Winter Meetings Wednesday Afternoon: Castellanos, Morton, Roark, Mercer, More

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Winter Meetings Wednesday Afternoon: Castellanos, Morton, Roark, Mercer, More

Chicago Cubs

With Patrick Corbin (6/$140M), Nathan Eovaldi (4/$68M), Andrew McCutchen (3/$50M), Josh Donaldson (1/$23M), and J.A. Happ (soon-to-be) all signed up, plus guys like James Paxton, Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Paul Goldschmidt, and others already traded, it sure looks like a lot has happened this offseason. But it doesn’t really feel that way, right?

The continued free agency of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper is a big part of that, obviously, but I think the trade market – Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, J.T. Realmuto, Yasiel Puig, Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner, etc. – is too full of big names with real chances to be moved to feel like we’re getting anywhere. Until some of those trades get sorted out and/or squashed, it’s always going to feel like there’s still so much ahead of us.

  • According to Jon Morosi, the Tigers have begun discussing a Nick Castellanos trade with multiple teams and the Braves are among the interested parties. Castellanos, 26, broke out with his bat last season (130 wRC+) and will surely be an attractive trade target. The Dodgers were, at one point, mentioned as potential suitors, but their rumors are all over the place right now – and they still seem like a good bet for Harper, so who knows.
  • Further evidence this trade market is nuts: the Red Sox, not unlike the Dodgers, are open to trades for most of their players, particularly Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and/or Mitch Moreland. They’re not exactly cutting payroll, but it seems like the volume of soon-to-be free agents after 2019 and 2020 (including Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, etc.) will necessitate some extensions to avoid a mass exodus. The Cubs and Red Sox never got along too well, but maybe they can work together to get something done this winter. They have a lot of attractive players, even if they’re on shorter deals.
  • Charlie Morton has been casting a pretty wide net of interest, but the latest includes the Rays and Rangers – two teams we otherwise expect to be pretty quiet on the acquisition front – as hopeful landing spots. The Phillies still make a lot of sense.
  • Tanner Roark could become yet another starting pitcher available on the trade market. The Cubs continue to have a full rotation, but the Brewers have been calling teams asking for starters, so more options for them isn’t exactly a good thing:

  • The Nationals search for relief and second base help could overlap with the Cubs, but literally everyone is searching for relievers (thankfully, there’s a big market and the Cubs have their plan) and the Cubs presence in the second base market really depends on what they do elsewhere.
  • Two random notes on the Mets: First, they haven’t given up on landing J.T. Realmuto, but the progress has really stalled and they’re already looking at fallback, defensive-first options. Second, they apparently asked about Andrew McCutchen before he went to Philly, but from the sounds of it, they weren’t serious. Perhaps it was just a last-ditch effort to drive up the price.
  • Earlier reports had the Yankees landing J.A. Happ, but that deal is not done yet (though I bet it gets there soon). But according to Andy Martino, the Yankees are still interested in Mets starters, including Noah Syndergaard. No real movement here, but the Wednesday morning update is newsy. Also interesting to learn that the Yankees/Mets/Marlins three-way trade rumor was actually a discussion that began several weeks ago. We only heard about it two days ago.
  • According to The Athletic, Carlos Santana, who was dealt to the Mariners earlier this winter, is being dangled in trade talks and things are heating up with the Rays, Indians, and Rockies, in particular. Meanwhile, Mitch Haniger, the Mariners young outfielder, is being held back from most trade talks. When you’re discussing trades with Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners GM, nothing is off limits, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an order of preference to be sorted. The Cubs, for what it’s worth, would certainly have interest in Haniger, but not Santana.
  • Pretty nice pay day for Jordy Mercer, who gets a chance to be flipped at the deadline:

Author: Michael Cerami

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