The Opener: Correa Fallout, Thor, MLBTR Chat

On the heels of last night’s midnight megadeal, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around baseball throughout the day:

1. With Correa signed, are Rodon and Swanson next?

The 13-year deal Carlos Correa agreed to with the Giants last night takes yet another star player off the free-agent market. Will it loosen up the market for the top remaining names? Dansby Swanson already saw his market begin to heat up yesterday, and though the Giants are now presumably out after landing Correa, he has plenty of other suitors. The Cubs are perhaps at the top of the pile, but the Twins might be aggressive on Swanson now that they missed out on Correa. The Dodgers, Red Sox, and incumbent Braves loom as additional possibilities. While Correa’s signing doubtlessly clears the field for Swanson, it may impact Carlos Rodon even more. Rodon’s market, much like Correa’s, included both the Twins and the Giants. The prevailing theory was that neither team would be willing to spend what it took to land both stars. With Correa set to suit up for San Francisco, that appears to leave the Twins, Cardinals, and Yankees as the three frontrunners for Rodon. New York is rumored to be Rodon’s preferred destination, but reports suggest a significant gap between the two sides, with Rodon known to be looking for a seven-year deal in the $200MM range.

2. Thor’s market heating up?

According to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the market for right-hander Noah Syndergaard began to heat up yesterday. Syndergaard had a solid if somewhat uninspiring season in 2022, his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. The righty posted a slightly above league average 3.94 ERA alongside a 3.83 FIP in 134 2/3 innings for the Angels and Phillies in 2022, but saw his fastball velocity decline dramatically; his heater averaged around 94 mph this year, down from nearly 98 mph on average in 2019. That contributed to a strikeout rate of just 16.8%, but Syndergaard paired it with a strong 5.5% walk rate and a fairly small 19.1% line drive rate. Ultimately, even if Syndergaard isn’t the same flamethrowing ace he was in his younger days, his still-above average fastball velocity and his pinpoint command make him a worthwhile investment for a team looking to fill out their rotation.

3. MLBTR chat today

Have the recent happenings on the hot stove raised questions for you? Are you wondering about what else you can expect your team to do before spring training starts in February? If so, you’ll want to tune at 5pm CT this evening for a live chat with MLBTR’s Anthony Franco, where he will be taking questions from readers. If you have a question you’d like to drop in advance of the chat, you can use this link to submit a question. The same link will take you to the chat when it begins later today, if you’d like to check back in and participate live.

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