The Rundown: Epstein Promises Wild Week at Winter Meetings in Nashville, Cubs/Rays Talking Trade, Wheels Starting to Turn
Top Of The First
The Winter Meetings are upon us. Surf’s up! Wait, we’re not in San Diego this year? Nashville? Oh well. Nevertheless, it’s going to be amazing. Theo Epstein predicts a wild week of trading and free agent signings. In the four years that he’s been Chicago’s very own, he’s yet to be anything but transparent, so I believe him when he says we will see a lot of player movement. It’s probably a good time to assess what the Cubs need as well as what other clubs in the Central Division might do, too.
Let’s do this. With any luck we may finally find a new home for Dan Vogelabach as well.
Editor’s note: the original draft of this Rundown contained a section on NL Central needs and predictions, which can be viewed here.
Fact, Fiction, Truth, or Rumor
The Cubs’ offer for David Price was a very creative 7/$161 million dollar deal that finished third to Boston and St. Louis. Price was hoping to join the Cubs and thought he was most certainly bound for St. Louis until the Red Sox came in with their unprecedented $217 million dollar offer.
The Cubs have been chatting with the Rays regarding relief pitching tweets Bruce Levine of The Score, who notes that lefty reliever Jake McGee and his 5-to-1 strikeout ratio is an “intriguing” option for the team.
The Dodgers have signed free agent SP Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle, according to multiple reports. The signing should not keep the team from pursuing Johnny Cueto or other starting pitchers available in trade.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Susan Slusser reports that the Indians, Tigers and White Sox all have interest in A’s infielder Brett Lawrie.
The Reds have fielded the most active recent interest from the Dodgers and the Astros for star closer Aroldis Chapman. The Dodgers would most likely make Kenley Jansen available if they do trade for Chapman, but I am not buying their interest in the Reds’ closer.
Darren O’Day officially signed with the Orioles, then it wasn’t official, but soon it may be official again.
Scott Kazmir is talking with the Royals and the Athletics and probably twenty other teams as well.
The Marlins continue to discuss Jose Fernandez with a number of teams despite saying publicly that the pitcher is unavailable. That’s just what the Marlins do though, and we shouldn’t expect anything less.
Is a Joakim Soria/Kansas City Royals reunion in the works? He’d make a very tough bullpen incredibly tougher, but the expensive market for relief pitching might mean saying goodbye to Alex Gordon and Ben Zobrist if Soria does indeed sign.
The Mets say they will go to four years with Ben Zobrist. I think they could better allocate that kind of money elsewhere.
Jonathan Papelbon is doing everything possible to make his immovable contract even harder to move. In the craziest news of the day, Papelbon has filed a grievance against the Washington Nationals challenging the team’s decision to suspend him for choking out Bryce Harper late last season. If you are Jonathan Papalbon I guess after having burned every single bridge possible in baseball you look for bridges to burn for a second time.
Maneuvering in and around payroll obligations, spending limits and equating WAR to dollar amounts is easy for some and difficult for others. If you are of the mindset that 7 x 13 = 28, you may have a future as an MLB general manager.
Bottom Of The Ninth
The Winter Meetings are here. It’s holiday season for major league baseball. Thank you baseball, I am already sick of the NBA and the NFL and the NHL playoffs are still five months away. Happy trading everyone.