MLB rumors: Padres looking to clear decks for blockbuster; Red Sox add veteran catcher

Spring training is underway, and full-squad workouts are already in the books. Even though the offseason hour is late, we still have rumors, signings and potential trades to track. We’re here to do just that. Let’s dig into Tuesday’s MLB buzz right now. 

Padres, Red Sox talking Myers as prelude to blockbuster

Earlier this offseason, the Padres and Red Sox reportedly discussed a trade involving first baseman/outfielder Wil Myers. That would’ve presumably been a part of a larger Mookie Betts swap; however, the two teams are still talking Myers even though Betts has been dealt to the Dodgers. 

Here’s the scoop from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune: 

“On the front burner of Preller’s extended hot stove cooking is a continued attempt to move outfielder Wil Myers. Sources said in the past two days that talks between the Padres and Boston Red Sox are ongoing, and a deal seems contingent on the Red Sox assuming about half of the $61 million owed Myers over the next three years. 

Acee’s story also includes the names of Padres prospects that the Sox may be targeting in exchange for taking on such a large chunk of Myers’ remaining salary, so be sure to give it a read. As Acee notes, it’s not certain what the Padres would receive from the Red Sox in return. 

The Red Sox would figure to be eyeing Myers to provide depth at the outfield corners and perhaps platoon with Mitch Moreland at first base. Myers, 29, is coming off a 2019 season in which he put up a disappointing line of .239/.321/.418 (95 OPS+) with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 155 games. For his career, Myer owns an OPS+ of 107 across parts of seven major league seasons. 

The more interesting upshot is that, per Acee, the Padres are shopping Myers in part to clear the way for upgrades in the outfield. Of particular interest is Reds “sophomore” Nick Senzel, who not so long ago was one of the top prospects in baseball. The Reds, however, are also looking to contend in 2020, so pairing up with the Padres in any such trade might be a challenge. Acee reports that the Padres also remain engaged in talks with the Indians about star shortstop Francisco Lindor. Needless to say, adding Lindor would drastically improve the Padres’ hopes in 2020. The Indians, though, may have cooled on the idea of dealing Lindor, who isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. 

Boston adds Lucroy

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy on a minor league contract for 2020. Lucroy, 33, is a former All-Star, but he’s well into his decline phase. Last season for the Angels and Cubs, he combined to hit .232/.305/.355 with eight home runs in 101 games. At this stage of his career, he’s a depth play for the team that has the productive Christian Vazquez as the primary behind the plate and Kevin Plawecki in line for backup duty.

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