The MLB hot stove gets all the cooks in the same kitchen this coming Sunday as the MLB Winter Meetings begin in Las Vegas.
There are plenty of things that will be discussed: Free agents, trades, all-stars on the move? How will teams counter moves that other teams inside their division have made since the offseason began?
Here’s five things you need to look for as the 2018 Winter Meetings begin.
Are the Phillies going to make a “big splash?”
One of the more fascinating story lines between the end of the World Series and December has been the discussion of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are looking to make a big splash after it seems that they’ve seen their rebuild be ahead of schedule. Could they get Bryce Harper or Manny Machado? They seem pretty confident that they can turn the corner and in a National League that looks to be in transition, the time might be ready to strike and go after the NL pennant.
Is Jerry done trading?
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has had a pretty busy offseason. The Mariners are in the phase of tearing down everything they’ve attempted to build anew. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen Robinson Cano, Jean Segura and James Paxton leave Seattle but who else is headed outt? Are Kyle Seager and/or Mitch Haniger next? Could be an interesting few days in Vegas.
Bryce Harper will be a ....
That is the the $400 Million Dollar question that could be answered in the next few days. It has to be right? The MLB world is descending upon Las Vegas, and guess who lives there? Bryce Harper. Nationals owner Mark Lerner has even said he doesn’t expect Harper to return to the club.
So now the question is where will he go? You can never count out the New York Yankees, who are motivated to close the distance between them and their arch rivals (and World Series champions) Boston Red Sox. Then you’ve got the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, deep-pocketed teams that have playoff aspirations. The Dodgers might have interest but have denied any meeting have taken place with the superstar slugger.
Hopefully, there will be a end to the Harper sweepstakes soon.
JT Realmuto on the move?
While there’s plenty of talk about free-agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, there’s a player sure to be highlight of many trade discussions, Miami catcher JT Realmuto.
Realmuto has made it clear he wants out of Miami but moving him might be difficult. They control his rights for two more seasons and there just aren’t that many good hitting catchers. The Mets, Rockies, Braves and Dodgers look to be showing some interest so the price might be right for the Marlins to make a move.
What will the Cubs and Yankees do?
The Yankees in the last postseasons
2017: ALCS loss to the Houston Astros
2018: ALDS loss to the Boston Red Sox
The Cubs in the last two postseasons
2017: NLCS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers
2018: NL wild card loss to the Colorado Rockies
To say the 2019 season is important for the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs is an understatement. These teams have been close but not quite able to get to the World Series the last couple of years.
They’re teams that can win now and have the cash to get whoever they want. That combination, combined with a feeling that they need to do something big, could make these teams very active this week.