2016 Winter Meetings (Day One)

It's time for the Winter Meetings!--in National Harbor, Maryland (for some reason).

Last year at this time, the Cubs resigned Cahill, traded Castro to the Yanks for Warren, and signed Zobrist and Heyward.

This year, the Cubs have the luxury of coming off a 103-win championship season. And with the exception of Dexter Fowler, who might just show up at Spring Training, they have not suffered any major losses. After signing Jon Jay for a one-year $8m deal to support and test Almora's transition to every day CF, the big question seems to be if they're going to make a run at a top closer. Melancon is already reported to have received a number of offers (at least from the Giants and Nationals) in the 4yr/$60m range, which would not seem to put the Cubs out of it.

It's also likely that the Cubs will trade from their depth of position players to address their pitching needs. Chris Archer has been mentioned, provided that the Rays are not harboring any grudges about losing their former manager. In any event, if I were Soler, I would not buy a plane ticket to the Cubs Convention quite yet.

There was also the rumor from last week about a (highly unlikely) trade involving Arrieta and a minor leaguer or two for Justin Verlander and maybe some cash. He has 3 years and $84 million left on his recent extension with the Tigers but would have a guaranteed fourth year at $22m, if he finishes in the top five Cy Young voting in 2019--which I don't think anyone would complain about.

Keep an eye on the Twitter feed for the most outlandish rumors and small updates. If anything big happens, I'll post an update.

Go Theo!


Off topic -- I just can't cheer for a draft pick while I'm watching a game. Go Bears!

I can't cheer for it because I don't trust that Ryan Pace will make the right choice regardless of high it is.

I agree -- it is hard to root for them to lose if you are watching. Why we are still watching, I have no idea.

bud selig to the HOF via the "today's game committee" the vet's committee is now a bunch of smaller committes devoted to watering down the HOF making important HOF decisions. can't argue against it...for his few follies, he changed the game in many positive ways while attendance and revenues soared during his tenure.

john schuerholz going in, too...via the same committee.

Both deserving.

I think the All-Star game final score should determine if Bud gets in. Or, maybe the score after 7 innings. Or after the top of the 7th. Something random and ridiculous to determine something meaningful. And, having different DH rules for the 2 leagues is odd, given that there is interleague play on a daily basis. But -- kudos for the best wild card in sports (huge difference between being a WC and being a division winner) and good job on labor peace.

matt holliday is a yankee...1/13m...expected to mostly DH.

Melancon signs with Giants 4/62M The great eye of the Cubs casts its eye towards Jansen and W. Davis. Good riddance Chapman (hopefully). I imagine Davis would cost a little more than what Yanks paid for Chapman last offseason. (1 year left to free agency, a bit older but no DV issue or suspension looming). Marlins owner Loria supposedly really likes Chapman. 30 teams gonna freak out about relievers now...god help us. * Also Nats really want McCutchen and Sale. Cards looking at Fowler. Rich Hill ends up at 3/48M with Dodgers. *The Cubs going big on Jansen actually makes some sense considering their offense will be cheap (relatively) for a few years and they're obviously in position to win every year AND if you think Jansen is the next Mariano Rivera, then probably a wise investment. For about 25 other teams spending big on relievers is going to end up being really dumb.

melancon worth 15.5m for 70-ish innings...and he's the "3rd best" arm on the FA reliever market. sure, it's a close "3rd best"...but 15-17-??m guys who work 1/3rd of a SP's workload...damn.

"Aroldis Chapman says he wants 6 years; Cubs not showing interest" http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18210501/a...

Pass that over here Aroldis

asking for 6, means you're looking for 5...Melancon got 4. Seems reasonable actually and in the end it takes just one sucker. He should get 5 years with an opt out after 2 or 3 (or maybe both like Heyward).

World Series premium: Cubs raise ticket prices nearly 20 percent http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/201612...

coming on the heels of 10-13% price bumps last season. i guess when 98% renewal happens with season ticket holders after that initial bump you keep pugging away. someone's gotta pay for sod replacement for the 10 or so in-season rock concerts.

Rangers showing interest on Soler. Cubs upgraded to the "most serious" on Wade Davis. Melancon deal is front-loaded with player opt out after 2 years.

OK -- who had Dec. 5 in the Rajan Rondo "suspension for being an ass" pool?

Wow, that's crazy. Who could have seen that coming?

Up next -- who has the DWade knee injury before Jan. 31?

Bruce Levine says Cubs will most likely be in on Tyson Ross, almost had a deal for him in 2015 involving either Castro or Baez.

Some other pitchers that have had thoracic outlet syndrome:

  • Jeremy Bonderman
  • Josh Beckett
  • Chris Carpenter
  • Chris Young
  • Jamie Garcia
  • Matt Harvey
  • Matt Harrison
  • Noah Lowry
  • Phil Hughes
  • Mike Foltynewicz
  • Luke Hochevar
  • Clayton Richard
  • Shaun Marcum

Kind of hit and miss there...mostly miss. So I imagine a very incentive-laden deal if they bring him in...some sort of 2nd year option. Gotta love the upside though.

