Mark Polishuk's NL Central comments

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mikechamp
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Mark Polishuk's NL Central comments

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These comments came from a chat with MLB Trade Rumors' Mark Polishuk that occurred on January 10. A lot of NL Central conversation this time. I included a bonus Q&A about Lasorda and another Q&A to maybe spark a debate.

The link to the entire chat can be found here: https://www.jotcast.com/chat/mlbtr-live-chat-9638.html

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Do you think the Cubs would trade Hendricks?

Mark Polishuk
Hendricks is owed $43.5MM through 2023, plus there's a vesting option for 2024. So a fairly hefty amount of money, and one that Chicago might like to have off its books if they are either pursuing a major payroll reduction or are quietly beginning a rebuild.

But overall, I'd lean against a Hendricks deal. With Darvish now gone, the Cubs see Hendricks as the veteran ace of their staff.
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Could Angels be acquiring both C Wilson Contreas and a starting pitcher from Cubs?

Mark Polishuk
It's possible, though after moving Darvish, I'm not sure what other arms the Cubs would want to move. Maybe flipping Davies is a possibility, though I kind of doubt LAA fans would see Davies as that much of a rotation upgrade.
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Things seem quiet on Musgrove, do you think he’ll get dealt before Spring Training?

Mark Polishuk
I'd be pretty surprised if Musgrove is still with the Bucs on Opening Day, but maybe a deal is swung during Spring Training rather than before. Carrasco being traded threw another wrinkle into the pitching market, so maybe that adjusts things.
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Will the Reds sign one of Semien, Gregorius, or Simmons?

Mark Polishuk
I guess we can't rule anything out in this weird offseason, but it still feels like Semien and Gregorius will get multi-year deals. That could be too rich for Cincinnati's blood if the Reds are trying to keep payroll in check. Simmons is the likeliest of the three to get a one-year deal, so by that logic alone, I'd say he might be the clearest Reds target. That said, there hasn't been anything linking the Reds to Simmons, as I can recall.
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I know Cardinals say they aren't spending but Springer makes a lot of sense there. Provides needed offense and lead off batter. Can move to a corner when Fowler contract is up. Thoughts?

Mark Polishuk
That would be a big surprise, since the Cards have been quiet about doing anything this offseason.
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With the recent report about Benintendi being available, do you think the Cardinals would be a good fit?

Mark Polishuk
Most definitely. STL was known to be looking for cash-neutral types of transactions, so Benintendi is set to earn $6.6MM this season and then has another arb year, so let's ballpark that at, say, $8MM.

There isn't any one Cardinal making around that amount who makes sense as a Boston trade target, but as part of a larger deal with multiple players involved, sure.
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Seems like it would make sense for the Angels to take on Castellanos in order to get Castillo or Gray from the Reds. This would allow Adell some more time in the minors and then once he's ready, Upton and Castellanos can split time.

Mark Polishuk
Between Upton/Castellanos, that is a heck of lot of money to be invested in two players you aren't planning to deploy every day.
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Where does Wong end up? Doesn’t Wong at 2nd, McNeil at 3rd, Lindor at SS, Dom at 1st (with Alonso at the inevitable DH) sound great?

Mark Polishuk
It does, but where does JD Davis fit into this equation?
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Do you think the Brewers have any interest in Kris Bryant?

Mark Polishuk
I doubt Chicago moves Bryant within the division, and I also doubt the Brewers can fit him into their payroll without sending another notable contract back the Cubs' way.
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Why don't the Dodgers go out and trade for Kris Bryant? Would Kiebert Ruiz get the job done at this point since Bryant only has a year left and is coming off a down year? They already have Will Smith at catcher with Barnes backing him up and Cartaya as the next big thing. Their #2 prospect, Ruiz, would seem to be a great trade match for the Cubs.

Mark Polishuk
Ruiz and a couple of minor prospects for Bryant is a deal the Cubs would likely do, but I'm not certain it's necessarily on LA's radar. If they're willing to move Ruiz, you can get quite a lot for a top-prospect catcher, so perhaps pitching (from a team other than the Cubs) would be the play there rather than acquiring a year of Bryant.
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Does Christian Yelich finish his contract in Milwaukee?

Mark Polishuk
Interesting question. I would slightly (60%) lean towards no based on plain economics.
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Bryant, Baez, Hendricks for Polanco and Larnach. Who says no?

Mark Polishuk
Chicago would want way more than that if they're moving all three guys in a single trade.
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RIP Tommy Lasorda. My favorite Lasorda story is this. On a whim, I sent a letter to his home address along with his biography. In the letter, I explained that I employ a similar leadership style in my career and that I learned those characteristics by watching him lead. Three days after sending the letter my wife called me at work and said I had a package from Lasorda. I told her mine must have been sent back and she said that it was actually the self addressed stamped envelope from inside the package I had sent. I rushed home to find that Mr. Lasorda had autographed my book with a personal inscription and sent me multiple autographed pictures. He also wrote a note responding to some of the points I had made in my letter, which showed me that he had indeed taken the time to actually read my letter. What a guy! Most people would have been mildly annoyed at best to have received the request at their home address. Amazing!

Mark Polishuk
Very cool story! RIP to a Dodgers legend.
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What's the better gamble pitcher or hitter on a 10 year stupid contract?

Mark Polishuk
I'd say a hitter, just because they provide more day-to-day value.
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