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Reports: Cubs and Royals Close on Wade Davis Trade (Morning UPDATES: Davis for Soler?)

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

[SEE UPDATES BELOW. Original post follows.]

You are advised of possible action “soon”:

If you’ve been following the Winter Meetings coverage this week, then you know that the Cubs – among several other teams – are interested in Wade Davis, the Royals’ closer who is under control for just one more year and $10 million. Adding his arm to the Cubs’ bullpen, particularly given how good the Cubs project to be in 2017 (before some key starters could walk), would be a very attractive move.

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Previously reports have the Royals interested in Jorge Soler, though it’s unclear whether either side would consider a one-for-one swap, given Davis’ contract (and arm injuries last year), and Soler’s injury issues and contract (lots of team control, but he’s making a few million per year already).

We’ll see if Davis chatter picks up tonight, and if the Cubs are still involved.

What’s interesting about Davis possibly being moved before the big closer arms sign – Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen – is that it could be a signal that those pursuits have become limited to just a few teams, and some of the teams on the outside of those pursuits would like to snag Davis now, before he can become a fallback position for those big-game-hunting teams.

And if Davis is dealt soon, we could also see a mini-run on the second tier arms like Koji Uehara, Greg Holland, Brad Ziegler, etc., as the other teams not in on the big boys want to try to jump the rest of the market. All signs point to the Cubs being among the teams involved on Davis and these next tier arms, and not so involved on Chapman and Jansen. If that’s true, then I’d tentatively expect the Cubs to be among the first movers in the bullpen – this front office has tended to target specific guys they want early, and then make a move quickly.

As I said at the open: you are advised to be on alert.


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UPDATE: Yup. Good reason to be on alert:

Interestingly similar language there, and nearly simultaneously reports. Wonder if the source is the same.

In any case, now we see if the deal gets done and what the price is. Gird your loins. Davis is extremely good (assuming health), and the price tag will be sizable.


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UPDATE 2: A little bit of walking back:

UPDATE 3: For what it’s worth, after Davis came back from his second arm injury last year (it was a forearm strain first, and then a flexor strain), his velocity was basically fine, and he posted a silly 36.6% K rate and 2.4% BB rate. He was, by all appearances, himself.

UPDATE 4: As expected – feared? – Jorge Soler could be involved:

Even if the deal does happen, and even if it does involve Davis and Soler, though, that doesn’t mean it’s a one-for-one.

UPDATE 5: Ah, the old snag-a-roo:


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UPDATE 6: Cubs beat writers hearing the same things at this point – i.e., that the talks are legit, but the deal is not done:

It is fair to wonder if the hold-up right now is the medical review portion of the trade, and/or whether the Royals are still talking to other teams on Davis, just to confirm this is the best deal (and/or the Cubs are checking with free agent relievers to make sure there’s not a better deal to be had before pulling this trigger).


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UPDATE 7: This would square with the way Jon Heyman was framing these rumors, as perhaps the Cubs aren’t the only team involved right now:


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Is that legit? Is that the Royals trying to put pressure on the Cubs to sign off? And are the Cubs simultaneously pressuring the Royals by continuing to talk to other free agents? Intrigue! Complications! Drama!

Also, the deal might be larger than Davis and Soler, as we were kinda suspecting:

I read that to mean another player or two involved, generally, not necessarily (though possibly) Soler ++ from the Cubs.

UPDATE 8: And Ken Rosenthal weighs in:

If the deal proves to be a straight up swap, you will find that I don’t love it. I’ll understand it, and I’ll even be happy the Cubs landed one of the best closers in baseball. But I wish Soler had carried more value for the Cubs. Two things, though:

UPDATE 9: I wonder if this is because of lengthy medical reviews that could last way into the night:

UPDATE 10: Don’t let yourself get too excited, but it is plausible:

The valuations here are just so difficult because of the terms of the contracts and the health of the players involved. The Royals have to add a prospect or a fringe AAA starting pitcher type? Yup, I could see that. The Cubs have to add a low-level prospect? Yup, I could see that, too. The first one would make me much happier, though.

UPDATE 11: Nightengale says the time needed was indeed for a medical review, and the deal should be announced this morning:

UPDATE 12: Yup, updates still coming. Until it’s announced, I probably won’t start a new post. So, I guess keep checking here, my weary friends.

As I said some time ago (whenever that was – the last 12 hours are a blur now), the medical review portion of this trade is going to be more intensive than most, given the previously injury issues on both sides of the trade. There is also the possibility that there will be some bargaining after the medical review, as each side perhaps leverages that information for a little more in the trade (financial coverage, a PTBNL, IFA slots, minor things like that).

For those who don’t know or are wondering: new physical exams for players in a trade are not standard. A review of the complete medical information available on the player is standard. A team can ask for a physical on a player before finalizing a trade, but the other team can say no (and, since it’s not standard, they probably should say no, as there is only downside risk).


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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