Sometimes general managers will declare certain players off-limits. Less than they used to, but they still sometimes do it. I think, in their heart of hearts, all general managers will listen to any offer for any player because, hey, you never know when someone may do something dumb and offer you too much. That’s kind of what the Indians’ Chris Antonetti is doing with Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and others, Jon Heyman reports:
The Cleveland Indians, willing to discuss their biggest players in trades, could be one of the centers of trade activity here at the GM meetings. No less than four very good Indians players are already drawing calls — starter Justin Masterson, closer Chris Perez, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. And Cleveland will listen.
Antonetti says he’s not looking to trade anyone, but that he’s being “open-minded” on it.
Choo, because he’s almost certain to walk when he hits free agency, is a good guy to shop. Perez, because he’s a quirky, outspoken closer and those guys have a shelf life of about 1.5 seasons, is another.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.