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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 1/9/19

The cold offseason; moves for stealth contenders; tracking the Cubs’ payroll

MLB: Winter Meetings Daniel Clark-USA TODAY Sports

The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: The offseason, once again, is at a standstill. While in the past the biggest stars would have mostly signed, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still await deals. The excuses are the same as before—the luxury tax, wary of players over 30, and wary of long deals. But few teams see the tax and the ones that do are still swimming in money, and the players in question are well below 30, exactly where you would want to spend long-term. Until the CBA expires in 2021, these issues will persist.

ESPN Insider | Jeff Sullivan ($): There are some teams on the bubble that could contend, and they could make a few moves to put themselves in a slightly better position: the Reds could trade for Jackie Bradley Jr.; the Padres could trade for Marcus Stroman; the Angels could sign Craig Kimbrel, to name a few.

The Athletic | Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney ($): The Cubs are yet another team with a closed wallet, as they have only signed Daniel Descalso for $5 million, and the Ricketts family is looking to cap it not much higher than it is now. For a team that gained so much value and revenue from their World Series win, tightening the books now is a disastrous mistake.