Jon Heyman shares his news and notes from Major League Baseball:
The Royals, a realistic group, will sell. Andrew Benintendi could be their strong point and Carlos Santana could attract interest. The Royals are speaking “more seriously” of the versatile Whit Merrifield in business discussions than ever, a rival executive said. He is a free agent after next year.
Orioles have a great pen and should do well if they swap stars closer to Jorge Lopez and others. Trey Mancini will probably go too. The price will be higher for non-free agents Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle and much higher for Cedric Mullins.
Rangers could try to sign late starter Martin Perez to a multi-year deal before considering any swaps for him. Back with Texas, he’s pitching like a star, albeit years later expected.
The Padres’ offense has increased recently with Jurickson Profar, Jake Cronenworth and Luke Voit all warming up, but will likely be looking for a hitter, most likely a winger. They’ve tried Joey Gallo in the past, but no team is likely to offer much at the moment.
“Unmarketable,” one executive calls Gallo.
A longtime baseball person speaks for many when he says he can’t see AL MVP leader Aaron Judge leave the Yankees. “It’s too perfect a scenario. He is not going anywhere. That person sensed that the Cubs, which they should finally spend, would be the biggest threat to hiring him.
Shouldn’t the Astros extend Dusty Baker now? His contract only lasts this year.
A rival GM said he might see the Marlins buy Pablo Lopez, as they are very fond of young pitchers, have shown a willingness to do so in the past, and would have sold for a high price (2.85 ERA). They have a stash of young guns, but Eury Perez and Max Meyer are the two rivals who believe they won’t consider swapping, plus of course Sandy Alcantara.
The D-Backs want to keep pitcher Zac Gallen and second baseman Ketel Mars, and Merrill Kelly isn’t going to be easy to get. In the meantime, Zach Davies, Mark Melancon, and Ian Kennedy should go. Madison Bumgarner pitched decently, but the D-Backs would have to make up for her contract to occupy him.
Rarely mentioned but worthy of mention among the best trades was former GM of Marlins Michael Hill who got Alcantara and Gallen (later traded for Jazz Chisholm) for Marcell Ozuna.
The best piece of the Tigers is southpaw Gregory Soto, an All-Star last year, but a rival GM said that while he predicts they’ll ask for loot, they shouldn’t expect one; although he’s talented, that executive said he’s been a bit “erratic.” Robbie Grossman and Michael Fulmer are Tigers who are likely to be moved.
A person from the Tigers, on the offer of $ 275 million over 10 years to Carlos Correa, said: “He should have accepted it.” That might be the case (but Correa has multiple opt-outs that give him the ability to get there after his $ 105.3 million Twins deal), but what’s not debatable is that Correa would look a lot better than the alternate way the Tigers spent the money. Javier Baez for $ 140 million was not himself. And Eduardo Rodriguez, who signed for $ 77 million, is on the confidential list after asking for time to address a marital issue. There are no times for him to return. But at some point, the Tigers may insist on this problem.
If this is for Lorenzo Cain, congratulations on a terrific career. He is a professional and a gentleman.
Award leader, as heard on The Post podcast “The Show:” AL MVP; Aaron judge, Jose Ramirez; MVP NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado; AL Cy: Shane McClanahan, Alek Manoah; NL Cy: Sandy Alcantara, Joe Musgrove.
Player of the Week: Shohei Ohtani, Angels SP / DH. Second place: Anthony Rizzo, Yankees 1B.