The Cubs and Drew Smyly are re-pairing, which is the news of the day in the Cubs world, but there are a couple other notable transactions around baseball …
- The Boston Red Sox are replacing JD Martinez’s bat by swapping in Justin Turner from the Dodgers:
- The opt-out helps Turner, 38, but that sure seems like a bargain for the Red Sox. There’s obvious decline there, but the guy still hit .278/.350/.438/123 wRC+ last season, doesn’t strike out, and can play the infield corners. Maybe that’s where we are in the offseason cycle: bargain deals may finally start to arrive.
- I’d wanted Turner for the Cubs, as he’s a pretty clear fit for their offensive needs at the spots where they have available starts. But there was just no chatter lately, so I don’t think he was seriously on the radar (in one direction or the other). My current bat-related hope is that the Cubs can pull off a Conforto-Mancini combo, but I suppose you never know if there might be a surprise to be had. (Also, I am sorry for what it will do to me, but I don’t *hate* taking the chance on Matt Carpenter’s turnaround … I better run …. )
- The Astros are retaining outfielder Michael Brantley on a one-year deal:
- Brantley, 35, can absolutely still hit (.307/.367/.465/127 wRC+ over the last five seasons), but he’s been limited by injuries, and can pretty much play only left field at this point. I’m mildly surprised he could find a better two-year deal with that bat, but his season did end in June with a shoulder injury that later required surgery, so there was probably some reluctance by teams to commit to multiple years without seeing him back.
Cubs Prospect Notes: Alcántara’s Big Year Ahead, Caution on Wicks and Triantos, Offensive System, Slaughter, Hodge, More