Monday, November 9, 2015


By Michael Wong

Boca Raton, Fla.--Already rampant talk going on around the game as the first installment of the Winter Meetings is underway here in Florida.  Here is the latest chatter emanating from the first full day.

-The New York Yankees were reportedly very interested in both second baseman Daniel Muprhy and SP Jeff Samarzjia as free agency is now underway.  A team official confirmed the Yanks have been in touch with the agents for both and in particular are interested in buying low on Samardzjia who is coming off a down 2015 with the Chicago White Sox.  While Samardzjia has lost some velocity over the last two years, the team official think the Yanks could possibly get him on a two-year deal at a somewhat affordable rate.

Meanwhile the first big-name rumor involved the Yankees as GM Brian Cashman confirmed the speculation that closer Andrew Miller could be available for trade.  Miller was the American League Closer of the Year in 2015 as he was virtually flawless for the Yanks in once again posting monster strikeout numbers and also doing a fantastic job finishing games in his first go-round as a stopper.  Miller is entering just the second year of a four-year contract but the Yanks have Dellin Betances ready to step in and dominate.  Something to watch as the Meetings go on.

-I am hearing it is almost a guarantee the Detroit Tigers will sign Joakim Soria to be the team's closer again.  Right now I have been told the Tigers are trying to get him on a one-year deal but Soria is looking for at least two.  It makes sense for the two to reunite as the Tigers have one of the few closer openings available this season. 

-The International market dominated talk Monday as we learned it was the Minnesota Twins and not the Pittsburgh Pirates who won the bid on Korean first baseman Byong-Ho Park.  Talk about video game numbers, Park hit 53 home runs and batted .343 with 146 RBI for the Nexen Heroes of the Korean League last season and the very solid rookie debut of Jung-Ho Kang for the Pirates last season made the Twins and many other MLB teams less leery of investing in players from that country.  Clearly power is Park's game but again the quality of competition needs to be taken into account. 

-Big blow for the Cleveland Indians who lost outfielder Michael Brantley until at least May due to him having to undergo shoulder surgery.  Brantley tore the labrum in the shoulder last September but for some reason the Indians waited until now to do the surgery.  David Murphy could return as a result of Brantley's loss. 

-Carlos Quentin is making the rounds in announcing he is trying to make a comeback at 33.  He will be waiting awhile for a job from what I hear. 

-The Colorado Rockies continue to be connected to Daniel Murphy as a possible first base option.  The Rockies have been trying to fill first base since Todd Helton retired and they think Murphy's bat would be tremendous in Coors Field.  If Murphy does make the move there, his fantasy baseball value would skyrocket and 20 home runs would be a near certainty. 

-The strongest word I heard today is that the Chicago Cubs are guaranteed to end up with either David Price or Zack Greinke in that order.  Joe Maddon pushing very hard for Price who paired with Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta would give the Cubs the best 1-2-3 punch in the game. 

More later.  Stay tuned. 


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