Brian Davidson/Getty Images
The dominoes of the Major League Baseball offseason started to fall last week with Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton landing in their respective destinations, but there are plenty more deals to be made, especially at the winter meetings.
A plethora of big-name free agents are still on the market, and the interest of some teams in those stars has changed in the last week due to the deals that have already been done.
J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer are among the sluggers available in addition to Jay Bruce, Mike Moustakas, Carlos Santana and Carlos Gonzalez.
Jake Arrieta appears to be the current focus of the pitching market, but there are plenty of other hurlers out there, including Yu Darvish.
Here’s a look at some of the top rumors from the last few days and a trio of predictions involving the biggest free agents on the market.
Martinez appears to be the big name to keep an eye on over the next few days.
The 30-year-old outfielder is expected to meet with the Boston Red Sox among others when he arrives at the winter meetings in Orlando, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports:
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
JD Martinez is expected to meet with the Red Sox and others when he arrives in Orlando.
Martinez is seen as a hot commodity after he hit 45 home runs with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
Martinez has also hit over .300 in three of the last four seasons, and he’s recorded 274 RBI in the last three campaigns.
Norm Hall/Getty Images
The Red Sox are meeting with Martinez in an attempt to provide their lineup with another quality bat. The chase of Martinez is also key for Boston after the rival New York Yankees bolstered their lineup with the trade for Stanton.
Other teams may meet with Martinez at the winter meetings, but the Red Sox look like the team that needs the slugger the most right now.
Prediction: Red Sox
Arrieta’s name has been all over the rumor mill in the last few days, and he has his agent Scott Boras to thank for that.
Boras sent a 75-page binder to MLB owners regarding Arrieta’s past performances, according to Buster Olney of ESPN,
The Washington Nationals appear to be in the mix for the right-handed pitcher, even though they already have a massive amount of money invested in starting pitching, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
Scott Boras is trying to engage the #Nationals on Jake Arrieta, sources say. The Nats already have $385M invested in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. But that hasn’t stopped Boras from making his pitch to Ted Lerner.
Another NL East team, the Philadelphia Phillies, are in the mix for Arrieta. Heyman noted it might not be an ideal fit, but it would be an ambitious get for the Phillies.
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Phillies are considering Jake Arrieta. Not perfect match since they are a year from possible contention but many of their execs know him well from when they were with the Orioles.
The 31-year-old might not be on board with lasting through a rough 2018 with the Phillies while they work themselves back up to the top of the National League, but it would be a bold investment for the club to make and it would show other free agents that they are willing to spend to get better.
One of the most intriguing players on the free agent market is Hosmer, who has thrived for the last seven seasons with the Kansas City Royals.
Hosmer hit 127 home runs and recorded 566 RBI in his time with the Royals, hitting .284 and slugging .439.
The noise around Hosmer is starting to get louder with the San Diego Padres starting to move in on the 28-year-old, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Sources: The San Diego Padres continue to be one of the more active teams at the Winter Meetings. There’s traction to their talks with Eric Hosmer, and they’re seeking a young, under-control shortstop. One match to keep an eye on: The Chicago Cubs.
Of course with the current state of the AL East, the Red Sox would be wise to get in on the Hosmer sweepstakes as well. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe noted the Red Sox are talking to other big names but also waiting to see what happens with the market for Hosmer.
Nick Cafardo @nickcafardo
The Red Sox have engaged in talks on first baseman Carlos Santana, but appear to be waiting for how things unfold with Eric Hosmer and JD Martinez.
The Padres might be the current favorite for Hosmer, especially since Wil Myers has approved a move to the outfield to make way for Hosmer, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
There’s plenty left to unfold in the case of Hosmer, and there’s a chance more teams could jump in as discussions heat up, but right now it looks like the Padres have opened up the right doors to make a deal happen.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
All statistics via MLB.com.