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winter meetings 2013Folks have arrived in Orlando, and the rumor mill is churning …

  • Jon Morosi got everyone buzzing this morning with word that sources say the White Sox are opening to discussing trades for any of their three young, lefty starters – Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Hector Santiago. Everyone immediately blew up about Sale’s availability, given that he’s a legitimate ace under long-term control that every team in baseball (including the White Sox) should want. I don’t really see a trade happening there, and I really don’t see the Cubs getting involved. The more important point from this rumor is that the White Sox could soon alter the market for arms by making their guys available. If Sale were truly dangle, it’s a market-changer, with him – and his youth and his contract – easily being the most attractive available arm (much, much more than David Price). Even Quintana’s presence on the market (not so much Santiago) could impact the Cubs’ ability to effectively shop Jeff Samardzija. While Samardzija would seem to offer more upside, Quintana is under control for five more years and was legitimately very good last year. Heck, I think the Cubs should inquire on him.
  • (Jeff Passan adds to Morosi’s piece, saying that the White Sox do affirmatively want to move a starting pitcher. Ideally it would be John Danks and his contract, but that seems unlikely. So it’s pretty safe to say that Quintana is thoroughly on the market. Something to watch.)
  • Speaking of Samardzija, Joel Sherman – a New York guy, which allows me to note that the Yankees are now in on Samardzija – drops a tweet that pretty much sums up my position on Samardzija and the Cubs (forgive the 140-character-induced text-speak): “Cubs definitely talking Samardzija but price high and 1 interested exec said: ‘they will get it or just put him back on the market in July.'” Against the backdrop of two years of cheap control and a legitimate desire to get an extension done, the Cubs have no reason to feel pressured to deal Samardzija right now. That pressure eases even further when you consider that, unlike Matt Garza two years ago, Samardzija is not coming off of a world-dominating season. Instead, he’s coming off of a year with peripherals that suggest he’s as likely to break out in the first half next year as anything else. Obviously you factor in the risk of injury, but it’s conceivable that Samardzija could break out, and the Cubs could get more for him in July than they can get now. Step up your offers, other teams.
  • The Phillies are “actively shopping” outfielder Domonic Brown (per Jeff Passan), preferably for a pitcher (I’m sure they’d love to land Samardzija). Brown finally put it together in 2013, and he’s cost-controlled left-handed outfield power (Cubs could use all of that). But there are a ton of warning signs, including his inconsistency before the big 2013 season (and a FanGraphs study suggests you can’t just look at the big, most recent season when projecting future performance, even for a 25/26-year-old). And then there’s the 2013 season, itself, which featured an otherworldly May (12 homers, .688 slugging) … with no walks. His season was relatively meh outside of that May (but don’t get me wrong, all months count), and he walked just 7.2% of the time. Would you take him as your starting left fielder next year on the Cubs? Absolutely. Why not, given the time line of their young outfielders? Would you trade Jeff Samardzija to get him? No way. Not as the primary return piece.
  • The Dodgers are reportedly interested in David Price, which is no surprise for a variety of reasons. A lot of tangential impact here: would they also be interested in Samardzija? If they land Price, they’ll clearly be out of any Masahiro Tanaka bidding (right?). If they aren’t in on Samardzija, and take Price off of the market, that can only help the Samardzija market.
  • Speaking of Tanaka, we’re going to see a new deal announced this week between NPB and MLB on the posting system, and it’s going to have a cap of $20 million on bids. The lingering question: will Masahiro Tanaka’s team post him. Still nothing definitive there, but, in my mind, it would be an upset if they didn’t. And, if he is posted, an interesting new piece from Joel Sherman suggests the Yankees might have trouble landing him even if Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire season, thus erasing his $25 million salary from the books for luxury tax purposes. Sherman’s math has the Yankees at about $203 million for 2014 right now, with an internal mandate to get under $189 million. Even if ARod’s suspension is upheld, that takes things down to about $178 million. Tanaka is a lock to get more than $11 million on an AAV basis, so the Yanks would have to shed additional payroll (Brett Gardner is at about $4 million, so he’d be gone) AND not spend anything more. That’s a tough trick. (But it’s the Yankees, so I’m still hoping – for purposes of Tanaka – ARod’s suspension is reduced to something like 50 or 100 games.)
  • The Mariners are getting lots of calls on Dustin Ackley, per Jon Heyman. Ackley, 25, learned center field for the Mariners last year, though he’s a native second baseman. His performance has regressed as a big leaguer, but there’s still a lot to like in a buy-low opportunity. Not sure how realistic it is, but maybe the Mariners are simply ready to separate from the young man.
  • An intriguing DFA target to monitor: 24-year-old Australian righty Liam Hendriks was just DFA’d by the Twins, who might look to trade him before putting him on waivers. His minor league peripherals are as fantastic as his big league numbers are bad. Thing is, all the usual “bad luck” indicators are there in spades for Hendriks in the bigs: enormous home run rate (after never giving up homers in the minors), ridiculously low LOB%, and a BABIP about 20 points higher than you’d expect it to be. Although Hendriks would require a 40-man roster spot, he does come with an extra option year left, meaning a team like the Cubs could put him at AAA and let him continue to develop (with another Hendricks) until a spot opens up. I really like him as a possibility.
  • Norm

