MLB Rumors: Cubs Plans, Giants' Issues? Cardinals in on Rodon

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Lukewarm Stove: Throwing Cold Water on the Cubs, Giants’ Recruiting Problem? Yankees Prepare Offer for Rodon, But Cardinals Also In, More

Chicago Cubs

Being a Cubs right now is like being the kid in the Marshmallow Experiment. Except, instead of getting extra marshmallows as a reward for being patient, we get another promise for more marshmallows.

Jed Hoyer’s Plan

In light of some recent moves around baseball, Sahadev Sharma resets the Cubs apparent goals and plans from the perspective of Jed Hoyer. And while not much of it is surprising, the story does provide some key confirmation.

In fact, it’s is a true must-read for any Cubs fan today.

Among the highlights: “handing out 10-plus years isn’t what Hoyer wants to do (this offseason), regardless of what the market is dictating at the moment.”

Okay. Well … good for you? The Cubs can refuse to hand out all the long deals they want, and all the best players can just refuse to sign with the Cubs. It’s pretty simple. You don’t get to dictate the market. You are the market. I just don’t understand the rigidity given the means and needs of this organization. And, again, the momentum in the market.

Sharma caveats on behalf of the Cubs, adding that perhaps Hoyer would do a long deal for “different players, but not those on the verge or already in their 30s.” But I’m just not in the mood to point out how this could exclude Carlos Correa, who’s still 28. Especially because, later on in the article, Sharma points out that despite the obvious fit and need, “Correa will get the type of deal Hoyer just isn’t comfortable with …. Correa still can’t be ruled out. But unless his market dries up, it’ll take an out-of-character move from Hoyer to pay what it would take.”

And here I was hoping to have a nice Sunday.

So what are the Cubs going to do this winter? Well, they’re going to try to add to the offense, especially after losing their best hitter, Willson Contreras, to the Cardinals: “We’ll certainly continue to be active in trying to find bats and fill out the offense,” Hoyer said. “There’s a lot of offseason left.”

But the more achievable goals may be all about pitching and defense up the middle. That could mean Dansby Swanson at shortstop (which, for the record, would still be a very good move) and someone like Christian Vázquez behind the plate to pair with Yan Gomes (another very good potential move).

“I’ve been pretty open about that,” Hoyer said. “There are certain baseball truisms that I think are true. And being strong up the middle really helps and especially with the new rules, I think it’s really important to have really good defense up the middle.”

Sharma lists some names as possible targets both this and next offseason (if you want to get your hopes up), and has a lot more details on the Cubs’ general plan and philosphy. I really really suggest reading this one.

Giants Having Trouble Recruiting?

You don’t often see comments like this from high ranking baseball executives (especially when they live in a beautiful city … in a big market .. in a warm weather state), but here we are: “Giants baseball president Farhan Zaidi correctly suggested at the start of the winter that it isn’t always easy to lure players to San Francisco unless they are from the Bay Area,” according to Jon Heyman.

But I guess I can understand the Giants’ frustration after missing out on Aaron Judge, Brandon Nimmo, and Kenley Jansen this offseason, plus other free agents and trade targets in the past like Bryce Harper, Jon Lester, Shohei Ohtani, and Giancarlo Stanton, despite strong offers.

Now we just need Carlos Correa to follow suit and spurn the Giants.

But more to the actual point, Heyman brings that up because the battle for Carlos Rodon might come down to Giants v. Yankees, who are getting ready to reel him in.

The Yankees are preparing to make an offer to Rodon, their top remaining target, and seem hopeful, or perhaps even optimistic, which shouldn’t come as a surprise the way this winter has gone.

Apparently, the pursuit of Rodon has to do with Aaron Judge, who told Hal Steinbrenner that he would like to see “a couple of improvements” if he were going to re-sign, which he did. Other teams in on Rodon include the Rangers, Dodgers, Orioles, Twins, Red Sox, and … BUM BUM BUM:

Cardinals in on Rodon

Of course they are. Of course they’ll go out and get the top free agent catcher, and former Cub, Willson Contreras, before also going out and getting the top young starting pitcher on the market.

The Cardinals have a pretty clear window right now with every single other team in the division taking a step back plus post-30 stars in Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Willson Contreras (and the final season of Adam Wainwright).

Odds and Ends:

  • For all my pessimism lately, I will say I feel pretty good about the Cubs chances of landing Dansby Swanson this offseason. I think it’s basically down to the the Cubs and Braves and the Braves don’t sound particularly excited to go over the top.
  • It was just yesterday, by the way, that the Cubs were just one of three teams mentioned for Carlos Correa. More teams are in, but these three are the apparent front-runners. So I guess we’ll see.
  • This is an important reminder: Not being a contender is NOT an excuse the Cubs can use.
  • Great thread from Brett:


Author: Michael Cerami

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