CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings kicked off yesterday in San Diego, the first time the event has been held in person since 2019 (the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them online in 2020, while the lockout canceled them last year). In many ways, this is the true kickoff of the offseason, as it is at the Winter Meetings that many trades get completed and free agent contracted agreed to; in 2019, for example, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, and Zack Wheeler all signed long-term deals.
Beyond the trade and free agent markets, the next few days will be jam-packed. Last night, the Hall of Fame announced the results of the Contemporary Era Committee vote (see below). Tonight, the annual All-MLB team will be announced. Tuesday will see the first-ever MLB Draft lottery, and Wednesday will wrap up the events with the Rule 5 Draft.
MLB.com | Anthony Castrovince: The members of the Hall of Fame Contemporary Era Committee announced yesterday that they had elected 493-homer man Fred McGriff, who received unanimous support from the 16 voters. Although the “Crime Dog” found fame in Toronto and Atlanta, he was originally a ninth round Yankees draft pick in 1981, but George Steinbrenner and company dealt him to the Blue Jays in December 1982 as part of one of the worst trades in franchise history. Whoops!
Former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly came the closest among the rest to induction with eight votes — four shy of what he needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Roger Clemens was among the trio connected to PEDs that also included Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro; each received under four.
NJ.com | Randy Miller: It’s always fun to learn about the organization’s prospects, especially those that have not quite entered the public consciousness in the same way that, for example, Jasson Domínguez and Anthony Volpe have. Will Warren, a 23-year-old starting pitcher in the Yankees farm system, falls into this category, at least for the time being. Drafted in the eighth round of the 2021 draft, Warren skyrocketed through the farm in 2022, reaching Double-A Somerset by the end of the year. Speaking with Randy Miller of NJ.com, Warren talks about his sudden rise through the organization, as well as what it’s like to play alongside top prospects Volpe and Dominguez.
MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: While the pursuit to re-sign Aaron Judge has, understandably, dominated the Yankees’ winter, the front office has nonetheless kept busy looking elsewhere. The team has reportedly expressed interest in free agent pitcher Carlos Rodón, who finished in the top six for the Cy Young Award in each of the past two years. They are not the only AL East team pursuing the left-hander, as the Baltimore Orioles — 2022’s breakout team in the division — are looking to bolster their starting rotation.
The Winter Meetings are always a fountain of rumors and reports, some of which have more truth to them than others. Our first Yankees-related one came last night, courtesy of “the lobby,” saying that the Yankees are in on Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who recently demanded a trade.
First tidbit from the lobby, per an industry source, is that the Yankees are “very much” in on Bryan Reynolds. “They’re on it.” … Not exactly breaking news that there’s significant interest in the Pirates outfielder.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 5, 2022
While this doesn’t mean anything will happen, of course, it is our first true bit of non-Aaron Judge smoke this winter.