- Bruce Levine writes about the possibility of trading Aramis Ramirez, who is as hot as anyone right now. A few bullets below the bullet:
(1) Levine says Ramirez may be more likely to accept a trade in August, after his family has returned to the Dominican Republic (kids go back to school);
(2) Levine suggests – contrary to what everyone else has been saying – that Ramirez’s 2012 option does not become guaranteed if Ramirez is traded (we’ve got to get that figured out, because the possibility of trading him becomes immeasurably greater if that’s true); and
(3) Levine clearly reads BN: my take on Hendry’s no-fire-sale comments, together with private comments I received from a scout in another organization, was that “no fire sale” didn’t preclude the fact that every player but Starlin Castro was still available. Levine’s statement a few hours later? “Hendry said Wednesday there will be no fire sale, but that doesn’t mean he won’t listen to offers for just about any player outside of Starlin Castro.” Levine is a smart man.
- Carlos Zambrano had an MRI on his back yesterday after leaving the game in the second inning. The results aren’t in yet, but apparently he was already a little sore when he arrived at the ballpark. That makes me cautiously optimistic that the injury is not of the severe-back-spasms type (which he’s had before for a few weeks), and was more of a temporary soreness that he just couldn’t shake.
- Tom Ricketts yesterday conceded that the Cubs’ record is as much a product of poor play as it is injuries. He wouldn’t discuss the Cubs’ trade deadline strategy, which, obviously.
- Mike Quade suggests that recently-demoted DJ LeMahieu could be a starter on the Cubs in the very near future, and probably at third base. “There probably would be a debate among our people in the minor-league system about where he’s better,” Quade said of LeMahieu’s fielding at second and third. “I respect those people, and if they’re not sure, that means he’s probably pretty good at both. From what I’ve seen at second, I’ve been real happy, so if he’s equally adept at third, that’s a good thing, for sure.”
- The Cubs have signed two-sport FSU star, OF Taiwan Easterling, the team’s 27th round pick in the draft this year. No word on his bonus yet, but he probably got a little something extra to leave a final year of college eligibility on the table.
- Tip your beer vendors. It’s a tough job, and this year has been crappy.