With travel on the docket today, I can’t get to as many things in here – or get into them as deeply – as I want, but I did feel like there were some things that needed touched upon …
- Another day, another closer moved, as the Brewers traded Francisco Rodriguez to the Tigers. Rodriguez, 33, was very good last year, but his back-loaded contract meant the Brewers were never going to get much for him (Javier Betancourt is a conceivably useful prospect, but it’s not quite a Craig-Kimbrel-for-four-solid-prospects trade). Still, the trade is notable not only because it removes Rodriguez from the Brewers’ bullpen mix, but also because it could shift the closer trade market around a bit (unless the Tigers look to add multiple closer types … which they might).
- Speaking of which, the Reds are extremely serious about trading Aroldis Chapman, who’ll be a free agent after 2016. Team president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty flat out says (C. Trent Rosecrans) they’d like to get a deal done before the Winter Meetings in early December so that they can move on to other things. I think Chapman is insanely valuable, but I still don’t think you’ll see the Cubs getting in too aggressively for one year of a closer who will cost a significant price in prospects and then $10+ million in arbitration for 2016.
- The Braves are denying rumors that they’re shopping lynchpin Freddie Freeman, but they have reportedly had talks with the Diamondbacks about Shelby Miller, a young righty who would look oh-so-good in the Cubs’ rotation. Then again, the Braves reportedly asked for stud center fielder A.J. Pollock in the talks, so maybe there’s nothing doing there. Don’t get me wrong: that’s not necessarily an unfair ask for Miller, but the D-Backs just can’t trade Pollock now. Can’t do it.
- Also on Miller:
Since Shelby Miller's name first emerged in the trade market, the Giants and Dodgers have checked in on his availability.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 19, 2015
- I can’t speak to the veracity of this particular report, as I’m not familiar with Andy Slater’s work, but, given recent rumors about Jose Fernandez possibly being on the Marlins’ trade block, and given other reports this past season that tend to square with Slater’s report, I do think it’s at least interesting enough to read – so long as you do it with a grain of salt. We’ll see what happens in Miami this offseason, but, as I’ve said before, I’d be totally into Fernandez trade rumors just for the fun of it.
- Neil Walker will be in his final year before free agency in 2016, will make about $10 million, and … will play for a team other than the Pirates? There’s a rumor that the Pirates are considering trading their second baseman, and even had talks with the Orioles about such a trade. The Pirates could probably stand to succeed in 2016 without Walker, and, if they aren’t bringing him back thereafter anyway, I could understand why they might want to try and pick up a piece and save the salary to be used elsewhere. Still, Walker, 30, has posted at least a 2.4 WAR for the Pirates each of the last five years.
- Joe Maddon is ready to be a part of the Cubs’ offseason sales pitch, fresh off a great season that netted him Manager of the Year honors (CSN).