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MLB Trade Rumors and News: MLB announces MiLB organizational changes

MLB finally sent invitations to 119 minor league organizations yesterday for them to be apart of the league’s talent development.

Reading Fighting Phils v Portland Sea Dogs Photo by Zachary Roy/Getty Images

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.

  • One of the more under the radar baseball stories from 2020 has been the lack of an agreement between MiLB and MLB regarding the relationship between the two as well as which teams were actually going to be a part of the league’s talent development pipeline. We already knew that there was going to be a culling and some of that was previewed with the composition of some independent leagues and the draft league including some former minor league affiliates. However, the league finally sent invitations out to 119 minor league clubs which, when it is all said and done, will be a significant reduction in minor league teams over what we saw in 2019.
  • Adam Eaton had a terrible 2020 season, posting a career-worst .226/.285/.384 slash line with -6 defensive runs saved in right field for the Nationals. But it wasn’t that long ago that he was a hot commodity — it was just four winters ago that the White Sox shipped him off to Washington in exchange for three upper echelon pitching prospects, most notably Lucas Giolito. Four years later, his former team will pay a healthy price to see if the 32-year-old outfielder has anything left in the tank, as the White Sox signed Eaton to a one-year, $7 million contract with an $8.5 million club option and $1 million buyout for 2022 on Tuesday.
  • The Royals have been the most active team on the free agent market so far this offseason, signing outfielder Michael A. Taylor, right-hander Mike Minor, and now first baseman Carlos Santana, who inked a two-year, $17 million deal with Kansas City on Tuesday. Santana, who turns 35 in April, has spent 10 of his 11 major-league seasons with the Indians and has tortured the Royals over the years, posting a .953 OPS in 663 plate appearances against Kansas City with a 1.077 OPS in 334 PAs at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals will hope Santana can recreate that same magic now that The K is his home ballpark.
  • 28-year-old right-hander Matt Wisler was largely considered a failed prospect heading into the 2020 season, but after altering his approach, scrapping his curveball and changeup and switching to throwing almost exclusively sliders, Wisler had a breakout season out of the Twins’ bullpen, posting a 1.07 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 25.1 innings. Minnesota obviously didn’t believe it was worth the cost to see if he could sustain his success, as they non-tendered him last week, but he quickly found a new home, signing a one-year, $1.15 million deal with the Giants on Tuesday.
  • We had some late night fireworks as the Texas Rangers pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Lance Lynn to the White Sox for a pair of prospects. Not only does this bolster an already very good White Sox team, but it also leads one to wonder whether or not other players like Joey Gallo could follow Lynn out the door.
  • The Lynn trade wasn’t the only trade we saw Monday, as the Reds decided to move their vaunted closer, Raisel Iglesias, in a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Maybe Mike Trout will actually make the playoffs in 2021 if, you know, they can actually stitch a healthy rotation together, too.
  • In much sadder news, the baseball world lost a legend as Dick Allen passed away at the age of 78. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Also, to put it bluntly... the man has deserved to be in the Hall of Fame forever and that he isn’t in needs to be rectified.
  • The Rangers have hired Chris Young as general manager, but will retain Jon Daniels as the president of baseball operations.
  • While we did see some roster moves ahead of the non-tender deadline that we have already noted, the deadline itself is where we see the bulk of moves made and yesterday was no exception. While the non-tender deadline wasn’t quite as severe as some thought it would be, there was still a whole bunch of new free agents added to the pool. Our own Andersen Pickard put together a tracker with notes on both all of the guys non-tendered as well as those who did, in fact, end up getting tendered deals who were in limbo.
  • The Mets have signed right-handed reliever Trevor May to a two-year deal. May has thrived since returning from Tommy John surgery in July 2018, posting a 3.19 ERA over that span. He had a career-high 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings this season and should provide a major boost to the back of the Mets’ bullpen.
  • The Brewers are signing veteran catcher Luke Maile, who missed the entire 2020 season with a fractured finger, to a one-year major-league contract. While Maile has never played in more than 68 games in a season, it’s possible that he could be the Brewers’ fourth different starting catcher in four seasons, as Omar Narváez and Manny Piña are both non-tender candidates and Jacob Nottingham hasn’t established himself as Milwaukee’s clear starter moving forward.
  • The Rangers announced that former catcher and Gold Glove third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa will take over as their starting shortstop in 2021. Elvis Andrus, the team’s starting shortstop for the last 12 seasons, will transition to a utility infielder role.
