The MLB’s Hot Stove League – The December Report

What? It’s December? But that means… yes, MLB’s Winter meetings have snuck up on us like a polar vortex wind, getting us baseball fans all nipply with excitement.

A few things have happened since the November Report. A quick summation:

Zach Wheeler, courted by the White Sox, signed with the Phillies… because his wife told him to as she’s an East Coast woman. I hope this goes better for him than when Carmelo Anthony’s wife told him he needed to either play in NY or LA for her acting career. Melo left the Nuggets for the Knicks… and whoo boy he suffered for years.

The White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal last month who left the Brewers. Aside from Yasmani just simply being a fun name to say, he’s an outstanding catcher who will be able to help with their young pitchers.

The Cincinnati Reds signed Mike “Moose’ Moustakas. Great pick-up for them as they need to shore up their infield and get some pop at the plate. Where did he leave? The Brewers.

The Padres traded for Tommy Pham. The Padres seem to think this is their year, and their muckety-mucks have told them it better be. So they went out and got Pham? Like he’s a huge improvement? He’s not. However, the Padres did get starting pitcher Zach Davies from the Brewers and infielder Jurickson Profar (who names these kids, c’mon!) from the A’s. Those two signings will be more beneficial.

Have you noticed a trend here? NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY FOR THE BREWERS.

Normally the Winter Meetings don’t end up doing much except have a bunch of muckety-mucks walk around a fancy hotel going ‘harrumph’ at one another. However, there are the occasional blockbuster deals. In recent years, Jon Lester went to the Cubs, Chris Sale (red-ass blowhard child that he is) went to the Red Sox, Albert Pujols became an Angel. Which reminds me when my son was 7 or so and Pujols was a star with the Cardinals, this conversation happened:

“Daddy who’s that batting?”

“Albert Pujols.”

(pause, a small laugh) “pooo-holes.” (big laugh)

OK, let’s move past that diversion and onto what may happen during the winter meetings, but most likely won’t – because well ‘harrumph’ – by looking at the big names still on the table.

Garret Cole – Either he or Strasburg is going to get signed soon. I expect it to be Strasburg, because Cole is going to command a crap-ton of cash. The Yankees are hot on his heels and will probably give him the Statue of Liberty too (they are the Yankees dammit and will do what they please). However, I still think the deep pockets of the Angels will get him. Speaking of Strasburg…

Stephen Strasburg – isn’t going anywhere. The Nationals will re-structure his contract and he’ll sit pretty as World Series MVP, lapping up the laurels like a parched pooch does water.

Anthony Rendon – because of Strasburg he will have to sign elsewhere. What? Do you think those folks in Washington just print money? The Dodgers, who have more money than they know what do to with, are practically offering Emma Stone for him. However, I am confident the Texas Rangers will get him signed. With a new stadium, they need him to fill up seats. If I were him though, I’d head to LA (as much as I hate the Dodgers). If he doesn’t…

John Donaldson – will. The Donald (yeah he gets the nickname not the Bloated Circus Peanut in the Oval Office) will head to LA in a heartbeat if Rendon goes to the Rangers.

Madison Bumgarner – Madbum looks to be Minneapolis-bound. This vexes me a lot, because a) he was the guy for my Giants, and b) puts him right in the way of the White Sox. Dammit, MadBum, don’t do it!

Hyu-Jin Ryu – Could be the Twins fallback position or could end up being a Cub. Then they’d have ‘Yu and Ryu’ which to me screams Abbott & Costello.

Nicholas Castellanos – He’s all over the place from the White Sox to the Giants to the Dodgers to the Marlins to the Diamondbacks… no clue where he will land right now, but probably not the White Sox as they have landed (fingers crossed)…

Marcell Ozuna – The White Sox need a good multi-tooled outfielder. The rumor is hot, people. This is happening.

Didi Gregorius – Pretty sure he’s heading to the Phillies from the Yankees to be back with their new manager Joe Girardi.

