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Trade/FA Rumblings: Arenado, Keuchel, Cards, Twins, Marlins, Mets, Correa

The Rockies are reportedly willing to listen to offers for their franchise player, third baseman Nolan Arenado. General manager Jeff Bridich all but confirmed that’s the case, Nick Groke of The Athletic relays (subscription link).

“Look, this is the time of year where those conversations happen,” Bridich said. “This is the time of year where we at least listen to teams and go, ‘OK, well, should we try to investigate and put something together.’ We have people to do those sorts of things. I can’t sit here and say, ‘No, never, ever.’ Some of this stuff started back at the trade deadline and it’s kind of ongoing.”

Bridich is still of the opinion the Rockies, as presently constructed, can push for a championship in 2020, Groke notes. Arenado, of course, plays an irreplaceable role in that belief. However, with so few above-average third basemen currently available (Josh Donaldson’s a free agent and Kris Bryant may end up on the move via trade), teams could come calling with appealing offers if the Rockies place Arenado on the block. Arenado has full no-trade rights as part of the seven-year, $234MM extension Colorado signed him to last offseason, though he has expressed frustration regarding the Rockies’ nightmarish 2019. So, if a contender tries to acquire him, perhaps the 28-year-old will be open to leaving the Rockies. Regardless of whether a trade comes together, Arenado has the ability to opt out of his contract after 2021.

Here are more rumblings from around the game…

  • A report earlier this week suggested the Cardinals haven’t shown much recent interest in Dallas Keuchel, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the club’s “intrigued” by the free-agent left-hander. The Cardinals were also among the teams in on Keuchel last season before he signed a one-year, $13MM contract with the Braves in June, thereby ending a shockingly long stay on the market. The soon-to-be 32-year-old didn’t have a great few months in Atlanta, but he should nonetheless do better in free agency this time. MLBTR predicts he’ll sign a three-year, $39MM pact.
  • At this week’s Winter Meetings, Miami and Minnesota discussed a trade that would see the Marlins send right-hander Elieser Hernandez to the Twins for outfielder Jake Cave, according to Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio. While there’s no indication a deal is on the way, the Twins are at least “open” to trading Cave and would like a pitcher in return, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets. Age (24 versus 27) is on Hernandez’s side, but Cave was the better producer in 2019. Cave slashed .258/.351/.455 in 228 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Hernandez put up a 5.03 ERA/5.58 FIP despite logging 9.29 K/9 against 2.84 BB/9 across 82 1/3 innings. Neither player is on track to reach arbitration until after 2021.
  • Although the possibility of the Mets acquiring Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa has been branded as more fantasy than reality, the teams did have “active” talks from November up to this week, Andy Martino of SNY reports. However, those discussions have “fizzled,” per Martino. For what it’s worth, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has told Correa not to worry about a trade. Barring something unforeseen, it appears Amed Rosario will continue as New York’s starting shortstop in 2020.

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