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.

Like like?

I'll pass a note

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Arizona Phil 47 min 35 sec ago (view)

    And if Bryant does win the Service Time grievance his value in a trade this coming off-season will be diminished, because one year of club control until he becomes a free-agent versus two years of control is a significant difference. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 4 min ago (view)

    Q-MAN: It actually wouldn't surprise me if Bryant wins the grievance. 


  • Cubster 2 hours 4 min ago (view)

    ...and our Manager can dance!


  • QuietMan 3 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Still cant get the images of that SNL skit out of my mind.


  • Cubster 5 hours 42 min ago (view)

    This is really sad. A fatal pulmonary embolism is quite rare, older data had about 0.019% incidence (range 0-0.6%, for total knees). DVT without prophylaxis is higher and most people are getting prophylaxis (blood thinners) postop. DVT (leg clots) is a nuisance but not life threatening (unless the clot goes to the lungs). Patients with a history of DVT are at greater risk and there are other risk factors.


  • Cubster 6 hours 27 sec ago (view)

    Kaplan also tweets Ross is the new manager and they are working on contract. Tweet reported in mlbtr too.

    "Cubs made their decision late yesterday afternoon and the other candidates have been informed they are indeed out. David Ross is the choice."


  • QuietMan 6 hours 6 min ago (view)

    The Kris Bryant service time grievance is finally being heard by an arbitrator this week according to Kaplan.


  • crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    j.girardi did a 2nd interview with PHI on Monday and he's supposedly the favorite for the job.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    The draft over the ASB and the trade deadline pushed back until August 15th or so would make sense. Otherwise, I don't know how scouting departments are going to handle the draft lead up and the trade deadline running almost simultaneously.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    One other thing about MLB player development that is very different from NFL, NBA, and NHL player development is that most MLB clubs have upwards of 300 minor league players under contract (not including players on their MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs presently have 301 minor leaguers under contract on nine minor league affiliates).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    JUST SAYIN: MLB is the only one of the four major North American professional sports that holds its draft and signs its draft picks during the season.


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    umpire eric cooper has died...complications from knee surgery (blood clot)...52 years old


  • crunch 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.


  • JustSayin' 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col


  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll.