A huge trade appears to be in the works, but we all know how quick things can change. Toronto is obviously going for it as they are rumored to have acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerlhe, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck from the Miami Marlins. The Marlins will receive SS Yunel Escobar, pitchers Henderson Alvarez and Justin Nicolino, INF Adeiny Hechavarria, and OF Jake Marisnick. The Marlins, who spent like crazy last winter have blown their team up and are beginning to stock pile young talent throughout their system. Marisnick, Nicolino, and Hechavarria were all in the Blue Jays top 10 prospects at number two, five, and seven respectively. Alvarez is a nice young arm that they can put in their rotation right now, and Escobar has always had talent, but has had some issues both on the field and off during his career. The Marlins have virtually erased 2011 off-season moving Reyes and Buerhle in this deal. As you recall they have already moved Heath Bell and have fired Ozzie Guillen. If any more details come out we will let you know.
UPDATE: The Marlins will also receive C Jeff Mathis and RHP Anthony DeSclafani. Toronto will receive $4 million from the Marlins.
According to several sources the Oakland Athletics have agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a 4 year $36MM deal. This is a big surprise as it appeared the Miami Marlins were well on their way to signing him to a six year
deal. This contract will enable Cespedes, who is said to be 26, a chance to become a free agent once again at 30, giving him a possibility of cashing in on a second big contract. According to Peter Gammons, Cespedes’ representatives “felt the A’s wanted him more than anyone else.” For the A’s this is a nice signing considering they have been looking for offense anyway they can get it, plus they are looking for some excitement in hopes of getting a new ballpark soon.
What does this mean for the Cubs? As we discussed in the Soler article it appeared the Cubs were out of the Cespedes running anyways, but does this mean the Marlins will focus their attention towards Soler having missed out on Cespedes? Only time will tell.
The biggest free agent remaining on the market is now officially in play for all teams, and the Marlins have struck first making the highly touted Dominican a 6 year, $40MM offer. Cespedes made his way to the United States last week on Thursday, and met with the Marlins. At that time Marlins president David Samson said that it was possible that the Marlins would make an offer to Cespedes at said meeting, apparently that’s exactly what happened.
Lost in the hoopla surrounding the Cubs since the end of the season was the little matter of deciding Mike Quade’s future. Even if we, and most Cub fans knew that Mike Quade was not Major League manager material, the Cubs brass
needed to make that official. Shortly after the Cubs front office was completely re energized, the no brainer decision to let Mike Quade pursue other opportunities, most likely in the minors or outside of baseball was made. We will give Epstein some credit here with the way he handled the process of letting Quade go, very professional. He made multiple trips to meet with Quade, and had a number of conversations with him and others in the organization to see if he would be a good fit, not based on what he had done it the past, but where he thought, and wanted this team to go in the future. Clearly, Quade’s idea’s did mesh with the idea’s of the new regime that was now in place, and he was let go from his two year deal that had one year remaining on it. Epstein and company didn’t have to go far to find the 52nd manager of the Chicago Cubs, just a short trip up I-94 to Milwaukee to find Dale Sveum. Sveum, serving as the third base coach in 2004 with the Red Sox, won a World Series title with Epstein. Since 2006, Sveum was on the Brewers coaching staff with titles ranging from third base coach, to bench coach, and to most recently hitting coach. Sveum did get a crack at the managerial position albeit a short one in 2008 when he took over for Ned Yost and led the Brewers to a 7-5 record down the stretch and a NL Wild Card berth. Along with Sveum, the following coaches will be joining the Cubs this season...