Around the League - Cubs & Cobb, FA Predictions and Contest, Ohtani, Archer, Stanton to Boston? and More

New day, same old nonsense.

Free Agent Predictions

While free agency technically began last week, things aren't expected to really heat up quite yet. The GM Meetings starting tomorrow in Orlando which could kick off some trade discussions. Players must also make a decision on whether or not to accept the qualifying offer tomorrow, but I don't expect any of the nine players to accept.

A couple other dates coming up will shape teams offseason plans including next Monday (November 20) which is the deadline for teams to add players to the 40 man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Then December 1 is the non-tender deadline, which is when teams have to make decisions on whether or not to offer contracts to their arbitration eligible and pre-arbitration players.

The Winter Meetings begin December 10 which is really the first insane portion of the offseason as rumors will be flying and both agents and front offices will be leaking information to the press while simultaneously denying interest in every available player. At that point, teams will have a better grasp as to their needs and the number of open spots on their roster, so it's really when the fun begins.

But until then, there's just so very many words written by the people who cover baseball about where free agents could go...even if it's mostly just guessing. As expected, the Cubs are tied almost entirely to pitchers of all varieties and I would expect that to be the case for most of the winter.

Probably the name you'll hear the most this offseason is free agent SP Alex Cobb of the Rays. There's much to like about Cobb, and some things that give pause, but he's on the right side of 30 and had a strong finish in 2017 following a return from Tommy John Surgery. Cobb of course has a long standing relationship with new Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey who he credits with helping his comeback.

“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Cobb said about Hickey. “He’s become – not only a pitching coach – but a real close friend of mine. Obviously, if we move down the line and we’re able to have some discussions with them, I’d be very honored to be able to talk with them and hopefully come to a deal.”

Cobb also pitched for Joe Maddon early in his career and praised the Cubs skipper for helping him develop off the field as well. “I don’t hide the fact that I’ve got the most respect for Joe Maddon and what he did for me coming up as a player," said Cobb. "Not so much as a pitcher on the mound, but as a professional athlete and a professional baseball player, and how to deal with the mental side of the game. And how to deal with the stresses that come with a big-league lifestyle.”

MLB.com's Richard Justice predicted new homes for his Top 15 free agents and has the Cubs adding Yu Darvish to the rotation and re-signing Wade Davis. MLB radio's "experts" made predictions on some of the top free agents and roughly half of them have the Cubs re-signing Davis. Among the other players tied to the Cubs were Darvish, RP Greg Holland and OF Lorenzo Cain.

The New York Post added their predictions and had the Cubs coming away with Davis for four year and $64M (bit steep for my liking) and Cobb for three years and $38M (which I would like very much). I did not enjoy reading about Jake Arrieta signing with the Cardinals though.

Both Jon Heyman and Fangraphs took a stab at predicting how much the top free agents will sign for and let's just say the price of relievers has gone up.

Free Agent Prediction Contest

As has become our tradition to kill time during the winter, Cubs Den will again be doing our free agent prediction contest where we all take our best uneducated guesses as to who the Cubs will sign. I'm sure there will be rules of some kind and stuff, but start thinking about who you think will be wearing blue pinstripes next season. We will be releasing more details this week, but I figured I'd give you the heads up.

Cubs Notes

Reliever Brandon Morrow could be a potential Cubs target this winter writes Patrick Mooney, but he could also provide a blueprint for what the Cubs should look for when adding to their bullpen. Morrow was a failed starter who thrived in the Dodgers bullpen this season, much like the success the Cubs had in past years with Trevor Cahill and Clayton Richards (to varying degrees). The Cubs front office has also stayed away from signing relievers to multi-year deals but they may need to change that strategy this winter given the needs in the Cubs pen and the shift toward building deeper bullpens.

Ian Happ was named to the 2017 Topps MLB All-Star Rookie team as the starter at second base...just go with it.

Happ was also named in the one of the earlier frontrunners for worst trade online suggestion by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman's three way deal has the Cubs sending Happ and Ben Zobrist to the Marlins and receiving Johnny Cueto from the Giants. Or maybe unloading Zobrist's deal is worth more than I realized?

