Lukewarm Stove: TEX Not Done at 3B, Arenado Trade More Likely Than Betts/Lindor/Bryant? Wood to LAD, More | Bleacher Nation

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Lukewarm Stove: TEX Not Done at 3B, Arenado Trade More Likely Than Betts/Lindor/Bryant? Wood to LAD, More

Chicago Cubs

One of my best and oldest friends is the first member of our small group to have a baby* (due in March) …. So this weekend, we kidnapped him, drove him to Wisconsin, and shot each other with paintballs in-between frozen chugs of Miller Lite and games of Settlers of Catan.

Sure, it sounds awesome – and it was! – but we had to ask his wife for permission, so how cool are we, really?

Here’s the latest from the Stove.

  • Over the weekend, the Texas Rangers added Todd Frazier, presumably to play third base, which would take them out of the running for Nolan Arenado … in a convenient world. Of course, this is anything but:

  • “You would think the plan is for Frazier to play third base, but as we will discuss, that might not necessarily be the case.” Cool. Rosenthal continues, suggesting that Frazier can play 1B or DH if the Rangers add another third baseman this offseason (citing their prior, strong interest in Anthony Rendon), but concedes that Josh Donaldson is probably not going to be the target. Arenado, however, could be, even with a relatively weak farm system to complete a deal (remember, the return for Arenado isn’t going to be as strong as you’d might expect, given the massive contract, opt-out, and no-trade clause).
  • But it does seem like it’s more likely to happen than ever:

  • So who’s all in? Well, we know the Rangers are, we know the Cubs are, and yesterday, we found out that the Cardinals and Rockies have begun preliminary discussions on a deal for Arenado. Presumably, teams looking for third base help (Braves, Twins, Nationals, Dodgers) have checked in, as well, but I’m just guessing. All of this, of course, affects the Cubs’ pursuit of Arenado, but also their efforts to trade fellow third baseman Kris Bryant.
  • But there’s an interesting twist to that. In Morosi’s latest exploring the Cardinals interest in trading for Arenado, you’ll find this very confusing line: “Multiple executives said in recent days that Arenado is the most likely of The Big Three position player trade candidates — Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor are the others — to be moved in the four weeks before Spring Training camps open.” The big three trade candidates are Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and … Nolan Arenado? Not Kris Bryant? Could that have been an oversight? Given the way it’s spelled out I wouldn’t think so, but I have to imagine it is, given the way the winds have been blowing. What a weird offseason. Let’s move on.
  • This is a particularly frustrating outcome:

  • I really hoped Alex Wood would be the low-cost, high-upside starter the Cubs could afford this offseason …

  • …But they waited too long and he’s going back to Los Angeles. I guess Taijuan Walker is still out there ….
  • The Athletic takes a good look at Luis Robert’s pre-big-league extension with the White Sox and why it makes sense for both sides. The article also acknowledges that Kris Bryant had, at one point, turned down a monster extension from the Cubs and how/why the league and union should come together on a fundamental change in player control ahead of the next CBA. It’s a very good, not particularly long article to read, check it out.

Author: Michael Cerami

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