Monday, December 7, 2015


By Michael Wong

Nashville, TN..-The second installment of the Winter Meetings is underway and already we have a blockbuster deal completed between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds for All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman.  Thus far the pitchers have dominated free agency and trade talks but the early discussions here in Nashville are now moving toward the hitters.

-Speaking of hitters, the Los Angeles Angels have decided to dive right in on the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes, the first team to officially make it known they are involved there.  I also hear the Detroit Tigers are monitoring Cespedes but have much more interest in Alex Gordon who they think will come cheaper and be less high maintenance.

Meanwhile the St. Louis Cardinals have Gordon as their second alternative if Jason Heyward departs via free agency.

-The New York Mets are doing a full court press on Ben Zobrist who is on town and who will likely make a decision before the meetings break up.  Zobrist will certainly get the four year deal he was craving but he is getting stiff offers as well from the Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, and to a lesser extent the Washington Nationals.  Also the Dodgers jumped in late on Zobrist as well but we hear he would rather stay on the East Coast as he is from Tennessee. 

What is very interesting is that I was told by a Mets source that Daniel Murphy could very well be brought back if Zobrist does sign elsewhere.  The consensus was that Murphy was as good as gone but the Mets don't have to give a draft pick as compensation if they re-sign him.  Interesting. 

-Mark Lowe joins Francisco Rodriguez to give the Detroit Tigers the back end bullpen stability that has undermined them for years.  The relief market is really starting to get going now that the top starters are starting to come off the board.

Darren O'Day re-signs with the Baltimore Orioles which is not a total surprise as I was told from the beginning he was the one guy they didn't want to lose.  Meanwhile Joakim Soria will pair with Wade Davis to form the new 1-2-3- mammoth bullpen for the Royals with Kelvin Herrera. 

-Speaking of the Dodgers, they were in dialogue with the Miami Marlins for Jose Fernandez but they absolutely will not surrender top pitching prospect Julio Urias.  There is not as lot of chatter with Fernandez right now as most teams know they will need to pay a ton. 

-The Rays are dangling closer Brad Boxberger and have offered him to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Javier Baez.

-The Houston Astros are determined to acquire an All-Star closer and with Chapman and Craig Kimbrel off the board, they continue to monitor both Ken Giles and Andrew Miller.

-It is 100 percent true that the Atlanta Braves asked for All-Star outfielder A.J. Pollock from the Arizona Diamonadbacks for Shelby Miller.  Nothing happening with that line of trade talks. 


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