Former Cubs hitting coach John Mallee wasn't out of work long as he joins Gabe Kapler's new coaching staff in Philadelphia.

Wade Davis will be an interesting case for a Cubs front office that doesn't like to spend heavily on relievers, but Davis' value to the team goes beyond his pitching stats. Davis also provided quiet leadership in the bullpen for other players including Brian Duensing and Carl Edwards Jr., who both sang Davis' praises.

The Cubs will make their case to Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, but they will need to refine their pitch now that the team's championship drought is down to one year. Ohtani is leaving hundred of millions of dollars on the table by coming over this winter, so even though the Cubs are capped at $300K, they will need to appeal to his desire to win and other possible marketing revenues. Does anyone know what the Japanese word is for "Bryzzo"?

With Hickey now on the Cubs staff, Rays pitcher Chris Archer will likely be named as a possible trade target, especially with the Cubs willing to trade from the major league roster (though it would probably take Addison Russell + to get him). Hickey is of course a fan of the former Cubs prospect, saying "“It was a pleasure, a real treat to work with Chris...You talk about electric stuff, this guy’s got fastball, he’s a slider that gets up to 90 miles per hour that really looks like a curveball. He takes the ball every fifth day. That’s another thing that’s really, really impressive about Chris.”

Giancarlo Stanton Gets His Own Section

The Marlins right fielder is the biggest trade chip on the market this winter and will likely hold up the market for outfielders and power hitters until his situation is resolved. The Giants, Cardinals and Phillies have all been attached to Stanton already this offseason, but in the past few days Boston has moved to forefront, which is interesting because it would require a deal between Derek Jeter and the Red Sox.

Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer reported yesterday that talks between the two teams "may be heating up" as Boston looks to replace the power they lost when David Ortiz retired last winter. The Red Sox have the financial flexibility to take on a deal like Stanton's and enough quality prospects to put together a competitive offer. Boston has expressed willingness to add payroll this winter even if it means exceeding the luxury tax threshold.

The Cardinals appear to be in a prime spot to acquire Stanton since they can offer Miami young outfielders and pitching in return. They have reportedly made some of their top pitching prospects available in trade talks and meet Stanton's reported desire to play for a contender since St. Louis will be in contention for a wild card spot over the next few seasons. However, Stanton has a full No Trade Clause and is said to prefer a team on one of the coasts.

The Giants are also interested and are a better geographic fit for Stanton, though their farm system lacks the types of prospects Miami would be seeking, so San Francisco would have to base their offer around absorbing much of the $295M remaining on Stanton's deal. Plus there is the question of where Stanton would play with Jason Heyward soon to be patrolling right field (a boy can dream). Stanton would be an ideal fit for the Giants to provide the power the team is sorely lacking, but taking on Stanton's deal would limit the team's ability to fill holes elsewhere in the lineup. The Giants would have interest in Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. if he hits the market, who could be available if Stanton goes to Boston as the Sawx may need to move an outfielder.

The Phillies have also had talks with the Marlins regarding Stanton, but could be a tough sell given his stated criteria of playing on a coast for a winning team. However, the Phillies are poised to improve quickly and have more financial wiggle room than any team in the majors with only $6.35M in guaranteed contracts for next season. Which means the Phillies can take on more of Stanton's contract than any other suitor and still spend to put talent around him.

Bob Nightengale Tweets that Stanton's preference would be to play for the Dodgers or Angels near his home in California, but neither team has shown any willingness to take on his contract. Bob also Tweeted that it would be a "stunning upset" if Stanton is traded anywhere other than the Giants or Cardinals which is reason for optimism in Boston and Philadelphia.

The Others

J.D. Martinez is arguably the biggest bat on the free agent market and wants to be paid like it. Teams who have inquired on Martinez have been told by his agent Scott Boras that they are looking for a $200M contract this winter.

Jay Bruce is another free agent outfielder, albeit with a smaller price tag. Bruce is looking for a five year deal in the $80-90M range according to reports. Heyman lists the Giants, Cardinals, Mariners and Blue Jays as possible landing spots.

The Twins are interested in a reunion with former closer Brandon Kintzler who the team traded to Washington this summer. However, the Nationals are also interested in keeping Kintzler around after being impressed during his short stint in D.C.

