The Rundown: GM Meetings End with Little Fanfare, Javy Baez Earns Silver Slugger, Nathan Eovaldi Free Agent Profile

The GM Meetings ended with little movement and not a lot of rumors to disseminate. There’s still not much speculation on who will go where, and so far we’ve seen just four semi-major moves since the season ended.

  • The Nationals signed Trevor Rosenthal
  • The Yankees re-signed CC Sabathia.
  • The Rays traded OF Mallex Smith and minor leaguer Jake Fraley to the Mariners for C Mike Zunino, OF Guillermo Heredia, and minor leaguer Michael Plassmeyer.
  • Adam Wainwright re-signed with the Cardinals after being told by MLB he had to first file for free agency.

We’ll probably not see much of anything happening through Thanksgiving and up to the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas next month. As far as rumors go, the most exciting leaks were that the Indians are willing to discuss trading from their near-elite starting pitching and that the Mariners may be ready to wheel and deal, if not attempt a complete rebuild.

As far as the Cubs are concerned, we continue to hear that they will probably not do much in free agency while looking to fortify their 95-win team through the trade market.

Free Agent Profile: Nathan Eovaldi

If the Cubs want an interesting reliever option, Eovaldi could be it. He was absolutely electric coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs and World Series. The problem is, the 28-year old journeyman may want to start and he definitely wants security. He’s earned that.

Eovaldi started the year with the Rays, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts. He was traded to the Red Sox on July 25 for Jalen Beeks and finished 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA, working as an emergency starter while Chris Sale fought through injuries. He made two starts and four relief appearances in the postseason with a 1.61 ERA, punching out 16 and walking three in 22 1/3 innings pitched, allowing just 15 hits.

Eovaldi’s value is largely tied to his postseason domination, and, as was the case with Brandon Morrow last season, a significant raise is forthcoming. As a relief pitcher, he’d fit well with the Cubs, Indians, Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. As a starter, the Brewers, Phillies, and Nationals would all be interested. Unless he signs with Boston, I’d bet he’d prefer to take the bump every five days for a pennant-contending team. Wise baseball people, however, see his true value lies in a relief role.

Handicapping Eovaldi:

  1. Red Sox
  2. Cubs
  3. Indians
  4. Brewers

Cubs News & Notes

  • Javier Baez won the NL Silver Slugger Award at second base.

Friday Stove

The Giants and their fans gathered together yesterday in a tribute to Willie McCovey.

JD Martinez was voted a Silver Slugger award winner at two separate positions, the first player to do so in the history of the award.

CBS Sports provides a complete list of all Silver Slugger Award winners.

The Nationals’ 10-year, $300 million offer to Harper did not include a no-trade clause according to reports.

Meanwhile, NESN reports that slugging outfielder is “destined to sign with the Phillies.” I’ll take the field on that wager.

Harper usually trolls baseball fans with suggestive pictures but this time the White Sox may have one-upped him.

The Pirates re-signed infielder Jung Ho Kang to a one-year deal.

The day after Scott Boras blasted Major League Baseball for allowing the “competitive cancer” of tanking teams to injure the sport’s popularity, deputy commissioner Dan Halem disputed the agent’s claims in his closing statements at the GM meetings.

How About That!

A Red Sox fan won $100,000 in the lottery by playing his favorite jersey numbers. The lottery said in a statement that an 84-year-old Boston fan won the prize in Monday’s Mass Cash drawing using the numbers 11-16-19-22-25.

On Deck

I wrote a review of the eponymous debut album by Rickie Lee Jones yesterday.

Extra Innings

Founded in the late 1970’s, Stiff Little Fingers came onto the punk scene around the same time as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash. Their underground hit Alternative Ulster was huge in Chicago in the late and is featured prominently in the movie Everybody Wants Some, the Dazed and Confused sequel by director Richard Linklater that focuses on the exploits of a college baseball team.

Turns out singer/guitarist Jake Burns is a big Cubs fan. By the way, both movies are excellent if you have yet to see them.

Signed, Epstein’s Mother

  • “There’s lots of different ways to do it. You can trade up the service time clock, you can trade backwards for more years of control, you can trade for an established guy, you can trade for somebody you think is ready to break out. There’s no one way to do it. You can trade two comparable players with different shapes if you think it benefits you.” – Theo Epstein
  • “We’ve never operated with untouchables. I think it sends the wrong message. The guys who (would be), given what we’re trying to accomplish, (it) would be virtually impossible to envision a deal that would make sense to move them. But I just don’t believe in operating with untouchables because why limit yourself in any way?” – Theo Epstein

Friday Walk Up Song

Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers. It’s Friday, folks, go nuts.

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