It's back to baseball today. The GM Meetings are officially underway and we expect to see an active Cubs team now and for the next several weeks...
- 4:25 PM: Rumors are buzzing now on the availability of young, talented players such as OF Justin Upton, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, and RHP Trevor Bauer. Bauer was selected ahead of Cubs top prospect Javier Baez in the 2011 draft and rocketed through the system, reaching the majors last before struggling. According to ESPNs Jerry Crasnick, Bauer has "fallen out of favor with some people in the D'Backs organization." A couple of quick thoughts. How much are these going to cost? Upton would probably start with Baez or Castro. Hellickson will require multiple prospects. Bauer will probably require at least one very good prospect or player. But I'm curious, why is such a young pitcher of his talents already available after just one season in the organization? You can bet that if GM Jed Hoyer inquires, this is something he's going to want to know.
- 12:35 AM: Buster Olney thinks Francisco Liriano can be had for a one year, prove himself deal. My guess would be he could be had for a Paul Maholm type contract if a team thinks it can fix his command issues.
- 10:06 AM: Gordon Wittenmeyer writes that the Cubs are showing interest in RHP Brandon McCarthy and Shawn Marcum. This isn't surprising. Those two have arguably been the two most popular names out there in the media.
- 9:27 AM: Not rumor related, but Baseball Prospectus has their Cubs top 10 prospect list and it looks a lot like mine. In fact, we have 8 of the same 10, and much of it is in the same order. Jason Parks, who now does the list, has both Duane Underwood (8) and Dillon Maples (10) in his top 10, which is understandable given their raw ability. I had them a bit lower because of how much further they have to go. To me, Juan Paniagua has the same caliber stuff (and a better delivery than Maples), better command, and more consistency with his breaking ball than either. Yes, he's a little older, but if all goes well, he has a chance to finish the year in AA.
- 9:02 AM: I spoke briefly to a well-connected source who believes it's unrealistic to think that the Cubs can fill their 4 major needs of 2 SPs, an OF, and a 3B. The likely casualty is 3B, as it seems to be lowest on the team's priority list and the market is very thin. It also bodes very well for an Ian Stewart return.
- 8:59 AM: Some minor news I missed is that the Cubs have re-signed RHP Marcos Mateo and picked up utility infielder Edwin Maysonet, who you may remember hit a grand slam against the Cubs last season.
- 8:53 AM: Jon Heyman writes that the Cleveland Indians are already getting calls on 4 of their players: SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RP Chris Perez, OF Shin-Soo Choo, and SP Justin Masterson. We've talked about Masterson holding some appeal to the Cubs as a still young ground ball pitcher with good size and stuff. Choo fits the profile of the kind of outfielder the Cubs would want except that he doesn't play CF, and his cost in terms of a prospect return may be a bit high. It doesn't seem that the Indians are having a fire sale, so perhaps Masterson won't be as cheap as I've hoped.
Filed under: Rumors/Speculation