Minnesota could be active all over the pitching market writes Heyman, as the team is considering a run at the top free agent starters including Arrieta, Darvish, Cobb and Lance Lynn.

The Royals are looking to retain a couple of their own free agents in Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, but don't appear to be likely to keep Lorenzo Cain.

And Now This...

Former World Series MVP Josh Beckett was arrested last night after going on stage and tackling the singer at a country bar in Texas. Beckett told police he tripped while attempting to stage dive and his attorney called the incident "horseplay" in a statement. The singer suffered neck, arm and shoulder injuries in the incident, including a dislocated shoulder and a torn rotator cuff.

 

 

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  • fb_avatar

    I'm surprised that more than a few predict that the Cubs will re-sign Davis. Personably, I don't see it. I wouldn't mind it, but not for 4 years.

  • From what I’ve read, only two teams can offer Otani the max $3.5m signing bonus, the Rangers and Yankees. I personally would be shocked if Otani doesn’t end up a Yankee,

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I'd be shocked if he did.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Dodgers or Cubs is my bet. Money means very little or he would have waited 2 years.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Money never means very little. And I suspect the Yankee brand plays very well in Japan (even more money). But put money aside, and things still stack up for the Yankees. Consider: they have one of the best young cores in the game, and one of the best farm systems; they have that short right field (Otani hits left handed), they can offer him the option of playing DH, and in two years they can offer him more money than any team West of LA. My heart says Cubs, but the Yankees hold so many cards.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    The DH is key. I agree it’s Yanks. Then we get to look forward to the next Yankee dynasty (though that’s the trajectory with or without him). Hurray.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    The only thing over the Cubs for NYY is the DH and short porch in RF. All the other factors favor the Cubs, IMO.

    Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well from what I understand hitting is a big draw for him so the ability to play DH is a major factor. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’d be interested in hearing what you believe are the other factors that favor the Cubs.

    Landing Ohtani is absolutely the best outcome we can hope for this offseason, but I really can’t reconcile how.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to good4you:

    He can hit wherever he goes if teams are willing to have on of their best pitchers playing extra days. The Cubs could put him in LF if they wanted.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Cubs wouldn't bench a starting left fielder for Otani

  • In reply to good4you:

    That is a fair question. My opinion is the Cubs brand is far better than the Yankees brand today. They have not be relevant in over a decade. The Cubs are the trendy hot young team and not going away soon.

    I would also say the Cubs have a far better core than the Yankees. And we have a FO that is the best in baseball. As well as a stellar player's manager who is among the most creative getting at bats for many players.

    As for money, I truly do not believe it is a factor. Over 2 years he is looking at a $3.5MM signing bonus and $1MM in salary. He will still get the $1MM in salary with a lower bonus which is peanuts to what he WILL get paid as well as COULD HAVE been paid had he waited 2 years. There is no way, IMO, that money is a factor in where he signs. This is all about FIT today and best situation for him long-term.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I hope you are right. More than that, I think Theo should take you with him!

    But the Yankees can essentially offer Otani everything the Cubs can, plus the DH, plus an additional $3m. It is kind of a no brainer.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I think Theo can do just fine on his own. HAHA!!! I do not believe money is a factor. You keep making it part of your argument and you may be right. We will have to see.

    I do not believe the Yankees are as relevant today as they were. It has been 9 years since they won a title. In the "what have you done for me lately" world we live in, they are a distant 2nd to the Cubs. Plus NY and the media is a bunch of pains in the arse.

    I think this is all about FIT and CULTURE. The Cubs are way higher than the Yankees on both fronts. If you are right and it comes down to a $3.5MM bonus instead of $350K bonus, then it is all about money.

