Notes and opinions are day one of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings:
I heard a while back that perhaps the Cardinals may have some interest in a deal with the White Sox for lefty starter Chris Sale, but the rumors are hot and heavy that the Sox and Nationals are in heavy discussion. Think about that Washington rotation–Strasburg, Scherzer and Sale.
Some good news out of the National League Central Division. Aroldis Chapman is looking for a six-year deal, something the Cubs are not interested in. The Cardinals, in 132 plate appearances against Chapman for his career, have an .088 batting average.
If you’re looking to get to Wrigley for one of the three weekend series that the Cardinals play the Cubs in next year, get ready to pay. Last year, tickets on the secondary market exceeded face value by 96%. Now the Cubs are announcing a 6-31% hike in season tickets for 2017. If you’re going on a secondary site to get tickets from season ticket holders, you can bet they’ll be trying to recoup some of their costs…expect to pay more.
Yadier Molina has already committed to the World Baseball Classic. The club has granted permission to Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes to represent the Dominican Republic in the early March tournament. Obviously Martinez and Reyes are two important arms for the Cardinals staff next season and there is always concern when pitchers ramp up their intensity early in the spring. Martinez is on the roster, Reyes has not received an invite yet. Royals’ catcher Salvador Perez has committed to play for Venezuela.
After 2017, the Royals will have seven free agents. Wade Davis, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Danny Duffy, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. According to reports, several teams including the Cardinals, Cubs and Yankees have sniffed around Davis, one of the game’s premier late inning pitchers.
I’ve also read one Twitter rumor that would send Cain and Davis to the Cardinals for second baseman Kolten Wong. That would be robbery committed by the Cardinals. I’m not impressed with Wong. I thought GM John Mozeliak overpaid Wong, basically a .250 hitter…IMO. However, the Royals need a second baseman and would hedge on Wong panning out while spreading out $22 million over a few years. Cain and Davis will cost the Royals the same amount of money this year and there is no way they’ll spend big free agent money on those two. The club needs to save up for Moose and Hos after 2017.
Mozeliak has also told reporters at the meeting that he isn’t against the idea of platooning with Tommy Pham which would make someone like Dyson of the Royals an option. Of course, there is still talk of Dexter Fowler.