Cubs News and Notes: Kris Bryant's market, Cubs being sued, Zobrist's status, Hot Stove


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Bryant is being mentioned in several trade rumors (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)
Bryant is being mentioned in several trade rumors (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

David Kaplan: “It's incredible to think the last time MLB Winter Meetings were in San Diego, Cubs stole the show by landing Jon Lester. Five years later, they are stuck in payroll hell because of bad contracts and a farm system that has struggled. How the hell did we get here?”

Winter Meetings: For the Cubs, there was no action from San Diego, unless, of course, you want to count Jon Heyman and others mentioning Kris Bryant’s name.

As long as we’re on the subject of KB, it looks like the Cubs third baseman could be the third to move this week, behind Donaldson and Rendon. Count the Braves, Dodgers, Rangers, and Phillies all as possibilities for the trio.

“Here's a prediction: The Cubs will trade Bryant to the Braves for Max Fried and top prospects.” -Jesse Rogers

“If there's a blockbuster deal that rocks the winter meetings, the Cubs seem to be the most likely candidates to make it. My gut says Bryant is slightly more likely to move this week than Willson Contreras or Anthony Rizzo, but no deal involving Chicago would surprise me here.” -Matt Mullen

Cubs being sued: According to a report on ESPN 1000, a man who uses a wheelchair has filed a lawsuit against the Cubs, alleging that their renovations at Wrigley “caused him to lose his regular seat (the seat was removed) and worsened his view.” The Cubs say that just the opposite is true, claiming that they are well within the guidelines set forth by the ADA.

Cubs’ interleague on ESPN: ESPN has announced that as part of its Sunday Night Baseball schedule, they will televise the Red Sox @ Cubs game on June 21st, then a week later it’ll be the Cubs in New York to face the Yanks on June 28th.

Zo watch: As of right now, it looks like Zo has a 50-50 chance of playing in 2020 – I still say he’ll retire. Family first, and family matters caused Zo a lot of heartaches this past year.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday were ex-Cubs Todd Van Poppel (48), Mike Fyhrie (50), Steve Christmas (62), Rick Bladt (73), Darold Knowles (78), and posthumously, Mike Mitchell (140).

Baseball Quotes: “The one unbreakable rule about hitting is this: if a batter hits well with his own particular stance and swing, think twice - or more - before suggesting a change.” -Stan Musial

MLB and the Hot Stove

NL Central News:

Cardinals: Mike Axisa (CBS Sports) wrote a piece yesterday, discussing a trade prediction that would send Francisco Lindor to the Cardinals. Axisa suggests that the Cards would deal SS/2BPaul DeJong, IF/OF Tommy Edman, and OF Tyler O’Neil in return, which would certainly be a hefty haul for Lindor.

More importantly (for Cubs’ fans), Axisa lays out the rationale behind the Indians trading Lindor, which would certainly parallel the Cubs' rationale for dealing Kris Bryant. “Do they want to trade Lindor? No, they absolutely do not. Do the Indians have to trade Lindor? Eh, no, probably not, but it might be prudent. Lindor is two years away from free agency, and it's unlikely the small-market Indians can afford to keep him long-term. They could either keep him and try to win the next two years, then let him go as a free agent, or cash him in as a trade chip for a massive return now.”

While the Cubs are anything but a small-market team, the likelihood of them re-signing Bryant is nil, and offering two years of control to a would-be trading partner is undoubtedly better than offering up KB in his walk-year.

From the Rest of MLB:

Stephen Strasburg: The market for high-profile starters just got smaller, as Stephen Strasburg has re-signed with Washington; seven years/$245M- ironically, this is the same as what the Yanks offered Gerrit Cole. Strasburg also got a full no-trade clause in his deal.

This certainly doesn’t bode well for the Nats concerning Anthony Rendon, whom the team wanted to re-sign. Ownership said a week ago that they couldn’t afford to sign both, and I’m quite confident that their mind was already made up: If they could get Strasburg, Rendon was done; if not, they’d focus on Rendon.

Gerrit Cole With Strasburg off the board, it’ll only be a matter of time (maybe a day or two) before Gerrit Cole announces his decision. But right now, it looks like the Yankees. Cole said he’s going to the highest bidder, regardless of geographic location, and the Yanks have a $245M offer on the table. The Angels and Dodgers currently rank second and third in the race.

Rays: Even after dealing Tommy Pham last week, the Rays are rumored to be ready to deal more players during this week’s Winter Meetings. Middle-infielder (prospect) Vidal Brujan’s name has been mentioned, as has shortstop prospect Lucius Fox.

Padres: It sounds as though the Padres, who started the winter with a bang, won’t be major players at the Winter Meetings. Despite the need for pitching, the team says that it won’t be meeting with Scott Boras, Stephen Strasburg, or Gerrit Cole to discuss a possible deal.

Red Sox: Utility-man Steve Pearce has announced that he’s now “unofficially retired.” Pearce will be turning 37 in April and doesn’t figure on being signed this winter.

White Sox: The Sox don’t seem to care whether they score Nicholas Castellanos or Marcell Ozuna, but they seem determined to get one of them.

MadBum: Madison Bumgarner is watching the market closely, now deciding that he wants nine-figures. He’ll likely be closer to $100M than $200M, but the market is definitely up – unless, of course, you’re the Cubs.

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