Lukewarm Stove: Yankees Cooling on Machado/Harper? Greinke, Goldschmidt, Gomes, Astros, Cubs Pen, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Yankees Cooling on Machado/Harper? Greinke, Goldschmidt, Gomes, Astros, Cubs Pen, More

Chicago Cubs

Although I’m very sad to hear about Adrian Beltre’s retirement from baseball – seriously, that guy was one of the best *and* most fun to watch players in the game and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer – I am tickled pink by this:

I hope Bartolo Colon – who is six years *older* than Beltre – plays forever and ever and ever. Now let’s talk about some rumors, while keeping tabs on the Cubs possibly picking up an arm from the Padres.

  • If you didn’t catch the rumor connecting the Cardinals to Paul Goldschmidt this morning, you’ll want to check that post out here. In short, thanks to some expiring contracts and the versatility of Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals might see 2019 as a good time to go all in and Goldschmidt, who’s firmly available, can be a huge part of that.
  • But they’re obviously not the only team interested, as Ken Rosenthal notes the Astros are also interested. And Jon Heyman recently jumped in suggesting that they might actually be the most logical fit. He also mentions the Red Sox, Phillies, and Brewers, but admits that each team’s existing plans for first base (Mitch Moreland, Rhys Hoskins, and Jesus Aguilar) are likely to stay put. Heyman also suggests that the Cardinals would prefer a left-handed hitter, but, like, I think Goldschmidt is good enough to neuter any lefty/right preferences. Heyman also writes that Zack Greinke is available, but $105M and a 15-team no-trade clause could make things tricky.
  • In case you missed it last night, the Mariners and Yankees got together on a deal sending starter James Paxton to New York centered around the Yankees top prospect, Justus Sheffield. But they weren’t the only teams interested down to the wire:

  • For comparison’s sake, Forrest Whitley is also a top pitching prospect, like Sheffield, but was ranked 8th overall according to MLB Pipeline (the top pitching prospect in the game) compared to 31st for Sheffield. That is a very, very big difference. Perhaps the Astros will turn their attention to Greinke, now, with the D-Backs willing to eat some of the money, or maybe they’ll just dip into free agency and try to retain Dallas Keuchel or go after someone like Patrick Corbin or Nathan Eovaldi.
  • More on this deal from Jon Morosi:

  • There’s a lot to unpack here, but one thing to note is that if the Cubs wind up in the market for a middle infielder, Segura could become available.
  • Also, on the Yankees: clearly, they are looking for middle infield help while Didi Gregorius heals up from Tommy John surgery, and Manny Machado is not the only option. Before the offseason began, Machado seemed destined to wind up in the the Bronx, but after some comments from Hal Steinbrenner on the hustle stuff and some other recent rumors, it sure seems like they’re cooling on him – or want it out there that they’re cool on him.
  • If the Yankees do back off of Machado, it’s impossible not to wonder if they’ll jump back in on Bryce Harper. According to, the Yankees did have “internal discussions since the offseason began about the possibility of signing Harper to play first base, but one source described that scenario as ‘unrealistic’ – at least, for now.” And for what it’s worth, Morosi has heard that adding a big bat like Machado or Harper is less of a focus/priority then further augmenting the rotation. To that end, remember: the Yankees said they wanted two starters this winter. They just got one good one via trade, so I’d expect the next to come from free agency – Patrick Corbin or J.A. Happ are your best bets. Of course, it’s not like the Yankees can only afford to add one more big free agent …
  • At the New York Post, Joel Sherman discusses what it might take to pry Noah Syndergaard away from the Mets, whose owner recently implied that they’d only deal the talented starter if the deal was lopsided in their favor. Moreover, Sherman heard from scouts that many immediately competitive teams might shy away from the acquisition cost, given Syndergaard’s injury history. HOWEVER, he does say the Reds could be a willing partner and a deal around closer Raisel Iglesias and top prospect Nick Senzel could get the ball rolling. Senzel has his flaws, but is MLB Pipeline’s 6th best prospect overall and Iglesias is one of the better relievers in baseball (and has three more years of team control, same as Syndergaard). Perhaps if the Reds were closer to competing and had a replacement for Iglesias this would make sense, but giving up present talent *and* future talent for present talent when you’re not competitive … I just don’t see it.
  • That said, Sherman also mentions the Padres and that’s where I can see things happening. The Padres handed out a big deal to Eric Hosmer last season and have the best farm system in baseball. Their corner-turning didn’t quite go as expected, but I’m betting they’ll want to add very soon while Hosmer is in his prime. Sherman guesses that Fernando Tatis, the Padres’ top prospect, will be off the table in any such deal for Syndergaard, but correctly points out that they’d still have more than enough pieces to get something done. I’d keep an eye out for this, because it could make sense for both sides.
  • Rosenthal’s hearing stuff, as usual:

  • Gomes played in 112 games last season with just barely above average offensive contributions and fantastic defensive metrics (as he’s always had). Gomes was also one of the top pitch framers in baseball last season, so I suspect the Indians will have many suitors. I think it would be quite a stretch to say Gomes makes sense as a back-up for the Cubs, especially because of how much he’ll cost to acquire and in salary (but also because playing him behind Willson Contreras just doesn’t feel like maximizing anyone’s potential), but he is very much the mold of someone the Cubs would want to target. I’m guessing someone in need of a starting catcher would be willing to pay more than the Cubs, in the end.
  • Also: what in the world are the Indians doing? Why are they trying to trade all of their best players – including Corey Kluber – when they’re still clearly the class of the AL Central. Go for it at least one more year before you start this nonsense to save money, my word.
  • At The Athletic, Patrick Mooney uses discusses the potential changes to the Cubs’ bullpen over the winter and hits on the oft-rumored Andrew Miller and Zach Britton, each of whom make plenty of sense, and each of whom we’ve discussed previously at those links. But in addition to those two, Mooney has heard from an AL scout that the Cubs could try to sign someone like Cody Allen to a one-year deal loaded with performance bonuses (the former Indians closer is coming off a very down year), though he admits that a lot of teams would be open to that. Allen didn’t have his best season in 2019, but he strikes me as someone worth checking in on. In addition to those three free agents, Mooney writes that there is still mutual interest in retaining Jesse Chavez, but that it could be complicated by just how good Chavez was last year. A robust discussion on the state of the bullpen here at The Athletic.
  • Don’t forget that today’s roster deadline could mean even more movement in trades around the league.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami