The Winter Meetings go from Sunday to Wednesday this week and I’m guessing plenty of texts and conversations have been conducted even before everyone arrives in San Diego. Ken Rosenthal on his Athletic mailbag podcast suggested that the new CBA seemed to give teams more confidence to spend, which accounts for the higher-than-usual price tags we’ve seen for the relievers, middle rotation starters, and of course Jacob deGrom, who got more years and money than most would have predicted, but perhaps the Rangers are just nuts. If the Cubs want to spend, they obviously will and we’ll find out together, but aside from that, there are other things to look to during these meetings.
The first ever MLB Draft Lottery is on Tuesday, and the Cubs have the 12th worst record in 2022 and the odds that go with it to snag a top-6 pick. Let’s just say the Cubs will just pick 12th in every round, but if they sneak into the top 6 anyway, that would be pretty funny and if the QO guys haven’t signed yet, that might partly change some of their calculus since they’d have a few hundred thousand more dollars to distribute in next year’s draft as a result.
Rule 5 Draft
The Rule 5 Draft will be held on Wednesday, the Cubs have some spots open and some guys on the roster they can probably afford to outright or DFA if they wanted to, so I imagine they’ll pick someone (just not sure whom). Since draft order is determined by the regular season record, the Cubs will pick 12th in all rounds of the Rule 5 (however many) and may stand to lose a few good prospects if any other teams feel like taking a risk, especially on a still-kinda-far-away prospect like Luis Devers.
- The Marlins are apparently open to trading anyone not named Sandy Alcantara, so there are a lot of their capable starters that could be had for the right price.
- Sean Murphy is of course the big catcher name on the trade block, but unfortunately none of the rumored suitors are the Cubs (so far). UPDATE: guess Atlanta isn’t the top suitor but there are plenty still in the mix for Murphy per Feinsand.
- Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds (pretty much their only good player besides Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz) reportedly requested a trade because, well, it’s the Pirates and can you blame him? I don’t really see an incentive for the Pirates to talk to the Cubs about a swap, but you never know. UPDATE: per the Pirates beat, the Yankees are the top team in the Reynolds sweepstakes.
- The Cubs have been linked in various degrees from “sorta” to “very interested” to all the big four shortstops, so chances are they’ll snag one of them and we will have to grow to love Dansby Swanson. Or don’t, I can’t tell you what to do (hoping for Correa or Bogaerts tbh, and the latest suggests Bogaerts is now the priority, which yes, and also suggests the Cubs aren’t afraid to give up a draft pick since the farm is kind of loaded right now anyway and their first rounder is protected regardless).