A big rumor update on two of the most popular Chicago Cubs’ trade rumor targets: Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena. Discussions about the possibility of trading one or both of them continue, at least internally. We’ll do it bullet-style:
- Bruce Levine says he hasn’t heard much connecting Carlos Pena to the Pirates, but he has heard that the Pirates are interested in Aramis Ramirez.
- Multiple sources over the last couple of days have connected Aramis Ramirez to the Angels (including a widely-circulated hoax – on which I’m proud to say I did not bite), but Buster Olney is vociferously denying that there is anything to the rumors (though the brevity required by Twitter necessarily prevents him from adding what might be helpful context): “There is absolutely nothing to the Aramis Ramirez/LAA rumors. Two sides haven’t talked; Aramis full no-trade. Not being discussed.”
- That said, a West Coast tipster tells me he’s heard that the Angels are interested in Aramis Ramirez, but would also consider adding Carlos Pena. With Mark Trumbo holding down first and Bobby Abreu now seeing regular DH starts, it’s unclear where the Angels would use Pena. Alberto Callaspo is only producing meagerly at third, so it’s obvious where Ramirez would fit into the Angels’ plans. Big caveat: I have absolutely no idea whether the two sides are actively discussing a deal for either player – but there’s interest. This comports with a rumor from Nick Cafardo a few days ago, which said the Angels were hotly pursuing Ramirez.
- Also interested in Ramirez and/or Pena? According to the same tipster, the Diamondbacks. They’re looking for increased production at either of the corner infield positions, and the Cubs’ duo could fit the bill. A possible hang-up – ignoring Ramirez’s no-trade rights – could be that the Diamondbacks would also like to land a pitcher in the deal. I don’t have anything concrete here on that, but they might be interested in taking on Carlos Zambrano or adding Ryan Dempster, if the money made sense. The Cubs are expected to be interested in guys like 23-year-old 1B prospect Paul Goldschmidt, who is currently destroying at AA, 23-year-old 3B prospect Ryan Wheeler, and 20-year-old pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs, a top 100 type prospect who came over to Arizona in the Dan Haren deal. Big caveat: I have no idea what formulation of these players – if any – could actually be included in a deal. But they are the types of prospects the Cubs would ask about, if trade talks advanced sufficiently far.
- I have no idea whether Ramirez would waive his no-trade rights in a deal to Pittsburgh, Anaheim, or Arizona (or New York, while we’re at it), so the entire discussion might academic.
- Always, the general rumor caveat applies. I’m just passing on what I’m hearing, and I have reason to believe it’s reliable. But even if the source is unimpeachable, we all know that 99% of trades that are discussed don’t happen. That doesn’t mean they weren’t discussed.