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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).
  • nkniacc13

    I hope the phillies go on and start winning a few games here before Halladay and Howard get back so they atleast hold onto Hamels.

    I heard the Cubs are looking for a Jimenez package for Garza any thruth to that?

  • Spencer

    so excited for the cards to trade for garza and promptly extend him so the cubs have to play against him for the next eight years. sounds like a pretty solid plan to me.

    • nkniacc13

      I guess Shelby miller would have to be in that deal

      • dabynsky

        Despite Miller’s struggles in AAA this year, I would personally drive Matt Garza to St. Louis if the deal involved Miller.

      • Spencer

        I can’t see that happening.

      • EB

        Miller is not the only pitching prospect in their system. Carlos Martinez is a very good prospect in his own right and although he has struggled this year and is still very raw, Tyrell Jenkins has a lot of upside

  • yield51

    I don’t understand dismissing the Yankees as a trade partner just because they don’t have “ML-ready top prospects”. The top prospects in the Cubs system are mostly still 3 to 4 years away, and we salivate over them. BJAX, and Vitters are the only hitters close, and they are likely mid season call ups next year. I think the plan should be to acquire as many mid rotation 20 – 22 y/o pitchers as possible. If the Cubs can trade off Dempster, Garza, Baker, Johnson, and possibly LaHair for 7 or 8 good prospects that fit that mold, that would be the best approach IMO. Then land the ace through F.A.’s. Trying to trade for a young TOR starter is a huge gamble. Outside of the Strasburg, Lincecum, types, there are so many more that have failed at young ages. If we were to only acquire one or two ML ready pieces and they failed we would be crushed. My vote would be to stick to the plan and gather as much talent as possible (not necessarily the top projected talent). In three of four years when the Cubs system is overflowing with top end, and mid tier prospects, they would be in position to trade some of those pieces for a TOR starter.

  • nkniacc13

    The problem with the Yanks is that they don’t have any pitchers without concerns very high in their thin farm system. Your not going to trade Garza who still has a year plus on his contract without getting pitching prospects back. Your going to want them without injury risk which the top 3 yankees farm pitchers don’t have. I don’t think they are betting they can get an ace in any deal that they make but you would like to get a 2 or a 3 atleast. I don’t think they are looking for Mlb talent maybe AAA if the haven’t really started their arb clock yet

    • Pat

      Any pitching prospect they get back is likely to be a year away. Because if a team has a guy with top of the rotation potential who is already ML ready, they are gong to start that pitcher rather than trade them for Garza or Dempster.

      • rcleven

        Not too many teams have top of the rotation pitchers in their farms. Norris was impressive the other night but he is not a 100 pitch pitcher. Shark is the same. 80 pitches seems to be the limits of these kind of pitchers at this point in their careers. I can see these kind of pitchers being targeted.

        • nkniacc13

          which is why they maybe pitching at AAA

  • mudge

    So we’d be trading Garza for two or three prospects with a small chance of pitching as well as Garza?

    • Chef Brian

      It’s not like Garza is setting the world on fire. I’d settle with a couple pitching prospects with higher upside than Garza’s that would peak at the same time as the rest of our top prospects.

      • gutshot5820

        I think people are underestimating Garza. He was rated the number 22 starter in all of baseball and has a year and a half left. A team in contention this year can use him for half a year and then trade him in the summer and still pick up some good prospects. You definitively need two top 100 types and a low upside to make a fair trade, considering one might fail and one might get injured. Garza is a true stud pitcher with no injury history and he will get more in trade than either Hamels or Greinke. Both pitchers are viewed as better but Garza has the extra year in which the playoff team can trade him and get prospects back in return.

  • rcleven

    Maholm seems like the perfect trade to a team like Toronto. Cheap and fits their survival mode for the rest of this season.
    A Yankee trade for Garza? Hoyers mention of a three team trade?
    Could LaHair be a throw in with Demp to milk the Dodger cow?

  • mudge

    LaHair and Demp to milk the Dodger cow! – the thought brings teats to my eyes.

  • nkniacc13

    I think LaHair and Demp has been talked about here a number of times heading to LA. I could see maholm making sense in Toronto. I think If Garza goes to the yanks its got to be in a 3 team trade simply because of the lack of pitching prospects that NYY has.

  • http://bleachernation.com TherealPattyP

    While Hamels is a superior pitcher to Garza. The extra year of contract on Garza has to sweeten the deal versus a FA to be like Hamels

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder which team is actually asking for more

  • Kevin

    It appears 2015 is when we should expect everything to start comIng together for the Cubs. That said. focus should be getting prospects that are 2 years away from the majors.

    • nkniacc13

      I don’t think that you look for players especially pitchers that are 2 years away you look for high upside that have limited injury risk and that have preformed well in AA or AAA atleast as far as the top player your looking at in a deal

    • Jonski

      Theo Epstien and Jed Hoyer will be looking for another job if the Cubs don’t make a push for playoffs by 2014 .First off we started trading of contracts and pieces in 2010 and 2011 so the new front office didn’t have to tear the hole team down they had to finish what was started and further more the Cubs won’t be fielding 9 positions players from are farm or 5 starting pitchers either.2014 is reasonable expectations it allows Ricketts to pay down the debt for 2 years .Not every trade is going to be prospects either it will be players that are under team control with upside when they hit prime years Imo.

  • calicubsfan007

    I like the sound of Maholm in Toronto. I still think Demp is going to La, while Garza is going to Detroit.

  • nkniacc13

    why not throw Camp into the deal with LA sounf like they could use some bullpen help

  • Kevin

    If you try to trade for a high upside AAA player, why wouldn’t the other club just promote the player instead of making a trade? That scenario would throw out a big question mark IMO.