    I still believe it is Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, wherever Darvish signs, and then Yankees. For the record, I do not believe Darvish signs with LAD because the money they would have to pay crushes them when Kershaw opts out next summer. They cannot afford both, so I believe Darvish walks from LAD.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    One thing that's interesting is that we've all assumed he was coming over here as a two-way player but in his presser over the weekend he said, through an interpreter, fit is more important than hitting to him. Turns it on its head a bit.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    TC154: no one can what's in Otani's head. Although he does clearly seem to be a best fit as a pitcher. Now if he doesn't really want to DH or play in the outfield, and is okay just pitching, then his hitting ability as a pitcher makes him more valuable in the NL than the AL. So who knows? I hope he's a Cub. It would solve a huge problem in the rotation, the Cubs could keep all their current players, and he would be crazy cheap.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    plus having Tanaka

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    money is always the key

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    disagree

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The number one factor is always the money. The players union pushes the player to take the biggest deal.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Says you. That is just not correct. Andre Dawson says “hello”.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Because Lester and Heyward and others signed with the Cubs because they offered the most money...oh wait, no they didn't...

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    The money doesn't only come from the team. A star in New York or Los Angeles can make about three times as much with endorsements and commercials as can a star in Chicago. I saw reports that this was a major motivator for Tanaka choosing the Yankees over the Cubs.

  • Kinda like that Beckett guy. Is he available?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    We need a closer, and he appears to have the "bulldog" mentality to handle the role.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Bears could use him...that was a solid form tackle...

  • fb_avatar

    Stanton to the Cardinals could be a blessing in disguise depending on how the deal shakes out. They weaken their pitching in exchange for a contract that could look a whole lot worse in a couple years. Of course, with the Cardinals luck, the NL will adopt the DH and he'll play it out being a Cub killer for a decade.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    DH will come to the NL right after we trade Schwarber.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Never want the DH

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I do. Even the playing field from a roster construction perspective. Should be no reason an AL team can make better use of a Schwarber, or for better examples, an Ortiz or Otani, than an NL team. Its fundamentally unbalanced.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    It IS fundamentally unbalanced. That's why the AL should get rid of the DH. Balance.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I agree the DH should be eliminated

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I agree, as well.

  • I want the Cubs to sign Cobb and chatwood

    Then try to trade for colome from the rays(probably have to give up happ,caratini and a prospect) or the reds closer

    I don't want Davis back

  • In reply to bolla:

    If the Reds were willing to part with Iglesias, I offer 2 MLB and/or MiLB players they want, not named Bryzzo.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    To start the conversation.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    So if they wanted russell and happ you'd make that trade? I wouldn't and that's ridiculous

  • In reply to bolla:

    Considering Russell’s current value and going rates for high end, const controlled pitchers (including relievers), I say yes. I’d rather Baez over Russell, but that’s nit picking.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Amen to signing Cobb ! Half of these stories are pure baloney , to generate interest in MLB !

  • In reply to bolla:

    That's exactly what I would try to do.

  • I also think the brewers will sign arrieta similar to how the cards signed fowler to try to weaken the Cubs.

  • um i'd trade russell for archer any damn day of the week.

  • In reply to cantstandja:

    I would be leery of trading with Tampa. Last time we traded with them we gave them Archer. Plus how in the world do you replace Russelll.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    To me Russell and Baez are attached at the hip. Someone pointed out his summer (Michael?) that the main value of Baez and Russell is as a pair. Very few teams have the luxury of a really good back up SS as a 2B. Most teams either have a precipitous drop off from starter to back up at SS OR they have a deadweight spot on their roster for a guy there ONLY to back up SS (but can probably cover 2B and 3B). If we trade either one of Baez/Russell we are fine for starting SS but "back up SS" becomes a little more interesting. Like most young players Russell and Baez go through cold stretches. But they are definitely positive value players. As tempting as someone like Archer can be I think I hold onto Baez and Russell until we get someone we know can handle SS and hit decently. We'll see, maybe Chensy Young can become that. But at this point he isn't there yet.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I think it's important to understand that Russell and Baez don't do them any good. Russell is arb eligible this year and Baez in 2019. If you make the case that the Rays are happy with their young pitching and decide to trade Archer for offense, part of it is that they would do it to shed some salary, even if that's not a ton. They want to shave $10-$15 mil and get better at the same time to compete in 2018. That's a tall order and really the only way they achieve that is to get players that are established and yet pre-arb. Russell and Baez don't fit that bill and would likely earn more than Archer. Happ and Schwarber might make sense for them but who would they want to beyond that? I think Archer needs to be the target, but I'm not convinced we have the pieces.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think the Cubs have the pieces, but it would be expensive. If you look at what the last two established, salary controlled, starters cost, Sale and Quintana, I think Archer's value would slot somewhere in the middle. Sale brought a top 5 mlb prospect, the Red Sox #3 prospect, a pitcher, and their #8 prospect plus another player. Quintana brought a top 5-10 player, Eloy, and the best arm in the Cubs system. Cease was somewhere around #30 mlb prospect.