    Should definitely look into Quintana…Would probably now be my #1 target at these meetings.

    • Rebuilding

      I love Quintana. For comparisons sake:

      Qintana (4.8 years control): 3.7 WAR, 3.86 FIP (in American League in a hitter’s paradise)
      Samardzija (2 years control): 2.8 WAR, 3.78 FIP

      • Kirbs414

        Any guess on what it would take to make it happen?

      • Norm

        Exactly…track record isn’t long, but he may be better than Samardzija.

      • Internet Random

        “I love Quintana.”

        I love Quintana Roo… particularly the coast.

        • TWC

          Quintana… that creep can roll, man.

          • Edwin

            Pederass dude. Pederass.

            • Internet Random

              Pederast.

              • Internet Random

                STFU, Donny.

  • Mick

    Hendricks is a huge opportunity to exploit right now. Great candidate to bounce back, has all the makings of a solid back of the rotation SP. The only reason he’s on the market is because the Twins have signed Hughes, Nolasco and are about to sign Arroyo. In addition to that, they have Correia, Gibson, Deduno, Worley, Diamond, and Albers all competing for their #4 and #5 SP rotation spot.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    Trade Vogelbach/Lake or Vogelbach/Russell to Dodgers for Kemp
    Try your freaking hardest (and win) to sign Tanaka if he’s posted
    Find out what it takes to get Quintana (Whichever of Lake/Russell isn’t dealt for Kemp + one/two other second-third tier prospects?)

    Send Samardzija/Schierholz wherever we can get another outfielder and pitcher.

    I would be very happy.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      Would also be happy with keeping Samardzija and Schierholz, just to be clear.

    • Nathan

      It would take more than Vogelbach and Lake/Russell for Kemp.

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        I almost doubt it if we eat some of the salary. I think that’s where negotiations start.

    • mak

      Are you implying that the Dodgers would consider a package centered around Vogelbach and Lake for Kemp?

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        I am. To start negotiations with. I figure you probably have to throw in a 2nd top 20 prospect like Amaya to get it done, but with the utter lack of production out of him for the past two years and a glut of outfielders, I think they would consider that deal, yes.

        Now, if the rumors are true and they could get Elvis Andrus for him instead–yea, they’ll go that route.

        • Sean

          This trade does not help the cubs. Kemp gets hurt all the time, and is way over paid. Why would we trade 2 of are better hitting prospects? Why does everyone want to trade Vogs? He provides insurance for Rizzo, and there probably be a DH in the national league by the time he hits the show. I’d trade Russell and Barney for Bret Gardener.

    • Senor Cub

      How does Kemp help your pitching…. why would you trade pitching if that’s what you need…and it’s only Monday!

  • Big Daddy

    I wonder what the Cubs would have to give to get Sale. Shark plus 2 of the core 4?

    • Chad

      I hope not.

      • Big Daddy

        Just wondering what it would take. Not saying I would do it.

