MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Trevor Story, Mets Manager, Cubs, Eric Hosmer

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2021

MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Trevor Story, Mets Manager, Cubs, Eric Hosmer

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    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    The Major League Baseball lockout continues, which has put a damper on a usually frantic point in the baseball offseason. Hot-stove fans have been limited to minor-league transactions and the rumor mill since the work stoppage began on December 2.

    Arguably the biggest real news we've gotten over the past 12 days is that Justin Verlander's two-year, $50 million deal with the Houston Astros has been formally approved, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

    However, while speculation won't fully sate fans hoping to see their favorite teams pick up additional pieces, it does help whet the appetite for the post-lockout surge that will assuredly follow.

    With that in mind, let's dive into the latest MLB offseason buzz.

Teams Could Consider Trevor Story at Second Base

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    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is one of the more notable names who didn't sign before the work stoppage. While he's certainly a quality player, he might not be the biggest shortstop target for teams when the market reopens.

    "When free agency resumes, Story won't be the best shortstop available. That distinction goes to Correa, a 27-year-old All-Star and Gold Glover who'll be looking to top Seager's 10-year, $325 million haul," John Tomase of NBC Sports Boston wrote.

    What's interesting to note, though, is that teams might not consider Story only at short.

    "Most scouts believe that the 29-year-old Story would benefit from a shift to second base due to diminished arm strength," Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times wrote. "He's dealt with elbow strains over the past few seasons, and a shift to second base might reduce the overall wear and tear."

    It's an intriguing bit of insight, as it potentially opens Story's market significantly. Teams may be concerned with Story's arm strength at shortstop but still interested in his offensive power—he batted .251 with 24 home runs this past season.

    If Story is open to a position switch, he could theoretically up his market value substantially. According to Divish, the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Houston Astros were interested in Story before the lockout—with Seattle reportedly making an official offer.

Mets Narrowing Manager Search

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    Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

    Teams can make front-office moves during the lockout, and the New York Mets may finally be close to landing a manager for the upcoming season. Last week, the Mets' search was down to six candidates, with a second round of interviews on the docket, according to Anthony DiComo of

    "Brad Ausmus, Joe Espada, Bob Geren, Clayton McCullough, Matt Quatraro and Buck Showalter are all going through the interview process for the Mets' open managerial job, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation, with several of those set to advance to a second round of the process as soon as next week," he wrote.

    It seems that the second round has cut the candidate pool in half. According to Joel Sherman, Ken Davidoff and Mike Puma of the New York Post, the search is down to three candidates with one clear favorite:

    "Buck Showalter, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro will meet with team officials, including owner Steve Cohen, in callback interviews this week as the Mets look toward naming Luis Rojas’ successor before Christmas, according to industry sources. Showalter is considered a strong favorite for the job."

    Showalter leading the race isn't surprising, as he's very experienced and "impressed" New York during early interviews, according to Puma.

    A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter has coached the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, last coaching in 2018.

Cubs Interested in Acquiring Contracts, Have Considered Hosmer

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    On the trade front, the Chicago Cubs look like a team to watch post-lockout. Team president Jed Hoyer is looking to improve the roster without giving up too much developmental talent in the process. The solution, according to The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma, appears to be acquiring contracts that other teams don't want.

    According to Sharma, the Cubs tried to make a deal involving Eric Hosmer with the San Diego Padres before the trade deadline.

    "The Cubs attempted such a move over the summer, discussing a deal with the Padres that would've netted Eric Hosmer (and the more than $60 million and three additional years on his contract) and a highly regarded prospect," Sharma wrote.

    In other words, Chicago would have helped ease San Diego's salary and luxury tax concerns while netting a proven if declining player and another piece to develop. Similar deals could be on the proverbial table for the Cubs once the market resumes.

    "These types of deals are rare and really difficult to put together. But it's exactly what the Cubs should, and will, try to explore in their current situation. They have the money, they have the roster spots ...and they still want prospects" Sharma wrote.

    Hosmer will be a name for Cubs fans to follow, but he probably won't be Chicago's only trade target moving forward.