Winter Meetings Wednesday Evening: Shogo Would Go for 2/$10M, Pricey Average Starters, More

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Winter Meetings Wednesday Evening: Shogo Would Go for 2/$10M, Pricey Average Starters, More

Chicago Cubs

Are we in for another night of craziness? Third base market, perhaps? Or will it be … mid-range starting pitchers? Ooh, so spicy …

  • Here are a couple truly average (at best) starting pitchers who, at 33 and 31 are commanding deals/offers like this:

  • Let that stand as a reminder why the Cubs aren’t jumping all over the “solid, steady” starting pitchers on the market. They cost a lot, and there’s no upside – the difference between these guys and Tyler Chatwood or Alec Mills or Adbert Alzolay just isn’t worth the money. I’d much rather the Cubs do what it looks like they plan to do: play out the trade market to see if there are younger impact arms to be had, and, if not, then pick over the starting pitching scraps later in the offseason when you can get multiple riskier guys (for less money) with more upside.
  • Earlier we learned that the Cubs were indeed one of three teams to meet with Japanese center fielder Shogo Akiyama at the Winter Meetings this week, and this evening Bruce Levine adds the expected price tag: just two years and $10 million. As we’ve long discussed on Akiyama, it’s impossible to say how well his game would translate to the big leagues (especially at age 32 and as a speed-reliant guy), but the risk is so very small on a deal like that – heck, the downside is that he becomes a crummy fifth outfielder that is still probably worth a spot on your 26-man roster. And of course the upside is that he becomes a five-times-a-week leadoff hitter and solid defender in center field. Get it done, Cubs.
  • Even if the Cubs were to land an upper-level outfield prospect in a trade this offseason, that wouldn’t preclude wanting Akiyama on the roster. Remember: the Cubs’ upper-level outfield depth right now is virtually non-existent. They can accommodate plenty, especially prospects with upside, even if they take a year while Akiyama holds down the fort.
  • Among the competitors for Akiyama, as already expected, the Diamondbacks (and their front office full of former Red Sox and Cubs execs):

  • The Padres are trying to get Starling Marte now?

  • The Padres’ current outfield group already includes recently-acquired Tommy Pham, recently-acquired Trent Grisham, Manny Margot, Wil Myers, Josh Naylor, and Franchy Cordero. Maybe one could go back to the Pirates in the deal, but it’s still pretty weird. OR IT’S A THREE-TEAM DEAL INVOLVING THE CUBS! CLEARLY! (Not clearly. Three-team deals are just exciting.)
  • Taking the “two pitching prospects and a bat” thing very literally, eh:

  • Pederson is a good player, but you get him for one year at arbitration prices, and the two prospect arms are solid, not sure-fire impact. Meh. But this does serve as a reminder that other teams are never sprinting to give up tip-top impact in trades. That’s reality. Doesn’t mean Cubs have to budge on significant demands.
  • It has felt this way for weeks (years?):

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.