Hot MLB Offseason Rumors That Will Actually Come True
Even with many of the top free agents gone—and a plethora of trades already executed—there’s still plenty of offseason left. As a result, the usual hot stove is in full force.
While it’s difficult to ascertain as to which rumors could potentially be true, some of them simply make sense.
For instance, with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks now out of the running for Shin-Soo Choo, it appears as though the Texas Rangers have the greatest chance of landing the dynamic star. Adding Choo and his double-digit home runs/stolen bases talent would be a huge plus for the contending Rangers.
Read on to see all the hot MLB offseason rumors that will actually come true.
Mets Trade Ike Davis to the Pirates
The New York Mets haven’t been shy about dangling first baseman Ike Davis. However, with James Loney signing with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets lost a potential destination for their maligned slugger.
Even with the Rays out of the picture, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates could jump into the Davis frenzy.
Davis struggled to find consistency in 2013, posting a .205 batting average, park-adjusted 89 OPS-plus and just nine home runs over 377 plate appearances. While the 26-year-old fared better in the second half, hitting .286 with a .954 OPS and striking out 7.8 percent less than he did in the first half, he hasn’t been able to string together a good, full season since 2010.
Sandy Alderson’s asking price might be high for the first baseman. Then again, Davis hit 32 home runs in 2012 and is still under team control.
Padres Ink Joaquin Benoit
After being an extremely effective reliever from 2010 to 2012, the Detroit Tigers finally gave Joaquin Benoit a chance to close in 2013. The right-hander did not disappoint.
Benoit pitched to the tune of a 2.01 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 209 ERA-plus), 1.03 WHIP, 3.32 strikeouts per walks ratio and saved 24 games. However, with the Tigers’ acquisition of Joe Nathan, a Benoit/Tigers reunion seems unlikely.
Instead, Benoit could soon find a new home with the San Diego Padres, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Even with Huston Street in place, the Padres could either deal the 30-year-old or demote him in favor of Benoit.
After trading Joe Thatcher and Luke Gregerson in the past year, the Padres could certainly use some bullpen help.
A.J. Burnett Retiring
A.J. Burnett enjoyed quite the renaissance season in 2013. The 36-year-old posted a 3.30 ERA (versus a park-adjusted 107 ERA-plus), 1.21 WHIP and 3.12 strikeouts per walks ratio.
Regardless, Burnett informed TribLive’s Rob Biertempfel in March that he intended to either re-sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates or retire in 2014.
Now several months into the offseason—and with little reported traction between the two sides—it’s looking more like Burnett will retire than re-sign with the Pirates.
Even though the Pirates’ rotation is full with Wandy Rodriguez returning from injury and the addition of Edinson Volquez, the team would still welcome Burnett back with open arms if he changed his mind.
Shin-Soo Choo Signs with the Rangers
As the best remaining hitter on the free-agent market, Shin-Soo Choo will have no shortage of suitors. However, as ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett reports, the tie between Choo and the Texas Rangers is a strong one.
Even though the Rangers already acquired slugger Prince Fielder this offseason, Choo would too do some damage in the hitter-friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The 31-year-old was a dynamic asset on offense in 2013, posting a park-adjusted 143 OPS-plus, 15.7 percent walk rate, 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Despite gloving a minus-17 DRS in the outfield last season according to The Fielding Bible, Choo's offensive production was elite enough to balance out his overall 4.2 bWAR.
While the Rangers could start former Athletics prospect Michael Choice in left field, adding Choo would obviously be the bolder move.