Winter Meetings Weds Morning: Nats/Cubs Overlapping Interests, Extending Machado, Greinke, Arrieta, More

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Winter Meetings Weds Morning: Nats/Cubs Overlapping Interests, Extending Machado, Greinke, Arrieta, More

MLB News and Rumors

These winter meetings updates have been insanely difficult (but fun) to keep up with this week! We’ve had eight *full* versions of this post over the past two days alone (in addition to dedicated single rumor/transaction posts) and almost every time we click publish, we have to start drafting up the next one.

And that reminds me, did you catch the update that published around midnight eastern last night? In it, there was a new bullpen name tied to Cubs (Anthony Swarzak), a Zack Greinke trade rumor, J.D. Martinez updates, a Mystery Team sliding into the Marlins’s outfield talks, and much more (Machado, Davis, Cole).

And then, of course, there was the Indians-Cubs trade rumor this morning, indicating that someone like Danny Salazar may entice the Cubs enough to finally move one of their young bats. Oh, and the Cardinals may be inching closer to a trade for Marlins’ outfielder Giancarl Marcell Ozuna (and/or Rays closer Alex Colome).

Oh, wait, and the Rockies just re-signed Jake McGee.

Yeesh. Now, so much more to note …

  • At the Athletic, Ken Rosenthal writes that the Nationals are interested in back-end relief types (and potential Cubs targets) like Wade Davis and Brandon Kintzler, but they may be forced to resist the urge so that they stay under the luxury tax threshold (upon which they’re approaching quickly). But even with that in mind, they could find a way to target backup catcher options like Alex Avila. I’ve been pretty openly in favor of bringing Avila back, so let’s hope his reported preferences for a contender actually just meant “Cubs.”
  • Also in that post, the White Sox might consider Manny Machado … but not until next offseason when he’s a free agent. We do so much focusing on Bryce Harper (well, rightfully because he fits the Cubs more) that I sometimes think we forget there’s another MVP-caliber 26-year-old becoming available next winter.
  • Or, who knows? Maybe they’re won’t be:

  • If the Phillies could ink him to an extension, I’d borderline love this move for them, because they’d make as much sense as anyone to go after him next winter. But, like the “person involved” said, it’ll probably be hard to stop Machado from testing the market as a 26-year-old free agent. If he has another monster season, he’ll probably get more than $300M. If I were a team looking at third base and shortstop, I’d give him that much.
  • More Zack Greinke trade stuff:

  • Greinke did have a really nice bounce-back, 5.1-WAR season in 2017, including a top-ten ERA, FIP, K/BB ratio and much more, but he’s 34 and owed a ton more money, much of which is deferred until 2022-2026. That’s just going to be too hard to move without financial considerations. Also, I’m not convinced the Diamondbacks aren’t better off just keeping him and hoping for the best in the Wild Card race or something. To be sure, they wouldn’t be selling to lose in 2018. As a matter of fact, Jon Heyman is reporting that they’d be moving money so that they can re-sign J.D. Martinez (though the Red Sox are expected to meet with him today).
  • This doesn’t matter as much now that the Cubs have signed Drew Smyly (because this is a similar risk/upside play), but I know Brett will be partially bummed:

  • [Brett: I definitely would have been more bummed if the Pineda news had come out first, but even then, I would have said something like, “Well, I just hope they get Smyly.” So it’s all good. Probably not a coincidence that these two guys signed for virtually identical contracts within 12 hours of each other.]
  • Remember what I said about the Nationals not wanting to exceed the luxury tax threshold? Yeah, maybe not:

  • Rosenthal did warn that Boras can be very persuasive once he’s got the ear of owner Ted Lerner (see the Max Scherzer negotiations), but, still, that’ll likely take a very strong argument. I do very much get the “going for it full-on in 2018,” because of the expected exits, but still. Unless you have absolutely unlimited resources, trade for a closer or something, don’t sign a $200M pitcher to add to the rotation, which is already your biggest strength.


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.