We’re finally hearing some knots pop as the offseason fire starts to really pick up. Soon we’ll have a roaring blaze, but let’s look really quickly at some of the events we’ve warmed our hands by of late…
And then there were three
Colby Rasmus became the first player ever to accept a qualifying offer under the system’s current structure, but he wasn’t the only one. Matt Wieters and Brett Anderson also accepted one-year deals worth $15.8 million. The impact of these decisions remains to be seen, but I have a feeling we’ll be hearing these names again come the trade deadline. A player who accepts a QO can’t be traded until June 15th, 2016, so depending on individual and team performance, these guys could be flipped down the road.
Among the list of those who rejected offers on Friday were former Cubs Jeff Samardzija and Dexter Fowler. I know some of you might be holding out hope for bringing the affable outfielder back to Chicago, but I just don’t see it happening. Many more have expressed interest in hauling Shark back into the boat as well, though adding the cost of a draft pick to what is likely to be a contract in the $60M+ range may sour the Cubs.
Martinez still calling Chicago sweet home
Looks like Davey Martinez will continue to drive the Cubs’ swarthy factor from the bench, as recent reports don’t list him among the finalists for the Dodgers’ managerial opening. According to Bill Shaikin, there are four names left:
Hearing #Dodgers will conduct 3 interviews for managerial finalists next week. Kapler, Black, Erstad, Roberts still in running.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 13, 2015
Jim Bowden (or was it Ralph?) had written previously that Darin Erstad was among the final candidates as well, but the former major leaguer has said that he’s going to remain at his current post as the head coach of the University of Nebraska.
Red Sox acquire Craig Kimbrel
The first big deal of the season saw the Braves trading Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, and Friday brought us word of another deal involving a former Atlanta star. The Red Sox gave up quite a bit to get the big-time closer too:
There’s a significant haul going back to San Diego. Top outfield prospect Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje, and lefty Logan Allen make up the return. All four players rated among the thirty best Red Sox prospects in MLB.com’s latest ranking, with Margot (#25) and Guerra (#76) also checking in among the top 100 prospects league-wide.
Seems like a pretty big haul for a guy who’s not quite the same as the absolute lock-down closer we saw a couple years ago. Kimbrel is still pretty elite though, so the Red Sox could be looking at this as the first of many steps. They figure to be very active in the starting pitcher free agent market and there’s also been a lot of chatter involving young outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Trading a guy who’s still under control for a few more years could net some prospects to replenish the loss in the Kimbrel deal.
Can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.