Day two of Baseball’s Winter Meetings is underway and it seems like there are a lot of deals and free agent signings about to happen throughout the game.
Jed Hoyer said that Monday was “a super busy day” that was filled with “lots of agent meetings, lots of team meetings” and they “have a lot of balls in the air.”
Hoyer explained that the Cubs have narrowed down the group of teams they could make a deal with to 10 to 12 teams. The Cubs do not feel the need to acquire pitching because they’re at the point where Joe Maddon could pencil in a starting rotation. But the Cubs are “not going to stop looking for pitching.”
“I think we probably spend more time thinking about what can go wrong and what things can derail our team than we do looking at, ‘Oh, here’s five guys.’ We were really healthy last year … it’s part of why we won 97 games … you can’t count on that again.” Hoyer said to the beat writers. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we know something will. So the more we can spend time trying to figure out how to build some firewalls … and that was one thing in Boston when we had a long run of success, a big part of our off-season was thinking about what could go wrong and trying to insulate ourselves from that. Because we knew we had enough talent to be good, we just didn’t want to be a thin team that could get knocked off pretty easily with a few injuries. So the answer is, we’re not going to stop looking for pitching even though I think we feel like we could potentially write out a rotation.”
Multiple reports have indicated that the Braves will likely trade Shelby Miller at some point on Tuesday. The Sun-Times reported early Tuesday morning that the Cubs were closing in on a deal with the Braves for Miller that would send Javier Baez to Atlanta as part of the package for the right-handed starter.
According to Joel Sherman, the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Red Sox are the teams most involved with the Braves for Shelby Miller.
The Cubs are reportedly still talking to the Rays, Padres, Orioles and Indians. The names the Cubs have been mainly been connected to are Jake McGee, Brad Boxberger, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Tyson Ross, Kevin Gausman, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.
The discussions with the Braves and Indians appear to include Javier Baez and Jorge Soler while the Rays seem to be focused on Baez. (Clarification: Braves and Indians are interested in Baez and Soler, it’s believed only one would be included in a package for one of the Braves or Indians starters)
Joe Maddon is scheduled to meet with the media today, which is always must see television and appointment radio.
Day Two Updates
• Update 9:35am CST – According to Jon Heyman, the Braves had meetings late into the night Monday and made progress on trading Shelby Miller. A deal could happen as soon as today.
• Update 9:35am CST – David Kaplan reported the Cubs pursuit of Jason Heyward is legitimate “it just depends on how long and how big the contract goes.” A decision should happen this week.
• Update 9:35am CST – Kaplan confirmed the Cubs have explored trading Miguel Montero. The front office is not sure they can move Montero and if they do who would replace him.
• Update 9:35am CST – Jayson Stark reported RHP Kenta Maeda will be posted today. The Giants are “expected to make a major push.” Stark understands Maeda would prefer to sign with a team on the west coast.
• Update 9:35am CST – Jason Motte signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Rockies.
• Update 9:35am CST – According to Mark Bowman, the Diamondbacks may have “moved their attention away from Shelby Miller.” Several other teams “remain interested.”
• Update 9:35am CST – The Mets, Nationals and Giants “are the main players” for Ben Zobrist according to Jon Heyman. Other teams could surface late in the process.
• Update 9:35am CST – The Cardinals traded OF Jon Jay to the Padres for INF Jedd Gyorko according to multiple reports.
• Update 9:35am CST – According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and Diamondbacks “are not currently in mix” for Shelby Miller.
• Update 9:46am CST – David O’Brien talked to a Braves official Tuesday morning that reiterated the team does not want to trade Shelby Miller “and there’s a good chance he isn’t dealt.”
• Update 9:59am CST – According to Joel Sherman, talks between the Cubs and Rays about starting pitching, Alex Cobb in particular, “are not dead, cooled considerably.” Cubs are working on a lot, starting pitching, Jason Heyward, etc. Sherman did not elaborate on ‘etc.’
• Update 10:13am CST – Gerardo Parra has a strong market and is hoping for a four-year contract.
• Update 11:25am CST – Ken Rosenthal reported the Orioles are among the teams trying to acquire Adam Lind from the Brewers and Mitch Moreland from the Rangers. The Orioles checked in with the Braves on Shelby Miller, but there was not a match.
• Update 11:53am CST – Rosenthal explained the reason the Orioles and Braves do not match up … the Braves want Major League ready bats for Shelby Miller, Orioles have young pitching to offer.
• Update 12:59pm CST – Bob Nightengale is saying Ben Zobrist has a four-year, $80 million offer on the table. The Mets remain the favorites to sign him.
• Update 1:03pm CST – The Rangers attempted to trade for Shelby Miller and Jose Fernandez “but couldn’t make headway on a deal.” T.R. Sullivan also reported the Rangers could not work out a deal for Drew Smyly.
• Update 1:35pm CST – According to Joel Sherman, the Braves continue to field calls on Shelby Miller “but as of now do not consider anything close.”
• Update 1:44pm CST – The New York Daily News reported Ben Zobrist is discussing things with his wife. Zobrist’s agent said there should be a decision soon, possibly tonight.
• Update 2:12pm CST – Marc Topkin is hearing talks between the Cubs and Rays on a Javier Baez–Alex Cobb deal may have cooled “over additional pieces.”
• Update 2:41pm CST – The Padres are drawing major interest in James Shields according to Buster Olney.
• Update 2:54pm CST – Joe Maddon was on MLB Network Radio. Maddon said the Cubs need to get someone in center field to balance out Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler. Soler’s technique in right field was bad last year. Dave Martinez will continue to work with him.
Joe Maddon anticipates Javier Baez and Jorge Soler will be with the Cubs next season, but said anything is possible. Maddon said he’s happy with Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks in the rotation behind Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey.
• Update 3:42pm CST – According to Jon Paul Morosi, Ben Zobrist has at least one, four-year offer. A decision could be made in “next several hours.” Mets and Nationals are considered the favorites. Mets officials are reportedly very confident they will land Zobrist.
• Update 3:46pm CST – The Cubs are not out on Ben Zobrist according to Jesse Rogers “but not exactly the favorites either.”
• Update 4:17pm CST – Jon Paul Morosi reported the Giants are talking to several free agent outfielders. Giants prefer Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler over Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton because of defense. The Angels could also be interested in Jason Heyward, as previously reported.
Check back throughout the day. This report will be updated with reliable information from the Winter Meetings. Headline worthy news will receive individual reports. And make sure to follow on Twitter (@TheCCO) for up to the minute news and rumors.