    There would be no shortage of teams after Archer. The Rays almost certainly will get a top prospect or pre-arb mlb player and at least one good pitcher, and probably another player. Happ is definitely comparable to most top mlb prospects, but there's no doubt in my mind that Tampa would also ask for Alzolay, who has established himself as our top young arm, and probably another player. I'm saying I think it would cost us Happ, Alzolay, and Caratini to get Archer. Brewers, Nats, Astros, and Dodgers among others would be in on the bidding.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    That's a very realistic assessment of what the cost would be, and I think that would get it done. Then the questions become would we want to do that and would another team top that offer?

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    I trade Happ, Caratini and Alzolay to TB tomorrow if it gets Archer. I think it's more like Happ, Schwarber and Alzolay that gets it done though.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I hope Alzolay is not traded. He’s in a different category than Cease, meaning closer to Chicago. Alzolay could be in the bullpen in the second half of 2018, and in the rotation by 2019.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I don't disagree on wanting to keep him, but I'm not sure what other piece has his value.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    I am inclined to agree with you. I don't think the Cubs have the horse-power to pull off a deal for Archer. At least not for what it would cost us. The farm-system is pretty barren of talent that might really get their attention and I am hesitant to trade guys off the MLB roster. Maybe I am just being too conservative, but I don't want to trade Happ and/or Schwarber + and I doubt that anything less really gets TB attention. If I were them I don't think I would make that deal.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I am okay trading one of Happ, Baez, Schwarber or Russell for a pitcher like Archer. I just don't want to give up a potential TOR pitcher who is likely to start the season at AAA (i.e. Alzolay)

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yeah - in a lot of ways they kind of locked themselves into a Russell/Baez combination when the traded away Torres. Not that I am complaining (much) as Chapman as closer in 2016 was a difference-maker for that WS win IMO.

    But absent a MLB-ready, everyday SS in Iowa, ready to move up in 2018 - you have to consider what happens IF you trade either of those two. Either could be a solid MLB SS on just about any team in the league. Either could be a better than solid 2B on just about any team in the league.

    But Russell hasn't been completely injury proof - so you get rid of Baez and there's a potential issues as to whom plays SS if Russell has to sit with injury again for a month. Ditto with Baez - although his few injury problems to date have been kind of fluky.

    So then - you find yourself looking at a primarily glove guy SS/UT-IF taking up a roster spot,... And that could be another guy like Mike Freeman. Nice enough guy - but that career Batting average of under 0.140 is a hole that is hard to cover up. And I don't think that you want to depend on Chesney Young as an every-day SS.

  • In reply to John57:

    Baez replaces Russell

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Russell is the Cubs trade chip. Javy Baez can play SS at or near a high level of play. The Cubs have options to play second base.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Who ? Zobrist or Happ are not Baez, not even close. Happ and the two minor leaguers for Archer. Do it yesterday.

  • In reply to willycat:

    Zobrist or Happ may not be Baez but you also would have Archer. Most seem only focused on what you are giving in a trade and not what you are gaining.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    The Cubs have options to cover 2B. That is true. But what happens when/if Javy gets hurt (his all out style makes this not unlikely).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    You do like every other team does and pulls up their top minor league SS. No team carries 2 starting SS.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    "No team carries 2 starting SS".

    You mean other than the cubs for the last few years?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Russell doesn't get you Archer. The Rays need to shave payroll if they deal him or or any player. Russell is arb eligible and could make more than Archer. Their stated goal is to shave $10-$15 mil off the payroll and improve at the same time. That means pre-arb established players.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Then who replaces Baez at 2nd base? Sorry I am not willing to trade Russell or Baez. I want them both and I think the FO does too.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    Replacing Baez at 2B is relatively easy. We could argue we have a log-jam there. Kind of like saying, "If we trade Schwarber who plays LF?"

