Where things stand for Cubs on Shohei Ohtani, trade market after wild day at Winter Meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After over 24 hours of nary a drop of information, two hours Tuesday afternoon at the Gaylord Opryland Resort provided as much thrill and excitement as stepping on Broadway Street downtown.
And, yet, at the end of those two hours, there’d been nearly no moves to back the of buzz.
One minute, Dave Roberts confirmed the Dodgers’ meeting with prized free agent Shohei Ohtani. The next minute, Craig Counsell wasn’t commenting on a potential get-together between him and the two-way star. Shortly after media availability for managers, a report leaked that the Cubs were discussing a deal for Tampa Bay ace Tyler Glasnow that would involve Christopher Morel.
A short time after that, another report surfaced that the Cubs were completely out of the race and would have to turn their attention elsewhere — and that was just as Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer was preparing to head to the back of the media workroom for general media availability.
He was promptly asked if the Cubs were, indeed, out of the running.
“Yeah, I don’t know where that came from,” Hoyer said. “There’s nothing to report whatsoever. On all the Ohtani stuff, just like I would any free agent, I’m not gonna talk about discussions or meetings or where it is. Just keep that quiet like anything else.”
So, what’s fact and what’s fiction with the Cubs and their offseason approach?
They have not been told they’re out of the running for Ohtani or gotten any progress report.
“None. Zero,” Hoyer said. “We have not been given any status check, so to speak.”
A source confirmed that the Cubs are, in fact, interested in Glasnow, but Morel’s name hasn’t been included in those conversations. The trade market could be where things take off, although there doesn’t appear to be anything imminent there.
“A lot of activity,” Hoyer said of the trade market. “I think that it’s not the deepest free agent market and I think as a result, teams are gonna look to trade. I think when you have a really deep free agent market, people do the opposite.
“Whether here or not, there’ll be a number of trades, I think. Which is also good for the industry as well.”
As far as things are concerned, it’s pretty much status quo from earlier in the day, just with a bit more excitement mixed in — and Hoyer wouldn’t tip his hand as to whether something could be completed before the Winter Meetings wrap up on Wednesday.
“I mean we have lines in the water,” Hoyer said. “Could we get close to something? Sure. We’ve had a lot of conversations. But I wouldn’t expect it.”
As always, it comes down to Ohtani and his decision. One that’s surrounded by as much fact as fiction, thanks to the secrecy surrounding the Japanese superstar.
“I feel like this in case, there’s real secrecy, but everyone knows there’s secrecy,” Hoyer said. “I think there’s been others that are really secret that no one knew about it, if that makes any sense. I think I’ve seen this kinda secrecy before, but it wasn’t necessarily public secrecy if that’s even a thing you could say.”