Hey, stuff is happening! Take that, stalled and/or slow CBA negotiations!
OK, so it’s not the biggest stuff, and it’s not directly connected to the Cubs. But, given the paucity of action lately, it’s worth pointing out the three things going down tonight:
- The Braves and Mariners got together on a prospect trade, where the Braves will send pitching prospects Rob Whalen and Max Povse to the Mariners for outfielder Alex Jackson and a PTBNL. If you’re hardcore, then Jackson’s is the name you’ll recognize – he was the 6th overall pick in the 2014 draft (two behind Kyle Schwarber), and was a big-time high school mashing prospect. Since then, the numbers haven’t been there for the 20-year-old, though he was an above average bat overall this past year in his second go at Low-A. He could definitely still be a future MLB player, but this sure looks like a new-ish front office that wants to clear the deck a bit.
- The Marlins are filling out their rotation, reportedly signing Edinson Volquez to a two-year, $22 million deal. Volquez, 33, has had ugly peripherals for year, but last season was the first time in a while that the results didn’t outperform the peripherals. Still, that’s a sizable contract for a guy who you’re hoping can be an average 4th/5th starter. This market is just nuts. Jason Hammel is going to get a really nice contract, and, as much as I appreciate that the Cubs did right by him, sure would have been nice to retain him for just an extra $10 million for one more year.
- The Brewers are going to non-tender first baseman Chris Carter, per reports. Carter, 30 next month, was expected to make around $8 million in arbitration (and was controllable for one more year) in 2017 after hitting .222/.321/.499 in 2016, with the headline number being the 41 homers. The problem for Carter is that he also strikes out a ton, offers nothing on the base paths, and is a drag in the field. He’s a DH on a team that can’t use one. He now joins an extremely crowded market of big bat, no defense free agents (which is probably why he’s being non-tendered, rather than traded – the market almost certainly wasn’t there), and there might not be a great deal for him at the end of it. He’ll find a team, though.
- As for the Brewers, they lose a big middle of the order bat, but I’m not sure how much worse they actually are. And they also have more money to work with now. They remain on my “keep an eye on them in 2017” list, as they have enough youth to surprise.