A couple quick rumors to whet your appetite heading into the weekend (remember, check out the 2011 Cubs Tradability and Rumor Cheat Sheet, and “like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook to get the latest rumors piped into your Facebook feed):
- The Boston Red Sox would love to pick up a right-handed hitting outfielder before the trade deadline, but if they aren’t able to acquire a sure-fire starter, they might consider someone like Jeff Baker. As a cheap, versatile righty who destroys lefty pitching, Baker makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox, who would like to increase production in the outfield without taking on a great deal of salary. Given that Baker would be cheaply under control for 2012, the primary hurdle to a trade is his perceived value to the Cubs going forward. In other words, they may value him more to keep than another team would value him in trade. The Cubs certainly aren’t going to dump Baker just to dump him.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates want to add a lefty power bat, and Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks Carlos Pena could fit the bill. He even suggests – contrary to current, popular belief – that the Pirates would not want to take on all of Pena’s remaining salary (which includes a $5 million payment in January), which would mean they’d have to part with a solid prospect to land Pena.