As a part of the 24-hour Trade Deadline Blogathon, I plan to update you periodically on what’s going on around the rest of baseball, and discuss, where relevant, the impact the moves have on the Chicago Cubs.
Being that it’s the first such update, it’s a long one. Away we go…
- The Astros traded Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies. As a 28-year-old, multiple-time All-Star (wow, that’s a lot of hyphens), I can understand why the Phillies wanted to add Pence. But what I can’t quite understand? Why would they give up two top 50 prospects and more to acquire a good-not-great player who is probably going to cost about $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in 2013, especially when they were already good enough to win it all? The impact to the Cubs could be tremendous if they make Marlon Byrd available – not only because the trade made Byrd one of the better outfielder available, but also because it probably upped the expected return.
- The Diamondbacks acquired Jason Marquis from the Nats, who will eat most of the $2.5 million he’s got left on his deal, and will get a decent, but not great 21-year-old A-ball shortstop named Zach Walters. Marquis is having a decent year (as he often does in the first half), so, if the return for him is this low even with the Nats eating his salary, the market for middle-tier starting pitchers must be weak. No wonder the Cubs can’t find a taker for Carlos Zambrano.
- But, on the other hand, Hiroki Kuroda isn’t expected to approve a trade. So it’s not like there are a ton of arms available.
- Speaking of available arms, the Ubaldo Jiminez sweepstakes went from “the Rockies are just gauging his value and don’t really intend to trade him” to “yeah, they’re getting a ton of serious offers and might well take one” pretty quickly over the last 24 hours.The smart money says he’s gone by tomorrow.
- Also likely to be gone by tomorrow: Michael Bourn. And, when he’s inevitably traded to the Braves for a splendid haul, we can all take solace in the knowledge that the Cubs are just a tweak or two away from having a winner in 2012.
- The Mariners and Tigers got together on a big trade. The Tigers got starter Doug Fister, and reliever David Pauley, and the Mariners got third baseman Francisco Martinez, outfielder Casper Wells, reliever Charlie Furbush, and a player to be named later. The PTBNL is expected to be one of the Tigers’ better prospects. Fister, 27, has been a solid starter all year, and is under team control through 2015. It’s easy to see why the Tigers paid such a high price.
- The Rangers and Cardinals really want Heath Bell.
- The Cardinals have pretty much nailed down a trade for Rafael Furcal, who would probably bump Ryan Theriot off of shortstop. Furcal, for what it’s worth, has been injured and ineffective all year.
- Frequent Cubs-rumor-target Chris Davis is on his way to Baltimore, together with pitcher Tommy Hunter, for 36-year-old reliever Koji Uehara. That’s a steep price to pay, but, with money kicked in from the Orioles, the Rangers are getting him through 2012 for about $2 million.
- The Brewers added Jerry Hairston, Jr. for a meh AA outfielder. Of course, after the ravaging their system has taken over the past year, he might well have been their top prospect.