  • In reply to John57:

    Happ & Zobrist replace Baez at 2b. Of course the front office likes them but they also want a cost controlled starter.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Elite defense in the middle of the infield is as important as a cost controlled starter maybe more. Happ and Zo are not elite right now. IMO Russell & Baez are not going anywhere soon. The FO has found pitching in a number of places. I am sure they will get what they want without sacrificing infield defense.

  • In reply to John57:

    We will find out soon enough but the front office has traded to get pitching. Zobrist was a gold glove finalist this year. The advance metrics showed Baez defense was down from 2016.

  • Ever since these Samardzija and Melancon for Heyward rumors started I've thought the Giants would only be interested if you replaced Shark with Cueto, in which case if I'm the Cubs I pass. But Happ and Zobrist for Cueto? Joel Sherman what are you smoking? The Cubs didn't even try to sign him when he was a FA.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    I think Cueto has an opt out this off-season. Has he chosen not to exercise it?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes. Cueto passed up the chance to opt out and is owed $84m/4 yrs. I think he could be had pretty cheap, at least compared to Shark.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    What happened to Cueto. Remember, this is the guy they had throw Game 1 against the Cubs in 2016 and could have ended the Cubs storied season in a most painful way had we had to face him again in Game 5. Was he injured? He is just 31 years old so it isn't impossible that he has started his decline but 4/$84M might not be a bad gamble with him. And his contract would end at the same time the Cubs would need money to retain what they want of their young core. I would be open to listening to thoughts on acquiring him.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes, he decided not to opt out, as did Tanaka, which knocked down the quality and quantity of front-line starting pitchers in this year's FA class. Everyone will have their eyes on Kershaw and his opt-out next year, though many expect him to remain a Dodger even if he decides to test the market, a la Sabathia in NY.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Tanaka staying put is going to cost the Yankees $$, but it sure makes them getting Otani look more likely. If I were a 23 year old going to live overseas, I'd want at least one fellow countrymen as a co-worker. I guess Darvish will resign with the Dodgers for the same reason. Otani will end up in LA or NYC dollars to donuts.

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:

    The Heyward for Samardzija and Melancon rumor is pure baloney ! Pure fiction, its insulting to think Theo would make such a lame deal like that.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    It would be a good deal for the Cubs. The Giants would have no interest in that deal.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    A middle of the rotation starter and a good RP for Heyward. Repeat your getting rid of Heyward. Do it!

  • In reply to willycat:

    trade was made up by the media, not happening

  • When did the signing of hickey become official? I can't find anywhere that states that...

  • In reply to Pappy:

    NM, see it was announced thur...very cool

  • 4 years is to much for Davis imo. I would offer him a "big" 2 year deal w/ maybe a performance option on years 3 and/or 4. Yes he had a great year, but his command was spotty at time and prior to this year he basically never gave up HR, not the case this year.

    I would also pass on Darvish. Shark or Cueto would be interesting trade options especially since SF is looking a Stanton. They desperately need offense & while 4/$84 looks hefty for Cueto its actually not bad.

  • So I just re-read the new QO rules. Cubs receive Late-Late second round picks if Jake or Wade sign elsewhere, and give up their second best draft pick if they sign a QO FA. Almost a wash.

    Interesting to note, revenue sharing teams can trade-up draft picks by letting a QO FA walk and then signing an equal QO FA. Not that it will be much of a difference maker. I just thought it was fun.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Oneear:

    MBLTR writes that the picks would come after Competitive Balance Round B which comes after the 2nd round.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Right, that's what I meant by late-late second round.

  • The Cubs could resign Davis and sign Cobb, then sit by the phone. Theo is the guy who traded Nomar so anything is possible, but with those two in the fold the team could start the season and see what is available at the trading deadline. I can't imagine that the boys are anxious to trade any of their mlb young guys, although they are in position to know things that fans would not be aware. A team could make an offer that would be hard to refuse. As good as all 10 of starter everyday type guys are, the batting order doesn't play out quite right unless someone steps up to lead off and 6,7, and 8 in the order see more pitches and strike out less.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think both Davis and Cobb will get offers where the length of the deal is longer than the front office wants to go.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Davis probably, Cobb maybe.

