2016 Winter Meetings (Day Two)

The Cubs were quiet after the first day in Maryland. The loudest chatter involves them trading Soler to KC for Wade Davis. KC, along with the Rangers and many other AL clubs, are said to like Soler, although Baez seems to be the player most inquired about. The Cubs are also linked to Jansen and the rehabbing Tyson Ross, who is going to get an incentive-laded contract from someone.Fowler is rumored to have an offer in the 4/$60m range from Toronto and has also received serious interest from the Cardinals.

The Tigers are said to be rethinking their sell-off strategy, making the deal for Verlander that was never going to happen even less likely.

Word also come out that Schwarber is not going to play winter ball. He can skip Spring Training all together, as far as I'm concerned. The possibility of if or when he will resume catching has not been discussed. On the other hand, Heyward is planning on moving to AZ to get extra work in before camp opens. No one can say the guy isn’t trying. Also, the Cubs are hopeful that David Ross will take a position in the Cubs organization, perhaps as special assistant to Hoyer, although nothing has been formerly offered.

In signing news, the Giants took Melancon off the board, with a 4/$62m deal that includes an opt out after two years. Hill’s 3/$48m deal to stay with the Dodgers was announced. And Matt Holliday signed with the Yanks for a one-year, $13m deal.

It sounds like the Pirates are working as hard to move McCutchen as their pre-meeting rhetoric suggested, perhaps to the Rangers. Sale to the Nats sounds like it's going to happen, even without Turner. And the Indians are making a run at Encarnacion.

Go Theo!





"FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals met with the agents for Dexter Fowler on Monday and made an initial offer." supposedly he already has 4/60 offer(s) from other teams in the rumor mill.

Dex,please go to Toronto!

Evan Grant ‏@Evan_P_Grant (Ranger beat reporter) Fort Washington, MD Have also heard that, in addition to Jorge Soler, Rangers are doing some checking on Cubs versatile OF Matt Szczur

Sale headed to Red Sox, Moncada and Kopech headed to White Sox (and certainly more).

2 more headed to White Sox as well, yet unknown.

OF Luis Basabe and RHP Victor Diaz going as well, all 4 were among Red Sox top 10 prospects.

i have been watching the MLB Network all day and am sick of that stupid DQ commercial that they have played on every commercial break! come on Cubbies, make a deal or signing to improve my mood!


If Davis will cost, say, Jorge Soler plus $10 million in salary, then the Cubs could decide to invest in Holland’s upside and use the Cuban outfielder in a different trade for pitching.

Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop almost disappeared during the playoffs, but the Cubs think that can be largely written off as late-season injuries and issues of timing and sharpness. The Cubs believe in Carl Edwards Jr., but still had to carefully manage his innings and appearances during his rookie season.   

Whether or not Holland is the ultimate answer, the Cubs plan to give manager Joe Maddon some shiny new toys for the bullpen.

totally cool with pre-surgery version of Holland as well

@ESPNChiCubs Maddon says Zobrist and Schwarber are candidates to lead off in place of Fowler Dusty's head is gonna explode when he reads that.

schwarber...who was the last cubs 200K leadoff guy? =p

I love seeing that Madden is willing to change his tendencies. I'd prefer Zobrist but either way Madden is seemingly going for OBP and pitch counts and it makes me happy Jay is not in that sentence.

The good Heyward showing up would be ideal.

But I'm all for Schwarber, Bryant and Rizzo leading off the game :)

I'm sure there are analytics showing that its better to have Bryant bat #2 vs. #3, but I'd much rather see Zobrist, Schwarber, Bryant and Rizzo 1-4. Batting 2nd instead of 3rd means an extra 16AB per year, and, by definition, all of those extra AB come in the last inning, many of which could be high-leverage situations. But, it would seem to me that having Bryant hit behind two high-OBP guys, rather than the pitcher's spot and the leadoff spot, would generate more runs in total.

Let's see: World Series MVP Guy who hit over .400 in World Series after 6 days of BP League MVP Different guy in top 3 of League MVP Pretty fucking fun trying to figure out best order for top-shelf ballplayers. Nice time to be a Cubs fan.

