The latest from around the rumor mill as you try not to burn yourself with sparklers…
- Jed Hoyer was on MLBN Radio with Jim Bowden and Jeff Joyce to discuss all things Cubs, including trade rumor stuff. Neil at the CCO has a very thorough review of that radio appearance. Among the highlights, Jed seemed to work hard to suggest that the changes in the new CBA are going to do more to help sellers in this market than hurt them. The Cubs will work hard to acquire talent this month, including exploring three-team trades, if necessary. He said the Cubs have already spoken to every team, and have spoken to several teams multiple times.
- Phil Rogers says today’s start by Matt Garza could be his last with the Cubs, given the number of teams interested in acquiring him (Rogers lists the Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Royals and Tigers – I’m pretty sure you can add the Cardinals and possibly the Rangers). He doesn’t really say why that means Garza could be traded *this* week, but I suppose it’s possible. I think it’s more likely that the Cubs will wait out a desperate team closer to the deadline. But as soon as that over-the-top offer comes in, the Cubs will probably pull the trigger. Will it come?
- Ken Rosenthal calls Matt Garza one of the three biggest prizes on the trade market this year (together with Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels), in the context of looking at a possible Cardinals move (in light of Chris Carpenter’s shoulder surgery).
- Rosenthal adds that the Blue Jays may look to add a mediocre rotation arm (not Garza or Dempster, for example) in the near term before reassessing where they stand at the trade deadline.
- Danny Knobler believes the Phillies could start selling soon, which, as I’ve said before, could dramatically impact the market for the Cubs’ pieces. Ryan Dempster looks a hell of a lot less attractive when your other rental option is Cole Hamels. Then again, the asking price on Hamels is going to be far, far higher than on Dempster. I’d like to think the price on Garza would be similar, though, given the extra year of control.
- The Phillies’ GM keeps saying publicly that the team wants to keep and sign Hamels long-term … but what else is he going to say?
- Speaking of Garza, the Yankees are interested, says Rosenthal. The price is indeed steep, but the Yankees like his history of success in the AL East and his contract (under control through 2013). The problem, from my perspective, continues to be the fact that the Yankees don’t have much in the way of ML-ready top prospects, since the sort-of fall by Manny Banuelos, and the big-time fall by Dellin Betances. The Yankees continue to say publicly that they prefer to handle their rotational injury issues internally.
- Zack Greinke continues to garner tons of interest on the trade market, even by teams that aren’t sure they can lock him up long-term, including the Braves.
- Bruce Levine chatted this week, and among the notable bits: (1) Bruce says the Dodgers are still interested in Ryan Demspter, but teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are probably going to join the fray as well; (2) the Tigers’ top talent evaluator, Bruce Tanner, was watching the Cubs last week; (3) there is a “minimal” chance that the Cubs don’t trade Matt Garza at this point – Bruce says: “Garza like any good pitcher gets frustrated with losing close games. After two years of no offensive support, I see a frustrated support. And a frustrated pitcher is not one you want around for a long period of time.” Hmm; (4) Geovany Soto is untradable until/unless he picks up his batting average (I know that sounds like a luddite-like point, but it’s actually right this time – his terrible average is dragging all of his production down); (5) if Carlos Marmol keeps pitching this well for another two weeks, the Cubs will have a good shot at being able to trade him; (6) Bruce doesn’t believe this front office is crazy about Darwin Barney as the long-term starter at second base given his low OBP, but they do get plenty of trade requests on him; (7) the Cubs have no compunction about trading with the Cardinals if they make the best offer; and (8) Paul Maholm is a trade candidate, given his cheap contract and the fact that he’s a lefty (parents: teach your kids to throw lefty).