  • nkniacc13

    If you don’t think they are ready and won’t be ready ala where the Cubs are with jackson and Vitters then that would be a reason why you may trade him especially if you have questions

  • Kevin

    Happy July 4th, Red – White – and Cubbie Blue!

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    I still believe the Braves have the best pitching talent and a better trade partner for the Cubs! If we do trade Garza Tehran along with Martin Prado should get the Job done! If i were Theo and Jed Prado has to be in the deal! We get a good young arm and great player who could play all over the infield and yes plays Left Field as well! Pull the trigger On this one Theo and Jed!

    • nkniacc13

      I don’t want Prado in a deal and I doubt the braves would give him up

    • Drew7

      You have to know that’s irritating, right?

  • dabynsky

    I agree the Braves have some of the best pitching available, but I am always worried about a pitcher the Braves are willing to give up.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Theo and Jed need to get Washington on the line. We can give them Demp, Garza, Soto, and LaHair for Harper, Strasburg and Ankiel. Obviously, Harper is the throw in, in the deal.

    • Tim

      you are on crack my friend

      • @cubsfantroy

        haha it was a joke.

        But that is the kind of thing I read in the comments section on the Cubs site. I always find it hilarious.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Dabynsky why wouldn’t you want Martin Prado? A way better option at 3rd! Not taking anything away from Valbuena who i believe has done a great job for the Cubs! But Prado puts up decent number year after year and is great glove! The only knock on Vitters is his glove! His bat has come along way! But he’s not ready for the Show yet! So yes i want Martin Prado! By the way look what Aramis Did yesterday! Theo and Jed simply let Aramis walk! That has to be the trojan boner move of the year!

    • Carew

      Too many exclamation marks =)

      • gabriel

        soooo true

    • Chef Brian

      They didn’t let Aramis walk for nothing. They received a compensatory pick because he was signed by another team.

    • Vladimir

      Aramis turned into Pierced Johnson, who has a #1 starter ceiling and is a first round talent. So thank god they did let him walk away. See this is something Hendry NEVER did which is why you maybe thought he left for nothing.

  • dabynsky

    I didn’t specifically say I didn’t want Prado, but age would be the reason why I wouldn’t want him. The team needs to get younger and dealing Garza for another 28 year old isn’t that. Plus dealing Garza for Prado would limit the prospects, if any, the Cubs would get back in dealing for him. This is of course assuming that the Braves in the middle of going for it will be dealing a productive part of their major league team.

    And by letting Aramis Ramirez walk the Cubs got the supplemental draft pick that they took Pierce Johnson with, who has perhaps one of the highest ceilings of pitchers in the system (more a comment on the other pitchers than how good Johnson is).

  • Dane

    In Buster Olney’s latest post, he wondered whether the Diamondbacks would be surprise buyers at the deadline for pitching help..Garza for Archie Bradley and Corbin? Bradley looks like he could be a legit 1 in his prime and Corbin is a really good looking lefty

    • nkniacc13

      no chance the Cubs could get both in a deal for Garza

      • Dane

        I would probably do the deal straight up for Bradley, tho

  • nkniacc13

    Didn’t sign Aramis because didn’t want to go to multiple years on a contract. Why trade for Prado when you need pitching not postiton players?

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Ok.. Sooo who’s going to solve out problem at 3rd base? You all know Vitters isn’t ready! And Chase Headley is the same age as Prado with less power! If you can get Prado why not! Also I think Delgado, Tehran, Prado gets the Job done

    • dabynsky

      I think who plays 3B isn’t really a huge issue because the odds of this team being in a position to compete next year is very low. The Cubs need impact pitching, and trading your best pitcher for a guy to fill 3B isn’t doing that.

      • nkniacc13

        Exactly i have no problem if you get a prospect like castellos (det) in a deal for garza but to get a mlb player at this point in a deal is kinda short sighted in the fact that if the owner expects to be better but not not contend until 15 then why trade you most valueable chip and get back a player who in 2 years you will have others that maybe ready to take that position

  • mudge

    Garza should be an excellent pitcher for several more years. Much as other clubs might want him, ultimately the Cubs might want him as much. For two or three prospects with upside, it’s as likely that none even pitches in the major leagues. Trading a known quantity for hope is not always wise. You don’t win a World Series with a roster of 23 year olds.

    • nkniacc13

      True but if you can’t sign him to a long term contract then get something for him before he walks and now he has more value than he will next July

  • Cheryl

    For someone who isn’t as familiar with other teams farm systems as those who contribute to BN which teams farm systems are best for pitching? Atlanta and Toronto are mentioned a lot. Anyone care tto fill me in there?

    • Dane

      Arizona

      • Cheryl

        Thanks.

  • Josh

    I think the Phils will make a 2nd half run once they start getting their stars back from injury. And with the 2nd Wild Card there is still a good chance they can make the playoffs if they play well

  • Jared

    what about garza for jurickson profar and mike olt ;P

    …..wishful thinking

  • mudge

    Why couldn’t they work out an extension for Garza? They got the money. I don’t think he should be “frustrated” with anything other than himself for throwing too many pitches. Travis Wood’s been winning his share of games with the same team.

    • nkniacc13

      Part of it is money per year and im guessing he wants a no trade and the Cubs don’t want to give him one

  • mudge

    Makes sense. No more no trades. It’s funny how the rules get made, you’ve got the owners, and the player’s union, and no voice for the fan, who funds the entire process. Any rules not in the interest of putting the best team on the field at all times are against the fans’ interest. It is what it is, except when it isn’t.

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