With Major League Baseball's winter meetings days away and the best free agent starting pitcher already off the market, the offseason is about to take off in earnest.
There already has been a burst of activity.
Earlier this week, lefty ace Patrick Corbin agreed to a six-year, $140 million deal with the Washington Nationals. And Paul Goldschmidt, one of the best slugging first basemen in the game, was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
Last weekend, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made a flurry of deals, trading seven players — including second baseman Robinson Cano, shortstop Jean Segura, starter James Paxton and closer Edwin Diaz — in their rebuilding project.
Dipoto will likely pause before the winter meetings begin Monday in Las Vegas, but he's only getting started.
The same could be said of the entire industry.
With that, here's a look at other big name players likely to get traded soon:
RHP Sonny Gray, Yankees
Gray's stock plummeted during his year-and-half stint in the Bronx, where he accumulated a 15-16 record and 4.51 ERA. The Padres, who play in a pitchers' ballpark and smaller market, could be a good fit for the former All-Star. The Brewers, who had interest in Gray when he was in Oakland, have once again shown interest. And despite his poor recent results, there are still many reasons he can rebound in a different environment. His strikeouts per nine innings have been steady over the last two years.
C J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
Realmuto has wanted out of Miami ever since the Derek Jeter-led regime took over and traded away all of its stars. While he wasn't granted his wish last season, he may get it this winter. The 2018 first-time All-Star, who has two more years before he becomes a free agent, might be a good fit for the Mets, who are in a win-now mode. However, the asking price may be steep, leaving the door open for a team like the Rockies or the Braves.
RHP Corey Kluber, Indians
The former two-time American League Cy Young winner is coming off a 2018 season in which he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA over 215 innings and finished third in the Cy Young vote. He's been linked to the Reds and Mets. On the surface, the Mets would be a logical landing spot because of his ties with manager Mickey Calloway, his former pitching coach in Cleveland. But, after the Cano deal, the Mets may not be willing to deal any more top-tiered prospects, opening the door for another club. Could the Yankees be interested?
RHP Trevor Bauer, Indians
The Indians would be much more inclined to trade Bauer over Kluber or Carlos Carrasco. However, according to Bauer, who does not become a free agent until 2021, he doesn't think it makes sense to trade him this offseason. "I’m still playing at a massive discount. Next year is when it would make sense to trade me,” he said on MLB Network last month. Bauer, who has been linked to the Reds, is projected to earn $11.6 million in arbitration this winter.
LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants
MadBum is a living legend in the Bay Area after delivering three World Series titles in five years. So it may be difficult to part ways with the four-time All-Star, who has one more year remaining on his team-friendly eight-year, $58.5 million contract. The Giants say they are "willing to engage" in trade scenarios, but it's not clear whether they will follow through. MadBum hasn't been his dominant self since he injured his shoulder in a dirt bike accident in April 2017.
RHP Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks
With Paul Goldschmidt out the door, the D-backs' focus shifts to the former NL Cy Young winner. Dealing Greinke would be strictly for financial reasons. He is owed $104.5 million over the next three seasons. While nothing is imminent, trading Greinke could be difficult, he has 15 teams on his no-trade clause. Maybe a reunion with the Dodgers?
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