Giants willing to listen on Madison Bumgarner
The big news from Tuesday in the baseball world came from the Bay Area out west, with the Giants making some waves. San Francisco is in kind of a weird spot where their best players are starting to age out of their primes, but the name value is still there that one could talk themselves into competing with that roster. With a new front office in place, the direction they take in 2019 was always going to be fascinating, and they have reportedly made their decision about one of their highest-profile players. According to a report from MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Giants are willing to listen to offers on Madison Bumgarner. This has been speculated on since July, to be fair, but as far as I know this is the first concrete rumor we’ve heard. Now, I’m not sure how likely it is that a deal is actually made, because while Bumgarner is still really good at this point his name value exceeds his on-field value. Those players are tough to deal. If he does become available I wouldn’t expect Boston to do more than kick the tires, so the real story to watch from our perspective is how active the Yankees would get in this market. It should also be noted that Buster Olney of ESPN threw some cold water on the rumors this morning.
MLB to partner with MGM
The history between baseball and gambling is a complicated one, and the sport has two of the highest-profile scandals in US professional sports history connected to gambling with the Black Sox and Pete Rose. They’ve taken a hard stance against gambling for essentially the entire history of the league, and that has been as recently as this decade when the legalization of gambling was becoming more and more real. After fighting it for so long, now that they’ve lost they are going in the other direction and have partnered up with MGM. There is some hypocrisy here — if you are going to take such a public and moral opposition to legalizing sports gambling, it’s tough to turn around and partner with a casino — but at the same time this was always going to happen. MLB has been trying to argue it deserves a cut of the state’s revenue from gambling — lol — and they were always going to get money however they could. That’s their job, after all. That being said, those making the connection between this and the Black Sox or Pete Rose, it’s a different beast. There’s still no gambling in baseball as long as you are in baseball.
Jesse Chavez signs with the Rangers
Another midlevel reliever is off the board as the Rangers have signed Jesse Chavez to a two-year, $8 million deal according to a report from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Chavez was never one of the most exciting relievers on the market, but if the Red Sox are going to sign two relievers this offseason — which is the hope for most of us, though I’m not sure how likely it is — he would have been a good option for the second one. He’s not someone who jumps off the page these days, but he is a good middle relief option who can go multiple innings if need be. Last season was a very impressive one for Chavez, particularly after a midseason trade to the Cubs. The righty does have a bit of a home run problem, but he misses enough bats to get by and pairs it with great control. This isn’t one to get too mad about the Red Sox passing up on — Chavez isn’t making or breaking an offseason — but he would have been an interesting lower-tier target.
Tigers sign Matt Moore
While the Rangers brought in a lower-level reliever, the Tigers were signing a lower-level starting pitcher. The Red Sox are, of course, looking for someone to fill in the back end of their rotation, and one of the cheapest options is now off the board. Former Rays prospect Matt Moore has agreed to a deal with Detroit for one year and between $2 and $3 million. Now, to be clear, Moore is not someone I would have wanted Boston to sign. The lefty hasn’t looked decent in about two years and he hasn’t looked good since about 2013. That being said, Moore is always interesting because of his former prospect status. If you’ll recall, when he was coming up he was included in a trio of top prospects that also included Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. It’s wild to think about that now.