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The latest rumors and reports from GM meetings

The latest rumors and reports from GM meetings

LAS VEGAS – The Giants have long been seen as one of the main threats to the Yankees when it comes to signing Aaron Judge this off season.

Without specifically naming the Yankees baseball player, Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco’s chief of baseball operations, explained Wednesday that money won’t be a problem as it attacks the free agent market.

“I don’t think that from a financial point of view, nobody is going to be outside of our ability to meet what we expect the contract requirements to be,” Al-Zaidi said at the general managers meetings. “Then it will just be a question of whether there is a common interest and how to put together the best possible team.”

Al-Zaidi said that while there was “no clear cap” on what the Giants might spend off-season, “that doesn’t mean we have a completely blank check.” The Giants are expected to be one of the most active teams in free agency this winter, as they have a number of areas to deal with and tremendous financial flexibility with the payroll.

“At some point, it’s going to become a factor,” Zaidi said of the free agent rates. “Since we are evaluating so many players, we will think at some point it will be difficult to add to the payroll. But we are not there right now.”

Padres have some work to do with this off-season when it comes to free agency and commercialization, but GM AJ Preller knows two internal issues may arise as well – extension talks with both Juan Soto and Yu Darvish.

After swapping six players with Soto and Josh Bell in August, Briller plans to sit down with Soto and agent Scott Borras “in time” to “get to know what’s important to them.”

“Part of that might be financial,” Briller said. “A big part of that is what it’s looking to do from the status of the contract and where that takes us. We’ll sit down and have those conversations, and see where it goes.”

Boras said on Wednesday that he expects Padres to engage him in talks over Soto’s contract at some point.

“I don’t think it’s about ‘whether they’re going to do it,’” Boras said. “I think the question is How they do it. I’m sure before they traded with him, they had a lot of that in mind.”

Soto has had six home runs with 16 RBIs and .778 OPS in 52 games for the Padres, but Preller believes 2023 will be a better year for the 24-year-old, who will be more stable and have a chance to experience a full, regular season in San Diego.

“I think the atmosphere that we saw in Petco in the playoffs, that’s the atmosphere in which he wants to play,” Briller said. “I think the biggest thing with Juan is just the excitement and the expectation of having him for a full season and not having to make that adjustment.”

Darvish had a solid 2022 season, going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA in 194 2/3 runs. The 36-year-old has one year and $18 million left on his contract, and while the Padres are expected to continue rotating to assist this season, both Darvish and Blake Snell are set to become free agents next year. Darvish’s confinement in the extension for another two years could help stabilize circulation in the near future.

“There is interest in him being in San Diego for a long period of time,” Briller said. “He sees what he’s interested in, what he wants. I think he enjoyed San Diego. He has family there, he enjoyed being there, and I think he enjoys the team. We’ll continue to have conversations in the off-season. The most important thing with Yoo is that he understands how much we appreciate him.” He’s had a great year. I think the interest is mutual.”

Will the signature affect the signature?

With Trea Turner in the free agent market, the Dodgers could be looking for a new short position this off-season. The situation is stacked beyond Turner, as Carlos Correa, Xander Bogarts, and Dansby Swanson are also free agents.

From a baseball standpoint, Correa would be a logical candidate in Los Angeles, but given the Astros signal-stealing scandal and the sentiment it left on the Dodgers fan base, would Correa be a good fit?

“I think it takes into account the level of talent, sort of knowing where the market is in what the decade will look like at the end, and do we feel like that’s a good fit for us?” GM Dodgers Brandon Gomez said. “From the talent level piece, we will try to maintain objectivity with the talent level, and then the other things we are going to deal with as it becomes more realistic or not. Then we will start examining what it is.”

A source suggested that the Dodgers were unlikely to go after Correa, but the Astros scandal made him very unpopular with fans in Los Angeles.

Thursday afternoon is the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers for their free agents, and while many clubs are still studying their options on the matter, some have already announced their intentions.

Players who accept an eligible offer are tied to a one-year contract worth $19.65 million for the 2023 season. Players who decline the offer remain free agents and are able to sign with any of the 30 clubs. If a player signs with a new team, his previous team receives draft pick compensation.

The Dodgers could end up making a qualifying bid for Tyler Anderson, while the Rangers were thinking the same for Martin Perez. Given the dearth of high-end start-ups in this year’s free-dealer market, the price of rotation assistance can be prohibitively expensive.

One free agent who will not receive an eligible offer is Mariners’ Mitch Hanegger, who had a major season in 2021 but played just 57 games in 2022 due to injuries.

Seattle General Manager Jerry DePoto said his goal is to bring Haniger back, though it “remains to be seen if that’s a reality” once the free agency begins Thursday.

“He loves our team. He loves where we are, he loves how our situation has developed,” DiPoto said. “I think he appreciates playing in Seattle. I think all of these things give us some kind of advantage, but at the end of the day, free agency is a bit of a scam.

“We have a lot of needs that we’d like to fill and we’d like to have as much flexibility as possible in doing that. That would be a huge commitment for one year; we’d prefer to do something that makes more sense for us and hopefully for Mitch as well.”


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