Cole Hamels would like to be traded this winter, but he won’t demand one according to a report from Bob Nightengale. There are not many teams that have both the prospect currency it would take to acquire him and the payroll flexibility to add the $96 million left on his contract over the next four years. And one of the teams, the Red Sox, was added to his no-trade list, which likely means he would ask for the $20 million option for the 2019 season to be picked up. So for a team, like the Red Sox, it would be a $110 million commitment for the next five years and a package of prospects big enough to satisfy Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies’ brass.
Ruben Amaro Jr. said he had “pretty good dialogue” with other teams during the GM Meetings, but nothing is imminent. CSN Philly reported the Cubs and Red Sox are the best fits for Hamels. Both teams will likely try to sign a free agent pitcher “before turning to Hamels.”
According to Buster Olney, the Phillies are likely going to have to change their stance on what they are expecting to receive for Hamels and have the acquiring team pick up all of his salary at the same time, “give-us-all-your-best-prospects-and-you-eat-all-of-the-salary-approach.” Olney reported, “In the view of many rival evaluators, that sort of tactic doesn’t reflect anything close to the reality of a market that will be flush with starting pitching in the next 13 months.”
The Phillies are not expected to give him away, but at the same time Ruben Amaro Jr. is going to have to give a little to get close to what he would like in return for Cole Hamels.
Paul Sullivan is the latest to point to the Dodgers as being the Cubs biggest competition to sign Russell Martin. The Pirates and Blue Jays are unlikely to outbid the Cubs, but the Dodgers want an upgrade at catcher and Andrew Friedman likes what Martin brings behind the plate.
Bruce Levine reported Saturday that the front office should know in the next five to seven days on whether Russell Martin is signing with the Cubs or the Dodgers.
Jon Lester’s meeting with the Red Sox was moved according to Peter Gammons. Lester and his agents were thought to have a meeting set-up with Red Sox ownership at the end of last week in order to see how serious they were about re-signing him. Gammons did not give a reason as to why the meeting did not take place last week. He reported the Sox and Cubs would meet with Lester this week.
Gammons also indicated the Yankees “are to be watched.” No other information was provided. But the Yankees could be the fifth team that has shown legitimate interest in Lester (Cubs, Red Sox, Braves and Royals). Bruce Levine mentioned Saturday the Angels might be another team in on Lester.
The Yankees are reportedly sitting out of the big ticket free agent market this winter, despite the fact Scott Boras thinks Max Scherzer would be a good fit in the Bronx.
Peter Gammons thinks the process with Jon Lester will go into December before he makes a decision.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report form Hardball Talk, free agent RHP Josh Johnson is talking to five or six teams. Johnson signed a one-year contract that included an option with the Padres last winter. Johnson had Tommy John surgery in late April and the Padres declined the club $4 million club option for the 2015 season. The Cubs were linked to Johnson last winter before he decided the Padres were a better fit.
David Robertson wants ‘Papelbon Money’ after he rejected the Yankees $15.3 qualifying offer. The Yankees have made it a top priority to re-sign Robertson according to a report from Hardball Talk that cited Bill Madden as its source.
Keith Law confirmed Major League Baseball declared Yoan Moncada a free agent.
Buster Olney passed on Matthew Carruth’s data about pitch-framing.
A quick reminder to vote for Starlin Castro (Bounceback Player), Anthony Rizzo (Breakout Player) and Jake Arrieta (Breakout Pitcher) for the 2014 GIBBYS.
And last, but certainly not least … Pat Hughes released a new volume of his Baseball Voice series, Chuck Thompson the Voice of the Orioles. For those that grew up listening to baseball on the radio and love the history of the game, Pat’s series is must have.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Dioner Navarro
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Moore
2009 – Cubs granted free agency to John Grabow
2006 – Cubs acquired Neal Cotts from the White Sox for Carlos Vasquez and David Aardsma
2005 – Cubs traded Jon Leicester to the Rangers for Clint Brannon
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Julian Tavarez to a two-year contract
1994 – Cubs released Randy Veres
1968 – Chris Haney, born
1957 – Cubs traded Casey Wise to the Milwaukee Braves for Leonard Williams, Ben Johnson, Chick King and cash
1954 – Cubs traded Ralph Kiner to the Indians for Sam Jones, Gale Wade and $60,000
1950 – Cubs selected Jack Cusick from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft
1950 – Indians selected Lou Klein from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
1950 – Cubs selected Turk Lown from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft
1950 – Yankees selected Bob Muncrief from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft