Will the nature of the Lukewarm Stove take a turn now that Sean Marshall has been dealt? I tend to think not, as I discussed at length yesterday. The Cubs will continue to look at making moves via trade or free agency that improve the team for the future, with an emphasis on the long-term. That was always the plan.
- The biggest piece the Cubs have to trade is, of course, pitcher Matt Garza. With Yu Darvish going off the board to the Rangers (even if they can’t ultimately sign him, the Cubs aren’t going to wait 30 days just to see if the Rangers re-enter the market for Garza – if Garza is traded, it’ll almost certainly be in the next 30 days), Garza’s market shrank a bit. The Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox make sense for a number of reasons, as do the Nationals, Marlins, Tigers and Orioles. Frankly, any team that wants to add a starting pitcher should have already been talking to the Cubs.
- The White Sox just extended John Danks for five years and $65 million (one year of arbitration in there, four free agent years). It’s a decent deal for the White Sox, and Danks is only 26, but, like … rebuilding? What exactly is their plan? This will have an interesting impact on the Cubs vis a vis Matt Garza. Could the Cubs use that contract as a benchmark for trying to extend Garza on a favorable deal? Then again, it takes Danks off the market (probably), which helps the market for Garza.
- Gio Gonzalez, the other big-time pitcher currently on the trade market, is close to being moved, says Buster Olney. There’s a chance he’s moved as soon as today. The bidding is down to two teams, according to Olney, the Nationals and either the Marlins or the Red Sox. Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Nationals are working hard to land Gonzalez. Because the Nationals have only vaguely been attached to Garza rumors, that should be your horse in the Gonzalez race. If Gio lands in Washington, all of the AL East teams outside of Tampa Bay remain in the market for a starting pitcher, and the best one available – Garza – is a guy they know well.
- Jim Bowden postulates on the possible deals out there for Garza (subscription required).
- The Cubs have talked to Jeff Francis as a possible left-handed pitching depth option. Whether the acquisition of Travis Wood scuttles those talks – or the ones with Paul Maholm, for that matter – remains to be seen. Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs will keep pursuing guys like Maholm and Francis, regardless of Wood. Check out Francis if you must. Depth is all he’d be.
- Teams continue to wait for Prince Fielder’s price tag to drop. Whether or not the Cubs are “rebuilding,” until/unless they pull the trigger on a deal for someone like Anthony Rizzo, I will continue to believe they would be willing to sign the 27-year-old Fielder to a five-year deal. The problem is Fielder is still asking for ten.
- Phil Rogers suggests the Cubs could go after lefty Matt Harrison if the Rangers make him available in the wake of the Yu Darvish addition. He says they could make the move for Randy Wells and Marlon Byrd, which I seriously doubt. Harrison, 26, is in his first year of arbitration, and is coming off his first truly great year (3.39 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, K rate climbing, BB rate falling, 131 ERA+). If he’s available, I’d certainly hope the Cubs would take a look.
- The Cardinals are talking to theoretical Cubs target Coco Crisp, but seem to be more interested in Carlos Beltran.