The Rundown: Bryants and Harpers Hang Out Again…with Nelly, Kelvin Herrera Free Agent Profile, Bote’s Slam Names Best Finish of 2018

There was a lot of trade movement this weekend as the Mariners are apparently in full scorched-earth mode. I gotta tell you, I wish Jerry Dipoto played in my fantasy league. What a gas that would be, he makes a lot of trades without any real strategy. The Seattle GM is the Michael Bay of trading. Maybe I’ll hit him up. I’ll cover his weekend moves below, but on to the more pressing gossip.

If you have been following Kris Bryant on social media, you have been graced with further evidence that the Cubs third baseman loves to hang out with his good buddy Bryce Harper. And now hip-hop icon Nelly, too. I used to think Harper just loved trolling Cubs fans, but I am starting to think he and his wife genuinely love hanging out with Bryant and his wife. Imagine that.

So what do we take from this? Harper to the Cubs? Harper and Bryant to the Cardinals, recruited by Nelly? The rapper has offered to negotiate for the Redbirds.

Let me start a new rumor. This picture obviously means that Nelly to the Cubs is imminent. He’s got some athletic chops despite his age, and he comes with his own walkup song.

Speaking of Michael Bay – what if we could remake Armageddon using former, current, and rumored Cubs players in the starring roles?

Look, I know it’s a really bad movie that NASA uses in its management training program. Why? Armageddon contains at least 168 distinct things that are actually impossible (not just improbable, but full-on impossible) that management candidates are asked to identify. But I’m a 55-year-old dad, and I love that fictitious and highly implausible piece of crap film. Here comes the boom. Damn straight.

Free Agent Profile: Kelvin Herrera

If he’s healthy, Kelvin Herrera is the next relief pitcher that I want Joe Maddon to abuse the hell out of in 2019. Herrera was cruising toward a Fireman of the Year Award (yes, I know that it is no longer called that) with 14 saves and a 1.05 ERA when he was traded from the Royals to the Nationals in June.

Once he got to Washington, however, the wheels literally fell off. His season ended prematurely due to a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. His value is going to take a hard hit because of the combination of his foot injury and the rough performance it caused. The reliever really struggled after the trade, as evidenced by his 4.34 ERA and nearly 12 H/9.

Sounds like a perfect fit for Theo Epstein and his petty cash envelope. MLBTR predicts a one-year $8 million contract for Herrera. The price is much higher than they were willing to go on Jesse Chavez, but the limited commitment is appealing.

Handicapping Herrera

  1. Cubs
  2. Braves
  3. Indians
  4. Cardinals
  5. (and of course) Phillies

Cubs News & Notes

  • MLB Network named its best finishes of 2018. Guess which one was named best of the season?

Monday Stove

The Phillies and Mariners have a deal in place involving second baseman Juan Segura and shortstop J.P. Crawford. Segura would be the sixth player Seattle has parted ways with since the beginning of November. The others are James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, Mike Zunino, and Alex Colome. Dipoto is said to have made Mitch Haniger, Dee Gordon, and Kyle Seager available to other teams, too.

After the Mets completed their trade with Seattle for Cano and Diaz, New York’s rookie GM Brodie Van Wagenen set his sights on Indians SP Corey Kluber.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he is certainly not trading catcher Gary Sanchez, emphasizing that Sanchez is “our catcher.”

Free Agent SP Dallas Keuchel is high on the Christmas wish list of Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos.

The Phillies are making a strong pitch to bring Patrick Corbin to Philly and remain in the National League, but he grew up a Yankees fan, and New York certainly has the money to be the highest bidder. He could be in pinstripes very soon, as he’ll be meeting with Yankees officials on Thursday.

On Deck

Spring Training will get here sooner than you think. In fact, pitchers and catchers report in about 75 days. The Cubs don’t train on Catalina Island anymore, as their last season on the “Island of Romance” was in 1951. Here’s your proof, along with a reminder that Flagstaff Films is one of the better Twitter accounts to follow if you love baseball history. Who knew Johnny Vander Meer played for the Cubs? I had no idea.

Monday Walk Up Song

Southern Cross by Crosby Stills & Nash. Ahh, Island of Romance, indeed. By the way, December Walk Up Songs are going to be, in order, my favorite MTV videos of all time. This is number 20 on my list, counting down to number one on New Year’s Eve.

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