The year 2021 has arrived, and that means we’re even deeper into the ongoing offseason. While most of the big names are still on the board, activity is increasing — thanks mostly to the Padres. So to give you an idea of what the hot stove might have in store before spring training comes around, we’re here to round up the latest MLB rumors. Here’s what’s buzzing.
Free-agent infielder DJ LeMahieu is one of the top talents on the market, and that’s with good cause. The 32-year-old primary second baseman is coming off an abbreviated 2020 season in which he batted .364/.421/.590 with 10 home runs and 10 doubles in 50 games and a third-place finish in the AL MVP balloting. Across two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu owns an impressive OPS+ of 145 with the batted-ball metrics to back it up. Throw in his ability to man a middle infield position, and he’s understandably coveted.
While there’s mutual interest in a return to the Bronx and the Yankees remain favored to re-up with LeMahieu, the days keep ticking by with no agreement. Of note is that the reigning champion Dodgers maintain interest in LeMahieu, as Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports. Third baseman Justin Turner is a free agent, and LeMahieu has the arm for the hot corner. At his usual position of second base, the Dodgers figure to go with some mix of Chris Taylor and top prospect Gavin Lux. LeMahieu would be an upgrade over Taylor and more of a known quantity than Lux. LeMahieu’s ability to play those positions in addition to first base means he could be a fit even if there’s not a direct path to every-day duty at one position. More broadly, when you are presented with the possibility of signing a hitter like LeMahieu, you make it work. Needless to say, the Dodgers have the means to meet LeMahieu’s reported nine-figure asking price.
Marlins looking for outfield bat
The Marlins, coming off a surprise playoff appearance in 2020, aren’t expected to be major spenders this offseason, but they might be looking to make improvements at the margins. Speaking of which, Jon Heyman tweets:
It seems unlikely that the Marlins would be willing to invest at a level required to land, say, Marcell Ozuna or Michael Brantley. Maybe, however, recent non-tenders like Kyle Schwarber or Eddie Rosario would be within range, and Joc Pederson also seems like a possible fit. Any of those names could ably provide production alongside Starling Marte and Corey Dickerson in the Miami outfield.