The rumors can’t keep pouring in forever right? Without something happening? Something big?
Back to the HOT-AS-HELL stove …
- First up, we have a new, signficant rumor that could directly and negatively impact the Chicago Cubs in 2018:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2017
- The Brewers were the Cubs’ biggest competition from last season – an improving Brewers squad, mind you – and they might add one of the best, young, cost-controlled starting pitchers in baseball. The Brewers clearly have both the need and pieces to get something done. If you remember back, the Rays are said to be expecting a big four or five-player package of prospects in return of Archer, and the Brewers have as many as 7 (!) top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline – including two outfielders, two middle infielders, and three starting pitchers (there’s about a million conceivable packages you can make out of that). And given that Archer is only owed about $33.75M over the next four seasons, the Brewers can easily make the numbers work. Yeah, this is firmly on your “ruh roh” radar.
- But don’t worry, the Reds might soon trade Billy Hamilton /s:
Reds also engaged with other teams other than the Giants on Billy Hamilton. For a big-market team, he would be the ultimate late-inning weapon.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 12, 2017
- Obviously, the Reds moving Hamilton wouldn’t be much of a needle mover in the NL Central standings in 2018, but I wouldn’t be sad to see him tormenting Jon Lester et al a little less this year. However, Jon Heyman is reporting that the Giants and Reds are having difficulty matching up.
- On the pitching side of things for the Cubs, I wasn’t aware this was a rumor out there, but here’s the denial in any case:
The Alex Cobb camp deny the rumored 4 year $80 million that was being passed around on twitter .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 12, 2017
- If we had to guess, this “rumor” got started as speculation about whether a team would try to stop themselves from going to five years by upping their annual offer, but it seems like a five-year, $75 million offer would already be pretty solid. So 4/$80M wouldn’t really make a lot of sense unless Cobb was already getting a ton of those kinds of five-year offers at a lower AAV.
- In our latest Winter Meetings update (and really, throughout the day today), we learned that the Orioles aren’t just open to trading third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, they’re legit shopping him. In fact, their GM basically just admitted as much:
Dan Duquette admits he's been busy on Machado today.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) December 12, 2017
- I can’t see how the Cubs would get involved absent some sort of crazy three-way trade (which are nearly impossible to pull off), but, hey, regardless of the Cubs, tracking a Manny Machado rumor sure is fun. And, as I type, just to confirm it:
This could change, obviously, but I was told the #Cubs are not one of the teams that have come out strong early in pursuit of Manny Machado.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 12, 2017
- A number of contenders would make sense for a Machado addition, especially if he’ll play either third base or shortstop. One obvious, close-to-home fit is in St. Louis, where they are desperately looking to add a bat, and have plenty of pitching prospect ammo to pull off a deal.
- Get outta here, Cardinals:
Sources: Cardinals are among the teams in on Wade Davis. They’re prioritizing late-inning help to complement Luke Gregerson signing. Rockies are in on Davis as well as they hunt for a closer.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2017
- If the Cardinals wind up giving Davis four years and $60+ million, though, I’ll probably learn to live with it.
- From earlier today, the San Diego Padres were interested in adding a young shortstop to the mix, and we were told to keep an eye out on the Cubs. I still don’t see much of a fit, given the Padres roster, but there is one reliever that could be an interesting target (in general) for the Cubs:
Padres getting calls on Brad Hand but Padres said to be asking for "an enormous return" according to one AL gm
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) December 12, 2017
- Hand has put together back-t0-back fantastic seasons in San Diego, averaging more than 80.0 IP/season, with two sub-3.00 ERAs and 1.5+ WAR seasons, but you have to wonder what they mean by “enormous” return. He’s certainly worth a lot, but you’re definitely not getting one of, say, the Cubs’ young shortstops for him. And, in reality, you might be better off waiting until the trade deadline and squeezing teams for him then. Though, if you recall, the Padres tried the same thing last July and ultimately didn’t get any takers to their liking for Hand. At some point, the risk of injury or ineffectiveness will force them to make a deal – especially because they don’t figure to contend with the Dodgers/Rockies/D-Backs next season. Well, unless they go nuts making acquisitions this week … but they tried that three years ago to no avail …
- A little more confirmation on the earlier-discussed interest on Danny Duffy:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 12, 2017
- The Mets’ pitching coach and manager don’t want to see their former star leave New York any time soon:
Sandy Alderson said Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland have advocated that the Mets keep Matt Harvey. The GM also said he's taking their advice to heart.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) December 12, 2017
- Unfortunately, I believe that Harvey will be out of there as soon as someone is willing to give Alderson any baseball player below the age of 25 and the $5.9M or so Harvey is owed this season.
- Much of the earlier afternoon update focused on the Marlins’ outfield trade negotiations, but you can apparently (for now) count one suitor out on Marcell Ozuna:
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) December 12, 2017
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.