With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the trade season tends to pick up in the second half of July (the rumor season started way early this year, but not so much on the actual dealing).

  • Ryan Dempster is slated pitch for the Cubs on Saturday, the second game after the break, and, assuming he’s not dealt before then, there will be upwards of 10 teams present to scout Dempster, a source tells Bruce Levine. With a league best 1.99 ERA, Dempster is on a number of teams’ radars, and the Cubs are looking to get the best package possible for the soon-to-be free agent (who will have to approve the trade, though that isn’t expected to be an issue). Given that Dempster is largely a known quantity, I think you can assume that the scouts in attendance will mostly be looking to confirm that Dempster appears healthy. So, if he seems fine, but pitches poorly, I wouldn’t be too worried about his value taking a hit. But, you know, obviously it would be nice if he pitches well …
  • Speaking of pitching well, Matt Garza continues to be on as many radars as Dempster, and each start is being heavily scrutinized (though, like Dempster, Garza is largely a known quantity at this point). You can add another team to the mix for Garza, too: the Dodgers. Although the Dodgers have long been considered the “favorite” to land Dempster, they’ve apparently also talked to the Cubs about Garza. While the Dodgers are a good fit as a trade partner for the Cubs in the sense that their best prospects tend to be pitchers, they do not have an elite farm system. Nor do they have a preference for dealing top prospects in order to save some cash in a trade – they’re all too happy to take on full contracts. The Cubs, obviously, would prefer to send cash along to get better prospects in trade.
  • I’m not a prospecting hound, but my sense of the Dodgers’ system is that it would be tough for them to put together a great package for Garza, assuming there were other bidders. Dempster looks like a better fit, possibly together with a Bryan LaHair, or a lesser bat like Jeff Baker or Reed Johnson.
  • The Angels are interested in Zack Greinke, if he becomes available. That could impact the Cubs in a couple of ways: (1) Since we haven’t heard them attached to Garza or Dempster, the Angels getting Greinke could help the Cubs in their efforts to deal Garza or Dempster; and (2) wait a minute:┬áif they want Greinke, why not Garza or Dempster?
  • Bruce Levine chatted yesterday, and … (1) Ryan Dempster will “definitely” be traded, but it might take another start or two before a team pulls the trigger on the best offer (Bruce mentions the Dodgers, Braves, and Indians as possibilities); (2) there’s a “good likelihood” that Paul Maholm will be traded, too, as he’s a valuable back-end starter with a good contract; (3) Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are also likely to be traded; (4) Levine also thinks Garza will be traded (he offered a lot of that type of opinion – I agree with him on all five, by the way, but it can be hard to actually finalize that many trades (plus any bullpen deals, and/or guys like LaHair or DeJesus); (5) Darwin Barney is another guy who has more value to a contender than to the Cubs, so he’ll be shopped, but Bryan LaHair might have more value to the Cubs than to another team (I don’t really see the distinction there, and I could argue it the other way around if I were inclined); (6) Alfonso Soriano probably won’t be traded at this point – the interest just isn’t there right now; (7) Bruce expects the Cubs’ payroll to be under $90 million next year;
  • Hawkeye

    I just read a tweet that Soler is roommates with Almora. I’m not sure if this was planned or not, but seems like a great idea. I have read lots that says Almora has great character. If thats true, what a better person than he to help Soler get acclimated to the states. Both are young, and can potentially work their way through the system together. They may actually help to take pressure off one another at each respective level. I have visions of these two being a dynamic outfield duo in the distant future.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Could be like a Cubs version of Kane and Toews!

      ….a guy can dream, right? lol.

