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MLB Trade Rumors and News: Athletics sign Rosenthal, Mets sign Walker

Don’t sleep on some of these deals.

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National League Division Series Game 3: Los Angeles Dodgers v. San Diego Padres Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via 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.

  • The Athletics and Twitter personality Trevor Rosenthal have agreed on a one year deal. In 23.2 innings last season, the veteran reliever posted a ridiculous 1.90 ERA with a career high strikeout rate of 14.45 K/9.
  • Bad news is hitting Phillies’ camp just days into Spring Training. J.T. Realmuto has suffered a broken thumb catching a live bullpen session, and his future making the start for Opening Day remains uncertain. Not what you really want to hear about the guy you just signed to a 5-year, $115.5M deal.
  • The Mets are adding more depth to their rotation and have signed Taijuan Walker. After missing nearly two years post-Tommy John surgery, the journeyman made his return to the mound last year, posting an impressive 2.70 ERA in his time split between the Mariners and the Blue Jays.
  • Navigating the uncertain waters of an Aaron Judge extension. WARNING: Hot Takes ahead. Proceed with caution.
  • While the Padres have been one of the most aggressive teams in baseball this offseason, one thing that was not expected was a reworked deal with their young star, Fernando Tatis Jr. One of the things that gave San Diego the financial flexibility they had was having guys like Tatis Jr. on cheap early contracts. However, the Padres surprised, well, everyone yesterday by signing Fernando to a 14 year, $340 million contract extension.
  • The Tim Tebow sideshow has officially came to an end as he retired from professional baseball yesterday. Sure, his career in baseball was probably largely a marketing scheme concocted by his agents to further build his brand after playing football didn’t work out, but he was better than a lot of us thought he would be and he also brought much needed revenue to teams throughout minor league baseball.
  • The Giants have been one of the most active teams in baseball in free agency this offseason, signing a bushel of low-floor, high-ceiling pitchers to major-league deals. That trend continued Tuesday night as the team signed right-hander Aaron Sanchez to a one-year, $4 million deal, per the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. Sanchez, 28, missed the entire 2020 season after undergoing shoulder surgery and has not been very good over the last half-decade. But he was arguably the most important pitcher on a couple of dominant Blue Jays clubs during the mid-2010s, and he was an All-Star while posting an AL-leading 3.00 ERA over 192 innings in 2016. While he may just be one of many pitchers who peaked early in his career, it’s still very fair to wonder whether he can deliver on the tremendous potential he showcased in his early 20s. Earlier in the day, San Francisco also signed right-hander Nick Tropeano — who was stellar down the stretch with the Pirates in 2020 — to a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league camp.
  • The Padres have signed veteran closer Mark Melancon. The three-time All-Star solidifies the back of San Diego’s bullpen and is another key addition as the Padres look to unseat the Dodgers as NL West champions in 2021.
  • The Dodgers will be bringing back alleged super spreader Justin Turner on a two-year deal. The 36-year old is still a valuable asset to the Dodgers, slashing .307/.400/.460 over 175 plate appearances last year and a firecracker postseason performance that included two homers. Don’t forget, this is the same Justin Turner that the Mets non-tendered. Just making sure you remember. The deal is expected to be in the $35M range.
  • The offseason has moved with waves: big, massive moves that we never saw coming, tiny swells that we barely knew happened, and waves that looked really big and exciting from a distance but totally weren’t worth the fuss (just guess). And while some teams snagged a big star to help them out, there’s still work to be done. Here’s what every team in MLB needs to work on acquiring before the season begins.
  • The Red Sox, Mets, and Royals got together on a three team trade that ultimately resulted in Andrew Benintendi, who has two years of team control left, heading to Kansas City. A lot of the shine has worn off of Benintendi as he hasn’t been the impact bat the Red Sox hoped he would be and he was hurt for much of last season, but he should at least make the Royals a little bit better. The Red Sox and Mets are both getting prospects in return with Khalil Lee (who is headed to the Mets from the Royals) headlining the group.
  • The Marlins added some valuable right-handed power to their lineup, agreeing to a deal with former Braves slugger Adam Duvall (who hit three homers in the Braves’ 29-9 win over Miami last Sept. 9). In a sign of how cash-strapped the Marlins appear to be this offseason, it’s a backloaded deal, with Duvall receiving $2 million this season and either a $7 million mutual option or a $3 million buyout in 2022.
