The Chicago Cubs 2017/18 offseason started with Theo Epstein telling the world that they very likely will need to trade someone from their 25-man roster. The goal – acquire controllable starting pitching. Since that time there has been a lot of speculation on who, what, where that pitcher is and will come from. There has also been a lot of speculation on who would be offered in trade.
There was a lot of speculation on Tampa and their ace, Chris Archer. We heard about a potential New York Yankees match for Dellin Betances. We have even begun to hear rumors surrounding a deal with Pittsburgh for Gerrit Cole (something I wrote about last week as well).
Dellin Betances and two Prospects for 2B Javy Báez, would you do it?#Yankees
— Yankees News © (@YankeesNews18) January 2, 2018
It is now released that the Cubs and the San Diego Padres discussed a Baez deal at baseball’s Winter Meetings. Ken Rosenthal mentions in the piece that the Padres backed off after they learned what the Cubs wanted in return for Baez. Here is an excerpt.
The Padres balked at the Cubs’ asking price for infielder Javier Baez at the winter meetings, moving on to other pursuits, sources say. The Cubs likely would have wanted a controllable starter such as Luis Perdomo or Dinelson Lamet for Baez, who would have solved the Padres’ need for a long-term shortstop (though a top prospect such as Luis Urias or Fernando Tatis Jr. might prove the answer).
There was also news at the time of the Winter Meetings that the Cubs and Padres were talking about a deal, and one involving a shortstop. Jeff Passan also linked the Cubs and Padres with this tweet.
Sources: The San Diego Padres continue to be one of the more active teams at the Winter Meetings. There's traction to their talks with Eric Hosmer, and they're seeking a young, under-control shortstop. One match to keep an eye on: The Chicago Cubs.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2017
Now it wouldn’t have made sense if the Padres balked at a straight up deal, Baez for Perdomo. The Padres have had interest in Baez in the past, and a Perdomo for Baez swap would have been in San Diego’s favor. If the Cubs were looking for Dinelson for Baez straight up, well that might have been a completely different story.
.@Ken_Rosenthal mentioned the Padres’ balking at the asking price for Javier Baez last month. Of note: The Cubs would have wanted more besides Lamet or Perdomo. Brad Hand likely was discussed. SD has had interest in Baez, who can play shortstop and move around the infield.
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) January 4, 2018
Lamet features six-years of control, a mid-90’s fastball, and a devastating slider. Those tools allowed him to strike out batters at a 10.9 clip, which was near his minor league rates, proving they weren’t a fluke. The Cubs would deal four years of control for six.
I am personally not a fan of trading Baez. He is raw, he makes mistakes, he has horrific at-bats – but his ceiling is higher than any other young middle-infielder on the team. He also features more offensive ability than Addison Russell and 1000 times the defensive ability of Ian Happ.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) these talks died as quickly as they started. But they do cause some great conversation.