  • Baseball America just released the updated cubs top 10 prospects

    1. Aramis Ademan, SS
    2. Adbert Alzolay, RHP
    3. Jose Albertos, RHP
    4. Victor Caratini, C
    5. Alex Lange, RHP
    6. Oscar De La Cruz, RHP
    7. Brendon Little, LHP
    8. Thomas Hatch, RHP
    9. Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP
    10. Nelson Velazquez, OF

  • In reply to bolla:

    I have a hard time seeing Little that high. It could be argued Hudson is a better prospect today than him let alone Hatch. He was down right atrocious after signing. Gotta have some performance mixed into draft pedigree for my liking. I hope he lives up to that billing in 2018.

  • Strengths: The Cubs have binged on drafting and signing pitchers in recent years—they spent a pair of 2017 first-round picks on lefthander Brendon Little and righthander Alex Lange—thus turning what had long been an organizational weakness into the biggest strength of a thin system. The majority of those pitchers are still years away from Chicago, however. And some of the most talented pitchers have yet to log a full season of work in the minors.

    Weaknesses: The Cubs haven't drafted a position player in the top four rounds in the past two drafts, and they traded away outfielder Eloy Jimenez, shortstops Isaac Paredes and Gleyber Torres and third baseman Jeimer Candelario in the past 18 months. Coupled with graduations, this leaves the thinnest group of Cubs minor league position players in years.

    Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2018-chicago-cubs-top-10-prospects/#wWzqQo8HMRc4qCLS.99

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    What about Swarzak, Nicasio, Reed. 2 of those 3 in the pen. Cobb would be great on a 2 year deal like Lackey was. I like Darvish, although many don't.

    My dream is Ohtani to Yanks, Stanton to Boston. That would make Bradley expendable. Bradley traded to Cubs. Cubs sign Harper next offseason.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    If Stanton goes to Boston it would be as a DH with their current team configuration. Dombrowski said they have to get offense out of DH/1B in 2018.

    I could live with both of your last 2 sentences happening. :-)

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I really hope we get Otani. We need young controllable pitching. OFs we have a bunch of them now. Don't need more.

  • In reply to John57:

    Just don't see the Cubs getting Otani

  • I think this off-season will be slow to develop.

    First off, a lot of teams moves will not be decided until Ohtani signs (you all know how I feel about that, so I'll spare you).

    If, as Theo alluded to in his press conference, they are looking to trade someone off the big league roster, that domino needs to fall because it will dictate FA needs going forward. Although it would be more then OK if they waited a year until the 2018-19 off-season.

    There are a lot of good 2cnd tier relievers out there this year. And some of them signings could come early.

    I am intrigued by Chatwood and especially Jhoulys Chacin as buy lows. Hell, I wouldn't mind signing Pineda for that matter.

    http://www.cubsinsider.com/2017/11/04/better-pitch-sequencing-jhoulys-chacin-might-biggest-steal-offseason/

    This is a huge off-season for the Cubs. And looking ahead to the 2018-19 off-season, this one may provide some insight in the teams plans going forward.

  • On the one hand, I think you are right that Otani could cause things to move slowly as people wait on his decision. I also think discussions with Arrieta could slow down trades.

    On the other, the Cubs like to jump the market. So if they don't consider themselves players in either sweepstake, they may be aggressive and try and make a move early.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Agree, the front office seems to prioritise what they must have to compete before concentrating on what would ideally would love to have. Waiting for the FA or other org come to them gives a slight upper hand in negotiations.

  • Here's the thing about who of Schwarber, Happ, Russell, Baez is potentially traded. As Theo said in his end of season press conference, the other team will have a lot to do with it. Thoyer always have a value placed on anyone, that they will not go over. Depending on who Thoyer are actually willing to trade, the other team will pick from that basket as the headliner or headliners.

  • Rays gm is on record saying they plan on keeping archer.Also if the rays were gonna trade archer astros and braves could blow the cubs out the water with offers.Probably a moot point to discuss hypothetical cubs trades for archer.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I still think it's even odds traded but I doubt it's to the Astros. The Rays almost moved him to Houston last off season but wouldn't give up Bregman, I doubt they'll do it now. Without him in a deal the Cubs could certainly put a competitive package together. For me Archer is really the only move that makes the Cubs a true contender next year, but if it doesn't happen they have to the best they can. Ohtani would not be a bad second prize.

