationship. With a reunion with the Mets unlikely, Stearns spoke highly of Counsel. Murphy was Council’s bench coach with the Brewers and college coach at Norte Dame.
All three will now be National League contenders.
• Finally, could Red Sox manager Alex Cora be a councilor next year?
Cora is not signed beyond this season and will work under new president of baseball operations Craig Breslow. Cora’s condition was asked by reporters at Tuesday’s briefings.
“I’m very comfortable with it,” Cora said. “At the end of the day if (Cora’s wife) Angelica is happy, the boys are happy and my daughter is happy, I think we’re good.
“I understand how it works. I know there’s something we’re going to discuss. We’re going to talk with time, but I don’t think I’m selfish right now. I think the most important thing right now is to make this team better.
(Top photo of Corbin Burns: Justin Pearl/Getty Images)