Impossible though it may sound, Day Three of the Winter Meetings provided even more interesting rumors than the first two. Here’s a rundown of what we heard out of Nashville.
The Arizona blockbuster. News swirled all day Wednesday about a potential three- or four-team deal in which Cleveland would send Asdrubal Cabrera to the Diamondbacks in exchange for someone’s pitching prospects. Arizona’s Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer have been mentioned quite a bit, though CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tribe could land Martin Perez from the Rangers, who would then receive Justin Upton.
- New target. On the free agent side, the hottest rumor of the day was the Indians’ reported interest in outfielder Nick Swisher. ESPN’s Jim Bowden has Cleveland among the frontunners for Swisher (along with the Phillies and Mariners), while the Plain Dealer‘s Paul Hoynes reports that Terry Francona personally called Swisher in an effort to woo him to the Tribe.
- Who’s on first? The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo has the Indians “stepping up their intensity on talks” with free agent Kevin Youkilis, while WEEI’s Alex Speier reports that the Greek God of Walks has “multiple multi-year offers” on the table. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that Cleveland has met with free agent Mark Reynolds.
- Replacement shortstops. If a Cabrera deal does go down, the Indians don’t seem eager to just hand his starting job to Mike Aviles. Heyman reports that Cleveland has interest in free agent in Stephen Drew, while Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi has the Tribe talking to the Dodgers about trading for Dee Gordon.
- Asking prices. Some mixed messages on the Tribe’s trade demands for Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. Heyman calls both Cabrera and Choo “very available,” but ESPN’s Buster Olney quotes a rival executive saying “The price for Choo is high, and for Asdrubal even higher.”
- Bay signing. Free agent Jason Bay agreed to a deal with the Mariners Wednesday afternoon. We had speculated that Bay might be a fit for the Tribe as soon as he became a free agent, and the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman had the Indians leading (or close to it) the Bay sweepstakes as late as Wednesday morning.
- More Mets. Heyman has the Indians among at least four teams interested in Mike Pelfrey, who missed most of the 2012 season with Tommy John surgery. Interesting to hear Cleveland connected to a pitcher.
- Even more Mets. Breathe easy, Vinnie Pestano fans: ESPN’s Adam Rubin, who first reported that the Mets were interested in Pestano, quotes a Mets official saying the rumor has no legs.