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AL Notes: Mariners, Blue Jays, Hernandez, Indians


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The offseason has already begun for 13 American League teams, with plenty of speculation about what some contenders and would-be contenders might have planned for winter moves. The latest buzz from the AL…

  • The Mariners seemed poised for their most aggressive offseason in years, and The Athletic’s Corey Brock and MLBTR’s own Steve Adams took a look at the potential shape of Seattle’s next additions. The proposal is a major signing (i.e. Marcus Semien) and then a few other prominent but somewhat lower-level free agents (such as Anthony DeSclafani, Jonathan Villar, Alex Wood), augmented with some trades to help bench depth and left-handed bullpen depth. It remains to be seen whether or not the M’s will target any of these specific players, yet an offseason like this would certainly make Seattle a better team in 2022, and still leave payroll room for any other upgrades at the trade deadline.
  • Semien’s future was also one of several Blue Jays-related topics covered by The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm in his latest reader mailbag, with Chisholm opining that both Semien and Robbie Ray will be playing elsewhere in 2022. Should Semien leave, the Jays could address the hole at second base simply by moving their third base candidates (Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal) over to the keystone, and then acquiring a new third baseman. In response to another question, Chisholm believes the Jays will probably hold off on extension talks with Teoscar Hernandez simply because the team is prioritizing more near-term moves, like adding more salary this winter and exploring a long-term deal with Jose Berrios. Hernandez is still controlled through the 2023 season, and the Blue Jays could be content to just go year-to-year with Hernandez since outfield replacements are comparatively easy to find, even if few hitters at any position have equaled Hernandez’s production over the last two-plus seasons.
  • Speaking of finding outfielders, the Indians have long been looking for some stability on the grass, and the Tribe seemed to solidify at least one position when they acquired Myles Straw from the Astros at the trade deadline. That leaves the corner outfield spots still to be addressed, and “since the summer months, the front office has fixated on consolidating its prospect capital in an attempt to land an established outfielder in a trade,” The Athletic’s Zack Meisel writes. Cleveland would likely prefer to work out that trade sooner rather than later, as November 19 is the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, and the Tribe have a surplus of players who might require 40-man placement. Whether or not an early trade can be found, however, isn’t clear, as Meisel notes that some around baseball feel teams will generally hold back on any major moves until there is more clarity about the next collective bargaining agreement.