You can’t be afraid of salt when you’re putting together a meal, and Theo Epstein will tell you it takes a whole mouthful of the stuff to season a piping-hot bowl of rumors. So it is that I’ll advise you to make like the Morton Girl and break out your umbrella to prepare for the brainstorm to come. What if the Sox recreate their northern neighbors by using former Cubs as the foundation for their rebuild?
If some projections and a little creative dot-connecting by
MLB Trade Rumors has predicted that Nicholas Castellanos will end up with the White Sox, which makes sense on a number of levels. The Cubs weren’t the only thing he liked about Chicago and he’s familiar with G-Rate Field from his years in Detroit, not to mention the safety of the DH making Hahn and Williams more likely to spend the payroll money burning holes in their pockets.
The emotional fit might not be as good as with the Cubs, but a few million bucks might have Nicky Two Bags failing to heed Notorious B.I.G.’s advice. The Sox already know a little something about things not fitting very well, specifically in terms of a disappointing 2019 for may of their outfield and pitching prospects. While several of them could yet work out, they might think about parting with some in exchange for more proven talent.
The Sox will sign free agents, but they will make trades, too. And because you never know whether a player such as Kyle Schwarber or Kris Bryant can be pried away from a Cubs team looking to retool under a first-year manager, something off the map shouldn’t be ruled out.
Just so we’re very clear, Van
Can you imagine the Sox going out and signing Castellanos and then trading for either Schwarber or Bryant? Neither can I, but the scenario is possible to comprehend if you strip away the antiquated believe that the two teams won’t deal with one another. Speaking of, maybe the Cubs could figure out a way to trade José Quintana back for Eloy Jimenez. Riiiiiiight.
As long as we’re already talking about teams getting aggressive and looking to get splashy with big trades, keep an eye on the Padres. After first writing that the Dads could pursue Stephen Strasburg or Gerrit Cole, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune now reports that the team is targeting only a slightly more portly Opening Day payroll of $130-140 million.
With Manny Machado’s deal already fattening up their books, that means targeting lower-end free agents and using their cache of prospects to upgrade the rotation and left-handed batting. Acee also mentioned that GM A.J. Preller is also looking to improve the Padres’ catching situation, hence our Michael Canter listing San Diego as a potential destination for Willson Contreras should the Cubs look to move their All-Star backstop.
Wow, would you look at that. Here I talked about taking stuff with a little salt and I damn near headed off down a rabbit trail. The whole idea here is that, while it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll see several Cubs becoming Good Guys next season, there are several teams looking to shift gears into contention mode. At least a couple of those are going to be willing to move top prospects to do it.
The Cubs haven’t reached the point of needing to sell off just yet, but they might be convinced to do so if the price is right. As with anything this time of year, keep your eyes up and keep the context of the situation in mind.