MLB Winter Meetings are back!  Predictions, updates and everything you need

MLB Winter Meetings are back! Predictions, updates and everything you need

For the first time since 2019, winter baseball fixtures are back!

All signs point to an action-packed week of rumours, signings and trades in San Diego – and we’ve got it all covered for you here, from our MLB expert predictions at meetings to the latest updates and analysis like movement decreases.

When will Aaron Judge decide between staying with the New York Yankees and going to the San Francisco Giants or another suitor? Which of this year’s four-star shortstops in the free agent class will find a home first? And will Justin Verlander or Carlos Rodon sign to lead your squad rotation before meetings end after Jacob deGrom made waves by joining Rangers on Friday night? Check out our predictions now and refresh often for the latest as the week unfolds.

Key links: Hot stove survey | Predictions | Impact of the new rules | Tracker

The trades we want to see | Top Free Agents | Overview of Passan | FA-Grades

Winter Meeting Predictions

Who will be the biggest name to sign in San Diego?

Bradford Doolittle: Jeff Passan recently wrote that there’s a good chance Aaron Judge’s free agency will end before the end of winter meetings. Judge is the biggest name in the free agent market. So you don’t have to be Aristotle to see the logic in stating that Judge will be the biggest name to sign.

Buster Olney: Judge’s situation is a lot like deGrom’s – he’s going to get a huge contract, as the top free agent on the board, but there aren’t many suitors. It seems likely he’s already heard the best offer he’s going to hear from the Giants and Yankees. Agents not involved in negotiations predict that he will do something in the next 24-48 hours.

Joon Lee: Judge. There will be a huge domino effect after he’s signed and he’ll probably set the market for the bigger deal. The Yankees will have much of their offseason plans shaped around the outcome of what happens with the slugger and how they plan to spend money this offseason, especially with such an eager fanbase for a championship than it has ever been.

David Schoenfield: The judge makes sense. Because he actually has fewer teams chasing his signature than some other big-name players, all he has to do is make a decision. His market is independent of everyone else, so while it may be advantageous for players at other positions – like the four shortstops – to wait for the dominoes to start falling, there is no advantage for Judge to wait. And if it’s just between the Yankees and the Giants, that decision may come to San Diego.

Jesse Rogers: Justin Verlander. He doesn’t sound like a “wait until February” guy. Its market is not necessarily related to Judge. Pitchers are starting to sign, and Verlander should do so as soon as possible. He’s also unique from those other pitchers in that he’s older, which means he’s probably not a guy looking for opt-outs and things of that nature.

What is the rumor that will dominate the week?

Olney: Verlander’s situation, which could mirror what happened with Trevor Bauer’s free agency a few years ago, with a showdown between the Dodgers and the Mets. He’s a future Hall of Famer and just won a Cy Young Award, and will have an immediate impact — and both of these teams need him.

The Mets just lost another future Hall Famer to deGrom and have huge holes in their rotation, and could really use a plug-and-play star – and Verlander’s contract structure (high salary, short-term contract) matches the Dodgers’ preferences. With Bauer, the Mets thought they had signed the right-hander before the Dodgers swooped in at the end to snatch Bauer; both parties will be well aware of this history throughout the process.

There’s a lot of talk in the offices about how Max Scherzer and Verlander might not be best friends, and whether that factor might impact the Mets’ pursuit of Verlander, but remember — at the Buck Showalter’s time with the Diamondbacks, he succeeded Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers who weren’t close but naturally pushed each other.

Doolittle: Of all the shortstop-related scuttlebuts, the Twins’ pursuit of Carlos Correa appears to be the most advanced common thread. This suggests Correa could be the first domino to fall in the derby to land him, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts or Dansby Swanson. Maybe that won’t mean Minnesota will end up having a big press conference announcing Correa is coming back to the Twin Cities — or maybe it will. But I could definitely see talk of Correa looming in meetings, not just because he’s a star player in his own right, but because his signing could set off a chain reaction in the rest of the market.

Schoenfield: I will accept all rumors surrounding the Mets. With three starters and their two best 2022 setup relievers all in free agency, they have some big moves to make — which could possibly include a splash, like signing Verlander to replace deGrom at the top of their rotation. But they’ll need at least one more starting pitcher after that, maybe two, relievers…oh, and a center back to replace Brandon Nimmo if he signs elsewhere. The Mets say they want to hold on to their prospects, and while Francisco Alvarez is untouchable, they might also have to consider some trades.

Li: I’m so curious what’s going to happen with the Xander Bogaerts situation in Boston. The Red Sox front office – both privately and publicly – has shifted its tone dramatically in its drive to give him a big contract. While there are certainly business reasons not to sign Bogaerts – especially given questions about how long he will remain a shortstop – the fan base is increasingly angry with the organization regarding the attitude around signing star players, which started with the Mookie Betts. Trade. If Bogaerts leaves, Boston will need to be aggressive in free agency to upgrade the team as patience runs out among the Red Sox nation.

Roger: No matter where you turn, the subject will undoubtedly find its way to Judge. Will he leave New York or not? It’s not exactly the same storyline as Babe Ruth leaving the Red Sox for the Yankees – but it’s damn close.

Latest news, rumours, updates from San Diego

Monday, December 5

Breaking news on the top four free agent shortstops

The shortstop market is not nearly understood. With four players wanted by up to 10 teams, this can take a while. But the further we go into the offseason, according to one executive, the less likely it is that any of them will re-sign with their former teams. (The exception is Carlos Correa, who could return to the Twins as some sort of old team/new team re-signing). There’s no big indication who might sign first. -Jesse Rogers

Why Verlander could be the next big name to sign

Verlander is expected to sign soon now that deGrom is out of the picture. A majority of executives remain firm in their belief that he will leave the Astros. –Rogers

How early pitcher signings set the bar

The market ($11–13 million per year) for second-tier free agent pitching has been defined. Conversations now revolve around total packages. Mike Clevinger got a year. Zach Eflin got three. Agents like the Eflin package, which totaled $40 million. –Rogers

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