Bud Selig is officially “reviewing” that Blue Jays/Marlins trade, though the expectation is that he’ll uphold it. It’s possible that action on other fronts is on hold until that deal is finalized, given the impact it has all over the markets, both trade and free agent. In the interim, the Lukewarm Stove smokes …

  • Pete Abraham says that, now that they’ve signed David Ross, the Red Sox have more catchers than they’ve got spots. He says they could look to deal one of Jarrod Saltalamacchia (whose name I’ve finally mastered without looking) or Ryan Lavarnway, and lists the Cubs atop his possible targets. The connection seems more about convenience than a sourced rumor (Abraham mentions the Theo connection, and the Red Sox’s need for a starting pitcher like Matt Garza (who, despite elbow concerns (clean bill of health!), would cost far, far more than one of those two)), but it’s an interesting discussion. Lavarnway is a former decent prospect who is very pre-arbitration, but hasn’t hit in the bigs yet. He’s also a righty, who wouldn’t make a great deal of sense paired with Welington Castillo. Then there’s Salty, who is a free agent after 2013, is a switch hitter, and put up a decent (for a catcher) 95 OPS+ last year. He made $2.5 million last year, and is in his final year of arbitration where he could make, I’d reckon, between $3.5 and $4 million. At just 27, there could still be upside left for the former uber prospect (but it’s just a one-year commitment if it doesn’t show in 2013). Pairing him with Castillo next year? If he’s a decent receiver, I kind of like the idea.
  • Now that they’ve signed Torii Hunter, the Tigers are moving on to their next priority: retaining Anibal Sanchez. Danny Knobler suggests that the Tigers aren’t likely to meet his 6/$90M or 7/$100M demands, which would be understandable given their burgeoning payroll (and Justin Verlander’s eventual free agency). Would he give a home-town discount to the place he was traded midseason in 2012? You don’t want to guess no and be wrong, but it sure seems like the answer is “no.” I’ve made my thoughts on the desirability of Sanchez known.
  • Another writer – John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus – attaches the Cubs to Shaun Marcum. For all of the Cubs-to-Marcum connections we’ve heard, I’m now realizing that we’ve still not yet heard anything connecting Marcum to the Cubs.
  • The Braves appear set to let Michael Bourn sign elsewhere, but they’ve got their eye on a similarly-priced center fielder: B.J. Upton. He’ll probably come for a little less, but not hugely less. Upton is apparently the Braves’ top target.
  • Brandon McCarthy has received the green light to resume baseball activities, and Susan Slosser reports that although McCarthy would like to return to Oakland, he’s expected to receive offers elsewhere that the A’s can’t match. I doubt he gets offers so big that the A’s can’t match them, but they might be big enough (two years, $20 million?) that they’d prefer not to match them.
  • No surprise, the Marlins have no intention of shopping Giancarlo Stanton right now. But they are, indeed, considering moving Ricky Nolasco and Logan Morrison.
  • Tobias

    So, according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Cubs signed Dionner Navarro. Any thoughts Brett?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I love when news breaks the second I hit “publish” on something else …

  • J. Edwards

    Cubs sign Dioner Navarro. Now what happens at C?

  • RickCom

    Speaking of catchers. Cubs sin Navarro

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Cubs sign Dioner Navarro C according to MLB Trade Rumors

  • Spencer

    I’ll take Nolasco and LoMo, please.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Looks like Clevenger will be off the protected list.

    • George Altman

      Clevenger isn’t going to be DFA’d off the roster. Plenty of 40-man casualties to come: Stewart, Valbuena, Coleman, LaHair, et al.

  • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dab

    They still look for a catcher!

  • Myles

    Cubs sign Nioner Davarro

  • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dab

    They still look for a catcher!!!!!

  • Chad

    Yes to McCarthy at 2 yr for $20 mil.

  • Drew7

    Yo, Ace – did you hear the Cubs just signed Navarro? 😉

    • Myles

      Cubs sign Dioner Navarro

      • D.G.Lang

        Who Dat?

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Any chance Saltalamacchia can be tried out as a 3B – he is a switch hitter & has played at 1B some with the Red Sox & Rangers. You would then have an emergency catcher who could be moved late in games to 3 positions for his bat.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    With the signing of Navarro, who falls out of grace? Clevenger or Castillo?

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Falls from grace*

    • Austin

      I have a feeling that it will be a competition between the 3 Catcher for the 2 spots. If this is the case then Cleveger is the most likley to be traded or let go.

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  • auggie1955

    In my opinion signing Navarro is nothing to get excited about. Sure he hit .290 last yr, but his OBP was only .305. Plus he only played in 24 or so games. The previous two seasons with the LAD and TB he hit in the .190s. That’s what I predict he will do with the Cubs.

  • Dave_MKE

    Cubs sign Gabby Harnett (C) according to 1922.

  • Melrosepad

    Right-handers Miguel Socolovich just signed with the Hiroshima Carp. Was kind of interested in seeing him be AAA depth, but best of luck to him.