  • The Royals have been busy this offseason. After locking up Mike Minor to help solidify their rotation, Kansas City turned their attention to the outfield, signing Michael Taylor to a one year deal. While Taylor has been hit or miss on offense, he is a quality defender in the outfield... a quality that the Royals have historically valued highly.
  • The Marlins were one of the bigger stories from the 2020 season both because of their improbable playoff run and also because they nearly torpedoed the whole MLB season thanks to a COVID outbreak that spread throughout their roster. Now, the team has continued to overhaul its roster, acquiring reliever Adam Cimber from the Indians for cash and immediately designating their 2020 Opening Day starter, Jose Urena, for assignment. He was likely an upcoming casualty of the non-tender deadline anyway, but it’s still wild to see it happen nonetheless.
  • In a move that really jazzed up the weekend, the Reds and Rockies swapped Robert Stephenson and Jeff Hoffman in a four-player deal. The former top pitching prospects will start fresh in new places, hopefully with much better ERAs and living up to their initial hype.
  • The Royals have signed southpaw Mike Minor, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The veteran pitcher hit the market as a free agent this offseason after a rocky 2020 split between the Rangers and the Athletics. He posted a 5.56 ERA this season, a far cry from his 2019 All-Star season that saw a whopping 200 strikeouts.
  • George Springer has begun to get very serious in his talks with the Blue Jays, according to Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi. Many have hypothesized that the Blue Jays have offered at least one contract to Springer. The Blue Jays have already made some early moves, bringing back Robbie Ray for another year. While the so-called talks may only be talks, it isn’t so off base to say that the Blue Jays are trying to strike while the iron is hot, before other teams can even consider a budget for free agency. A new stadium and new slugger? Not a bad looking for Toronto.
  • While young starters Max Fried and Ian Anderson showed great hope for the future, one could argue that the Braves’ downfall in 2020 was the inconsistency in their rotation. They’ve made multiple moves to boost their starting pitching in 2021, first signing Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million deal, then bringing back old friend Charlie Morton on a one-year, $15 million contract. While Smyly and Morton both carry some level of risk, it’s hard to go wrong with one-year contracts, and if Smyly and Morton are at their best, the Braves’ rotation could return to being one of the strengths of the team next season.
  • Who would’ve guessed that the Rays would consider trading Blake Snell before the end of his five-year, $50 million contract? (Numerous hands in the room go up.) Tampa is considering trading its ace, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, in order to — you guessed it — create financial flexibility as his salary increases from $7 million to $10.5 million in 2021. With all due respect to Trevor Bauer, this news makes Snell the most desirable pitcher with a realistic change of changing teams this offseason.
  • There has been quite a bit of re-arranging across the league in terms of the leaderships of various front offices. That trend continued when the Brewers promoted Matt Arnold, who had served as the team’s assistant general manager, to the posts of senior vice president and general manager. Arnold had been a candidate for several top jobs around the league and the Brewers made sure that he wasn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
  • Mets second baseman Robinson Canó tested positive for a banned substance for the second time and has been suspended for the entire 2021 season as a result. His subsequent silence on the matter has been, well, deafening and telling.
  • After nine seasons as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, including one that resulted in a drought-ending World Series victory, Theo Epstein is stepping down and says he’s going to take a break from baseball (though that hasn’t stopped some from connecting him to the Mets and Phillies front office openings). He’ll be replaced by his longtime right-hand man, Jed Hoyer, and the Cubs will have an opportunity to install another executive (perhaps one of their highly-regarded VPs, Jason McLeod or Dan Kantrovitz?) as GM if they so choose.
  • A time honored tradition each and every year is the release of the Hall of Fame ballot and having the internet shout about who is and who isn’t worthy of induction. That process began yet again last month as the 2021 ballot was released. With the list of newly eligible players being somewhat underwhelming, it will be interesting to see which players see a boost in their chances.
  • The Marlins have named Kim Ng their general manager. On top of being the first female GM in the history of major North American men’s professional sports, she’s also the first Asian-American GM in MLB history. She’s also been on “Great GM Candidates” lists for about 10 years now and was repeatedly passed over for a flurry of less qualified candidates ... but I digress.
  • Jake Odorizzi is gaining a lot of attention this offseason, most notably from the Blue Jays, Giants, and Mets, reports ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Twins haven’t ruled out re-signing him, but the 30-year old is coming off an injury riddled season that only saw him pitch 13 2⁄3 innings. That would certainly be enough to give any team pause.
  • Unlike some awards where there was a certain amount of suspense as to who was going to win the award, the BravesFreddie Freeman was the overwhelming favorite to take home the NL MVP award. He was arguably the best hitter in the league in 2020 and was on one of the best teams in the league. That combination is usually a good predictor of success and he did, in fact, take home the NL MVP award with 28 out of a possible 30 first place votes. Jose Abreu of the White Sox ended up taking home the AL MVP in a closer result over Jose Ramirez.
