HomeMLB RumorsThe Opener: Woodruff, Ryu, Rays, Full-Squad Workouts

The Opener: Woodruff, Ryu, Rays, Full-Squad Workouts

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With Spring Training workouts in full swing, here are three things to keep an eye on around baseball today:

1. Awaiting financial details for Brandon Woodruff, Hyun Jin Ryu

A couple of veteran starters reportedly agreed to new deals this past week, but the financial details of both contracts have yet to be revealed. News of Brandon Woodruff returning to the Brewers broke on Monday morning, but currently, all we know is that his new pact is a two-year deal. Hyun Jin Ryu is also returning to a former team, the Hanwha Tigers of the KBO. While the complete details of his contract have not been revealed either, Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News reports that the Eagles are likely to announce the deal on Thursday. Taking into account the time difference, Ryu’s deal could be announced at some point this evening; 6:00 pm CT will be 9:00 am in South Korea.

2. Are the Rays planning to trade an infielder?

The Rays agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.5MM contract with infielder Amed Rosario on Tuesday. While $1.5MM might be a drop in the bucket for some teams, it’s hard to imagine the Rays would sign Rosario to such a deal if they weren’t planning to give him regular playing time. Yet, with Brandon Lowe entrenched at second base and José Caballero the presumptive starter at shortstop, Rosario is likely to fill a utility role off the bench. That would leave infielders Junior Caminero and Osleivis Basabe without a clear path to playing time. A top prospect like Caminero can force his way onto the roster with a strong performance in the minor leagues, but it is less clear how Basabe fits into the Rays’ plans for 2024. Moreover, with veteran infielder Yu Chang in the organization on a minor league deal and Taylor Walls set to return from hip surgery sooner rather than later, this team has no shortage of depth. One has to wonder if the Rays are planning to make a trade from their surplus of infielders.

3. Full-squad workouts have begun, but teams are far from complete

As of Tuesday, all 30 clubs have now held their first full-squad workouts. That means Spring Training is officially underway, with games set to begin later this week. The Dodgers and Padres will kick things off in the Cactus League on Thursday afternoon, with Grapefruit League play set to begin a couple of days later. However, despite what the moniker “full-squad workout” might imply, several clubs are far from finished improving their rosters. With 10 of MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents still unsigned, including Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Matt Chapman, and J.D. Martinez, plenty of teams could be significantly better by Opening Day than they appear right now. The free agent market has been slow as of late, but as Spring Training continues, more pieces will inevitably fall into place.

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