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PostPosted: November 12 19, 11:30 am 
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These comments came from a chat with MLB Trade Rumors' Mark Polishuk that occurred on November 9. It's a long one this time, so grab a comfortable chair. I also included a question about fan perception.

The link to the entire chat can be found here: https://www.jotcast.com/chat/mlbtr-chat ... -6385.html

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Odds Ozuna rejects QO from Cards? If so, will the Cards use that money to sign a free agent?

Mark Polishuk
Reports from earlier today suggested Ozuna would turn down the QO, so by this point, it'd be a surprise if he accepted after all.

Cards will actively look into other free agents, though I'm not sure I'd count on any huge signings, given how many contracts are already on their books.
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When was the first FA signed last year?

Mark Polishuk
Off the top of my head I think it was Adam Wainwright, who either signed shortly after the FA period opened or perhaps re-signed with St. Louis while the Cards will had exclusive negotiating rights to him.

(A little bit of history repeating...)
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Do you think Andrew Benintendi will be traded to cut some payroll for the Sox? Would the Cards make sense?

Mark Polishuk
He'd be a very good fit on the Cards in particular, though Benintendi makes sense for a lot of clubs. I think the Red Sox will explore all options in shopping Jackie Bradley before they think about dealing Benintendi, however.
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Hypothetical: Brewers trade Corbin Burnes, Corey Ray, Aaron Ashby, and Payton Henry to the Rays for Yarbrough, Wendle, and Diaz. Who says no?

Mark Polishuk
Tampa Bay
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Are the Phillies in play for Lindor or Bryant trade if their available? Or is their focus on the FA market?

Mark Polishuk
I'm sure the Phils will be in on everyone notable, free agent or trade candidate. Not sure if they're willing to unload prospects again for Lindor or Bryan after already moving some good youngsters for Realmuto last winter.
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More likely that the Reds sign (or re-sign) Didi or Grandal?

Mark Polishuk
My guess is Didi would be more likely since fewer teams are in true need of shortstop help this offseason, whereas there are several clubs (including some contenders) that could sorely use a catcher.
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Will the cubs trade Bryant for a true ace? Or for prospects and use the money for an ace?

Mark Polishuk
Bryant's grievance plays a big factor, as his trade value would certainly diminish if he only has one year of control left:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/ ... -week.html
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What do you expect the Brewers to do regarding Travis Shaw? He would make sense on a one year deal for the Indians if Milwaukee non-tenders him.

Mark Polishuk
My guess is Shaw would get a lot of attention as a free agent, since teams might figure his awful 2019 was an aberration. So even though I think the Brewers would non-tender him, Milwaukee might be able to find a trade partner first, if there's a team out there that wants him bad enough to be willing to swallow the arb cost.
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What World Series matchup would get the best TV ratings?

Mark Polishuk
Yankees/Cubs or Yankees/Dodgers, I'd imagine.
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Can Fowler be moved to the Angels so he can be reunited with Madden?

Mark Polishuk
Don't forget that Fowler has a no-trade clause, but he might be willing to waive it for a change of scenery and a chance to play for his old skipper.

The bigger issue, however, is that the Angels don't really have a need in the OF. I suspect they'll go with Goodwin in RF until Jo Adell is ready.
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Should the new Pirates GM tear it completely down? Meaning deal Bell, Marte, anything not nailed down?

Mark Polishuk
I'm kind of torn on this. A rebuild seems the obvious route, since the NL Central isn't getting any less competitive anytime soon, and the Pirates' window might already be closed. That said, there's still some real talent on this club, and something as simple as new management (both in the dugout and the front office) might unlock something.

(He then ran a poll of those participating in the chat, and out of 644 respondents, 478 (74.2%) voted for a rebuild, while 166 (25.8%) voted for a retool.)
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Is Ben Cherington the answer in Pittsburgh?

Mark Polishuk
Cherington would be a good hire for the Pirates. He has shown he's very good at building a farm system, and the impression is that many of "his" biggest mistakes with the Red Sox (hiring Bobby Valentine, the Sandoval/Hanley contracts) were foisted upon him by ownership.
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Who is the first top 50 free agent to sign? Ripple effects this early?

