UPDATES:::

  • The Orioles have claimed Adgar Olmos off of waivers from the Cubs. Ironically, to make space they designated former Cub Junior Lake for assignment.
  • To no surprise, the Chicago Cubs did not select anyone in the Rule 5 draft this year.To the surprise of many, however, the Cubs did not have any player selected and Corey Black will still have an opportunity to develop(and hopefully mature) with the Cubs. You can see the results of the Rule 5 draft here.
  • The Braves trading spree is continuing as the team nears a deal to send Christian Bethancourt to the San Diego Padres, per reports. One name being tossed around in return for Bethancourt is former top 100 prospect Casey Kelly.
  • The Rangers came to terms with reliever Tony Barnette.
  • The Astros resigned Tony Sipp to a 3 year, 18 million dollar deal.
  • The Orioles have rescinded their offer to Chris Davis after a deal wasn’t agreed upon within the Oriole’s timeframes set. The Orioles came up from 7 years and 150 million to 7 years and 168 million today. Davis is reportedly seeking an 8 year, 200 million dollar deal. The Orioles likely dodged a bullet here.
  • The Cardinals have signed Jonathan Broxton to a 2 year deal worth 7.5 million dollars. He also received a full no trade clause.
  • In a deal that was rumored to be done 3 days ago, Shawn Kelley and the Nationals finally came to terms. The deal is believed to be for 3 years and either 15 or 16 million.
  • Yunel Escobar was moved to the Angels in exchange for Trevor Gott a PTBNL. Escobar is an improvement over Freese at 3rd base, however the Angels are considering moving him over to 2nd and having Yunel cover the hot corner.
  • Heyward has a 200 million dollar offer in hand and the Nationals have also joined the fray, according to reports. It is believed to be down to the Nationals, Cardinals, Angels, and Cubs. I am one of what is starting to seem like the few who hopes that offer is from the Cubs. I broke down an analysis earlier, but to put it plainly: Heyward must be worth 28.5 wins over the course of his contract to recoup the value of 200 million based on the current free agent cost per win. He has almost brought in that many before his prime in 5 seasons. His contract will be one of the most valuable free agent deals in baseball within 3 years. Go get him Cubs!
  • The Baltimore Orioles have apparently upped the ante with their offer to retain the services of Chris Davis, reportedly. Seven years and 168 million for Davis seems like a contract that could end up Robinson Cano bad.
  • The Rule 5 draft is today and the Cubs have and the Cubs will likely lost Corey Black to a team that can roster him. That is the other side of the sword when the front office builds a terrific farm system from top-to-bottom while becoming competitive. Other teams will likely want to purge the system any chance they can, and the Rule 5 Draft is the time for non-competitive teams to do just that.
  • Jason Heyward talks are progessing. Sources place both the Cardinals and the Cubs as finalists, though indicate that other teams still in the hunt as well.

 

We’re coming down the home stretch for the Winter Meetings, and the Jason Heyward race may be coming down to a photo finish. My hometown is Indianapolis so you may get used to my racing metaphors in time.

There is a ton of news to catch up on so let’s get to it. As always, the updates throughout the day will be at the top of the article.

CUBS NEWS:::

  • The Cubs and Indians were at it again, apparently talking a move of Soler and either Carrasco or Salazar. We have been staunch advocates for such a move here at CubsChat.com.
  • Starlin Castro had nothing but kind words to say about the Cubs organization after being traded. While  Castro handled much of what was thrown at him in Chicago with nothing but class(demotion, position change, managerial changes), the Cubs made the right moves by trading him to add pitching depth and signing Ben Zobrist. The move adds much needed contact and OBP at the top of the order and a minimum of 2 additional wins next season.
  • Speaking of Ben Zobrist, he was formally announced Wednesday. Citing winning a championship being his main motivation in coming to Chicago. Lester shared the same sentiments last year. The Cubs have added some great veteran leadership to their young core the last 2 offseasons.
  • That young core may be getting a major shot in the arm. There are conflicting reports on the Cubs overall interest in Jason Heyward. Buster Olney believes it may be a push by the Cubs to drive the price up for St. Louis. However, Jesse Rogers believes the Cubs interest is sincere and they are looking to match up another trade/signing combo. MLBN had a take on it last night posted here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1003325489726629/permalink/1009414095784435/.        We believe he would be a perfect fit in Chicago.

  • The rumor of Cubs interest in Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies is likely just that. Hoyer questions if Gonzalez is even available. CarGos home/road splits away from Coors Field are poor and I believe if the Cubs want to spend 17-20 million on an outfielder over the next 2 seasons as opposed to a long term deal with Heyward, then they will be in on Alex Gordon, Gerrardo Parra, or Denard Span. All of which would likely be the same price if not cheaper and are a better fit.

MLB NEWS:::

  • The White Sox made a trade to acquire  Brett Lawrie from the Athletics. The move gives the White Sox an upgrade at 3rd base, however for a pretty average-at-best player in Lawrie the White Sox do not look poised to compete this season after last years disappointment. One has to question why the White Sox would be moving prospects, even mid-tier, for a player who is only controllable for 2 seasons and has not been great at getting on base, a major team defeciency last year. Just another reason to be thankful we have Theo.
  • After acquiring Neil Waker from the Pirates, the Mets signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 year deal worth a guaranteed 18.5 million(including buyout). After missing out on Zobrist the Mets made short work in moving ahead with plan B.
  • After cooling on Mike Leake, the Nationals signed Yusmeiro Petit.
  • Astros got a top, controllable closer in Ken Giles in a trade with the Phillies. But some question was it too much to pay.

There are two days left and rumors galore. Be sure to subscribe for notifications as we update throughout the day.