There is a decent bit of chatter to discuss today, even as the holidays approach …
- In his piece on Dexter Fowler and the Cubs – a subject I discussed more specifically earlier today – Bruce Levine reports, almost as an aside, that the Braves offered the Cubs a deal that “centered around” center fielder Ender Inciarte. For Jorge Soler? And more? Or were the Braves offering more? Or was it just a prospects-for-Inciarte deal, and Soler-for-pitching would be a separate deal? It’s not entirely clear, but the mention of Inciarte is nonetheless notable, because any offer involving him would stand in contrast to recent comments by the Braves’ GM. As I’ve mentioned before, I really do like Inciarte a lot for this Cubs team (and Levine previously mentioned an Inciarte-Soler swap), but I’m not sure a deal involving him and Soler is the right one for the Cubs.
- For what it’s worth, David O’Brien says the Braves have received considerable interest in Inciarte, but aren’t planning on trading him. Frankly, I still don’t entirely understand why they would, given that he’s still under cheap control for five more years, and you’d think the Braves won’t be rebuilding for more than a few. Unless you get a franchise-altering haul for Inciarte – and they won’t – why move him? I guess if you can swap him for a player that you feel is a better fit, with comparable overall value. Hey, I just answered my own question.
- Speaking of outfield trades, Jon Morosi reports that the Cardinals are in talks with the Rockies about their available outfielders, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Corey Dickerson.
- Since missing out on Jason Heyward, folks have assumed the Cardinals would try for another outfielder, even though they are covered for 2016, between Matt Holliday, Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk, and Tommy Pham. There are questions after 2016, since Holliday’s contract expires, and there are also questions about how well the young crew, when exposed to a second go at big league pitching, will hold up in 2016. So, then, you combine those things, and, even though you might perceive a glut in the outfield, the Cardinals could probably stand to add another bat out there, especially if they can get it on a short-term deal. That’s my long way of saying, yeah, I see a match here with the Rockies.
- And speaking of possible Cardinals outfield options, Alex Gordon is reportedly not mincing words with the Royals about their present offer to retain him – “no chance.” The Royals’ offer is believed to be an extremely modest four-year offer totaling around $50 million.
- Back to Soler for a moment: Theo Epstein said it, but Ken Rosenthal is also reporting it from sources – the Cubs are disinclined to trade Jorge Soler, and seem set on having him start in right while Jason Heyward starts in center.
- Maybe the Mets’ Alejandro De Aza signing doesn’t close the door on other outfield additions? The team took the strange step of noting on Twitter when announcing the signing that it was “Adding depth.” Trying not to bother the other outfielders on the team? Trying to communicate to fans that they might do more? Just an odd step.
- The signing deadline for Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda is January 8, and it’s very unclear how that market’s going to develop. The Dodgers are interested, according to Jon Morosi.
- The Yankees sure haven’t done much this offseason besides the Starlin Castro trade, and it sounds like they are not in the market for a free agent starting pitcher. It just feels weird not to see the Yankees running all around the rumor mill.
- If you missed it, the Cubs made several moves today, and the Pirates signed John Jaso.