According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs are “still taking offers” on Jorge Soler. The Cubs would reportedly include Soler in a trade for a controllable starting pitcher. And Heyman thinks there is a decent match-up with the Indians for either Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar.
The Cubs are consistently linked to three teams (Indians, Padres and Rays) at this point of the off-season as the front office’s search for a starting pitcher continues.
The Indians covet Soler and both the Indians and Rays would reportedly deal from their pitching depth to add offense. The Rays seemed to target Javier Baez during the Winter Meetings but Baez appears to be a bigger part of the Cubs plans for next season than he was just a month ago.
With the acquisition cost for pitching being incredibly high right now, it would likely take a package of players built around either Jorge Soler or Javier Baez in order to add the type of starting pitcher the front office would like to round out the rotation.
The Indians are not looking to trade any of their starting pitchers. Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said Friday on MLB Network Radio, the plan is to build the team around the young pitching the Indians have.
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs were in talks with the Braves for Ender Inciarte and a pitcher from another team, not the Braves, for Jorge Soler. The Cubs were listening and considering making a deal before deciding as a group they wanted to hold on to Soler.
During an interview Saturday on Inside the Clubhouse, Theo Epstein sounded like the Cubs would have to be blown away to trade Jorge Soler.
Here are other Cubs related tidbits from Jon Heyman:
• John Lackey was “offered significantly more” from another team than the two years, $32 million contract he signed with the Cubs according to his agent, Steve Hilliard. Lackey, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist were offered bigger contracts elsewhere according to Heyman.
• Theo Epstein said this week the Cubs offer to David Price was around $50 million less than the $217 million he received from the Red Sox. Heyman reported the Cubs offer was $165 million “with the promise to go to $175 million if he would sign.”
• Baltimore has made it clear to teams they do not want to part with Kevin Gausman.
• The Reds asked for Danny Salazar and Cody Allen in early discussions with the Indians about Todd Frazier.
• The Dodgers are talking to the Rays about Jake Odorizzi and could expand the deal to include Jake McGee.
• The Mets could sign a centerfielder to split time with Juan Lagares. Denard Span, Gerardo Parra and Will Venable are possibilities.
• There is not much interest around the league in James Shields “at the moment.” Heyman thinks Shields might be able to help a team at the deadline.
• The Padres will not trade Tyson Ross “unless they get a big-time prospect back in a package.”
• Fernando Rodney has been connected to three teams. The Cubs, Twins and Padres are believed to be interested in Rodney. The Padres are considering Rodney, according to Heyman, on “an incentive-laden deal.”
• Dexter Fowler could be an option for the Nationals. Fowler’s market has been slow to develop. The Giants, Marlins and Mets have also been linked to Fowler.