        • Chad

          I think it would take at least 2 of the top 4, but I don’t know if Shark is necessary. Probably a few other prospects in the 10-20 organizational round.

          I am not as high on Sale. I think his delivery screams TJS.

  • JB88

    Brett, in your opinion, do you think there will be any negative backlash from the Phillies claim and receipt of the Cubs’ Rule 5 pick in terms of the clubs talking/trading? I would imagine not, given this is a FO seemingly ruled by logic, but I was curious for your take.

    • Patrick W.

      This FO is seemingly ruled by logic, but the Phillie’s FO is seemingly run by a Magic 8-Ball.

      • Noah_I

        Perhaps we have just found the proper nickname for Ruben Amaro.

  • Patrick W.

    I like Dustin Ackley and he is serviceable in the outfield. I wonder if the Mariners are thinking of trying to turn Nick Franklin into an outfielder.

  • beerhelps

    Hendriks…..Hendricks…..Hendrix

    Sounds good to me.

  • James Smith

    How about this trade Shark and Soler and Grimm for Dominic Brown, Jesse Biddle, and Maikel Franco. They are shopping Brown and Halladay retiring they have need in the rotation and we need a Solid Power Outfielder put Brown in left and lake in center for the time being and I am okay with that. I think its a long shot but something that should definitely be looked at right?
    Biddle AND Franco can be seen here
    http://www.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      Only one I don’t understand grabbing is Franco–unless the Cubs know now that Bryant won’t stay at 3B

      • Jorbert Solmora

        There are doubts that Franco can stay at third as well.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Because of course. I should have seen that one coming. haha. Are there any true 3B prospects that aren’t doubted? Wow.

          • hansman

            Ya, they’re prospects that have doubts they can stick at SS

          • Jorbert Solmora

            Haha always seems to be the case, doesn’t it? Only prospects that people think can stick at third are actually shortstops lol

      • James Smith

        He is just a top prospect and yes moving Bryant to the outfield would be the plan he is athletic enough and you are sending soler for brown so it all fits

        • FullCountTommy

          Eh much rather just move Baez over to third (I believe it is Callis who thinks Baez can be a gold glover at the hot corner) and Bryant to the outfield. I’m not sold on Brown at all and Franco has a pretty solid bat, but don’t think he can stick at third

          • James Smith

            either way i think the big prize is jesse biddle if he develops and javy could go to the outfield too there’s little chance that almora bryant javy and soler all live up to their potential so adding bats never hurts

            • YourResidentJag

              I like Biddle as well. Smooth delivery. Closer to bigs. LH not a power arm but a solid SP.

              • James Smith

                yeah solid number 2 helps add to the lack of pitching…hopefully the cubs can draft the future ace this year crossing my fingers that Rondon falls

  • Eric

    The Shark-Trade Watch is sort of all over the place right now. Seems like it would take a lot for it all to come together for a trade.

  • SenorGato

    I would love for the Cubs to go after Ackley. That’s a very interesting guy to buy in on now. Some hints of being someone who can imitate Ben Zobrist.

    • FullCountTommy

      Would love to get Ackley to the North Side. Really seemed to turn it around near the end of last year and was pretty damn good from August on

  • Blackhawks1963

    Sounds like Texas and the Dodgers have talked about Elvis Andrus for Matt Kemp. That would be the definition of a blockbuster. Jurickson Profar would move to shortstop and Rougned Odor would take over 2nd base in Texas. Fielder and Kemp added to the Texas lineup (with Elvis and Kinsler removed) would be explosive.

    • FullCountTommy

      Definitely would be a Blockbuster, but to suggest that a 19 year old (will be 20 by the time next season starts) Odor could take over 2nd base right now with only 150 AA at bats under his belt is absolutely insane.

    • James Smith

      it really wouldnt be that explosive they have an aging Beltre and that’s about it they have Cruz gone their pitching is average at best. They need a closer as well with Nathan in Detroit they resigned Soria but need another option. They need another outfielder and catcher too unless they are gonna use Geo Soto as their starter They have many more needs so sending andrus somewhere to get one player that is injured frequently is ill advised but hey as long as its not the cubs go for it.

