Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureWe’re in that zone in the offseason where it seems like every post is either about a transaction or a rumored transaction. I suspect you don’t mind …

  • Bruce Levine was on the radio on The Score today, and he seemed to cast some doubt on the veracity of those $100 million offer rumors yesterday concerning Jeff Samardzija. Not buying it, Levine believes a three-year deal with a fourth-year option is most likely the kind of offer Samardzija will be receiving. Sure, it’s technically possible that a three-year deal with a vesting fourth year option could be worth $100 million, but I’d be shocked if there’s a team out there offering that kind of AAV. Then again, I’d be shocked if Samardzija takes a three-year deal. There’s going to be a four-year offer out there for him (right?). So, then, I guess my gut says the reality of where Samardzija’s market lands will probably be somewhere in the middle of those two rumors.
  • Each of Mark Gonzales and Jesse Rogers have pre-Winter-Meetings-type rumor write-ups on the Cubs worth checking out, and, among many other things, I found it interesting that each mentions Jason Heyward and the Cubs without dismissing the idea out of hand. The financial hurdles, of course, are mentioned and legitimate. But this is squarely on the radar.
  • Patrick Mooney writes about John Lackey as a fit for the Cubs. The connections are many, the cost could be reasonable, and the improvement to the team could be legit. As we’ve discussed, Lackey is a clear fit for the Cubs.

  • The Padres are trying to move James Shields, according to Buster Olney. Although the Cubs have been lightly connected to him this offseason after their failed pursuit last offseason, I still don’t see a fit for the Cubs absent the Padres eating so, so much salary (Shields, 34 this month, is owed $65 million over the next three years, and is coming off a season with down results and down velocity). And it doesn’t sound like the Padres are yet living in that reality:

  • Cliff Lee has had serious elbow and forearm problems over the last couple years, but he’s still looking for a shot to pitch next year. Even though he’s 37 and has been injured, given how incredible he was for a stretch, every team will probably check in to see if he’s willing to join them in Spring Training.
  • Michael mentioned it in his Cuban prospect piece earlier today, but it merits mention here: big-time Cuban second baseman Jose Fernandez, who tried and failed to defect last year, is likely coming to MLB at some point after the flip of the calendar, perhaps even after the start of the season. The 27-year-old is probably one of the most gifted contact hitters in the world, and he’s going to impact the market one way or another.
  • I haven’t forgotten about Darren O’Day, by the way, it’s just that, since the last time he came up connected to the Cubs – among many other teams – the team has been aggressive in picking up less expensive bullpen arms, O’Day’s price tag was revealed to be significant, and the Cubs haven’t popped up in any credible rumors. So he doesn’t really get tracked here anymore.

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