Won't start throwing until April, correct?

somewhere between February and April from what I understand. More of a 2nd half/playoffs/next year option I would think.

from Jesse Rogers (slightly edited to try and make sense of last sentence) 1) Sounds like a little change in philosophy for Cubs in terms of starting depth. Instead of former starters like Cahill, Wood, etc. in pen 2) Cubs would rather stash a few reliable arms with options in the minors...[couldn't get] Cahill, Warren, Wood stretched out mid-season [even though] They tried

Sale to Nationals deal escalating per Rosenthal....Robles and Giolito included, haggling over final pieces.

Nats would be quite scary. Quite scary, indeed.

"Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM and 670thescore.com reports that Kansas City "likes" Jorge Soler." http://i.imgur.com/ES8aWKt.jpg

"Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cubs and Dodgers are showing interest in Derek Holland." seeing as his season high for IP since 2013 has been 117.1ip, last season (counting minors)...and not good numbers last season to go with it...he could be targeted as a pen option that "gets a shot" at the rotation in spring.

Thought he meant Greg. But the tweet I see doesn't specify.

https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/80597379... He never clarifies in the tweet, Greg would make a lot more sense. I think Rotoworld just presumed Derek.

Justin Grimm would be happy... link

As the winter meetings heat up, and trades/FA signings are discussed and debated, and 2017 comes into focus, we should keep in mind: - We just experienced the greatest baseball season of our lives. No other fan base will ever experience what we did in 2016, nor will we, ever again. Enjoy the hell out of it. Don't quibble about Maddon's Game 7 moves -- instead, marvel at Schwarber's return, Ross hitting a Game 7 HR, the look on Rizzo's face after Zobrist's 10th inning double, and the smile on Bryant's face as he fields the final ground ball. My goodness, what a wonderful year! It has been a pleasure sharing it with all of you!

http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/cubs-cast-... Cubs are looking at about 10 pitchers Jerry Blevins and Brad Ziegler mentioned

I'm cool with Soler for Wade Davis. I imagine a lot of folks wouldn't be, but Cubs really do have a glut of outfielders and Soler's value isn't trending in the right direction. There's slightly better than 50/50 odds Cubs could get back a draft pick for Davis after this year too or maybe he even takes the qualifying offer. On the other hand, Davis had a lot of forearm strains last year and that sometimes leads to TJ surgery, and Soler has an option year lefto so I'm cool with them not making that deal either.

Soler's value is down, but I still see more risk than reward in this move for the Cubs. I'd rather have Danny Duffy.

I fear Soler's value will continue to go down -- assuming health of others, he won't get enough ABs to really get going. Heyward, Jay, Schwarber, Almora and possibly Zobrist (if Javy at 2B) are all in line for OF time ahead of him. My issue with Miller is the one-year left on his contract.

If the Cubs trade for a reliever this off-season, I'd rather they privilege 3-4-year value over name recognition and closer pedigree. I'd rather another Mike Montgomery move than another Aroldis Chapman move. I don't really keep track of other teams' relievers, but I wonder how much more it would take to get Keone Kela or Sam Dyson from the Rangers or Matt Strahm or even Joakim Soria from the Royals than it would take to get Davis. I'm assuming Danny Duffy is out of reach if Wade Davis is even being discussed.

Duffy is a year from free agency I believe and vastly overrated when you look at his FIP. Davis is also a year from free agency but one of the best 5-6 relievers in the game (Jansen, Chapman, Miller, Betrances, Kimbrel would be the others).

That being all said, I understand the hesitation on Davis or any reliever but I'm sure you can also see what they're costing in terms of money or prospects these days. I just think this is one of the few things they need and they're going to have to pay now or mid-season. And paying now for Davis means you might get him for a 2nd season or get a draft pick.

i doubt Kela or Strahm could be had for a reasonable price. Dyson is not good and Soria is pretty hit and miss, not really guys worth going after imo.

It would all depend on what you have to give up, and I feel clueless at this point about what a reliever is worth. But the combo of many worthy outfielders and Soler not staying healthy enough to play over the last couple seasons means there's hardly any choice but to try to deal him for something they need, which I understand. I'm a little worried that baseball is going crazy for closers, but I don't have any evidence to back up that worry.

oh baseball is definitely going crazy for closers, although little has or will change during the season. It's really just how they're being used in the playoffs. It's just a matter of identifying which ones are legit and which ones were just opportunistic. There's really only a handful that I believe are worth overpaying for which I listed earlier.

I like the idea of investing in T. Ross and G. Holland rehab projects and saving some resources to make a play for a controllable starting pitcher. Obviously Soler alone won't get much done on that front at this point, but he could be a piece. Maybe I should let go of my 1990s + 2000s closer distrust, but I still think of them as a volatile investment.

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  • crunch 40 min 13 sec ago (view)

    heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q


  • crunch 2 hours 1 min ago (view)

    so stoked for the williamsport game.

    the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one.  it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs). 


  • crunch 21 hours 37 min ago (view)

    at least...


  • Charlie 22 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...


  • Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?


  • Jackstraw 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.


  • Jackstraw 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.


  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    cubs win!  about time.


  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out


    PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    ...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...

    2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.

    bullpen time.  oh. boy.  neat.

    chatwood in.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.