MLB Rumors: Aaron Judge Meeting With Giants; Yankees check in Jacob deGrom

While it’s possible to see a bit of a flurry of movement here in Major League Baseball’s offseason, Thanksgiving is a few days away, and that means it’s likely to be a slow week. Still, very few free agents have signed, and most of the big names rumored to be on the trading bloc have yet to be covered. That means we’re sure to see a lot of rumors this week.

Let’s recap the rumors for Monday November 21st.

Richter meets with Giants

Outfielder Aaron Judge has arrived in San Francisco and is expected to meet with the Giants this week. according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Judge, of course, was ranked by CBS Sports as the best free agent available this offseason. Here’s what we wrote back then:

Here is the most menacing judge this side of Cormac McCarthy’s oeuvre. It may not matter what men think of WAR, but Judge has amassed more of it during the pandemic era than any other player except Shohei Ohtani, according to Baseball-Reference calculations. How could he not have that? He hits average; he goes; he lashes out for power (obscure fact: he broke the American League home run record for one season); and he has one of the stronger outfield arms in the majors. The Yankees even used him at center for most of the season, a nod to his athleticism. The hits against Judge remain the same as in the spring, when he turned down a $213.5 million seven-year extension offer: 1) he’s on the wrong side of 30 (he’ll be 31 in April) and 2) he’s had his share of injuries. So the most important number on Judge’s stat sheet might not be 62 but 152, or his average number of games he’s played in the last two years.

Meeting doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but industry insiders widely expected the Giants to be among the best potential candidates for the judgeship. We’ll see if anything advances further between the sides.

Yankees check in at deGrom?

The Yankees have requested medical information on Jacob deGrom, according to SNY, though the report comes with the caveat that it doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees will go after deGrom freely. It seems like this is just a due diligence request.

The Yankees’ top priority this offseason remains the return of Aaron Judge. Until then, they will likely continue to work on contingency plans that they hope will not be needed.

The 34-year-old DeGrom has been one of baseball’s best pitchers since his debut in 2014, and as of early 2018 he’s been incredibly good (2.05 ERA, .87 WHIP, 876 K, 645 1/3 IP) but has arm injuries kept him together for 26 starts over the last two seasons.

In addition to meadsthe brave and ranger were also mentioned as deGrom suitors. I’ll add those speculatively dodgersto.

Bellinger wants a one-year contract

Given that he’s a former MVP and only 27 years old, it might surprise some to learn that Cody Bellinger is targeting a one-year free agency deal. That’s exactly the case reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athleticciting Bellinger’s agent Scott Boras.

“I’ve been offered several years,” Boras said. “Most likely we don’t want a perennial because of his age.”

The rationale for this is that Bellinger and Boras believe the shoulder injury lasted from 2020 to 2021 and even affected his performance into 2022. They want a one-year contract to rebuild value before hitting free agency for a big payday on a long-term contract, then.

It’s been quite a ride for Bellinger. He won MVP in 2019 with the Dodgers and then played through a severed shoulder for part of 2020. He underwent surgery in November of that year to fix it. He then went on to hit .165/.240/.302 in 95 games in 2021 and .210/.265/.389 in 144 games last season. The Dodgers didn’t offer him Friday and sent him to free hands.

A lot of interest in Bellinger has already been reported. Even though the Dodgers didn’t want to keep him — which superficially looks like it should be a red flag — he’s a plus midfield defender who can also handle first base. He also directs the bases well, and even if he doesn’t hit, he could be useful for many teams. He’s also not far from hitting .305/.406/.629 with 47 homers and 115 RBI in his MVP campaign.

That blue jay are among the teams that have shown interest in Bellinger, reports Jon Morosi of That Boys are another team associated with Bellinger, via The Athletic.

Three teams are interested in Haniger

Free-agent outfielder Mitch Haniger has spent most of his big-league career with the sailors and a return there remains a possibility. But there are other applicants. the dodgers, Angel and Rangers are in talks with Haniger, to Morosi.

Haniger will turn 32 next season and has shown great offensive advantages when he’s been able to stay on the field. He had 39 home runs and 100 RBI in 2021 and he has 126 OPS+ in 530 games for Seattle. Of course, he only played 63 games in 2019, missed 2020 and only managed 57 games last season. Interested teams will need to balance his offensive prowess with his durability issues.

D-Backs could act from strength

As noted in Rosenthal’s column at The Athletic, the diamond markers have four left-handed midfielders in Corbin Carroll, Daulton Varsho, Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy. As such, they are open to business to trade any of them.

First of all, fret not, D-Backs fans: Carroll is taboo. The 22-year-old former first rounder is someone they want to build around.

Varsho is also unlikely to be moved, especially since he can also play catcher.

This leaves Thomas and McCarthy as trade chips.

Thomas, 22, hit .231/.275/.344 as a rookie last season but there’s more to come and he’s a great defender. McCarthy averaged .283/.342/.427 (1118 OPS+) with 23 stolen bases and 2.4 WAR in 99 games last season and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year poll.

When dealing with Thomas and/or McCarthy, the D-Backs are reportedly looking for right-handed power and big-league-ready pitching.

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