The San Francisco Giants may have pulled Michael Conforto off the MLB free agent board, but there are still are plenty of MLB rumors floating around as teams try to strengthen their rosters ahead of the New Year.
MLB rumors: Is a Boston Red Sox-Miami Marlins trade brewing?
According to Chad Jennings of The Athletic (subscription required), the Boston Red Sox may still be looking at external options to boost their shortstop position in 2023 and beyond. Even with Trevor Story on the roster (who earned All-Star kudos with the Colorado Rockies prior to signing with the Red Sox last offseason), Boston has reportedly been mulling a trade with Miami for 32-year-old infielder Joey Wendle, who is scheduled to become a free agent following this season.
Wendle slashed .259/.297/.360 in 371 plate appearances for Miami last season, his seventh MLB season split among three franchises (Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Miami).
Substituting Wendle for Xander Bogaerts (who left in free agency for the San Diego Padres) is a downgrade obviously for the Red Sox, but Jennings writes that, “The Red Sox don’t necessarily see Wendle as an everyday solution shortstop, but they do see him as potentially another piece of among a revolving and evolving list of shortstop possibilities.”
In other words, if the trade happens, it may not be the final move for the Red Sox when it comes to their middle infield.
MLB rumors: Johnny Cueto a target for San Diego Padres
Still looking to boost their pitching this offseason, the Padres are reportedly “among teams strongly in the mix” for Cueto, with the 36-year-old right-hander looking for where he will pitch in his 16th MLB season. Cueto has also been linked to the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins this offseason.
Cueto posted a 3.35 ERA/3.79 FIP/1.225 WHIP in 25 games (24 starts) for the Chicago White Sox last season. If signed by the Padres, he would likely be a middle- or back-of-the-rotation arm, joining recently signed Seth Lugo in a San Diego rotation that will also include Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Nick Martinez.