There’s a reasonable chance that the Rockies trade star third baseman Nolan Arenado before Opening Day, and suffice it to say he’d be among the very biggest names on the trade market.
Right now the Phillies have 23-year-old Adam Haseley penciled in as their primary center fielder. Haseley swings lefty, though, and the Phillies, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, would prefer to pair him with right-handed platoon partner, and that’s what they’re now seeking on the market.
While Morosi doesn’t mention any specifics, veteran fly-catcher Kevin Pillar would certainly fit that description. He’s still available on the market after a solid 2019 season with the Giants.
Prying Arenado away from the Rockies will certainly require an impressive package of prospects. How impressive will depend on the extent to which the Rockies are willing to include cash in any such trade. We’ve dipped our toes into 2020, and despite the frenzied early pace of the offseason a number of notable free agents and trade candidates remain on their respective markets. Speaking of which, here’s what’s buzzing around MLB this Thursday.
Yankees land Iannetta
So who might be willing to assume such an obligation? Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, in one of his usual and wide-ranging must-reads, names two possibilities: The Cardinals and the Rangers. The Rangers were linked to Anthony Rendon before he signed with the Angels and have also been mentioned in connection with Josh Donaldson, who’s still available ( ). In matters related, the Rangers very much need help at the hot corner. As for the Cardinals, they’re poised to get by at third base with some combination of Matt Carpenter and Tommy Edman. Carpenter, however, may be in his deep decline phase and thus stretched as a lineup primary, and the Cardinals may prefer to deploy Edman as a multi-positional super-utility sort. In that light, Arenado would indeed be a fit for the reigning NL Central champs.
Arenado, who’s going into his age-29 season, remains an elite defender at the hot corner, and he’s also finished in the top 10 or top five of the NL MVP balloting in each of the last five seasons. Yes, Coors Field helps his surface-level outputs with the bat, but Arenado, let it be known, owns an OPS+ of 130 over the past four years. When it comes to going from the Rockies to another team, too much is sometimes made of the post-Coors drop-off, and that’s especially the case with an elite performer like Arenado.
Phillies want help in center
Iannetta, who’ll turn 37 in early April, owns a slash line of .230/.345/.406, which comes to an OPS+ of 98, across parts of 14 major-league seasons. He’s expected to compete for the job as backup to starter Gary Sanchez. The Yankees have agreed to terms with veteran catcher Chris Iannetta on a minor-league contract for 2020, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports. WFAN’s Sweeny Murti first had the two sides as being close.