Yankees reportedly close to acquiring Giancarlo Stanton


Yankees reportedly close to acquiring Giancarlo Stanton

Although Giancarlo Stanton added the Cubs to his list of teams that he would waive his no-trade clause for late Thursday, it doesn't look like the reigning N.L. MVP will be bringing his talents to the Friendly Confines. 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, Stanton is instead close to joining the New York Yankees. 

Nothing is finalized yet, but the potential trade would pair Stanton, who slugged 59 home runs and 132 RBIs in 2017, with Aaron Judge, who slammed 56 dingers of his own. Talk about the Bronx Bombers.

A Marlins-Cubs swap featuring Stanton was never likely given the massive contract of the 28-year-old outfielder. Stanton has 10 years and $295 million remaining on his current deal, a tremendous undertaking for any team even if Miami does end up eating some of the money owed. 

No word on if the Marlins' return package includes former Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres, but even if it does, that Yankees lineup will be something opposing pitchers have nightmares about before outings. 

Cubs dodge a bullet as Giancarlo Stanton officially rejects Cardinals


Cubs dodge a bullet as Giancarlo Stanton officially rejects Cardinals

Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins are still searching for a new home for the reigning National League MVP, but one thing is for certain: Stanton won't be drilling dingers in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform.

Stanton officially rejected the Redbirds Friday afternoon, in a press release sent out by the team:

"We had an agreement to acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, subject to him waiving his no-trade clause," Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "We have been notified that he will not waive his no-trade clause to come to St. Louis. While we are disappointed in his decision, we will continue to make every effort to improve our club in the upcoming season."

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak: "Unfortunately we were not able to convince Stanton to waive his no-trade clause and join the Cardinals. We felt this was a great landing spot for him, but it was not meant to be."

As expected, Cardinals fans are NOT happy about the decision:

The Cubs were reportedly one of the four teams Stanton would agree to be traded to, though it's hard to see a deal coming together between the two teams.

The 28-year-old right fielder is still owed roughly $285 million and is under team control through 2028 (with an opt-out after the 2020 season). The Cubs still owe Jason Heyward more than $130 million to play right field

Stanton has also had trouble staying healthy in his career β€” averaging only 115 games a season from 2012-16.

The Cubs come up short in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes


The Cubs come up short in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

Theo Epstein will have to wait to get another shot at his White Whale.

Shohei Ohtani made his decision Friday and opted for the Los Angeles Angels over the Cubs.

Epstein and the Cubs went in hard on the 23-year-old pitcher/hitter, rumored to have pulled out all the stops with an exceptionally-creative bid.  They reportedly even had a virtual reality experience for Ohtani:

In the end, Ohtani opted to go with a team further out west, which was said to be one of his main points of contention when choosing an MLB team:

The Angels now have Ohtani for the next six years on a ridiculously team friendly deal and will have to figure out the best way for the young Japanese sensation to get some at-bats on the days he doesn't pitch. Plus, he's paired with the best player in the game (Mike Trout) and is a huge boost as the team around baseball's GOAT has been unable to get Trout into the postseason the last few years.

This is one of the best-case scenarios for the Cubs if Ohtani didn't pick Chicago. Of the final seven teams, Ohtani choosing the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres or San Francisco Giants would've directly impacted their road to another National League pennant. Imagine the Dodgers β€” a team that absolutely overwhelmed the Cubs in the NLCS β€” adding Ohtani's 102 mph fastball and left-handed power bat on top of their already-stacked core.

The Cubs will turn their attention to filling out the rest of their starting rotation in free agency or on the trade market. After inking Tyler Chatwood to a three-year deal Thursday, the Cubs only have one spot open in their rotation and could op to sign a guy like Alex Cobb, pluck a couple of buy-low candidates off the market or trade one of their young hitters for a dynamic arm.

The Cubs will see Ohtani, Trout and the Angels in spring training, with exhibition games scheduled for March 2 and 9.