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MLB Trade Rumors and News: Get your marshmallows and your speculation, it’s officially Hot Stove Season

This year’s marquee free agents also have World Series rings. Is that sad or exciting? You be the judge. 

MLB: World Series-Washington Nationals at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors and News: Get your marshmallows and your speculation, it’s officially Hot Stove Season

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • We have now reached the darkest point of the year as we are going to be without baseball for several months. Fear not: we will get through this together. To get the hot stove season started, the Royals announced that former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny got the job as the Royals’ new manager which is pretty much a peak Royals personnel move.
  • After bringing home a World Series title, Stephen Strasburg has opted out of the last four years of his contract with the Nationals. The World Series MVP will instead test his value on the free agent market, which in complete honestly will probably offer him more than the $100M/4 years he had left with the Nationals. And that’s without mentioning all this deferred payment nonsense.
  • The Yankees and Aroldis Chapman have (unfortunately, for this writer) agreed on a contract extension through 2022. This extra year includes $18M on top of the $30M he was set to earn in the two years remaining on his five year, $86M deal. Which will come first, the end of the contract or Chapman’s arm falling off from sheer torque? Stay tuned, kiddos.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates have been busy at the start of this offseason., not with signing players or even being connected to other teams in trades. Instead, they have been doing a full teardown of their leadership structure. They had already fired their team president as well as manager Clint Hurdle, but apparently both of those moves were not enough to save GM Neal Huntington’s job as he was let go Monday as well.
  • The Boston Red Sox have hired Chaim Bloom as their new head of baseball operations, leaving him with large shoes to fill as he replaces Dave Dombrowski. The 36-year old has a very impressive career already, starting out as a humble Baseball Prospectus columnist to skyrocketing up the leadership chain for the Tampa Bay Rays. A Yale alumni just like fellow young-baseball-exec-phenom Theo Epstein, Bloom is highly regarded by everyone in the baseball world, a feat that should not be brushed aside. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that a former co-worker of Bloom’s described him as so: “For a guy as smart and accomplished as he is, I think he gives everyone a feeling that he’s approachable and wants to engage.” It’ll be interesting to see what moves he’ll make right off the bat and how the offseason may go for the Red Sox with a new captain steering this ship.
  • The Phillies have decided to move in a VERY different direction than former manager Gabe Kapler as they announced the hiring of Joe Girardi for their managerial vacancy. Girardi is very much an old-school kind of guy, but he has some experience working with a level analytics department from when he was with the Yankees and will hopefully bring some leadership and stability to a team that was a pretty big disappointment in 2019.
  • Tommy John surgery has historically been reserved for major-league pitchers and washed up Division III sidearmers who injure themselves trying to show off in a company softball game. But in recent years we’ve seen an uptick in non-pitching position players go under the knife for UCL injuries. SB Nation’s Ginny Searle looks into this phenomenon and if there’s anything players or athletic trainers can do to stop it.
  • The Mets have hired Carlos Beltran as their next manager, per report. This isn’t the first time Beltrán has been considered managerial material by a New York team, interviewing with the Yankees in 2017 before ultimately being passed over for Aaron Boone. The look is a good one for the Mets. While Mickey Calloway did a lot of things wrong, perhaps the most jarring and damaging was the environment he created in the clubhouse. Beltrán is not only well liked and respected throughout all of Major League Baseball, but has already proven he’ll create a much more welcoming atmosphere than the previous skipper.
  • The Padres also filled their open manager position last week. After narrowing their search to Braves third base coach Ron Washington and Rangers coach/executive Jayce Tingler, Tingler ultimately won the job and became the youngest manager in the majors in the process.
  • The Astros’ mishandling and mistreating of the media over the last couple of months has been performance art. First, we had the Astros preventing a credentialed member of the media from entering the locker room because Justin Verlander didn’t like him. Now, in a much more serious indiscretion, Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman was heard shouting profane praise of Roberto Osuna at some female members of the media presumably due to the criticism the team received for acquiring the accused perpetrator of domestic violence. Once this was reported, the team immediately discredited the reporter and denied that this ever happened. Well, turns out they eventually decided to change course, firing Taubman late last month.
  • Need a good laugh on this Monday morning? Here are three hilarious videos of Nationals fans celebrating the World Series on live TV.
  • Our friends at Beyond the Box Score put it best right here: We are all Deadspin now. We stand in solidarity with independent and just journalism that cannot be bought or silenced and commend the writers who fought so strongly to uphold those principles.
  • The Cubs’ managerial search ended very quickly as they hired David Ross to be their next manager. The Cubs and Ross had been connected even before the team and Joe Maddon parted ways. Now, the team hopefully has a manager that will bring a bit of tough love to a team that looks like a shell of its former self.
  • How much better is the pitching in the postseason? I mean, it’s pretty hard to get any better than what some of these guys were doing all year but hey, let them try.
  • What’s that sound in the distance? It’s a stampede of rumors and qualifying offer news. Qualifying offers, which attach draft pick compensation to the players who receive them, had a huge impact on the goings on last offseason (see: Kimbrel, Craig and Keuchel, Dallas). As a result, we put together a quick preview of the top 10 players that could/should get qualifying offers this offseason.
  • As we creep closer to the offseason, teams are beginning to open up spots on their 40-man roster. Don’t get caught going, “Wait, what happened to that guy?”, and follow our MLB outright assignment tracker here.
  • While several teams have been being methodical with their searches for new managers, the Angels and Joe Maddon seemed to be a match from the beginning and had been linked to each other basically since the job became available. Well, things recently became official as Maddon was named the Angels’ manager for the next three seasons.
  • Are contract rumors just not doin’ it for ya? Do you need that live baseball fix? It’s your lucky day. Check out this Rangers prospect who can spin it and prepare to be both amazed and horrified.
  • The Marlins, coming off back-to-back seasons where they have finished dead last in the NL East, decided to give manager Don Mattingly a two-year contract extension. Some may be puzzled by this move given the Marlins’ lack of success, but it worth noting that the Marlins aren’t going to be winning much of anything over the next two years, which puts less onus on getting the right guy in there at the moment.