Tuesday Evening Winter Meetings Update: Tanaka, Storen, Clippard, Russell, Choo, Mulder, More

winter meetings 2013In addition to the Samardzija rumors and the Hammel rumor

  • I’ll get into more specifics tomorrow, but I didn’t have the heart tonight. Suffice it to say: there is still no meaningful clarity on the Masahiro Tanaka situation. He might be posted. He might not. We probably won’t know more until next week. I wonder if that will hold up the Jeff Samardzija trade market further (not only for teams considering both, but for teams considering Samardzija versus Garza/Santana/Jimenez, each of whom might be waiting on Tanaka’s decision).
  • The Cubs’ talks with the Nationals regarding relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard might already be dead. That’s what Adam Kilgore reports, saying that the talks never really went very far to begin with. I guess a lot of teams have come calling on those two, and the Nats might thus be keeping the price very high.
  • Relatedly? Separately? Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs and Nats discussed James Russell – the Nats are very much in the market for a lefty – but there wasn’t a match. I like James Russell, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve got a sinking feeling that the Cubs will regret not selling as high as possible on him this offseason. He’s made so very many appearances over the last two and a half years.
  • Seriously, where is Shin-Soo Choo going to sign? The Diamondbacks are out after picking up Mark Trumbo, and the Tigers might be out after signing Rajai Davis. The Rangers reportedly find the price to be too steep at this point. Big bucks from the Mariners? Back to the Reds? It seems like weeks ago that Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs were seriously interested in Choo, who figures to get far more than it would be prudent for the Cubs to spend on him right now.
  • The Cubs were reportedly interested in Joba Chamberlain, and I could see some value in a flyer deal with him, but Buster Olney reports he’s already been offered upwards of $3 million from the Diamondbacks.
  • The Pirates are listening on 26-year-old reliever Justin Wilson, who is a lefty. That probably impacts the Cubs more in terms of any James Russell market out there (if there is one) than it does in terms of the Cubs seeking to add a third lefty to the pen. Wilson would probably cost a bit, too.
  • Mark Mulder, 36, wants to hang up his microphone and come back to baseball. Apparently he’s figured out a delivery that doesn’t cause him the problems that ended his career prematurely after shoulder surgeries. He hasn’t pitched since 2009.
  • The Rockies are getting $2 million from the A’s in today’s Brett Anderson trade, by the way, making the deal even more attractive for the Rockies. Still understandable for the A’s, though.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

99 responses to “Tuesday Evening Winter Meetings Update: Tanaka, Storen, Clippard, Russell, Choo, Mulder, More”

  1. Frank

    Read a tweet said the royals were in on shark. Offering Cain,Crow and 2 prospects. I don’t know how accurate it is.

    1. Rebuilding

      No interst in Cain. If the two prospects are Zimmer and Ventura then lets do it

    2. Rizzovoir Dog

      I hope those two prospects are Ventura and Almonte.

    3. mjhurdle

      that started from a jim Bowden interview on some satellite radio show where he proposed a Shark for Almonte and Crow trade.
      Since then, a few Royal and cubs sites/tweeters have picked it up and ran with their own variations.
      nothing from either organization on this as far as I know. Some KC fan has even been tweeting as heyman asking what the Royals could offer to get Baez. Im waiting to see if Heyman responds and how. :)

    4. Norm

      Let me guess…source is an “Insider” from some other forum/site?

  2. Die hard

    You paint a picture of a stock exchange trading floor — chaos until the end of the day when rich are richer

    1. college_of_coaches

      For dark is the suede that mows like a harvest.

  3. Jesse


  4. MichiganGoat

    Russell overuse is exactly why I’d love to see him get moved, relievers that get used like he has are likely to regress and/or get injured. But the reasons I want to move him is the same reason teams won’t be willing to give much to get him. Making him the most used pitcher over the last two years was the only major beef I had with Sveum.

  5. Cubsluver22

    Are we gonna paint ourselves into a corner by not filling some bigger needs now vs trying to wait til the “right” time? I mean the market looks pretty thin next season in terms of free agents. I’m starting to fear by the time were flush with cash that the supply will be so small compared to the demand that were gonna end up highly overpaying anyway.

  6. Joe

    Completely agree with your comments regarding Russell.

  7. Blackhawks1963

    Nationals want a lefty reliever, but Russell can’t be enough for Stoeren.

    Samardzija to the Yankees. That’s my guess. 3 way deal.

  8. ColoCubFan

    On the MLB network this afternoon, Peter Gammons said he didn’t think there was any way that Tanaka gets posted. His Japan team is kinda po’d about the new cap of $20mil, and will wait until next year when they get some more use from him.

    1. mjhurdle

      I could definitely understand that team being upset at the 20 million cap, but I wonder if they would really not post him out of spite after he has expressed a desire to come here.
      I wonder what kind of reaction that would have with other players in the Japanese leagues. Would players shy away from signing with that team, especially if you were a very talented young player that knew you wanted to go to the MLB one day.

    2. Blackhawks1963

      I’m fine with Tanaka staying in Japan. Cubs had no realistic shot to get him. And his staying in Japan enhances the trade market for Samardzija.

      1. mjhurdle

        so, what do you think the chances are that the Cubs land Tanaka if he is posted?

        1. willis


    3. Die hard

      PG is often spot on– so maybe this stops a practice that will eventually ruin MLB … Maybe MLB teams should post their players for bidding by other country’s leagues

      1. Cubsluver22

        Maybe other countries should let more than 4 Americans play on a team at a time!

  9. Steele

    I would love to see a trade with the Nats. I’d love to see both Storen and Clippard in our pen, and Span since we need a leadoff hitter. Schierholtz, Russell, and another player….any takers?

  10. Rebuilding

    White Sox sent Brandon Jacobs to the Diamondbacks as part of today’s deal. He’s a lot of swing and miss

    1. Andrew

      the running back?

  11. Die hard

    MLB has undisclosed quotas too

  12. Die hard

    Now that Uruguay legalized marijuana will other countries that replenish the MLB pipeline do likewise? And will MLB look the other way as these kids test positive? Stay tuned

    1. Luke

      Uruguay… countries that replenish the MLB pipeline

      One of these things is not like the other.

      1. scorecardpaul

        in the die hard universe every thing makes sense

        1. Die hard

          If you had read today’s CNN news story on this you would have seen that this is the goal of the laws backers – to change all of Latin Americas drug policy – you don’t think MLB is watching and will try to stop this? Ugly to follow

          1. MichiganGoat

            Okay a country finally legalizes pot and this relates to the MLB how? Pot is easy to get out of the system, it’s not like PED, it’s not unhealthy, and poses no threat to the game. So what conspiracy are you seeing here? Maybe you need to take a break from Mary she’s causing you to lose it.

            1. Die hard

              MLB relies on beer ads for most of revenue and lets players drink as much as they want cause legal– what’s MLB going to do with marijuana legal? Say no to drugs?! Give me a break- Pain reliever and relaxation enhancer improves performance as PEDS– ARod et al 20 yrs ahead of time- smoke one and get a good nights sleep and will become clear

              1. TWC

                “smoke one and get a good nights sleep and will become clear”

                Capital idea, old man!

            2. DarthHater

              Give it up, Goat. If there’s one subject on which Die hard speaks from authoritative experience, it’s mind-altering substances.

            3. Scotti

              “Pot is easy to get out of the system”

              If you are willing to shave off every single hair on your body… However, none of the major US sports include testing for THC as a normal course (Geo Soto was only busted because the WBC does).

              1. MichiganGoat

                I don’t think the MLB is taking hair samples to test for drugs, maybe they are but I’ve never heard about it. Getting THC out of urine is very easy and MLB could care less if players are smoking.

