While we were preoccupied with the protracted resolution to the Jorge Soler saga (squeal!), there have been a number of Cubs-related rumor bits floating around out there. With the Draft and Soler in the rearview mirror, trade talks are going to start heating up …
- Ken Rosenthal has confirmed that the Cubs, in addition to discussing obvious trade possibilities (like Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, and Alfonso Soriano, among many others), are also making Bryan LaHair available in trade. Given his unique situation – breaking out at 29, lots of cost-control – it will be very interesting to see how other teams value LaHair, and how the Cubs value him. Whether or not we characterize the Cubs as “shopping” LaHair, or say that LaHair is “on the market,” you can be sure the Cubs are listening.
- Dale Sveum spoke about the Cubs’ plans to add impact players at some point in the future, and you could tell he desperately hopes the Cubs add some quality players this Winter. “You can say right now,” Sveum told Paul Sullivan about the time to make additions. “You don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three months. You don’t know what’s going to happen with personnel next year, what we need. Obviously we need a lot of things. We’re losing a lot of games. But to spend that kind of money … when the right time is and how many tears you give a guy, a whole lot goes into that process. There’s obviously going to be some guys available this Winter, and you’ve got to sit down and decide what the plan is. It’s not like we’ve got a lot of guys coming except the [Anthony] Rizzos, [Brett] Jacksons and Junior Lakes, guys with tons of upside. So we do have to obviously fix some things.”
- MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith chatted late last week, and among his notable thoughts: (1) the primary suitors for Matt Garza will probably be the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays; (2) Garza will be the best pitcher available at the deadline, assuming the Brewers don’t make Zack Greinke available; (3) the Braves could be a fit for Ryan Dempster; (4) there is no rush to shop Dempster to try and “beat the market;” (5) the Cubs will be able to move Alfonso Soriano if they eat enough money; and (6) as a hypothetical, Ben said the Cubs wouldn’t trade Soriano and Dempster to the Angels for Vernon Wells and Ervin Santana (I agree, but it’s interesting to see that value equation favor the Cubs).
- Doug Padilla also chatted, and shared his insights: (1) Doug says there’s a 75% chance Dempster is dealt, and it would likely be late in July; (2) the Cubs might not shop Bryan LaHair too much until they’ve seen how Rizzo’s doing in the bigs (to which I say: is a few weeks of Rizzo in the bigs really enough time to judge what you’ve got? To me, the Cubs are going to trade LaHair or they’re not – Rizzo’s performance won’t affect that); (3) the Cubs aren’t looking to pick up a closer any time soon (duh); (4) Garza and LaHair are the two Cubs most likely to draw trade interest, besides Dempster; (5)
- I’d been meaning to post about a Jon Heyman list of trade candidates a little while ago, but Soler mania took over, and it kept getting bounced. But, since the trade market has yet to fully develop, the piece is still meaningful. The gist is, Heyman put together a list of 45 players who could be dealt by the trade deadline, and the Cubs were, unsurprisingly, well represented. Coming in at numbers two and three were Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, Alfonso Soriano was 15, Paul Maholm was 19, David DeJesus was 21, Reed Johnson was 29, and Carlos Marmol just squeaked on at 43. Heyman says what you’d expect him to say about each player, but remains up in the air about whether the Cubs will ultimately trade Matt Garza. Heyman later added that other teams expect the Cubs to be the biggest seller at the deadline this year.
- Heyman was also on the Score yesterday, where he noted that he would find it hard to believe if the Cubs couldn’t find a taker for Alfonso Soriano at this point, given how hot he’s been (assuming the Cubs eat plenty of the contract). But, at the same time, Heyman hasn’t heard so much as a peep of interest.
- Keith Law was on ESPN1000 yesterday discussing, among Soler bits, the midseason trade market for the Cubs. Law suggested that fans keep their expectations down on the returns the Cubs will see, especially with respect to Ryan Dempster. The mid-season market is not what it once was thanks to the new CBA. There might be a lot of trades, Law said, but not a lot of impact prospects moving teams. This is primarily true for rental players, because an acquiring team can no longer get a compensatory draft pick for them if they leave after the season (under the new CBA, a player must be with a team for the entire season to qualify for a compensatory pick).
- The Dodgers have reportedly reached a five-year, $85 million extension with Andre Ethier. The Cubs may or may not have considered going after him this offseason (the addition of Jorge Soler, and presumed signing of Albert Almora – though very long-term prospects – probably reduced the chances), but it’s yet another example of the ever-shrinking free agency pool.
- A reminder, as we approach the fat of the trade season, you’ll want to follow Bleacher Nation on Twitter, and “like” it on Facebook to make sure you’ve got all of your Cubs rumor bases covered.