Late last week, when I was … *eh hem* … feverishly indisposed, there were a couple hot stove chats I wanted to hit on. So, I’ll hit on them now …
First, from Bruce Levine, doing his weekly chat at ESPNChicago:
- Bruce calls the Alfonso Soriano/Phillies true rumor (which popped up again last week courtesy of Jim Bowden, who said the Cubs and Phillies had a deal on the table involving Soriano, and they were just waiting on Michael Bourn to pick a team before settling things) a very old one, dating back to a month and a half ago. That timeline would make it the old Soriano-for-Domonic-Brown swap, which was discussed extensively around the Winter Meetings. Is that what Bowden was talking about? Is that deal still on the table? Bruce doesn’t seem to think so, as he says “nothing came of” that deal. Jim and Bruce are colleagues, so maybe they can get together on this one.
- That said, if the Cubs find a suitable deal for Soriano before the season opens, they’ll take it. Ditto Carlos Marmol. But Bruce thinks Matt Garza is actually more likely to be traded than Soriano, primarily because of Soriano’s no-trade rights.
- Marmol makes sense for the Tigers, who could use a proven arm near the end of their bullpen. Bruce mentioned this in the context of a Rick Porcello trade (because he was asked, not because he brought it up). I don’t really see a fit there, given the depth in the rotation right now – which is not to say the Cubs might not want Porcello. I just think other teams might want him more.
- Bruce still doesn’t think trading Javier Baez in a deal for Justin Upton makes sense. He also doesn’t think the Cubs could land Giancarlo Stanton without it having a net negative impact on the rebuild.
- No real update on the Cubs and Michael Bourn. Bruce says the Cubs have the payroll flexibility to sign him, and they have had conversations with his agent, but he won’t go any further than that.
- Bruce likes the idea of the Cubs adding Scott Hairston as their final outfielder (a guy who mashes lefties), but he doesn’t have any inside info on that one.
And next, from Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade Rumors:
- The Rangers probably have the best chance of acquiring Giancarlo Stanton as anyone … but that chance is still essentially zero.
- The Brewers probably aren’t going to go after Kyle Lohse (and the Cardinals probably aren’t bringing him back), who’s still counting on a multiyear deal.
- Michael Bourn to the Rangers still feels like a good fit, depending on how they feel about their internal options in center field (Martin/Gentry).
- Things aren’t looking good for the Red Sox and Mike Napoli, whose three-year deal has been held up by dickering about his medicals. Like I said before on this one, it could really be holding a great deal of things up … to wit, say Adam LaRoche is waiting to re-sign with the Nats until he knows the Red Sox are out. And say the Nats are waiting to trade Michael Morse until they know they have LaRoche back. And say the Mariners are waiting to make a final offer to Bourn until they know whether Morse is available. And say Bourn is waiting … you get the picture.
- Ben doubts the Cubs are eager to lose a pick to sign Michael Bourn, but he expects they’ll continue to lay in the weeds and see what happens.
- If the Cubs move Soriano now, Ben figures they’re going to want to make sure they’ve figured out a way to replace his offense.