The G.M. is “willing to listen” to offers for Player X? So what?

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Crazy season is upon us. The semi-annual rumor-fest, in which people hear this and that and run wild with speculation.  Occasionally — very occasionally — there is actually some hard news in all of this nonsense.

But as Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation notes in an on-point column today, the least valuable of all of the rumors are the ones in which a team is said to be “willing to listen” to offers:

What general manager would ever not be willing to listen to listen to offers for a player? Do you understand how little effort it takes to answer a phone call? This isn’t even like checking your voicemail. Everybody hates checking their voicemail. This is like pressing the “answer” button and putting the phone on speaker while the other person talks. How stubborn, lazy, and closed-minded would a general manager have to be to not want to listen to offers?

As Jeff notes, everyone loves trade rumors. It’s one of the reasons why, for all of their faults, we keep track of them here.

But you gotta keep your critical-thinking skills handy when it comes to this sort of thing.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.