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Mark P
10:11
Happy holidays to all!  What better time than Xmas morning to ask some baseball questions, perhaps sneaking in a few questions before opening presents or the Festivus airing of grievances?
Tommy
10:12
What are the chances that John Middleton's signals that he won't go over the luxury tax are just a smokescreen to get something done to bring in more pitching help in Philly?
Mark P
10:13
If I recall correctly, Middleton's most recent comments about the luxury tax came early in the offseason or maybe even in late September, stating that he'd prefer to only go over the tax threshold to add a missing piece on a true contender
10:14
Whether Middleton feels the Phillies are close enough to "true contender" status right now is anyone's guess, or maybe he thinks more needs to be done to improve the team and he's now willing to take a one-year hit on the tax to make those upgrades
Dick Williams
10:14
How am I going to improve the offense?
Mark P
10:15
(Dick Williams = Reds president of baseball ops)

The outfield is the clearest area of need, and that's where the Reds are more poised to strike given the number of good OFs (Ozuna, Castellanos, Dickerson) still around
Jason
10:15
You think the Red Sox have any other moves left this offseason?
Mark P
10:16
They haven't done much of anything yet, so I'd certainly imagine so.  Could be that they're waiting for the free agent dust to settle before really diving into trade possibilities (or clearing salary)
Robbie Baseball
10:16
Who do you think will make an offer for Ken Giles that the Jays might take this off-season? Or is he more of a July move?
Mark P
10:17
I'd actually think there's a decent chance the Jays keep Giles now, since the Ryu signing indicates that they want to be at least semi-competitive in 2020.  Even if they keep him this winter, you're right in saying that they could always try to deal Giles at the deadline again, or potentially even issue him a qualifying offer next winter
Abdrew
10:18
Think the Rangers actually pull off the Arenado trade?
Mark P
10:19
I'd lean towards no, just because I doubt the Rockies are quite yet desperate enough to unload their franchise player.
But, the Rangers backing out of the Donaldson derby struck me as curious.  Could be that they simply don't like Donaldson on a four-year deal, which is reasonably given his age.  Or, and this is total speculation on my part, maybe Texas already has a line on another 3B (Arenado?  Bryant?) in a trade
Out of the Box
10:20
Wil Myers plus a mid/high level prospect for Johnny Cueto, what are your thoughts?
Mark P
10:20
I doubt the Giants would have any interest in that.
Kevin cash
10:21
Do you see us making other moves for a player like Encarnación, Castellanos or even trading for Willson Contreras ?
Mark P
10:23
Castellanos signing no, since he's well out of Tampa's price range.

EE signing maybe, since I don't think his price tag is all that high.  The Rays do have kind of a logjam at 1B/DH with Choi, Nate Lowe, and now Tsutsugo, though that trio is all left-handed, so Edwin could still potentially fit.

Contreras trade, can't rule it out.  Rays have the prospect depth to get Chicago's attention, if either team feels like making such a big deal
Brad
10:25
Is Kris Bryant's grievance holding the Cubs offseason hostage?  Are they really going to go through the entire offseason making no moves or signings if that doesn't get cleared up soon?
Mark P
10:26
The grievance will reportedly be settled in January, though it is curious that it has taken this long already.  Until then, the Cubs might indeed stand pat until they have clarity on what may be their best trade chip
Paul G
10:26
Hader to SD for Mackenzie Gore. Who says no?
Mark P
10:27
Padres say no.  They're likely not dealing Gore for anyone, let alone a reliever
ATLRich
10:27
When do you think JD will sign? Do the Braves still have a shot?
Mark P
10:28
According to reports, Donaldson will give the Braves a chance to match any offer he receives.  So there's clearly some affection there between player and team, and I wonder Donaldson could re-sign if the Braves can at least come pretty close to his best other offer
Bill
10:29
What's the hold up on Indians accepting or rejecting Lindor trade offers that were submitted before the weekend
Mark P
10:30
Maybe they're taking the holidays to mull the offers over.  

Realistically, I think the "deadline" was maybe just some posturing to try and get teams to up their offers into something reasonable.  If the Tribe get offered a huge deal for Lindor in three weeks or something, they won't reject just because that team missed the deadline
Ben Cherington
10:31
Do I have any presents wrapped and ready to give to Bucco fans or will I have to wait to see what other teams return first?
Mark P
10:32
I think a lot of Pirates fans would consider the front office change to be a pretty good gift unto itself, new GM Ben Cherington.  But I wouldn't expect a lot of major additions for the Bucs, as if anything, they might be leaning towards rebuilding
Brewers GM
10:32
What are the chances that the Brewers trade for Kyle Seager? Seems like a possible option since they need a 3rd baseman and the Mariners would like to get rid of that contract
Mark P
10:32
There's a chance, but I doubt Milwaukee wants much to do with Seager's contract either
10:33
Mariners would have to eat a good chunk of money in any Seager trade
3B or not 3B
10:34
Why trade for Arenado when you can sign Donaldson?
Mark P
10:35
I think that's what the majority of teams would prefer to do, though Arenado is younger and projects to be a star player for longer
Mike
10:35
Do you think the Cespedes renegotiation was influenced by the Ellsbury situation?
Mark P
10:35
Don't think so, as it seems the Mets have known about this Cespedes situation for several months and have been working behind the scenes to renegotiate
Feury
10:36
Does Wilmer Flores make sense for the Brewers? Positional Flexibility that David Sterns likes, could slot in as a decent option at 3B regularly and would have as much upside at half the cost of Kyle Seager... any other under the radar trade or FA 3B out there?
Mark P
10:37
Flores would be a good fit.  At worst, he'll still crush lefties, and at best he's capable of being an everyday player
Brad
10:37
Do you think the Cardinals make any moves besides signing the LHP Kim?
Mark P
10:38
Feels like the Cardinals still have to do something with their outfield, clearing out some of that logjam and finding a true everyday option.
Billy Beane
10:38
We never get any love on these chats. Hook us up!
Mark P
10:39
The A's are a fine team, Billy!
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