I’d say that things will pick up over the next week with the tender deadline tomorrow and the Winter Meetings starting next Monday, but they already seem to be plenty picked up. Nelson Cruz reportedly signed today, and Yasmani Grandal is being aggressively shopped. And, as always, that Lester guy.
So, what else is going on …
- It sounds like big-time lefty reliever Andrew Miller could be nearing a decision. The Yankees and Dodgers have been mentioned today as being in hot pursuit, per Buster Olney. Who better to spend $40+ million on a reliever than the deepest pockets in the game, eh? Or maybe the shallowest pockets, if today’s report out of Houston is accurate. Be it the Yankees or the Dodgers or the Astros or another team altogether, it sounds like Miller is going to get the four-year deal he’s seeking (Jon Heyman), and the fallout will be interesting. I’m still of the mind that fellow top reliever David Robertson (remember when he was THE guy connected to the Cubs?) is not going to be a Cubs target right now, but if he finds that the market isn’t what he wants it to be come, say, late January, then maybe the Cubs linger at the periphery and try to land a (relative) bargain.
- The Mets are looking to deal at least one pitcher, but not the young guys you’ve heard so much about. Instead, says Ken Davidoff, they’re trying to move from the Bartolo Colon, Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee group. None jumps out as a great fit for the Cubs – Niese is probably the best of the bunch, but he comes with some durability concerns and a back-end projection. Relatedly, Joel Sherman adds that there isn’t an expectation that the Mets will be able to swing a “blockbuster” trade, which includes a deal with the Cubs for an infielder. Those Starlin Castro rumors probably won’t go away entirely, but they remain relatively outlandish for now. I’ll be plenty content to let them take a back seat to everything else for a while.
- Speaking of pitching trades, Nick Cafardo indicates that it’s tough to tell whether the Nationals are intending on trading Jordan Zimmermann, or are truly just listening to see if a team tries to blow them away (and Cafardo mentions the Cubs as a possible suitor). I’ve written many times about Zimmermann and the Cubs – if the Nats are looking for a “blow them away” type offer, I don’t see it coming from the Cubs, given the mere one year of control and $16.5 million price tag at which that year of control comes.
- Also in Cafardo’s piece: the Red Sox are interested in acquiring Jeff Samardzija from the A’s. No real surprise there – we discussed it a little back when those errant Samardzija trade rumors popped up on Friday – and I’m not sure getting Samardzija would impact the Red Sox on, for example, Jon Lester. We’ll see.
- Among others, Jim Duquette could see Max Scherzer (no surprise), James Shields, and Francisco Liriano taking a long time to sign.
- Jon Heyman writes about potential free agent bargains out there, headed up by Justin Masterson, and the Cubs are listed as a possible landing spot. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the Cubs connected to Masterson, who does present an interesting rebound flyer option.
- There are a handful of rumors floating around about the remaining suitors for Torii Hunter, to whom the Cubs have periodically been connected, and although the teams identified vary in the rumors, none includes the Cubs. I always thought he’d get too much money from an AL team to consider a reserve job with the Cubs at a price that would make sense.