Jon Heyman of CBS Sports kicks off his weekly Inside Baseball column by chronicling the efforts of Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. Perhaps most interesting are some of the items about trades the Jays elected not to make. As Heyman notes, the Reds asked for right-hander Marcus Stroman in exchange for Johnny Cueto, but Stroman was a deal-breaker in all trade talks with Toronto. Dating back to the offseason, the Blue Jays considered signing Craig Breslow, Joba Chamberlain, John Axford and Rafael Soriano, as well as some larger names, including David Robertson, whom they considered “closely.” (Toronto never made a firm offer to Robertson, though, Heyman writes.) The Blue Jays’ willingness to include Daniel Norris in a trade for David Price effectively shut every other team out of the market, per Heyman, as others weren’t willing to discuss their absolute top prospects. The Yankees, for instance, wouldn’t part with Luis Severino, while the Dodgers steadfastly refused to part with Corey Seager or Julio Urias.
More highlights from the article (which is worth checking out in its entirety, as there’s far more than can be recapped here with any form of brevity)…
- Paul Goldschmidt is under team control through 2019, but the D-Backs will attempt to extend him further this offseason, per GM Dave Stewart. “We want to make him a lifetime Diamondback,” Stewart told Heyman. I imagine the price tag there will be extraordinary, as Goldschmidt has gone from rising talent to unequivocal superstardom since signing his initial extension with Arizona. Heyman also reports that the D-Backs will take a shot at extending the arbitration-eligible A.J. Pollock. While not a household name, Pollock probably earns my personal vote as the most underrated player in baseball.
- The Braves have been making an effort to shed contracts that reach beyond the 2016 season, and Heyman writes to “look for them to take offers on Julio Teheran” this offseason. Clearly, Atlanta would be selling low on a talented arm that comes with a very reasonable contract. Teheran signed a six-year, $32.4MM extension prior to the 2014 season, but he’s logged a 4.57 ERA due in part to diminished control in 2015.
- The Orioles will make left-hander Wei-Yin Chen a qualifying offer this winter, Heyman reports. Chen might not seem like a prototypical QO candidate, but he’s a lock to turn it down, in my mind, coming off a very nice season at age 30. He should draw pretty significant interest this winter, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently noted in examining Chen’s free agent stock.
- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is up for an extension at an excellent time, as the Cubs’ rebuild looks to be paying tremendous dividends. Epstein has been earning about $4MM per year with the Cubs, but Heyman hears from some in the industry that the expectation is for Epstein to top Andrew Friedman’s reported $7MM annual salary with the Dodgers if and when he signs a new deal.
- Despite a poor season for the Reds, there’s a sense among some that they may keep manager Bryan Price. The second-year Reds skipper has had to deal with the losses of Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart and Homer Bailey, among many injuries to others in 2015.
- There’s been some buzz about the Tigers trimming payroll, but Heyman spoke to multiple sources close to the situation who say that talk might be overstated. One spoke specifically about the Ilitch family’s continued commitment to winning. Heyman speculatively mentions Justin Upton as a player that has previously piqued Detroit’s interest. He also lists the White Sox as a team that may show interest in Upton.
- The Royals are serious about trying to make Alex Gordon a lifetime member of the organization. It’ll be tough for Kansas City to do so if he’s seeking something in the vicinity of Shin-Soo Choo money ($130MM), but the increased revenue they’re receiving from the Kansas City baseball renaissance could allow them to spend more than they would’ve in previous seasons.
- The Dodgers have interest in Johnny Cueto as a free agent, and adding a right-handed arm does intrigue them. Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu and Julio Urias (expected to eventually join the L.A. rotation) are all left-handed, as is fellow offseason target David Price, whom Heyman terms a “more obvious target” for Friedman & Co.
- The Brewers are serious about trying to emphasize analytics with a new GM hire, as the Attanasio family (the team’s owners) are big believers in the growing statistical trend. Mark Attanasio’s son, a former basketball player, is an MIT grad with a strong foundation in basketball analytics. John Coppolella, Thad Levine, David Forst, Mike Hazen, Billy Eppler, Michael Girsch and Jerry Dipoto are among the names that Heyman feels could be fits in Milwaukee’s GM seat.
- “Not happening. Not even slightly,” was the response from Athletics general manager Billy Beane when asked by Heyman about the possibility of trading Sonny Gray this winter. That’s a pretty emphatic denial, and while some will recall similar comments made about Josh Donaldson last October, those came from an anonymous executive as opposed to an on-record denial from Oakland’s top decision-maker.
Heyman kind of talks himself out of his own argument. If the Dodgers can’t extend Greinke, the more obvious choice to replace him is Cueto not Price.
I am pretty sure Greinke is going to leave, and I think they would replace him with Zimmermann.
They will go full court press to retain Grienke, unless he gets hurt before the end of the season, in which case they will be stuck with him. In either case if they can’t retain him the replacement will be a top righty.
I think he wins the cy young this year, he is having a great year. He’s going to opt out and will go to the highest bidder, I think the cubs get Greinke or Price.
Of course he will go to the highest bidder. Everybody does. The question is who will outbid the Dodgers. If they really want the player, nobody.
I think Chen, Davis, and Wieters all get QOs. Davis will definitely sign elsewhere, as the team is not going to pay him 5/100 when Jones is on a 6/85 deal. Chen probably goes elsewhere as well, as I think he’d be an outstanding pitcher in a spacious ballpark. I could see him in Detroit if they weren’t already pushing the boundaries of their payroll. I could definitely see him in San Francisco. Wieters won’t take the QO because his agent is Boras, if nothing else. I think the O’s are prepared to live with Joseph as the starter and perhaps Clevenger as the backup until Chance Cisco is ready.
Funny thing is, in theory, the Dodgers could just decide to offer Seager, Urias & Puig and suddenly we’d find that Sonny Gray would be very available.
funny thing is dodgers would never do that. they value their farm way to much.
I think they would give up Urias De Leon or Seager for Gray but not Hamels.
LAA could also offer Trout, but the likelihood is about equal for either offer materializing in the coming off season.
Wow.. Some of the other replies on your comment take this as serious speculation.. Lighten up guys he was merely pointing out that there are offers Beane would take for Gray and that Beane’s denial doesn’t amount to much if he is offered a major overpay..
Funny thing is I think almost anyone would jump at the chance to acquire Urias and Seager (like him or not Puig is also undeniably talented). It would be very hard to turn down a deal with that as the return.
Puig needs a mentor like Torii Hunter , somebody to teach him how to play the game the right way or the right manager like Buck Showalter
Puig has plenty of mentors on the Dodgers, including Gonzales, Rollins and Kendrick. Uribe was another. Ethier is a player he can learn a lot from. Now if somebody needs help in that department right now it’s Pederson.
I would love to see Goldy as a lifetime D’Back. It would be a huge setback to lose a player of his caliber and leadership quality.
in this day in age it will be rare if a player stay with one team for their whole career.
It would take a pretty remarkable kind of yahoo to screw up having Paul Goldschmidt under contract for the next four years. It’s nice to see that Dave Stewart is up to the challenge!
Interesting that John Coppolella’s name is mentioned despite the fact that the worst kept secret in the Braves front office is that he is GM in training to take over for Hart very soon.
True, but I felt at the time Hart was announced that it could have been an error to not name Coppolella as GM then (with the appropriate bump in pay), and give Hart the same position he currently holds. A team could come through and offer Coppolella a ‘real’ GM position of his own, now.
That said, I get the feeling that Coppolella is comfortable and happy in Atlanta.