Hi. It’s me again.
There are still no transactions to report/dissect (well, outside of last night’s Jay Bruce deal), but there are some rumors, so … here we go again!
- At The Athletic, Jon Greenberg wonders if Alex Cobb might just paint himself into the wonderful picture on the North Side of Chicago, regardless of how he *might* be able to get a larger contract by continuing to wait out the market. He’s familiar with the pitching coach, loves the manager, would play in front of an elite defense (at an amazing stadium (with fantastic fans (and handsome bloggers!))), and, of course, will get all the run support in the world.
- For what it’s worth, new Cubs reliever Steve Cishek has reached out to him to check in, but didn’t give up much in the way of his thought process (obviously): “He’s worked so hard just to get to this point in his career, you might as well enjoy it. He’s enjoying it, I think. It’s just moving a little slower than we all thought. It’d be nice to see him in a Cubs uniform. He’s a tremendous teammate, a good friend and obviously a tremendous competitor and someone you want on your team.” Yep. All of those things.
- Also at The Athletic, Patrick Mooney chimes in with a few rumors, including the fact that the Cubs have, indeed, evaluated Lance Lynn … but don’t seem to be making him a priority at this point. If you think the Cubs are taking their sweet time waiting for a good deal on someone like Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish, think of how long they’d wait out Lynn (whom we do not see as nearly as attractive as someone like Cobb). My bet is that the only way Lynn ends up in Chicago is if it’s on an obscenely team-friendly deal (or maybe even some weird deal with an one-year opt-out/option (a la Dexter Fowler/Yoenis Cespedes)).
- According to Jon Heyman’s sources (Fanrag Sports), the New York Mets nearly executed a deal for Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, before it was killed by someone “at the top” over money. In fact, Heyman goes as far as to say some people on both sides thought that the deal was done, before it was ultimately squashed. The Mets have since gone out and gotten Jay Bruce to sign a three-year $39M deal, but you have to wonder what would’ve been. Also, you wonder if something like this is what what happened in the Astros/Pirates failed (misreported?) trade involving starter Gerrit Cole a few days ago. Sometimes, things really are agreed to, but then someone comes in and kills it or a physical is failed or whatever. As Cubs fans, we’re probably spared that misery more often than other teams, because the Ricketts Family keeps their hands clear of the baseball decisions, and the front office is exceptionally strong at keeping deals under wraps until they are announced.
- In any case, the Mets still have a need at second base, though it’d have to be a cheap fix, well, because they won’t spend a lot. Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison could be an option, but I even wonder if they’d want to pay the $10.25M he’s owed next season. I’d say something about the Cubs’ second basemen and the Mets’ pitchers … but you don’t want to hear about all that again.
- Last month, photographer Betsy Bissen (Twins Daily), accused Miguel Sano of assaulting her a few years ago in a mall after an autograph signing. Sano has since denied the allegations, but MLB is investigating the situation in any case, as you would expect. And remember, even if Sano doesn’t face any legal charges, the Commissioner can still suspend him at his own discretion.
- And to THAT end, if a suspension is handed out before the season starts, you have to wonder how it’ll affect the rest of the Twins offseason. In other words, if Sano is suspended for some significant length of time at the beginning of the season, might a bubble team like the Twins back off their offers (or, rather, refuse to “up” their offers) to a guy like Yu Darvish, whom they’ve been connected to? I think it’s a possibility. Just something to keep in mind, though far secondary to the real core of that story.
- As of today, the Cardinals bullpen shakes out, thusly: Luke Gregerson, Brett Cecil, Matt Bowman, Tyler Lyons, John Brebbia, Sam Tuivailala, Ryan Sherriff. Are there some good arms in there? Sure. Do the Cardinals always seem to have a Minor Leaguer ready to step up and stand up in the pen? Yes. But is that a strength right now? Nah. According to Jennifer Langosch (Cardinals.com), Manager Mike Matheny has argued for the acquisition of a ninth-inning type reliever, which means, to Langosch, that the Cardinals are probably looking for one. Among the many names mentioned, you’ll find fellow Cubs free agent targets Greg Holland and Addison Reed, as well as potential trade target Alex Colome (though we’re all probably a bit less interested in him than we would have been at this time last year).
- The Cubs were just seriously connected to Greg Holland for the first time over the weekend, and after digging in a bit more, I can see the appeal. I still don’t think the Cubs would be better off paying him versus Addison Reed (who complements Brandon Morrow a bit better), but it’s really all relative to the contract. We’ll see.
- And finally …
Congratulations to great guy Edwin Jackson, who signs a minor-league deal back with the #Nats that will pay him $1.5 million, according to his ESQ Agency, courtesy of @mlbtraderumors. He'll compete for the 5th starter's job at the moment.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 11, 2018
- YOU’RE TELLING ME THE CUBS’ ROTATION SEARCH COULD’VE BEEN OVER FOR JUST $1.5 MILLION?!