Baseball’s second season kicks into high gear this week. Wednesday is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players for next season. And Baseball’s Winter Meetings officially begin next Monday. Many in the game are expecting a busy five days leading up to the weekend and the start of the Meetings.
Buster Olney continued his series Sunday on ranking the players at each position. And Kris Bryant checked in at No. 5 of his list of the best third basemen in the game.
Olney pointed out he was surprised the NL Rookie of the Year did not receive “more fringe votes” for the NL MVP Award after the season he put together. Bryant had an impressive first year at the plate and showed steady improvement in the field.
Olney thinks the best third basemen in the game are Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, Matt Carpenter, Kris Bryant, Mike Moustakas, Adrian Beltre, Matt Duffy, Kyle Seager and Todd Frazier … with Maikel Franco, Evan Longoria, Martin Prado, Justin Turner and Anthony Rendon being the toughest to leave off his list.
Jake Arrieta was second on Olney’s list of starting pitchers behind Clayton Kershaw. And Olney ranked Anthony Rizzo fourth among all first basemen.
Trevor Cahill had a really good two-plus months in the Cubs organization. And he might be able to turn the adjustments he made with Chris Bosio into a one-year contract as a starting pitcher, not a reliever.
Cahill signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on Aug. 18, was added to the 40-man and called up when the roster expanded in September. Cahill earned spots on the three post-season rosters after the way he pitched over the last five weeks of the season.
According to a report from Buster Olney, one of the teams Cahill appears to be considering is the Pirates. Cahill views himself as a starter and he would like to sign with a team that will give him the opportunity to earn a spot in its rotation. Cahill is willing to pitch in relief, if he is unable to win a starting job.
Olney reported the Cubs, Indians and “a handful of other teams could also be in play for Cahill.”
Veteran right hander Jordan Zimmermann will be pitching in Motown for the next several years. Multiple reports Sunday indicated Zimmermann agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the Tigers for $110 million. The Tigers have not announced the deal and it’s not official but appears to be pending Zimmermann passing a physical.
According to Jerry Crasnick, Zimmermann’s contract does not include any options. Zimmermann agreed to terms on a five-year deal.
And the Tigers are not done. Yovani Gallardo is believed to be on the Tigers’ list as Al Avila would “like to add an innings eater” and force Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Shane Greene compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Nationals will receive a compensatory draft pick once the Zimmermann deal becomes official. The Tigers forfeited its second round pick to sign Zimmermann. Detroit’s first round pick is protected this year.
- Full Report from Jon Paul Morosi
- Jeff Passan – MLB’s Market has Changed and Jordan Zimmermann’s Contract is Proof
- Keith Law – Jordan Zimmermann Can Help Tigers, but Deal is Definitely a Risky One
The Cubs were believed to have interest in Jordan Zimmermann, although not as much this off-season as in previous years. The Cubs remain in the mix for David Price, Zack Greinke, Jeff Samardzija and John Lackey on the free agent front.
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to Jerry Crasnick, the Diamondbacks, Braves, Red Sox, Tigers, Astros, Royals, Dodgers, Mets, A’s, Pirates, Blue Jays and Nationals are “teams that are actively seeking relief pitching.” The Jays are “ramping up search for relievers with closing experience.” Ryan Madson is on Toronto’s list according to Crasnick. The Pirates are “actively listening” on Mark Melancon and the Reds would like to trade Aroldis Chapman before the Winter Meetings. And according to Crasnick, the free agent reliever market is expected to pick up this week.
• Ken Rosenthal reported the Diamondbacks had a meeting last week with Johnny Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixon. Johnny Cueto is looking for a larger contract than Arizona is willing to commit to a starting pitcher. The D-Backs “want to spend $15-18 million on a free agent starter” according to Rosenthal and Cueto will top $20 million annually. Dave Stewart, Arizona’s GM, said Sunday that Cueto turned down an offer he received earlier in the month from the Diamondbacks. According to Steve Gilbert and Jon Paul Morosi, the D-Backs made a six-year, $120 million offer to Cueto.
• According to a report from Hardball Talk citing Roch Kubatko as its source, the Orioles have “some level” of interest in Denard Span. The Royals, Mets and Cubs are three other teams that have been reported as possibilities for Span.
• Richard Justice predicted the Cardinals will sign David Price for seven years and $185 million. The Giants will ink Zack Greinke for six years and $160 million and Jason Heyward will re-sign with Cardinals.
• Jim Bowden posted top targets and fall back options for all 30 teams.
• Peter Gammons reported a healthy Ryan Kalish has started a comeback in Puerto Rico.
And last, but not least … a Statcast video of the Cubs’ longest home runs of the season.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs granted free agency to Jaye Chapman, Ian Stewart and Zach Putnam
2011 – Cubs signed free agent OF David DeJesus to a two-year, $10 million contract that included an option for the 2014 season for $6.5 million. DeJesus was the first free agent signing of the Theo Epstein regime with the Cubs.
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin Tolar
1985 – Luis Valbuena, born
1981 – Rich Harden, born
1977 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Kingman
1971 – Matt Lawton, born
1970 – Cubs selected Ron Tompkins from the Brewers in the Rule 5 Draft
1970 – Cubs selected Frank Coggins from the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft
1970 – Cubs traded Willie Smith to the Reds for Danny Breeden
1970 – Cubs traded Hoyt Wilhelm to the Braves for Hal Breeden
1970 – Cubs traded Pat Jacquez, Dave Lemonds and Roe Skidmore to the White Sox for Ossie Blanco and Jose Ortiz
1969 – Cubs acquired Bill Schlesinger and cash from the Red Sox for Ray Culp
1966 – Cubs released Chuck Estrada
1964 – Twins selected Ron Theobald from the Cubs in the First-Year draft
1964 – Cubs selected Bobby Cox from the Dodgers in the minor league draft. The future Hall of Fame manager played in two minor league seasons in the Cubs system.
1964 – Cubs selected Chris Krug from the Dodgers in the minor league draft
1961 – Billy Williams was named National League Rookie of the Year. Williams edged out Braves catcher Joe Torre after batting .278/.338/.484 with 20 doubles, seven triples and 25 home runs in 146 games. Williams ended up with a .822 OPS in his first full season in the big leagues.
1960 – Bob Tewksbury, born
1959 – Cubs selected Harry Bright from the Pirates in the Rule 5 Draft
1954 – Cubs selected Buzz Clarkson from Dallas (Texas League) in the minor league draft
1953 – Cubs selected Luis Marquez from the Braves in the Rule 5 Draft
1953 – Cubs sold catcher Carl Sawatski to the White Sox
1932 – Cubs acquired Babe Herman from the Reds for Rollie Hemsley, Johnny Moore, Lance Richbourg and Bob Smith