Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

A couple of talking heads – ESPN’s Bruce Levine and MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes – had hot stove-type chats earlier this week, producing some interesting talking points, if nothing else…

  • Levine sees the Cubs’ offseason priority as pitching, and, specifically, believes the Cubs will zero in on CJ Wilson and Mark Buerhle. Earlier in the offseason, it was assumed that, as the top arm on a weak market, Wilson would get the $100 million contract he’s reported to be seeking. As the weeks have gone on, however, I’m picking up a general sense that Wilson will not be able to land that kind of deal. Whether it was because of his playoff struggles, or the pervading questions about his limited time as a dominant starter, it is possible Wilson may have to “settle” for a deal in the five year, $80 million range. Still a sizable commitment, but one that the Cubs would probably have to consider.
  • Levine touched briefly on Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes, discussed at length here yesterday, but didn’t have an idea of whether the Cubs would pursue him. Speaking of Cespedes, Kevin Goldstein has some more information on him here. Baseball America’s Ben Badler also wrote some more on Cespedes today, but it’s a subscription article I haven’t read because, well, I don’t have a subscription.

  • Levine says the Cubs should trade Geovany Soto only if they can get a “heck of a pitcher” in return.
  • Levine thinks there will be more interest in Carlos Zambrano this Winter than we all might be expecting.
  • Levine doesn’t think the Cubs should be interested in trading for David Wright, if he’s even available.
  • Levine says Scott Boras will gladly market Prince Fielder to the Cubs, but Dierkes doesn’t think signing Fielder would be Epstein’s kind of move this year, given how far the Cubs are from competing.
  • Dierkes suggests the Cubs could get creative at third base, without an obvious in-house option, by trading for someone like Chase Headley. Dierkes opines that Headley would cost the Cubs something on the order of Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter, which sounds about right for a 27-year-old under contract for three years, who plays good defense and had a 120 OPS+ last year. Maybe a touch high, but that’s the range. Indeed, if the Padres are looking to save some dough this year, Jed and Jason might want to get in touch with some of their old friends in San Diego to see what might happen.

  • Dierkes says most teams view Darwin Barney as a back-up infielder (*cough* I’m just sayin’ *cough*), so the Cubs shouldn’t expect to get a pitcher like Jair Jurrjens in a deal for Barney, which, like, duh.


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