MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Yankees, Carlos Correa and Kevin Kiermaier Trade

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2021

MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Yankees, Carlos Correa and Kevin Kiermaier Trade

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Major League Baseball might be stuck in a stalemate, but luckily, that doesn't mean its rumor mill is.

    Sure, teams can't make any moves until the work stoppage is over, but reporters are still working their sources for valuable information.

    We're here to pass along that information, so let's start dishing it.

Yankees Expected to Be 'Among More Aggressive Teams'

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    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    As cash showered down on the first crop of free agents signed before the shutdown, a surprisingly small amount was spent by the New York Yankees.

    Almost always a major player in free agency, the Bombers did nothing at the big-league level beyond re-signing relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez. While this could perhaps signal a change in the franchise's way of thinking, some expect a return to form once the baseball world opens back up and the multi-million dollar bidding resumes.

    "There are player agents who continue to believe that once baseball business is reopened, Hal Steinbrenner's team will be among the more aggressive teams—and in particular, might revisit conversations with the representatives of [Carlos] Correa and [Trevor] Story," ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

    The Yankees need to upgrade the shortstop position, but with top prospect Anthony Volpe waiting in the wings, they might not want to commit the salary (or, more likely, the years) needed to snag a top-tier target. Then again, New York has long operated is if it prints money, so it'd be foolish to rule out the organization adding an elite player at a position of need.

Tigers Made Massive Offer to Carlos Correa

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    When free agency opened, one of the more obvious moves on the board seemed to be the Detroit Tigers winning the Carlos Correa sweepstakes. They seemed emboldened to spend after the progress made by their young roster, had a glaring void at his position and are managed by A.J. Hinch, Correa's old skipper on the Houston Astros.

    The Tigers, of course, did splurge on a shortstop, but it wasn't Correa. Instead, they gave Javier Baez a six-year, $140 million pact. But Correa, it seems, was in fact their first priority.

    According to Olney, the Tigers offered Correa a 10-year deal worth $275 million. But with fellow shortstops Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager scoring deals north of $300 million, that apparently wasn't enough to get Correa to bite.

    Olney added that if Correa can't find the money he's after on the open market, it's possible he could re-sign with Houston on a shorter deal with a higher average annual salary and an early opt-out.

Phillies, Rays Talked Kevin Kiermaier Trade

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The Tampa Bay Rays are seemingly always looking to cut costs, which could put Gold Glove outfielder—and Tampa's highest-paid player—Kevin Kiermaier on the chopping block.

    In fact, he may have been there for a while.

    Olney relayed that the defense-needy Philadelphia Phillies (and possibly other teams) talked to Tampa about a Kiermaier deal before the deadline.

    If the Rays do wind up brokering a deal, they should expect a good return. The 31-year-old is one of the better defensive outfielders in baseball, and while his bat isn't the most consistent around, he is just two seasons removed from pairing 14 home runs with 19 stolen bases and 115 combined runs and RBI.

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