Chicago Cubs: Latest news and rumors: Contreras, Harper and KB, Machado and more

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Jim Young - USA Today Sports
Jim Young - USA Today Sports

Cubs news and notes

Cubs 2019 Opening Day: 116 days.

Brandon Hyde: Just about the time it looked like the Cubs’ coaching staff was about to be complete, and a potential ripple has entered the pond. Bench coach Brandon Hyde is set to interview for the manager’s spot in Baltimore.

While the Cubs can ill-afford to have to keep searching for coaching replacements, this may be the opportunity for Davis Ross to step back into the team’s clubhouse. Theo Epstein said almost two months ago that he wanted to see Ross in some “larger presence” with the team, and this may be the golden opportunity to do so.

Other’s to be interviewed for the Orioles’ job include Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale, Royals’ coach Pedro Grifol, and D-Back’s director of player development, Mike Bell.

Would the Cubs replace Contreras? I wrote on Friday that Sirius XM's Craig Mish was suggesting the Cubs might have interest in the Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto- so much so that they might be willing to “move on from Contreras.” While I’m still thinking that Mr. Kish may be hallucinating, I have learned that he’s relatively well connected to the Marlins, so he may very well hear rumblings.

While I still say the Cubs will trade at least one, and maybe as many as three core players this winter, I don’t see Contreras being one of them. For the time being, I’m not touching this one.

Bryant/Harper: Just about the time I thought we had all moved past the notion that Harper would sign with the Cubs, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, their wives and rap-star Nelly posed for a picture together, sparking a new wave of rumors. Harper and Bryant have been friends for a long time, and I wouldn’t make to much about them hanging out together.

Jesse Chavez: If you weren’t already bummed out enough about Jesse Chavez heading for Texas, the Cubs have now released a “thank you” video, spotlighting precisely the reasons they should have re-signed him. The Cubs, and perhaps a few fans, were betting that Chavez couldn’t continue his performance for a two-year stretch, but I think it was a risk worth taking.

News and rumors from around the league

A.J. Pollock: If Bryce Harper is the number-one, free-agent outfielder this year, Pollock has to be number two. Rumors have Pollock seeking at least an $80M deal in his pursuit to find a new home. MLB Trade Rumors projects he’ll receive a four-year, $60M deal, while Fangraphs is projecting a three-year, $54M contract.

J.T. Realmuto: While I’ve still seen nothing confirmed about the Cubs’ interest in the catcher, rumors say the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees are in hot pursuit. The latest rumblings have the Yankees prepared to deal catcher Gary Sanchez to the Marlins in something along the lines of a “straight-up” trade for Realmuto.

Mets: The Mets are on a mission. Pending physicals, Cano/Diaz the deal is complete, and now NY is said to be in talks with Cleveland for Corey Kluber.

The final deal is Edwin Díaz, Robinson Canó and $20 million for Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista. The trade should be announced Monday officially.

Phillies/Machado/Segura: The Phillies have expressed interest in trading with the Mariners for SS Jean Segura, with the Mariners showing interest in Phillies SS J.P. Crawford as a possible trade piece in return. The Phillies say they’ll shift Machado to third-base if they land him, allowing Segura to play short.

Pirates: Pittsburgh has outrighted RHP Alex McCrae to the minors.

Royals: KC has outrighted RHP Mark Leiter and RHP Burch Smith to the minors.

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