MLB Rumors: Rangers interested in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story; Brett Gardner wants to come back
The MLB offseason is less than three weeks old and already three of our top 20 (and four of our top 25) free agents have signed. With the collective agreement set to expire on December 1, there could be a rush of signatures next week or so, with players looking to secure a contract before a possible lockout. Here are the hot stove rumors from Saturday.
Rangers interested in Seager, Semien, Story
The Rangers are expected to be a major free agency player this offseason and they are interested in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Story grew up in the Dallas area and met with Ranger officials earlier this week, according to Evan Grant from Dallas Morning News. There’s a good chance Texas will meet the other infielders as well.
At Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Rangers already have a productive shortstop (more productive on court than home plate), although he could come back to third base, where he won a Golden Glove in 2020. That Said, Texas has a third top seed upcoming prospect Josh Jung, which means Kiner-Falefa could finish second. Either way, the Rangers are set to skip this offseason and they’re aiming for a top-of-the-range shortstop.
Gardner intends to play in 2022
Yankees mainstay Brett Gardner plans to play next year, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters earlier this week, including Bryan Hoch from MLB.com. Cashman said he has not had contract discussions with Gardner representatives, although he noted that this usually only happens towards the end of the offseason. The Yankees re-signed Gardner at the start of spring training last season.
Gardner, 38, played 105 games in center field last season after Aaron Hicks suffered a season-ending wrist injury. He was fairly productive in the second half, hitting .250 / .344 / 0.418 with seven homers in 65 games, and he remains a real asset on the field and on goals. The Yankees could move on entirely and look for a younger outfielder, although it’s hard to see Gardner playing elsewhere at this point in his career.
The Red Sox in contact with Matz
The Red Sox are in contact with left-handed free agent Steven Matz, reports Chris Cotillo from MassLive.com. Eduardo Rodriguez recently signed a five-year contract with the Tigers, leaving a void in Boston’s rotation alongside Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta and possibly Tanner Houck. There are rumors that the Red Sox could bring Garrett Whitlock into the rotation as well.
Matz, 30, arguably had the best season of his career in 2021 after a miserable 2020 that saw him allow 33 points in 30 2/3 innings. Over the past three 162-game seasons, Matz has averaged 30 starts with no worse than a league average. The Blue Jays are used to helping pitchers take their game to the next level (Cy Young winner Robbie Ray is their biggest achievement) and Matz took advantage in 2021. He is able to receive a beautiful multi-year contract.
A acquires the former best hope
Athletics acquired right-hander Brent Honeywell from the Rays for cash, both teams said. Tampa had to clear a spot on the 40-player roster before Friday’s draft Rule 5 protection deadline and, rather than waiving Honeywell or just releasing it, they found a business partner in Oakland. Receiving a little money is better than nothing.
Honeywell, 26, made his MLB debut this year and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He also had a 3.97 ERA in 81 2/3 innings. It was the first time Honeywell had pitched in an official game since 2017. He had been harassed by injuries, including Tommy John surgery and other arm issues, and had not pitched at all from 2018- 20. The A’s have 40 players at their disposal and roll the dice on a player who was once considered one of the best potential pitchers in baseball.
The Rockies have signed wide receiver Elias Diaz for a three-year, $ 14.5 million contract extension, the team announced. The 31-year-old was due to become a free agent after next season. Diaz had a stellar season in 2021, crushing 18 home runs as Colorado’s main receiver. Those 18 homers were also distributed evenly – nine in 53 games at Coors Field and nine in 53 games on the road. Catching around the league is very weak at the moment, so the Rockies made sure to lock up Diaz rather than let him test the open market next winter.