Day two of the 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville kicked off with the Cubs at the forefront of the rumor mill. Again, if you missed anything, you can recap the day right here.
After a day one in which we saw an elite closer in Aroldis Chapman traded to Dodgers only to NOT be traded to the Dodgers due to a reported domestic abuse squabble, Gordon Wittenmyer had the Cubs and Braves reportedly agreeing on a Shelby Miller/Javier Baez swap.
However, Cubs Nation spaced for a moment that this was the same Gordon Wittenmyer who reported the Cubs trading for Jordan Zimmermann last offseason in a deal that apparently had not truth behind it whatsoever. So to no surprise, no deal with the Braves.
The Cubs have been in deep discussions with multiple teams, however, about moving one of, if not both, Soler and Baez to acquire pitching. I have it on good authority that the Cubs would favor Cleveland in any move for pitching. The Cubs would like to spread out their assets/resources by making a move for pitching that requires only one of Baez or Soler as opposed to packaging them together.
If the Cubs could somehow package both to acquire Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland, though, I think that is something they need to strongly consider. Fangraphs had an absolutely terrific analysis recently about what Carrasco’s value truly is. This guy is projected to be as effective as Jose Fernandez and just barely less productive than Jake Arrieta! As importantly, here is his contract:
Those bottom numbers are team options. Let’s look at that a little bit closer. In a market that will soon have Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, David Price, Zack Greinke, and Jon Lester combining for over 1 billion total dollars committed! Carrasco is going to be had, through his prime, for 37.5 million. Wow. Just wow. If I were the Cubs I would package Soler and Baez to make that move.
The Cubs were rumored late to be in discussions with the Yankees in a potential Castro move. Even with that, the Cubs could potentially package Soler and Baez if they felt the deal was right, considering they still have Tommy LaStella who can step in at 2nd base.
The Cubs are also rumored to still be discussing moves with Tampa Bay Rays. If that move goes down as opposed to a deal with Cleveland for pitching then you could potentially see Logan Forsythe coming back to fill the hole at 2nd or even a Ben Zobrist signing, as is being rumored. Though I do not think that would be the best way to spend 80 million dollars.
I think the takeaways from today are as follows:
- Cubs primary objective is finding a way to acquire Jason Heyward.
- The Cubs are on the verge of making a move for a cost-controlled starter.
- Once the first domino falls, you can expect a lot of moves to happen very quickly. The Cubs discussions have all been centered around a vision that includes Heyward. You can bet they have a plan B as well, so if a trade is made that allows the Cubs to go all in with Heyward, that will happen fast. If Heyward signs elsewhere, you can bet plan B will show itself very quickly.
One official thing that DID take place today was the Cubs announcement of John Lackey to the biggest steal thus far on the free agent market.
The deal is 2 years and 32 million dollars. Lackey solidifies the Cubs rotation and gives bulldog number 3 for the playoff rotation even if the Cubs didn’t make another move.
Let’s hope tonight brings some official moves leading into tomorrow….For now, on to the Twitter fun for the day!
@chicagosport14 Thinks Castro won’t be disappointed to have Castro’s brain out of the Cubs lineup.
@tfc3tweets Says he would sign up with the Cubs considering their likelihood at a WS.
@cholt22 questions that the Cubs and Yakees match up well for trade.
@addison2madison is hoping that Hendry is negotiating the Cubs/Yankees swap from the Yankees side. I do too.