      • macpete22

        They signed Arrencibia and plan on using Soto as the starter

        • James Smith

          terrible idea

  • sans

    Fister’s trade return + Sale’s availability = mid-season trade

  • SenorGato

    Could something like Alcantara for Jesse Biddle happen? It would be nice.

    • Big Daddy

      I would do that.

      • SenorGato

        I’m way more worried about the Phillies’ willingness than the Cubs.

  • Mike

    Does anyone here know when Arod’s debacle will be sorted out? Is there a timeline or deadline for the appeal process? Just kind of curious when this will be sorted out, especially with this Tanka posting being dragged out I was kind of hopping the appeal would continue to drag out.

    • Mike

      Tanaka*

  • AD

    Would you trade Edwin Jackson for Dominic Brown?

  • AD

    If so, would the Phillies do that?

    • Justin

      I think it’s safe to say the Cubs would move Jackson for free to get rid of his salary. Theo pretty much said the signing was a mistake already. So I don’t think the Cubs would be getting anyone back like Brown for him. Maybe if the Cubs paid EJax full salary?? I would be all for it..

      • Edwin

        Not safe at all.

        Saying the signing may have been a mistake does not mean that the Cubs think that E-Jax has no value.

        • Justin

          You are completely not reading my post correctly about Jackson “Edwin”. I am saying that Edwin Jackson has no value at his current contract, imo. If he was a free agent I think he would receive less than his current contract. So why would a team give up a player like Brown and take on Jackson’s inflated salary? If the Cubs are taking on some major salary for EJax, that’s a different discussion.

          • Norm

            Edwin Jackson would likely receive a 3/$33M deal in this market.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            “I am saying that Edwin Jackson has no value at his current contract”

            Jackson, 30, had a slightly-better-than-average FIP last year (better than Matt Cain, Jose Quintana, Ervin Santana, and Travis Wood, among others), and is owed $33 million over the next three years. His contract, from this point forward, is VERY undermarket.

            • commander bob

              so is his pitching. just watch him when there are runners on base.

            • sans

              There’s more to statistical analysis than “FIP” or “bad luck”.

              Jackson didn’t pitch well for the Cubs last season. Why is that so hard to admit?

              As for Jackson’s perceived value: I’m of the belief that he holds value based on his durability and the affordable nature of what’s left on his contract. If the Cubs wanted to, I believe they could fetch a solid prospect in-return for Jackson, without having to eat money.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                “There’s more to statistical analysis than “FIP” or “bad luck”.”

                Yes. I know. And if I were writing a full post on the subject rather than discussing it off-hand in the comments, I’d dig into it. I do it quite frequently.

                As I’ve said repeatedly, Jackson’s results last year were poor. His performance was not. Your conclusion supports that.

                • sans

                  So basically you’re going to choose which numbers we should all be focusing on, in-order to support your subjective claims? Or, you’re going to snip-together convenient spans of time – Jackson pitched well from x to x – in order to push what you believe?

                  • Kyle

                    Regression analysis tells us which numbers to focus on.

                  • JB88

                    You probably would fare a bit better in this “debate” if you read some definitions on Fan Graphs.

                  • Norm

                    We’re going to look at numbers other than ERA and W/L.

                    • sans

                      Please provide those “numbers”.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Jackson’s GB rate of 51% was very good. His BB:K numbers (as a ratio and as absolute rates) were basically average for an NL starter: but, remember, that’s what you expect from a #3 starter.

                      Above and beyond everything else, these are the numbers at which you look. HR:FB ratios are not heritable from one year to the next. BABiP (once you adjust for GB and FB) is not heritable from one year to the next.

                      Now, did Jackson get good results? Not particularly. However, it is vital to understand that results ≠ performance. Good performance increases the chance of good results (and bad performance increases the chance of bad results), but good performance does not determine that there will be good results.

              • Kyle

                “Jackson didn’t pitch well for the Cubs last season. Why is that so hard to admit?

                Because it’s not true.

                • sans

                  So he did pitch well? I can’t wait to hear this!

              • Drew7

                “Why is that so hard to admit?”