There are a lot of other free agents, but let’s quickly look at the individual team needs.

American League

Baltimore Orioles – need pitchers, period… and they just traded away one of the workhorses in Dylan Bundy to the Braves. How many losses next year, Orioles? 110?

Boston Red Sox – need to keep Betts… and need better starters. Right now they’re hoping to the baseball gods that Rick Porcello forgot where Fenway is located and will sign elsewhere.

Chicago White Sox – Still need a big bat and a big-time arm… and fans who go to the park. Maybe they just need better bars like what surrounds Wrigley. That’ll work!

Cleveland Indians – need to stop pretending all this bad racist native American mojo they have is NOT hurting them, it is.

Detroit Tigers – it’s best for them if they tank another season. They need so much it’s nearly pointless to play in 2020.

Houston Astros – ought to be more honest and not cheat. You guys suck but your cheating helped prevent the Dodgers from winning in 2017, so there’s that.

Kansas City Royals – trade your best player, Whit Merrifield, now. You’ll get a whole new team for that guy.

Los Angeles Angels – I predict the Angels will get a top-flight ace. Chances are they will snag Garret Cole… and maybe Ryu.

Minnesota Twins – it’s cold in Minneapolis and when it’s not, the mosquitoes come out and eat players alive. Don’t go there, MadBum! Save yourself!

Oakland A’s – the A’s, due to their small market stature, always seem to be rebuilding even when they shouldn’t be. They need a good stud pitcher… and to stop trading away good players like Profar. Dumb.

New York Yankees – so far in the past few years all New York City has given us is Trump and Guiliani. Seriously, do better, even if I do not like you.

Seattle Mariners – To get out of the AL West. With the Astros, Rangers, As, and Angels they don’t stand a chance.

Tampa Bay Rays – they think they have a chance in the AL East. Think again. You’ll need a ton more bats and you just lost one of your most reliable, Tommy Pham (NOTE: reliable does not mean good, or even great).

Texas Rangers – Anthony Rendon. Without him… and a fleet of pitchers… your new stadium will be an echo chamber.

Toronto Blue Jays – to be magically move to the AL Central where they might stand a chance… and to leave Canada. Any success the Blue Jays has just makes America’s sport look bad.

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – they need Nicholas Castellanos… and better pitching.

Atlanta Braves – they got what they needed, or part, with Dylan Bundy (no relation to Ted Bundy… I think), but they need another starter.

Chicago Cubs – they may end up trading Kris Bryant. It’d be nice if the Ricketts sold the team so they could focus on being the shills they are for the dumbest president we’ve ever had. Does he even know how to USE a toilet?!

Cincinnati Reds – underachieved last year. I expect them to contend for the NL Central title, and they are making the right moves to do it.

Colorado Rockies – better pitchers and a mascot not named ‘Dinger.’

Miami Marlins – pitchers with previous experience only need apply.

Los Angeles Dodgers – to come so close to winning a World Series and then lose again. From a Giants fan’s perspective, it’s so sweet to watch.


New York Mets – to stop crying for attention just because you share the same city with the Yankees… and one more solid starter.

Philadelphia Phillies – they’re working on it! They got Wheeler… and his wife.

Pittsburgh Pirates – for the rest of the NL Central to get really bad.

St. Louis Cardinals – for the Cubs to get worse (it’s happening) and for the Brewers to think they have what they need (also happening).

San Diego Padres – a town too laid back to have a World Series champion. Do whatever you want you brown shirt bastards, it’s not going to help you.

San Francisco Giants – sadly, pretty much everything. It’s not good in the City by the Bay right now (sniff).

Washington Nationals – Even though they are the reigning World Series champs, they need to a) re-sign Strasburg, and b) keep all microphones away from Adam Eaton. World Series Champ or not, Eaton’s not bright.

Alrighty, that’s it for the Hot Stove League: the December Report. See you after the New Year when the Winter Meetings have faded to nothing more than lingering cigar smoke – Harrumph!

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