Mark Polishuk
I feel like Wainwright/STL and Gardner/NYY are both very likely re-signings. Among the higher-level guys, Jose Abreu seems very likely to end up with the White Sox again, maybe even to the point of just accepting the QO for now and then working on a longer extension later.

Among the upper-tier guys....it wouldn't shock me if Strasburg and the Nationals came to a relatively quick agreement on a new contract.
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Heyward for Cano? Passable CF for 2B guy.... who says no? $72 for $96 Heyward several years younger...

Mark Polishuk
The Mets would do it, since Heyward fills a need for them in center field. But if you're the Cubs, there's no point.
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Should Archer be ready to hear his name in winter rumors? Is he for sale at this point? Reunion with the Cubs maybe?

Mark Polishuk
Archer on the Cubs now, after all those trade rumors in past years, would be kind of funny.

It'll depend on the direction Pittsburgh's new front office takes, though Archer has somewhat limited trade value given his rough recent performance. Maybe he has enough upside that another team feels he can fix him, however
Feels "they" can fix him, that is.
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Who would be an ideal player for the Reds to trade for?

Mark Polishuk
Mike Trout, but I don't think he's available.

More seriously, I'd be looking hard at middle infield options if I was the Reds. Villar from the Orioles, maybe Merrifield from KC if they're willing to pay the Royals' big price, perhaps one of Tampa's various multi-position guys if they're still looking to create 40-man roster space... lots of candidates out there.
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Could Sandy Alomar be a good fit to manage the Pirates?

Mark Polishuk
Sure? Sandy Alomar was a hot managerial candidate for years, though never got a shot.
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At this point, where could Rendon land outside of DC?

Mark Polishuk
Rangers, Braves, Phillies, Brewers all have big vacancies at third base. You can definitely make a case that the Dodgers or Yankees (among other teams) could/should make a run at Rendon since he's just that good a player.
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If you were Cards GM, would you resign Waino?

Mark Polishuk
2019 was a nice rebound year for Wainwright. He won't cost much, he's a team leader, he still has something left in the tank....definitely makes sense for a new contract.

(Powers that be... Mark has spoken! Make it so!)
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What do the Cards do with Carlos Martinez?

Mark Polishuk
I'd be tempted to just leave him as the closer, since CarMar performed quite well in the role last year. Obviously he'd have more value in the rotation, though if he can't stay healthy as a starter, maybe it's best to just keep him healthy in a key relief position.
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Who would you vote into Cooperstown from the Modern Baseball ballot?

Mark Polishuk
Here are the ten names on the ballot, for reference's sake: https://baseballhall.org/modern-basebal ... allot-2020

Whitaker, Simmons, and Miller are no-brainers, though in Miller's case, he did state that he didn't want to be inducted after his death, so I'm not sure how I'd factor that in if I was the one making a vote.

Of the nominees, I'd also take a hard look at Evans and Tommy John, leaning towards a yes for both.
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When Pujols goes into the HOF, any chance he does so as an Angel?

Mark Polishuk
Almost surely no.
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St. Louis probably can’t trade Carpenter or Fowler and Ozuna probably signs elsewhere. Cardinals look like they’ll be doing nothing- correct?

Mark Polishuk
Not "nothing," but probably not any huge moves, no.
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Why do you think fans tend to side with ownership when it comes to player contracts or the state of free agency?

Mark Polishuk
With players, fans can see evidence of a lack of production right in front of their eyes. i.e. "why is this making $20MM a year and he's only hitting .200?" And, a lot of fans feel even the best players are still overpaid, just by dint of the flawed logic that these guys are "playing a kid's game" and should be grateful for any kind of high salary.

Keep in mind that there's also a lot more public information about player salaries than there is about team revenues. If the latter info was more readily available, there would be a lot more fan outcry over how much these teams are actually pulling in annually while not spending on payroll, their own stadiums, etc.
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