                Because there is tangible evidence that he didn’t pitch as bad as his traditional numbers indicate.

                Nobody has ever claimed that Jackson’s results last year were 100% flukey or bad-luck, but it was certainly a factor.

                • sans

                  Please present the “tangible evidence”.

                  • roz

                    Well people keep mentioning FIP but you continue to ignore that.

                    • sans

                      You can’t just say “FIP” and be right. That’s as silly as people using ERA and W/L records.

                    • Kyle

                      False equivalence is false.

                    • sans

                      Still not going to provide stats? Just the “FIP”, “Bad Luck” rhetoric?

                      At best, Jackson was average last season. Factor in his salary, and he was a bad value player. Enough of the nonsense.

                      He had a WHIP of 1.46; H/9 of 10.1; SO/9 of 6.9; a WAR of -1.3, and before you go with the “luck” BS, defensive metrics suggest that Jackson was actually helped by his defense.

                    • bbmoney

                      FWar of 2.0. But if you prefer Era to FIP and xFIP it’s the same argument.

                      I like his GB rate last year. High BABIP and low rate of keeping those from getting on base from scoring made his final “results” worse than his performance and projected 2014 results.

                    • hansman

                      So if we cant use FIP, ERA or W/L then what do we use to evaluate pitchers?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      TWTW.

                    • hansman

                      I prefer xTWTW

                    • sans

                      How about a mix of everything? How about not relying on one-single statistic?

                      “TWTW”… Typical. Someone calls you on your BS, Brett, and you resort to the typical antagonizing; still refusing to provide anything but “bad luck ” to state your case.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      If you would take the time to search, research, and read the countless posts where Brett breaks down these advanced stats then you wouldn’t need to ask these questions… unless you are just trying to bait and antagonize Brett and anybody else that won’t join you in this faux crusade you’re trying to lead.

                    • sans

                      What does his 2014 projection have to do with his 2013 results? FIP is used to project the future. It’s not a tool that effectively measures the present.

                      So he allowed a high number of runners who got on base to score… isn’t that a derivative of his lack of execution? A lower-strikeout/higher-walk rate? A higher pressure situation leading to less execution?

                    • sans

                      If guys like goat and Hans aren’t going to add to the discussion, they should be called on their baiting.

                      I’ve read Brett’s “luck” breakdowns. I find them ridiculous. He’s simply providing defense for the FO, at all costs.

                      Christ, Brett… has the FO ever done anything wrong?

                    • Rebuilding

                      But you do realize Brett is just pointing out the statistics that nearly every FO uses for player evaluation, right? You and Joe Morgan might not believe them, but it doesn’t make them any less prevalent in today’s baseball

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Sans I know you don’t like me and I find this game your playing tiresome, you have added very little except to say “don’t like it try again” over and over. You don’t like FIP (and any other stat we present) we get it so what are you trying to accomplish beside baiting and harassing and insulting Brett?

                    • bbmoney

                      It all depends on how much credit/blame you give a pitcher for things not 100 % in their control.

                      If you give them all responsibility for everything by all means use ERA and even W/L to value them. Just know you’re valuing results (which is not the same as performance and foesnt do a good job of projecting the future….. Which is all that matters now anyway).

                      But everyone has already said that already….. So whatever.

                  • Drew7

                    A .322 oppBABIP (vs .308 career).

                    Only stranding 63.3% of runners (vs 70.5% for his career).

                    • TOOT

                      So, you’re equating a 7% difference with bad luck? We had one of he best defensive infields in the NL. This tells me he would have done a lot worse on another team. Jackson just plain sucks.

                    • sans

                      That’s it?

                    • Rebuilding

                      Luckily for us there are a few, but very few, GMs that still think like Sans and Toot

          • Drew7

            I’m certainly not in the business of telling people what they mean, but this…

            “I think it’s safe to say the Cubs would move Jackson for free to get rid of his salary.”

            …and this…

            “I am saying that Edwin Jackson has no value at his current contract, imo.”

            …are *not* saying the same thing.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s not what Epstein said. More importantly, he immediately followed up his comment with (1) Jackson’s year was a lot better than people think (i.e., bad luck, good peripherals), (2) he’s likely to bounce back next year, and (3) his deal – now three years and $33 million – is a pretty darn good one.

