Some rumor chunks to get you into your weekend…
- Jon Heyman says that, if the Yankees made a move for pitching, Matt Garza is the guy they’d want. Buuuut, they’re not likely to make a move for pitching. The Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Dodgers remain interested in Garza, among other teams.
- The Orioles, on the other hand, have shifted their focus away from Garza, according to Jayson Stark, after learning just how steep the Cubs’ asking price was. I’ve said previously that I didn’t see the Orioles as a good fit for a Garza trade, given that they’ve got two tip top prospects – Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy – whom they will not trade, and then lesser prospects that probably can’t get them Garza. So, it’s a pretty fair guess that in their pursuit of Garza, they kept hearing one thing from the Cubs: “Either Machado or Bundy is include, or we’re not going to make a deal.” And, eventually, the Orioles got the message, and (probably wisely) backed off.
- Stark also says he’s talked to two execs who say the Cubs have been bringing up Bryan LaHair’s name regularly in trade talks. While not surprising, that’s certainly something new – previously, with respect to LaHair, we’d heard only that the Cubs were listening. Why might the Cubs actively be shopping LaHair? Well, it could be that they’ve decided he can’t play full-time in the outfield. Or it could simply be that they’re trying to sell high (at least, as reasonably high as one could characterize LaHair as still being). And, by the way, if the Cubs are actively shopping LaHair, and don’t want to call up Brett Jackson just yet, might my theorized explanation for the Cubs’ alleged interest in Ryan Sweeney make a great deal of sense?
- George Ofman, who tends not to just pull prospect names out of a hat, says, “Dodgers pitching prospects Chris Withrow and Garret Gould could entice Theo to trade Dempster to L.A.” Withrow, 23, has been in the Dodgers’ system for a looong time, and is in his third season at AA (fourth, if you count a partial year in 2009). His strikeout numbers have always been good, but he’s always walked a ton of guys, too. Still, he was the Dodgers’ 6th best prospect before the season to BP. I’m not sure whether that’s a compliment to Withrow, or a criticism of the Dodgers’ system. Gould, who turns 21 next week, was the Dodgers’ 5th best prospect in the same rankings, and is currently pitching decently in High A. Neither arm knocks your socks off, but it would certainly be an acceptable return for Dempster.
- Paul Sullivan appeared on the Midway Madness podcast this week (cool guys, by the way), and he shared some rumor-y thoughts: (1) Dempster is the most likely Cub to be traded, and Paul Sullivan didn’t sound terribly confident that any of the other bigger names – Matt Garza included – would be traded; (2) Alfonso Soriano would be a good fit in a number of places as a DH, but it’s a matter of whether a team takes on enough of his salary to make it worth the move (you can ignore the part where he says not to listen to me (“that guy doesn’t know anything”) – he was joking, although, while I do know a little about the Cubs, I really do know very little about the world, in general); (3) Garza might net three or four prospects, but the Cubs won’t deal him just to deal him; extension talks are non-existent; and (4) no real reason to deal LaHair right now given how affordable he is.
- Sullivan also did a whacky trade ideas edition of his mailbag, and offered the following list of Ryan Dempster’s preferred trade destinations (since he’s got no-trade rights), which may or may not have been partially tongue-in-cheek: “White Sox (because it’s home), Cincinnati (close to home and reunited with Dusty Baker), Yankees (the pinstripes, and reunited with Larry Rothschild), Dodgers (reunited with bike riding partner Ted Lilly), Boston (talked into it by Kevin Millar) or Miami (his former home and respect for Ozzie Guillen).”
- Buster Olney lists the Cubs, among nine other teams, as a possible fit for Justin Upton if the Diamondbacks trade him. The problem? Getting Upton would almost certainly cost Starlin Castro.
- The Mets’ Dillon Gee might miss the rest of the year following a second shoulder surgery related to an artery issue. They’ll probably fill the void internally, but you could imagine them wanting to pick up a starting pitcher, given how close they are in the race.
- The Cardinals might be willing to include sideways sliding pitching prospect Shelby Miller – he was a top 10 guy in all of baseball before the season – in a trade for a starting pitcher. The Cards have previously been linked to Matt Garza, though the STLToday article mentions Ryan Dempster. Getting Miller for Dempster is a pipe dream.