The winter meetings are underway in San Diego, and the Cubs have made their first mid range addition to their pitching staff, and old friend, Jason Hammel. David Kaplan, and Chris Cotillo are both reporting that Hammel’s deal is two years in length, for a total of $18 million, the deal also includes an option for a third year.
That is a tremendous deal for the Cubs, Hammel must have really liked it here, because that’s less than I thought he would get. As is everything this off-season, there are ties to Jon Lester here as well, Hammel pitched with Lester in Oakland to close out last year, the dominoes will start falling rapidly once Lester is signed, and that could be coming soon.
The one common news story this off-season involving the Cubs, besides Clark, and their inactivity, has been their interest in Masahiro Tanaka. We heard all along that once/if Tanaka was posted the Cubs would be going hard after him, and as the Friday signing deadline looms we are seeing just how bad they want him.
Bruce Levine tweeted out earlier that it sounds like the Cubs have submitted the highest bid for Tanaka, both in terms of years and dollars. Rumors were swirling yesterday that the Diamondacks had offered 6 years and $120 million, that doesn’t include the $20 million posting fee. So, expect the Cubs to come in well North of that, and there is good reason why, they aren’t good. Jon Morosi has hinted at Tanaka wanting to come to Major League Baseball and pitch for a winner, the Cubs aren’t that right now so they have to overpay, and sell Tanaka on the idea of winning down the road. Now if the Cubs can sway Tanaka to the North Side then I think that winning as a ball club gets much closer, he accelerates things for sure. Also, the Cubs are in a position where they can spend the money and not have it considered to be a bad deal, it doesn’t really hurt them either way, there is barely any money invested in this team right now.
In regards to the Friday (1/24/14) deadline; David Kaplan suggests that any deal with Tanaka will be done no later than Wednesday (1/22/14) in order for additional physicals/etc to be performed. So there is a real chance that we see a conclusion, good or bad, tomorrow or Wednesday, stay tuned, I’m optimistic.
GOOD! I’m sure this news will be met with the typical “he’s not good enough” “he makes errors” “he doesn’t care” that’s fine, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m just really glad that the people running the Cubs understand rare talent when they see it and are about to reward it with big time money. Per David Kaplan
“Two industry sources who have represented several MLB players over the past decade confirmed to me tonight that the Cubs are working on a long-term deal for star shortstop Starlin Castro.
The deal, which could be six or more years in length, is expected to be finalized before the end of the 2012 season and would not only buy out the remaining arbitration years that Castro has, but at least two years of free agency which he will reach after the 2016 season.”
That is huge for the Cubs, the ability to extend Castro and buy out free agency years is top-notch. Can’t wait to watch Castro improve and grow into a superstar in this league, with the Cubs.
Here are some solid comparables from Brett at Bleacher Nation, this gives you an idea of what Castro might get based on the current market.
“Comparable players (as close as we have anyway) have recently signed these kinds of deals, including Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus ($14.4 million over three arbitration years), Cameron Maybin (five years and $25 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, and one free agent year, plus an $8 million option year thereafter), Andrew McCutchen (six years, $51.7 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, two free agent years, plus a $14.75 million option year thereafter), and Justin Upton (six years, $50 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, and two free agent years).”
Thanks for reading,
David Kaplan breaks the news that the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit of Dempster. This part is important..
Baseball sources have confirmed to me that three teams are in play for Ryan Dempster and he will approve a deal to any of the three teams if the Cubs can agree on a suitable return in exchange for the veteran right-hander who is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career
Per Kaplan Dempster will approve a deal to anyone of those three teams, stop me if you heard that before.
“Texas is serious about adding a starter and Dempster isn’t as expensive to trade for as Garza would be, but after finishing as runners-up in the last two World Series and seeing the Angels add Zach Greinke, Texas management has decided to make a run at adding pitching, a baseball source told me. “However, with three teams seriously involved, it won’t be cheap to acquire him even though it is potentially a three-month rental.”
From the sound of it teams are starting to realize that adding the second best ERA in baseball to their staff at the deadline might benefit their team and they might be willing to pay for it, stay tuned.
Thanks for reading,
For a second there yesterday, well more like thirty minutes or so, we all thought that Ryan Dempster was traded to the Braves, not so fast! After some backtracking on numerous fronts, a cryptic I don’t know what’s going on tweet from the Dempster foundation, and Dale Sveum blaming the internets, Ryan Dempster threw a bullpen session as a member of the Cubs. Still not sure what happened yesterday, here’s a brief recap.
At roughly 1:22 PM CST news broke that Dempster was indeed traded to Atlanta. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman broke the story, Bowman is the beat writer for the Braves on MLB.com, the Carrie Muskat of the Braves if you will. There was no report of who was coming back to the Cubs from the Braves, so I was cautiously optimistic. The fact that a MLB.com reporter broke this story made me feel like it was done.
After a number of other outlets took the story and ran with it, ESPN, and MLB Network to name a few, Keith Law offered the second part of the deal. Around 1:51 PM CST Keith Law confirms that Randall Delgado was included in the deal from the Braves side of things. Cue mass excitement and shock from Cubs fans, and baseball insiders on twitter. Joe Sheehan was shocked that the Cubs were able to grab Delgado for Dempster. Kevin Goldstein suggested that Cubs fans should absolutely be thrilled with this deal. Not going to lie, after hearing this news I was ready to publish a Randall Delgado post about how awesome it was that the Cubs were able to get a 22-year-old arm from the Braves.
As the excitement was building a truly “Cub moment” slapped me and the rest of Cubdom across the face around 2:38 PM CST. Ryan Dempster’s foundation posted on their twitter account that there is no trade, they haven’t heard a thing. Welp. David Kaplan of CSN Chicago followed with “No trade”, wait, what just happened? Multiple major outlets were reporting this deal as done, now we are hearing there is nothing in place? This could only happen in a “trade” involving a Cubs player.
As we stumbled into the three o’ clock hour we got further confirmation that Ryan Dempster is still a Cub. How do we know this? Because he’s standing right there in the clubhouse in a Cubs uniform! What is going on?? Cubs beat reporter Paul Sullivan dashed our hopes and dreams first, then he was followed by noted dream killer Doug Padilla. Doug really isn’t a dream killer, I’m just calling him that for effect, Sullivan on the other hand, ehh.
With the visions of Randall Delgado wearing Cubbie Blue still fresh in our minds, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the deal is now up to Dempster. Wait, there is hope? You mean a deal really is in place and it’s only up to Dempster, who has made it widely known that the Braves are his number two team and given the fact he wants the best return for the Cubs there is no way this could go wrong! Unfortunately that was really the last we heard of this deal being down to Dempster, the Atlanta Journal Constitution chimed in later in the evening backing up Nightengale’s statement, but all other outlets that originally reported a done deal are now tight-lipped for obvious reasons.
If you want a more detailed account of everything that happened I suggest you head over to Bleacher Nation where Brett as a stomach turning detailed account of it all, including 28 updates, it’s worth a read for sure. My take on this is that there is a deal in place, or something close to a deal in place. I think Dempster just has to say yes and that Major League Baseball has to approve the deal because there is a significant amount of money involved in it. That’s just a guess, but if it really is down to Dempster saying yes, what happens if he doesn’t? How would you feel about that considering Dempster has said all along that he want’s what is best for the Cubs, and that he would like to return next year. Is he getting cold feet, or is he just excorsizing the rights that he has earned in the big leagues? Let us know what you think, I will have updates as they come out today, I’m sure there will be plenty.
Thanks for reading,