MLB rumors: Dodgers looking at stars Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg


MLB rumors: Dodgers looking at stars Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg

The Giants will open up their 2020 season against the NL West rival Dodgers. The nationally televised event will have plenty of storylines to discuss, and the Dodgers likely will have a new, expensive face in the rotation.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the Dodgers are looking at three of the top names in free agency, including two headlining pitchers.

Gerrit Cole is the biggest name in free agency, so one would assume he and Scott Boras have been approached by the Dodgers -- a team that's known for having deep pockets.

But perhaps things are changing ...

It's no secret the 29-year-old ideally would like to end up on the west coast, and across the last two seasons alone he has made a strong case for every team to perk their ears.

His 2019 campaign alone was sensational, as he led the majors with 326 strikeouts and the AL with a 2.50 ERA and a 2.64 FIP. He was also right behind former Astros teammate Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young Award votes, earning his third All-Star selection and was some MVP considerations.

With that said ... the Dodgers are just one of many suitors interested in the righty. The Rangers, Phillies, Angels, Nationals and, of course, the Yankees, have been linked to Cole.

As far as Strasburg is concerned, Giants might face him -- but in a Nationals uniform. He reportedly could re-sign with his former team

For Rendon, that's an intriguing thought. He rejected the Nationals' qualifying offer earlier this month and young Carter Kieboom, who dominated in Triple-A Fresno in 2019, could take over at third base if Rendon were to go elsewhere. 

The Dodgers already have Justin Turner playing third base, but he has expressed willingness to change positions in order to land Rendon or even Josh Donaldson, who also has been linked to the Dodgers. 

Rendon had a stellar 2019, posting a .319/.412/.598 line with 34 homers and 126 RBI.

[RELATED: Would Cole be right fit for Giants?]

All three of the above are Boras clients, which means the Dodgers' intended frugality is not something Boras would like.

The Dodgers have a shot, but they'll have to stretch their wallets. 

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

Where new Giants prospect Will Wilson ranks in team's farm system

The Giants essentially bought veteran infielder Zack Cozart's contract from the Angels on Tuesday to add a talented young prospect.

San Francisco acquired Cozart and middle infield prospect Will Wilson from the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. The Giants are taking on all of Cozart's $12.67 million contract for the 2020 season. Cozart will become a free agent in 2021. The 34-year-old, who has hit just .190 with five home runs the last two seasons, was an All-Star when healthy in 2017, but Wilson is the real prize of the deal. 

Wilson was selected No. 15 overall by the Angels in the 2019 MLB Draft. He immediately became a top-10 Giants prospect after the trade. MLB Pipeline ranks him No. 10 overall in the team's farm system, and FanGraphs has him even higher. 

The 21-year-old hit .275 with a .768 OPS and five home runs in 46 games at rookie ball in his debut season. He played 28 games at shortstop and 13 at second base. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wilson will play both positions in the minor leagues, and the front office believes he will stick as a middle infielder. 

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

Wilson was a consensus All-American as a junior at NC State, and was voted ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He hit .352 with nine homers and a 1.089 OPS in his final season for the Wolfpack. 

Prior to being traded to the Giants, Wilson was ranked as the Angels' No. 4 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He comes in lower with San Francisco, showing how much the Giants' farm system is on the rise with top prospects like Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Marco Luciano and others. 

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

The Giants added a veteran shortstop Tuesday when they acquired Zack Cosart and prospect Will Wilson in a trade with the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Wilson was the prize of the deal, but there remains a possibility that Cozart could play a considerable role in San Francisco's middle infield this coming season.

As it turns out, though, the Giants reportedly went after a different veteran shortstop before pursuing the trade with the Angels. Didi Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies on Tuesday, and according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, Gregorius reportedly chose them over the Giants in part due to the presence of Phillies manager Joe Girardi.

Gregorius previously played under Girardi with the Yankees, and it would appear they enjoyed their time together. While his offensive numbers might have been inflated somewhat by Yankee Stadium, Gregorius remains a standout defender and he was worth at least four WAR in both 2017 and 2018.

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

The Giants absorbed the entirety of the $12.67 remaining on Cozart's contract, so there isn't much of a price difference between he and Gregorius. That said, the fact that San Francisco was able to acquire the Angels' No. 4 ranked prospect along with Cozart likely made that the more prudent acquisition.