  • The Mets added an interesting bench piece, signing utility player Jonathan Villar to a one-year, $3.55 million deal. While Villar struggled during a 2020 season split between Miami and Toronto, he was stellar in 2019, playing in all 162 games for the Orioles and hitting 24 homers with 40 steals and a .792 OPS.
  • MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to health and safety protocols for the 2021 season. Returning for a second season — ostensibly because they’ll keep players at the ballpark for shorter periods of time — are the runner-on-second rule in extra innings and seven-inning doubleheaders.
  • Now we can all forget about the dog and pony show for a totally average player, because Trevor Bauer has signed a three-year, $102 million deal with Dodgers. Ah, to have a career 3.90 ERA and get a massive, unprecedented contract.
  • The Braves have signed Marcell Ozuna to four-year deal. The 30-year old will make $64M over those four years, with the potential to reach $80M with a fifth year option. After last season’s temporary introduction of the DH to the National League (we love short season chaos) the two-time All Star found himself at a career crossroads: spending less time at his defensive position and more games in that DH role. He also slashed .338/.431/.636 during said short season chaos. While the NL is likely ridding itself of the DH this season, this could be Atlanta’s way of preparing just in case it returns, and if nothing else having a power hitter with a good eye in the batter’s box is a great sign three weeks before spring training kicks off.
  • The Angels fortified their outfield when they traded for Dexter Fowler from the Cardinals. The return for the Cards is just a player to be named later or cash and they had to throw in almost $13 million in the deal as well. As a result, it looks like top prospect Jo Adell will start the season in the minor leagues after struggling in his major league debut.
  • Chris Archer was a two-time All-Star and one of baseball’s most exciting starting pitchers over six-plus seasons with the Rays. After missing all of last season following thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, he’ll try to rediscover that magic with Tampa in 2021, as he signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Rays.
  • Former Mets manager and current (for the moment anyways) Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway is under fire due to multiple accusations of lewd and indecent conduct for texts he sent to multiple female members of sports media in recent years. While investigations are ongoing, the initial information is pretty awful and it seems likely that, at the very least, his current employment with the Angels is in jeopardy. He was suspended as the Angels launched an investigation into his lewd behavior.
  • The Cardinals have done what feels like the impossible and have acquired Nolan Arenado, yes the Nolan Arenado, from Rockies. In tandem with the deal, because it is also so insane, Colorado is giving the Cardinals $50M cash to take the slugger off of their hands.
  • The Giants continue to make some interesting additions this offseason, the latest being the signing of infielder Tommy La Stella to a three-year deal. The righty-masher is a logical addition that took major advantage of platoons and experienced a major offensive turnaround in 2020.
  • In a not-too-surprising development, no players were elected to the Hall of Fame as the 2021 BBWAA voting was revealed. Perhaps more surprising was that Curt Schilling, never one to turn down an opportunity to make himself the center of attention, requested that he be removed from the ballot in his final year of eligibility next year.
  • Things have gotten pretty weird these days, there is no arguing that. However, when the Yankees and Red Sox make a trade of a player people have actually heard of? Well, that’s madness. Adam Ottavino had a really bad 2020 season, but the Red Sox are betting/hoping that that was a fluke as they traded with their arch-enemies the Yankees to acquire the veteran reliever’s services. As a reward for taking on his $9 million salary, they also received highly-regarded prospect Frank German.
  • Boston is not to be forgotten this offseason. The Red Sox have signed Enrique Hernandez to a two year deal. He’ll take over their notoriously open spot at second base to the tune of $14M. The 29-year-old brings a much needed breath of defensive stability to the team, with his strong arm and glove outweighing how inconsistent he can be at the plate.
  • The Yankees, not to be outdone by anyone, have started reinforcing their 40-man less than a month until pitchers and catchers report. New York has acquired Jameson Taillon from the Pirates for a package of prospects. Taillon made his debut in 2016 with Pittsburgh and has pitched for a career 3.67 ERA across 82 starts for the team.
