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News and Notes: Shohei is not a Sho-Jay. Yet.

News and Notes for Saturday, December 9th, 2023

2023 Ameican League Most Valuable Player Award Announcement

Yesterday was crazy in baseball social media because apparently a bunch of small time media organizations and MLB Trade Rumors decided to run with a Jon Morosi rumor that Shohei Ohtani was in Toronto and his signing was imminent:

Ohtani was actually still in Southern California.

Jake Mintz of Fox Sports and the Baseball Bar-B-Cast did a great job chronicling the chaos of the day.

I have shared Morosi reports before with the huge caveat that he is a person who throws feces against the wall to see what sticks. But, this is the end of that. I won't share a Morosi report again. He should be completely disregarded by MLB fans.

Jeff Passan of ESPN, a reliable source, did say that an Ohtani decision should come early next week and that the Dodgers, Giants and Blue Jays are seen as the favorites.

Meanwhile, the Angels unloaded some vets and the Braves dumped some salary:

And the Red Sox acquired Tyler O'Neill from the St. Louis Cardinals for essentially Cody Morris/Hunter Gaddis and Nick Sandlin

I have speculated that O'Neill would be a good fit in Cleveland but this trade makes clear to me that MLB Teams do not see his health as reliable and may have concerns about the clubhouse issues O'Neill had with his manager in Cleveland. So, I believe it's fine to pass on pursuing him.

Overall, it's becoming clear that the Guardians offseason has three primary paths from here:

1. Trade Shane Bieber and perhaps Emmanuel Clase for young, controllable, pre-arbitration players. Use the savings from a Bieber trade to shore up whatever roster hole is left at that point.

2. Keep the team as is and sign a Randal Grichuk-type in January to a $3-5 million deal. Or, perhaps pull off a trade of prospects for another player like Deyvison De Los Santos, only older - flawed but interesting, blocked on his current team.

3. Less likely, but maybe if the Angels miss on Shohei, they look to rebuild and the Guardians can target an early arb Taylor Ward with prospects, or pursue a similar deal with another team in similar circumstances as the offseason progresses.

Josh Naylor won the Tip O'Neill award.

Other teams like him. Not likely he goes anywhere.

Brayan Rocchio hit a homer in Venezuela