The latest from around the rumor mill …
- The Cubs’ ears have to be perking up when they hear things like this: the New York Post is confirming that that Scott Hairston’s relatively modest request to the Mets was two years at $4 million per year. The Mets countered at one year and $2 million(!!!). I know that money isn’t everything, but the Cubs can and should beat that kind of weak offer if they have interest in Hairston in the first place. Even at, say, two years and $3 million per year, Hairston offers value. To my eye, he offers quite a bit of value at that level.
- The Hairston decision is expected this week, by the way, according to Jim Bowden.
- Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija are just going to work on a one-year deal for 2013, rather than trying to put together an extension at this time. Given that Samardzija has had just the one year of converted success in the rotation, and given that he’s already made over $10 million in his career (so there’s no rush to get paid on his end), the waiting doesn’t really surprise me. If he repeats his 2012 success, however, you can expect that an extension next offseason will be a priority. Still, he’s under control through 2015.
- Jon Morosi thinks that the structure of David Price’s 2013 deal with the Rays – $5 million bonus, $1 million in 2013, and $4 million deferred to 2014 – suggests the Rays may shop him next offseason in the hopes that the trading team can help them out on some of that latter $4 million. I suppose, but deferring money, from a financial perspective, is something teams always want to do. If they’re going to shop a player of Price’s caliber, it’ll be because of the money they’ll owe him long-term if they tried to keep him, not because of a few million bucks they can save. You can bet, however, that teams like the Cubs are already counting their prospect bullets in the chamber to determine whether making a huge offer for Price next year is realistic.
- Dave Cameron at FanGraphs chatted about a variety of things, and said “might happen” when asked about the Cubs trying to pick up Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse on two-year deals with an eye toward flipping them midseason (recall, we’ve discussed here the possibility that the Cubs could try and pick up multiple free agents tied to compensation because the “cost” of doing so drops with each successive free agent signed (i.e., Bourn would cost a second round, but Lohse would then cost only a third rounder)). It’s an extreme unlikelihood for a ton of reasons, as I said before – and, if Bourn and Lohse were going to sign somewhere to get flipped, they’d want it to be on one-year deals, so they could hit free agency again immediately without being tied to draft pick compensation – but it’s fun to talk about.
- Speaking of chats, Bruce Levine did his weekly thing yesterday, and … (1) the Cubs would trade Alfonso Soriano “in a minute” if they got the right player back, even if it meant eating salary; (2) the Cubs would love to pick up a young third baseman like Mike Olt or Lonnie Chisenhall before the season starts, but have so far been thwarted in those efforts; (3) if/when the Cubs shop Matt Garza, third base might be the spot they try to fill; (4) speaking of which, Bruce doesn’t have a sense from the Cubs on whether they’d prefer to trade Garza or extend him, given the elbow issues (this was discussed at length on this week’s episode of the podcast); (5) the Cubs have talked to the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton, but an Arizona source tells Bruce that it would take Starlin Castro, which just isn’t happening (Bruce also mentions that the Cubs “are not in a position” to trade someone like Javier Baez, either); (6) the Cubs would consider signing someone like Brian Wilson if they got a good deal, but they are focused on dealing Carlos Marmol right now (wouldn’t those two moves work in tandem?); (7) Jorge Soler could climb the system very fast according to folks who Bruce has talked to, but he still needs another year and a half in the minors; (8) the only realistic surprises for Convention week are a Soriano trade or a Marmol trade; and (9) the Cubs could use a quality right-handed option in the outfield (which screams Hairston, though Bruce did not mention him by name).