                1. TWC

                  Actually the MLB/MLBPA JDA specifically notes what types of testing are allowed. Urine is taken for PDAs/other drugs, and blood if taken for HGH tests.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    Thanks I didn’t think hair was ever part of the agreement.

                2. Scotti

                  As I said, Goat, MLB does NOT test for pot (THC). Neither do any of the other major sports. The average height in the NBA would be 5’5″ if they tested for THC.

                  In terms of it being easily flushed from your system, ask Geo Soto about that. The WBC DOES test for pot and he was busted.

                  1. TOOT

                    hat’s the correlation between Pot and height? Don’t get it.

                    1. TOOT


                    2. Scotti

                      It’s a joke:


                      The NBA would have no talent because a huge percentage of the NBA smokes weed. They’d have to resort to playing anyone they could get their hands on…

              2. TWC

                “If you are willing to shave off every single hair on your body… ”


                1. Scotti

                  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, TWC.

            4. MightyBear

              This was gold Jerry, gold.

      2. Die hard

        As of 2010 The Dominican Republic leads the Major Leagues with 86 players born outside the U.S. Venezuela features 58 players, its highest total ever on Opening Day rosters. Puerto Rico (21) has the next highest total, followed by Japan (14); Canada (13); Mexico (12); Cuba (7); Panama (5); Australia (4); Taiwan (3); and Colombia, Curaçao, Korea and Nicaragua (2 each). With Uruguay breaking the ice whose to say these aren’t next?

        1. MichiganGoat

          Oh my die hard does actual research! And his own research debunks his original premise… boy and girls CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY!

        2. MichiganGoat

          FACTS ACTUAL FACTS… Bizarro BN is here to stay.

          1. Chef Brian


          2. MightyBear

            LOL I’m dying.

            1. MightyBear

              LOL This is the best one ever. This is better than the Cuban conspiracy theory.

              1. MightyBear

                “smoke one and get a good nights sleep and will become clear”

                I cant stop laughing.

        3. ClevelandCubsFan

          Puerto Rican players are not typically among those “born outside the US.”

          Puerto Rico is part of the United States. The people who are born there are citizens of the United States of America. They don’t need a visa or any sort or permit to play. They don’t even need a passport.

  13. Aaron

    It doesn’t appear many mid-level free agents are interested in signing with the Cubs either for the dollar amount or the lack of competitiveness over the next two seasons. Even their more trade worthy players like Russell may be bringing in less of a haul than normal. Depreciating assets…players and stadium. Time to get things moving forward rather than just waiting 2 more seasons before our younger prospects are on the big league team.

    1. Voice of Reason

      What mid level free agents have the cubs made legitimate offers to and that player said no?

      1. commander bob

        Whitey Whitney from Leave it to Beaver

    2. commander bob

      Not many players think signing with a team and then being traded in 3 months is that great unless there is an over payment on the contract. Not many guys are anxious to tell their family that they are moving in mid season. Theos little game sign and flip is pretty much over.

      1. Voice of Reason

        Players like hammels and baker who are trying to build their value again will most certainly do those little game sign and flips.

        And don’t give me this crap about guys not wanting to tell their family they’re moving mid season? Really? You act like these guys are making $25 an hour as factory workers.

        We paid Baker $5 million dollars last season. You can bet your ass that he would have been happy to be pitching well and sent to a contender. What about Feldman? Look at the contract he got after theos little sign and flip and having to move his family mid season. Please…….


  14. Voice of Reason

    White Sox are hell bent on adding a catcher.

    They just acquired a center fielder and don’t need de aza.

    Id work a deal around Castillo/de aza. De aza is just 22. Has pop and speed. Decent obp.

    1. Carew

      De Aza is 29 and not that good

      1. Voice of Reason

        You’re tight. Hes 29. Born April 22. That’s what I was looking at and got that he 22.

        Not interested now.

