Cubs News and Notes: Kris Bryant trade rumors, White Sox get better, Hot stove, more


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Bryant could have a huge 2020 season (Brad Mills - USA Today Sports)
Bryant could have a huge 2020 season (Brad Mills - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Things have been a little slow this week for the Cubs and MLB, and next week will probably be similar, with New Year’s Eve and Day falling in the middle of the week. There’s a chance that we may see something done between now and New Year’s, but the likelihood is that we’ll be looking at Monday, January 6th before Theo and other baseball execs get back to making some moves.

KB to Atlanta? For some time the Braves have been thought to have interest in Kris Bryant, but now rumors have surfaced as to what the Cubs want in return. According to Paul Crane (WZGC Atlanta), the Cubs are asking for three of the following: RHP (starter) Ian Anderson, IF/OF Austin Riley, OF (minors) Drew Waters, and RHP (starter/reliever) Kyle Wright.

Whether the Cubs can score three of the four remains to be seen, but that would be a potentially hefty haul. Riley plays third, so that would be one option for Chicago, as they look to fill Bryant’s position. Nothing is likely to happen until KB’s grievance gets settled, and that decision is expected to come sometime in mid to late January.

Trade Market: MLB Trade Rumors compiled their list of the Top-25 trade candidates who could move before the offseason ends. There’s plenty for Theo Epstein to work with if traded are the way that he’s going to go.

Starling Marté could provide the cure for a centerfielder who can hit – something that the Cubs feel is at the top of their priority list. Also rumored to be on the trade block, is Red Sox centerfielder, Jackie Bradley Junior, but he’s a far less appealing option. For the last three seasons, Bradley’s batting average has dropped from .245 to just .225.

At age 25, Clint Frazier (Yankees) may be the most appealing option for an outfielder, as his bat has improved annually over his three years in the bigs, to what is now a .267 average. San Diego may offer up Will Myers, who also plays first and third, but Myers’ bat also leaves a lot to be desired. The Red Sox may still offer Mookie Betts, but the Cubs are unlikely to bite, considering his monstrous contract.

As for relievers, RHP Ken Giles may be available, and the Crew is still rumored to be willing to part ways with Josh Hader, although I can’t see David Stearns and Theo Epstein dealing stars back and forth within the division.

Rumors say that Pirates may be wanting to deal righty Keone Kela (2.12 ERA over 32 games in 2019), but again, you have the whole interdivisional trade taboo thing going on. Pittsburgh needs a lot of help with their current roster, but Kela will fetch a healthy return, and I’m not sure that the Cubs have enough to get him.

Cleveland is cleaning house this winter. The Tribe has already dealt Corey Kluber, and they’re seemingly intent on moving Mike Clevinger, Francisco Lindor, and reliever Brad Hand. Hand would be an excellent acquisition for the Cubs, and Cleveland will have a lot of holes to fill, but Theo would have to cut deep into Chicago’s roster to get him.

LHP Tim Hill (KC) would bring plenty of reasonable control, and the Royals are looking to fill a hole at third base. Then there’s RHP Mychal Givens (Orioles), who failed to impress with his 4.57 ERA in 2019 and Joe Jimenez (Tigers), who was only slightly better with his 4.37 ERA last season.

There’s a ton of talent available, depending on just how deep Theo decides to cut. As we’ve watched free agents fly off the shelves, it’s obvious that the Cubs have to shed payroll to make any major moves. Also making the list were Kris Bryant (ranked 10th) and Willson Contreras, who was ranked at #23.

Poll: Which Chicago baseball team makes the 2020 playoffs?

Cubs’ Birthdays Celebrating yesterday were ex-Cubs Chris Carpenter (34), J.C. Boscán (40), Dave Rader (71), and posthumously, Harry Taylor (112) and Edward "Doc" Farrell (118).

MLB and the Hot Stove

NL Central News:

Cardinals: As the Cards continue to look for an outfielder to replace Ozuna, Corey Dickerson’s name has arisen. The team also says that they aren’t necessarily out of the bidding to be able to resign Ozuna.

Reds: According to reports, the Reds have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Shogo Akiyama.

From the Rest of MLB:

White Sox: Edwin Encarnacion and the White Sox in agreement on one year $12 million deal club option . Announcement pending physical.

The Sox are also still showing interest in both Nicholas Castellanos and Yasiel Puig, though after signing Encarnacion, Castellanos wouldn’t seem to have an open spot to play.

Edward Aschoff: As reported yesterday, ESPN SEC reporter Edward Aschoff died after battling pneumonia. Today, his fiancé (Katy Berteau) released the following statement.

“Hi everyone, this is Katy Berteau, Edward’s fiancé. I want to say thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathies, condolences, and prayers for me and his family and friends. The outpouring of love, admiration, and gratitude for his life have been so incredible, and have helped me through these last few days. It has brought me brief moments of joy in this darkness to see all the pictures, videos, and memories of all the lives he touched.

I couldn’t be more proud that the one thing people are talking about most was his ability to lift them up with his energy, light, and that all-encompassing smile.

I also want to take this opportunity to provide more clarity about his passing. As a journalist, it was of the utmost importance to him that stories be accurate. Edward was admitted to the hospital a week after our first visit to the ER, where he was diagnosed with multifocal pneumonia. After failed antibiotic treatment, with worsening of symptoms, we took him back to the ER, and he was immediately admitted. After many tests - bone marrow and lung biopsies - treatment was started for a presumed diagnosis of HLH, an unregulated, over-activation of the immune system that causes it to attack itself and other healthy tissues. Within three days of being moved into the ICU, he passed.

I want to share the brightness that he showed, even up until the last day he was awake. He kept the doctors and nurses constantly laughing, and always made a point to thank them and tell them what a great job they were doing. He also loved Christmas so much that, even from the ICU, he was coordinating with my friend about wrapping my presents so I could be surprised. He loved people with his entire being.”

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