There’s a lot of good stuff rolling on the rumor mill today, which should give us plenty to discuss this weekend before the Winter Meetings start on Monday. Remember: “like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook and follow it on Twitter to get updates as quickly as I have them.

  • The Brewers are reportedly willing to offer Prince Fielder six years and $120 million to return to Milwaukee. *beat* *double-take* If the Brewers are genuinely making Fielder that offer, it’s a strong hint that Fielder’s market price is not going to approach 8 years and $200 million. That’s not to say the Brewers are making a “market” offer, but there’s no way they’d offer him something so far below what he could get elsewhere. If the Brewers are offering 6/$120M, the Cubs should immediately offer him 5/$120M or 6/$140M and go from there. If Fielder signs for anywhere in that range, and it isn’t with the Cubs, I’ll be aggressively upset.
  • Too many members of the media are taking Epstein’s comments about Matt Garza yesterday to mean he won’t be traded this Winter. Epstein said no such thing. Epstein didn’t say “Matt Garza is going to be a guy we build around.” Instead, he said Matt Garza is “exactly the type of guy we’d like to build around.” Read those words carefully, friends, because I’m quite sure Epstein chose them quite carefully. The type of guy. We’d like build around. And later, Epstein says an organization has to be realistic about its window of competitiveness, and says he’s open to anything? If you still don’t believe the Cubs are speaking with other teams about a possible Matt Garza trade, let me say as assertively as I can: they are. The odds of an eventual trade remain small (that’s the way it is with most prospective trades), but keep an eye on where CJ Wilson and Mark Buehrle end up.
  • Speaking of which, Jon Heyman says that opposing GMs believe the Cubs will trade Matt Garza.
  • Heath Bell – a very good, but aging closer – just got $27 million over three years from the Marlins. The market for Carlos Marmol – who was never really attached to the Marlins in rumors – just improved another tick. I’ve heard that a number of teams remain interested in Marmol.
  • The Twins have reportedly joined the Dodgers as competitors with the Cubs for Chris Capuano’s services in 2012.
  • Jeff Passan says the Cubs should sign Albert Pujols because it would be good for baseball (he’s not, like, actually advocating the Cubs do it for the good of baseball, he’s just being clever). He likens the excitement to that of LeBron James heading to Miami, and I’ll confess: as an upside to signing Pujols, I’ve underestimated the gnashing of teeth in St. Louis. That would be swell.
  • Jon Paul Morosi suggests the Blue Jays could sign Prince Fielder, and then flip first baseman Adam Lind to the Cubs for Matt Garza. Lind, 28, hasn’t had an OPS+ above 100 since 2009. His OPS the last two years? .712 and .734. He’s signed long-term to a cheap deal, but, like, he hasn’t been any good. There’s nothing here.
  • Rob Neyer (man, haven’t heard his name in a while) guesses that Carlos Pena will get about two years and $18 million, and mentions the Cubs as a possible return-landing spot. It’s not impossible, but it’s unlikely.
  • I’ve heard the Cubs might consider bringing in Jason Varitek as a backup catcher/veteran clubhouse presence, which, shrug. There’s not much to get excited about there, though he’s a massive upgrade over Koyie Hill. You have to wonder what adding an external backup catcher would mean for Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, though.
  • Kevin Goldstein guesses the top landing spots for 19-year-old Cuban prospect Jorge Soler as Yankees, Rangers, and Phillies. No mention of the Cubs – of course, Twitter is limited…
  • Various Japanese pitchers – Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada among them – are officially free agents now. The Cubs figure to have some interest because, well, they’re interested in anyone who can throw a baseball.


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