We’ve already heard about Jeff Samardzija meeting this morning, the (non) latest on Masahiro Tanaka, and a rumor on Logan Morrison. That’s a lot of rumors for one morning, but there’s still plenty more …
- Jayson Stark reports that Matt Garza could sign in the next 24 to 48 hours (which would be a surprise, given the protracted Tanaka situation), and there’s a lot of “buzz” about the Diamondbacks. Is that legit, or is that designed to pressure the Cubs into a Samardzija deal? Either way, Garza to the Diamondbacks would be bad for the Cubs – not only would it take them out on Samardzija, but it would also take Garza to a team that wasn’t a primary Tanaka suitor. If Garza instead went to the Mariners, or something, they could take a Tanaka suitor off the market.
- Patrick Mooney hears that the Cubs are interested in Kenta Maeda if he’s posted this offseason, as well as Korean righty Suk-Min Yoon. The latter is a free agent, and we’ve discussed him quite a bit this offseason (though Mooney confirmation is never a bad thing). We discussed Maeda a bit yesterday. Mooney also confirms the Cubs’ interest in Jason Hammel, discussed last night.
- The Angels’ maneuvering has put them far enough under the luxury tax cap that they’ve got room to add someone like Matt Garza … or Masahiro Tanaka, according to Jim Bowden.
- Bob Nightengale reports that, although the Dodgers are getting a lot of interest on Matt Kemp, a trade is not expected before the Winter Meetings end. I wonder what the relationship is between Kemp trade talks and Shin-Soo Choo’s free agency. They’re different players, obviously, but they’re outfielders who will command a huge chunk of money. Could be some overlap there, and one might be holding up the other.
- Speaking of Choo, the Tigers may or may not be out, but the Diamondbacks are very probably out. The Reds are still involved, per Jon Heyman. Unless they can move Brandon Phillips and his salary, though, there might not be much room for optimism. Ken Rosenthal says a Phillips deal remains possible, which gives us a window on how easily things can build up in the offseason. Maybe the Reds are waiting on Choo until they move Phillips. And Choo is waiting on the Reds before deciding on another offer. And maybe the Mariners are waiting on a Kemp deal until they know if they can get Choo. And maybe the Dodgers are waiting on a Kemp deal before going after David Price. And maybe other teams looking for pitching are waiting to make their best offers on Jeff Samardzija until they know what happens with Price.
- Joel Sherman hears that the “lead dogs” on Choo are the Mariners and Rangers. No real surprise there. Bob Nightengale was told the price tag was going to be seven years and $140 million. Unless the price of a win has increased dramatically from where it was in November, that’s a contract that just doesn’t make sense, and is very unlikely to provide any value.
- A very interesting wrinkle in any David Price-Mariners trade talks: Ken Rosenthal spoke with Price’s agent, who flat-out-said that Price would not consider an extension with the Mariners if traded there. The agent said Price would consider an extension with other unspecified teams. Clearly, Price does not want to end up in Seattle, and it would be harder for the Mariners to pay top dollar in trade for a guy they know they can’t extend beyond the two years they’re getting.