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MLB trade rumors and news: Opening Day is here; Kendry Morales gets shipped to A’s

All 30 teams begin their quest for a World Series title today.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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.

• After what seemed to be a long winter and offseason, it is finally Opening Day for Major League Baseball! Every team starts with a clean slate and hopes to win a World Series. Here is a schedule for all the games today.

•Just before the Blue Jays and Athletics began their seasons, Toronto dealt first baseman Kendry Morales to Oakland. Morales will fill in at first for Matt Olson, who is recovering from a surgery on his broken right hand.

• Despite the fact that recent rumors suggested the Mets and Jacob deGrom were at somewhat of an impasse in contract negotiations, New York ended up reaching an agreement on an extension with the 2018 NL Cy Young winner on Tuesday. He’ll receive $137.5 million over the length of the deal, which runs from 2019-23 with a club option for ‘24. That’s good news for Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen — DeGrom’s former agent — who said last summer that the team should either extend his then-client or trade him.

  • Because the Cubs weren’t going to let the Mets to steal the spotlight for more than a few hours, they announced an extension for their own tall, lanky right-hander on Tuesday afternoon. Kyle Hendricks’ new deal is a bit complicated in its structure — it guarantees him $55.5 million from 2020-23, includes a vesting option for 2024 based on 2020 NL Cy Young voting, and maxes out at $79.8 million with that option and the available incentives. Hendricks joins Yu Darvish as one of two Cubs starters now locked up through the 2023 season.
  • The Astros took part in ExtensionPalooza 2019, adding two years and $66 million onto Justin Verlander’s current deal. RIP Free Agency?
  • Chris Sale agreed to a five-year, $145 million extension with the Red Sox, because this is just what’s gonna keep happening in baseball now. Blanket apology to all other teams in the AL East. The deal will cover the 2020-2024 seasons.
  • The Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year deal with reliever Daniel Hudson, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Hudson was released from his minor league deal with the Angels last week. He’ll stand to make $1.5M this season with the chance to double that with incentives.
  • Blake Snell had himself quite the 2018 season on his way to his first Cy Young Award with the Rays. As a result, he wasn’t particularly happy when Tampa didn’t give him much of a raise, at least at first, for the 2019 season. He is likely to be a bit happier now that he signed a five-year, $50 million extension with the team.
  • Not to be outdone, the Cardinals have wasted no time in making sure the newly-acquired Paul Goldschmidt doesn’t go anywhere for a while, as he also signed a five-year extension. Goldschmidt’s situation isn’t quite the same as many of these young stars signing extensions given that he is 31 and was on the last year of his deal, but the sheer number of extensions we have seen lately is fascinating.
  • Highly-touted outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez and the White Sox have agreed to a six-year, $43 million contract extension that contains two club options.
  • Just 19 days after Bryce Harper signed the largest contract in the history of professional sports, Mike Trout broke his record by nearly $100 million — and ruined the highly-publicized recruiting pitch Harper had been planning to bring his buddy to the Phillies — as the seven-time All-Star outfielder agreed to a new 12-year, $426.5 million deal with the Angels. This deal will almost certainly keep Trout in Anaheim through the end of his career and eliminates the possibility of what could have been a thrilling free-agent process in the offseason after next.
  • Even though Trout received nearly half a billion dollars and will end up as the most highly-compensated athlete in the history of pro sports, our Stephen Tolbert argues that the contract is still a steal for the Angels.
  • Just one nine-figure contract extension on Tuesday for one of baseball’s most talented young players clearly wasn’t enough, so the Astros added to the fun on Tuesday night by inking infielder Alex Bregman to a six-year, $100 million deal. The deal buys out Bregman’s first two free-agent years, but it’ll pay him much more for now than he’d otherwise receive as a pre-arbitration-eligible player — and likely much more than he’d receive over the new few years through the arbitration process.
  • The pay of minor leaguers has been a hot topic of late with the reporting by Emily Waldon of The Athletic plus the Blue Jays proactively increasing what they pay their minor leaguers. Now, it looks like MLB is looking at finding ways to increase MiLB pay in recent discussions. Long overdue given how many players have had to live on basically nothing, but a welcome development nonetheless.
  • Not only is MLB implementing some rule changes over the next couple of years, but they are also workshopping other changes in the independent Atlantic League to see how things work or don’t work. Stephen Tolbert took a look at these potential changes to see what impacts they could have on games.
  • While it seems like a clear-cut, no-brainer deal for almost any team in need of a pitcher, our Stephen Tolbert breaks down the tricky part about signing Dallas Keuchel.
  • Let’s take a moment to be shocked and surprised: MLB’s revised roster rules could end up punishing the players. That’s thanks to a new limit on pitchers — while it’s yet to be confirmed, multiple reports have stated that come 2020, teams will only be allowed to carry 13 pitchers on their big-league roster — and a significant reduction on September call-ups.
  • Major League Baseball announced several big rules changes, some of which will take effect this season and some that will not take effect until 2020. The highlights include a three batter minimum for pitchers, having just one trade deadline, and the winner of the Home Run Derby getting a whole bunch of Benjamins.
  • Our own Stephen Tolbert broke down the various new MLB rules and the various repercussions that they could have as they are implemented. Short version: some are good, some won’t do a ton, some are pretty weird.
  • Do free agents lose value when they remain on the market deep into the offseason? We took a look at the data, and let’s just say it usually helps them to sign sooner than later.