        • Justin

          My bad, I did forget that the Cubs paid some up front money, so the 3 for $33 isn’t terrible. But I certainly don’t love it, or see much value there. And Brett wouldn’t it have been surprising if Theo wouldn’t have talked bounce back/peripherals/bad luck. Hell, he talked up Zambrano before he moved him and paid his full contract to the Marlins. I don’t disagree with the salemanship at all, but it’s pretty obvious.

          • Kyle

            In this case, Epstein’s “Salesmanship” is grounded in proper player evaluation. Jackson at 3/$33 is a steal.

            • Justin

              My bad Edwin Jackson’s deal is an awesome contract to have on the team.

              • Kyle

                Thank you for acknowledging your shortcomings rather than doubling down on them. Such an attitude is appreciated.

            • Edwin

              It could be, although not as quite a steal as I origianlly thought. I guess it depends on how much WAR you think Jackson will be worth over the next three years. Obviously.

              • Justin

                I was actually kidding about it being and awesome deal. But yes, 3 yrs at $33 Mill isn’t bad. I just don’t see surplus value to move it and aquire a cheap talent like Brown, which was my original point. Strangely enough I am actually usually a Jackson supporter, it’s weird I am on the other end.

                • Edwin

                  I think if you’re someone who thinks that Jackson can average closer to around 3 WAR per season over the next 3 years, Jackson is a steal at 3/33. If you think Jackson is going to be closer to average around 2 WAR per season over the next three years, there isn’t much surplus value.

            • TOOT

              In this case, Epstein’s “Salesmanship” is grounded in proper player evaluation. Jackson at 3/$33 is a steal.

              Then why did I get a “gut” wrenching feeling(like 90% of Cubs fans) every time he was on the mound.

          • Brains

            i don’t care if it’s a good value. he’s terrible. you guys can cite numbers that you don’t even understand until the cows come home, but you still gotta clean up the cow pies at the end of the day.

            • Brains

              it also makes me crazy that everyones suddenly pro edwin and anti shark. these guys can’t even be compared. Brett’s earlier post helped me to understand free agent vs pre-year 6 players, but comeon. it sounds to me like you guys are just wanking about saving money for billionaires again. every *winning* team knows that you have to spend money to win. only middle management squeezes the janitor out of a new broom.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Willing to trade Samardzija doesn’t mean anti-Samardzija. I’m not seeing anyone arguing that Samardzija isn’t a very good pitcher.

            • caryatid62

              see now you’re insulting your *own* players too, on behalf of administrators. this is a terrible precedent for fandom, to look down on the players we’re supposed to root for because office dwellers want to maximize profits.

              • Brains

                hah nice cut and paste. i can really hit with a memorable line, can’t i?

                • caryatid62

                  …0r at least one that can be used against you pretty easily.

                  • Brains

                    instead of hyperbole i’m trying ending every post with an incoherent platitude. see above.

                    • Brains

                      ahem… because if you look above the line, then you can’t be blamed for hitting under the belt.

        • Edwin

          On second thought, Justin does have a point. Jackson is projected to be worth 2 WAR next season. Even if you bump it up to project 2.5, 2, and 1.5, Jackson ends up being worth $36MM over the next three years, so not much surplus value to be had.

          Jackson’s deal isn’t too bad, but it’s not the greatest deal out there. Not conclusively.

          • TOOT

            Projected by whom? Wood is projected 4 WAR then.

        • Die hard

          Getting rid of Sveum makes Jackson COY candidate? I’m in as Sveum was bad for others too like Castro Barney and Rizzo

      • Drew7

        “I think it’s safe to say the Cubs would move Jackson for free to get rid of his salary.”

        3 years @ $11m per for a guy with those peripherals? I think you’re mistaken, Justin.

        • Justin

          Dude, I said above I forgot about the upfront money and was thinking 4 yrs at $52 Mill. with 3 of them left. I knew he had bad luck and all, but really had no idea his contract is as amazing as it is. I will never bring it up again;) trust me!!

