Winter Meetings Final Morning: STL Trade Rumors Everywhere, Relief Market, MIL Active, More

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Winter Meetings Final Morning: STL Trade Rumors Everywhere, Relief Market, MIL Active, More

Chicago Cubs

Well, here we are: the final day of the 2017 Winter Meetings. And although many of the biggest free agent names remain on the board, the Cubs did come away with a starting pitcher in Tyler Chatwood, a closer in Brandon Morrow, and, as of this morning, another quality relief option in Steve Cishek! (Plus project-starter Drew Smyly for sometime down the line).

I suspect their offseason additions are very much not done, with another starting pitcher at some point (either via free agency or trade) very likely coming. And I’d guess that another reliever on the right deal (Wade Davis?) is still possible.

  • In the meantime, the relief market continues to churn, and I’m guessing the Cubs deal with Cishek may have been related to that. For example, although he wasn’t necessarily connected to the Cubs, Joe Smith signed with the Astros this morning for two years and $15M, according to Ken Rosenthal. One sidearming righty signs, and then another.
  • And the Rockies, meanwhile, continue to search for that final piece of the puzzle:

  • Reports yesterday indicated that they were close to returning Greg Holland, but no deal actually came down the pipe. My best bet is that Holland does, in fact, return to Colorado and that deal is done sometime soon, but it’s not like the Rockies don’t have another quality option in Davis. Maybe they’re squeezing.
  • Speaking of which, yes, I believe the Cubs could still be involved in the Wade Davis sweepstakes, though now, more so than before, that’ll require a deal that looks like a no-brainer. Not only are the Cubs pretty well set up at the back end of their bullpen right now, a number of available options continue to swirl around in trade rumors.
  • For example, the Rangers are reportedly pursuing 27-year-old Royals reliever Kelvin Herrara. And the Cardinals, according to Marc Topkin, could work out a deal with the Rays and Alex Colome. If anything is becoming clear, though, it’s that the Rockies, Cardinals, and Cubs are all probably looking to land a closer with some experience and could all be battling over the likes of Davis, Holland, and Colome, in particular.
  • But a trade for a closer probably won’t be the end of the line for the Cardinals, who are clearly sick that they missed the postseason two years in a row:

  • They’re probably still looking to add yet another bat, and Evan Longoria of the Rays has been loosely connected to St. Louis all week long. Of course, the Cardinals may decide to look elsewhere in trade for a bat, like, for example, Manny Machado:

  • According to Heyman, the Cardinals (as well as the White Sox and Yankees) have the pieces to get Machado, if the package truly does revolve around two young starting pitchers (the Cardinals could reasonably part with a young MLB starter and perhaps a prospect and still be covered in the rotation for a while). And given that the White Sox don’t make a ton of sense for Machado right now and the Orioles are unlikely to trade their star to New York … yikes. That could be something to watch. The one bit of good news, however, is that Jon Heyman believes Machado and his agent will *not* grant a negotiating window for his acquiring team, which means whoever gets him, will only guarantee themselves one year of his services.
  • Relatedly, if you missed the earlier report from Ken Rosenthal that the White Sox are the surprisingly most aggressive team on Machado, here you go.
  • At the same time, even if the Cardinals don’t land Machado, they could always swing back around to another AL third base star in Josh Donaldson. Fortunately, Ken Rosenthal suggests that while they’ve been “pushing” hard for Donaldson, the Blue Jays asking price is sky high, because they intend on keeping him for his last season of team control.
  • One more on the Cardinals and the still-probably-going-to-happen Stephen Piscotty trade:

  • Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Brewers are not staying quiet either:

  • The Royals obviously have starter Danny Duffy and reliever Kelvin Herrera available, but Ken Rosenthal later suggested that second baseman Whit Merrifield (28 years old, 3.1 WAR last season) might be the Brewers’ target referenced here.
  • Back to the relief market for a moment, it sounds like the Twins, who were in on new Cub reliever Steve Cishek, may have to pivot to the second tier of relief arms if they can’t get Addison Reed:

Author: Michael Cerami

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