2015 Winter Meetings (Day Two)

Update 2: In a related move, Castro heads to the Yankees for RHP Adam Warren and IF Brendan Ryan.

Update 1: Zobrist signs with the Cubs for 4/$56m.

Cahill is back and Baez is rumored to be on the block.

Meanwhile, the Reds have a bridge over the Ohio River they'd like to sell you.

Comments

ExCub Jason Motte gets 2 years $10 million from the Rockies. Way to go Jason. Good luck Colorado.

"#Rockies sign RHP Jason Motte for 2 yrs, $10 MM, and RHP Chad Qualls for 2 yrs, $12 MM." rockies have screwed up the reliever market in real quick fashion. 6m a year for qualls...really...and for multiple years?

Jason's a good dude. I loved watching him clap for Castro's walk-up song.

Cards continue tradition of oddly named infielders Acquire Jedd Gyorko for former phenom and chief justice John Jay.

And Jay would have made more than just a few contributions to the Federalist Papers if he hadn't been toiling in the minors...

he's 30, he should have been released 2 years ago anyway. /everyonelovesslaveryjokes

Padres acquire the John Jay Story. Plans for a Broadway play with Hip-Hop libretto. http://www.theatermania.com/chicago-theater/n... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3FnpaWQJO0

Jacos, his mother spelled his name Jon, so he wouldn't be tempted by law school. (She was a baseball fan.)

"Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal Correction: #Cubs, #Dbacks not currently in mix for #Braves’ Miller. #Dodgers have talked to ATL. Where they stand is unclear."

Bullpen seems pretty full, although I guess you can never have too many: -Rondon -Strop -Grimm -Brothers -Travis -Cahill -Richard -Edwards -Ramirez

All if these Soler/Baez to TB or for Miller are beginning to remind me of Brian Roberts and Jake Peavey

How about...go with the MLB pitchers we have, trade some minor league hitters for some minor league pitchers, sign Heyward and roll out this lineup: - Heyward CF - Schwarber LF - Bryant 3B - Rizzo 1B - Soler RF - Castro/Baez 2B - Russell SS - Miggy/Ross C Yowza!

heyward at 25m-ish a year for 7-8 years gives me a bit of pause for resource allocation... those years of 6-ish WAR even with a lot of sub-.800 OB% seasons and sketchy ability with loss of power vs lefties looms. his D is good, but you'd think he's reinventing how to play the position and he's going to get a lot of money because of his D.

I hate that lineup... Now for a real lineup: - Heyward CF - Schwarber LF - Bryant 3B - Rizzo 1B - Soler RF - Castro/Baez 2B - Miggy/Ross C - Russell SS

Well, that's just crazy...

"Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Ben Zobrist has a four-year, $80 million offer on the table." wow. 20m a year for age 35-38 of zobrist (who's not as flashy with advanced stats if he's not playing SS as much as he used to). that's 4m a year less than cano's "crazy" contract through age 39. also, why is that deal still on the table rather than rabidly being signed asap? how much better can he do than that?

Consider the source. Already debunked.

it's easily the craziest rumor i've heard put up by a legit sportswriter this offseason...so far.

Bob Nightengale? Legit?

he just doubled-down on that live on MLB Network...followed by a breakdown of in-house talent saying they're not sure if they buy that one. nice.

Whoa. That's way too much money and years. Feel like this is a very Seattle move (maybe recollecting that terrible Chone Figgins contract).

Sun rises in the east, water is wet.... Baseball Prospectus ‏@baseballpro Dusty Baker addresses media in Nashville. Says he'd like to see more aggressive hitters. Deeper counts = more Ks.

cubs/lackey finalized...guess his medicals checked out. sweet.

Dusty giving a lot of wonderful old world thoughts today at his presser.

I like Heyward for Cubs. IMO, he starts in CF and if/when power develops move to corner and bring up Almora or recent Cuban signing. Lot of options for a smart front office like the Cubs.

The embedded highlight clip in the article is awesome. Then I noticed the game situation: 9th inning, 2 on, 2 out with a 2-1 lead. wow!

Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 2 minutes ago Lackey contract breakdown: Signing bonus - $7 million, $12.5 million in 2016; $12.5 million in 2017

It looks like crunch is not going to have Mike Baxter to kick around anymore. He's headed to the Mariners in a minor league deal. 

good...i've run out of jokes about him only hitting singles.

According to anonymous sources the Cubs are on the verge of signing Jason Heyward; AND trading Javier Baez along with Carl Edwards to the Braves for Shelby Miller; AND trading Starlin Castro with Jorge Soler to the Tampa Bay rays for Kevin Kiermaier and Bruce Boxberger. The team announced Tommy LaStella would play 2nd Base and leadoff.

Sources?

i'll vouch for him. all that stuff is helluh true, brah. also, lackey's going to be used out of the pen as the new cubs closer, not the #3 starter as assumed.

Seems like a series of panic moves after letting Baxter get away.

it's the single best way to plug that hole in the lineup

multiple sources telling the press that the cubs/yanks are still working on a s.castro deal...and b.gardnder not involved. it's not a sure-thing, it's just being tossed around... also worth mentioning, w.flores (NYM middle IF) broke his ankle in winter ball, though he's expected to be good to go by spring training.

sent sound: rimshot

Rosenthal on Twitter: Zobrist choosing between Cubs and Mets.

if that happens castro pretty much has to be gone...i mean, if they're not playing zob at 2nd that's just a pissed away opportunity.

Muskat tweets: Theo said possible trade/free agent signing are interrelated. Still looking for CF fit. Willing to give up offense to get defense. MLB.TV guys discussing rumor of Castro to Yankees as the trade part of the Zobrist transaction. No names in speculation regarding Castro to NYY (but supposedly not Brett Gardner).

Joel Sherman reminds...Jim Hendry, now a NY Yankee assistant to GM Cashman, is the one who was involved when the Cubs signed Castro.

Tyler Flowers signs 2 yr deal at $5.3M (plus $1.5M incentives) with Braves. AJ/Flowers. Go figure.

"Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat #Cubs Theo: "We're trying to sync up a trade and a free agent signing at the same time." Stay tuned" IT'S AWWWWNNN.

Rosenthal (6:37pm, CST)...Zobrist to #Cubs

zobrist is a cub...4/56m next stop, g'bye castro...hello CF? closer? SP? ???

Zobrist, 4yrs x $56M

cubs got older really quickly the past week... lackey 37-38 zobrist 35-38 at least d.ross will have people to talk to. both seem to be reasonable loot given their skill set. really interested to see what castro will snag...or baez if castro becomes a stopping point.

The victory disco dance parties just got lamer.

castro to yanks! details to come.

Joel Sherman says Castro deal to NYY is agreed upon, not finalized (Still need medical review, etc)

Ken Davidoff on Zobrist contract: $2M signing bonus, $10M/$16M/$16M/$12M

Signing bonuses for contracts signed prior to the end of the calendar year are usually paid out of the $$$ left-over from a club's previous season's payroll, so the Cubs probably had aboutr $10M left-over from their 2015 payroll (allowing for a $7M signing bonus for Lackey and a $2M signing bonus for Zobrist).

NYY sending pitcher "Andrew" Warren (per Bruce Levine). Adam Warren? also a ptbnl to the Cubs

Players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft are "frozen" on minor league reserve lists (can't be traded, released, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another) beginning on 11/20 up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, so the PTBNL coming to the Cubs could be a Yankees minor leaguer eligible for selection in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. 

Cubs get Adam Warren for Castro

Theo said he wanted pitching depth.

Al Leiter on Warren: bowling ball power sinker, swingman for spot starts. 93-95 action down in the zone. Plays better in the bullpen as he keeps the ball down there. 2 1/2 pitches. Changeup, Slider.

Cubs also get Brendan Ryan

:(

-1

Maybe gets flipped with another piece?

i just hope the middle IF can stay healthy. b.ryan as a late-inning D replacement is awesome...b.ryan as an injury replacement is a bit of fear unless there's a ground ball pitcher on the mound closing the gap that his awful bat creates. that said, even if it's the worst thing ever they can just cut him and pay him a million. no biggie.

Baez is Russell's backup with Zobrist for spot starts. Baez and LaStella back up Zobrist. If Ryan makes the team, he's the 25th man. Chances are he's trade or waiver fodder in March.

dbacks get s.miller from the braves, ending that drama.

