Lukewarm Stove: Peavy, Breslow, Ross, Upton, Upton, Volquez, Kang, Cuban Players, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Peavy, Breslow, Ross, Upton, Upton, Volquez, Kang, Cuban Players, More

Chicago Cubs

old stove featureMaybe today, and on into this evening, will be the day when a feverish flurry of rumors and transactions don’t come down the pipe, and we can all just exhale for a minute.

But who wants that?

  • The Cubs are reportedly still in on lefty reliever Craig Breslow, in addition to catcher David Ross, according to WEEI, which notes that the Red Sox are also in on both players. We discussed the latest on Ross last night, and I wrote about Breslow as a possible minor league deal type last week.
  • Unless his market craters to the point that he’s gotta take a one-year, or super low AAV deal (as in, the effective cost of one of those lottery ticket types), I can’t see the Cubs being in on Jake Peavy anymore, now that they’ve signed Jon Lester and Jason Hammel. Indeed, Ken Rosenthal reports that Peavy is currently drawing interest from the Giants, the Braves, and the Marlins. No mention of the Cubs, who were connected to Peavy earlier in the offseason.
  • The Braves continue to have talks with teams about their outfielders – Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, and B.J. Upton – according to Mark Bowman. Ya know, B.J. Upton did post a .338 OBP against lefties last year … *ducks* … in all seriousness, we’ve been down the road before with that Upton before, and, although there is now the Joe Maddon connection, I still don’t see a reasonable fit with the Cubs, even if it’s a bad contract swap involving Edwin Jackson – I’d rather the Cubs kept Jackson. As for the Braves’ attempts to get a team to take on Upton’s contract if they want Gattis or Justin Upton, I seriously doubt you’d see the Cubs considering taking on that much salary at this time. In other words, I don’t see much doing with the Braves unless the Cubs reverse course and start pursuing Justin Upton, only (and assuming Upton would waive his no-trade clause).
  • In addition to signing Kris Medlen, the Royals have also agreed to sign Edinson Volquez, who is healthy, but strikes me as nearly as risky. He gets two years and $20 million after being a well-below average pitcher for a sixth consecutive year. That 3.04 ERA last year screams “best sequencing EVER!” Color me pleased that the Cubs were never connected to Volquez this offseason, and never would be.
  • Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang has been posted, and the winning team will be notified tomorrow. It’ll be very interesting to see which team wins the rights to Kang, and how much they pay, given the wide range of opinions on what the 27-year-old KBO star could be in MLB. It ranges from above-average bat that plays shortstop all the way down to barely-passable bat that can’t play anywhere in the infield. We discussed Kang previously here, and, unless the Cubs believe he’s secretly an offensive superstar in the making, look for teams with more pressing infield needs to roll the dice more aggressively than the Cubs.
  • Ben Badler writes about what could happen vis a vis MLB and Cuban players if the U.S./Cuba embargo is indeed lifted. What might the player acquisition system look like? Well, it won’t likely be just like in the Dominican Republic, for example, at least not right away. Instead, the Cuban government is likely to be heavily involved, and there will probably be some kind of posting system where they are getting a cut of the money. In the interim, I wonder if we’re going to see a drastic reduction in Cuban defections (there are already rumors that second baseman Jose Fernandez never did make it out of Cuba, by the way), as players decide to wait out the next step rather than risk everything to defect.
  • Wonder how Trea Turner was “traded” by the Padres long before he reached the one-year mark after he signed (the first day he can be traded, by rule)? Well, it was by declaring him a PTBNL, which then doesn’t have to be “named” for another six months. J.J. Cooper does a great job of explaining how this works, why the PTBNL hasn’t quite been used this early in the “one-year” process like this, and why I was shaking my fist a bit at the teams yesterday.
  • Even fans of World Series winning teams with top six payrolls complain about their team being cheap.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.