Alex Cobb emerged as a legitimate trade candidate late Monday night. (Photo Credit:
Alex Cobb emerged as a legitimate trade candidate late Monday night. (Photo Credit:

Yesterday I wrote of the trade rumors surrounding the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago Cubs. More specifically, the potential for a trade of Javier Baez to Tampa Bay for pitching ― be it starting, relief, or both. Yet Tuesday provided little to no clarity on things, at least on that front.

Just before 10:00 pm last night, Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) reported that Alex Cobb, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, became the mystery hurler Chicago appeared to have interest in.

Then later that evening, news broke of a possible deal between Chicago and Atlanta that would have sent Shelby Miller to the Cubs, and Baez to the Braves. That news, however, was greatly exaggerated, and a deal was never made. Miller was ultimately dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It now seems that things have also cooled between Tampa Bay and Chicago, as neither side can agree upon which other players to include.

Two other factors seem to be impacting Tampa Bay. First, the Yankees and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Starlin Castro to New York. Moving Castro would have opened up second base to give Baez a full-time look.

Having said that, former Rays utility infielder Ben Zobrist just agreed to a four-year, $56-million contract with Chicago, pending a physical.

How that may effect a trade of Baez isn’t known at the moment. It is certain, however, that the addition of BenZo creates a number of logjams on Chicago’s roster — both in the outfield and second base — which is currently occupied by a combination of Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, and Baez. Provided he isn’t traded, it’s thought that Baez could slot into a super-utility role. 

To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “And so it goes.”

I’ll keep you updated on any trade/acquisition announcements or rumors.

In other Winter Meetings’ news, Rays Principal Owner Stu Sternberg joined Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to talk about Kevin Cash and the team’s roster. Per usual, the conversation turned to the Stadium Saga, in which Sternberg wouldn’t close the door on the Montreal relocation rumors, or talk about how the team was going to help build or fund a new ballpark. To be fair, Stu did note that he would like to keep the team in the Tampa Bay area over the long-haul, so perhaps I’m making mountains out of molehills. 

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