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Lukewarm Stove: Mariners Making Moves and Hoping for Ohtani, Huge Interest in Chatwood, More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

Things have quieted down considerably this week since the end of the GM Meetings, which is not entirely surprising. Then again, with yesterday’s qualifying offer deadline coming and going, I tended to think we were going to see a mild uptick in chatter about those free agents, in particular.


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That hasn’t been the case just yet. There’s a Monday deadline (set by the MLBPA) for the union to come to an agreement with MLB on its new posting system with NPB, which would thus officially pave the way for Shohei Ohtani to be posted and made available to MLB teams. So, I suppose it’s possible that enough teams’ planning is impacted that it could be a quiet few days until that’s resolved.

In the meantime, some items to round out your week …

  • There have been two moves so far this offseason, and, in a surprise to absolutely no one, the Mariners – and uber-active GM Jerry Dipoto – have been involved in both. There was the trade for first baseman Ryon Healy with the A’s earlier this week, and then this intriguing one:

  • Reports indicate that the pool space involved in the deal was only about $500,000. Given that Vieira is a legit prospect who can pump 102 mph, you can surmise one or two things from this trade: the Mariners really needed some pool space for an imminent signing (or desperately wanted to load up for Ohtani, though it’s hard to imagine $500,000 being such a difference maker that the M’s felt they had to give up a legit prospect just for the CHANCE that they might need 500K more), or the value of IFA bonus pool money has gone way up now that we’re in the world of hard caps on IFA spending. I tend to think it’s a little bit of both of those things – even at this time of year, there are some IFA prospects who haven’t signed yet, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be about Ohtani.
  • (But let’s be clear: they’re major players for Ohtani.)
  • Among Jon Heyman’s many latest notes, he writes that free agent righty Tyler Chatwood is drawing “huge interest” thanks to his age, success away from Coors Field, high spin rate, and good fastball. That’s pretty much what we talked about earlier today in writing up Chatwood as a compelling target (even though it’s not all good, hence why a 27-year-old free agent starter is only looking at a two or three-year deal).

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  • Heyman also notes that the Brewers haven’t ruled out pursuing a big-time free agent pitcher (you wonder if Jake Arrieta would be the guy), which isn’t entirely crazy given where they are in the rebuild cycle (tons of young talent, ready to turn the corner).
  • New MVP Giancarlo Stanton seems a virtual lock to be traded this offseason, but it sounds like he isn’t buying any Marlins claim that they have to cut payroll (NBC), say that all teams have plenty of money.
  • If you want to see some of the better minor league free agents, Chris Mitchell has a look at hitters here and pitchers here. John Andreoli shows up second on the hitters list, and outgoing Dodgers righty Scott Barlow looks like an excellent low-risk signing at the top of the pitcher list.

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  • Hey, remember Jay Jackson:

  • Jackson, now 30, last spent time in the Cubs’ system in 2012, then a starter. In his last two years in Japan, as a reliever, he’s been dominant (albeit moreso in 2016 than 2017). He might have to go for a minor league deal at first, but, hey, maybe he successfully found it as a reliever. There was always talent there.

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Brett Taylor

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