  • fester30

    I guess the plus side is if we do trade all those people we’ll be pretty certain to get the top draft pick next year.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Well we shall see about the top pick the Astros really stink as well and if they trade Wandy that will make them worse also. (Colorado,Seattle,and San Diego as other candidates) for top pick as well don’t count them out) All 5 teams shall I use a Carlos Zambrano Quote “We Stinks”

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Jackson is one of the very few LH bats with some promise in the Cubs system. We have way too many RH bats at the top of our prospect list. Vitters, Lake, Baez, Almora, Szczur, Soler, Castillo, Sappelt , Torreyes are all righties. Theo stressed balance in the lineup since he arrived. Rizzo has helped along with LaHair but I think the Cubs will be reluctant to move Brett Jackson without first giving him a look at the ML level.
    All other left handed bats in Cub system are pretty far away from Wrigley for now. Remember that when discussing moving the likes of DeJesus, LaHair, & Jackson for the time being.

    • Quintz

      I find that the “top prospect” list loses some luster when you include Castillo and Sappelt.

      • Cedlandrum

        Sappelt certainly isn’t a top prospect, but he is a good player. He just got off to a horrible start this year.

  • KC

    With all this money why can’t we just keep Garza. Sign Greinke and Hamels (they would be our 2 $20 mil players). Even maybe bring Dempster. With Samardjiza that would be a good starting 5.

    We don’t have many if any pitching prospects going to be blocked.

    • Quintz

      That seems like a great idea…….run that one by Theo or any team in a similar position as the Cubs and see what they think.

      • KC

        Wish I could. At least one of them.

        • Quintz

          Then ask some Jewish people if they think bringing back “The Holocaust” is a good idea.

          • Kyle

            You sir, have won the Internet. That is the most impressive combination of wrong and offensive that it is possible to pack into a single sentence. *tip of the hat*

          • Scotti

            Not funny.

          • Rick Vaughn

            As dumb as that comparison was, I do understand what you mean. However, looking at the possible free agents going into 2014, I don’t think locking up one of this next offseason’s free agents would be the worst idea.


            The top pitchers on that list are Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Ricky Nolasco, and you guessed it…Matt Garza

            • Rick Vaughn

              2015 right now could be the greatest free agent class of all time, but you have to assume most will be locked up to extensions by then.

              • Quintz

                ……and I was trying to make a legit comparison. No sarcasm what-so-ever.

                If the guys who get paid to do this for a living think that would be a reasonable option to solve the Cubs many problems, don’t you think they would do it (they won’t)? I’m thinkin that it hasn’t just slipped the FO’s mind that Grienke and Hamels are FA’s after this season.

                • Scotti

                  Coming into this season most, even here, thought the new FO was going to spend big on a free agent. My guess is that they’re clever enough to not advertise what they will do in any given off-season. Theo has a record of being unpredictable.

          • Spencer

            this is ridiculous.

          • Ian Afterbirth


    • Puma0821

      I wouldn’t mind if they got Hammels probably not both though. I would like to see them take a couple of fliers on guys like Liriano, Carmona(Roberto hernandez) or jimenez if the indians (dont pick up his option).

    • D.G.Lang

      That would be a great way to slow down future improvement and completely destroy the effort to build a long term sustainable foundation of quality replacement players.

      The more money spent on high priced short term rent a player type persononel creates less money to properly stock an abundance of high quality prospects with high level ceilings and strong potential to be very good at the major league level. It also c reates less money available for future expansion nad or replacement of both ML and MILB facilities.

      Strong starting pitching alone without good defense and strong offensive skills would only create a lot of losses due to poor defense and low batting averages and power.

      To build a great team capable of contending year after yaer requires a strong farm system which the Cubs are just starting to build.

      Continuing to build up the farm with high ceiling and high likelyhood of making the majors is the best approach.

      It may take a strong three year plan to quickly build up the farm but once that is accomplished and there is GOOD excess at each position then we will have both a very good major league team with great potential for the future along with a great farm system capable of providing good replacement players n case of injury at the major league level
      as well as providing a CONSISTANTLY playoff capable major league team.

      The most imporant thing is to not kill off the future for one or two years of a fairly good team.

      In my humble opinion, I would say to stick with the plan.

