With the GMs meeting in Milwaukee and a new CBA looming, rumors were bound to be swirling like crazy this week…
- Speaking of the CBA, there’s a report out there claiming draft pick compensation will be eradicated by the new agreement. Specifically, the report from Joel Sherman says “there is a strong possibility” Type B compensation (supplemental round pick for Type B free agents) will be gone immediately, and Type A compensation (first/second round pick, depending on the signing team, for Type A free agents) will be gone after this offseason. If true, that would mean compensation for Aramis Ramirez just went *poof.* It would also mean that making an arbitration decision on Carlos Pena just got a lot easier (namely: he wouldn’t be offered arbitration).
- The deadline for offering arbitration to your free agents is November 23, so this issue will have to be finalized and clarified by then at the latest. I’m sure it’s already throwing a few front offices for a loop, having things potentially changed in the middle of free agency like this. And, forgive my possible ignorance, but I’ve been racking my brain to figure out how eliminating Type B compensation helps anyone – players, small market teams, large market teams, owners. I can’t think of a way it helps a single interested party. With Type A, because it risks teams losing draft picks, I can understand the beef players and teams might have. Type B, with its picks that come out of the ether? I’ve got nothing.
- The Marlins’ offer to Jose Reyes? A reported six years, $90 million. Anybody still want to kick those tires? If the Marlins land Reyes, there are conflicting reports on what would happen with current shortstop, Hanley Ramirez. Some say he and Reyes are friends, and he’s fine with moving over to third base. Others say Ramirez and Reyes aren’t close, and Ramirez isn’t on board with a move. Given the Cubs’ reluctance to move Starlin Castro off of shortstop, even if the Marlins look to deal Ramirez, the Cubs might not be a good fit.
- The Cubs are listed by Jerry Crasnick among eight teams interested in free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore. The Cubs could put Sizemore, 29, in right field, says Crasnick, but the truth is, he could wind up anywhere in the outfield depending on how things shake out with Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Brett Jackson this Winter. I remain on board with a Sizemore signing, but only if it’s the kind of one-year, small money, high-incentive deal you could afford to absorb if he is once again hurt and ineffective, as he has been for most of the last two seasons. But, if he’s getting interest from eight teams, Sizemore might get a pretty decent-sized deal from one of them.
- The Cubs would make sense if the White Sox look to trade Carlos Quentin, as many assume they will. But Doug Padilla is skeptical that the White Sox would be willing to see Quentin have success across town. To me, that would be a pretty stupid reason to rule out a particular trade partner. Quentin, 29, put up a solid .254/.340/.499 line last year in limited time, and will make about $8 million in 2012, his final year of arbitration.
- Martin Prado remains on the trade market, with the Tigers eyeing him closely. There were rumors today that a deal was going to put together, centering around a Prado for Delmon Young swap, but that’s looking less and less likely. Given the fact that Young will probably make more money in 2012 than Prado, is less versatile, and less productive, I’m gonna file that under “duh.”
- I’ve been meaning to post this Carlos Zambrano for Chone Figgins trade idea from ESPN’s Christina Kahrl for a few days, but, because of its inanity, I keep forgetting to do so. Here’s the thing: it’s superficially appealing to say “the Cubs don’t want Z, and he’s owed like $18 million,” and “the Mariners don’t want Figgins, and he’s owed like $18 million,” they should totally swap-a-doodle-do! But that, of course, ignores a few cumbersome facts: (1) Zambrano’s relative value far outweighs Figgins’, (2) Figgins has been among *the worst three hitters in baseball* over the last two years and may not even be worth a roster spot, (3) Zambrano is highly unlikely to approve a trade to Seattle, and (4) I could go on. Sure, maybe if the Mariners are willing to not only take on ALL of Zambrano’s remaining salary AND eat all but a million bucks of Figgins’ deal, I could understand the Cubs making the move. But, even then, you’d still run into problem number 2. In Kahrl’s defense, she calls the idea “crazy talk” at the end of the article. Probably should have led with that.
- It sounds like Kenny Williams would be willing to trade lefty John Danks, but doesn’t think he can get enough in return.
- Don’t start pining for him just yet, but Buster Olney suggests the Phillies could consider trading Cole Hamels this Winter if they don’t want to lock him up to a huge contract long-term. Local media says both sides want to get an extension done, though.
- Jim Bowden predicts Mark Buehrle, who will be 33 next season, could get a four-year, $56 million deal.