The rumor mill turns toward the New Year, where trades could be the order of the day in January, given how few free agents are left …
- Of particular note in Nick Cafardo’s latest, there are two outfielders he mentions in connection with the Cubs: Jonny Gomes (who has long been rumored as a bench/right-handed platoon option/veteran leader for the Cubs) and Nick Swisher (who was previously rumored as a Cubs target before that was aggressively shot down). I don’t see anything there with Swisher, but Gomes, with respect to whom Cafardo emphasizes the Cubs as a particular possibility, has always made some sense for the Cubs.
- Speaking of the outfield, Jon Morosi runs down the available outfielders in trade, and the teams looking for an upgrade (including the Cubs). Seth Smith, Corey Dickerson, and David Peralta look varying degrees of interesting, among the names listed, though I’d question how much the Rockies would want to give up a cost-controlled young guy with upside like Dickerson. I’d also question whether Peralta can be counted on as anything more than a roll of the dice, given his unique path (converted from pitcher, not a long track record of positional success). The Dodgers aren’t going to trade Scott Van Slyke, are they?
- If the Cubs do look to add a starter in the outfield, in addition to a complementary type (something that is at least possible), Morosi cautions that the market could take a while to shake out for all teams, because of the interconnectivity of things like a Cole Hamels trade (which could require players that would otherwise be involved in the outfield trade market) and the Max Scherzer/James Shields markets (which could hold up the Hamels market).
- Back to Cafardo’s piece: he also relates that Stephen Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, believes the market for his player will heat up in January once teams have given up on trying to acquire a middle infielder via trade. Again, that suggests their expectation is that Drew can find a starting job somewhere, which makes today’s Cubs/Drew rumor all the more dubious.
- (Cafardo also has a big section in there on Max Scherzer, and there’s a mention of the Cubs. I’ll be writing about that separately, as Cafardo is not the only writer making that connection in the last few days, but I wouldn’t yet give it too much thought.)
- Jon Morosi reports that the Tigers have not had extension talks with David Price this offseason, which means it’s still possible that the Tigers could try and trade Price and re-sign Scherzer.
- Peter Gammons writes about, among other things, the Phillies’ tricky situation in trying to get a huge return for Cole Hamels. That return, Gammons says, won’t be coming from the Cubs, by the way.
- The Padres picked up another piece, though it’s a far less sexy move than the their previous onslaught of titillation. The Yankees have agreed to send quality reliever Shawn Kelley to the Padres for pitching prospect Johnny Barbato. The Padres came into the Winter with an extremely deep pool of prospect talent, and they’ve certainly used it to better the club for 2015 (Kelley is another guy who is a free agent after the season). And with an outfielder or two to trade still, the Padres might be able to restock some of that depth (or they could just look to make another addition to the big league club).
- This is interesting: Jon Morosi says the Reds and Phillies got together on a Marlon Byrd trade that fell through, but could still be re-worked. The Reds do need help in the outfield, but they also need a heck of a lot more than that if they’re going to compete in 2015. Having already dumped Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon (and having done nothing else of consequence to upgrade this offseason), it was looking like the Reds were on the cusp of starting a rebuild.
- For totally arbitrary and totally self-serving reasons, I’d like to see the BN Facebook page get to 10,000 likes by New Years Day. You can help make that happen by clicking that there like button, and/or sharing the page with your friends on Facebook: