old stove featureEvery week I think, “This is the week where all the outfielders will finally make their decisions.” I keep expecting that one domino to fall, so that others can follow close behind, but it just hasn’t happened. There was plenty of reason to believe that Jason Heyward was (and should have been) that domino, but his deal was struck roughly a month ago. This is a truly bizzare offseason and I kinda love it.

  • Having one of the most unusual off seasons is the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite big plays for both David Price and Jason Heyward, St. Louis came up empty handed in both pursuits. They have, ultimately, landed a starter in Mike Leake, but have never gotten the outfield bat they clearly need.
  • With the continuing availability of Justin Upton, Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler, though, plenty of options still remain. Except, GM John Mozeliak doesn’t sound particularly interested in supplanting any of Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty or Matt Holliday for the upcoming season. The rub, there, is that although the Cardinals could use an additional, starting outfielder, they aren’t going to spend money just to spend it. Frankly, that’s the right call.


  • And, while public comments are used for leverage all the time, the Cardinals might have a particularly strong reason to play down their interest in any of the remaining free agents. Having shown their hand in the failed pursuit of Price and Heyward, every agent knows they have plenty of money to spend.
  • To that end, Ken Rosenthal believes that the Cardinals will be fine heading into the season with what they have. Should the need arise, Rosenthal opines, they can make a trade for an outfielder at the deadline. In light of that article, Dave Cameron responded by citing the increased cost and unpredictability of the deadline vis a vis free agency. Both articles are great reads and sum up the Cardinals’ quiet offseason quite well.
  • Of course, the Cardinals could always go the trade route as well …

  • After signing Gerardo Parra to a 3-year/$27.5 million deal, the Rockies have four outfielders capable of starting. Most believe that the dam will break soon, and one will be traded – Carlos Gonzalez being the most likely.
  • All of which is to say: what the heck is going on this offseason? There are so many outfielders still available via trade and free agency and so many moves yet to be made. At ages 30 and younger, for example, you have four free agent outfielders (Cespedes, Upton, Davis and Fowler) who combined for roughly 20 fWAR in 2015. At Fox Sports, Jon Morosi attempts to explain the oddities of the 2016 offseason, but fails to arrive at a satisfying conclusion.
  • According to Joe Frisaro, with Wei-Yin Chen in the fold, the Marlins will no longer be looking to move outfielder Marcell Ozuna in trade. That’s one outfielder off the board, I guess.
  • Let’s move away from the outfield market for a minute and into the starting pitcher market. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman are hearing that the Royals might dip back into free agency, after already resigning Alex Gordon:


  • The wonders a World Series Championship can do for a team’s payroll, eh?
  • Do you remember how specifically the Cubs were tied to the Padres search for a shortstop over the past year and a half? Well Dennis Lin (San Diego Tribune) is hearing that a “resolution” will be made within the next week (though presumably not with the Cubs). GM A.J. Preller has come out and said that the Padres are comfortable with the available options in trade and free agency, suggesting that “things could come to a head in the next few days to a week.”


  • With Starlin Castro having been traded to New York, though, a match with the Cubs might be more difficult to accommodate than they were at the deadline. Javier Baez has been discussed in rumors throughout the offseason, but he is the primary back up for Addison Russell at shortstop and has vastly divergent opinions on his overall value. Still, the Padres do have several starting pitchers that would be interesting additions to the Cubs. Let’s wait back and see if anything more directly connected to the Cubs shakes out, before we dive too deeply. Odds are good that the Padres’ next shortstop will come via free agency.
  • I was hoping the Cubs might be able to land the 24-year-old Cuban starting pitcher Yaisel Sierra, but those pesky Dodgers have swooped in and got the deal done at six years and $30 million, per Jesse Sanchez. That is almost exactly what the rumors said he would receive and it sounds like he may be worth it. Sierra has an excellent nice fastball and youth on his side, but his inability to control the walks might ultimately decide his fate.
  • The cricketer! If you haven’t heard, an elite 25 year old West Indies cricketer is attempting to transition to baseball. Reportedly, 11 major league teams are slated to watch a private workout in Florida today; among the teams in attendance: your Chicago Cubs.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that the Rays/Cubs trade discussion have popped back up recently. At this point, it’s clear that there is a match between the two teams and that discussions have been held, but beyond that it’s impossible to say what might happen.

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