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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.
  • dreese

    I want some stuff to start happening! Do deals usually get done like a day or two before the deadline?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They do. The Lilly/Theriot deal happened last year on the trade deadline.

  • HotRuta

    Wild thought of the day: How about Marmol, cash, and our Soriano to the Yankees for prospects and their Soriano?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Depending on the prospects (and the amount of cash), I’d do it. Their Soriano is a risk, but that could open up a whole lot of cash for next year and beyond. That said, I think you appropriately characterized that idea as “wild.”

      • HotRuta

        Hard to tell how much of a risk RSoriano would be; I’m sure he was expecting to replace MRivera (in the unlikely event he EVER retires), so maybe he’s depressed that he isn’t getting to do what he wanted to do. But anytime you use a closer for a different role, I think that upsets the “fine edge” that keeps him focused: if you put your closer in when you have a 6 run lead, you’re just asking to turn it into a close game.

        On the other hand, I think the Cubs need a new conditioning coach — or at least somebody to crack the whip. I could be wrong, but I think I’m seeing the team turn into a bunch of fatties … could be a factor in Marmol skidding a bit in performance …

        Separate thought: how’s Johan Santana doing in his recovery?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          He could be back as soon as a few weeks. I don’t think anyone has any idea how effective he’ll be, though. Will be interesting to see. I’m pulling this out of my butt, but I want to say he had a similar procedure/injury as Angel Guzman, whom many thought was done (he’s still pitching his way back in the minors).

    • willis

      It’s wild but I love it. Two reasons-one, and most importantly, it rids us of Soriano, and I would do anything to get rid of him. He’s a waste of space. But also would give the Yanks a DH, and keep them from pursuing Fielder in the offseason.

      Oh if only this was something with legs and not just an idea.

      • BT

        You realize Soriano’s production, OPS-wise, is above league average, right? I’m not saying he is awesome, but he is far from a waste of space.

        There’s a difference between overpaid and worthless. Soriano is certainly the former, but he isn’t the latter.

        That being said, if we could save a big chunk of his salary, I’d be more than happy to see him go.

        • Toosh

          If you combine his “above league average” offensive production with his defense and his salary, compared to other LFs, he is a waste of a roster spot.

        • willis

          Hell yeah BT. And yeah, I realize it. I wouldn’t be scared to throw money on that it won’t be as the season winds down, but that’s neither here nor there. As I have said on SOI many times, it’s just better to move on from this debacle if at all possible. The numbers may be against me in that argument, but as you said, clearing some of his salary would be awesome.

          Oh and I’m done with how brutal he is in the field.

        • Joe

          I have to say, I’m kind of shocked to hear that Soriano actually has above average OPS. It seems like lately he either strikes out or flies out….

        • jstraw

          My biggest problem with Alf isn’t that he’s overpaid for his talents. It’s that his contract makes him unmovable and he’s going to be blocking younger guys. This is a liability even if he’s not a waste of space. At some point the Cubs will have to eat as much of his salary as it takes to get him out of the way even if that means just releasing him…or they need to be prepared to turn him into a bench player that makes a fortune.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            So, you’ll be happy to hear that, at present, there’s no one for him to block. :)

            • Toosh

              However, the Cubs do have an all-star caliber super LF prospect in the minors. He’s only a “couple of years away”. Forever.

            • jstraw

              If they need to move someone over to left so that Jackson can come up and play center then Alf is in the way,

  • jstraw

    The Pirates won’t trade for Aramis. Their fans boo him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Maybe they were saying, “boooo-ring him over here!”

      • HotRuta

        Riiiiiiiiiight …

  • Toosh

    How about Pena to the Angels, even up, for Trumbo?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Don’t see it – Pena is slightly more productive this year, but Trumbo is cheap, young, under control for many years, and has upside.

      • Toosh

        Agreed. Just sayin’ Hendry should ask. He apparently has players (commodities) that other teams want. Don’t give them away just to get rid of them. Ask for equal (or better) value in return. If you don’t get it, don’t trade them.

  • CC

    Interesting on the Arizona front… They did call up Brandon Allen today while passing on Goldschmidt, so perhaps they are considering using him as trade bait.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If not that, it’s really hard to figure why they haven’t given him a shot yet. He’s already 23, he’s destroying AA, and they really need help at 1B. Allen’s a little older and more advanced, but he can play OF, too. Hard to figure why they’re slow-playing Goldschmidt. Very interesting.

  • die hard

    my feeling is that Ramirez will only play for a contending team that is in a city with the shortest air miles back to his home in the DR….can anyone do the math to narrow this down to a city or two?..I can’t count so high so fast

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Braves, it is.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    I think Hendry is a complete idiot and he could restructure Aramis contract..we have no body to fill the shoes at 3rd.listen you guys know he’s my favorite player..but if the Cubs could get somebody to fill in at 3rd iam for it..I would miss him a lot ..but I was born a Cub fan…if it helps my team soo be it..just to let ya know every time he does good I will let bleacher nation know what idiots Ricketts and hendry are for trading him

    • STG3

      Ryan Wheeler could fill Ramirez shoes easy. He is hitting around 300 with 11 HR and he is only 22.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    This season is over before we started..this team is horrible to watch…iam sooo disappointed in this team..it’s more fun to watch the NL west

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