Trading Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson to Oakland for Dan Haren after the 2007 season proved to be quite a setback for Arizona, but now it looks like the Diamondbacks are at it again, as they’re making a run at acquiring either Gio Gonzalez or Trevor Cahill from the A’s.
A’s GM Billy Beane will want the same kind of package he got for Haren four years ago. Gonzalez is arbitration eligible for the first time, but he’s still four years away from free agency. Cahill is locked up to a $30.5 million contract through 2015 with team options for 2016 and ’17.
The Diamondbacks probably wouldn’t have possessed the talent to get either a couple of years ago, but they’ve rebuilt their farm system on the fly. Possessing two top-10 picks in the 2011 draft helped a bunch, as they were able to add two very promising right-handers in Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley. Those two can’t be traded yet, but their presence does make Jarrod Parker and Tyler Skaggs more expendable. Parker was long Arizona’s top pitching prospect before being overtaken by Bauer. Skaggs was the top prospect the Diamondbacks got back when they sent Haren to Anaheim in 2010.
The A’s would probably ask for both Parker and Skaggs in a Gonzalez or Cahill trade. Other names likely to come up include left-handers Wade Miley, David Holmberg and Patrick Corbin and outfielders A.J. Pollock and Bobby Borchering.
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.”