I wrote the intro to this post before the Pirates maybe-might-be-could-be trading starter Gerrit Cole to the Astros except nope, and Greg Holland was (twice) connected to the Cubs, but suffice it to say, it no longer made sense. Now that the rumors are flying again, we might actually start seeing movement very soon. But, you know, probably not, because this offseason hates you.
Here’s the latest.
- At NBC Sports Chicago, David Kaplan shares some comments about the market from agents and former GMs and it’s a *really* interesting read. I won’t get into all of it, but you should really check it out. Anyway, one GM told Kaplan that the Cubs’ price to acquire Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich would land somewhere in this range: “Think about the best young players on the Cubs’ roster and two or more of those guys would be the cost along with a top prospect or two.” The word “best” makes things tricky – obviously that doesn’t include Bryant, Contreras, Rizzo, or Hendricks, because those four are not going anywhere. But could everyone else be in play? I think so. So, theoretically, would Ian Happ, Albert Almora, and two of Ademan/Alzolay/Albertos get it done? Would you do that? Would the Marlins? Would another team out there top it?
- If you were fairly certain that you could land a starter in free agency and were confident in Yelich’s health, then, yeah, you’d probably consider it. Yelich just fits in *so perfectly* with this Cubs team – even though that’s a pretty aggressive move. Almora and Happ are both extremely young, blossoming players with many more years of cheaper team control, and the Cubs farm system is already flatlining after a series of graduations and trades. Still, the reality here is that I’m not even sure the Marlins couldn’t find (or don’t already have) a better offer. Yelich is a perfect fit for this Cubs team, but I’m just not sure it’s gonna happen.
- This just kinda makes you sad:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 10, 2018
- Castro was shipped out of Chicago the winter before the Cubs won the World Series, and was just traded out of New York the year before they are projected to be one of the very best teams in all of baseball. It must be frustrating beyond mention, and I hope he finds a contender to contribute to immediately.
- Yesterday, former Cubs backup catcher Rene Rivera signed with the Angels, and now details of his contract have emerged:
Source: Rene Rivera guaranteed $2.8 million on 1-year deal with Angels.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 10, 2018
- That’s a pretty affordable price tag – in today’s market – for one of the games better backup catchers (something the Cubs still need), so I’m guessing the front office is confident they’ll land the sort of veteran they need elsewhere before all is said and done (or maybe they really are comfortable leaning on on Victor Caratini and his switch-hitting, multi-positional advantages).
- According to Ken Rosenthal, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the most persistent team pursuing Manny Machado as of today, but no deal is close (oh, geez, sound the alarms, alert the church elders, what a surprise). The D-Backs could make some sense as a landing spot, as they hope to capitalize on whatever Zack Greinke can give them this year.
- Now the Rays are “less inclined to trade righty Chris Archer,” believing that they might compete again as soon as 2019. Whatever. They’re less committal than Ross and Rachel.
- The Phillies are staying very active in the starting pitcher free agent and trade markets – which makes sense, given their upward trajectory – but are unlikely to get in a bidding war for Jake Arrieta, despite their interest. And although they’d love to land someone like Alex Cobb or Yu Darvish, Rosenthal believes both are likely headed to a contender. The Phillies could pivot and make a trade for Christian Yelich, they have the pieces to pull it off and a perfect fit, but there’s been no traction there.
- Rosenthal drops this line on the Cubs in the middle of his team notes, and you’ll probably make an angry face: “While Arrieta, Darvish and Cobb all remain possibilities for the Cubs, the club might sign lesser pitchers to compete for their fifth starter’s job if they are uncomfortable with the prices for the top starters.” In my opinion, this would be a pretty significant whiff, given the options out there, but it’s not like the Cubs rotation isn’t already strong with a solid front four.
- The Brewers are still slowly and quietly improving:
jj hoover gets $1.1M in majors with #brewers, plus 1.65M incentives
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 10, 2018
- Hoover is long removed from his earlier, more effective days as a reliever in Cincinnati, but he did post a 3.92 ERA last season, while posting a solid 11.76 K/9. He struggled in many other areas, though, which is why the deal – a minor league one – is far from significant. But, hey, if things break right he could be another buy-low, sell high risk at the deadline … or an important bullpen piece to a possible playoff contender.
- Just to keep you updated if you haven’t seen it on Cole and the Astros, the report of a deal going down is being thoroughly blown up (did the Pirates by chance go back to the Yankees? and some wires got crossed in the reporting?):
Source: "No deal" for Gerrit Cole to Houston. "False rumor."
As is the case with these things, talks could pick back up quickly. For now, though, Gerrit Cole to Houston is not happening.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2018