Shohei Ohtani has narrowed down his list
At least in my lifetime, there has never been a free agent quite as unique as Shohei Ohtani. From his young age to the hype around him to the fact that he is a legitimate two-way player to the cheap price he’s forced to sign for that puts every team on an equal playing field, there’s really been nothing like this before. Every team really did make their case to Ohtani’s representatives, and on Sunday night the Japanese superstar narrowed down his list to the finalists who will make their pitches in person. The bad news is that the Red Sox are not on this list. The good news is that neither are the Yankees, and New York was considered a much more legitimate candidate to sign him than Boston. For the most part, teams out west make up the entirety of Ohtani’s list, with the Cubs being the only ones who don’t. We’re still mostly in the dark for the process since it comes down to everything but money. That being said, reports are pointing to the Mariners as the tentative favorites to make the signing at this point.
Giancarlo Stanton could be traded soon
Along with the Ohtani market, the Stanton trade rumors have dominated this quiet winter. We all know the story by now, and we know that the Red Sox are almost certainly out of the running. According to the reports, Stanton still prefers to go to the Dodgers but the interest may or may not be mutual. The teams who really want the slugger are the Giants and Cardinals, and according to a new report Miami has agreed to the framework of deals with each club. As Morosi points out in his tweet linked above, it is now up to Stanton it decide whether or not he’ll agree to a move. The outfielder met with representatives from both clubs over the weekend. Sunday night, Craig Mish reported that the deal should be done in the next few days, though Jon Heyman later poo-poo’d that report. Hopefully it does get done soon so the rest of the offseason can get going and Boston can make their moves.
- We’re a little late on this one, but the Yankees hired Aaron Boone as their new manager over the weekend. I am not going to pretend that I have any idea about what type of manager he’ll be, but I will just say screw Aaron Boone and I’m not looking forward to being reminded of 2003 every time the Red Sox play the Yankees this year. Dammit.
- The Blue Jays traded for Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz over the weekend as well. Diaz was a major breakout in 2016 and it seemed that it was mostly sustainable. He wasn’t the same in 2017, but he’s still young and there is potential there. He’ll likely start behind Troy Tulowitzki on the depth chart, but he’ll get plenty of chances on Boston’s division rival.