Lukewarm Stove: Arrieta Fits, Now Yelich Is Unhappy, Martinez, Hosmer, Red Sox, More

Social Navigation

Lukewarm Stove: Arrieta Fits, Now Yelich Is Unhappy, Martinez, Hosmer, Red Sox, More

Chicago Cubs

Given how many free agents and potential trade candidates remain available, we knew this week was going to be busy and rumor-filled from the start.

But I can’t say I expected a Cubs-Yu Darvish connection, a fresh Manny Machado conversation, and TWO Lukewarm Stoves before I sat down for dinner. But here we are …

  • Of course, Darvish isn’t the only front-line starting pitcher available for just dollars this offseason. There’s also Jake Arrieta. And Grant Brisbee discusses his free agent market – one who, until now, hasn’t had a ton of chatter – with a couple of predictions baked in. An “ideal fit” for Arrieta, in Brisbee’s mind, is a return to Texas where he could sign with the Rangers, who could then bounce Mike Minor into the bullpen (the Astros get a hat tip here, as well). The “likely fit,” however, focuses on the Brewers and guesses at a 5 year/$130M deal. The Brewers certainly have the need – Arrieta could be their version of Jon Lester – and they’re interested in Arrieta, but will they finally pull the trigger and attempt their corner turn? I guess I hope not?
  • But don’t think the two big free agent starters are the only things holding up the offseason. Instead, consider the trade market …

  • Yo. There are some serious players in there and at a number of different positions/acquisition costs/years of control, too. At some point, a team (or a free agent) will have to blink, but I can see why things have gone slowly up until now.
  • Speaking of the trade market, the Pirates are a motivated seller, eh:

  • Throughout the offseason, the Red Sox were said to be targeting one of Eric Hosmer or J.D. Martinez (and sometimes both) in free agency. But earlier today, they signed first baseman Mitch Moreland to a two-year/$13M deal, which means Hosmer is probably off the table. They still feel like the favorites for Martinez, though their crowded outfield (Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts) continues to present a problem. Of course, they could look to spin off an outfielder in a trade (like Bradley Jr.) … but that could affect the Cubs ability to move a young bat of their own.
  • With that said, Martinez did suggest that he would DH in Boston if necessary, but apparently other teams have already indicated that they’d let him play the outfield. That would probably force Boston to make an overly aggressive offer for Martinez. There’s a lot of moving parts here, and I’m guessing this is one of the bigger dominoes (currently being held up) of the offseason.
  • Beware the Cardinals and Josh Donaldson:

  • Earlier today, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly requested a trade out of Miami and, right on cue, the reports that Christian Yelich is “unhappy” followed. While Realmuto presents a ton of trade value – he’s good, young, and very cheap – those are precisely the reasons the Marlins might be more inclined to hold onto him for now. Yelich, on the other hand is both very good and very young, but is also only “cheap” by relative standards (I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s CHEAP ($44.5M guaranteed over the next four years), but the Marlins are clearly shedding payroll like crazy right now). In that respect, I can see them facilitating a trade, no matter how much hemming and hawing they do along the way.
  • And to that end, sources are telling Jerry Crasnick that the D-Backs, Phillies, and Braves (all three make a ton of sense) have all already reached out to the Marlins in recent days, while the Cardinals did before acquiring Ozuna last week. Apparently, Miami would rather cut the $12-13M needed to get to their (self-imposed) $90M Opening Day payroll in other ways, but are having trouble. My bet? Yelich is traded before the start of 2018.
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)n
  • This makes you wonder which direction the numbers moved:

  • If the Red Sox are out on Hosmer now, perhaps that pushed the number down a bit. Hosmer’s market, beyond the Padres and Royals, remains extremely unclear, and he’s quite a polarizing player in the “value” debate. And maybe it’s just those two teams:

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