While Cubs fans wait on a final Miguel Montero deal, and the whole of the baseball world (continues to) wait(s) for a Jon Lester decision, the rumor mill keeps churning. And the activity, too: the Pirates just re-signed Francisco Liriano to a three-year, $39 million deal. It’s getting a lot of praise as a good deal for the Pirates. I agree that it’s a fine deal, but let’s not forget: Liriano’s 162.1 innings in 2014 was his highest total since 2010.
Rumors and news permitting, by the way, I’m planning to do a live stream tonight at 8pm CT – complete with Ugly Sweater – so set an alarm.
- The Jeff Samardzija trade to the White Sox is complete and it’s actually a six-player deal, with the White Sox also getting formerly awesome pitching prospect Michael Ynoa. The A’s are getting infielder Marcus Semien and pitcher Chris Bassitt, as well as catcher Josh Phegley, and first base prospect Rangel Ravelo. It’s a little less bad for the A’s than it looked this morning, but still not a great capture of Samardzija’s value, especially given the deal it took to get him in the first place. That underscores either the value of a player for the second half stretch run when you already know your team is competitive or the crazy-good-trading-skills of the Cubs’ front office. I think it’s probably a little of both.
- Samardzija, by the way, sounds happy – and the Sox will try to extend him:
Hahn says Samardzija told him "this is a dream come true."
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) December 9, 2014
#WhiteSox GM Rick Hahn says they will try to sign Jeff Samardzija to long term contract
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 9, 2014
- The Padres and Dodgers really might get together on a Matt Kemp, Yasmani Grandal deal (for some reason). Ken Rosenthal says they continue to work at it, with the Dodgers also getting a second quality piece like pitcher Matt Wisler. The latter is coming off of a down year, but he was a consensus top 100 prospect before that. The Dodgers would have to be eating a ton of salary – again, though, why is this kind of major deal happening within the division?
- The Red Sox have made a one-year contract offer to Justin Masterson, according to Nick Cafardo. Seems like Masterson – who’s gotten a lot of attention this week – is probably going to be signing sooner rather than later.
- I love following this Chase Headley storyline, not because I think the Cubs are necessarily involved, but because it’s so strange. There’s the matter of Peter Gammons implying that a deal gets done today and it’ll probably be the Giants or the Yankees, the matter of Jon Heyman saying the Giants are lukewarm on Headley and the reported 4/$65M offer might not be real, and the matter of Jack Curry reporting that he hears from an involved team that the offer is definitely real. So many secrets. So much mystery.
- (Conspiracy theory alert: given the surprisingly secret nature of that 4/$65M bid on Headley, and given Ken Rosenthal’s report last night that if the Cubs get Jon Lester, they’ll next move to trying to add a big bat, is there any chance that the Cubs have made Headley that offer conditional on first getting Lester? That would explain not only the mysteriousness of the team making the offer, but also the expectation that it might be resolved today, and the reason Headley hasn’t yet accepted. Tinfoil hat scale of 1-10: 8. I don’t think this is reality, but it’s fun to think about.)
- The Cardinals might be considering a run at Max Scherzer.
- Ken Rosenthal writes about how Chicago is dominating the story at the Winter Meetings, and that’s good for baseball. I agree.
- The Braves are close to signing Alberto Callaspo to be their second baseman, at least in the short term. No terms yet, but it’s hard for me to understand why the Braves prefer to spend money for this guy rather than just keep Tommy La Stella.