I’m in utter disbelief that this week – the week AFTER NEW YEARS – might come and go without a significant Major League deal. When will this damn dam break? What’s holding teams back? It’s not all about preparations for arbitration salary request exchanging next week, right? Is that the flavor-of-the-week excuse? Is there something else at play?!?
- Well, according to Jon Heyman, the holdup may be the Cardinals fault: “The St. Louis Cardinals might turn out to be the lynchpin of the free-agent market. They are expected to be big players for at least one top free agent, but they could be in play for two, or more.” Okay, I might’ve put the word “fault” in his mouth, but doesn’t it feel a little better to blame them?
- According to Heyman, the Cardinals are still considering Jake Arrieta (known), Yu Darvish (somewhat assumed, but not really reported until now), Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn (apparently unlikely) for a spot in the rotation. But they’ve also made contact with Scott Boras regarding first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas (the presumption being Matt Carpenter will play whichever position the signed free agent does not). And on top of that, the Cardinals could still look to add a quality reliever like Greg Holland, Addison Reed, or Tony Watson. Sigh. So, everybody, then? Cool.
- Obviously, adding a starter, a closer, and another middle of the order bat might be pricey, but 1) the Cardinals can afford it and 2) it would make them far more competitive in 2018. And, of course, the other Cub-related implication is that Chicago has been connected to many of those names throughout the winter. Yu Darvish, in particular, was not a name previously connected to the Cardinals, but it sounds like they may soon begin seriously considering him (at a minimum, to drive up the price on the Cubs).
- The Astros have also entered the Greg Holland and Addison Reed market, and are still in on Yu Darvish, according to Heyman. Like the Cubs, Cardinals, and Twins, the Astros have been connected to a ton of free agents this winter, but no one seems to know where these guys’ll end up.
- At MLB.com, Mark Feinsand writes that despite the incessant rumors, the Orioles have not found a package they like for Manny Machado. The ask continues to be two controllable starting pitchers and no one has taken the bait (yet). Interestingly, Feinsand suggests that the Orioles are content waiting for the All-Star break, but that’s an awfully big risk.
- Meanwhile, Jon Heyman is now reporting that of all the Machado suitors, the New York Yankees are the most likely to land the Orioles’ third baseman (is this just like a big joke to everybody?). After we told dozens of times that the Yankees would never end up with Machado this winter – so much so that the Orioles wouldn’t even trade him to a team that *might* trade him to the Yankees – they’re apparently now the most likely landing spot. OK. Sure. Whatever, offseason.
- The Red Sox, according to Heyman, don’t have the prospects to match the Yankees potential offer and also carry the same same-division problem, while the Cubs and White Sox offers have come up short. Heyman doesn’t think Machado to the Yankees is necessarily a “likelihood,” but that deal has the most potential. I don’t know anymore, guys. I’m just passing it along.
- On the Christian Yelich front, Heyman writes that the Diamondbacks, Braves, Dodgers and Phillies have shown the most interest in the Marlins outfielder … “over the years.” It’s hard to know exactly what he means by that, but the Phillies (after missing out on Giancarlo Stanton) and the Diamondbacks (looking for cheaper alternatives to J.D. Martinez), make some sense. In a later post, Heyman added that the Braves asked on Yelich and Realmuto during the Winter Meetings, but have not discussed either player with the Marlins since. Apparently, Yelich might prefer the Dodgers in trade, but he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so that’s really just nice-to-know-information than anything else.
- Well, it’s something, I guess. The Brewers have indeed signed lefty Boone Logan:
Source says Boone Logan gets $1.875M in 2018. Club option for '19 at $4.125 million with a $625K buyout. :Plus $3M available in incentives for innings and appearances each year.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 5, 2018
- Logan didn’t have great results last year, but he maintained his solid peripherals from the years before. His one issue has been a penchant to give up the long ball, so hopefully the Cubs have many opportunities to take him deep this year.
- Elsewhere, the Padres are likely to get an interesting reliever from Japan:
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) January 5, 2018
- Ah, the *REAL* reason for the slow market – teams have just been waiting on Rafael Palmeiro:
Good to be back in the cage again. The comeback is real. pic.twitter.com/uA8FMjyTjv
— Rafael Palmeiro (@Rafael_Palmeiro) January 5, 2018