MLB Winter Meetings Update

North Side of Chicago silent

The Chicago Cubs have been relatively quiet throughout the winter meetings period and it is because there is not a lot of money left in the budget. The Cubs are already over the luxury tax limit which makes it harder for the team to make deals, especially for free agent Bryce Harper who has been linked to the Cubs for years. There's one simple fact about the Cubs and Bryce Harper: there is no way the team can afford the superstar without making the right moves.

St. Louis Acquires a Stud

The recent big news in the MLB is that Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. The six-time all-star hit .290 last year with 33 home runs to go with 83 RBIs. This move puts the Cubs in a very tough position, considering the club missed the playoffs last year in a win or go home game against the Brewers. The Brewers, who have not gotten any better or worse, finished with 96 wins, Cubs with 95. The Cardinals not too far behind at 88 wins. Adding Goldschmidt to an already solid squad that includes Matt Carpenter, Marcel Ozuna, and Yadier Molina adds at least 4-6 wins to this team. This is bad news for the Cubs. The 3rd place team in the NL Central has gotten better and the St. Louis Cardinals are not done making moves.

Bryce Harper Update

(AP Photo)

Bryce Harper is scheduled to meet with various teams this upcoming week in his hometown of Las Vegas. So far, Harper has already met with the Dodgers, White Sox, and San Francisco Giants. According to ESPN, the most likely landing spots for Harper in free agency are the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. The Chicago White Sox are the dark horse candidate to land the 26-year-old superstar. Harper is hoping to break the record for the most expensive player, which was the contract the Marlins gave Giancarlo Stanton at $325m. He is expected to receive $300m+ in free agency this year. Even though the financial situation is tricky on the north side of Chicago, expect Theo Epstein to meet with Harper and agent Scott Boras. Epstein is an aggressive GM and is not afraid to give money to guys who are proven which we saw with Jason Heyward (184M) and Jon Lester (155M). PREDICTION: The Los Angeles Dodgers sign Harper to a 13 year, 350M deal.

Patrick Corbin

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Patrick Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million dollar deal with the Washington Nationals this past week. This deal is significant in one way: the Nationals are moving on from Bryce Harper. This deal fortifies the Nationals starting rotation, adding an All-Star worthy pitcher to an already dynamic pitching staff that includes Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals believe they can win without Harper by strengthening the rotation.

Where is Manny Machado?

(AP Photo, Mark J. Terrill)

Manny Machado is one of the two big fish in this year's free agency pool along with Bryce Harper. Machado has been quiet compared to the likes of Bryce Harper simply because Harper is expected to command more money. There has been a lot of questions over Machado's motor and hustle after a postseason filled with questionable personality calls. In the NLCS, Machado kicked first baseman Jesus Aguilar while running through a groundout. Calls like this make teams question a guys thought process and could call for a risky investment. Machado had never been on a big stage like the NLCS before, he will learn from his mistakes and become a better player for next year. So far, Machado has been linked mostly to the Yankees and Phillies.                       PREDICTION: Machado signs a 10 year, $295 million dollar deal with Phillies

By Steve Ross