  • Just when you think they’re in the clear, the Mets still manage to do Mets things. Brad Hand was all but signed to the team before he switched it up and signed with the Nationals, reportsJon Heyman of MLB Network. The southpaw will head to Washington for one-year, $10.5M, a figure reportedly not too far off from what New York was offering. His contract is free of option years or incentives, meaning that there’s a blatant time cap on Hand’s tenure in D.C. Despite being one of this most dominant closers in the league over the past five years, Cleveland paid Hand a $1M buyout after declining his $10M option. They weren’t so quick with cutting the check though, and they placed him on outright waivers in the hope another club would claim him and exercise the option, a move Mets club president Sandy Alderson said the Mets may have done if ownership was concrete by then. In his last two season with Cleveland, Hand has pitched a 2.78 ERA over 107 relief innings. No doubt he will bring back stability to Washington’s bullpen with the free agency departure of Sean Doolittle.
  • Michael Brantley had himself quite the day in terms of reporting on his free agency. Last Wednesday, it was widely reported that he had reached a three year deal with the Blue Jays which would have meant he was following George Springer to Toronto. However, that was fairly quickly walked back and a couple hours later, it was announced that he was actually signing a two year deal with the Astros. Weird day.
  • The Blue Jays have been hyped up as a team to watch all offseason, and they finally delivered, signing star outfielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million contractand former All-Star closer Kirby Yates to a one-year deal. While the Jays’ rotation depth is still somewhat questionable, they now look like a rather serious playoff contender heading into 2021.
  • Leave it to the Mets to take a personnel move that was largely applauded and still manage to screw it up. The Mets hired Jared Porter to work under the returning Sandy Alderson to help rebuild what has been a franchise decimated by meddling and financial issues of their previous owners, the Wilpons. However, it was revealed that Porter sent dozens of unsolicited texts to a reporter in 2016, including very explicit ones. It got so bad that the reporter ended up leaving the country and deciding to work in a different industry. That is a bad, bad look. The Mets decided by the next morning to fire Porter, and Alderson announced that he’ll run the team without a general manager in 2021.
  • Jon Lester is in the twilight of his career, so where he signed for 2021 wasn’t as big a source of intrigue as it was a few years ago. However, it is always good to know what the baseball landscape looks like and what teams are trying to do, and Lester and the Nationals worked out a deal for 2021 with a mutual option. That Nationals roster, in particular their rotation, is getting old fast...
  • The Padres have been incredibly fun to watch both on the field in 2020 as well as this offseason. You would have thought that the team was pleased to get two pitchers the caliber of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish in the same offseason, but they didn’t stop there as San Diego traded a bunch of prospects in a three team deal that allowed them to acquire Joe Musgrove from the Pirates to further solidify their rotation. That NL West race is going to be a VERY interesting one.
  • The Yankees have officially stopped dragging their feet and are finalizing a 6-year deal with DJ LeMahieu. That contract will run the team $90M to keep the second baseman. In his two years with the team, the 32-year old has slashed .336/.386/.536 with 129 RBI and was a major fan favorite. Before being brought back by the Yankees, the All-Star was in serious talks with multiple teams, including the Blue Jays and Mets.
  • Brian Cashman is at it again, and New York is adding a slew of new faces. The Yankees have agreed to a deal with Corey Kluber. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will help round out a very flat back end of New York’s rotation. The one-year, $11M deal will hopefully see a much healthier Kluber than the one who dealt with a linger shoulder issue last season.
  • It is pretty clear that sleeping on the White Sox is a bad idea as, after a surprisingly good 2020 season thanks to oodles of young talent, they are very much on the rise in the AL Central. Their bullpen got a big boost as the White Sox opened their wallets in a big way to sign closer Liam Hendriks to a three year, $54 million deal. It is an open question as to why the White Sox felt compelled to give that much money in this market to a reliever, but it is obvious that they are not messing around in trying to try and bring a title to Chi-Town.
  • As MLB looks to increase social distancing in spring training this year (and perhaps boost the chances of minor-league teams beginning the season with fans in the stands), minor-leaguers slated to begin the season in any level besides Triple-A will wait to report to camp until after major-leaguers and Triple-A players have departed. Under that timeline, the Double-A and A-ball seasons likely won’t begin until May at the earliest.