Again, the transactions elude our pursuit. I fear that disquiet and tumult will soon spread through the ranks. Or, to more fully realize my dread, apathy begins to take root.
Yours in Impatience,
Bert “Iron Constable” Trailor
- … but seriously, you will be unsurprised to learn that the hot stove has yet to get cookin’. As we discussed on Saturday, it was already extremely slow by recent historic standards, but as we approach December and the non-tender deadline? To have *NO* meaningful movement whatsoever is bonkers. It’s not uncommon for the bulk of activity to kick up only in the days leading up to the Winter Meetings, but there’s pretty much always a number of transactions – notable transactions! – well in advance.
- You know the drill by now, with the layered reasons for the slow market ranging from the Shohei Ohtani posting situation to the new CBA’s luxury tax rules to the sizable reliever pool to (I’ll add right now) the looming non-tender deadline to the biggy: Giancarlo Stanton’s presence on the trade market. On that one, Ken Rosenthal writes something you won’t want to hear today (though you will want to read, because it’s always good): Stanton could very well continue to take his time before deciding on a trade, including the possibility that he’ll want to see how the offseason plays out before he commits to a particular club(!). You can already see the problem there, given that so much of the rest of the offseason is being held up by the Stanton trade derby. So, like I said yesterday, something will have to give first – either the Marlins will have to assent to a lesser return to send Stanton to a team he wants, Stanton will have to agree to go to a less-desirable team, or the Marlins will have to pull him off the market and move on to other things. Would Stanton willingly stay in Miami another year? Would the Marlins carry his $25 million salary?
- Rosenthal adds that the Marlins are actively engaged with three teams right now (the Giants, Cardinals, and Red Sox), with three unidentified teams (MYSTERY TEAMS!) at the periphery.
- Jon Morosi reports that the Dodgers are at the top of Stanton’s trade list, as many thought would be, but they’re not keen on going as far (additionally) over the luxury tax cap as Stanton would bring them. My guess? The Dodgers don’t want to go into the super-duper-over-the-luxury-tax-cap territory where you start feeling additional penalties beyond the ones you’re already familiar with (tax on the overage, worse draft pick compensation, higher compensatory cost to sign qualified free agents). For example, once you hit $40 million over the luxury tax cap, not only does your tax bill become extremely high, you also see your first round draft pick in 2018 drop 10 spots.
- Prepare for more Gerrit Cole trade rumors this offseason:
Whwn the Arrieta, Darvih, Ohtani deals are settled, the pitching race to watch will be got Gerrit Cole. Would he look good in Texas, or what?
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) November 28, 2017
- Cole, 27, was excellent in 2017 in all ways except the long ball, which spiked massively for him and torpedoed his ERA from where it otherwise could have been. Still, he’s going to have a ton of value on the trade market if the Pirates decided to move him (Cole has two years of arbitration eligibility available before free agency), and although the Cubs would probably love to target Cole, I can’t see the Pirates dealing with the Cubs unless they decide to go into total full-on rebuild mode, which doesn’t seem likely given the rest of their talent and the wide open NL Central.
- Dave Cameron wonders about another big-time trade target for the Cardinals besides Stanton: Josh Donaldson. The surprising swap he proposes has two years of Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko (plus each has a 2020 team option) going to Toronto for one year of Donaldson. I’m not sure how I’d feel about that one. On the one hand, Donaldson is unquestionably the best bat in the group and the Cardinals have a surplus of position players to handle a two-for-one and net improve for 2018. On the other hand, having Carpenter and Gyorko (yes, he’s actually been good with the Cardinals, because of course) for multiple years provides a lot of cover for the Cardinals if some of the younger guys don’t develop or wash out a la Aledmys Diaz. On the whole … I think I’d probably rather not see the Cardinals land Donaldson for 2018, though.
- If you missed it earlier, the non-tender deadline is Friday, and Michael took a look at some of the potential soon-to-be free agents who could fit for the Cubs.