The annual MLB general manager meetings were held last week in Las Vegas, and the event is traditionally the rumor-filled calm before the storm.
(It's also not to be confused with the winter meetings, which will take place in San Diego from Dec. 4-7 and is when a ton of wheeling and dealing goes down.)
Free agents couldn't sign with new teams until 5 p.m. ET Thursday—five days after the World Series ended—but they could talk with clubs.
And, more importantly for our purposes, those GMs and team executives could rub elbows with their counterparts and start talking shop for possible trades.
In the process, some names popped up more often than others, either as players liable to be traded or reportedly nowhere close to the trade block.
Let's play a game of buy or sell with those rumors.
Blue Jays Expected to Trade a Catcher
The Rumor: The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to trade one of their three catchers: Alejandro Kirk, Danny Jansen or Gabriel Moreno, per MLB Network's Jon Morosi.
Buy or Sell: Buy
Of course Toronto would love to turn one of those backstops into an asset at a different position.
However, the market is unusually flooded with suitable catchers, so will the Jays be able to get fair value for Jansen or Moreno?
Willson Contreras is the biggest free agent, but there's also Omar Narváez, Christian Vázquez, Mike Zunino, Gary Sánchez, Curt Casali and a couple of other options that teams could acquire without trading anyone or anything. And if someone wants to deal for a catcher, the Oakland Athletics' Sean Murphy tops the list of candidates.
Toronto will find a club willing to bite on Jansen, though, who is under team control through 2024 and who is fresh off a career-best season in which he batted .260 with an .855 OPS.
Jansen could be an option for a team such as the Cleveland Guardians, who might not re-sign Austin Hedges and who likely don't want to get into a bidding war for Contreras. But it depends on the asking price.
Marlins Looking to Trade Pablo López for a Hitter
The Rumor: One of the biggest names discussed was Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López, who was reportedly almost traded for Gleyber Torres this summer, per the New York Post's Jon Heyman.
Buy or Sell: Buy
That Miami will trade a starting pitcher is almost inevitable, simply because of its abundance of them.
From the trade deadline through the end of the regular season, Sandy Alcantara, Jesús Luzardo and Edward Cabrera each made at least 11 starts with a sub-3.00 ERA. The Marlins also got seven starts from Braxton Garrett with a 3.03 ERA. And though 2022 went poorly for Trevor Rogers and Elieser Hernandez, there's still hope that one or both could be a regular in the 2023 rotation.
Throw in highly touted prospects Eury Pérez and Max Meyer, as well as former "next big thing" Sixto Sánchez, and trading López—who is arbitration-eligible in 2023 and 2024—is a no-brainer.
We don't know how close the deal for Torres actually was or which side balked, but the Marlins will likely insist on a longer-term bat than that, as Torres (like López) will hit free agency after the 2024 season.
If they don't get Jacob deGrom or Carlos Rodón, the Texas Rangers could make a run at López.