The Chicago Cubs capped off their historic 2016 MLB season with a dramatic 8-7 victory in extra innings over the Cleveland Indians in Wednesday’s Game 7 of the World Series.

While the organization and its long-suffering fans will likely revel in the aftermath of the team’s first championship since 1908, the rest of the baseball world has already turned its attention toward eclipsing the Cubs next season.

The rumors and speculation will pick up at the winter meetings in December, but there is already some buzz circulating a mere one full day into the offseason. With that in mind, here is a look at some rumors regarding the futures of Carlos Ruiz, Brian McCann and Pat Neshek.


Ruiz Reportedly Available in Trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers added Ruiz for their postseason push in August via trade from the Philadelphia Phillies, but he may not be with them for much longer.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Ruiz is one player with a club option ($4.5 million) who could be available in a trade.

The veteran will be 38 years old next season and appeared in just 62 combined games for the Dodgers and Phillies in 2016. He finished with only three home runs and 15 RBI but did post a solid .264/.365/.348 slash line.

The 2012 All-Star is most valuable behind the plate at this point in his career. Ruiz nailed a career-best 41.7 percent of possible base stealers in 2016, per, and is responsible for 43 total defensive runs saved above average since he entered the league, per FanGraphs.

Ruiz is well past his prime at this point, but the Cubs just won a World Series with David Ross as a defensive-oriented rotational catcher who provided veteran leadership and experience. A potential contender could try to replicate that formula with Ruiz in 2017.


Houston Astros Could Target McCann

Ruiz is not the only veteran catcher who may be available via trade.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted the Houston Astros are “one team to keep an eye on with as far as pursuing [McCann].”

Sherman cited an executive who said McCann’s power and “positive clubhouse rep” will help the New York Yankees receive value in return for the catcher and designated hitter if and when they attempt to move him.

Sherman pointed out the Astros are looking to add left-handed hitting to a primarily right-handed lineup and a veteran presence to a younger core, and McCann would satisfy both priorities. What’s more, catcher Jason Castro is a free agent.

McCann is a seven-time All-Star and appeared in 130 games in 2016. He slashed .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs in those 130 contests, which marked the ninth consecutive season he reached the 20-homer plateau.

He will be 33 years old during the 2017 campaign, but he would provide power from the left side at a position that isn’t loaded with game-changing bats.

From New York’s perspective, it can afford to move him because Gary Sanchez will likely be behind the plate for years to come.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner discussed the balance between the two during the season, per Howie Kussoy of the New York Post: “It was always the case that Sanchez at some point was going to come up, and hopefully come up to stay. We’ll cross that bridge in the offseason when we come to it, but McCann’s a great player too. We’ll just have to figure it out.”

It appears the Astros may help the Yankees cross that bridge.


Astros Could Move Neshek

Veterans potentially on the move could be a theme this offseason, as Rosenthal noted Neshek is another trade candidate with a club option ($6.5 million).

The 36-year-old relief pitcher was an All-Star in 2014 for the St. Louis Cardinals with a 1.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. He spent the last two seasons with the Astros and finished with an ERA of 3.62 in 2015 and 3.06 in 2016.

While he was not quite the lockdown force he was in St. Louis, he still posted a sparkling 0.94 WHIP in 2016 and made 60 appearances. It was his third straight season with at least 60 appearances, which is a sign he can serve as a durable bullpen option for another team in the immediate future if it was to trade for him.

However, he did struggle against left-handed hitters. According to, lefties hit .250 with four home runs in 48 at-bats against Neshek in 2016, while right-handed hitters finished with a .172 batting average with two home runs in 122 at-bats.

Even with the struggles against lefties, a new team could insert Neshek as a situational pitcher near the back of the bullpen to fortify the pitching staff.

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