This offseason (maybe it’s just a particularly saucy set of GM meetings) has already delivered an unusually large volume of rumors. I really love it. I mean this is a list of *only* Cubs-specific stuff from the last 24 hours or so.
- The Cubs might try to sign Jose Abreu very quickly
- The Cubs have no interest in long term deals for the free agent shortstops
- Corey Kluber is on the Cubs radar
- Jed Hoyer wants to have extension talks sooner than usual
- David Robertson would be open to a return
- We’ll be talking about the Cubs and Correa for a while
- Cubs already in contact with Kodai Senga’s agent
Here’s some of the latest from around the rumor mill.
Free Agent Shortstop Carousel
On Tuesday, Jesse Rogers was on ESPN 1000 offering some specifics on the shortstop market, including how they players are intertwined and the one way the Cubs *could* find themselves involved (something he doesn’t see as particularly likely).
“Trea Turner, shortstop, great shortstop, everyone’s talking about him going to Philadelphia. If that happens, the Dodgers would probably replace him (with Dansby Swanson). If Swanson leaves the Braves, he’d go to L.A.
That leaves (Carlos) Correa and (Xander) Bogaerts …. Listen to this buzz: the Dodgers and Yankees wouldn’t be interested in Carlos Correa, because of the scandal, because of the cheating …. Maybe one of them, Bogaerts or Correa, falls to the Cubs, but that’s the strategy.”
That’s some very useful, very specific stuff! The Phillies are in big on Turner, which could force the Dodgers to focus on Dansby Swanson (a 1-2 punch we’ve discussed previously). Plus, the Dodgers and Yankees are likely out on Correa because of the scandal. I don’t necessarily buy it, but noted. And that’s not all!
Rogers went back on ESPN 1000 this afternoon and added some more context for his remarks with respect to the Cubs and the shortstop market. Specifically, he says there’s basically no chance the Cubs end up with Trea Turner, and that Dansby Swanson is pretty unlikely, as well. By contrast, he does think there’s a chance for Bogaerts or Correa, but he just doesn’t think the Cubs will go more than five or six years. So it would kinda have to fall just right for them.
By (moderate) contrast, Gordon Wittenmyer says “the Cubs will be involved in the deep end of the big-name shortstop market this winter,” conceding that they have “no appetite” for another 8-year deal … and “probably not even a contract for a year or two less,” which … okay, well, how involved are you going to be then?
Wittenmyer says to “look for maybe a five-year offer for Trea Turner or Xander Bogaerts,” and that the Cubs are said to be a “serious player” for Carlos Correa, too. Though he immediately adds that Correa is looking for the lengthiest deal of the group, which could reduce the Cubs interest.
But again, if you’re not willing to go to the length it’ll take to sign a guy … are you really a serious player? No. More from Brett here on the messy situation involving the shortstops and contract lengths.
On a related note: The rumored Mets interest in Trea Turner has been met by so much resistance since it first dropped. Here’s the latest via The New York Post. I think that was always overblown, Jacob deGrom on board or not.
Jacob deGrom Suitors and Cost
Speaking of which, Jesse Rogers seems absolutely certain that deGrom is ending up with the Rangers, which is not an uncommon belief. And while Jon Heyman agrees that they are an obvious landing spot, he also pump the brakes pretty seriously, stating “they have multiple needs and don’t appear ready to win now.”
Immediately after that, Heyman mentions the Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants as possible suitors for deGrom, but is even softer on those possibilities than he is for the Rangers. I wouldn’t get your hopes up. And not that it’s really any surprise at this point, but one anonymous GM told Heyman that “deGrom is going to get $40 million (annually).”
(Significant) Odds and Ends
- Heyman: After trying and failing for Freddie Freeman last offseason, the Rays “look as if they will consider a big acquisition” this offseason, specifically a left-handed hitting outfielder — which has some serious overlap with the Cubs, if that outfielder is to play center field. Though maybe they’ll go for that new Japanese batting champ making his way over to the states? Heyman suggests the target could be Brandon Nimmo, who has also been loosely connected to the Cubs this offseason.
- On a related note, Heyman pushes back on the idea that the Rockies could step up in a pursuit of Nimmo, which is something we discussed recently.
- The Houston Astros are meeting with free agent catcher and former Cub Willson Contreras, even though they nixed a deal at the trade deadline:
- On ESPN 1000, Jesse Rogers had some insight on Contreras’ market, pushing WAY back on the possibility of him ending up with the Cardinals (ditto the Rays, Cubs, and Giants), though he did believe there could be some legs to the rumors of a Javy-Willson reunion in Detroit.
- To that end, Mike Petriello comes to Contreras’ defense:
- Continuing on, the Giants are the real deal this offseason, scaring the Yankees on Aaron Judge and otherwise expected to sign two outfielders and a big starting pitcher.
- The Marlins wanted Gleyber Torres *and* Oswald Peraza for Pablo Lopez and Miguel Rojas at the trade deadline, which is STEEP. The Yankees countered (not sure with what), and that was the end of the negotiations. If the Marlins are sticking to a price tag on Lopez suggested by that request, there’s no chance the Cubs are getting it done. Though theoretically, with one fewer postseason and many more alternatives available, the price should be way down. Plus, Lopez wasn’t that great after the deadline: 4.40 ERA (3.94 FIP)
- Color me surprised, but the Yankees are apparently not certain about extending the qualifying offer to Anthony Rizzo this winter. The belief is that they will, but it’s evidently not exactly a sure thing. Either way, I (Michael) am telling you that he’s not coming back to the Cubs.
- The Cubs are “very interested in Japanese free agent right-hander Koudai Senga” according to Gordon Wittenmyer. Which squares with what we’ve heard so far.
- According to Jon Morosi, the Rays are discussing first baseman Ji-Man Choi, as well as righties Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, and Shawn Armstrong in trade talks this week. That makes sen$e and pairs nicely with this educated speculation:
- Rafael Devers and the Red Sox are not close on an extension: