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It may be hard to believe, but there are still some 100 free agents out there available for plucking, despite the turn of the calendar…

  • Coco Crisp’s agent says the outfielder has made up his mind where he’d like to play next year, and now just has to inform the “winning” team. The Cubs have been rumored to be pursuing Crisp, and that article there suggests the Cubs are the “potential front-runner.” I have a hard time seeing Crisp sign somewhere that already has three nominal starting outfielders, as the Cubs do right now (Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus). It’s easy for the Cubs to tell him, “oh, yeah, Coco, there will be a trade before Spring, and we’ll open up a spot for you.” But, if you were Crisp’s agent, wouldn’t you advise him to strongly consider other options if the money was the same? Many teams have been involved with Crisp, so he’s got a number of options. Jim Bowden says Crisp is probably headed back to the A’s, for what it’s worth.
  • Signing Crisp before opening an outfield spot for him now would also put the Cubs in an awkward bargaining position in their efforts to trade Marlon Byrd and/or Alfonso Soriano (the latter of which is already an exceedingly difficult piece to deal). Then again, might the need to move a player first be a plausible reason for Crisp “deciding,” but then “delaying” the reveal of his new team?
  • Carlos Marmol, who is currently pitching in his native Dominican Republic, was recently asked about his name popping up in trade rumors. Marmol didn’t go into much, saying only that it’s his job to pitch, and the Cubs have to do what they have to do. “This is a business,” Marmol said.
  • Jon Heyman says the Yankees would like to add a solid starting pitcher before the Winter is over, and may end up choosing between signing Edwin Jackson and trading for Matt Garza. But sources say the Yankees don’t want to spend big this Winter, and don’t want to sign a pitcher for more than a year or two – both of which pose a problem when it comes to Jackson, who is reportedly seeking a five-year, $60 million deal.
  • An MLB.com article surveys the still-existent free agent landscape. Matt Garza is worked in at the end, which should tell you just how attractive he is to teams that are presently otherwise faced with the choice of Edwin Jackson for big bucks, Hiroki Kuroda for a big-money, short-term deal, or an appreciably worse pitcher like Joe Saunders or Paul Maholm.
  • http://www.statefarm.com Matthew Paulish

    Interested if the Rangers would look hard at Garza if they cant sign YU

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They would be, but they’ll sign Darvish. No worries there. They might still have some interested in Garza anyway, for what it’s worth, if they can move Harrison.

      • Cedlandrum

        Would the Cubs take Harrison as part of the package?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Possibly. But, from the Rangers, they’d vastly prefer certain prospects (Perez, Ramirez, Olt, for example).

  • Dustin

    Brett, What do you think the starting lineup will look like opening day??

    • MoneyBoy

      Dustin … Just my opinion … but with 61 days till Spring Training and 93 till Opening Day there’s nearly no way of knowing for sure – other than Castro as SS.

      New regime, new eyes, new rules … everything that was “known” is now “unknown.”

      • Eric

        I would also add Stewart at 3B, they got him to give him a big chance to rebound.  Other than that maybe after 3 months Jackson will be up.  But 1B, 2B, C, and possible LF and CF we just can’t be sure right now, until more moves are made.  Dejesus is prolly the starting RF though.

  • Mike S

    Perez would be top target for sure. He has future ace written all over him.

  • Dustin

    thanks guys! I agree

  • Big Sean

    If the Rangers are interested in Garza how about Harrison, Perez, Moreland, and Olt for Garza, Byrd, and someone like Vitters? I have heard the Rangers do have interest in bringing in a defensive minded CF.

    What say you Brett?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      My rule of thumb is if I see a proposed trade that makes me want to say, “Holy crap, yes, I would do that in a second,” then it’s probably netting the Cubs too much.

  • ty

    Crisp and Campana at the top of the lineup! Successful, we do not know, but what have we to lose?

  • OlderStyle

    Brett, a few weeks back there was some smoke on potentially trading Geo Soto or unloading Soriano to DH-needing team. The smoke seems to be no more. Is there anything out there at all about those players’ movement?

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      how badass would soriano be in japan?

      • OlderStyle

        yeah, he’d be big in Japan. (sorry, I never tire of that joke for some reason)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not a whiff (in my nose, anyway) lately. The biggest interest in Soto was coming from the Angels, who opted for Iannetta instead. It’s been pretty quiet around Soriano all Winter. Not sure if that’s because the Cubs aren’t yet offering to eat enough of his salary, or because team’s don’t want him no matter how much the Cubs eat. I tend to think it’s the former.

