The Cubs may or may not be discussing Justin Upton with the Dbacks.
It could go either way. Basically all there is to this report is Rosenthal saying that the Dbacks are having "active discussions" about Upton. One of his sources said that there's an 80% chance that he gets traded this offseason, though obviously the FO is denying this. What ties the Cubs into it is that they were on Upton's four team no-trade list last season. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that Rosenthal said that the list has changed this year, though the new four-team set it unknown. I can't really see any reason why Upton would want to come to the Cubs though, and it's not like there's a lot of urgency from his perspective to get a big extension from anyone. If we start seeing more Cubs-Upton rumors I'd be more inclined to think that Arizona is using them to drive up his price with other teams.
The DBacks are also looking to unload top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, because he's fallen out of favor with the organization for some reason. That has to be a huge red flag for any team that wants to acquire him. Bauer was the organization's top prospect going into last year, and ranked as the 9th best prospect overall.
Looks like the Haren deal was nixed due to Haren's health
According to Orange Guy, the deal fell through due to the Cubs concerns over Haren's back and a separate hip issue which was likely the cause of his drop in velocity. The Cubs don't seem super interested in signing him on the free agent market either.
Hoyer said the org deserved some of the blame for the leak, namely, they should have told Marmol that it wasn't done deal sealed yet when they asked him to waive the NTC. Personally, I don't think it would have made a ton of a difference. Going from "I have been traded to the Angels" to "The team asked me of I would be cool with being traded to the Angels" isn't that different news-wise in the rumor-hungry offseason. But I wouldn't be surprised if the org quietly put the word out to players to keep their mouths shut.
Long term deal with Samardzija?
Gordo speculates that the Cubs might lock up Samardzija this offseason, but to me Hoyer's GM-speak sounds like they're not planning on it. This is probably just a case of Thoyer saying nothing and each side just wishcasting what they want. Here's the quotes:
I'm not going to comment on it, but he's had a great year and certainly he's a guy we hope is in a Cubs' uniform for a long time…He's a great competitor, and I think he's the kind of guy that teammates really look up to,'' Hoyer said. “And I think he has the potential down the road to be a really good leader. …
“It's hard to be a leader when you're also trying to establish your career. But now that he's had a really great season, I think he can probably be that guy. There's nothing but positive things to say about the year he had, and getting to know him, he's really impressive.''
Cubs downplaying trade opportunities at GM Meetings
The Chicago Tribune reports…wait. I have to pay money in order to read a Paul Sullivan article? Excuse me while I die laughing.
Various prospect lists released
Baseball Prospectus ($) and Fangraphs have released their top ten and top fifteen prospects in the Cubs system, respectively. Perhaps the most surprising ranking is Dan Vogelbach, who was ranked fifth in each list. Not surprisingly, Javier Baez and Albert Almora headed each list. Brett Jackson's star has fallen far under the weight of approximately 674 strikeouts in 2012.
BPro has a good discussion by their minor league evaluators about the ranking process (free), which is worth a read.
Wrigley renovation shakedown update
Now that the city is no longer focused on the election, we can get back to our regularly-scheduled business of putting taxpayer money in politicians' and Tom Ricketts's pockets. It sounds like there's no way they're going to get anything from the bankrupt state government, and Ricketts "would prefer to work out a deal that does not require legislative approval", which was what was going to happen anyway.
Nate Silver on the Daily Show last night
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|