If I didn’t get this thing out early this morning, I don’t know when I would have gotten to it. There’s a ton, ton going on today. So stay tuned.
- The possibility of the Tigers trading an arm keeps popping up. Ken Rosenthal just this morning says the Tigers are getting strong interest in David Price and Rick Porcello, each of whom is a free agent after 2015, and each of whom we’ve discussed many times around here, including with the Cubs as a possible landing spot. Presumably, the Tigers would like to deal an arm for an upgrade elsewhere, and then would try and re-sign Max Scherzer. You can debate the wisdom of such a move by the Tigers (with deep enough pockets, I actually think it’s pretty savvy), but I remain intrigued by the possibility that the Cubs could make a move for a one-year arm. The rub is that the Cubs are not going to give up elite prospects for any one-year guy, even a David Price or a Jordan Zimmermann. The Cubs may consider doing it at a reasonable price, but they won’t pay top dollar in prospects for one year of a guy just so that they can then also pay top dollar to sign an extension.
- The Dodgers finally made an outfielder trade this week, but it was to add outfielder Chris Heisey from the Reds for pitching prospect Matt Magill. For the Reds, the deal was mostly a salary dump – Heisey was eligible for arbitration and will make more than $2 million next year – and for the Dodgers, it was … um … something. Heisey is a decent fourth/fifth outfielder type, but man, the Dodgers need to start dealing away outfielders, not accumulating them.
- Speaking of which, Ken Rosenthal writes about how much the Dodgers will have to eat to move their various outfielders, or even to just make them worth another team taking for free.
- With the Dodgers entering the Jon Lester fray (hooray!), Chris Cotillo says there’s a chance they could shop Zack Greinke in conjunction with signing a big starter. That may sound a little crazy, but consider that Greinke can – and very well might – opt out of his contract after this season. And, thanks to another contractual quirk, he can opt out of his deal after any season in which he’s traded. In other words, whether they shop him now or any other time in the future, the most that the receiving team can be sure to be getting is just one year of Greinke. (Dear Cubs, please do not ever give a player that particular contractual right. Thanks.) All that said, I highly doubt anything actually happens there. Too many other one-year arms on the market, and the Dodgers aren’t going to send out one of their best pitchers just to add another. They’ll just, you know, add another. And if Greinke opts out after this season, the Dodgers will just add another again. Plus another on top of that, probably.
- Joel Sherman discusses how recent spending splurges – by the Yankees and others – haven’t really led to a lot of success. But this is the situation the Yankees have built for themselves, and they’re going to have to keep spending and spending to try and stay remotely competitive.
- Speaking of those Yankees and spending, ESPN New York hears that the Yankees have cooled on 31-year-old third baseman Chase Headley because they’re not interested in going to five years. When Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez went to the same team, no one benefited more than Headley. I’m not sure how Headley’s market will impact the Cubs (maybe if they were shopping Luis Valbuena), but he’s one of the few remaining bats on the market, so it’s still worth following.
- The Royals re-signed Luke Hochevar to a two-year, $10 million deal as he comes back from Tommy John surgery. The elbow injury that precipitated that surgery came just on the heels of Hochevar breaking out as a bullpen stud. If he’s still that guy, you’ve got to wonder if the Royals will look to trade one of their other late-inning – and rather pricey – arms.
- Denard Span just had sports hernia surgery. He’s not expected to miss any time, but it does make the medical aspect of any possible trade involving Span – he was a popular early-offseason trade topic – a little more important.
- The Braves, who signed Nick Markakis to a (really ill-advised) four-year, $44 million deal yesterday also signed former Orioles and A’s closer Jim Johnson to a $1.6 million deal with incentives that could take it up to $2.5 million. Johnson, 31, was never as good as his saves totals suggested, and was downright terrible last year.
- Speaking of the Braves and Markakis, Joel Sherman says they’ve already received good offers for Justin Upton, who is a free agent after 2015. My hopes that the Cubs would go after Upton were squashed by his small, and Cubbish no-trade list, but I’ll be fascinated to see what the Braves get for him nevertheless.
- Ben Cherington told MLBN Radio that he “wouldn’t rule out” the Red Sox adding two starters this offseason. Interesting. I thought it was the presumption that they definitely would add two starters.
- Everyone talks about Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy as the most interesting rehabbing-pitcher non-tenders this week – probably rightly so – but what about Alexi Ogando? The 31-year-old righty missed a lot of time this past season with elbow inflammation, but, if he gets healthy, he’d be a great arm for some team to add, particularly given his swing ability. In terms of reclamation/dice-roll types, I’d still put Brett Anderson and Brandon Morrow at the top of my list (and Justin Masterson is right there, too, if you consider him that type, rather than a sure thing). But Ogando is interesting, too.
Winter Meetings, Tuesday Night: More Moves Close, Swanson the Focus(?), Or Actually Correa(?), Pitching Targets, More
In Defense of the Defense, Payton Award Nominees, Manning Bowl, Luck Finally Speaks, and Other Bears Bullets