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Winter Meetings Late Monday Afternoon: Neshek Signs, PHI on Machado, BOS Wants to Trade for Power Bat, More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

Almost immediately after publishing this afternoon’s Winter Meetings Monday Afternoon Update, about 20 more rumors came out.


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And, so we’ve now been blessed with a Winter Meetings Late Monday Afternoon Update, because, well, there’s a ton of stuff flying around …

  • First up, another deal for a free agent reliever:

  • According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is pending a physical and is, in fact, a two-year/$16.5M contract with a $500K bonus if he’s traded. Apparently, this is the Phillies first multi-year deal for a pitcher since Mike Adams (2013-2014). Which, wow. That’s quite a rebuild.
  • As for the Cubs implications, well, they’re mostly tangential. Neshek, 37, was never really attached to the Cubs, but he was a dominant reliever last season (1.59 ERA, 1.86 FIP, 2.5 WAR) and could be again in 2018. His signing is a reminder that the reliever market is moving. Although I do suspect the Phillies will try to really turn the corner soonish, Neshek could still be a final “We’ll sell him at the deadline to the highest bidder” move before possibly going all out next offseason and ahead of 2019.
  • Although, hey, maybe that’ll start even sooner than expected. Roch Kubatko (an Orioles guy) has heard that the Phillies are “one of the more interested parties” in Manny Machado, and that the Orioles have even been “doing their homework on the club’s farm system” in case talks become more serious. Machado is a free agent after 2018 (at which time he’d be an obvious Phillies target), so if the Phillies go seriously for him right now, they must have designs on competing right away.

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  • In any case, the relief market figures to stay RED HOT as the week goes on (and it may have been started by the Cubs):

  • Jon Heyman writes that the Texas Rangers are considering former Cubs backup catcher Rene Rivera, but concedes that the Blue Jays, Nationals, Twins and others are all also looking for backup catcher help. Obviously, the Cubs also remain in the backup catcher market, but I’m holding out hope that Alex Avila meant what he said when he claimed he rather be a backup on a contender than a starter on a bad team. [Brett: I, too, would prefer Avila on a reasonable deal, but Rivera returning would also be totally fine by me.]

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  • Going back to the Orioles for a moment, Ken Rosenthal tweets that they’ve been talking to the Mets about Matt Harvey, and now adds that they could be sending a reliever (possibly Brad Brach or Darren O’Day) back to New York. If the Orioles are shopping those two, by the way, you could conceivably see the Cubs with interest.
  • Contrary to earlier reports, Buster Olney writes that the Pirates *will* in fact listen to offers for Gerrit Cole, presumably regardless of what happens with Andre McCutchen. Olney adds that the Yankees could matchup well with the Pirates and that the teams’ GMs have an extensive trade history together. As always, yes, the Cubs would be interested in Cole, but, no, an intra-divisional deal isn’t likely.
  • Speaking of McCutchen, Brian Sabean indicates (via Buster Olney on Twitter) that the Giants are reluctant to sign any free agents attached to draft pick compensation, though they are looking for bats. To that end, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier could make more sense than some of the other available free agents, and, more to my original point, Andrew McCutchen could make sense in trade.

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  • Also contrary to earlier reports, Evan Grant taps the brakes on the Matt Harvey-Jurickson Profar rumors, saying that the Rangers won’t deal Profar for just one year of control on a player (in this case, Harvey).
  • The Brewers are still technically open to listening on Domingo Santana, but are coming off as less “open” than initial reports indicated:

  • That always figured to be the case, but it certainly smells like “we need to take leverage/control of this rumor back.”

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  • According to Rob Bradford, the Boston Red Sox are, indeed, prioritizing a big bat. But, like we said earlier today, they just don’t matchup with the Cubs too well (lack of young, talented, cost-controlled starting pitchers). I don’t think there’ll really be anything brewing on this front, BUT the Cubs do have big bats available and the Red Sox seem a little anxious to get things going …

  • So I guess you never know.
  • This is an interested revelation:


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Michael Cerami

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