Cubs

Will the Cubs move Garza?

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Will the Cubs move Garza?

With the winter meetings in Dallas a week away, the Cubs, like most of the teams in baseball have been extremely quiet as they go about laying the groundwork for a major roster overhaul.

Chatter among my baseball sources indicates that Theo Epstein and Co. are dangling starter Matt Garza as a major trade chip to acquire an infusion of youth into the organization. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers and several other teams are all expected to be involved in the bidding which could net the Cubs a wealth of talent should they be willing to expand on the deal and include a veteran or two with value off of the major league roster.

One player who is in great demand around the game is left-handed setup man Sean Marshall, but sources close to hm believe that the Cubs are not interested in moving him and consider him an integral part of their bullpen.

In addition, it appears that the Cubs are also kicking the tires on 31-year-old free agent David DeJesus who hit .240 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs with Oakland this past season. He was used in both center field and right field with the A's and during his eight years with the Kansas City Royals he also saw time in left field. He made six million dollars in 2011 and reportedly has a number of suitors and could sign a two year deal in the neighborhood of four million per season. He was very well liked in Kansas City and is considered a solid teammate and a very good hitter with below average power. However, he is a solid on base type hitter and fits in with the Cubs new approach to driving up pitch counts.

Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

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USA TODAY

Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

The odds of a Cubs-Nick Castellanos reunion happening have seemed slim all offseason. Although they've been connected to him at various points this winter, bringing back the fan favorite right fielder would require some serious financial gymnastics for the North Siders.

With the Cubs cognizant of the luxury tax, the division rival Reds have emerged as the favorite to sign Castellanos, according to MLB insider Jon Morosi.

The Reds have emerged as the frontrunner to sign free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, one source said Sunday, and there are indications the sides have made progress over the past several days. While Cincinnati is now the favorite to sign Castellanos, the Giants also have negotiated with the 27-year-old in recent weeks.

Because of their desire to stay under the luxury tax in 2020, the Cubs have only made low-cost acquisitions this winter. They were penalized $7.6 million for eclipsing the threshold in 2019; if they do so in 2020, they'll be taxed 30 percent on their overages —  and see their 2021 draft pick drop 10 spots, if they go over the figure by $40 million.

At this point, the only realistic scenario where the Cubs re-sign Castellanos is if they shed salary. However, they've reportedly signed outfielder Steven Souza to a one-year deal, giving them five outfielders (along with Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward). That might be the biggest indicator of a reunion not being in the cards.

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Brandon Kintzler, Cubs most consistent reliever in 2019, signs with Marlins: report

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USA TODAY

Brandon Kintzler, Cubs most consistent reliever in 2019, signs with Marlins: report

Brandon Kintzler officially won't be back on the North Side in 2020.

Saturday, ESPN's Jesse Rogers reported Kintzler has agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Marlins. The deal includes a $4 million option for 2021.

Kintzler was the Cubs' most consistent reliever in 2019, sporting a 2.68 ERA and 1.02 WHIP (both career highs) in 62 appearances. He was effective against both righties and lefties, the latter of which hit .163 against him.

The Cubs haven't been connected to Kintzler this offseason and have instead accumulated a plethora of low-cost, high-potential relievers. The organization has been extremely cognizant of MLB's luxury tax threshold after surpassing it in 2019 and wants to avoid becoming a repeat offender in 2020.

Kintzler becomes the second reliable reliever to depart the Cubs in free agency this winter, along with sidearmer Steve Cishek (White Sox). Pedro Strop is still a free agent, and while the Cubs have been connected to him, a recent report says the race to sign him is down to the Marlins and Rangers.

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