From Jayson Stark: "A GM in the bullpen market on where he thinks the contracts of Aroldis Chapman & Kenley Jansen will end up: 5 years, $85-95 million. Wow" could have also been re-worded to say: "A GM in the bullpen market would love for one of his rivals to drop 5/85 - 95M on a closer."

BA seems to think OF B. Ridenmacher or RHP A. Acevedo the most likely to get picked up in Rule 5 draft.


The thing about Andury Acevedo is that he was available to be claimed off waivers a month ago for $20,000 with no roster restrictions and a 4th minor league option available in 2019, so I would think it would be unlikely that a club that passed on him a month ago would select him in the Rule 5 Draft for $100,000 (the new Rule 5 Draft price, up from $50,000) with roster restrictions (can't be sent to the minors until 2018). 

No question Acevedo throws smoke (upper 90's fastball and power-slider combo), but he has major command issues, and he had knee surgery (torn ACL) last April and hasn't pitched since (not even in winter ball). 

On the other hand, RHRP Corey Black continues to dominate as the closer for Santurce in Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (the Puerto Rican winter league), and so I would say that Black is more-likely to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft than Acevedo. 

Of course all it takes is one MLB club to like a player for that player to get popped in the Rule 5 Draft, but I would say that generally speaking, the ten Cubs minor leaguers most-likely to get selected in the Major League Phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft are (listed in alphabetical order): OF John Andreoli, RHRP Corey Black, C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, C-1B Taylor Davis, RHRP Ryan McNeil, LHSP Jose Paulino, RHSP Jordan Pries, OF-1B Bijan Rademacher, RHRP Armando Rivero, and RHRP Daury Torrez. It's conceivable that no Cubs minor leaguers get selected, but if any do, it will almost certainly be a name or names from that list. 

Without knowing which players are available for selection in the AAA Phase, I would guess that the likes of 2B Stephen Bruno, SS Bryant Flete, INF Danny Lockhart, RHRP (ex-C) Mark Malave, SS Carlos Penalver, and CF Trey Martin are probably on the AA Tennessee reserve list, and if so, they would be the best candidates to get drafted in the AAA Phase ($12,000 draft price with no right to re-claim). 

I would be surprised if Corey Black isn't picked.

@Joelsherman1 7m7 minutes ago Hear #Royals plan is to move Davis and Dyson, cut payroll, get some prospects, try to win with remaining pieces, reassessing July

Maddon tries to explain his World Series decisions http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18222858/j... Some highlights.. Says only wanted Hendricks to face lineup twice felt that Santana was so slow it was like giving Lester a clean inning only wanted to pitch Chapman and Lester after Hendricks HR by Davis because of location not velocity not sure he really quite understands what outcome bias means, "That's the one reality that I do know. We have oftentimes talked about outcome bias. If you had done something differently, would it have turned out better? But better than winning, I don't know what that is." My biggest issue was still bunting with Baez with 2 strikes and I know he didn't plan that out before the game.


@JeffPassan 3m3 minutes ago Source: Cubs closing in on a deal for closer Wade Davis from Kansas City.

Olney says the same.

Snag holding it up Davis med records?

Buster Olney says the Cubs are close on Davis.

Might as well sign G. Holland too :)

apparently Levine this morning said a Davis for Soler swap was discussed but Cubs wanted a little bit more back...we'll see how that turns out soon enough.

Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 49s50 seconds ago Another source confirms Cubs deal for Wade Davis is not done, but there is optimism that something will come together. certainly be some medicals passed between Davis and his forearm and Soler's leg issues if he's part of it.

‏@JeffPassan  There could be a snag in the Wade Davis-to-the-Cubs deal, according to a source. Never was done and far from a certain thing at this point.


@MLBBruceLevine Confirming reports on Cubs and KC trade talks being on going. Davis - Soler and another player or two ,could be involved. Stark says Nats making a late push.

LEVINE- Hearing one for one -Cubs Jorge Soler to KC for Wade Davis. Finalization would be tomorrow. Not official as of right now .

don't believe that Rosenthal tweet in the sidebar...it's a fake account.

All this Twitter is making me blind...

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  • crunch 9 hours 49 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...



  • crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 10 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).