As the 2016 Winter Meeting continue, so do our updates …
- Now that the Chicago White Sox have officially traded Chris Sale, the proverbial floodgates are open on the rebuild (and thus, their roster). Other potentially available pieces include Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton, and Nate Jones. Although Scott Merkin doesn’t mention him in that tweet, you’d have to think Jose Abreu is available as well.
- But while the Chicago Cubs would certainly have interest in Quintana, Robertson, and/or Jones, a trade between the cross-town rivals is only slightly more likely in a full-on rebuild, and for non-superstars like Chris Sale (it still seems like it’s not going to happen). That said, Joel Sherman suggests that the Nationals could have an advantage in acquiring either Quintana or Robertson, given the extensive trade talks that have already occurred. But Jon Heyman mentioned that the Yankees (if they miss out on Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen) might turn towards Robertson, as well.
- And one more clarification on the Sale trade, by the way, makes the deal look a bit sweeter for the White Sox:
Wow-The Red Sox will pay the entire $31.2 million left on Yoan Moncada's original $63 million deal. White Sox get sweet deal on the money.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 6, 2016
- From the sound of things, the Red Sox will be on the hook for the remainder of the $31.2 million bonus owed to Moncada (they have likely already paid a good portion of it), while the White Sox will simply pay the normal team control salary for Moncada going forward.
- Stepping away from Sale, Jesse Rogers is hearing that Tyson Ross isn’t going to sign with a team anytime soon, but the Cubs are still in the mix for his services. The San Diego Padres (the team that just non-tendered Ross) are also still a part of the mix. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ross waited a while to sign, as he could theoretically show teams what he’s got a little closer to the season. If he’s throwing well in Spring Training, he might find a better deal than he could today. Of course, if he’s behind schedule on the rehab, he could just as easily cost himself money.
- Jon Heyman is hearing that Aroldis Chapman is fielding all sorts of offers, many of which are approaching the upper bounds of what we expected him to receive on the high end:
Chapman in catbird seat. Offers are past 80M. Yanks top guy. Dodgers, marlins in mix. And nats? Well, rizzo/dusty love him
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
- From the sound of it, there are multiple $80+ million offers, with the Yankees leading a pack that includes the Dodgers and Marlins (just as rumors have suggested). As for the Washington connection, it sounds like the Nationals are probably in on Chapman, but not as much as the other three teams. I’m interested to see what they do after having missed out on Sale.
- For what it’s worth, the Dodgers are also reportedly engaged in trade discussions with the Kansas City Royals, but according to Jon Morosi, progress is slow. There wasn’t much of an indication over who precisely the trade discussions were about, but earlier rumors had them interested in closer (and noted Cub target) Wade Davis. If the Dodgers land Davis, they might back off of Chapman and the dominoes will begin to fall. Or alternatively, the rumors may be there to force Chapman into a decision a bit sooner than he would have otherwise. Remember, the Dodgers nearly completed a trade for Chapman in the past; they clearly like his stuff.
- Ken Rosenthal is hearing that the Indians might make a push for Edwin Encarnacion, after having made an extra $15-$20 million in revenue thanks to their deep postseason run. There are not a ton of direct Cub or National League implications, but Encarnacion has been a rumored target of a great number of teams, some of which (the Rangers) have reportedly been looking into players like Jorge Soler. So, maybe there’s something there, but I think were still a few steps away.
- Mark Saxon (ESPN.com) reports that a rival executive suggested the Cardinals’ initial offer to Dexter Fowler might be in the same range as the Blue Jays reported 4-year/$60 million offer, discussed last night. Fowler was reportedly looking for a bit more in terms of average annual value, but 1) those aren’t bad offers and 2) you get what the market is willing to pay. Here’s hoping the market in Canada is willing to pay a little bit more. Read more at MLB Trade Rumors.
- Short-time Cub and awesome Tweet-maker Dan Haren has reportedly taken a job as a “pitching strategist” in the revamping Diamondbacks organization. According to Steve Gilbert, he’ll work with the front office, coaching staff, and analytics department.
- The Rays continue to be “almost certain” to trade an arm, but whether or not that arm is attached to Chris Archer isn’t any clearer. In fact, teams looking to trade with the Rays may have to settle for Alex Cobb and/or Drew Smyly, because the asking price for Chris Archer is considered to be “beyond prohibitive,” that according to a club executive via ESPN’s Buster Olney. [Brett: I like to think about what kind of ask of the Cubs would not only be prohibitive, but beyond prohibitive. Schwarber and Baez and Hendricks? What’s a step past “beyond prohibitive”?]
- Patrick Mooney suggests that paying free agent Greg Holland might make more sense for the Cubs than trading top prospects for Royals’ closer Wade Davis. And, for what it’s worth, he mentions that the Red Sox are no longer interested in Holland, after having made the trade with the Brewers for reliever Tyler Thornburg. That said, all remaining teams interested in back-end bullpen help are reportedly in on Holland, as well.
- Speaking of the back of the Cubs bullpen:
Joe Maddon talks w reporters. Says at the moment Rondon would be the closer. pic.twitter.com/af91aEJW8I
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) December 6, 2016
- I hope Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop return to full strength next season, but even if they are both at their best and healthiest to start the season, the Cubs still (probably) lost Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood, and Trevor Cahill. They also may lose Mike Montgomery to the rotation, so moves will still need to be made at the back of the bullpen. Furthermore, given the Cubs’ window of competitiveness (potentially at a high point next season, after which they could lose a number of key players), a healthy investment in the bullpen seems warranted no matter what.