    • Frank

      It shows how sad of a state the Cubs are in when we’re pining over a guy who had to leave the hemisphere to find work.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    So off topic, who wins the MVP, Miggy or Trout? I got Cabrera for 3 reasons. 1. Trout’s a rookie. 2. Cabrera led his team to the playoffs and Trout did not. 3. Cabrera won a triple crown… I wouldn’t be suprised at all to see Trout get called though.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      1. Whether a player is a rookie or not is irrelevant;
      2. Swap Trout for Miggy and the Tigers make the playoffs more easily and the Angels miss by more than they did;
      3. One of the triple crown stats is pretty meaningless.

      Trout was worth 4 more wins than Miggy. That’s absolutely jaw-dropping: Miggy is a great hitter, but Trout simply is more valuable to almost any team than Miggy is.

      • King Jeff

        I’m curious to know which one you think is pretty meaningless Doc.

        • bbmoney

          I’m guessing RBI’s. Although average should be replaced by OBP….where Cabrera trailed Trout and one of his own teammates.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          RBI. That reflects how often you bat with men on base. Basically, that’s about half how often you bat with men on base (which in turn is a product of your teammates OBP skills and where you bat in the order) and half power (which we’ve got covered with HR). Change teams and change position in the batting order, and 100 RBI in 2012 predicts ?? RBI in 2013.

          That said, I’d replace BA with OBP, too: but BA is “real” in the sense that a guy who hits 0.320 on one team in one slot in the order is a good bet to bat 0.300+ on a different team and in a different spot in the order the next year.

          As for the next question, no, I don’t know what the “real” Triple Crown should be. OBP, yes. I’d say isolated slugging rather than SLG: BA is part of both OBP and SLG, after all, but isolate power removes that. Maybe some sort of base-running metric would be nice: but something that includes going from first to third, scoring from first on non-HR, etc., not just stolen bases.

          • jt

            Does one size fit all?
            I would argue that the value of a no. 6 hitter on a team with an unbalanced line-up is best reflected in the RBI stat.
            He is not up there to work the count and get on base. Often, the first pitch he sees that he can smack he smacks because he knows the job is not going to get done by a weak hitting middle infielder.

        • Tim

          im going to guess he would say RBI’s. solely on the fact that a player has no control of how many runners are on base in front of him.

    • bbmoney

      1. irrelevant
      2. Angels played in a tougher division and had a better record.
      3. The triple crown while impressive are hardly the three most important offensive statistics.

      Miggy is amazing, not diminishing him at all. Trout was better this year when considering defensive and base running value.

      • MichiganGoat

        I can agree with the fact the triple crown is not exactly a measure of the greatest hitter but it is the gold standard for achievement (regardless how valid those stats are as a measurement). I’d have a hard time believing the same people that give gold gloves as a popularity contest wouldn’t give Miggy the MVP.

        • bbmoney

          It’s not the same people. Pretty sure the BBWA votes MVPs and they don’t do anything with the gold gloves.

          But I still understand the point.

          • bbmoney

            Not that it matters what I think, since Miggy won.

            • MichiganGoat

              Rightful so and now I don’t have to hear my state complain.

          • MichiganGoat

            Good point, but MVP is really part popularity, part stats, and part media attention in the Trout/Miggy debate they both cover all those areas but the Triple Crown is on of those nearly mystical achievements and I think the voters will side with the historical nature of the Triple Crown.

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        I was stating why I think Cabrera will win, and not what I personally believe. I believe the fact Trout is a rookie hurts because voters will give Miggy the sentimental edge in the fact Trout has a FAAAAR higher chance of being in future MVP voting’s. Miggy might not have that many more years like he did this year… I also believe the Angels should of made the playoffs regardless of their division, they tanked along with the Rangers. It doesn’t matter what division Miggy played in, he carried his team to the playoffs regardless… Lastly to diminish winning a triple crown in the least bit is embarrassing. Hardly the most important stats? How long did it take for someone to win the triple crown?… The short answer is a VERY long time. There is a reason for that and the reason is you have to be unbelievably good to win it. I can’t argue that Trout is on another level defensively, check that another world, and yes Cabrera is not the best defensive third baseman. I do believe Trout deserves to win the MVP but the way the voting goes, if Miggy doesnt win, it would be a travesty… Just look at Kemp v Braun. Kemp easily should of won, but because he didn’t get his team to the playoffs, he didn’t win the MVP.

    • MightyBear

      That’s a bunch of BS. Cabrera should win the MVP. They used the same defense/baserunning/team leadership BS twice when Ted Williams won the triple crown and wasn’t MVP. Joe Gordon and Joe DiMaggio won it and they were both Yankees. It was BS then and its BS now.

      • DarthHater

        Nate Silver says your wrong. And Nate Silver is smarter and more knowledgeable than either one of us.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Williams didn’t win the MVP because Boston sportswriters hated him and refused to vote for him.

