Some of the latest rumors around the game as the week after THE week begins (with a bang, I might add, given the Headley signing, the Cabrera signing, the Harper deal, the Rasmus rumor, etc.) …
- The Cole Hamel rumor this weekend had the Cubs still in on the Phillies’ lefty, though I expressed skepticism about the Cubs’ stomach to trade quality prospects in order to add another significant pitching contract after just adding Jon Lester (and with big names available next offseason). Also in that rumor, though, via Nick Cafardo, was the Red Sox. They don’t have an “ace”, but they added Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Justin Masterson all last week after losing out on Lester. Would they still try and get Hamels? They certainly have the money and the prospects. Interestingly, Jon Morosi says the Red Sox could still look to add Hamels if they swing a deal for Joe Kelly, who currently slots into the rotation with the three new guys and Clay Buchholz. I actually wonder if Buchholz would be the guy the Red Sox try and move, coming off a disappointing 2014 season and September knee surgery (relatively minor). In any case, with the offense the Red Sox have added, right now, they look set to test the theory that you can with a rotation full of average-to-slightly-above-average starters. Seems like they could stand to add an arm.
- The Padres are on the verge of adding Matt Kemp in their big trade with the Dodgers, but according to multiple reports, they want another thumper in the form of Justin Upton from the Braves. The latter report, from Ken Rosenthal, goes through the wisdom of the Padres adding Upton, and how they could pull it off. The price tag sure seems high.
- Speaking of Upton, I mentioned this weekend with the Melky Cabrera signing that the needle for the Mariners – who’d been heavy on Cabrera – probably moved slightly toward re-engaging Atlanta on an Upton deal. It sounds like the Mariners do have another outfield, right-handed power bat option in mind: Alex Rios. I’m not saying the Cubs will be in on Upton regardless of any of this – as much as I like him for the Cubs, and as much as the signals coming out of Atlanta are now that Upton would waive his no-trade clause to come to the Cubs – but it’s something to watch.
- We talked about it this weekend, but now there are some details on the Rangers signing former Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa – according to Jon Heyman, he’s getting a big league deal worth $1 million, plus incentives (and it was reported earlier that the Rangers get a club option for 2016). That’s actually a pretty good get for him, all things considered. If his velocity comes back (it didn’t with the Cubs, but he wasn’t a full year removed from the TJS yet), I could see him still being a great reliever. It wasn’t going to work out with the Cubs, but good luck to him.
- If you missed it early this morning, the Nats settled their grievance with Bryce Harper, who doesn’t get arbitration in 2015, but does get a two-year deal (after which he’ll have two years of arbitration). Of perhaps greater note going forward is the discussion therein about the Nationals’ offseason ahead, including what could be a series of trades. They’ve got five free agents after 2015 that they could theoretically shop (or are shopping already) – Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Denard Span, Tyler Clippard, and Ian Desmond – the first four of which could be fits for the Cubs. As always, the price is the thing. The Cubs want to win in 2015, and these guys could help, but I really don’t see a scenario where the Cubs give up an impact prospect for a one-year rental (and all of those guys will have a healthy salary in 2015, too). But, you never know – linger around long enough and see what happens later in the offseason …