  • tex134

    Crisp’s agent is funny – gonna notify the winning team. He sounds like he believes his client is a major find.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      he can go right back with captain crunch where he belongs. id rather have frankinberry playing center

  • ty

    frankinberry is in left field.

  • Brian Myers

    The question about Geo is a good one. He’s had 3 really good seasons in professional ball (not just the majors) and everything else has been average. He also doesn’t fit the bill as a Theo/Jed player. The only thing is that he’s in his prime, not breaking the bank, and the value you get from him likely is worth more than the value you would get for him in a trade (unless done during the season). I’m betting he stays put unless they think they have a viable reason to get rid of him.

  • Hawkeye

    Red Sox sign Carlos Silva. I would say we can consider the compesation issue for Theo resolved.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope. Now the Cubs owe them even more…

  • Hawkeye

    Fine…I guess they can sign Milton Bradley as well. That should wrap things up nicely.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You just keep running up the price tag, don’t you…

      • Hawkeye

        Damn Ben Cherington, you drive a hard bargin. You can also have Tom Riggans. Final offer!

  • Cedlandrum
    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      perhaps byrd becomes someone teams looking for outfield depth revisit a bit more seriously now

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      does anyone disagree that byrd could get us something decent in a trade. emphasiss on decent

      • Brian Myers

        Byrd:

        A man who turn 35 this year, has hit 20 HR’s once in his career, hasn’t had double digit SB’s in a decade, has never walked 50 times in his career, has had 80 RBI’s once in his career and 80 runs scored twice.

        He has a career .281 average and plays good defense.

        Point being: He has value. He could be a starter for a bad team or a really good bench player. But he’s not great, never will be, and at age 35 really lacks upside potential. So his value might be more on the Cubs than what they could get for him in return.

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          thats kinda what i was thinking.

  • aCubsfan

    There’s a rumor flying in Canada that Toronto was never interested in Garza and that it was a smoke screen for a much larger trade between Toronto and Seattle. The rumor has Toronto sending Drabek, Snider, Alvarez, Goose, and Arencibia for Seattle’s Feliz and Jaso. Ken Rosenthal was following up on this tip from a Twitter follower. Supposedly the two teams have been discussing this trade for 3 weeks now.

    • King Jeff

      “The rumor has Toronto sending Drabek, Snider, Alvarez, Goose, and Arencibia for Seattle’s Feliz and Jaso”

      Who is Feliz? Do you mean Felix Hernandez? If so, that package isn’t going to to get him. Everything I’ve read says that Seattle would want top-level starting pitching back if they were even going to think about trading him. Nobody is really all that high on Drabek anymore. I think they would have to give up some combination of Hutchinson, McGuire, Syndergaard, and Molina to land him.

      • realist

        White Sox traded Santos for Nestor Molina already.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    or do we keep byrd amd see what hes worth at the deadline, and call up jackson? thoughts anyone?

  • die hard

    Why is Marmol still playing when pitchers and catchers report in 6 wks?….Theo should shut him down as his arm had nothing left by Aug 15….Who’s minding the store anyway?…yeeesh

  • rcleven

    Crisp to resign with Oakland.2yr.

  • JasonB

    Interesting read on Matt Garza’s trade value from Fangraphs

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/matt-garzas-trade-value/

    • Dukie11

      Wow- good article, puts are possible return in perspective. Almost makes me think an extension is the better way to go, unless someone is desperate.

  • SP24

    I’d love to get Turner, Porcello and either Croby or Smyly. Any chance of packaging Garza and Byrd to Detroit?

    • Sayueri

      I don’t think the Tigers would be interested in Byrd.

      • King Jeff

        It doesn’t seem that there is a whole lot of interest in Byrd from anyone.

        • Dukie11

          Why would there be? He is a slow centerfielder who if he is hot hits for a decent average with no power. If we unload him it is simply to give us a chance to see Jackson/ Dejesus/Campana in center. Byrd’s offensive game always struck me as being best suited for second base, he doesn’t do much for us in center where we need our leadoff guy to be more than likely.

        • Emperor Jeff

          You had to change your name, didn’t you…Well take this King Jeff

          • supreme leader jeff

            …oh yeah? :P

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              This has become a silly place, King Jeff is the only royalty this goat will acknowledge.

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