Election Day Rumor Thread: As GM Meetings approach, Cubs looking at SP

Election Day Rumor Thread: As GM Meetings approach, Cubs looking at SP

Happy Election Day!  Don't forget to go out and vote if you haven't done so already.  I'll probably pull some double duty.  One eye on the election results and one on baseball.

It's been pretty slow as far as the rumors go but the GM Meetings officially start tomorrow and go until the 9th Traditionally it hasn't been a time for much wheeling and dealing, but that has changed somewhat.  We'll probably see some free agents sign and perhaps a trade or two.  ESPNs Doug Padilla writes that GM Jed Hoyer is preparing as if there will be some action and has already laid the groundwork, talking to several teams already. Here's some Cubs related news for the day...

  • 7:55 AM: Jon Heyman made his top 42 Free Agent list and this one is unique because it gives an expert  predictions and his predictions  on what kind of contract they will get.  Among the interesting figures: Dan Haren, Brandon McCarthy, Shawn Marcum are all at 2 years/$20M, though the expert cut that half (1 yr/10M) for both Haren and Marcum.  Scott Baker is one year at 6.5M.  Anibal Sanchez 5 years/70M. Edwin Jackson 3 yrs/36M.  Heyman thinks Joe Blanton with get 3 yrs/24M but expert things 2 yrs/16M.  One guy we haven't mentioned, Jeremy Guthrie is at 3/27 for Heyman, 2/14 for the expert.  Agree with the expert on both of those.  One more guy we haven't talked about much, Joe Saunders, is at 2/15 according to Heyman, but the expert things he'll get an extra year
  • 7:05 AM: Yesterday we talked about CF and one free agent, Cody Ross, is looking to cash in on his good season with Boston.  He's asking for 3 years and $25M, according to Buster Olney via Twitter.  I think Ross isn't a great fit right now anyway based on what Theo and Jed have said they're looking for, this probably seals it as far as I'm concerned.  He probably won't get that much, but wouldn't be surprised to see him get 3 years/$20-22M.
  • 7:00 AM: Speaking of Olney a few days back he wrote about what the Cleveland Indians  should do this offseason.   They have some pretty interesting names to trade, but the one that fits best with the Cubs happens to be RHP Justin Masterson, who was drafted by the Cubs front office back when they were in Boston.  Masterson has great size at 6'6" and good stuff (90-94 mph sinking FB, slider, change), able to miss some bats and get a lot of groundballs, but a lack of command has prevented him from fully utilizing his talent.  He went 11-15 with a 4.93 ERA (4.16 xFIP)  At the right price, it could be an interesting project for Chris Bosio.

Filed under: Rumors/Speculation


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  • Happy Election Day to you as well, John. I'm ready for the Cubs to start trading and signing.

  • That's got my vote!

  • Cody Ross can only hit lefties. He's a valuable platoon mate, but not at $9 million per year. Next, please.

  • In reply to bwoodrum:

    Agreed. Also don't like that he's basically a corner OF'er these days and would force a move to CF for DeJesus. Seems like every year that guy is looking to get overpaid. Some sentiment out there that he might get it this time.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Actually, I suppose either could play CF and probably be below average. Cubs loking for a defensive guy.

  • Here's the link to Heyman's column:

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Link is in the article too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Link goes to chicagocubsonline.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks. I was going to use that for something else and changed my mind. I'll change it back.

  • $6.5M seems a bit (a lot) much for Scott Baker. Paul Maholm pitched 162 innings in 2011 and signed for only 1yr $4.75M ($6.5M option).

  • In reply to CubFan Paul:

    More upside to Baker and there will be more competition, bigger market will raise price a bit. Also don't forget that Maholm ended the season with some shoulder concerns.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maholm ended the season with shoulder surgery, not just concerns. But docs said he'd be ready for ST, same as Baker, but Maholm pitched 162 innings & Baker none. If Baker gets more than $4.75M i'll be shocked.

    I'm all for signing Baker (& Liriano and Villanueva) but only a Maholm-type prove it deal.

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    In reply to CubFan Paul:

    That was my first reaction on Baker, but with the flood of money coming into baseball, every year I am surprised by the contracts. I bet we'll be shocked a few times this offseason.

    Maholm was a brilliant signing by us, and he clearly outperformed his contract. I can't remember if there were negative wispers or injury issues with him, but I know the Pirates declined a $9 mil option before we signed him. That option year was genius; it was the whole reason he had trade value, more than Dempster in fact

  • In 2010 the Giants has Ross and were floundering because of a severe problem scoring runs. They ditched Ross and began to score. A World Series ring ensued.

