The bulk of the baseball world has been plenty busy this offseason, with the meteoric rise in free agent contracts dominating the news during the Winter Meetings and beyond. Now, though, it seems as if we’ve finally seen a thaw in the Big Trade Market [TM], and yesterday we were graced with the first big blockbuster.
Not we as in the Cincinnati Reds, of course. We as in the sport of baseball. The Cincinnati Reds would never.
Anyway, Sean Murphy was dealt away by the Oakland franchise that’s limping along in even worse straits than the Reds, and they did so despite receiving a haul that industry analysts have collective deemed what the fuck are they doing? Murphy landed with Atlanta, which needed zero additional help to their already stacked lineup, while Milwaukee looped themselves into the three-team deal to poach All Star catcher William Contreras. That’s right, Oakland held the biggest chip in the deal and somehow didn’t even make it out with the second-biggest chip of the deal, letting Milwaukee swoop in and serve as the lube that got that odd deal done.
(For what it’s worth, get all up outta here if you’re an at least the Reds aren’t the A’s celebrator. They both deserve scorn from all in their own way.)
With the trade market now heating up, it’s perhaps pertinent news that the New York Mets are listening for offers on veteran righty Carlos Carrasco, who’ll make $14 million in 2023 before reaching free agency at season’s end. The Reds - yes, THE REDS! - are still theoretically in the market for a veteran innings-eater to help stabilize the staff for their younger arms, and Carrasco would certainly be an on-paper upgrade over the job done in that role by Mike Minor during the 2022 season. The Mets have already revamped their rotation behind Max Scherzer by bringing in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana, and while money is no issue for them, dumping Carrasco for something to lighten their tax bill and to get something in return before he reaches free agency makes some sense. There’s no concrete link to the Reds here - there’s not even anything threadbare - but if the Reds were to pursue the trade route to address their rotation, this is one to watch for overall cost, if nothing else.
Former Red Jose De León signed a minors deal with the Minnesota Twins, according to Jose De León, now a Twin:
New team, same mission. Beyond excited to be joining the @Twins for the upcoming season. Can’t wait to rock my #87 on those new threads #AllTwins— Jose De León (@JDL_87) December 13, 2022
Here’s an excellent look at the evolution of Nick Lodolo during his rookie season from Justin Choi of FanGraphs. More specifically, it’s a look at how he altered his offerings to include a horizontal broadsword of a curveball that, from his unique arm angle, became a devastating pitch. If that’s the Nick we get to see going forward, well, the Reds can cross off elite left-handed starting pitcher from their lengthy rebuild must-add list.
Here’s a player I’m confident would evolve into a star if acquired by the Reds.
Finally, I just hope you took the time to watch Lionel Messi move through the rest of the world like it was standing still this World Cup. A true masterclass in both effort and execution, and Argentina now sit on the cusp of winning the whole damn shabang both by him and for him.