        Giving Miggy the MVP over Trout is just giving credence to context stats over performance ones, plain and simple.

        • Frozen Head of Ted Williams

          Williams didn’t win the MVP because Boston sportswriters hated him and refused to vote for him.

          Yea, I’d like to bite those s.o.b.’s.

        • King Jeff

          I don’t know why anyone is even remotely surprised by the voting for MVP. It is done by the BBWA, so the track record there isn’t exactly amazing. I mean this is the same group of people (in a figurative sense) that didn’t see Mantle, Mays, McCovey, Frank Robinson and DiMaggio as first ballot HOFers and continues to vote with extreme bias in that regard. The fact that Cabrera won shows how much clout all the old-time writers still have in judging the games great players, regardless of how senile they are.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I actually think they got this one right, even though Trout is definitely the better player.

            What Cabrera did this season certainly put him in contention for the award, but the fact that he won the Triple Crown for the first time since forever clinches. That kind of historic achievement is more valuable to baseball as a whole, long term, than Trout’s amazing season.

            Let me put it this way.

            In 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. broke the consecutive games mark. Who won the AL MVP that year? Mo Vaughn.

            Whose ’95 season has been the more valuable to the game? Obviously not Mo Vaughn’s.

            That’s not to say Ripken should have won in ’95. But in this case, history lined up pretty well with stats. I can’t argue with voting for Cabrera.

            • King Jeff

              I can’t disagree with giving him the award, but Cabrera getting 22/28 first place votes seems off to me. There is somewhat of a popularity contest style to some of the BBWA’s voting, so a guy winning MVP when he does something as rare and highly regarded as winning the Triple Crown, is not surprising at all. I just think that Trout had a pretty big impact on the game of baseball this year too. He’s a very exciting player to watch, and was pretty much the Tebow of baseball for much of the year, media coverage wise.

              • MichiganGoat

                I think if he didn’t win the Triple Crown it would have been all Trout, but the Triple Crown is considered such a rarity voters decided they couldn’t ignore it.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  Likely. Trout is clearly the better all around player.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Also, a big component of the sports writers who vote on these awards are older guys who were told all of their careers that RBI not only were a “real” stat, but one of the most important ones for judging a players mettle. They are reacting to the truth about RBI in the same way that, say, 17th century Christians reacted to Galileo pointing out that the Earth isn’t the center of the solar system. After all, how can something that we’ve always “known” be false?

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Nice Doc you just compared Galileo to RBIs in one move, Chipper Jones would be proud of you 😉

                    In all seriousness I agree with analysis here but we are years away before the ancient stats of the Triple Crown are not worshipped, hell Galileo was just released from purgatory. Keep up the good fight.

                    • Turn Two

                      Poor example historically because the reason people fought gallileos theory did not necessarily disagree but more fought it under religious principles. Maybe we could compare this rbi thing more to Hannibal believing the Romans were evil because its what he’d always been told.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Actually, the old Church pointed to the “science” of Ptolemy, and scientists of that time such as Tycho Brahe still were pushing geocentric models. The reason was pretty simple: it had been “known” that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Yes, religious belief was a factor, but the most basic factor was that people had always known that’s how it worked. Basically, it came down to this: if the Earth wasnt’ the center of the universe, then why did everybody say it was for so long?

                      Now, consider this line: if RBI were not an important stat, then why did everybody say that it was for so long? We’ve all seen it before. So, how are these different?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Oh, and technically, I think that I just compared RBI to the geocentric system and sportswriters to the 17th century Catholic Church.

                      As soon as somebody names a planetary body after Trout, then it will all be tied together. ($5 says he’ll have an asteroid with his name inside the year!)

                    • MichiganGoat

                      This is why I love BleacherNation we can go from baseball stats to astronomy to catholic dogma in a few quick steps. It often feels like I’m at the local pub enjoy a fine Michigan IPA while we discuss the mysteries of life. Cheers everyone on here rocks… well except for a few trolls.

                    • Turn Two

                      doc i can’t help but again disagree, the church wad pointing to Hellenistic scholars because they had always stated human beings were at the center of the universe and to admit otherwise would be undermining their theories.for much of the world your right they accepted a long held belief, but i wouldnt lump the church in that category.instead I’d argue they helped to spread the belief for other purposes

  • ferrets_bueller

    I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: I’d love to see LoMo in a Cubs uniform.

    • MichiganGoat

      As long as he doesn’t have to field the outfield I’m cool with it

  • Carew

    I think if you win the Triple Crown, you should be MVP.
    Yes, I understand what Trout did as a rookie was amazing, but its the Triple Crown. THere should not have been a debate in the first place…just my thoughts

    • Internet Random

      I think if you win the Triple Crown, you should be MVP.

      I’d go so far as to say that you should be mayor of your team’s home city.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Just fantastic.

      • MichiganGoat

        Well that might be easy with how things are going in Detroit.

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