Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureThe rumor mill is churning today. There figures to be another little wave of activity before next Friday (Christmas Day), as many players will want to know where they’ll be playing next year before the holidays set in and the calendar flips.

  • The three-year, $45 million deal the Dodgers signed with free agent starter Hisashi Iwakuma after failing to retain Zack Greinke is no more. Reports indicate that it was scuttled by the physical, though the Dodgers haven’t closed the door on working out a different deal (Bill Plunkett). It has not been an ideal winter so far for the Dodgers, who also saw a trade for Aroldis Chapman fall through (maybe to their benefit, though), but they’ve got plenty of financial and prospect ammo to make substantial improvements before March if they’re so inclined (not to mention the fact that the Dodgers are still a very good team on paper, even without any other moves).
  • Speaking of which, the Dodgers are in talks with the Rays about Jake Odorizzi, according to Jon Heyman. The Dodgers would seem to have plenty of prospects to make that happen – heck, they could still go after Jose Fernandez. Ken Rosenthal adds that Mike Leake could be another back-up option. The Dodgers could be competing with the Cardinals on Leake, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Dodgers may also go after Japanese ace Kenta Maeda, who is reportedly in Los Angeles to start meeting with teams after his posting.

  • Back to the Rosenthal mention of Leake for a moment – the Cardinals are going to add a pitcher this offseason. There is no question about it. But if they have to drop $80 million on Leake, you’d probably rather they go that route, what with the limited upside and all.
  • The Indians picked up an outfielder, finally, signing Rajai Davis to a one-year, $5.25 million deal. While he’s not going to be a significant offensive threat out there, the 35-year-old can still contribute a league average bat and decent outfield defense. The Indians are known to be very keen to pick up offense in the outfield, and having Davis in the fold could help them not feel quite so desperate in the trade market.
  • On that, Peter Gammons recounts the Cubs’ offseason so far, which includes attempts to trade for controlled, impact pitching like Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar from the Indians, but the price has been “high.” Perhaps, Gammons suggests, things could change by midseason if the Cubs still need an arm and the Indians start out slow.
  • Also on that, Jesse Rogers writes about how the Cubs could play the waiting game now on pitching.
  • The Mets have re-signed Bartolo Colon, much to the relief of all baseball fans. He’s good there. He’s good for baseball there. I love me some Bartolo. Some things are bigger than their on-field impact. Eh hem.
  • Denard Span is going to work out for teams in January to show that he’s healthy after hip surgery, according to his agent, Scott Boras.

  • An extra read from on the Cubs’ outfield possibilities, including how the Cubs could still look to fill center field if Jason Heyward moved to right.

  • Free agent lefty Wei-Yin Chen is reportedly looking for a five-year deal for $100 million. I like Chen more than most, but eesh. Even in this market, that looks like a dog waiting to happen. (Chen is also tied to draft pick compensation.) And fellow lefty Scott Kazmir is reportedly looking for three to four years at $18 million per. I don’t know who it will be, but at least one of the many still-available free agents is going to be left looking for a job in February, and will have to settle.
  • If they don’t pick up Brandon Phillips in trade as rumored, the Nationals might look at Daniel Murphy, a free agent who’ll cost a draft pick to sign.

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