Author: Drew Silva

Johnny Cueto
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Johnny Cueto’s agent is trying to push his client to the Cardinals


You might remember a vicious brawl between the Cardinals and Reds from back in 2010 that involved Brandon Phillips, Yadier Molina, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, and many other big-name stars.

Johnny Cueto was also a major part of that scuffle and began kicking wildly at Cardinals players when he got pushed up against the screen that rises up from the backstop at Great American Ball Park.

One of those kicks actually ended the career of then Cardinals backup catcher Jason LaRue, who had a long history of concussions. Here’s the video if you need to be reminded …

Cueto still gets booed at Busch Stadium for his actions on that day, as does Phillips.

But with the Cardinals in the market for a front-line starting pitcher — having whiffed on David Price — could there suddenly be a fit for Cueto in St. Louis? Cueto’s agent Bryce Dixon is hoping to at least get the Cards involved in the bidding. Here’s what he told Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors on Wednesday afternoon …

“I can’t speak to how the Cardinals feel. ..Obviously [Johnny] regrets how the fight went down,” Dixon said.  “He’s expressed regret over it in the past.  He loves pitching in the NL Central.  He’s the best pitcher of our era in the NL Central.  It would be a good marriage [between] Johnny and the Cardinals.  I think once the fans got past the fight and they saw what a gamer Johnny is and what he could bring to the team, I think they would be able to embrace him now, though I don’t think that they’ll do that overnight.”

Cueto, 29, reportedly turned down a six-year, $126 million contract from the Diamondbacks earlier this month. Since then, his market has been pretty quiet.

Marlins president Michael Hill announces Jose Fernandez “is not going anywhere”

Jose Fernandez
AP Photo/Brett Davis
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After fielding a wide range of trade offers, the Marlins have come to the conclusion that no major league team will be able to meet their sky-high demands for ace right-hander Jose Fernandez.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill announced Wednesday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville that Fernandez “is not going anywhere” and that all the calls, inquiries, and rumors “ran their course.”

It always seemed an unlikely thing.

Fernandez is only 23 years old, under contractual control for three more seasons, and he boasts a 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 336 strikeouts through his first 289 major league innings.

Miami wants to compete in 2016 under new manager Don Mattingly.

Report: Dodgers in talks to acquire Reds closer Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Somebody just woke up the Dodgers.

It’s been a slow offseason so far for the richest team in baseball, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that they are suddenly in talks with the Reds for fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman.

He’d presumably take over the ninth inning in Los Angeles, with Kenley Jansen moving into a setup role. That’s sure to irk Jansen, who is entering his walk year. But let’s not get too far ahead here.

Chapman is the most dominant reliever in baseball, boasting a 2.17 ERA and 546 strikeouts in 319 career major league innings. He is owed $8.05 million in 2016 and can then become a free agent.

You’d have to think the Dodgers would try to explore an extension with the 27-year-old left-hander, especially if they’re going to give up multiple top prospects.

Chapman was a starting pitcher in Cuba, so that’s something to think about too.

Hisashi Iwakuma is on the Giants’ radar

Hisashi Iwakuma
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Hisashi Iwakuma hasn’t been getting a whole lot of play on the hot stove up to this point, but that should change as the secondary starting pitching market begins to settle at this week’s Winter Meetings.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Giants have the 34-year-old right-hander on their “radar,” along with 28-year-old righty Mike Leake. San Francisco added Jeff Samardzija on a five-year, $90 million contract last week, but the club is clearly not done fishing. They also want a bat.

Iwakuma was limited to 20 starts in 2015 because of a strained lat, but he registered a cool 3.54 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 129 2/3 innings while healthy and he owns a 3.17 ERA (117 ERA+) in 653 2/3 career major league frames.

On a three-year deal, he’d make sense for just about any team.

Dodgers have placed a call to Marlins about Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez
AP Photo/Brett Davis

You might have heard that ace right-hander Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and could even be shopped this winter.

We’d bet strongly against the Fish actually moving him, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Dodgers have placed a call and that’s a club with the kind of high-level prospects and creative front office to get it done. Los Angeles just lost Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks and David Price is all locked up with the Red Sox. Who’s going to be Clayton Kershaw‘s new co-ace?

Fernandez was limited to 11 starts in 2015 following Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, but the 23-year-old boasts a ridiculous 2.40 ERA and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league innings.

Again, it’s probably not going to happen. But let’s not completely rule it out leading into what is sure to be a wild Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.