Tim Goldrick

Translation: Cubs and Yu Darvish hit it off?

Translation: Cubs and Yu Darvish hit it off?

A slow offseason for the Cubs is picking up steam by the hour. 

After reports that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were scheduled to meet with Yu Darvish on Monday afternoon, the four-time All-Star jumped on Twitter later in the evening to confirm the get-together and discuss how it went: 

And for those who haven't yet mastered Japanese, Beyond the Boxscore's Kazuto Yamakazi has got you covered with the translation: 

The three-plus hour meeting in Dallas may be an indication that the Cubs are willing to spend big on another quality starting pitcher. 

Darvish, 31, has a career 3.42 ERA during his five-year MLB career. He led the American League with 277 strikeouts in 2013, but his strikeouts-per-nine-innings numbers have subsequently dropped each season. 

After being traded to the Dodgers midseason, he regained some of his swing-and-miss stuff, but was absolutely rocked by the Astros in two World Series starts, giving up eight earned runs in a combined 3.1 innings. 

If the Cubs do indeed elect to ink Darvish to a deal, that means Jake Arrieta's brilliant tenure on the North Side is likely over. 

White Sox reportedly making strong bid for Manny Machado

White Sox reportedly making strong bid for Manny Machado

So much for a quiet winter on the South Side. 

Late Wednesday night, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal dropped a bomb on White Sox fans, tweeting that the club has emerged as serious players in the Manny Machado talks: 

USA Today's Bob Nightengale then reported that the Sox offer is the best one the Orioles have received thus far: 

The news comes as a bit of surprise given that the Orioles star has only one year left on his contract, and striking a deal would mean the Sox would have to part with at least one coveted prospect with no guarantee that Machado would stick around. 

Per Rosenthal, the prospects being discussed are Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech, but both would not be included in the same package. Still, a hefty price to pay for the possibility of a one-year -- albeit All-Star caliber -- player. 

As outlined earlier by Vinnie Duber, GM Rick Hahn wasn't keen on the idea of giving up a future piece for a stopgap, but he also wouldn't slam the door on taking a leap of faith to acquire a young, proven player. 

"Sometimes you need to be creative. Sometimes you need to perhaps take a risk," Hahn told reporters Wednesday at the Winter Meetings. "I think it’s probably slightly easier after a player has been part of this organization, understand what we’re about, to extend him as opposed to meeting him cold free agent and trying to sell him on the organization. We’ve had success with both, so we’re not afraid to do either, but perhaps there is a little advantage from time to time to have a guy already be on campus when you’re talking about extending him into the future."

Rosenthal also made mention that if the White Sox couldn't get Machado to sign an extension during the 2018 season, the club could consider moving him to another team to acquire more prospects. 

If indeed Hahn & Co. are willing to take this risk, it seems as if they're banking on their clubhouse culture to convince the star to stay.  

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.