Whew. It’s hard to switch gears from Lester Madness (and what comes next! And also Montero and Hammel!) to get back into Winter Meetings mode, but there’s important stuff going around (including the Astros reliever deals, and the implications for the Cubs).
- With Lester off of the board, there’s going to be a ton shaking loose in the coming days and weeks. The Red Sox will be a major player in the pitching market, the one-year pitching trades (and Cole Hamels) will come to the fore, James’ Shields market will clarify, and then there’s Max Scherzer. Jon Morosi says Scherzer is looking for a $200 million guarantee, which he’s not going to get, what with Lester getting some 25% less, and the huge number of other top options coming soon. But Scherzer will definitely get close to that amount, and Jon Heyman reports that two unidentified owners flew to San Diego to meet with Scott Boras about Scherzer. His chase is going to be very interesting to follow. Peter Gammons hears, by the way, that Scherzer is not going back to the Tigers.
- It sounds like the Diamondbacks are looking to deal Wade Miley, and a deal in the future is realistic. There really is so much interesting pitching available. It’s a reminder that, given the way the market has turned, the Cubs would find almost nothing out there for Edwin Jackson, and would probably find very little in return for Travis Wood or Tsuyoshi Wada.
- Speaking of interesting and pitching available, how about this:
Sources: #Reds drawing heavy interest in Chapman as well as Cueto. Teams know that CIN needs to cut payroll – $17M is the current estimate.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2014
- Any team in baseball would be better with Chapman, who is the best reliever in baseball and has three arbitration years ahead. I don’t think you’re going to see the Cubs getting involved if Chapman really is shopped, but if the Reds move him, you can tell that they are clearly rebuilding.
- I mentioned it yesterday at some point in the swirl, but here’s a link to Theo Epstein’s comments about Welington Castillo. The Cubs aren’t shopping him, but they’re listening to the calls they’re receiving. For their part, the Cubs are reportedly still in on David Ross.
- So, yesterday it was a conspiracy theory – and it still is – but about that mystery Chase Headley offer, eh? All I’m saying is that *if* the Cubs wanted to add another big bat and didn’t want to do it via trade, there are very few avenues at this point by which they could do it. Headley at third bumps Kris Bryant to the outfield (effectively the same as adding a bat in the outfield), and bumps Luis Valbuena to a utility role or a trade chip. I’m not sure this is how I’d want the Cubs to proceed, and I’m not sure they can make it work financially right now. But, strictly speaking, it’s a lot less implausible than it was at this time yesterday.
- And speaking of unlikely third basemen, I’m aware of the chatter floating around about the Rays shopping Evan Longoria, but, for now, I ascribe to Marc Topkin’s take on the situation, and I’m not going to give it a ton of thought unless it starts to look more realistic (which is not impossible):
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 10, 2014
- With those Astros reliever deals, and the Cubs’ rumored involvement with Luke Gregerson before he signed with the Astros, I’m reminded of Tyler Clippard’s availability from the Nationals. He’s a mere one-year guy and he’s going to make a lot in arbitration, but it’s something to think about.