The Dodgers have inquired about Michael Young

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Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers have “had preliminary talks” with the Rangers about Michael Young. Gurnick reports, however, that a trade to the Dodgers is “a very long shot.”

As D.J. noted last night Young is from Southern California and the Dodgers are on his list of teams to which he’d accept a trade.  But really, there isn’t much to suggest a match here.  The Dodgers don’t have a ton of money to spend, thus meaning that the Rangers would probably have to pick up even more of Young’s contract to send him to the Dodgers than they otherwise will.

More to the point, though, is that there isn’t a clear position for Young to play in L.A.  Casey Blake has third base covered, Furcal has short, Loney has first and there is no DH.  If Young is all bent out of shape about not having a set position in Texas, the Dodgers aren’t going to make him feel any better on that score.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”