old stove featurePerhaps you’re heading out for some Thanksgiving travel this afternoon, and, if so, I wish you safety today and turkey tomorrow. I’ll be heading out tomorrow to visit family tomorrow for the holiday. This isn’t me checking out, mind you, because I’ll still cover anything breaking this evening or Thursday or Friday (which does happen), and I’ll have some things tomorrow and Friday for you die-hards, holiday or no holiday.

As for now, on to the rumor mill …

  • The Phillies are still demanding a huge return on Cole Hamels, according to Jayson Stark, as much as two “premier” young players, additional pieces from there, AND the trading team takes on all of Hamels’ contract. I shouldn’t call those demands “huge.” They are delusional. But, according to sources of Stark’s peppered throughout the piece (it’s worth a read), Phillies GM Ruben Amaro seems bent on not trading Hamels unless it’s for a deal that everyone in the industry will say, “Oh, yeah, the Phillies did great in that one.” If that offer doesn’t come – why would it, given the pitching market? – he’ll just try again at the Trade Deadline.
  • Stark has more on Amaro and his trade demands, which provides context for the Hamels stuff:



  • I’d wonder if the Phillies’ demands on Hamels would change as the offseason goes on, but if they’re holding so firm on Jimmy Rollins – about to turn 36, one year of control left, good-not-great – it wouldn’t be any simpler to make a Hamels deal.
  • Although Jon Lester is the big rumor fish right now, Ken Rosenthal points out an ancillary, but not unimportant, connection:

  • Speaking of Lester, though, Jon Heyman says “some wonder” whether the Cubs actually prefer Max Scherzer or whether they won’t go full-out on a big-name starter this offseason at all. I would be surprised to learn that the Cubs prefer Scherzer to Lester, given how aggressively they are first pursuing Lester.
  • Oh, but back to Ross for a moment: I don’t think Ross is going to make the difference between Lester coming to a particular locale or not, so don’t envision the package deal in that way. Instead, just keep it in your mind that, if the Cubs land Lester, Ross – who is already an attractive back-up option – may become the perfect back-up catcher option for the Cubs.
  • Also from Rosenthal, the Padres are getting many hits on their available catchers. I’m very intrigued by any and all of Yasmani Grandal, Rene Rivera, and Austin Hedges for the Cubs. But, yeah, there’s a reason the Padres are getting many hits – lots of teams are intrigued, too.
  • It’s a small but notable mention: Dave Kaplan says there’s a chance the Giants, in search of a replacement for Pablo Sandoval, could kick the tires on Luis Valbuena. Even with Kris Bryant on the way, Valbuena seems to have some nice value for the Cubs – and he might be a lot better than people think – so hopefully any deal involving Valbuena would be for a solid return.


  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington isn’t going to say that Boston has to trade an outfielder or three, but he came about as close as a GM ever would (Nick Cafardo): “I don’t feel we have to [trade positional players], but [signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez] probably increases the likelihood that we do. We’ve had a lot of interest in our guys already. We know we have to add to the rotation and we have to be open-minded how we do that. We feel we’re in a position to do that.
  • Also: it started as a lark on Twitter, as some of the best things often do, but now it’s real. It’s the holidays, so let’s do a little good – just a mini version of the good you already did at the Trade Deadline. If we can raise just $500 for JDRF, I will wear this ugly sweater for the entirety of Winter Meetings week, December 8 through 11:

cubs ugly sweater




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