Almost immediately after publishing this afternoon’s Winter Meetings Monday Afternoon Update, about 20 more rumors came out.
And, so we’ve now been blessed with a Winter Meetings Late Monday Afternoon Update, because, well, there’s a ton of stuff flying around …
- First up, another deal for a free agent reliever:
Neshek headed to the phillies. 16-17M range @ToddZolecki mentioned
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2017
- According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is pending a physical and is, in fact, a two-year/$16.5M contract with a $500K bonus if he’s traded. Apparently, this is the Phillies first multi-year deal for a pitcher since Mike Adams (2013-2014). Which, wow. That’s quite a rebuild.
- As for the Cubs implications, well, they’re mostly tangential. Neshek, 37, was never really attached to the Cubs, but he was a dominant reliever last season (1.59 ERA, 1.86 FIP, 2.5 WAR) and could be again in 2018. His signing is a reminder that the reliever market is moving. Although I do suspect the Phillies will try to really turn the corner soonish, Neshek could still be a final “We’ll sell him at the deadline to the highest bidder” move before possibly going all out next offseason and ahead of 2019.
- Although, hey, maybe that’ll start even sooner than expected. Roch Kubatko (an Orioles guy) has heard that the Phillies are “one of the more interested parties” in Manny Machado, and that the Orioles have even been “doing their homework on the club’s farm system” in case talks become more serious. Machado is a free agent after 2018 (at which time he’d be an obvious Phillies target), so if the Phillies go seriously for him right now, they must have designs on competing right away.
- In any case, the relief market figures to stay RED HOT as the week goes on (and it may have been started by the Cubs):
Multiple agents anticipate that there is going to be a run on relieves in the next 24-36 hours, that Morrow's 2-yr, $21M deal with the #Cubs essentially set the high end for those who are going to get 2-yr deals and, thus, others can fall in line now.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 11, 2017
- Jon Heyman writes that the Texas Rangers are considering former Cubs backup catcher Rene Rivera, but concedes that the Blue Jays, Nationals, Twins and others are all also looking for backup catcher help. Obviously, the Cubs also remain in the backup catcher market, but I’m holding out hope that Alex Avila meant what he said when he claimed he rather be a backup on a contender than a starter on a bad team. [Brett: I, too, would prefer Avila on a reasonable deal, but Rivera returning would also be totally fine by me.]
- Going back to the Orioles for a moment, Ken Rosenthal tweets that they’ve been talking to the Mets about Matt Harvey, and now adds that they could be sending a reliever (possibly Brad Brach or Darren O’Day) back to New York. If the Orioles are shopping those two, by the way, you could conceivably see the Cubs with interest.
- Contrary to earlier reports, Buster Olney writes that the Pirates *will* in fact listen to offers for Gerrit Cole, presumably regardless of what happens with Andre McCutchen. Olney adds that the Yankees could matchup well with the Pirates and that the teams’ GMs have an extensive trade history together. As always, yes, the Cubs would be interested in Cole, but, no, an intra-divisional deal isn’t likely.
- Speaking of McCutchen, Brian Sabean indicates (via Buster Olney on Twitter) that the Giants are reluctant to sign any free agents attached to draft pick compensation, though they are looking for bats. To that end, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier could make more sense than some of the other available free agents, and, more to my original point, Andrew McCutchen could make sense in trade.
- Also contrary to earlier reports, Evan Grant taps the brakes on the Matt Harvey-Jurickson Profar rumors, saying that the Rangers won’t deal Profar for just one year of control on a player (in this case, Harvey).
- The Brewers are still technically open to listening on Domingo Santana, but are coming off as less “open” than initial reports indicated:
David Stearns confirms teams have called on Domingo Santana. But coming off 30 HRs and with 4 yrs of club control, "if we’re going to even consider trading someone who is such an important part of our team, we are going to expect a sizable return," Stearns said.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 11, 2017
- That always figured to be the case, but it certainly smells like “we need to take leverage/control of this rumor back.”
- According to Rob Bradford, the Boston Red Sox are, indeed, prioritizing a big bat. But, like we said earlier today, they just don’t matchup with the Cubs too well (lack of young, talented, cost-controlled starting pitchers). I don’t think there’ll really be anything brewing on this front, BUT the Cubs do have big bats available and the Red Sox seem a little anxious to get things going …
The Boston #Redsox are telling teams they'd prefer to trade for an impact bat now than waiting out the free-agent market where J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer await
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 11, 2017
- So I guess you never know.
- This is an interested revelation:
Astros made efforts to land Giancarlo but never came very close to a deal. They do have $ coming off the championship and will take a look at darvish/arrieta, tho they will take a “disciplined” approach. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned ace possibility
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2017
- And speaking of their interest in Darvish, Heyman does admit that if they were to make something happen, Darvish and Yulieski Gurriel would “have to work it out.” If you remember, Gurriel was suspended for a making a racist gesture at Darvish’s expense last October.
- If you missed it a little bit ago, the Cubs are being attached to reliever Brandon Kintzler for the second time in a week.
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