  15. cking25

    “Cubs Brass to meet with Samardizja’s agents tomorrow” Jon Heyman. Could it be last try at an extension???

    1. Greg

      Or maybe a trade, I just want to see them do something, and not come away empty handed.

  16. Cubz99

    Cubs should just keep Shark at this point. He still has two years of control and is the best pitcher on the team not named Wood. I understand them being willing to listen to offers, but the names associated with the trades so far have been uninspiring. Just keep him and see what happens.

    1. Brains

      yes exactly. why get rid of talent, for less talent, just for the hell of it? and why insult your ace when he’s still under 2 years of control, and then parade him around like he’s rancid meat?

      something’s going wrong here. and it’s not even the usual problems from the past 2 years. we’re missing easy trade opportunities that other teams are picking up on for even less investment. are these guys drinking?

      1. Cubz99

        Agreed. Hoyer and Epstein have taken what Hendry had and actually found a way to field a team that was worse. It is possible that Ricketts lied to them about the resources available when they took the job, but I don’t see how anybody can be happy with their productivity at this point.

        1. willis

          It’s pretty pathetic. But, they have no money to spend and have been given only one choice…put it all on a bunch of minor league “talent” throw it all against the wall and hope a few stick. I’ll admit, I’m psyched with the talent that is coming up in A, high A and AA, but the intentional tanking year after year is ridiculous. This team was a big market team, not anymore. This is year three of the Front Office (2014 is) and that team will be worse than any of the last 4 years, which have been putrid. There is no significant addition being made and 100 losses again is almost as sure of bet as one can make right now. Again, it goes back to the bullshit they fed everyone from the word go and the fact that hasn’t even come close to happening. All we can do as fans is sit back, watch the worst team in baseball keep sucking, and pray like hell these prospects amount to something.

  17. Ferris

    Rasmus drabeck and two minor leaguers to cubs for shark and barney

    1. BWA

      one of those prospects better be named strohman or sanches

      1. caryatid62

        I really hope that’s not their names.

    2. Ferris

      Lake rasmus sweeny nice def. O.f. shurholtz can be dealt for prospect.

      Lf lake
      Ss castro
      1B rizzo
      3B olt……if he can see
      Cf rasmus
      C castillo
      Rf sweeney
      2B valbuena…murphy

      That could be competitive. ..

      1. ClevelandCubsFan

        That would not be competitive. That would be…. well possibly worse than 2013.

    3. Carew

      depending who the minor leaguers are, that could be interesting

  18. Kramden

    Well, let’s see what happens the next couple of days.

    I didn’t think doing nothing was an option for the Cubs going into the Winter Meetings since they at least needed to give the perception of trying to improve a team that’s even worse on paper than last year’s and the year before.

    Hoping for a flourish by week’s end to give us all a shot in the arm going into Spring Training.

    1. bbmoney

      The last thing the FO should do is make a move to “give the perception that they are trying to move the team”. Crap like that can’t be factored in. They need to make the moves they feel are right for the org moving forward regardless of perception.

      If you make moves based on public perception you’re doing it wrong.

      1. Jason P


      2. cubmig

        Isn’t the FO doing this already by saying (paraphrase) “We’re in on _____. ” (name targeted player here)? No actual signings, but sounds like managing perception to me….so it’s nothing new.

    2. TulaneCubs

      I just don’t understand this thought process. Why make a move just to make a move? If a deal isn’t there or they’re not comfortable with the terms, of course wait.

      This idea that you have to have a certain amount of work done by a certain point of the offseason is silly. Different offseasons develop differently with different needs to address. Take a step back in March and see where things are at, a lot can change between now and then.

  19. Jeff

    Since it’s the winter meetings and all. Brett, would you trade Baez, Bryant, AND Almora for Trout this second?

    1. Jeff

      Nice Avitar, what is it?

    2. Ferris

      No…one bad crash into the wall an youve gave up the farm for nothing…baez an almora for trout yes….

