Outside of the General Managers Meetings fueling the offseason rumor mill, Major League Baseball announced the winners of the Rookie of the Year Awards. In the American League, White Sox’ slugging first baseman Jose Abreu took home the hardware in a unanimous decision. After defecting from Cuba, Chicago inked Abreu to a 6 year, $68M deal before the start of the 2014 season. In turn, the 27-year old became one of the American League’s most feared hitters, collecting 36 home runs and 107 RBI while reaching base at a .383 clip. On the National League side, Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom took home the Rookie of the Year honors. While the 26-year old’s inaugural season was cut short due to injury, DeGrom’s performance was enough to beat out fellow rookies like Billy Hamilton and Kolton Wong. In 22 starts last season, DeGrom posted a 2.69 ERA, which was accurately reflected by his 2.67 FIP. In just over 140 innings, the right-hander tallied 144 strikeouts, while only surrendering 43 bases on balls. DeGrom became the first Met to win the Rookie of the Year award since Dwight Gooden won it exactly 30 years ago.
- The Mets certainly made the two biggest headlines on day one of the General Managers Meetings. Shortly before Mets starter Jacob deGrom won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, New York inked Michael Cuddyer to a two year, $21M pact. The move to sign the veteran outfielder came at a cost, however. Because the 37-year old declined the Rockies qualifying offer, the Mets will surrender the 15th pick to Colorado. (Michael Cuddyer signs with Mets)
- Just when you thought that Jon Lester was gone from Boston for good, the offseason rumor mill reopens the possibility. According to a report, a “well-connected baseball executive” predicted that the southpaw will be back in a Red Sox uniform for 2015 and beyond. While conjecture is just that until something palpable surfaces, the report goes on to foresee Boston shelling out at least $20M per season for Lester’s services. (Baseball exec predicts Lester will return to Boston)
- As the Red Sox scour the free agent market for starting pitching they are not just exploring the high end options, but also keeping tabs on the second-tier choices. Former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson is one popular flier available on the open market. Coming off a disappointing 2014 season in which the righty posted the highest ERA of his career, Masterson may be willing to sign a pillow contract to reestablish his value. (Masterson may join Red Sox)
- The Red Sox pursuit of Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels may have hit a significant speed bump in the early stages of the offseason. As it turns out, the Red Sox are on Hamels’ no-trade list, and would need the southpaw to waive his no-trade protection in order to obtain him. In turn, the 30-year old may require Boston to pick up his 2019 option in order for him to surrender his no trade rights. (Cole Hamels has Red Sox on no-trade list)
- Boston gained another free agent option at third base when Hanley Ramirez let it be known that he is willing to change positions. After drafting and developing the infielder before shipping him to Florida in 2006, the Red Sox know all about the type of player Ramirez can be. While the 31-year old would add another right-handed bat to an already righty heavy order, Ramirez’ power could be enough to overlook that. However, Ramirez’ injury history requires Boston to proceed their pursuit with caution. (Red Sox interested in speaking with free agent Hanley Ramirez)
- Tweet of the day: It won’t be that easy to replace Big Papi