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Winter Meetings Thursday Afternoon: Machado, Herrara, Martinez, Hosmer, Cole, More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

The Winter Meetings may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the rumor mill is.


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Here’s the latest from Orlando.

  • Despite about a bajillion rumors this week, the actual executed transactions, when laid out on a single page, don’t look like much.

  • Obviously, the two big Marlins trades (Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna) stand out, but other than that … there wasn’t much of anything. Brandon Morrow singing with the Cubs might’ve been the biggest free agent signing … by far. Sure, plenty of groundwork has been laid and several other deals are close/practically done, but still. None of the big name free agents (Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland, Wade Davis, etc.) have signed, and none of the theoretically available starting pitchers have been traded. Let’s go, market. Get on it with it already.
  • Speaking of that Ozuna trade, just try reading the following tweets without getting angry:

  • That the Cardinals were not only able to land Ozuna for non-top prospects but also able to spin a CLEARLY inferior outfielder, Stephen Piscotty, for a replenishing prospect return is maddening. And that goes double considering that the Cardinals were very much signaling that they wanted to get Piscotty closer to his mother, who lives in the Bay Area and was recently diagnosed with ALS … OK, now it’s harder to be mad. Good for Piscotty at least.

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  • According to Jon Heyman, now that the Minnesota Twins have signed Fernando Rodney, their next order of business is … Yu Darvish? Sure, sure. Natural next step. I don’t know what they’re doing over there, but they’ve been involved in a ton of rumors this winter, so clearly they’re angling to upgrade significantly next season. I just don’t know if I see it. I mean, sure, the AL Central isn’t great right now and the Tigers/Royals are rebuilding, but the Indians are still fantastic and the White Sox are clearly up and coming. There’s also been some speculation that the Mariners might throw their hat into the ring for Darvish, and they certainly make some sense, too. I suppose we’ll have to continue waiting.
  • Speaking of the Royals’ rebuild …

  • Kelvin Herrera, 27, had been a fairly dominant reliever from 2012-2016, but took a big step backwards last year as his strikeout rate dropped, fly ball rate bumped a bit, and, worst of all, hard-contact allowed increased. And with just one more season of team control before free agency, I’m not sure the Royals will get the “big prospects” they’re hoping for. In fact, if I were them, I’d probably hope he recoups a bunch of value in the first half of the season (plenty likely at his age and with his history), and spin him off at the deadline for a better return.
  • According to a Michael Silverman source inside the winter meetings, the Red Sox are meeting with both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, perhaps in an attempt to sign BOTH of the offseason’s top hitters. I … don’t believe that. And, frankly, GM Dave Dombrowski doesn’t either: “I’ve read that, but I don’t know where we’d play those two bats,” said Dombrowski when meeting with the Boston media on Monday. “I’m trying to figure that one out. But I would say we’d be more limited to probably one bat.” Conspiracy theorists can say it’s a smokescreen, but conspiracy theorists are usually wrong about everything all the time.

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  • Here’s something that can start a conversation, but should be taken with a grain of salt:

  • Early rumors about a potential Machado trade have indicated that the Yankees, White Sox, and Cardinals are among the most aggressive suitors, but many more teams are involved. Including, it seems, the Diamondbacks (though their offer is apparently not strong enough):

  • Obviously, any team that adds Machado is adding a pretty amazing player … but just for one year. So the market *should be* limited to teams who stand a good chance next season. To that end, the Cardinals continue to make sense, as the added net wins from Machado would likely propel them pretty darn close to the Cubs, all else equal. If they do end up with him, your hope is that they significantly overpay for one year of a superstar … and still miss the postseason.

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  • You can probably replace “Yanks” with “Cubs” and the same would be true:

  • You might just have to swap out the names there. It’s a bit frustrating, but not surprising that the price for cost-controlled pitching remains high. But even without a serious prospect cache, the Cubs do have the young cost-controlled bats to get something done if they feel it necessary.

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Michael Cerami

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