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.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.