stoveThere’s a little bit of rumor stuff to discuss this week …

  • Maybe, possible, theoretical 2014 free agent target Robinson Cano isn’t quite out of the Yankees’ clutches just yet. The Yankees have made a “significant offer” to their second baseman, designed to lock him up long-term (though Jon Heyman reports that the offer doesn’t appear to have been “significant” enough to spur Cano into action). It seems like he’ll still make it to free agency, though.
  • Although I do think the Cubs will be in on big-time free agents next offseason (particularly if they’re bad enough in 2013 to “earn” a protected first round pick in 2014), I have a hard time seeing them in on Cano, given that he’s going to get one of those insane 8, 9 , 10-year type deals. He would certainly upgrade the Cubs, and he would certainly still be productive when the Cubs project to be competitive, but I’m not sure this front office is going to be keen on giving those kind of uber deals to almost any free agents. Maybe if Bryce Harper was a 26-year-old free agent …
  • If the Cubs shop Darwin Barney this year, perhaps you can take that as a sign that they’ll consider adding a second baseman in free agency after the year. As it stands, Jed Hoyer is fond of describing Barney as a long-term piece of the puzzle, although Theo Epstein has never referred to him when listing the current “core” players.
  • Bruce Levine did the chat thing this week and … (1) Bruce thinks part of the reason the Cubs are demanding a legitimately quality return in trade for Alfonso Soriano right now is because he’s needed in the lineup to protect Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo; (2) it’s probably two years before Javier Baez is ready for the big leagues; (3) the Cubs will “definitely” draft a power arm with their number two pick (I’m sure they’d like to have the confidence in a particular pitcher to be able to draft him, but if they don’t, they’ll be just as content to take the best position player available); (4) Bruce has said it before and is sticking to his guns: Carlos Marmol is likely to be dealt before Opening Day; (5) Bruce believes the front office is targeting 2014 and 2015 for bigger free agent acquisitions; (6) Ian Stewart still has a long way to go before he makes the team; (7) James Russell isn’t likely to be a focus of Cubs trade talks mid-season, given that he’s still a year away from arbitration; and (8) Bruce says Trey McNutt is likely to be a starter at AAA this year, but I’m pretty sure he’s being converted to a full-time reliever.
  • MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith did some chatting and … (1) Joba Chamberlain might become an interesting free agent next season if he’s insistent on finding an opportunity to start somewhere; (2) Carlos Zambrano isn’t going to find a Major League deal at this point; (3) Matt Garza won’t be traded until he’s clearly healthy; (4) Robinson Cano is likely to get a deal in the 7 to 10 year range; and (5) Ben still thinks Kyle Lohse signs *somewhere* by Opening Day.


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