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Hot Stove Blog

Winter Meetings: Day Two

by Drew Silva
Updated On: December 12, 2018, 12:54 am ET

Follow @drewsilv and @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter.


The second day of MLB’s annual Winter Meetings is usually filled with action -- signings, trades, and loads of intriguing rumors.


We got plenty of rumors on Tuesday -- you can track them all on our constantly-updated player news page, or pore over the long list of Quick Hits at the bottom of this column -- but there were very few actual signings or trades.


Bryce Harper and Manny Machado seem to be holding up the market for the remaining high-level free agents, and on the trade front it’s all smoke and no fire yet on Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.


Maybe the third day of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas will bring more movement.


But before we get there, let’s recap the handful of headlines from Day Two …



Phillies Come Up Cutch


In the biggest deal of the Winter Meetings thus far, the Phillies on Tuesday signed veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million free agent contract with a $15 million club option (or $3 million buyout) for 2022. Finalization of the deal is only pending a physical exam, which should take place before the end of this week.


McCutchen has been in a steady decline since finishing top-five in the National League MVP voting in four straight seasons with the Pirates from 2012-2015, but he gets on base at a high rate and still offers 20-plus homer power potential at age 32. There is a bit of speed left in those legs too. The five-time All-Star slashed .255/.368/.424 with 20 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 155 games between the Giants and Yankees in 2018.


The question being asked now is whether the Phillies, who’ve made it known they want to be aggressive this winter, will zero in on Manny Machado instead of Bryce Harper.


Phillies owner John Middleton told reporters last month that the organization is going into the offseason “expecting to spend money” and would “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.”


McCutchen is added to an outfield mix in Philadelphia that includes Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, and Aaron Altherr. There’s certainly still room for improvement there, but Machado probably makes more sense with Cutch now in the fold.



Blue Jays Dump Tulo


The timing of this move was a bit odd given where it landed on the baseball calendar, but the writing has been on the wall ever since Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told the media earlier this month that he didn’t envision a prominent role for Troy Tulowitzki in Toronto next season.


The 34-year-old former five-time All-Star was officially released on Tuesday afternoon, with the Jays now faced with eating the remaining two years and $38 million left on the $119 million contract extension that Tulowitzki originally signed with the Rockies back in 2010. That extension was tacked on to a six-year, $31 million deal he signed in 2008, after his first full major league season.


Tulo is a shell of the player who inked those two deals in Colorado, and he missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from surgery on both of his heels, but he can probably now be had for the major league minimum and there will likely be multiple teams willing to see if he has another year of production left in him.


Lourdes Gurriel appears locked in as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop for 2019.



Nova Dealt To Pale Hose


As first reported by Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic, the White Sox acquired right-handed starter Ivan Nova from the Pirates on Tuesday afternoon in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Yordi Rosario and international signing money.


Nova joins Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, and Carlos Rodon in the White Sox rotation, with the team still seeking one more starter to round things out. J.A. Happ, maybe? Lance Lynn?


Nova had a solid two-and-a-half year stint in Pittsburgh, registering a 3.99 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 71 starts covering 412 2/3 innings. He doesn’t strike many batters out and the high rate of home runs allowed could be of concern at power-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field, but at the very least the 31-year-old should give the White Sox a reliable innings eater. He is due to make $9.167 million in 2019, the final year of a three-year, $26 million deal.


Nick Kingham and Steven Brault are expected to compete to fill Nova’s spot in the Pirates' rotation.



Quick Hits: According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, the Yankees, Phillies, and White Sox are set to meet with free agent Manny Machado … Jon Morosi of MLB.com confirmed that the Phillies are "involved" in the J.T. Realmuto trade talks, though the Mets still seem to be the most aggressive bidder … Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic heard from rival executives that the Yankees are open to moving Miguel Andujar … Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported that the Reds are having "ongoing discussions" with the Indians regarding Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer … According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Yasiel Puig is "in play" in a possible trade between the Dodgers and Reds … Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto indicated Tuesday that he would have to be blown away by an offer to trade Mitch Haniger this winter … According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies "remain very aggressive" on free agent reliever Zach Britton … Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports heard that J.A. Happ is still holding out for a three-year deal … According to Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, the Mets are "kicking the tires" on free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock … MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported that the Mets and Red Sox are showing "continued interest" in free agent reliever Adam Ottavino … A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that it is becoming "less and less likely" the Giants will trade Madison Bumgarner this winter … Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported that the Astros are looking into free agent Michael Brantley … According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the Brewers had a "very good" meeting with free agent catcher Wilson Ramos on Monday … MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reported that the Reds have talked to the Braves about a trade for outfielder Ender Inciarte … ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the White Sox are considering free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal … Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Phillies are in on free agent starter Dallas Keuchel … According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are talking to the Cardinals about Jose Martinez … Corey Brock of The Athletic confirmed that the Mariners have talked with the Rays, Indians, and Rockies about a potential Carlos Santana trade … Mark Saxon of The Athletic reported that the Giants have received "a ton of calls" on reliever Will Smith … Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Red Sox are "openly listening" to offers for Rick Porcello … According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Nationals have engaged in multiple trade discussions regarding right-hander Tanner Roark … LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Twins are showing interest in free agent reliever Cody Allen … A deal between the Pirates and Jordan Lyles has been agreed to, pending a physical, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman … According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the Tigers, Brewers, Athletics, and Nationals are among the teams showing interest in free agent Ian Kinsler … Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that a reunion between the Red Sox and Joe Kelly remains a possibility … MLB.com's Jon Morosi heard that the Reds are among the clubs interested in free agent left-hander Wade Miley … Rangers acquired third baseman Patrick Wisdom from the Cardinals for utilityman Drew Robinson … Athletics signed catcher Chris Herrmann to a one-year, $1 million contract … Red Sox signed outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training … Xavier Scruggs is talking to MLB teams at this week's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas … Mel Rojas Jr. is looking to sign with a major league team this winter, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic … Brandon McCarthy has been hired as a special assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.



Drew Silva

Drew Silva is a longtime baseball writer and editor for Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter.