Lukewarm Stove: Fielder, Garza, Marmol, Capuano, Pujols, Pena, Soler

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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

164 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Fielder, Garza, Marmol, Capuano, Pujols, Pena, Soler”

  1. Oswego Chris

    Brett…love the rapid fire posts today!

    so you are going to be “agressively upset”…what does that mean exactly….sounds funny to me

    seriously though, thanks for all of this and these next couple weeks could be much fun



  2. EQ76

    Lind for Garza.. no way.. but what about Lind & Drabek for Garza?

    1. hansman1982

      How about no Lind for no Garza…

      For a guy who care barely play 1b he sure cannot hit very well.

      1. bacboris

        Well, based on this ‘nationally accredited’ sports writer’s opinion, teams should disregard value and just trade for positions of need.

        Taking that into account and this line from MLB Trade Rumors: “The Braves want a young outfielder and shortstop plus other players for Jair Jurrjens.” Might I recommend a certain: Colvin, Barney, and 1 or 2 ‘equally coveted other players’? Isn’t that a legitimate trade proposal?

        And this is why, I always have to resist the urge to find these ‘writers’ and try to knock some common sense into them. Unfortunately though, either they are getting dumber or my will to resist this temptation is getting weaker.

  3. Spencer

    Lind started off last season really hot, then tailed off by the middle of the season, thus getting himself dropped from my fantasy team (true story). Cubs DEFINITELY need to make an offer on Fielder if those are the types of numbers he’s receiving right now, though I’m sure he’ll be getting plenty of offers that greatly exceed 6/120. I hope as many teams as possible get involved for Capuano, and the Cubs decide that it’s far too competitive to try and sign him.

    I can throw a baseball.

  4. CubFan Paul

    i’ve been pounding the drum for Fielder for months ..& it appears the Cubs are his only suitor that can even afford to give him the market rate ($22million a year). their fake interest in Pujols is probably fluff to get Prince to come down from $25million a year

    my prediction (again for what its worth): he signs with us 6yrs guaranteed at $23million/yr = $138million and two Club Options at $20million a piece puts the deal at 8yrs/$178million. no other team in baseball can make that committment now besides the Cubs. Fielder’s price will come down to theo&co.’s price tag (market rate)

    1. hansman1982

      I think the yearly rates will be a mil or two less and the options will have vesting provisions tied to MVP/GG/SS awards so that if he isnt his father/Mo Vaughn then we wont mind having him around AND he will have a $40M reason to work his moon sized ass off.

    2. ricosanto

      I agree , you could even backload or defer a little bit. We can save 30 million more this year by trading Marmol, Byrd ,Soto, Soriano ) someone pays 4 or 5 mil per year ) and 1/2 of Big Z.( 9 mil) Even more savings next year with Demp 14 mil, Marmol 9 etc. Yes we could afford this. There is no super power hitters that are going to be avaiable, we have no one in the minors.The we shore up the defense get some OBP players and some good young pitching, wham we are a contender in 2012

    3. die hard

      Fielder not worth whatever is suggested unless Cubs sign another high profile to replace Braun in Fielder’s life….both Braun and Fielder to be comeback player of year candidates in 2013 after bad 2012

      1. Wilbur

        Agree, hitters do not perform in a vacuum.

  5. hansman1982

    I agree that Pujols coming to Chicago would be a good thing for the MLB but I disagree that it would be like LeBron going to Miami.  LeBron going to Chicago would have been equal, the “best” player going to the biggest spotlight to carry a franchise over the threshold.

  6. hogie

    “You have to wonder what adding an external backup catcher would mean for Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, though.”

    Might be more telling as to what the plans are for Soto. Castillo or Clevenger would need a vet backup more than Soto does.

    1. Smitty

      Agree with you on that Hogie. You don’t need a veteran presence behind the plate when you already have one. Would seem odd to me to sign Varitek and not “see” what you got with Castillo/Clevenger this year.

  7. JK

    I am all for signing Varitek for a low price. We lost Pena in the clubhouse and besides Wood and Dempster we don’t have a strong veteran voice except for may be Byrd. We will see.

  8. Kansas Cubs Fan

    I wouldn’t mind Feilder at 22 23 mil a year for 6 years with a couple of club options.

    Just no Jim Hendry style no trade clauses in there so we can send him to an AL team if he starts going south defensively.

    1. john

      He would qualify as a 5 and 10 vet by then

      1. Luke

        Only after the fifth season on the deal, meaning the Cubs could not trade him for just his last season. I’d be OK with that.

        I think he’ll get a limited no trade clause from who ever signs him, one that allows him to designate a list of 6 to 10 teams he would accept a trade to. Those seem to a little more common than full no trades these days.

        1. john

          Trade Fielder at age 32? You give him a no trade clause because if you don’t someone else will. Now Pujols is a different story. Age 37 with 3-4 years left. No way I would move him at age 35.

    2. hansman1982

      He will most assuredly get some sort of no-trade protection and most likely probably a full no-trade clause.  Such is the cost of doing business in getting one of the best FA sluggers this year.

  9. Mugsy

    I think we need to give Theo/Jed some space to allow them to do what they are best at. I don’t think I’d like to play poker with Theo and that’s what I like about him, the ability to bluff. I agree that Fielder would be a great roster addition but they need to get their proposed pitching rotation put together first.

  10. Morgan

    Wheres the speed going to come from,

  11. JulioZuleta

    Capuano 2 years/10 mil to the Dodgers, glad they gobbled him up and we didn’t put $5mil/year towards him.

  12. john

    Jackson is the most underrated pitcher out there. He’s been a horse last 2 years.

    1. Lou

      He also walks more than his fair share of baserunners. To me, this is one prevalent aspect of his game that cannot be overlooked.

  13. die hard

    Varitek makes sense when move Soto to 3B it Cubs want to try to reach .500

  14. oswego chris

    let’s just be glad we didn’t get Capuano….

  15. john

    Jackson has made 32 starts ea yr last 3 yrs. 200 plus innings he avg’s late 6th inning per start

    1. JB88

      Only problem with Jackson is that he doesn’t hit the strike zone. Seems that is one of those metrics at which Theo & Hoyer are looking in their pitchers.

      1. john

        He had a 1.44 WHIP but a 3.79 ERA last year between a NL and AL team.
        Once he can stick with 1 team maybe the WHIP drops a bit especially if the fielding improves. Sox and Cards not exactly stellar defensively

  16. ben

    prince is going to seattle no dought in my mine they got the money and need a big bat from the left side well they just need a big bat

    1. CubFan Paul

      actually Seattle doesnt have the money (according to all their offseason news) and that’s the problem: they would have to raise the payroll and that’s not going to happen

      as of now Prince has no suitors from the American League (that are publicly interested) ..angels, rangers, tigers have all said No Thanks

      1. Lou

        Agreed Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes about this and is exactly on point. This is an extremely compelling reason as to why the Cubs need to sign this guy. He has no bidders in New York, Boston, or Phillie. How often will the Cubs be able to say this about this good of a FA?

    2. MIchael Cerami

      If only the cubs had the money and need for a big bat from the left side that plays first base ….(sarcasm dots @chris84)

  17. EQ76

    “no dought in my mine” ??? what are you mining, coal? diamonds? is dought something you can bake?

    I believe Fielder will be a Cub next year.. no doubt in my mind.

  18. Chris84

    That’s a great idea. Let the Blue Jays sign the better first baseman so we can trade for Adam Lind. I SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO. /sarcasm font.

  19. nonesuch

    I dunno about the chances of Fielder coming to Chicago. At this point it looks like Cubs, Mariners, Nationals are leading teams. The M’s have the benefit of having a DH option for Fielder in later years of long contract. Theo would probably not want to guarantee 8 yrs. Boras is the agent, who will be looking for contract in length/dollars to top Mark Tex’s and the Nationals seem to have holes in their pockets. (bad combo) I mean, they gave up that Jayson Werth contract. We could compete by bumping dollars/yr, but we’ll see.

  20. Trent

    I think the Cubs should offer Prince 7 years for $155 million with a team option for an 8th year. That contract is right in line with what the Red Sox gave Adrian Gonzalez. I think people are making too much about Prince’s body breaking down as he gets older, he’s only 27. If the Cubs were to offer him 7 years he’d only be 34 when the deal is up. Just my thoughts.

    1. EQ76

      agreed. Prince and the DH argument will probably be more of an issue after this next contract. Also, just because the Mariners are an AL team and could move him to DH, doesn’t mean he wants to move to DH.. if anything, he may rather not go there fearing they would try to make him DH before he wants to.

      1. nonesuch

        He may not want to move to DH, yet. But M’s could feel more comfortable offering 8-9 guaranteed years having that option. The Cubs couldn’t match that.

        1. EQ76

          Good point.. but we could offer more money per year for a 6 year deal. and if Seattle wants to make him the next ARod, then so be it.

          1. nonesuch

            yep, which is why I was suggesting a general bump in $/year. The shelf-life of 300 lb plus 1B can’t be much past 32-33 years of age.

    2. Smitty

      I personally liked the idea floated by Brett. 5 years, $120mil. but then put in a few club option years at $28mil a year so he gets 7 years at $176. That alone would push the Pujols contract #’s up, even if Fielder didn’t take the offer.

      1. Trent

        I like that idea to an extent. 5 years, $120 mil I totally agree with but having $28 mil options seems a little steep to me. I don’t think the Cubs would have to go as high as 7 years, 176 mil. I wouldn’t mind if they offered 7 years, 165 mil. I don’t know if anything I just wrote makes sense. All I know is that I want Prince Field batting in the middle of the order for the Chicago Cubs for the next 5+ years. Dude can mash.

        1. Smitty

          $28mil a year is a lot, but if they are team options then it wouldn’t really matter. If he is still playing average !B defense and hitting his typical numbers at age 32/33 when those options would go into play, we would definitely want him around for a couple more years and I would imagine that by that point the ceiling on salaries would have increased quite a bit to at least that $28 a year number. If he isn’t hitting/giving average defense you say thanks for your service.

          I agree, that with Boras as his agent, probably going to need at least 6 years guaranteed, probably 7-8, though.

          1. JulioZuleta

            Don’t forget to take inflation into consideration. This about what a prime 1B free agent might get in the 2017 off season. $28mil might not be awful by then assuming he is still producing well. Plus keep in mind, even if he has a no trade clause, when those fat old legs start to approach 32,33 my bet is that he would welcome the opportunity to DH.

          2. Trent

            You’re right about the options, if he isn’t performing at a high level you can just say goodbye. I don’t see Fielder taking anything less than a guaranteed 7 year deal. With absolutely no sources I’m almost positive Boras is using Adrian Gonzalez’s contract as a negotiating point. But once again, having Prince for the next 7 years wouldn’t suck. I see Prince’s size as a plus, he’s a rock. Watching Fielder crush balls onto Sheffield for 81 games a year would be fun.

    3. nonesuch

      A 6/150ish is what I could see as alright. With May bday he’ll effectively be 28 to start new contract and anything after 32 makes me uneasy with his physique. What concerns me is Scott Boras almost always gets the max years (8) and money (25/per) or more for his prime FAs.

    4. ferrets_bueller

      They absolutely should offer Fielder nothing more than 6 years. Even than makes me extremely nervous…I’d much, much rather see 5 at a higher annual salary.

  21. john

    I was first to suggest 5/25 mil which is more realistic
    Age 32 same place as Pujols. is today
    Someone will pay 4/14 mil+ then

  22. john

    Does anyone know the stats necessary to support 25 mil per?

    1. Trent

      You’d have to ask Ruben Amaro.

    2. EQ76

      Yeah.. hit around .300, 35-50HR, 125-ish RBI and be in your prime. that seems to be the level. Then hope like hell that the Yanks, Boston or the Phils need you.

  23. MightyBear

    Capuano got 10 mil for 2 years? Holy Cow, who’s running the Dodgers? The ex wife? Glad we didn’t get the Dodgers GM now. I was telling my brother today that the Cubs might go after Capuano for 1-2 mil for one year and he would be our ninth starter. (Alluding to what Theo said, “You need to know who your ninth starter is going to be.”

  24. Fishin Phil
    1. Toosh

      Thank you, Fishin’ Phil!

      1. Fishin Phil

        Can’t let you break all the news. ;)

        1. hansman1982

          Not sure there is much to say about this signing.  We werent going to get a big gun this late in the year.  Hopefully in 4-5 years we will be angry we didn’t get Mike Trout back from the Angels when Bosio leaves to manage.

    2. die hard

      why him?

  25. MoneyBoy

    Good lord … baseball is nutso.

    • Papelbon, 31, $50, 4yrs
    • Bell, 34, $27, 3yrs
    • Capuano, 33, $10, 2 yrs

    Marmol gets more attractive as a chip by the minute


    1. Trent

      I don’t know how the Dodgers can justify signing Capuano for 2 years, $10 million. It makes zero sense.

      1. matt3

        maybe 10 million this summer would only be worth 4 million today?

      2. Hawkeye

        It’s only going to get worse from here.   The commisioner has forced teams hands to spend even more on FA’s now with the new amateur rules in the CBA.   This type of overpaying (especially for players that don’t deserve it)  is going to become the rule and will no longer be the exception.

        1. EQ76

          wow, so if we trade Soto and Marmol this off season and get some good prospects back then have another really good and solid draft next summer, we could be the proud new owners of a top minor league system.. assuming this year’s pics pan out well. could be a quick turnaround..

          1. ferrets_bueller

            This is exactly what I think will happen around baseball, and will most likely be the newest strategy that Theo will exploit. The talent will still be entering teams systems, it just wont be as able to be concentrated anymore. So, in order to build the right way, utilizing the farm, like Theo did in Boston, he’ll have to utilize trades instead of the draft.
            Think about it- teams who need players would now rather trade for a player than over pay in the market. So instead of stockpiling picks and paying overslot, Theo will instead essentially act like a small market team, selling off pieces that can be had for cheaper than FA, while stockpiling minor league talent. But the difference is than he can afford to resign the ones worth keeping, prior to their hitting FA. They can then be traded as their contracts draw down, and the cycle repeats.
            Essenitally, its the same as the Boston strategy, with less steps- instead of letting the players hit FA, get you picks, and you use those picks for players, you instead trade them prior to FA, for players already drafted and signed.

  26. Jed

    What are the chances the Cubs go after Kuroda? Many are saying the Dodgers won’t be able to ante up enough to keep him.

    1. CubFan Paul

      eh, they can keep him

    2. Jeff

      I’d rather see the Cubs go after Tsuyoshi Wada, who is now a free agent, and wouldn’t cost any posting fees.

      1. Luke

        I’d be ok with Kuroda and Wada both. No such thing as too much pitching depth.

  27. hansman1982

    “The Cubs figure to have some interest because, well, they’re interested in anyone who can throw a baseball.”

    Brett, can you forward my number to Theo then.  I can throw a baseball at 72 MPH and would make an excellent #9 starter.  I bet in this market I could probably get a 3 year $9M contract.

  28. die hard

    Marlins made a $100 mil splash with Bell…price tag on Marmol goes up…if traded, Cubs should get starting infielder and 2 pitching AA or AAA prospects at a minimum

    1. Toosh

      27 million for 3 years. 4th year option for 9 million.

  29. Mugsy

    Brett any chance of a trade for Votto? Would the Reds even consider it? I know it would take a huge package of players and it is a divisional opponent.

    1. ncsujuri

      If asked I think they would not only say no, but HELL NO…

    2. BetterNews

      No chance!

  30. ncsujuri

    Padres suddenly need a closer….

    1. Jeff

      ….and they have a third baseman who the Cubs really like who is currently blocking a minor league stud that the Padres really like.   Let’s make a deal.