Lukewarm Stove: Finally Some Intel on Justin Turner, Mets Left Looking for a Starter, Another Flurry of Transactions, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Finally Some Intel on Justin Turner, Mets Left Looking for a Starter, Another Flurry of Transactions, More

Chicago Cubs

You’ll have to forgive the brevity of today’s Lukewarm stove – I’m on the way to celebrate my niece’s first birthday (poor girl was born just before the pandemic, which means we haven’t gotten to see her a lot in her first year). But there are some notable bits to get into, so I’m writing this in the car on the way to a socially distanced celebration.

Finally Some Turner Info

Given the potential relation to a Kris Bryant trade, I’ve been wait for some actionable intel on Justin Turner for like a month. Finally, we got some:

Sure, we already knew that the Dodgers and Brewers were involved, but now we have a report that both teams have not only made offers, but have made multi-year offers. That’s important to note, because Turner was reportedly looking for something closer to four years on any deal (which I doubt he’ll get), but maybe one of these teams will split the difference with him and go to three years.

Moreover, there’s finally a rumor connecting the Mets to Turner, which is something we had assumed, given their interest in Bryant and Matt Chapman, but hadn’t explicitly seen (at least not often or recently). As for the Blue Jays and Braves, their names are relatively new to the story, and I’m skeptical the Braves want to add any more significant money after signing Marcell Ozuna, but I suppose their presence is a good sign that the third base market is still humming.

As always, the disclaimer: I’m not rooting for a Bryant trade (at all, especially not at this point), but Hoyer would not rule out the possibility of a big trade after spring training began, and we know little is likely to happen on that front until Turner signs, so this is all still very crucial to follow closely.

As for the Brewers, well, there’s not an easy angle here. On the one hand, if they were able to come away with a deal for Turner, the market for Bryant would be VERY strong, as Milwaukee is not a realistic suitor for the Cubs on that sort of trade. And that’s a good thing if we want the market for Bryant to be strong (which … pros and cons there). But on the other hand, I don’t really want the Cubs to trade Bryant and I don’t want the Brewers to be good (but even this isn’t a no-brainer, because there’s a chance the Cubs could trade Bryant ANYWAY and for a lesser return). All things considered, you probably want the Dodgers and Mets to be left looking for a third baseman after Turner signs *and* for the Brewers either (1) not to get Turner or (2) to get Turner on what ends up being an albatross of an expensive contract for an aging offense-first third baseman.

Pitchers Finding Homes

The Cubs reportedly got their final piece of the rotation, Jake Arrieta, last night, and the Rays inked one of the Cubs’ other rumored targets (and former pitchers), Rich Hill, to a $2.5M deal shortly thereafter. That leaves the New York Mets as one of the biggest teams still looking for a starter, with three solid names still left on the board.

Jake Odorizzi, 30, is expected to get the richest deal of the bunch, and had a really solid 30-start season back in 2019 (3.51 ERA, 4.3 fWAR). If I had to guess, he’ll be their guy.

Odds and Ends and Transactions:

•   The Mets may be under new management, but Tim Tebow is getting one more shot to prove that he actually deserves a chance to play alongside the other guys in camp (To be sure, I’m talking deserves in terms of talent only … because like it or not, this guy has worked hard and kept his head down on minor league busses for years).

•   After some early-career success, Asdrubal Cabrera had a nice run as an above-average bat from 2015-2018, but at age-35, I think he’ll probably be closer to the slightly-below-average bat he’s been over the past couple years. Still some value to be had though, so good for him. And good for the Diamondbacks.

•   Hey, remember Mark Melancon? He’s still doing his thing. And he gets to go to the offseasons most popular destination – the upswinging Padres.

•   … And the Dodgers answered back trading Dylan Floro for 24-year-old lefty Alex Vesia and a prospect.

•   More deals being buttoned up.

•  I had some fun with the Cubs offseason.

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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