With less than a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Dodgers to introduce Hernandez:
The Dodgers have announced that outfielder Teoscar Hernandez will be made available to the media via Zoom later today. The virtual press conference is scheduled to begin at 5pm CT this evening, with GM Brandon Gomes also expected to be made available in addition to Hernandez. The addition of Hernandez may prove to be the capstone on an incredible offseason for L.A. headlined by the signing of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. Along with Ohtani, the club has revamped its starting rotation by signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto as well as dealing for and extending Tyler Glasnow. Meanwhile, the outfield mix has seen a similar overhaul with the addition of right-handed bats in Hernandez and Manuel Margot who can complement existing center fielder James Outman as well as Jason Heyward, who was re-signed early in the offseason to patrol right field.
2. Will the Giants keep adding to their rotation?
San Francisco entered the offseason with a clear need for rotation upgrades, and that need was only exacerbated by the announcement that veteran righty Alex Cobb underwent hip surgery in late October and is expected to miss the start of the 2024 campaign. Without Cobb as part of the mix for the Opening Day rotation, the Giants had only ace Logan Webb locked into a rotation spot for the coming season with youngsters like Kyle Harrison and Keaton Winn and depth options like Ross Stripling penciled in to fill out the rest of the group. Since then, the Giants have made a pair of additions to their rotation, though they’ve both been somewhat unorthodox.
The club landed left-hander Robbie Ray in a deal with Seattle, though the southpaw isn’t expected to return from Tommy John surgery until sometime this summer and San Francisco gave up a potential rotation piece in Anthony DeSclafani to complete the deal. Aside from that trade, the club’s major addition to the rotation has been landing right-hander Jordan Hicks on a four-year deal over the weekend. While the club has reportedly signed Hicks to be a starter, the flamethrower has just eight starts in the majors under his belt and has struggled to a 5.47 ERA in those 26 1/3 innings of work. Will these upside additions be the only rotation upgrades the Giants make this offseason, or will they seek the stability of a more surefire starter? Top-of-the-market lefties Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remain available, but options are dwindling after that duo with the likes of Mike Clevinger and James Paxton among the best starters available in the next tier down.
3. MLBTR Chat Today:
Now that 2024 is upon us, are there any questions burning in your mind about the offseason with Spring Training a matter of weeks away? Are you wondering what’s next for your favorite team, or perhaps curious about what the market for a particular free agent looks like? If so, tune in this afternoon when MLBTR’s Steve Adams hosts a live chat with readers at 1pm CT. You can click here to ask a question in advance, and that same link will allow you to join in on the chat once it begins or read the transcript after its completed.