David Waldstein of the New York Times passes along reports from the Japanese media that Masahiro Tanaka has arrived in the United States. He’s going to tour this great land of ours, meeting general managers and owners wherever he goes while his agent, Casey Close, makes them do back flips and stuff. It’ll be quite the scene, man.
Tanaka’s presence on the market is holding things up for Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and the other free agent pitchers out there, one has to assume. Really, since mid December nothing of note has happened in hot stove land, and this is probably the reason. Perhaps that will all change some time during his tour.
A number of teams are making calls about Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson these days, as is the general nature of the offseason. Per Jason Kinander of FanSided, there have been some preliminary trade discussions between the Dodgers and the White Sox, though a formal deal doesn’t appear imminent and any potential competition from other clubs is still unknown.
Pederson, 26, has enjoyed quite a run with the Dodgers over the last five years. A perennial 25-home run hitter (when healthy), he slashed .248/.321/.522 with 56 RBI, an .843 OPS, and 2.7 fWAR through 443 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Following the Dodgers’ unsuccessful postseason campaign, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in advance of the arbitration deadline, and is currently slated to remain under team control through the 2020 season.
Despite his relative affordability and clear value to the club, shedding Pederson from their roster would allow the Dodgers to pursue the kind of right-handed hitters they need to balance out their 2019 lineup. It’s not certain what the White Sox are prepared to give up, but Kinander mentions right-hander Carson Fulmer, lefty reliever Aaron Bummer, and recent draft pick/third baseman Bryce Bush as a few possibilities.