Good morning! It’s Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, and let’s catch you up this morning, eh?
- The rumors of advanced talks on a Chris Sale trade between the White Sox and Nationals did not produce a trade last night, even as it seemed at times we were only moments away from word breaking. Bob Nightengale says the sides were not actually all that close to completing a deal, even as the Nationals were being “aggressive.” Given the rumored package – Lucas Giolito, Victor Robles, and a third prospect – it’s not too difficult to see why a deal didn’t quite get done. And given talk that the Nationals also want to be able to acquire Andrew McCutchen (for whom the asks have been significant), too, it’s also not too difficult to see why this would be a complex, intertwined series of negotiations. If the Nats aren’t going to part with Trea Turner (and, to be clear, I don’t see any reason why they should in these talks), it’s simply going to be extremely difficult to pull off both deals. Heck, it might be difficult to find the perfect fit for Sale, alone. Trades are hard.
- The Cubs and Dodgers are at the “forefront” of the Greg Holland talks, according to Jon Heyman. Other teams are involved, of course, and I’m not sure we’ll see Holland’s free agency resolve until Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen sign (and possibly Wade Davis is traded).
- Dexter Fowler’s representatives met with the Cardinals yesterday, according to Ken Rosenthal, and an offer was made. I do want Fowler to get the best deal he can, and I also wouldn’t hate the Cardinals signing a qualified free agent and losing a first round draft pick for their trouble. But boy would it be tough to see that beautiful Fowler smile 19 times a year wearing Cardinal red.
- Also in Rosenthal’s latest: the Cubs come in for a speculative mention in connection with now-free-agent Tyson Ross (we wrote him up separately yesterday here), Rosenthal wonders if the Dodgers might be interested in trading for Wade Davis rather than spending huge to keep Kenley Jansen, and the Dodgers might be able to get a reasonable deal on Justin Turner to return given the way his market is (not) developing.
- Andy McCullough adds that he, too, hears the Dodgers are interested in a Wade Davis trade.
- There’s not much doing on a Brian Dozier trade right now, and it’s not something we’ve kept actively on the radar because of the lack of obvious Cubs connection, but I’ll be paying close attention if he actually is dealt. The 29-year-old second baseman posted a 5.9 WAR last year after three very good (but not quite that level) seasons before that, and his addition to any NL playoff contender, for example, would be significant. (Talk about an interesting path to a star season, by the way – Dozier was an 8th round pick out of college, posted modest numbers in the low minors for a couple years (the great-contact-ability-but-no-power type of years), and then broke out in a repeat of High-A, reached the big leagues a year later, and then established himself in his late-20s.)
- The Rockies reportedly want to land a big-bopping first baseman, and have had talks with the White Sox about Jose Abreu. They’re also considering free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Trumbo, but those qualified free agents would cost the Rockies their first rounder to sign – the most valuable first rounder that can be given up, in fact, as the Rockies pick at number 11. Ouch.
- I’m not sure they’d actually consider dealing him, let alone to another team in the NL Central, but the Reds are receiving interest in righty Anthony DeSclafani. A cost-controlled pitcher with solid peripherals will always interest the Cubs, at least for checking-in purposes. But the upside is probably limited to middle-back of the rotation, and the cost in prospects would be significant. I am reminded, generally, that there will be options available in trade that surprise us.
- To that end, keep in mind something Jed Hoyer said yesterday with respect to the Cubs’ pursuit of starting pitchers in trade, and the types of depth arms they might want (ESPN): “The more we have guys with [minor league] options that can make those starts, the better, because we didn’t have those guys last year.” Having guys who can go up and down for fill-in starts here and the could be all the more valuable in an era where the required disabled list stint is now just 10 days. The Cubs are sorely lacking in quality back-of-the-rotation types with options left, so you can expect for some rumors on that front to pop up (or a deal just appearing). It won’t be the sexiest stuff, but it’s important.