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MLBits: Free Agent Landmines, Marlins Want Cash, Ohtani’s Two-Way Logistics, More

MLB News and Rumors

As some of you might remember, I recently got engaged and tomorrow, for the first time ever, we’re doing just her family’s Thanksgiving (we’d previously driven all over Illinois to cover both for most holidays).


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In the negotiations, I won Christmas Eve, and that was ultimately my preference, for food-related reasons only. While I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving food (who doesn’t?), we do a traditionally-Italian, sea-food-only Christmas Eve, and I could never give that up. Plus, in this case, I’m still getting Thanksgiving food, it’s just at someone else’s house.

So … definitely the right call, right? I think so.

  • Speaking of Thanksgiving and Christmas … while both holidays tend to hinder movement around the league – players/teams typically try to get things done just before the holidays or postpone talks until after everyone is “back” – that doesn’t mean moves are impossible. Last year on this night, for example, the Mariners and Diamondbacks got together on a pretty darn big trade, and tomorrow, Giancarlo Stanton can still be moved. Indeed, Joe Frisario (MLB.com) recently wrote that “Thanksgiving won’t hinder Stanton trade talks,” so don’t zone out entirely tomorrow, because significant movement *can* happen.
  • Yesterday, Dave Cameron came out with a piece at FanGraphs called “The 2018 Free-Agent Bargains,” and it included five interesting names, including one former Chicago Cub (Tommy Hunter – remember that he was briefly a Cub?). But today, Cameron dropped the much more interesting (in my opinion) “2018 Free-Agent Landmines” post including one former Cub, Andrew Cashner, and at least two guys to which the Cubs have been previously connected (starter Lance Lynn and reliever Greg Holland). Cameron mentions Lynn possibly wanting a $100 million deal, which, I mean, wut?

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  • The new Miami Marlins ownership group recently sent out an email with the title “Project Citrus,” to solicit investments in the team. Yeah, not two months after closing on a $1.2B deal, the owners are reportedly hoping to raise $250 million in additional investors. The Marlins declined to comment. I can’t honestly say how weird this is, I just don’t have the experience running a billion dollar organization (I just write for one *wink*), but it sure strikes me as unusual to act THIS quickly. Other ownership groups (including the Cubs) have raised additional money after a sale, but, again, this is awfully quick.
  • Relatedly, Brett has jokes:

  • At ESPN, Buster Olney takes a crack at describing Shohei Ohtani’s potential routine as both a hitter and a pitcher in the Major Leagues. Because no one has really done it in many years, his daily routine will be nothing short of revolutionary. In short, if he started on Day 1, he’d likely need Day 2 off entirely. From there, he could play the field/DH on Days 3 and 4 (while sneaking in a bullpen session somewhere), rest on Day 5 and start again on Day 6. Arguably, the ability to DH in the American League would open things up quite a bit more, though depending on the outfield mix of players on the rest of the roster, it’s not inconceivable he could work out there (if he was playing two-way at all, that is).
  • Also, the Cubs should probably just go ahead and get all of these guys:

  • The Brewers were a surprisingly competitive team last season, finishing just one game short of the second wild card spot, and Ryan Braun thinks they can return to the postseason sooner than expected. That doesn’t mean he expects his front office to go wild in free agency – on the contrary, he’s giving all of their decisions the benefit of the doubt – but there could be some big splashes ahead.
  • At CBS Sports, Matt Snyder takes a closer look at Jason Werth’s “bad” contract from 2011 and questions if it was really all that bad. Among the most interesting points is one we used to bring up around here when Jon Lester signed: someone has to be the first. Jon Lester was the first big time free agent signed by this Cubs front office and he helped legitimize the “corner turn” of the team. Werth, in a way, was that guy for the Nationals, who made the playoffs in four of Werth’s seven seasons in Washington. For the most part, I totally agree with Snyder’s take, and it makes you think about other corner-turning teams this offseason.

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  • There’s an article at MLB.com entitled “Climb Machine: Eloy Working Way Up to MLB” and I’m sure you can guess what it’s about. But honestly, I have no regrets about the Eloy Jimenez trade right now. The Cubs got a 28-year-old Jose Quintana for 3.5 years, and he helped get them to their third consecutive NLCS in his first 1/2 year of team control. How much more can you really hope to get out of a top prospect trade? In fact, I actually look back less fondly on the Aroldis Chapman trade – even though that was equally necessary and led to a World Series. In reality, both trades were necessary in their own way, and both worked out for the Cubs (a ring and a young, front-line starting pitcher is almost as good as it gets). Best of luck to Jimenez and all that.
  • The American League Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, traveled to Los Angeles this week to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. The procedure reportedly went well and he’s expected to be ready by the start of Spring Training. I, for one, hope he hits another million homers next year year, because he’s one fun player to watch.
  • And finally, at Baseball is Fun I went over some of Dan Szymborski’s 10-year projections for Giancarlo Stanton on various teams:

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.