  • There are a lot of things that the Braves owe their recent success to, and one of those is the work of Perry Minasian, who has been an assistant to general manager Alex Anthopoulos the last three seasons and who has a lengthy family pedigree in baseball. The Angels took notice and managed to snag Minasian to be their new general manager.
  • MLB continued its awards week with the announcement of the Cy Young Awards for each of the respective leagues. To the surprise of no one, Shane Bieber took home the American League award after dominating throughout the 2020 season and Trevor Bauer held off Yu Darvish to win the the NL Cy Young.
  • Marcus Stroman was an interesting case amongst those who received qualifying offers this offseason. While he has been fairly highly regarded and could have normally been expected to get a nice payday in free agency, the tight purse strings we are expecting this offseason combined with the fact that he is coming off an injury lent some credence to the idea of him signing the QO and trying again next offseason. Stroman made the news official as he signed the offer and expressed excitement about the Mets direction under its new ownership.
  • If you had Jason Vosler as the first position player to score a major-league free-agent deal this offseason, come collect your prize. The Giants signed the 27-year-old third baseman, who has spent time in the Cubs and Padres organizations, to a big-league contract. Vosler is a veteran of six minor-league seasons and spent time at the Padres’ alternate training site over the summer but has yet to make his major-league debut. However, the Giants were still intrigued enough to give him a 40-man roster spot, perhaps because of his righty-mashing ability — the left-handed hitter hit .300/.371/.563 with 19 homers in 339 plate appearances against right-handers at Triple-A El Paso in 2019.
  • Florida was heavily represented as baseball’s 2020 Managers of the Year were announced, with Don Mattingly winning in the National League and Kevin Cash winning in the AL. Good thing World Series performance wasn’t part of the criteria.
  • When the White Sox hired Tony La Russa to be their next manager, it got a lot of attention mainly because everyone just assumed that La Russa was done managing in the big leagues and had moved on to the twilight of his career in baseball. Now, the hiring is getting some additional scrutiny because apparently La Russa was charged with his second DUI just one day before the White Sox announced the hiring. The team making the move despite knowing about the charge is ... interesting to say the least.
  • The Rookie of the Year awards were announced, and the MarinersKyle Lewis was the unanimous pick over in the American League, while Brewers reliever Devin Williams, who was all but unhittable this year, took home the hardware in the National League over Alec Bohm and Jake Cronenworth.
  • A new regime is starting in Queens and they’re already making big moves. The Mets have parted ways with several top executives, including the one and only Brodie Van Wagenen. Steve Cohen is wasting no time in getting business done.
  • No surprise here. The Tigers have hired A.J. Hinch as their new manager. Some may even say this is an extension of Hinch’s punishment from the Astros’ cheating scandal.
  • Astros reliever Josh James underwent surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. He’ll be out of commission for 6-8 months, meaning he’ll miss the beginning of the 2021 season...that is, granted, if it starts on time next year. The 27-year old threw for a 7.27 ERA this season.
  • The Red Sox owners group might be taking the company public, in case you want to get a little piece of the action. Fenway Sports LLC is in special negations with a special acquisitions company that would bring them public, reports Cara Lombardo and Miriam Gottfried of the Wall Street Journal. After going public, Fenway Sports would be valued at $8B, giving the acquisition company, RedBall Acquisitions, a $1.575B minority share. Don’t worry Red Sox fans, John Henry will still maintain majority control of the group.
  • The Reds got some less than ideal news recently as their president of baseball operations, Dick Williams, resigned. There isn’t really a sordid reason for Williams’ decision, as he just wants to spend more time with family and work on ventures outside of baseball. His former right-hand man, Nick Krall, will now oversee the team’s baseball operations department.
  • After five disappointing and cringeworthy seasons, Matt Klentak has stepped down as Phillies’ GM. The 40-year old with be reassigned a new role within the club, one that the Phillies have yet to announce and frankly we’re scared to hear. While Klentak was great when it came to blockbuster and exciting deals like Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, he could never quite seem to get lasting depth in the bullpen.
  • Francisco Cervelli has announced his retirement on Instagram, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela in 2003, the veteran backstop didn’t make his name in the league until 2008. After bouncing to Pittsburg and a brief stint in Atlanta, he signed a one-year deal with the Marlins last season. Cervelli slashed a career average .268/.358/.382, earning what FanGraphs has has doled out to him: a career 18 WAR.