      • Scotti

        “It also creates less money available for…”

        Where does that money come from? It comes from selling tickets, beer, t-shirts and ad buys. When you lose at Wrigley you lose out on 50-80 million dollars (very, very conservatively). Thus, spending an extra 50 million wisely to help your team be competitive GENERATES more, not less, cash to spend elsewhere!

  • art

    well, if the right handed Cub prospect hitter’s are as good as advertised, i wouldn’t worry about the balance part.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Cubs Notable Promotion Pierce Johnson Cubs 1st Supplemental Pick as been assigned to Boise Hawks. It will be nice to see how he does in Boise

    Cubs Notable Promotion 2 Chadd Krist Catcher has been promoted to Peoria from Boise.
    Stats from Boise 16 G/ AB 58/ 328 Avg 0hr 4 doubles 6 rbi’s 4 BB 5 Strikeouts OBP 365
    Cubs Notable Demotion Shawon Dunston Jr has been assigned to AZL Mesa from Boise where he has struggled 16 G/ 65 AB / 185 Avg 1 hr 4 doubles 1 Triple 2 rbi’s 4 BB 14 Strikeouts 1 stolen base 2 caught stealings

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I just saw Jorge Soler’s twitter page. It says his name is Jorge Soler Castillo… So Jorge Castillo instead of Jorge Soler?

  • cubsin

    Soler is his father’s name. Castillo is his mother’s (maiden) name.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Thank you @cubsin for the info.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Hello all, been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m back on the “bleacher nation” posting train!! Some very intriguing points Brett. Of all this interesting info regarding trade rumors, the one thing that stuck out to me was Bruce Levine saying our payroll would be under $90 mil next year. Gotta be real careful with this because this is the “grace period” season and if we have a similiar record at this point next year there could be some unforseen consequences. I understand spending money elsewhere throughout the organziation, but let’s go…..we’re the CUBS!!! With that being said, I’m anxiously waiting to se how the rest of this month plays out…I do have total confidence that any trade we make, Theo & Co will get a max package.

  • Gcheezpuff

    With the Rangers being linked to Dempster now, I wonder what the Cubs would need to package with Demp to get Mike Olt in return. With Adrian Beltre locking up 3rd for the next few years, Olt is a near lock to be moved and the Cubs should be going after him hard. Demp won’t get him alone, but I wonder if they could expand the deal to include a high upside lower level prospect. Olt is the perfect player to round out the Cubs young infield. No prospect is a lock, but most things I have read about Olt say he could hold down 3rd in MLB today and will most likely see action in 2013.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Apparently Olt is untouchable… I don’t see how a team who has gone to the World Series two years in a row could label any prospect untouchable. They also have Profar who can play 3rd, short, and second. I would like to see the Cubs go hard at Olt as well. I think it would take a deal of Garza, Russel, and Baker or Johnson to pry Olt away but like everyone is saying Olt is untouchable. For fun though if the Cubs did pull off a trade and got Olt from the Rangers their future infield would be 1B – Rizzo 2B – Baez SS – Castro 3B – Olt. That’s one hell of a future infield.

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        Oh and I think Castillo and Clevenger together make a nice lefty, righty tandem for years to come at catcher.

      • Jared

        i dont see why the cubs wouldnt go super hard for olt….i want him!

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          How about this for a crazy trade… Dempster, Garza, and Russel to the Rangers for Perez, Buckel, and Olt.

          • Whiteflag

            Thats not enough of a return for the cubs, in my opinion. I want a return similar for Garza alone. Garza might not land a package quit that good, but 3 quality major leagues for three quality prospects isn’t enough. Maybe I’m delusional on how much Garza is worth.

            • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

              I agree with you. I just don’t know the Rangers system very well. If that deal was agreed upon their would be more prospects going to the Cubs. At least 2 or 3.

          • Gcheezpuff

            That might be the asking price just for Garza… Though I doubt the Rangers would go for it.

