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The latest in non-Darvish, non-Fielder news and rumors from around baseball…

  • San Diego Padres’ Assistant GM AJ Hinch was asked on MLBN Radio a little bit ago about the rumors of a deal for Matt Garza, in which the Padres would include first base prospect Anthony Rizzo. He said he likes the Padres’ rotation depth, and called the rumor “more far-fetched than most.” Not to be all defensive, but, the idea that Garza would be pitching for the Padres in 2012 is and always has been “far-fetched.” The rumor – and  yesterday’s discussions (about which, I’ve heard nothing more, I’m sorry to say) – never had Garza ending up on the Padres, but instead being spun off to a third team for prospects.
  • To the point: Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes yesterday conceded that, when explaining what the Latos/Alonso/Grandal/etc. trade meant for Rizzo, Byrnes told Rizzo that it may lead to a “trade in the future, because that’s business.”
  • Phil Rogers also noted a third team may be necessary for the Cubs to put together a deal for Rizzo, and suggests the Cubs could include Carlos Marmol in such a deal. That would be just fine with me, as, unlike Garza, Marmol is replaceable internally by the Cubs. But, let’s be clear: Marmol’s value in trade is nowhere near Garza’s. Whether Marmol would be worth Rizzo (however a three-team trade would actually work things out) is debatable. Rizzo is probably more valuable.

  • Jim Bowden yesterday suggested the Cubs could land Rizzo in a package for Matt Garza, which was the primary mainstream discussion of the rumor, which was more fully addressed/reported here at BN. Bruce Levine and Carrie Muskat gave the rumor a cursory look today and late yesterday, respectively. Not much there.
  • Jon Heyman hears from one NL executive that the Padres might, instead of trading Rizzo, try to flip Yonder Alonso. Maybe, though the rationale given was that Alonso can’t play outfield. Byrnes has already said that Alonso will be playing first base.
  • On his Saturday morning ESPN radio appearance, Bruce Levine said the Cubs continue to try and shop Carlos Zambrano, with the Marlins still having at least a passing interest. The name Levine mentioned as a possible return was almost-non-tendered pitcher, Chris Volstad. The 25-year-old righty has never been able to duplicate his impressive rookie half-season in 2008, which preceded three straight meh campaigns. In 2011, Volstad made 29 starts, threw 165.2 innings, and had a 4.89 ERA and 1.425 WHIP while making near the rookie minimum in his final pre-arbitration year. If the Cubs were taking back Volstad – a guy who might not even be worth a roster spot come mid-season – in a deal for Zambrano, it’s possible they wouldn’t have to eat quite as much of Zambrano’s $18 million 2012 salary as previously thought. That’s the sliding scale in a dump deal like that: the more money you save, the less attractive the player(s) you get back.

  • The Cubs are believed to still be talking to Paul Maholm, but there’s nothing new on that front. Like David DeJesus, I kind of have the feeling that the Cubs will wrap this one up relatively quietly.
  • Here’s a column vaguely linking the Washington Nationals to a possible pursuit of Matt Garza, which is the first such connection I’ve heard. In theory, any team looking for a front-line starting pitcher should be talking to the Cubs.
  • The Dodgers signed John Grabow to a minor league deal, because Ned Colletti is Jim Hendry is Ned Colletti is Jim Hendry.
  • The Diamondbacks just signed Jason Kubel to a surprising two-year, $15 million deal. I know Alfonso Soriano isn’t Kubel, but, like, how is it possible that the Cubs can’t find a taker for Soriano at $5 million per year?

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