lukewarm stoveSome years, there’s a little push to get things concluded by Thanksgiving, which may actually be what we’ve seen in the Brian McCann, Jhonny Peralta, and Bourjos/Freese deals, among others. At the same time, although we’ll probably see a lull on Thanksgiving, I’m not sure if it will last all that long. December comes but a few days later.

  • The Dodgers are set to sign Dan Haren to a one-year, $10 million deal after a mixed year in Washington (he was brutal early in the year, and dominant late – his peripherals suggest he was a whole lot better than his 4.67 ERA). It’s fair deal for both sides, and it gives the Dodgers a loaded rotation (Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Haren, Billingsly, Beckett – though the latter two have had arm issues). Does it take them out of the Masahiro Tanaka market? Nah. Haren isn’t on that tier, and money isn’t going to stop the Dodgers. Instead, it probably takes them out of the market for any other starting pitchers (including, potentially, Phil Hughes, if he was looking for another NL West option after possibly losing the Padres (Josh Johnson) and Giants (Tim Hudson)). As for Haren, specifically, the Cubs weren’t known to be involved or interested in the 33-year-old, whom they almost acquired last year before medical issues scared them off.
  • Robinson Cano may yet lead the big-time market: Andrew Marchand reports that the Yankees will soon reiterate to Cano and his agents that their best offer to him comes with an expiration date. Given the uncertainties in their financial picture – Kuroda? Tanaka? Beltran? Choo? Ellsbury? ARod suspension? – you can understand why the Yankees would want to know ASAP whether Cano is going to be taking up a chunk of their available cash (me? I kind of like seeing them twist in the wind). Although the Cano market, at present, feels limited to the Yankees, if they suddenly pull out to pursue other options, Cano’s free agency could suddenly have a dramatic impact on the overall market.
  • For now, the Yankees appear focused on landing Carlos Beltran, which would shrink their available dollars even further. Absent a full-year ARod suspension, the math doesn’t work for them to sign McCann, Beltran, Kuroda, Cano, and Tanaka, and stay under the $189 million limit. If it comes down to Kuroda, what if the posting system isn’t in place by the time they have to make a decision? Would the Yankees let Kuroda walk, knowing that if they don’t get Tanaka, their rotation could be a mess? Or do they just let Cano walk? Either way, it feels like they’re confident ARod won’t be counting against them next year …
  • Jayson Stark tries to figure out the Cano market, and it sounds like a number of teams that “aren’t in,” are not in only because they believe it’s Yankees or bust. Once again, I say: if the Yankees suddenly pull out, Cano’s free agency could suddenly have a dramatic impact on the overall market. As usual, the Cubs are mentioned in passing among a huge number of other teams that could pursue Cano if not the Yankees. Although I still don’t think Cano, at the dollars he’ll get, makes sense for the Cubs – and I think Cano returning to the Yankees could tighten their Tanaka pursuit – there’s a part of me that hopes the Yankees give up on him, and turn him loose on the market. It’s fun to watch.
  • The Red Sox are considering Dioner Navarro a fallback option in their catching search.
  • The Pirates just DFA’d outfielder Garrett Jones (he’ll be 33 next year, will cost $6 million in arbitration, his power surge in 2012 now looks like a blip, and he’s a negative in the outfield – pass), as well as starting pitcher Kyle McPherson. The latter, 26, was a decent prospect coming up in the Pirates’ system (4.80 career K/BB) until arm issues derailed him last year. He had Tommy John surgery in July, and would be an ideal stash for the Cubs on a minor league deal. The problem is that another team with even more room on its 40-man might decide to claim him, and hold him on the roster until late next year when he’s finally recovered from the surgery. I don’t think the Cubs could pull that off, and the only way a minor league deal would be possible is if McPherson is released (as opposed to outrighted). In the end, he probably doesn’t become freely available on a minor league deal, so this is probably wasted ink.
  • Remember how I thought grabbing reliever Fernando Abad from the Nationals would be a good idea after they DFA’d him last week? Well, so did the Athletics, who sent the Nationals a meh prospect to get him (he was probably claimed by several teams if he made the wavier wire).

Keep Reading ...

« | »