MLB rumors: Shohei Ohtani not so worried about geography during free agency, Angels eyeing Tim Anderson
The 2023-24 MLB offseason is almost two weeks old and we are still waiting for the first big move. That is not unusual. The offseason is a marathon, not a sprint, much like the season itself.. There is usually a lot of activity before the date, so things should pick up soon. Here are ours and . Now here are the rumors about Monday’s hot stove.
Geography may not be Ohtani’s top priority
Sticking to a competitive team, not geography, may be Shohei Ohtani’s biggest priority this season, according to MLB.com. It’s no secret that Ohtani wants to join a contender — “He’s tough to lose,” – although it is also believed that he prefers the West Coast. The Angels failed to make the postseason (or even post a winning record) in any of Ohtani’s six seasons.
East Coast teams like the Braves, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, and Yankees all believe they are in the mix for Ohtani to some degree, though some (Braves and Phillies) are better suited to go against each other than others. The Phillies (Kyle Schwarber) and Yankees (Giancarlo Stanton) already have a full-time DH, but it Shohei Ohtani. If he is willing to join your team, you sign him, and make the appropriate pieces later.
Angels are very interested in Anderson
The Angels are very interested in former White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, reports USA Today. Thanks to Zach Neto, the Angels were able to move Anderson to second base, where he played two games in 2023 and also in the World Baseball Classic. Luis Rengifo is penciled in at second base but is flexible enough to play elsewhere if the Halos land Anderson.
Anderson, 30, had a miserable season in 2023, prompting the White Sox to decline his $14 million club option. That said, Anderson hit at least .301 every year from 2019-22, and he’s still young enough that there’s reason to believe he could regain his former form with a change of scenery. In a free agent market thin on middle infielders, there are worse rolls of the dice than Anderson.
Braves want to add starting pitcher
The defending NL East champion Braves want to add a starting pitcher and could spend a lot to do so, according to The Athletic. The Braves picked up their $20 million club option on Charlie Morton earlier this season, and have an opening at the No. 5 spot behind Morton, Bryce Elder, Max Fried and Spencer Strider. Michael Soroka could be a candidate for that place.
Free agent Aaron Nola has strong ties to Atlanta pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who was with the Phillies from 2016-18. It should be noted that Fried and Morton will be free agents after 2024. Signing a starter to a multi-year deal this offseason would give the Braves another top starter to pair with Strider in 2025 and beyond. That wouldn’t stop the Braves from re-signing Fried either.