Let’s see if I can squeeze out a Lukewarm Stove while the kiddos are napping …
- The Dodgers are the team that finally got Brandon Beachy, who is returning from a second Tommy John surgery, and looks to be a nice low-cost, short-term gamble. When he was healthy, Beachy was effective. He’s still just 28, and the Dodgers will have control for two years (Beachy probably won’t be back until mid-season this year). With short-term options like Beachy and Brett Anderson, and with Zack Greinke possibly walking after this year, the Dodgers will have a ton of openings in their rotation after this season, just in time for the historically good free agent class. Look for them to make some hay, because money money money money money.
- Speaking of Greinke, he’s currently shut down after receiving a “lubricating injection” (bite your tongue) in his elbow to prevent chronic soreness (Bill Plunkett). It doesn’t necessarily mean anything for Greinke’s or the Dodgers’ future, but it puts his elbow on your radar. Apparently he’s gotten the same injection each year with the Dodgers.
- And speaking of post-2015 pitching options, Jordan Zimmermann says he’s willing to discuss an extension in Spring Training, but not once the season starts (MLB.com). Zimmermann is among many quality arms that could interest the Cubs after this season.
- Yoan Moncada worked out again for the Yankees, though George King suggests they might not be willing to meet Moncada’s expected price tag (which would be hard to understand, given that they make the most sense for Moncada of any team in baseball). Ben Badler hears that the expectation is Moncada will sign next week, which would obviously put to bed any outstanding hopes that the Cubs could get involved.
- On the Cole Hamels front, Jim Duquette lists the Cubs as among four teams most likely to acquire the lefty, whenever it is that the Phillies get around to dealing him. I’m not sure how much I buy of Duquette’s rationale (that the Cubs have to have Hamels to compete in the NL Central), but the holdup on a deal sounds like something we’ve heard before: the Phillies are likely insisting on one of Kris Bryant or Addison Russell, and the Cubs simply aren’t going to do that. A Cubs trade for Hamels before the season starts strikes me as extremely unlikely; but I do expect talks to pick back up around midseason if the Cubs are competitive, look like they could use another starter, and Hamels is healthy/effective. (I also could see Cliff Lee making a lot of sense for the Cubs at that time, but we’ll get there when we get there.)
- Jon Heyman reports that James Shields received a four-year, $80 million offer from the Giants back in December, but they pulled it back once they re-signed Jake Peavy. From there, Shields had to wait for the Padres and Cubs (and probably Marlins) to fight it out, as we saw a couple weeks ago. Heyman, as other reporters have, pegs the Cubs’ final offer at three years and $60 million (and a vesting option for a fourth year). Shields ultimately took four years and $75 million from the Padres.