Lukewarm Stove: Schoop and Torreyes Sign, Lowrie/LeMahieu Next? Realmuto Drawing Big Interest, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Schoop and Torreyes Sign, Lowrie/LeMahieu Next? Realmuto Drawing Big Interest, More

Chicago Cubs

Theo Epstein addressed the media today and had a lot to say, including closer Brandon Morrow’s bad news, and the Cubs intentions this winter. So that was fun.

Elsewhere from the rumor mill …

  • As expected/discussed the MLBits earlier today, the Indians, having extended starter Carlos Carrasco, are “increasingly motivated” to move one of Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber this winter. It seems the Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi signings have really opened things up on the starting pitcher side of things. I expect Bauer to be the guy on the move. Drone accident or not, Bauer is likely to command a big return after his steadily improving performance.
  • Two newsy bits on the Twins: First, they’ve signed Ronald Torreyes, whom the Cubs traded for and then non-tendered earlier this winter, ending his very brief time in Chicago. And second, they’ve signed Jonathan Schoop to a one-year deal:

  • The Brewers, it turns out, were right in their assessment of Schoop’s market (had he been tendered, he might have made closer to $10 million in arbitration). Schoop was always a candidate to take a one-year cushion deal – and the Cubs could’ve theoretically been a destination – but I’m not exactly heartbroken over this. After being an All-Star in 2017, Schoop was pretty bad last year and couldn’t be counted on as the sort of offensive improvement the Cubs need (then again, if they’re not willing to fish in the big pond, they might roll the dice on someone with upside). Even still, Schoop is still quite young and this is a solid move for him. If he can re-establish some value in 2019, he could score a nice contract next winter. More details on his contract:

  • Now that the Schoop deal is done, Jeff Passan believes the second base market – specifically Jed Lowrie and D.J. LeMahieu, both of whom are theoretical Cubs targets – could get going, as both free agents were also talking with the Twins. Both guys, according to Passan, are seeking multi-year deals, which isn’t much of a surprise, but is good to know.
  • Well, here’s something weird: Buster Olney ran down a list of the “biggest holes yet to be filled by contenders” and the Cubs don’t make the cut, despite the fact that they clearly need a bat, and, perhaps more desperately, like 10 new arms for the bullpen.
  • In any case, it’s mostly stuff we already know about the Phillies (a big bat), the Dodgers (an outfielder), the Yankees (a starting pitcher). Among the Cubs-related bits is the Brewers’ continued search for a starter (I think they’ll land someone solid in trade) and the Mets search for a catcher and a right-handed hitting outfielder. I really doubt the Cubs will get together on anything with the Mets, but you never know – maybe there’s something “creative” there for the Cubs.
  • Jon Heyman reports that 14 teams are “in” on Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, which, sure, I don’t doubt it, but maybe we probably need to raise the threshold of what “in” means. Are 30 teams “in” on Bryce Harper? Sure, at the right price. Will 30 teams come close to offering something that’ll actually get it done? Of course not. I think the same is probably true of the 14 teams in on Realmuto. The Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, and Braves are the most likely landing spots at the moment.
  • This isn’t a rumor item, per se, but it is a fun “choose your own adventure” about Bryce Harper’s potential landing spots this winter. The Dodgers, Yankees, Nationals, Cubs, and Phillies are the mentioned teams, but I think that probably unfairly excludes the White Sox, who appear very seriously willing to participate in the deep end. And for what it’s worth, despite what they say, I’d probably rule the Nationals out, and the Yankees are a wild card, but have shown a greater interest in Machado than Harper. So, like yesterday, the best bets are probably the Phillies (most likely), White Sox, Dodgers, and … Yankees? … and … Cubs?

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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