          • hansman

            Eh, don’t take it too hard. A lot of folks may not see the other replies or want to phrase something differently because they are opinionated and vocal about it.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    White Sox looking for catching and third base and looking to dump Dunn and his salary. This deal could possibly net us Quintana and Skaggs. White Sox get Olt, Lamb,Castillo, and P Villanueva.
    D-Backs get Samardzija, Schierholtz, and Barney.
    Cubs get Quintana, Skaggs, Dunn, Trahan, and Pollack.
    Cubs sign Suzuki to catch with Kotarras.
    Cubs rotation now would be Quintana, Arrieta, Wood, E. Jackson, and Skaggs.
    Dunn is in last year of deal at 15 million. He would platoon in LF with Lake for a year and provide power missing from Soriano leaving. Pollack, Sweeney, and Bogusevic play CF and RF.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    When’s the ETA on Silva?

  • Ballgame

    No way the Cubs would take Dunn, that part just doesn’t make sense. Brett, I agree that EJax deal is a good one at 3/33 remaining. This is why I like backloading contracts. I understand $1 now is worth more than 3 years from now. If you have a specific budget in a 3-year plan and you have a lot of room available in Year 1, then you spend it Year 1 to have more available dollars for the other 2 years. Obviously, if you don’t have to worry about a budget, then backloading deals would make more sense…

    • Voice of Reason

      If you’re for back loading contracts then you should be opposed to the EJax contract?

      His contract was basically front loaded because of a heavy signing bonus. The remaining years of the contract look sweet because of that.

  • The Dude Abides

    Is Brett in Orlando for the meetings?

    • YourResidentJag

      If Chris Cotillo is there, he should be.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Cotillo has press credentials. I do not. There would be very little for me to do there at this point (and you would have a lot less to read here because I’d be running around).

        • YourResidentJag

          But wouldn’t you just want to go once for the sake of it?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I’m sure I will one of these years.

        • Rebuilding

          I bet the buffet is awesome. Also, maybe you could buy Theo and Jed a couple of shots or a lap dance and get some info

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            I’d love to get photos of Theo and Jed getting lap dances. That would be enough to get free season tickets for the next few years. LOL

        • Noah_I

          I’m just curious, is getting the press credentials a money only issue, or is it a you need an in to get the credential as well sort of issue?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Generally-speaking, MLB doesn’t offer credentials to independent, online-only sites like this one. In the online-only space, they are increasingly making exceptions for large networks like SB Nation. I am small potatoes.

            But it’s almost 2014, and the readership here is as large as the readership anywhere covering any single team. Credentials should probably be a thing at some point in the future, but I’m a patient, long-view type person. And I haven’t pushed for them.

            • Kyle

              That’s pretty lame of them, especially considering most of the print sources will be online only eventually. Wonder how they handled situations like the Seattle P-I

            • http://bleachernation.com woody

              You are the cream of the crop Brett. Far and away the best reporting anywhere.

            • hansman

              I’d at least push for credentials with the Cubs. Then again, maybe you have or maybe that isn’t a thing (as in, all-or-nothing for MLB)

            • Isaac

              “and the readership here is as large as the readership anywhere covering any single team.”

              Wow. Incredibly impressive. Major kudos to you, Brett. Keep up the stellar work.

        • YourResidentJag

          Can we vote for you for MLB Social Media Awards next year to get you press credentials?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Is that a thing? I’ll gladly accept votes for any award, up to and including Miss Universe.

            • YourResidentJag

              It will be on MLB Network this coming Sunday. So, yes. When you do a search, it’s says voting has passed so I’m guessing voting is open to anyone doing social media of MLB.

              • YourResidentJag

                Purely speculating here though because this is the first one.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Well, thanks. I’ll have to look into that for the future.

  • YourResidentJag

    Andrew Rickli ‏@AndrewRickli 9m
    Heard #orioles just got called into the war room. Something may be brewing. #lobbytalk

    • Michael

      Could you help explain to me the meaning of this?

      • YourResidentJag

        Apparently there hunkering down in their GM discussion room talking trade???? Who knows.

