Last night, the Winter Meetings became everything you would hope they could be – at least at an initial level. They were an endless stream of possibilities. Cubs have a lot of offers out there and on the table? Yes! Cubs finally getting in on the starting pitching market? Yes! Cubs still on Carlos Correa and met with him earlier in the day? Yes! Cubs could somehow swing both Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson? Yes! Cubs talking to the A’s on Sean Murphy? Yes! Cubs ownership actually committing to big spending? Yes!
And today, I sure would like something to actually get to the finish line. I admit it, I’ve caved to the meatball fan desire to see the Cubs JUST DO SOMETHING. It doesn’t *HAVE* to be one of the biggest or sexiest things, but I want to see something happen to which I can point and deconstruct and say, yes, I see how that helps the Cubs in 2023.
From the overnight period at the Winter Meetings …
- One stray thing I thought about this morning: the Sean Murphy report from the weekend – that a deal was close – followed by a ton of teams being connected to him tells me that the A’s probably put that out there in the first place so they could make sure teams came to them with their best offers. In other words, a trade was “close” in the sense that the A’s were ready to make a deal, and they wanted OTHER teams to come to them and MAKE it close. And thus, now it is.
- The Cardinals, by the way, are still very in on Murphy, according to the STL Post-Dispatch, so you want to keep that part in mind any time you hear Cubs-related interest. Their pursuits would necessarily be interrelated, because of the divisional rivalry. And relatedly, that report indicates that the Cardinals’ interest in signing a shortstop could be tied to a trade for a catcher – i.e., if the Cardinals move certain pieces for a catcher, it might open up a greater desire to land one of the shortstops. Again, that market overlaps with the Cubs, and you have to wonder to what extent the teams are jockeying behind the scenes in an effort, at least partially, to make things harder on each other. That’s part of competing, too.
- Yesterday wasn’t just about Cubs-related rumors, of course, because there was some serious actual activity around the league, and that’ll have some ripple effects. When the Phillies landed Trea Turner for 11 years and $300 million, it turns out that the Padres were the other final bidder and they were offering more money (SD Union-Tribune). Of particular note in that report, though: sources say the Padres were ONLY in on Turner in the shortstop market, and they are otherwise out on the shortstops. That’s good!
- As for the Phillies, Turner may be their one big splash:
- Here’s hoping the Aaron Judge decision comes down today. The Giants are reportedly growing optimistic, though I think outsiders would still say Judge sticking with the Yankees is the better bet. There are conflicting reports about whether Judge is going to arrive in San Diego today (he was in Tampa last night for the Buccaneers game). In either case, the Yankees had no idea about it:
- My guess was that lefty Andrew Heaney was going to be a “surprisingly” large contract, and sure enough, Jon Heyman reports that he’s already got multiple three-year offers, and he’s looking for a four-year deal to put it over the top. It wouldn’t surprise me if a team does it, betting that he can keep showing that considerable upside and stay modestly healthy. Just about one of the highest-risk, highest-reward pitchers out there this offseason.
- Speaking of which, Ken Rosenthal suggests the starting pitching price tags across the board are going to continue to be extremely high from here. Gotta just adjust to the new reality.
- On a video hit, I saw that Dave Kaplan said he heard the Cubs’ offer to Jose Abreu was indeed two years and $40 million. So it was a slightly higher AAV than Abreu ultimately got from the Astros (3/$58.5M), but Abreu absolutely made the right financial decision taking that extra guaranteed year. Fair offer from the Cubs, though, in my view.
- Brandon Nimmo’s market and price tag are still kinda unclear to me, but he’s actually at the Winter Meetings this week, so you wonder if things could move quickly:
- Andrew McCutchen figures to be a nice complementary outfielder/veteran presence for a club: