The rumors keep on piling up as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings, but until Shohei Ohtani makes his decision and Giancarlo Stanton’s deal is cleared up, the big names might remain on the board.
- To that end …
This can obviously change as it goes, but Giants expect a Stanton decision by the end of the week. I'm hearing they continue to view Dodgers, not Cardinals, as biggest threat.
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) December 6, 2017
- We had previously heard 2-3 days at the beginning of the week, so this could line up pretty nicely. At this point, it seems like it’s almost exclusively between those three teams mentioned, and Stanton’s preference, in order, would be Dodgers, Giants, and sticking with the Marlins/going to the Cardinals bringing up the rear in what might be a tie. Things could always change, but I think Stanton’s sticking with his guns.
- More on the Giants’ meeting with Stanton (and Shohei Ohtani) here, with still more reiteration that Stanton might be hoping the Dodgers swoop in at the last minute. Between the two, you’d probably rather see Stanton go to the Giants, slightly, but the reality is, they’re just as good of a bet as the Dodgers to be relevant to the Cubs’ playoff pursuits over the next 5-10 years. So … whatever. Just don’t go to the Cardinals.
- At the Denver Post, Patrick Saunders goes over the Rockies offseason plans via GM Jeff Bridich, who concedes that while the team remains engaged with closer Greg Holland they “have been investigating” the top free agent (and former Cubs) closer Wade Davis. The Rockies are seeing all of Holland, Jake McGee, and Pat Neshek testing free agency, so the need there is significant.
- The Cubs are probably a long shot for Davis at this point, but given the connection, his recent success, and their needs, it remains a possibility. If he’s realistically going to get that 4-5 year deal worth $50 or more million, though, I simply don’t see the Cubs going to that level. (Plus, they get a draft pick after the second round when he signs elsewhere. Not the primary consideration, but non-zero.)
- In the Tampa Bay Times, everyone’s favorite pitcher-seller the Rays are still, well, selling pitching. There, Marc Topkin reports that the Rays are still keen on trading pitching, but the Stanton and Ohtani markets are holding things up. The specific example he offers? With the Cardinals still waiting on a Stanton resolution, they don’t yet know exactly what pieces they might have available to make other trades with the Rays. For example they’ve been connected to closer Alex Colome, and have outfielders available to trade.
- Topkin also mentions that the Cardinals are also “among the teams said to be interested in” Jake Odorizzi and … Chris Archer. Given that we believe the Cubs to be interested in Archer as well, that’s certainly something. It would seem the Cardinals, with their young pitching depth, would be a less aggressive suitor on Archer than a team like the Cubs, but then again, with such an affordable contract, there’s pretty much no team (outside the Rays) that wouldn’t want Archer.
- Topkin goes on to offer up another hypothetical example of the Rays being held up: if the Cubs are waiting on Ohtani’s decision, they might not pursue a trade for Archer until that decision is final. Just something to think about.
- Yesterday, the Rangers signed former Cubs relief target Mike Minor, and now the details of his deal are trickling out. According to Ken Rosenthal, Minor’s deal is for three years and $28 million, which is about what we expected in length, but a bit more in dollars. The deal also comes with a limited no-trade clause (10 teams), though, and Minor is expected to be used as a starter.
- If that latter most part is true, I’m not surprised to see the Cubs not land him. They probably wanted Minor as a reliever, specifically, given their need and his significant success in that role last year. So, perhaps the Cubs were one of these other offers, but Minor might’ve really wanted to go to the Rangers for the opportunity to start:
minor head offers of $30M for 4 years but bet on himself with the 3-year deal #rangers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2017
- Then again, on the deal he got, Minor lands a much higher AAV for only a slightly lesser guarantee, and he’ll hit the open market again when he’s heading into his age 33 season. Maybe it pays off for him, especially if he somehow re-emerges as a credible starter.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.