Shelby Miller to AZ per Rosenthal edit: for Ender Inciarte and 1st round pick SS Danby Swanson, RHP Aaron Blair

Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair and Dansby Swanson are involved in the Shelby Miller deal.

The NY media is going to eat Castro alive.

Unfortunately for him this is true

These are not the kind of moves I've been hoping for. Didn't get our ace, didn't get our CF yet. Spent a bunch of money and spent a significant trade chip. If they pick up a CF, seems like Baez is likely to get moved too. Anyone else find the Castro deal a little weird? Will they pick up a decent PTBNL?

The way the money breaks down Castro and Zorbrist are a wash

So... you're saying we get Heyward too? *puppy dog eyes*

We'll see what Santa says!

Charles: It would seem as if Cubs got Warren, Zobrist, Ryan for a net $20MM (38MM to the Yankees). Its a lot of money (Zobrist made $7.5MM last year so its a 100% raise. Wouldn't we like that at our jobs!). Warren has some very good stats, but for sure, not sexy. I still think there is a trade and/or FA signing yet to go. Hang in there until Opening Day, 'bro. These guys are not Hendry.

Brendan effing Ryan ......seriously??

Hendry got his man: Starlin!

So much for Coughlan or Baez being Maddon's Zobrist.

So Zobrist is Maddons new Zobrist

No reason Baez couldn't be Maddon's other Zobrist. One Zobrist, two Zobri.

is this a Zobriety test?

with Zobrist, Is Arismendy Alcantara is the new Christian Villaneuva?

Talk is Warren going to be in rotation

could live with that...wonder what CF'r hendricks + ??? is going to fetch the cubs (speculation).

So is Warren the "young, cost-controlled, starting pitcher" the Cubs were rumored to be coveting?

Yeah...6-6...3.66 ERA in 17 starts. For Castro. I am.....underwhelmed

If you had been offered that for Castro on August 1, I think you would have been jumping for joy. Starlin had one very hot month then was 6-34 with one BB in the playoffs. Theo passed him back to Hendry, which should tell you a lot.

Castro sucked in May, June and july. No doubt April: .325/.349/.410 Aug:.296/.315/.437 Sept/Oct:.369/.400/.655

i was hoping for something more, but every scenario i pondered for getting "something more" also involved one of the cubs expendable prospects joining castro in the trade. i don't mind the trade. i feel good about having him around for a few years and if he can make it as a SP then that's an extra bonus. plus, i think it lets the cubs trade hendricks...there's just so much going on for 2 SP slots and hendricks at least has value. it would be nice if the cubs could also figure the CF issue out without getting rid of coghlan...he would be one hell of a 4th OF'r. im liking how it's shaping up. i hope they manage to find a CF'r worth a damn. they have months to figure it out.

Who hacked Crunch's account? Just want say thanks.

same crunch...it's just people who have constant sticks up their asses about anything remotely going against the cult-of-theo seem to not be posting as much anger and driving up emotions because they read something that went against their religion and witches -must- be burned at the stake lest they infect society at large. ignore 10 "positive" things, fixate and foam at the mouth over 1 piece of criticism...fun times...fun fun times.

"One" piece of criticism posted dozens of times. But don't let that affect your melodramatic narrative. That "cult of Theo" comment is very much like Rick Morrissey's "group think" nonsense he wrote when people, you know, were getting excited that the team wasn't going to be terrible anymore.

yeah, this is what i'm talking about. you haven't posted in days and this is what you're jumping in to comment on out of everything that's been happening in the cubs universe. we have new cubs players. enjoy them...or not.

While you're apparently monitoring my posts, you still overlooked that I also posted about Starlin Castro and Mike Quade. Your name didn't come up in either one.

It is not sexy. I don't know that much about him. Look at the advanced stats though. For comparison last 2 years... Jason Hammel: 4.6/3.2 % (2.3 for Cubs 2014) HR% 2014/2015 WHIP:1.28/1.16 ERA+: 127/105 Warren: 1.2/1.9 HR% 2014/15 WHIP: 1.10/1.16 ERA+: 128/120 Considering Castro was worthless 2014 for long stretches, and 2015 until the "Switch", who knows what he will do in NY? Some $$ is freed up for other stuff, imo, and with Zobrist/Warren, its making the team better should they make the playoffs in 2016 I think...

Steve Adams from MLB Trade Rumors writes: Warren, 28, will give the Cubs a right-hander that was one of the more valuable swingmen in the game last season. The former fourth-round pick appeared in 43 games for the Yankees, making 17 starts and 26 relief appearances en route to a career-high 131 1/3 innings. In that time, Warren posted a 3.29 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate. Those numbers are more or less commensurate with the production he delivered from 2013-14 while working almost exclusively out of the bullpen (101 relief appearances, two starts) and can be a reasonable expectation for him going forward. (If anything, one could perhaps forecast slightly better results due to the move to the National League.) He can be controlled for another three years in arbitration.

I don't know, when was the last time an AL East pitcher help the Cubs?

matt clement pulled 3 solid, but overshadowed, seasons ooops...he left FOR the al east. it's been a long day.

Matt Clement was a good dude.

supposedly Brendan Ryan is still a PTBNL until after the rule 5 draft. That frees up a Cub roster spot in the short term.

I assume this means Javy is staying, and will be used like he was this year -- backup for Russell, a little this, a little that...maybe get a shot in CF now that they have an OBP guy to lead off? But, man, if we could get Heyward...

they're yet to give up a prospect for anything...given there are some who are truly expendable all over the value scale and c.coghlan is also valuable/expendable, things could still go down. they've filled a lot of holes and they got 3+ months before pitchers/catchers report.

My guess is that Theo saw Javy significantly change his game to become a better player, while Starlin will always be viewed as something of a wild card who will eventually go back to his "pull everything', low OBP days.

Agree with you guys. Theo and Co. may still be aboard the Javy train. After I saw the haul of prospects for Shelby Miller, SHELBY FUCKING MILLER...I am glad (as of tonight, at least) they didn't bite.

Bruce Levine tweet: Cubs not done yet according to source. Big time OF next? Hayward, Gordon, Car Go?

Great pickups in Zobrist and Lackey so far, but there HAS to be more to this offseason. Still need a CF, could use more young pitching given lack of quality starting depth, and the buzz has been that they want another back end bullpen guy.

and the buzz has been that they want another back end bullpen guy. -- supposedly the Cubs are still talking to Fernando Rodney he has a big back end, no?

per Dan Szymborski tweet: ZIPS loves Adam Warren: 2016 ERA 3.03, 27 Starts, 157 IP, 135H, 44BB, 135K, WAR 3.7 Swingman? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEIrcMbcnVE

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  • crunch 5 hours 28 min ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...

     

  • Hagsag 5 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!

     

  • crunch 6 hours 2 min ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 

     

  • Cubster 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM

     

  • Charlie 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.

     

  • crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.

     

  • crunch 3 days 58 min ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters. 

     

  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)

    mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...

     

  • crunch 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    t.clifton straight up falling off a cliff sucked to watch happen last year.

    i had a lot of faith in the guy to at least hold his own in AAA, even if he needed another season or 2 after to get ready for prime time.

    he ended up giving out homers like candy on halloween while retaining his high walk and injury rate.

    that said, his career is far from done.  most likely many other teams willing to give him a minor league deal.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Keep in mind that most free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection. (The only exception would be a free-agent who is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, such as a player whose only previous pro experience was in a foreign major league or in an independent minor league, or a player who was released by another MLB organization but is still not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    If you're wondering if players who sign minor league successor contracts ever get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, the answer is most definitely - YES -. 

    The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft after the Indians signed him to a minor league successor contract, and the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Pedro Araujo in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract. 

     

  • Hagsag 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Got to get Taylor Davis back.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    So the Cubs were ultimately able to retain five of their seven most-valuable post-2019 minor league free-agent eligibles (Rea, Pereda, de la Cruz, Lugo, and Burks), losing only Clifton and Leal (both of whom are probably looking for a fresh start in another organization after maybe feeling stalled in the Cubs system).

     

  • crunch 5 days 6 hours ago (view)

    that's some of that 4-D chess i keep hearing about.

    checkmate, boras.  cub gets 10 more years of club control for bryant.