Lukewarm Stove: Cano/Diaz Deal Coming, Trading for Realmuto, Greinke, Goldschmidt, Kikuchi, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Cano/Diaz Deal Coming, Trading for Realmuto, Greinke, Goldschmidt, Kikuchi, More

Chicago Cubs

Well, we thought we were going to get our third big-ish move of the offseason last night (James Paxton and Josh Donaldson being the first two), but the Mariners and Mets couldn’t quite close out their 5 for 2 swap before the clock struck midnight …

  • But from the sound of things, it’s still happening:

  • Industry speculation seems to suggest that the deal is going to get done soon, but that it probably won’t be announced today. Apparently, the players involved in the deal are set, but the precise money going to the Mets is still up in the air (according to Andy Martino, the Mets are currently set to receive $60M in the swap). Jon Heyman wondered if Cano might be asked to defer money and/or rework his current deal, but … I’m not sure I see that happening – deferring money is literally losing money, and Cano has no reason to do so (in fact, he can squash the whole thing if he uses his no-trade clause) without it making sense for him financially. So … yeah, no. That said, I can see the Mets or Mariners being flexible on how much they kick in, so maybe there’s still some work to be done. This is a massive deal, after all.
  • One other possibility is that the deal *is* done, but not officially official as one side is waiting to complete another related deal. That might just be me making things more complicated than they are, but we know the Mariners (Jean Segura, Dee Gordon, etc.) and Mets (Noah Syndergaard) have been working hard on trading other players, too. Perhaps there’s some overlap.
  • I keep seeing stuff like this …

  • … and I just don’t think it’s fair. Edwin Diaz is just 24 years old, has 4 more years of control, and just posted a 3.5 WAR season … as a reliever. The chances are that he’s better than the 31-year-old Kimbrel who’s obviously quite good, but was worth two fewer wins last year, is far older, and will cost roughly $70M. Andrew Miller will not be in the same conversation as either guy. Yeah, there’s a lot of money and risk involved, but Cano isn’t a bad bet to contribute positively over the next, say, two years, either, and a lot can change after that. Perhaps, this isn’t a “slam dunk” for either side, but it sure feels like a good deal for both, pending the money resolution. And if the money is indeed such a huge chunk going to the Mets, Brett has some thoughts:

  • Ken Rosenthal believes the Mets might now need to turn their attention to more bullpen help, a catcher, and a center fielder and suggests that they may try to fulfill some of those needs in a trade for Noah Syndergaard.
  • The Cubs have a catcher (Willson Contreras) and center-field capable big leaguers (Ian Happ, Albert Almora, Jason Heyward), but I can’t really see any of that making sense – particularly with Willson Contreras, unless those Craig Mish rumors of the Cubs interest in J.T. Realmuto were real. Then again, they don’t really need rotation help right now (at a minimum, it’s far from their focus) and they might not even have enough to get Realmuto in the first place.
  • Speaking of which, the J.T. Realmuto trade talks continue, and according to Jon Heyman, the Astros, Dodgers, and Yankees continue to be the leaders. Indeed, a trade seems as likely as ever, because the two sides reportedly tried to get together on an extension earlier this month and were miles apart. Realmuto was looking for something in the Buster Posey range ($160M+) but the Marlins were not coming anywhere close. A trade is more likely now than ever, and is, in fact, what Realmuto prefers.
  • More on that:

  • The Marlins are reportedly asking for packages as large as Realmuto’s extension requests feel.
  • In any case, this all got me thinking. Although this free agent class is rather impressive, there are/were a TON of big names available on the trade market – James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Sonny Gray, Whit Merrifield, Carlos Santana, Zack Grienke, and Paul Goldschmidt. And most of these names aren’t even just theoretically available. A lot of them are being straight-up pushed. It’s wild. With some money and a little guts you could completely transform your roster. The Cubs don’t really need a total transformation, but, even with a tricky roster for trade purposes, creativity could still get you somewhere.
  •  Speaking of trade pieces, The Athletic discusses the Diamondbacks’ plans with respect to Greinke and Goldschmidt and the short version is packaging them together is a non-starter for a number of reasons. But that doesn’t mean either can’t go individually, and as we’ve discussed, Goldschmidt could make sense for a team like the Cardinals. I believe that’d be an excellent move for them in the short term, and, thus, I really, really hope they can’t get it done (they’d likely try to extend him, too). More on both at The Athletic.
  • The Padres have signed Garrett Richards to a two year, $15.5M deal with another $2.5M worth of incentives. This deal is reminiscent of the Cubs’ deal for Drew Smyly, in that Richards is not expected to return in 2019 after Tommy John surgery, though some late-season help could happen. Instead, he’ll rehab for most of the year, before eyeing a 2020 return.
  • Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi is still heading to the states and his market is beginning to emerge. Like many other Japanese pitchers/players, the West Coast speculation is high:

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Author: Michael Cerami

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