Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says his team’s deal with Ben Zobrist and its trade of Starlin Castro to the Yankees were a matched pair, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago writes. “This was a multiple-bank shot,” says Epstein. “We needed all the components of both deals to line up. That included the medicals and timing to sync up. We were not counting any chickens before they had hatched.” The pair of moves, in which the Cubs essentially used the money they would have had to pay Castro to fund most of Zobrist’s contract, will not limit the team’s options as its offseason continues to unfold, Epstein says. “Really, all the moves we were pursuing previously are still potentially alive for us,” Epstein said. “We don’t have to act out of need or desperation now. We now can be pretty selective.” Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- The Rangers have had recent trade talks with the Indians, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan tweets. The Rangers are looking for a catcher, Sullivan notes, and the Indians’ Roberto Perez would make sense for them — he’s a good defender with a bit of hitting ability.
- Ricky Nolasco’s contract with the Twins allows him to block trades to three teams each year, and Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN tweets that those three teams are the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. As Wolfson suggests, that might not matter much right now — Nolasco has two years and $25MM remaining on his contract, and it doesn’t appear likely the Twins could trade him after two ineffective seasons, except perhaps in a swap of bad contracts.
- The Reds have promoted Nick Krall and Sam Grossman to assistant GM, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Krall had been the Reds’ senior director of baseball operations, and Grossman their senior director of baseball analytics. The team recently promoted assistant GM Dick Williams to GM.