Winter Meetings Tuesday Morning: PHI/WSH on Arrieta, a Do-able Archer Package, Ozuna, Relievers, Rockies, More

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Winter Meetings Tuesday Morning: PHI/WSH on Arrieta, a Do-able Archer Package, Ozuna, Relievers, Rockies, More

Chicago Cubs

Day #1 is in the books! So let’s catch up with everything from late last night and early this morning, before this day starts getting crazy, shall we?

  • Did you catch the Cubs/Matt Harvey rumors last night? Basically, the Cubs have reportedly shown some interest in what used to be Matt Harvey, and as we know from yesterday/general logic, the Mets are probably willing to move on from him and his $5.9M salary in 2018 (his final year before free agency) as well. Given how bad and injured he’s been, and the pricey final year of control, it shouldn’t take much of anything to reel in Harvey, but I’m not convinced the Cubs are going down this path. With that said, I would actually be pretty into the move, presuming, of course, you’re not relying on Harvey to be your fifth starter and he doesn’t push you over the luxury tax threshold (which I don’t think he would).
  • In other in-case-you-missed-it-news Jake Arrieta is reportedly seeking a $200 million contract. Which, welp. I don’t know, man. I’m *really* hoping I’m wrong and might be just too close to this, but that seems like *way* too much to even start your “over” ask. My guess is Arrieta winds up with something $150M or less, which is still a lot, but a far cry from $200M. (P.S., if you’re going to get $200M … get it from the Cardinals.)
  • One potentially unexpected suitor for Arrieta? The Phillies …

  • I actually could see Arrieta making some sense for the Phillies the way Jon Lester made some sense for the Cubs back in 2015. However, I could see him making *even more* sense, in that regard, for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Phillies are almost right there, but it feels like they’re missing more than one more piece (to start seriously contending). Who knows, maybe the addition of Arrieta would help get the Phillies the next free agent and the ball starts rolling there.
  • And an even more unexpected suitor for Arrieta? The Nationals:

  • As Heyman’s tweet implies, the Nationals’ rotation, after adding Arrieta, would feature him, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez. They’ve got the spot available for Arrieta, no question, but boy howdy that’s a ton of money locked up in the rotation on the eve of Bryce Harper hitting free agency. This one kiiiiiinda feels like Scott Boras reaching.
  • As expected on the Rockies’ bullpen search, given how many departing free agents they had:

  • The Rockies have always been among the Cubs’ biggest competitors in the reliever markets (trade/free agency), and they still haven’t landed one of the notable arms yet (Morrow, Neshek, Minor have all signed elsewhere). My best bet is that still wind up reuniting with Greg Holland and another guy from a lesser tier, but Davis makes almost as much sense.
  • According to Mark Feinsand (, the Rays continue to get a lot of interest in closer Alex Colome, starters Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer, as well as third baseman Evan Longoria, and are likely to be traded in that order, if at all. As we’ve discussed, the Cubs would have clear interest in Chris Archer, slightly less interest in Alex Colome – this one really just depends on the trade cost, though I’m higher on Colome than Brett – even less interest in Odorizzi (the cost would have to be almost nothing), and then no interest in Longoria.
  • Let me add one more thing on Archer. I keep seeing variations of this line whenever some brings up the Rays interest in moving him this winter: “The only probable way that Archer gets traded would be a team simply overwhelming the Rays with an offer, one similar to the five-player package – one which included Archer himself – that the Cubs gave them for Matt Garza in January 2011.” Okay, I want to dispel one misleading part of that right upfront: Archer was a top 100 prospect after the 2011 season, sure, but at the very back end of lists. In other words, he wasn’t “future ace Chris Archer” at the time.
  • And, more to my point, if the Rays are seeking a five-player package, as opposed to one clear stud, maybe that actually works in the Cubs’ favor? The Cubs don’t have the singular prospect power they used to have, but they have TONS of legitimately interesting guys to fill out a five-player package. Usually, teams go for quality over quantity, but the Rays need a steady source of cheap Major League talent to stay alive, so they could be the rare team that chooses a volume approach. Who knows? Maybe the Cubs can finally make it work (this time, try not to send them the next Chris Archer though, ok?). To the extent other suitors get involved, though, and if it were a pure prospect package race, it’s still hard to see the Cubs competing with some of the better systems out there.
  • The Boston Red Sox are still looking for an impact bat for the first base/DH position next season, and it still sounds like it could come from the trade market. But also, GM Dave Dombrowski dispelled rumors that he’s shopping Jackie Bradley Jr. for that bat (there’s a lotta play with that language, though). From where I stand, I don’t know why the Red Sox wouldn’t just step up their pursuit of J.D. Martinez or Eric Hosmer, both of whom are great hitters with dicey defensive value (in fact, it’s more like negative defensive value), who would cost only money. They only have Chris Sale for two more seasons, so, like, go get it, Red Sox. Is this another case of the new luxury tax cap behaving like a de facto salary cap?
  • Late last night, we discovered that the Cardinals, Nationals, and Giants may be in on Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna after missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, but it turns out they’re not the only ones:

  • Rumors suggested that up to six different teams have showed interest, so you can probably add the Rangers to the mix (though since Heyman’s tweet, Evan Grant suggested that the Rangers are more likely to add pitching via trade than anything else, so who knows). Conflicting reports? Well, this is the Winter Meetings, after all.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami