Lukewarm Stove: Stanton, Morrison, Baker, Ryu, Hunter, Relievers, Blue Jays, Mets

[Full disclosure: I wrote this post last evening and had it ready to publish JUST before the gigantic Marlins/Blue Jays trade went down. In the interest of not sounding tone deaf, I decided to bump this one to today. And I added some post-trade bits at the end.]

We didn’t get to bluster about it much in advance of it actually happening, but the Cubs made a move yesterday (confirmed!), signing righty Scott Baker to a one-year $5.5 million ($1.5 million in incentives) deal. Fortunately, it’s the Lukewarm Stove season, and there’s still plenty about which to bluster …

  • Buster Olney says deals like the one the Cubs just inked are the preferred early moves this offseason: “In this year’s FA market, the strong early push is for the best one-year deals — because of a stagnant trade market, high FA prices.” So, good on the Cubs, I guess?
  • Not so good on the Cubs, according to Phil Rogers: “While Hyun-jin Ryu is not yet a big name in North America, losing him was a bigger blow for the Cubs than you probably think. President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer wanted the rights to the 25-year-old South Korean left-hander because they believe he can step right into a big-league rotation and address a glaring lack of pitching. They had done a lot of homework on him.” Rogers goes on to suggest that the Cubs’ bid was around $20 million, short of the $25.7 million paid by the Dodgers. I’m still somewhat ambivalent on the “loss” – the Cubs know a whole lot more about Ryu than I do, and presumably they had a strong grasp on how they valued him. If the Dodgers valued him differently, well then, for now, we have to accept it. We’ll see who was right in about two years.
  • Jon Morosi says Torii Hunter is headed to Detroit today to meet with management. Given Hunter’s recent comments the he expects to sign soon, heading to Detroit could be a prelude to a signing. Hunter’s signing, in isolation, wouldn’t be a particularly big move. But it’s often the case that one smaller move (and Hunter isn’t a “small” move, just a “smaller” one), allows Teams X and Y to shift gears to Players A and B, which gets Team Z talking to Player C … and so on, and so on. Unless, of course, the Scott Baker signing was the catalyst …
  • Ken Rosenthal quotes a rival executive who says that Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos is “itching” to make a trade for a starting pitcher. Once again I’m reminded of how terribly inconvenient Matt Garza’s elbow injury was … and how imprudent it was not to trade him last offseason (if he was to be traded at all, that is). [Obviously AA scratched that itch last night.]
  • The Mets are reportedly broke – like, broke broke, not the-budget-is-maxed broke – which is why they suddenly started shopping R.A. Dickey, and why they may not be able to extend David Wright, as previously expected. Wright is slated to hit the free agent market after 2013.
  • Another reliever is going to sign for a surprisingly larget contract – the Giants will be re-upping Jeremy Affeldt for a reported three years and $18 million. Brandon League got $22.5 million for three years with the Dodgers. These are good relievers, but the commitments are reminiscent of Jim Hendry’s love affair with the Bob Howry’s, Scott Eyre’s, Mike Remlinger’s, and Mark Guthrie’s of the world. One year of Carlos Marmol at $9.8 million (to say nothing of $4 or $5 million, if the Cubs eat a few million) is starting to look downright attractive.
  • Ok, a post-Marlins/Blue Jays trade thought: I know it’s fun to talk about guys like Giancarlo Stanton, and I enjoyed reading all of the comments about the hypothetical trades and what-have-you. But if I could offer a vat of cold water: the Marlins aren’t trading Stanton. He’s 23, under control for four more years, inexpensive, and is the Marlins’ last remaining star. Think what you will of the Marlins’ approach, but even they know they need at least one star to fill the 10 seats they usually fill. Plus, his age and salary are such that they can continue their rebuild with him in place. Whatever trade scenario you can concoct that “you would do,” the Marlins would not. And if the Marlins were willing to shop Stanton, you have to recognize that *every single team in baseball* would be gunning for him. Do you really think the Cubs are the best equipped team in all of baseball to acquire him? They are not. So, it’s fun to discuss, so long as you’ve got your reality phasers securely in place.
  • If you want to talk about picking the corpse of the Marlins, maybe Logan Morrison is the guy you should consider. Coming off a down year, going to start approaching arbitration soon, very talented, just 25. The rub with him is that he can probably play only left field and first base.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

    more cubs news

    Enhanced Box Score: Giants 5, Cubs 4 – June 24, 2024

    Incredible. Truly. It's going beyond the point of believability at this point. The Cubs blew YET ANOTHER save tonight. And this time, they did it by intentionally walking the bases loaded before walking in the game-winning run, just to ......

    Dansby Swanson with Two Incredible Defensive Plays Tonight (And Justin Steele is Loving It)

    Justin Steele is pitching really well tonight against the San Francisco Giants. But things would've have gone quite as smoothly so far if it weren't for Dansby Swanson. Not once, but TWICE tonight, Swanson has made a Gold Glove caliber...

    Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Giants (8:45 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs are starting a four-game, west-coast road trip tonight at Oracle Park. Justin Steele is on the mound for the Cubs, who are running out of time to turn this ship around before the trade deadline...

    A West Coast Trip? Sure, Why Not … Cubs vs Giants Series Preview

    Cubs vs Giants — In case you missed our earlier conversation, the Cubs upcoming stretch looks like their toughest of the year. And unfortunately, unless they start playing a lot better — immediately — this could be it for the...

    An Incredible Week for Matt Shaw Means It’s Award Time

    If you have seen Matt Shaw's name a lot this past week, it's because he's been lighting up the Southern League, even more than he already was. Thus, he gets some weekly award honors: https://twitter.com/smokiesbaseball/status/1805326329404870946 Shaw, 22, was the Cubs'...

    The Second All-Star Ballot Update is Still Light on Chicago Cubs

    Not that you'd expect otherwise at this point, but the Chicago Cubs are not running away with the fan voting for the 2024 position player All-Star starters. You have to go deep to find any Cubs names at all: https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1805286499128328237...

    MLBits: Must Read on the Pitching Revolution, Mets, Cards, Kwan, More

    MLB NOTES—Once in a while, you come across a story that's an absolute must-read. The Athletic's Andy McCullough delivered that for us this morning with his feature, which helps us understand the school of logic behind the pitching revolution in...

    Cubs Farm Report | June 24, 2024: Shaw Blasts Two, Scary Collision, Just Missing Out, More

    CUBS PROSPECTS — Matt Shaw blasted a pair of home runs, but a scary collision stole the show in a Tennessee loss that allowed Birmingham to take the first-half division title. Cubs Prospects Report | June 24, 2024 Triple-A Iowa...

    He Has Work to Do For Sure, But Making Declarations About Pete Crow-Armstrong’s Offensive Future is Silly

    I got pretty annoyed this weekend when I saw a bit from Bob Nightengale's latest: "MLB scouts have insisted all season that Chicago Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong may not be the impact bat that’s been hyped, and so far they’ve...

    This Next Stretch Will Define the Cubs Season – And it’s Arguably Their Toughest of the Year

    The Chicago Cubs are four games under .500, eight games out of first place, and nothing seems to be going right for them. So naturally, the universe is delivering one its toughest stretches of the season. And for the Cubs,...

    Latest News

    Today’s Copa America 2024 Predictions, Picks and Odds – Tuesday, June 25

    With multiple games on Tuesday's 2024 Copa America schedule, let's take a look at the betting odds for each match.We break down the betting odds for all the important games today below.Head to Fubo to watch the entire Copa America...

    Where to Watch Denmark vs. Serbia: UEFA European Championship 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

    On Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET, Denmark (2 points) and Serbia (1 point) meet for each side's final match in Group C at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.This game will be airing on Fox Sports 1.Watch the entire...

    Where to Watch England vs. Slovenia: UEFA European Championship 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

    England (4 points) and Slovenia (2 points) meet on Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 PM ET in the third game of Group C action at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.You should head to FOX in order to see this match.Watch...

    Padres vs. Nationals: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The San Diego Padres (41-41), led by Jurickson Profar, host C.J. Abrams and the Washington Nationals (38-39) on Tuesday at 9:40 PM ET.Keep reading to see how to watch the San Diego-Washington matchup in the article below.When is Padres vs....

    Dodgers vs. White Sox: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    In a series opener on Tuesday, Bobby Miller will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers (48-31) against Chris Flexen and the Chicago White Sox (21-58), with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET at Guaranteed Rate Field.The article below will...

    Angels vs. Athletics: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels (30-46) host JJ Bleday and the Oakland Athletics (29-51) on Tuesday in a series opener, with first pitch at 9:38 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Los Angeles-Oakland matchup...

    Connor McDavid Wins the Conn Smythe Trophy — on the Losing Team

    After producing a historic 42 points (8 goals, 34 assists) in 24 games -- breaking Wayne Gretzky's playoff assist record -- Oilers superstar Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player. https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/1805437656936935880 Before tonight, only...

    How to Watch Royals vs. Marlins: Live Stream or on TV

    The Kansas City Royals (42-37), who will give the start to Seth Lugo, host the Miami Marlins (27-50) with Yonny Chirinos on the hill, Tuesday at 8:10 PM ET.The article below will give you everything you need to know to...

    How to Watch Brewers vs. Rangers: Live Stream or on TV

    The Milwaukee Brewers (45-33), led by William Contreras, host Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers (37-40) at 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday in a series opener.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for...

    Twins vs. Diamondbacks: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    In a series opener on Tuesday, Carlos Santana and the Minnesota Twins (43-35) face Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (38-40), with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 PM ET at Chase Field.Keep reading to see how to watch the Minnesota-Arizona...

    more cubs news