      • YourResidentJag

        O’s are discussing whether Colon fits into the SP plans.

  • Ballgame

    Orioles got called into who’s war room??

    • Michael

      My confusion also haha

    • Noah_I

      This is clearly a misunderstanding. I think what undoubtedly actually happened was that Disney has set up a replica of the war room set from Dr. Strangelove somewhere on Disney property, Dan Duquette is a big Peter Sellers fan, and Duquette set up a tour.

      • YourResidentJag

        HA!

    • YourResidentJag

      Steve Berthiaume ‏@BertDbacks 14s
      Behind-the-scenes look at #Dbacks room at Winter Meetings. RT/ pic.twitter.com/MZaiHFcJ3d

      • JB88

        Less pizza and about the same level of ethnic diversity that I expected.

  • James

    I wouldn’t be suprised if the Marlins end up getting Russell in a trade with the Cubs. The Marlins have extra starting pitching they can deal. I know the Cubs had interest in Jacob Turner when he was with the Tigers. Also if I had to guess, Nate Schierholtz could end up with the Pirates.

  • YourResidentJag

    Apparently, the M’s weren’t paying attention and outbid themselves, at least according to Grant Bisbee. I wouldn’t be surprised. http://www.baseballnation.com/hot-corner/2013/12/9/5192928/mariners-robinson-cano-outbidding-themselves

    • itzscott

      Someone must’ve been reading The Jim Hendry Playbook

    • Rebuilding

      “And then you read this amazing passage from Evan Grant in the Dallas Morning News:

      “By mid-day Friday, Seattle had heard that some team bid nine years and $225 million for Robinson Cano, so the Mariners upped their bid to $240 million and 10 years before apparently realizing the initial bid had come from themselves, too.””

      • Greenroom

        This is hilarious. Exactly what the article a few days ago was suggesting.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I still can’t tell if Grant is reporting news, or if he’s being cute.

        • Norm

          Evan Grant said he was writing it tongue in cheek. But he did say SEA offered 9/$225 at one point.

  • cubmig

    Somebody….anybody…..plug in the necessary clear-up to YourResidentJag’s shared tweet. I hate having this thread end with that out there. HELP!

    • YourResidentJag

      O’s are discussing Bartolo Colon. Everyone has a suite to discuss team’s future plans.

      • YourResidentJag

        Looks like the O’s have moved on to Nelson Cruz.

  • Ballgame

    “Rebuilding”, you had me dyin laughin when saying Brett could buy Theo/Jed a shot or lap dance. That’d be legendary! At this point, I’m hoping the Cubs are involved in something this week as far as a trade/FA signing is concerned. I know the direction the FO is looking to head towards, but I’d like to see transactions going down!

  • YourResidentJag

    Steve Gilbert ‏@SteveGilbertMLB 8m
    #Dbacks GM Kevin Towers: “We like our upper-level pitching. Unless it’s the right guy, we’re probably more apt to hang on to it.”

    • JB88

      Which is exactly what one would say when attempting to negotiate through the media …

      • YourResidentJag

        Yeah, it’s necessarily vague.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Probably finish at .500 again then next year too, Kevin.

  • MightyBear

    If the Cubs could get Sale and it took two of the big 4 and others, I do that deal in a heartbeat. As long as they don’t have to include Pierce Johnson or CJ Edwards. Sale is probably the 2nd best pitcher in baseball.

  • Ballgame

    Crap, above I meant that I have preference to frontloading deals, not “backloading”. My bad “Voice of reason”..

    • terencemann

      Back-loading really is a better ideas because it gives the team more financial flexibility in the immediate years when they are poised to compete (so they can make small free agent deals to fill-in pieces or add veterans on short-term deals) and there’s a chance they can off-set the future cost with more revenue in the future or by trading the player and getting the receiving team to pay part of the salary.

      • Edwin

        Plus backloading means pushing higher amounts back into higher inflation years. Paying $1MM now and $10MM 10 years from now is much different than paying $10MM now and paying $1M 10 years from now.

        • Patrick W.

          In other words: $10MM today will buy you a lot more than $10MM 10 years from now.

  • AD

    Any news from Assman?

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