CC Sabathia goes back to New York
This isn’t a major surprise, nor is it really a major move at this point, but it’s certainly news! The Yankees have made their first signing of the winter, and it is bringing back someone from the 2018 season. CC Sabathia is going to be back towards the end of the Yankees rotation next season, which could be his final year in the majors. The big lefty flirted with retirement ahead of this winter, but ultimately decided he wasn’t ready to hang ‘em up just yet. With Sonny Gray almost certain to be traded at some point this offseason, Sabathia is the first of at least a couple of rotation additions to the Yankees. I’d expect them to add two more arms, but at least one of the top starting pitchers on the free agent market should end up in pinstripes before the start of the 2019 season. Let’s just hope it’s not Nathan Eovaldi. I can’t handle that.
Mariners may tear it all down
Here’s an interesting note from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan: The Mariners are considering tearing everything down and starting over in Seattle. This is a little surprising to me as the Mariners have been on the cusp of the playoffs for a few years now and have some interesting up-and-coming pieces. Obviously, the word “considering” is doing a lot of work in this report, and on November 7 it’s important not to take any rumors too seriously. There was also additional reporting from Jon Heyman that Edwin Diaz was among the pieces they wouldn’t trade, which doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to do a complete rebuild, you trade your star closer. Either way, Seattle does have some interesting pieces to consider for the Red Sox, even excluding Diaz (though he’d be the most interesting). James Pazos and Alex Colomé are intriguing out of the bullpen, and James Paxton and Marco Gonzales (who was also on Heyman’s not-going-to-be-dealt list) are potential rotation targets.
Farhan Zaidi is the new President of Baseball Operations in San Francisco
The Giants have been looking for someone to head up their front office, and they have found their new man in the front office of their rivals. They’ve hired Farhan Zaidi away from the Dodgers front office. The big story here is just what direction he’s going to go in with this San Francisco roster. The Giants are in a weird spot where they probably should turn towards a rebuild, but there’s enough talent there that you could fool yourself into trying to contend. It’s exactly what happened last year. If they do look to rebuild, Madison Bumgarner immediately becomes the best trade candidate in the league, though the Red Sox wouldn’t be in that market. Instead, look at their lefty relievers (Tony Watson and Will Smith) as the most likely Boston-bound players from the Giants roster.
Lance McCullers undergoes Tommy John Surgery
Big news out of Houston yesterday, as starting pitcher Lance McCullers underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. That will cause him to miss all of the 2019 season. The Astros are, obviously, one of the biggest obstacles in Boston’s way of repeating, but they now have some very real rotation concerns heading into the offseason. Their top-two is still great with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, but with Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton now free agents and now McCullers out for the year, they’ve lost 3/5’s of their rotation this winter. Look for them to be very active on the trade market and in free agency.