Gammons: Diamondbacks shopping Ian Kennedy and Jason Kubel

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While the White Sox are reportedly telling teams that they would prefer to keep veteran right-hander Jake Peavy and “build around him,” Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers hasn’t given up hope. In fact, he’s trying to get creative in order to land him in a trade.

Towers was the general manager of the Padres from 1996-2009, so he has a long history with Peavy. He was calling the shots when Peavy was traded to the White Sox at the deadline four years ago. Now he’s trying to lay the groundwork for a reunion.

It’s worth noting that the Diamondbacks would be selling pretty low on Kennedy and Kubel. Kennedy owns a disappointing 5.22 ERA over 20 starts this season, but he had a 3.55 ERA in 98 starts over his first three seasons in Arizona. Meanwhile, Kubel is batting just .234 with five home runs and a .668 OPS over 231 plate appearances this season and has missed time with a quad injury. Kennedy is under team control through 2015 while Kubel is owed $7.5 million next season and has a $1 million buyout on a $7.5 million mutual option for 2015.

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.”