Between the big Bears win last night and my Deadspin piece yesterday, I’m playing a little bit of catch up with the Cubs and the Winter Meetings. Luckily, the Cubs have made it easy on me by doing absolutely nothing. Still, there are rumors a plenty swirling around out there, so let’s address them:
The biggest name on everyone’s lips right now is Jeff Samardzija. I’ve been told the Cubs are in no hurry to move Samaradzija and that the asking price is rather high. My feeling is that there’s a better chance of the Cubs extending Samardzija or keeping him until July than trading him over the off-season. According to Bruce Levine, though, the Yankees and Braves are interested in talking Samardzija:
I don’t doubt this. I’m sure a lot of teams are interested in Jeff Samardzija. Whether those teams remain interested in Samardzija after they hear what the Cubs expect in return, however, is another matter entirely.
One new rumor yesterday concerned the Cubs’ interest in Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen. Let’s go to mlbtraderumors.com:
The Cubs are looking to the trade market in their search for relievers and have eyed both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen of the Nationals, among others, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter).
Clippard, 28, is controlled through the 2015 season and has a 2.73 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over the past five seasons. Storen, 26, may have fallen out of favor to an extent with the Nats in 2013 following a career-worst 4.52 ERA and a brief demotion to the minors. The former No. 10 overall pick owns a career 3.40 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 since being promoted in 2010, however.
Given the black hole of failure the Cubs bullpen devolved into last season, I’m 100 percent on board with this plan. If Jed and Theo come home with nothing more than a decent reliever with a several years of control left, I’d be thrilled.
In other news, rumors are flying fast and furious that the Cubs have received several inquiries on Starlin Castro, but aren’t interested in trading him. I’m not sure why this is news. As I’ve said at least a thousand times, Jed and Theo will trade anyone who brings in more value than the Cubs give up. If someone offers a haul of young arms for Starlin, Jed and Theo will suddenly become very interested in trading him. No players are untouchable. Everyone’s value is relative to what they bring back.
From the “hey, remember when that used to be us?” department, word comes news that the Mariners outbid themselves, significantly, for Robinson Cano:
By mid-day Friday, Seattle had heard that some team bid nine years and $225 million for Robinson Cano, so the Mariners upped their bid to $240 million and 10 years before apparently realizing the initial bid had come from themselves, too.
I know you all share my joy reading the above sentence and not immediately worrying that the team in question was the Cubs. It’s nice to have the grownups in charge of the team these days.
Finally today, baseball bids a fond farewell to Mark Prior (or, as we called him, “Buttercup”), who announced his retirement yesterday. I had sort of lost track of where Mark was trying to make his latest comeback, but I’m sorry to see him go. Now I guess there’s really NO CHANCE he and Kerry come back and lead the Cubs to the World Series. Le sigh.
Don’t forget to RSVP for the Cubs Con Winter Meetup in January. No need to attend Cubs Con to show up. We’ll find a local watering hold (details on that to come) and make merry for a few hours. Hope to see you there.
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