A few early-morning notes on the shortstop market on Winter Meetings eve …
- Whatever you might think of A.J. Preller’s desire to add top players regardless of positional fit, it is inarguable that he (and ownership) follows the philosophy that you just add good players and figure out the rest later. So, regardless of how many shortstops they have, I take this Trea Turner report very seriously:
- It goes without saying that a surprise team, loaded with infielders like the Padres, landing one of the top shortstops would be a disaster for the Cubs in this particular market. When there are already 8+ teams interested in four players, the odds aren’t great for the Cubs to land one. If that suddenly becomes 8+ teams for just three players? The odds get worse.
- Obviously you wonder whether this is being leaked by Turner’s camp in order to put some pressure on the Phillies to seal the deal. That doesn’t mean the Padres’ interest isn’t real – but it might mean Turner’s reciprocation of that interest is not.
- As an aside: if the Padres did land Turner, and decided the positional and financial squeeze was too much to NOT explore the market for Fernando Tatis Jr., who may have otherwise worn out his welcome in San Diego anyway, yes, I would absolutely endorse the Cubs checking in. Maybe a trade to a new organization would help him get over his … youthful mistakes. And the talent is undeniable. The Padres CAN keep Tatis and put him in the outfield, but isn’t it more valuable to see his worth out there as a shortstop? Anyway, I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’d make that phone call as soon as Turner signed with the Padres.
- Also slipped into that Athletic piece? The Padres have interest in Xander Bogaerts, who “is expected to land a deal approaching or exceeding $200 million.” That’s higher than many were thinking at the outset of the offseason, but the signals have clearly changed. So, gonna rule $200+ million out in this market? I sure am not.
- Meanwhile, the Phillies are planning to meet with all four of the top shortstops before the Winter Meetings start:
- The Phillies are clearly very serious about landing one of these shortstops and keeping their loaded offense pushing into 2023. Good for them …
- That the Cubs aren’t being reported as having any of these kinds of meetings is not proof that they AREN’T having them. Sometimes things are kept quiet – the Cubs had a big pitch meeting with Yu Darvish back in December of the offseason they signed him, and we didn’t learn about it until weeks later. But I can’t lie: it would be nice to hear about the Cubs making a real push on any of these guys. Even if only for my psyche.