Cubs Rumor Roundup (12/19): Cubs Still Talking to O’s About Machado, Darvish Meeting More Teams

In case you were thinking that the Cubs’ reported interest in Manny Machado was a bunch of hooey, I present the following as evidence to the contrary:

Despite the rough phrasing, Bruce Levine is tapped in and is generally right on the pulse of what’s going on. But while I totally buy that he’s correct here, there’s no way in hell the Cubs are meeting the Orioles’ reported asking price for one year of Machado’s services.

According to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, “The club is still commanding at least two starting pitchers who can remain under club control for at least the next four or five years [emphasis mine].”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. [Stops to take urgent, ragged breaths] Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I am completely dumbfounded by just how dunderheaded Baltimore’s leadership has been about this whole situation. They’ve refused to allow interested a 72-hour negotiating window and they won’t deal with teams that might flip Machado, even going so far as to rule out those suitors that might fall out of the race prior to the July trade deadline. And now they’re asking for two cost-controlled pitchers in return.

How many teams even have two of those? I mean, sure, that could include a dip in the prospect pool as well, but who would give up two such pitchers in exchange for a rental. I don’t care how good he it’s, that just silly. Also silly is the idea of trading both Addison Russell and Mike Montgomery for Machado. Like, Russell can’t even pitch.

There were also rumblings that the Orioles were interested in Javy Baez, which doesn’t really make much sense. I tend to think fans greatly overestimate Javy’s actual value, choosing to multiply it instead by his significant awesomeness factor, and I also think he’s more expendable than Russell. That said, the positional shuffle required wouldn’t make as much sense in Javy’s case.

In addition to the exorbitant cost, the Orioles have been so obvious in putting Machado on the block that they’ve painted themselves into a corner with him. Pulling him back now results in both a malcontent and a much smaller return for an even shorter rental come July. But if they stick to their demand of two pitchers, they’re going to be left holding the bag.

Darvish meets with Astros

Turns out the Cubs weren’t the only team for whom Yu Darvish was brushing up on his English. After tweeting out a confirmation of his meeting with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, Darvish indicated that he’d be speaking more the following day. Instead of a second powwow with the Cubs, however, his Tuesday talks were actually with the Astros.

What’s more, Darvish is reportedly set to meet with his original team soon as well. That what MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden tweeted Tuesday evening, though an earlier report said no meeting was scheduled. This could be another Ralph situation, or it could just be that plans had changed in the five hours between those tweets.

Both the Astros and Rangers are pretty well set in the rotation, but there’s always room for a pitcher of Darvish’s caliber. If the Cubs do indeed believe Darvish is the right fit, they’ll need to get after him here.

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