The day is far from a close in Orlando, but here’s an early evening update …
- Ken Rosenthal says that Shin-Soo Choo talks are reaching a “critical stage,” which implies that he could be signing this week. Rosenthal indicates that the Rangers (known) and at least one other team are in right now. Although we just heard that the Cubs have spoken with Choo, don’t go jumping to any conclusions just yet – the Tigers have long made a ton of sense for Choo, especially given the bizarre Doug Fister dump, and the Mariners, more recently, have made sense for him, too. The Rangers are believed to still be talking to Nelson Cruz, though, and the Mariners have been connected to him, too. A surprising, quick deal involving Cruz returning the Rangers sure would spice things up. Short of something like that, if there are only two teams still seriously involved on Choo, it’s fair to assume it’s probably the Rangers and Tigers.
- Jayson Stark has heard “buzz” about the Cubs swooping in on David Price! … but I would take that with a mountain of salt, because it appears to be a throwaway line, inserted for color in a piece about Price, generally. Without a Shin-Soon Choo signing to go with it (at a bare minimum), acquiring Price right now does not make sense for the Cubs, and would probably be inadvisable. Stark’s piece is a good read on the Price market, and Tampa Bay’s ongoing efforts to convince everyone else that they don’t have to trade Price right now. Sure. But they’re not going to trade him in the middle of a playoff run in 2014, so it’s now or next offseason. And a lot of bad stuff can happen in between.
- David O’Brien (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) says there still isn’t a great feel for what it would take to land Jeff Samardzija. That could be because the Cubs have gone into sell mode on him just yet, or it could be a Braves-specific thing, given that they seem to be new-ish entrants into the Samardzija market (O’Brien says the Braves “like him a lot”). Let me short-hand the price for you, David: a lot.
- More from Rosenthal: he’s got the Twins as hot on the trail of Bronson Arroyo, which would give them three free agent starting pitchers in one offseason. It’s conceivable that grabbing Arroyo could make the rest of the market incrementally more interested in a Jeff Samardzija deal (or Edwin Jackson?), but the more immediate impact here is the Cubs’ theoretical pursuit of Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon, who remains an interesting back-end-swing-guy-depth-stash-bullpen-I-don’t-know type.
- One more from Rosenthal – dude works - on Mark Trumbo, whom he says the Angels are more and more likely to trade. They seem to want young, controllable pitching for him. I don’t think the Cubs will be in on the low-OBP, high-power Trumbo, but a trade involving him could shake up the market a bit.
- Jerry Crasnick hears that, despite earlier chatter, White Sox ace Chris Sale is not actually on the market. That’s obviously a good things from the Cubs’ perspective.
- Also, bits on Masahiro Tanaka and the Cubs’ bullpen efforts (rumored discussions with Nationals), in case you’re just now tuning in and missed them earlier this afternoon.