MLB

MLB rumors: Padres talking Mike Clevinger extension; Yankees, Mets among teams interested in Yadier Molina

While we’re not yet in the Full Hot Stove mode of the MLB offseason, we’re working our way toward the point at which players begin changing teams via free agency and trade. So to prime the pump for those days and weeks of high winter intrigue, let’s quickly round up some of the rumors that are out there on this fine Thursday. Onward into the muck. 

Padres, Clevinger talking contract extension

The Padres are talking to right-handed starter Mike Clevinger about a two-year contract extension, Robert Murray of FanSided reports. The potential deal would buy out the final two years of Clevinger’s arbitration eligibility as he heads toward free agency following the 2022 season. 

San Diego acquired Clevinger just prior to the Aug. 31 trade deadline in a nine-player swap with Cleveland. After the trade, Clevinger put up a 2.84 ERA and 6.33 K/BB ratio in four starts for the Padres before an elbow injury struck. He returned in time to make an NLDS start against the Dodgers but exited after only one inning of work. Clevinger’s ability to get and remain healthy will be the key moving forward, as his stuff and results are beyond reproach. The deal would provide the Padres with some cost certainty over the next two seasons while giving Clevinger an eight-figure contract leading into free agency. The incentives and interest on both sides are clear, which is why something will very likely get done. 

Yankees, Mets among teams interested in Molina

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Cardinals franchise legend Yadier Molina is a free agent, and indications are that the 38-year-old catcher intends to play at least one more season. It’s probably safe to consider the incumbent Cardinals, with whom Molina has spent his entire pro career, to be the frontrunners, but they’re not alone. Some details from Jon Heyman of MLB Network: 

The Yankees may be looking for a veteran to share time with Gary Sanchez, or it’s possible they have plans to deal Sanchez at some point this offseason. Speaking of which, Dan Martin, Ken Davidoff, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post report that the Yankees are indeed willing to listen to trade offers for Sanchez. Sanchez has big-time power, but he’s inconsistent both at the plate and behind it. 

As for the Mets, Wilson Ramos is an outgoing free agent, which means they have a vacancy behind the plate. The Mets have been informally linked to free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, and Molina is apparently also on the organizational radar. 

Molina these days is a below-average hitter by positional standards, but he’s still a defensive asset behind the plate. As well, his intangibles have long been praised and make up part of his Hall of Fame case that Heyman invokes.

Angels settle on new GM

The Angels have reportedly decided to make Perry Minasian their next general manager. Minasian spent last season as assistant GM of the Braves, who won their third straight NL East title in 2020. Minasian would replace Billy Eppler, who was let go after the Angels missed the playoffs for a sixth straight year. You can read more here on the Angels’ reported decision to hire Minasian. 



 

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