MLB Rumors: Nationals Considering Kris Bryant and DJ LeMahieu; Dodgers fishing for the Nolan Arenado trade

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We are approaching MLB’s offseason Full Hot Stove mode, which means notable trades and free agent signings can take place at any time. So, to prime the pump for these days and weeks of winter intrigue, let’s quickly put together some of the rumors circulating on this beautiful Friday. Forward in the mud.

Nats considers Bryant’s trade

Among the infielders the Nationals are considering this offseason is Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Bryant, 29, has just had a bad 2020 season and there has been speculation that Chicago could turn him down next month rather than pay him an expected salary of around $ 19 million in 2021. Despite the value of his name, the potential cost to acquire Bryant in a trade might be relatively small given his projected salary and tough season. If proposed, Bryant will become a free agent in the next offseason.

Washington’s third baseman hit .204 / .325 / .250 with two home runs in the first year of the post-Anthony Rendon era in 2020. Top prospect Carter Kieboom has struggled in 33 games and could win. anyway move on to second base to welcome Bryant. Bryant has suffered a variety of injuries in recent years and it’s not unreasonable to think he could return to above-average production after an offseason of rest and normal spring training. For a national team who are built to win now and looking to bounce back from a 2021 drop, Bryant would be a smart pickup at the right price.

Dodgers interested in Arenado trade

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Justin Turner is a free agent, which means the Dodgers champ may need a new third baseman. Division rivals The Rockies of course have an elite third baseman at Nolan Arenado, and trade rumors have been swirling around him for some time. To tie it all together, a source told MLB.com’s Jon Morosi that the Dodgers had an interest in negotiating for Arenado.

Arenado have just had a disappointing 2020 season, in which they achieved an OPS + of 84 in 48 games for Colorado. However, these relative struggles are fairly easily dismissed – it was, after all, a very abridged season played out in the midst of a pandemic. Additionally, Arenado has a career OPS + of 120, and even amid his 2020 struggles at home plate, he remained an elite player in the hot corner. On a related note, Arenado, 29, has finished in the top 10 of the NL MVP poll five times.

Arenado may retire from his current contract after next season, and if he does not quit, he will be owed an additional $ 164 million through 2026. That explains Colorado’s motivation to buy him. Additionally, Arenado’s relationship with the front office appeared to deteriorate ahead of the 2020 season. The Rockies’ willingness to trade him within their division is a potential x factor, but if they are to move the contract to Arenado at a time when many teams are unwilling to take a paycheck, they may not be able to be so picky. on potential business partners.

Of course, it’s still entirely possible that Turner will return to the Dodgers, but if that doesn’t happen, LA could have designs on another off-season blockbuster.

The Yanks give priority to LeMahieu; Nats also mixed

The Yankees’ most reliable hitter over the past two seasons, DJ LeMahieu, is a free agent, and by the sound of things the Yankees don’t want him to slip away. Here’s the scoop from our own Jim Bowden:

Since joining the Yankees as a free agent ahead of the 2019 season, LeMahieu has recorded .336 / .386 / .536 in 195 games with 36 homers and 43 doubles. He supported the strong production with excellent batting metrics and also spent time at three different positions on the court. Even though he’s 32, he’s going to be a coveted free agent who, even in a depressed market, is counting to hit nine numbers.

Bringing back LeMahieu, as Bowden notes, is a priority for the Yankees. Go for it for the mutual benefit, and it seems highly likely that they will reunite. The wild card could be the Crosstown Mets, who recently lost second baseman Robinson Cano due to suspension. LeMahieu would be a perfect replacement, and new owner Steve Cohen has indicated he’s willing to spend to win.

Also in the mix for LeMahieu are the nationals:

Second base is LeMahieu’s primary position, and Washington’s second baseman last season – Luis Garcia, mainly – combined to reach just .272 / .303 / .384, so it’s a need position for the 2019 champions. Of course, any number of teams can use a player like LeMahieu, so this is not a comprehensive overview of his market.

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