According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are talking to multiple teams about trades that would include Javier Baez. Marc Topkin broke the news that Baez was Tampa’s primary target in the discussions with the Rays for pitching early Monday morning.
The Cubs are discussing deals with at least the Rays and Braves for a young, controllable starting pitcher. It is believed the Cubs would only move Javier Baez if a starting pitcher was part of the return.
The Cubs are not the only team Tampa is talking to about acquiring a young hitter for pitching. Marc Topkin reported the Rays “are weighing a handful of deals with other teams” but did not provide any details.
David O’Brien thinks a deal with the Cubs for Miller would make sense if the Braves could acquire Javier Baez “and a reliever like Justin Grimm or Pedro Strop, particularly Grimm.”
According to Mark Bowman, teams that have talked to the Braves about Miller have indicated that Atlanta is not backing down from their “significant demands” for the right hander.
The Diamondbacks are one of several teams interested in Shelby Miller as well as Julio Teheran and plan “to exhaust trade options” before turning to a free agent like Mike Leake. The D-Backs are also interested in the Indians’ young starters (Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar) according to Jon Heyman.
A Cubs’ executive spoke with Enrique Rojas about the team’s plans. Rojas was told the front office would like to acquire a young, starting pitcher that is under control for several years.
When the day began, the Cubs were one of the teams still in the mix for Ben Zobrist according to a report from the Tribune. As Monday progressed, reports suggested Zobrist is down to two teams, the Mets and Nationals.
Zobrist is the Nationals primary infield target according to Buster Olney. Zobrist is scheduled to meet with the Nationals at some point during the meetings. If Zobrist goes elsewhere, Jimmy Rollins could be an option for the Nationals to allow Trea Turner more development time.
Zobrist would prefer to spend a majority of his playing time at second base. The Mets view Zobrist as a second baseman that can fill in at third for David Wright. The Giants would like to sign Zobrist to play left field.
According to John Harper, negotiations are ongoing between the Mets and Zobrist. And two of Zobrist’s representatives were seen leaving the Mets’ suite. Joel Sherman indicated the Mets have put all of their energy and attention into signing Ben Zobrist.
An agent that Jon Paul Morosi talked to thinks once Ben Zobrist picks a team and agrees to terms on a contract, the free agent outfielders will start signing.
Winter Meetings Day One Rumors
• The Mets, Giants and Marlins may be part of the Dexter Fowler market, but the Braves are not in on him. According to Jerry Crasnick, the Braves would like to add a centerfielder “but don’t want to surrender a draft pick” for Fowler. Austin Jackson might be too expensive for the Braves as well.
• Enrique Rojas reported Dexter Fowler could receive a three- or four-year deal on the market.
• The Pirates are one of many teams interested in signing free agent lefty Scott Kazmir. The A’s and Astros are also in the mix. According to Ken Rosenthal “some agents believe that Kazmir will aim higher than Hisashi Iwakuma’s three-year, $45 million deal.”
• The Royals are interested in Gerardo Parra if Alex Gordon signs with another team. The Royals are trying to re-sign Gordon but several teams, including the Cubs are very interested in him. According to Jon Heyman, the Tigers, Angels, Cardinals and Orioles are possibly in on Gordon.
• Tigers’ GM Al Avila said Monday afternoon they are no longer in talks with Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon.
• According to Jerry Crasnick “a person familiar with Mike Leake’s talks thinks he could land a five-year deal for $75-80 million.”
• According to Jack Magruder, the Diamondbacks are no longer interested in Kenta Maeda. Scouts believe Maeda is a fourth or fifth starter and is “said to be seeking $60 million.”