On the most recent episode of The Baseball Insiders, I unloaded my notebook on the Major League Baseball offseason that will seemingly never end.
The Big Four Scott Boras clients – Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman – appear no closer to signing. There’s consistent comments from agents and executives on how talks are happening, but no offers are being made. It’s bizarre and, in the words of multiple agents, one of the toughest and most difficult markets in their memories.
Here’s what I shared on The Baseball Insiders podcast.
Padres, Red Sox have talked trade
The San Diego Padres have had conversations with the Boston Red Sox about outfielder Jarren Duran, according to sources, but there are no indications that a deal was close as of Friday morning.
Duran, 27, makes plenty of sense for the Padres as a trade target. He’s signed cheap. He becomes arbitration-eligible in 2025 and isn’t a free agent until 2029. He’s also coming off a strong season with the Red Sox, posting a .295/.346/.482 slash line with eight home runs and 40 RBI.
Duran is surely one of many players that Preller and the Padres front office have discussed. He’s one of the most active, and creative, general managers in baseball. But upgrading the outfield – and also adding pitching depth – is surely their top priority this winter.
Former Mets general manager suspended
Former New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler has been placed on the Ineligible List, effective immediately, for directing improper use of Injured List placements, including the deliberate fabrication of injuries. He will be removed from the Ineligible List following the completion of the 2024 World Series unless commissioner Rob Manfred grants Eppler early reinstatement.
Kenley Jansen drawing trade interest
According to a report from David Vassegh, two teams that are in the mix for Boston Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen are the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.
The Dodgers have an abundance of late-inning options, including their most recent addition Ryan Brasier. The abundance of options gives the Dodgers flexibility to maximize certain matchups throughout the late innings. But if they acquired Jansen, they would have an established arm in the ninth inning, and can deploy those other options in other high-leverage spots.
The Phillies are a new suitor for Jansen, and it makes plenty of sense. Craig Kimbrel was a large part of why the Phillies were eliminated in the National League Championship Series last year and had they had an elite closer, it’s likely the Phillies would have made it to the World Series. Jansen would present a sizable upgrade over Kimbrel and give the Phillies an established option in the ninth inning, something they absolutely could use.