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    In reply to TC154:

    The Cubs will be a contender with or without Archer. I'd rather sign Cobb & Lynn over Archer. The Cubs need BP pieces, but that's a crap shoot every season.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I agree except replace lynn with chatwood.

  • In reply to bolla:

    How about Lackey on a 1 year 5M deal? That will give a year for the prospects to develop.

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    In reply to John57:

    I'd rather have Avila on a 1 year contract

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    That sounds good too. It will give Caratini another year to polish his defense.

  • In reply to John57:

    Lackey turns 40 next year and is in decline. Time to move on and get younger and better.

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    In reply to bolla:

    Chatwood would be good too. I was just throwing Lynns name out there because he's a BOR.
    I'm starting to get the feeling Harper will be a Cub in 2019. Especially if Heyward has a career season and opts out.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Heyward is not opting out

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Much rather trade for Archer than sign lesser pitchers

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    Technically, Ohtani could be a closer & an everyday player with the Cubs. It's almost the same as him being a DH & SP in the AL.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    That's the craziest idea I've heard, and I love it! The chances of that are next to nil, but I give you style points for creativity.

    The game situations would be fascinating. You can never plan on needing a closer in any particular game, so it would have to be on the fly. He could warm up while the Cubs were batting in the bottom of the eighth, unless of course he was due up. Do you pinch-hit for him to allow proper preparation? Or does he hit for himself, do whatever stretching/ dry throwing he can and throw from the mound between innings? What if he and Contreras are near each other in the batting order (very likely) and both on base? Does he go directly to the mound to warm up? Does another catcher warm him up until Contreras can return to the dugout and put on his catcher's gear? Is that even legal?

    Highly unlikely, but fun to think about.

  • Jon heyman says dodgers and cubs are "engaged in chatter" with the orioles about zach britton.

    orioles are entertaining offers for him.

  • In reply to bolla:

    If the Dodgers got Britton then Roberts could pull Kerhsaw out after 3 innings every game. LMAO.

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    In would like to know what anyone here thinks of this trade. The Cubs in my opinion are in need of a table setter at the top of the order. Why not trade someone for Dee Gordon? Wouldn't Bryant see mostly fastballs. I feel that they are in need of that leadoff hitter.

  • In reply to RClax3:

    I don't think they have the pieces for Gordon, especially if they're trading for pitching. A straight up swap for Baez doesn't work because he'll be in arbitration in 2019 so the Marlins wouldn't want that salary. I like the idea though but since Theo and Jed have both called a leadoff hitter a "luxury" I don't think they're prioritizing it.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Let's give Chili Davis a crack at developing our young hitters to get better OBAs before we overreact and make a trade. Now I wouldn't think Baez could be that leadoff hitter but maybe Almora.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Cubs have the pieces to get Gordon if they feel it fixes a need

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    In reply to RClax3:

    .329 career OBP. Thank you, no.

  • In reply to Ray:

    And didn't he have a long suspension for taking PEDs? I agree with you. No thank you.

  • In reply to John57:

    Juan Pierre part two. Gordon is a speed guy over 30yrs., who was never in Baez/Russell's league. Pass!

  • Henry Blanco going to the nationals to be the bullpen coach

  • Mooney said contreras,rizzo and bryant are untouchable.Russell and baez most likely staying. Happ,Almora and schwarber are being dangled.

  • It was a short sample, but I thought that the Cubs played their best baseball with Javy at short. He took over the leadership of of the infield defense and outplayed Russell at his own position. It also lengthened the lineup with Zo, TLS, or Ian at second. Check out the Cubs record during that block of time. Once Baez settled in the team was unbeatable. IDK, Addy might be worth more as a trade piece than a backup.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Check the starting pitching during that timeframe.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Check the plays Javy made on defense saving those pitchers.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think you are giving Baez too much credit

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Could be. We were sure hitting on all cylinders tho. Hot streak maybe?

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