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    In reply to SFToby:

    There were other factors, I think the biggest issue with signing Ross is a 3-year deal.

    We should be looking for 2 years or less, which limits us to older or more marginal players

  • In reply to Zonk:

    The Cubs can acquire younger players. They might just have to overpay. They do have the resources. I have changed my mind about Edwin Jackson. Hopefully the Cubs aren't interested.

  • I saw a story yesterday about GM's rating starting pitchers....they had Sanchez, Baker, Haren, Dempster and a few others on the list of who is a good bet to have.........Dempster did not receive one vote........

    LA Adam Ethier is on the trade block.....guy can hit ......

    As we go to vote today (some of us more than once) I like to remind everyone that we do need "Real Change" in this country......many people I know have been unemployed for more than two years......Banks are not letting out loans to small businesses due to uncertain economy......many small businesses will have to cut staff for a poor economy or if Obamacare is forced on them due to rising health costs.......when a person is on job and you gave them four years to fix or even try to get the job done, and they failed, you would let them go to hire someone else to do the job.

    MLB has seen less attendance at games. Average families cannot afford rising costs. Bill Clinton told Bush back in 1992 "It is the Economy Stupid". The issue today is Jobs, not social issues. The "Rich" will always be Rich. The Poor are increasing in this country. Our national debt is rising fast due to wars which began with 911. And we paying off that debt by borrowing money from China. MLB players who are asking for these large contracts, are paying nice large taxes with those salaries. While people who are making small salaries, cannot afford to see a game.

    Who is the best man to be President? That is up to you. Are you better off now than 4 years ago? Or do you want your kids & grand kids to pay the debt in the years to come along with high taxes and live in poverty?

    Four years ago, I thought Obama would add money to Illinois with jobs. Carter did it with his state of Georgia, Reagen built up California, Clinton helped out everyone, the Bush family helped out Texas big time. Who did President Obama help out with Billions of federal dollars in the last four years? Hawaii. The state where Obama will retire to when he is out of office.

    Obama let down many Illinois supporters in the last four years. All his talk was just

    Now lets hope we hear good baseball rumors instead of broken promises by anymore politicians.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Go to a political site please or go wave a sign.
    And it's Andre Ethier, not Adam.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    It was John who started off about politics.....

    What makes America great, is one can speak their opinion.....

    I remember when Harry Carey called Hector Cruz, Jose Cruz......which was his brother.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    No politics on a Cubs baseball sight.

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    Agree 100%

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    How about No Public Funds for Wrigley?

    I mean the Ricketts Family is looking to Politicians to spend taxpayers money to fix up Wrigley........

    I bet that is when you will want to have politicians save the Cubs !

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    That would be a Cubs issue, if it has to do with the Cubs or Wrigley. Leave the politics to other sites.

    And John didn't start any political talk, just said that today was election day rumor thread. Whether I agree with you or not (I do), this is not the place to talk politics.

  • I think the cubs need two outfielders, not convinced they are done dealing soriano.

    Also may see some unexpected moves by cubs with extra years and/or dollars as incentives or options, especially for pitchers. Pitching is going to go for a premium, and it will be moreso next year, so getting an added year at last years prices will be both a selling point and a bargain if you keep the player longer term (as with maholm, just add about 6-9 mil)..

    Cubs could be moving toward being buyers building and not just prospect builders now, and not wait two or three years until the money really floods in, in other words looking to ramp up.

    Besides in two years cubs will have 20 mil more a year just from soriano's contract off the books, If you can find the right outfielder now, can afford to give him three years and backload the deal on the third year (using a hendry backload type deal to undo a hendry bad deal). The cubs have the salary flexibility and they may choose to use it now rather than wait a year and be forced to by the market. This assumes of course that you're getting a player you want around for an extra year or so. Also, if you get a replacement for Sori now, he may get bored sitting on the bench and be more willing to approve a trade somewhere. It gets cold sitting on the bench too, brrrr..

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    Does anyone want McCarthy as more than just a piece to eventually flip?

    Yes, he has had his injuries and is 29, but he really hasn't logged many innings and seemed to be coming into his own as a pitcher the last couple of years in Oakland.

    Getting him on a multi-year deal at ~10mm/yr would be a bargain, IMO, and he seems to fit what the Cubs are looking for on the mound.

