The Cubs are very interested in signing Russell Martin and so are the Pirates. Even with paying the high price to acquire Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh is not out on Martin. But the Dodgers would like to have a reunion with Martin, who finished 13th in the voting for National League MVP.
According to a report from Jon Heyman, new Dodgers’ boss Andrew Friedman values Martin for the same reasons as the Cubs and has the resources to outbid the Cubs, Pirates and Blue Jays. Plus, the Dodgers can offer Martin a chance to play for a team that many will pick to represent the National League in next year’s Series.
If the Dodgers sign Martin, A.J. Ellis would likely move into a back-up role and be Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher.
Russell Martin is looking for a five-year contract, but many think he will end up signing a four-year pact for around $60 million ($15 million AAV).
Activity is expected to pick-up with Russell Martin and Jon Lester now the GM Meetings are in the rearview mirror. The Cubs could soon have a new battery for Opening Day or switching to ‘Plan B.’
Anthony Rizzo turned his excellent season into a 10th place finish in the voting for National League MVP. Rizzo received 37 total points.
Anthony Rizzo was voted onto the NL All-Star team and became the leader in a very young Cubs’ clubhouse.
Andrew Miller is extremely popular and is about to get paid, not Giancarlo Stanton money, but still a very good contract. According to Jon Heyman, 22 teams have shown interest in Miller and the Cubs are probably not one of them. As Jed Hoyer said, the Cubs are looking to lengthen the pen and Heyman thinks that rules the Cubs out on Miller.
Jon Paul Morosi thinks Miller is going to “shatter” the highest AAV ($6 million) for a non-closer, free-agent reliever.
Andrew Miller is looking for at least a four-year contract and “isn’t listening to any other offers unless the average annual value is astounding.”
As previously stated, more than a two-year contract for a reliever is not the best use of a team’s resources or roster space.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Nick Piecoro, Tim Wilken is one of three names he keeps hearing attached to Diamondbacks scouting director position.
When asked about trading prospects during the GM Meetings this week, Theo Epstein said, “It’s easier to come up with a pitcher than a position player these days.”
Nick Markakis and the Orioles are “making significant progress on a four-year contract” that could pay the veteran outfielder $10-12 million a year.
According to Chris Cotillo, six teams are interested in signing Jonny Gomes. It is still early in the process but the Cubs are believed to be one of the six teams.
Among the rumors and chatter from the GM Meetings that Jesse Rogers posted was a tidbit about Starlin Castro. Rogers reported “some consensus at the meeting among people in baseball that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro will be traded this off-season.” Rogers was told by one longtime executive he thinks Castro has taken his last at bat in a Cubs’ uniform. The front office has maintained Castro will be at shortstop for the Cubs on Opening Day against the Cardinals.
Joe Maddon spoke with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times about feeling good about his decision to leave the Rays and join the Cubs.
Jim Bowden posted a list of the 10 players most likely to be traded this winter … and number one with a bullet, Cole Hamels.
The Padres are listening on top starters, including Andrew Cashner, and the team’s catchers according to a report from Jon Heyman.
John Mallee is holding hitting clinics in Elkhart.
Around Major League Baseball
Awards week concluded Thursday night with the announcement of the leagues’ MVP awards.
The third time was the charm for Mike Trout as he was named the American League Most Valuable Player. Trout received all 30 first place votes and became the 10th unanimous winter of the AL award. Victor Martinez (Tigers) and Michael Brantley (Indians) finished second and third.
Clayton Kershaw followed up his Cy Young Award with the NL MVP and became the first pitcher in the Senior Circuit to win the MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968. Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) and Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) followed Kershaw in the final count.
- Rookies of the Year: Jose Abreu (White Sox) and Jacob deGrom (Mets)
- Mangers of the Year: Buck Showalter (Orioles) and Matt Williams (Nationals)
- Cy Young Awards: Corey Kluber (Indians) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
- Most Valuable Players: Mike Trout (Angels) and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
The BBWAA awards had only one mild surprise this year. Congratulations to all of the winners.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Brian Bogusevic
2012 – Cubs signed free agent J.C. Boscan
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Mark DeRosa
2005 – The Devil Rays named Joe Maddon the team’s manager, replacing John McLaren who took over in the dugout during the previous season for Lou Piniella.
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Neifi Perez
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Tim Christman
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Daniel Garibay
1978 – Xavier Nady, born
1973 – Cubs completed the trade for Mike Paul from the Rangers by sending Larry Gura to Texas as the PTBNL
1954 – Willie Hernandez, born
1937 – Jim Brewer, born