      1. Jason P

        When was the last time a positional player had a career ending injury? It doesn’t happen nearly enough to make it a significant concern.

        1. Rich H

          It is not about career ending but career altering. There have been a bunch that never were the same after injuries because of a football mentaility in the outfield. Eric Davis and Lenny Dykstra being the from my youth that stick in my head.

    3. Jason P

      I would in a heartbeat. He takes the Cubs from 20 games below .500 to nearly .500 just like that. Him, Tanaka, and a few other complementary moves would probably make the Cubs playoff contenders next year.

    4. BWA

      Yes, because if you really wanted to you could trade him for the same amount in 3 years. But honestly it would take at least our top 6 prospects and shark to get him.

    5. Isaac

      Yes. You have to assume one of the three won’t do much. If both of the other two end up being All-Stars, that still makes their upside potentially 5-6 win players. Trout gives you that in one guy.

    6. Scotti

      Bryant cannot be traded until his one-year signing anniversary. So, no.

  20. Required

    What would be the harm seriously in giving Mulder a ST invite? If he works sign him to a one year deal. This is exactly the type of dumpster diving Theo and Jed have been ordered to carry out. Thoughts? I’m intrigued.

    1. Ferris

      Ml deal sure

      1. Required

        I’d say he would be cheap. Lot of upside, low risk. However watch him want like 2 for 8mil.

  21. YourResidentJag

    John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 3m
    Some industry speculation that Samardzija will be traded tomorrow by the end of day. 4-5 teams still engaged in talks.

    1. willis

      Awesome. Just keep gutting this team and making it worse. Sweet job everyone.

      1. Required

        Hey Jed said “they are laying the groundwork.” That seems to be the term that says ya ain’t crap happening this year.

    2. Mike F

      I like his site, but everyone is taking turns getting the natives restless and worked up. You could have anything happen at anytime, but unless Toronto is giving up Sanchez, drabek and one of the young left hangers that is one of their top 10 prospects, don’t think that is anything but bs. Then again, much of the WM seem to me a loose bm. It is all pretty disappointing including the insane talk of Tanaka when they know they have no intention of doing more than talk and give lip service. But I pray to be shown I’m wrong…..

      1. Mike F

        If you are going to trade him, no way, no freakin way they should take less than Sanchez, Nolin or Norris and Drabek. Gives them 3 chances with a good young prospect with big arm but needs refinement, a Lefty that is a MOR guy who maybe surprises you and a lot better reclamation candidate than people think in Drabek. Honest evaluation in every respect would make that a considerably better deal than the Garza deal in all aspects. I hope if they trade Jeff it is for no less and hopefully even it would be for more.

  22. toby taylr

    wouldn’t it be funny as hell trade shark and turn around and resign m Garza for 4/65

  23. Oswego chris

    I like the FO, but why is Samardzija situation being treated like the Cuban missile crisis? There should be no deadlines

    1. Scotti

      Heh, Theo/JFK and Jed/RFK. That’s why.

  24. Stinky Pete

    I want that long hair out of Chicago…

  25. cub2014

    The Choo field is dwindling:

    Mariners working on a trade for Kemp…….
    Rangers not spending money on OF…..
    are all set……
    Reds are in but at a discount………
    That leaves the Cubs?

    Feeling more positive today but as always
    a long shot.

    1. Adventurecizin' Justin

      If we were to get Choo, is he gonna be our LFer or RFer? I would prefer to trade Nate so that Junior can be our leftfielder. I’m bullish on Lake!

  26. Aaron

    We can now see why the other teams in MLB chose the Rickett family to buy the Cubs. Many of these teams, especially those in the National League have one key big market team out of the way in terms of signing free agents, gaining more wins during the season against the Cubs, etc. I never thought the Cubs would be the doormat for the National League as they build up their farm system, which we all knew needed to improve greatly. The other owners must have known their plan. Smart business move on their part…one less major city team to compete against for a 3-5 year stretch.

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