        • Patrick G

          I don’t see how the Rangers don’t go for an ace. They don’t have a clear ace(Darvish hasn’t pitched long enough to prove that) and don’t see why they would not trade for a frontline starter. With Texas’ offense, Garza can be a prime pitcher, especially facing the A’s and Mariners a lot(and Houston next year). I hope they can somehow pry Olt away from them and hope Texas would be interested. Back to back WS loses you would think they would be really aggressive this trade deadline. Here’s to hoping

      • Gcheezpuff

        I don’t think Olt is untouchable, he has already been linked to upton and Cole Hamels. I am with you on it having to be a Garza trade with Olt being the centerpiece and another couple prospects coming back though. I am just curious if Demp could be packaged with someone like Lake to bring back Olt or if the Cubs could even put a deal involving Demp together to make it work. Demp alone won’t get him, but if you give them more then a rental maybe they’ll see enough value to pull the trigger on a blocked prospect.

        • White Sox Nation

          Who is OLT

      • Jeff

        OltOMG!! They need a #1, I don’t think Lewis, Oswalt or Feldman can do it.

        They are solid at 2.) Harrison 3.) Darvish 4.) Holland 5.) Feliz with the exception of Feliz.

        They need a quality arm bad because Anaheim will make a big run in the second half

      • Alou and Vinegar

        Not sure where i read it so no link but the Rangers may be playing Olt at first base while Beltre is still there.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          And Moreland DH’s? Because Moreland is killing it now, too.

        • Gcheezpuff

          Olt is most valuable at 3rd so my guess is he continues to play there just not for the Rangers. He’ll be traded unless there is an injury. I just hope the Cubs are all over him. What about Demp and BJax for Olt and a low level high upside pitcher. Not super familiar with rangers farm, they may have some interest in BJax with the possibility of losing Josh Hamilton.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    If Demp is traded for anything less of talent of the Dodgers Chris Reed I will be extreme disappointed. Even i wouldn’t think we got a great trade. I have a bad feeling we will all be disappointed wit the return. I don’t see us getting anyones top prospect for Demp but I just got a bad feeling.

    • Andrew

      Wait serious. The other day you acted like you were in on he loop and you knew exactly what the cubs would get in return for dempster. Remember you knew all and the rest of us were a bunch of idiots right? Dumbass

      • Rick Vaughn

        You mad bro?

  • White Sox Nation

    The Cub ‘s have a lot of young talent hopefully Rizzo continues to shine and get better. With the likes of Solor and Jackson who I think is going to be a beast the future is looking bright. I think keeping Garza and giving him an extension may not be a bad option, unless they get some good talent in return and not some wing and a pray prospect! Also Cole Hammel may not even leave Philly but I wouldn’t mind seeing him on either side of town. With all that is going on and continue to go on this team isn’t winning anything for another season or two but it will be fun watching the youth grow and get better. I think Theo and company will get this team in the right direction after over a 100 years of horse shit rosters, and asshole coaches and GM’s who ruined this team. And maybe just maybe we will have fans who understand what is going on and appreciate baseball and not worry about cheap ass BUttWIPER beer and the history behind the piss smelling halls of Wrigley field. And we as fans will have real bathrooms not sinks to piss in and we won’t be getting hit in the head by falling cement!!! So to the real fans be excited and as for the no clue Bud drinking shit in the pants drunks who want to blam goats and Bartman just keep living in StupidVille.

  • White Sox Nation

    GO CUBS GO GO CUBS 2014 will be the season…. In the mean time Go WHITES SOX bring the World Series Back home to Chicago!!!!!!!!!!! 2005-2012!!!

  • Steve

    I think I’d rather badly sprain my ankle than cheer for the White Sox.

    yeah, i’m sure of it…I hate em.

    • White Sox Nation

      That’s you right to hate em no go break a legLOL!

  • bob

    Trade Garza for a couple of propects – I’m thinking a nice top 1-2 projected starter and a young shortstop?