MLB Rumors: Royals Buy Hunter Dozier, Nicky Lopez After Red Sox Trade;  Marlins halt pursuit of Yuli Gurriel

MLB Rumors: Royals Buy Hunter Dozier, Nicky Lopez After Red Sox Trade; Marlins halt pursuit of Yuli Gurriel

We’re less than a month away from spring training, baseball fans. Here is each team’s spring training report date. Now here are Monday’s hot stove rumors as you wait for baseball to return in a few weeks.

Red Sox buy Mondesi

The Red Sox acquired oft-injured infielder Adalberto Mondesi from the Royals for left-handed reliever Josh Taylor, according to Boston will also receive a player to be named later in the trade. Even with Enrique Hernández’s move from center field to shortstop, the Red Sox need interior depth after the departure of Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story’s elbow surgery.

Mondesi, 27, has played just 50 games over the past two seasons due to multiple injuries, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He displayed five-tool ability earlier in his career, including hitting .276/.306/.498 with 14 homers and 32 interceptions in 75 games in 2018, though injuries hampered his development. Mondesi will be a free agent after 2023. Taylor, 29, didn’t pitch in MLB last season and made just a handful of minor league appearances due to a back injury.

Royal family discuss other careers

But wait, there could be more movement coming from the Royals, who have now dealt Mondesi and outfielder Michael A. Taylor in the last 24 hours. According to ESPN, the Royals also discussed trades involving utility player Hunter Dozier and infielder Nicky Lopez.

Dozier, a 31-year-old potentially signed for the 2025 season, failed to pull off what seemed like a breakout season in 2019. He posted an 89 OPS+ over the past three years while bouncing back in corner positions. Lopez, 27, is under the control of the team throughout the 2025 season. He too failed to build on what was a record season in 2021. His OPS+ fell from 104 to 58. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal notes the White Sox are one of the teams interested in Lopez.

The Royals have a glut of young positional players, whether in the majors or on the way, making them an obvious candidate to ship at least one more hitter by Opening Day.

The Athletics signed first baseman Jesús Aguilar to a one-year contract worth $3 million, reports USA Today. Oakland has spent nearly $30 million on six free agents this offseason (Aguilar, Aledmys Díaz, Shintaro Fujinami, Trevor May, Jace Peterson and Drew Rucinski), though their estimated 2023 payroll is just $58.5 million. dollars, according to FanGraphs. It’s one of the lowest in baseball.

Aguilar, 32, hit .235/.281/.379 with 16 home runs in 129 games for the Marlins and Orioles in 2022. He was an above-average hitter as recently as 2021, however, and is considered as an excellent clubhouse presence. . Aguilar can form a platoon with Seth Brown at first base and take on DH batsmen as well. And, if he performs well, the A’s might just turn him into a prospect by the deadline.

The Marlins stop the pursuit of Gurriel

The Marlins have halted their pursuit of free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel, reports the Miami Herald. Miami is currently expected to face Garrett Cooper at first base and Jorge Soler at DH, but if they’re willing to live defensively with either Cooper or Soler in the outfield, there’s still room in the lineup for Gurriel. Jazz Chisholm moves to center following Luis Arraez trade.

Miami has been looking for high-contact hitters all offseason and Gurriel would certainly be in good shape. He’s posted one of baseball’s lowest strikeout rates since joining in 2016, despite having the worst season of his MLB career in 2022, and at 38, it’s possible his days as an above average hitter are over. For now though, the Marlins have halted their pursuit. It is not known if they are concentrated elsewhere.

Rays still looking for offense

The Rays are still looking to improve their offense, although general manager Erik Neader conceded “there aren’t a lot of (difference-making bats) available,” reports the Tampa Bay Weather. Jurickson Profar is the best free agent position player still on the marketalthough others like Miguel Sanó, Franmil Reyes, Luke Voit and former Ray David Peralta also remain unsigned.

Last season, the Rays ranked 21st in runs scored and they scored just one run in nine of their last 16 regular season games. Tampa was then held to a 24-inning solo homer in their Wild Card Series loss to the Guardians. The Rays haven’t added any offense this offseason. On the contrary, they subtracted their offense with the Ji-Man Choi trade.

The Orioles are still looking for help with the rotation

Orioles general manager Mike Elias hopes to add another starting pitcher before spring training, he said during an interview with 105.7 FM The Fan this weekend (via the Baltimore Sun). The O’s signed Kyle Gibson to a one-year contract earlier this winter. Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and Austin Voth complete the rotation until top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is called up.

Baltimore has been connected to Michael Wacha, the best free agent starter available, these last weeks. Other unsigned starters include Zack Greinke, Mike Minor and Michael Pineda. If nothing else, the O’s could use another veteran just to chew up the sleeves and spare the bullpen a bit, and avoid asking the kids to carry too much work too soon.

The Reds are unlikely to make any further additions

The Reds are not expected to make any further additions before spring training and the roster is “pretty much settled”, general manager Nick Krall said during the team trailer on Monday ( through the Cincinnati Applicant). “Obviously we tore it down (after making the playoffs in 2020). We traded some players last year. It’s something we had to go through. We’re trying to rebuild it,” added Krall.

The offseason has been fairly quiet for the Reds. They traded in Kyle Farmer, added Wil Myers and Luke Weaver, and that’s about it. Cincinnati opened 2022 with a payroll of $114.1 million. Their estimated payroll for 2023 currently sits at $81.5 million, per FanGraphs. As a percentage of 2022 payroll, the Reds are set to take the biggest payroll cut in baseball this year.

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