  • In reply to DGP10:

    McCarthy is a good pitcher but frankly I don't see a lot of separation between him and the other 2nd tier guys. I'll be very happy if we get him, but I wouldn't be disappointed if the Cubs got Marcum, Haren, Baker, even Blanton. I like that all 5 of these guys control the strike zone, which should be a priority. Would be great if we could get two of them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I believe the Cubs are going to add at least 2 SPs via free agency or trade. I'm sure they have a plan. I'd like to see them add one before the market establishes itself. They've already tried with Haren.

  • Per Gammons, Javier Vazquez is contemplating coming out of retirement.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, you still think the Cubs are into Dan Haren?

  • In reply to jamespk:

    Yes, I do. That makes me think it was a combination of meds and financials that were the problem. They may sign him on their terms, though.

  • Masterson is intriguing. Arbitration eligible for a few years & a crazy groundball rate fit for wrigley. Maybe the move from the AL & some guidance from Boz would get him back on track. Big question is what it would take to get him?

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    That is a good question. He's still young but he got a huge pay bump last year and is again due for arbitration. Might get a little too expensive for a team that should be rebuilding. Just speculation but they may just be interested in getting a young cost-controlled starter or upper level SP prospect. I'd be okay with something like that. The Cubs don't have anything but 5th starters that fit that criteria.

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    As they say in the People's Republic of Illinois, all puns intended, how many times has your dead grandfather voted today?

    Now on to more serious stuff. I have better things to do than to worry about whether or not the Republican Socialist or the Democrat Socialist wins what amounts to a high school popularity contest today. That more serious stuff being Justin Masterson.

    About Justin Masterson, what's not to like? He's 27, and he has arguably been a better pitcher than Chris Volstad when comparing their careers. He is the kind of player who could be both a short term and long term asset. The question is what will it take to pry him lose from Cleveland, and are the Cubs willing to pay that price?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I agree! He has a great arm. Lets try to get him.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    If Masterson "has arguably been a better pitcher than Chris Volstad when comparing their careers", should it take much to acquire him? Just saying.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think a rebuilding team in a smaller market like Cleveland might just want a young, cheaper arm to plug in the rotation. I wouldn't give them anything more than one of our many young 5th starter types though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i think that trading for masterson sounds like a great idea and we can kill a few birds with one stone in a trade with them. if your saying that all theyre gonna want is a 5th starter then we can trade a guy like nick struck and the deal is done.
    the cubs will then:
    -have one less decision to make when it comes to the 40 man roster
    -have more money/time to focus on 1 f.a. starter instead of 2

    i think masterson would do a lot better in the n.l. and i also think he needs a change of scenery, this would be a good deal for the cubs.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    that' s just my speculation on the young cost controlled 5h starter type, but I think it makes sense. it may take an additional player but Masterson hasn't been much more than a 5th starter himself in his career, and he's going to start getting paid a lot of money.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    My great uncle died 25 years ago today on election day. He was an avid fan of politics and voted Republican til the day he died. He's been voting Democrat ever since.. ;)

  • Are you guys shocked that we haven't been more actively at the start of the new year? I mean I would love Justin Masterson.

  • In reply to Paris:

    Well, not really shocked because the meetings haven't really started yet and the bigger meetings are in December. But I do think we'll see the Cubs sign or trade for someone before those winter meetings, probably a pitcher.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hear, hear!!

  • In reply to Paris:

    One more thing about Masterson. Cleveland probably considers him their #1 or #2 starter. They might want the return that a #1 or #2 starter could bring.

  • I was really impressed with the haul we got for Maholm. Looking forward to see who they get this year if we're not competing at the deadline. I worry a little though if we have 2 or 3 pitchers we're shopping it might increase supply and drive the market down a bit. It was rumored that Garza was doing that for Dempster to the Dodgers before the injury.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Speaking of the Maholm trade, Reed Johnson is a free agent.

  • Good defender, plays multiple positions. Love to have him back, though he may be a little redundant with Sappelt.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    yeah sappelt is said to be a younger cheaper version of Johnson...not that he's that expensive to be had. Love the guys attitude and hustle though.

  • Johnson would never make the base running mistakes Sappelt does.

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    Just a thought... saw something yesterday that said the Nationals may be looking to trade one of their middle infield guys - Desmond, Lombardozzi, or Espinosa. Of the three I think they would probably want to definitely keep Desmond, but what about Espinosa? He's young, a switch hitter (although he probably shouldn't be), has put up decent OBP in the minors, is young, and has been about average to above average (based on Sabremetric evaluations) defensively. Plus, he's a shortstop (good athlete) who could plug a hole at 3B and then be moved or flipped when/if Baez, etc. arrive to save the franchise. Washington is looking for back up middle infielders which the Cubs have a lot of, but other than that I don't know how they might match up.

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