Left-hander Mike Montgomery wants to be a starting pitcher, and would like that opportunity with another team if there isn’t a spot for him in the Cubs’ rotation, sources close to Montgomery tell The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Montgomery hasn’t told the Cubs about any desire to be traded, though he has told the team about his preference to start. The 28-year-old has been a valuable swingman for Chicago since he was acquired in a trade from the Mariners in July 2016, and the team has been so actively looking for starting pitching that it seems Montgomery’s role won’t change in 2018. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times and other media that Rosenthal’s report “kind of caught me by surprise….There hasn’t been any dialogue that should have spurred a report like that. You just don’t know where it comes from. But sometimes that happens. Mike’s a great teammate.” Montgomery is a valuable asset with four remaining years of team control, though he could also become a big trade chip for the Cubs if they did consider moving him.
Some more rumblings about trade talks….
- The Phillies’ Cesar Hernandez is the latest second baseman on the Mets’ list of targets, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Hernandez may come with the highest asking price, however, of any of the players — Ian Kinsler, Josh Harrison, Jason Kipnis — the Mets are considering, given Hernandez’s controllable salary. One infielder the Mets aren’t interested in is new Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro.
- The Giants are believed to have offered Denard Span as one of the three players going to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Span would have helped fill the hole in Miami’s outfield and his $11MM salary would’ve helped the Giants offset a small portion of Stanton’s enormous contract. The Giants continue to be linked to the Marlins in talks for Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, though Span wouldn’t be part of those potential trades given the far different salary parameters involved. It is fair to wonder whether Span will be wearing a different uniform in 2018, given how the Giants are looking to thoroughly upgrade their outfield both offensively and defensively. Also in the piece, Giants GM Bobby Evans said that teams have been asking about San Francisco’s top prospects and younger players, including right-hander Chris Stratton.
- Giants prospect Heliot Ramos is being asked about in almost every trade proposal, The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly writes. Ramos, 17 ,was the 19th overall pick of the 2017 amateur draft and he has already turned a lot of heads in his brief pro career.
- Also from Baggarly, Bobby Evans said that teams have approached the Giants about trades that would see the Giants send a large-salaried player (and some prospects) elsewhere in what would essentially be a case of the other club buying minor league talent. Evans said he isn’t considering those types of deals at this time, though Baggarly also writes that the Giants may be increasingly keen on getting under the luxury tax threshold this winter in order to position themselves for larger spending in the future.
- The Rangers are one of the teams known to have contacted the Tigers about Michael Fulmer, though Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Fress Press reports that the two sides haven’t gotten very far in negotiations. Fulmer’s ability and years of team control make him an attractive target for any club, especially the pitching-needy Rangers, though the Tigers have naturally put a huge asking price on their young righty.