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.
  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Did the Cubs sign any other tough to sign draft picks before the 4pm signing deadline today?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Damn, Orioles just signed Kevin Gausman. Was hoping he wouldn’t sign and the Cubs potentially would have had a shot at him next year

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Interesting note: Kevin Goldstein thinks Brett Jackson has potential to be Drew Stubbs type player. Great toolsy player but to many strike outs to allow him to succeed. I think thats not a half bad comp. I think he’ll be major leaguer for a while but just might not be the player people want him to be, or thought he could be.

    • Drew7

      Im not a big fan of comps, but I’ve said before that, if you wanna give Jackson a comp, thats a pretty good one to give him.

    • Kyle

      The scary thing is that Jackson is striking out a lot more than Stubbs did at AAA.

  • Cheryl

    Do Theo and Company have a reputation for doing the unexpected? We’ve talked about Dempster and others. Is there anyone who would be a surprise trade and yet would make sense after the fact in terms of who they might get? No one would expect them to trade Castro, and I’m not advocating that, but just curious about some of the minor leaguers or current players not currently discussed?

  • Gcheezpuff

    It would not surprise me to see guys like Vitters and BJax moved as they were drafted by the old FO. I also would expect low level prospects included when moving veterans, especially rental players like Dempster. If I am a GM of a contender in need of pitching and you are trying to empty my farm for a rental that I no longer can recoup a draft pick from when they leave for FA, I might only be able to stomach if you include a low level prospect in the deal. I give you closer to MLB ready guys, you give me a rental and a low level high upside guy in return.

  • someday…2015?

    If the Cubs made deals for both Garza and Dempster I’d like to see them pull in something like this… Garza to the Bluejays for Syndergaard, Norris, and Sanchez. Dempster and LaHair to the Tigers for Jacob Turner, Casey Crosby, Bruce Rondon and a low level high upside prospect… I believe that would give the Cubs 8 top 100 prospects, maybe more. I also dream of a possible package trade Soriano and Soto to the Rays for Vettleson, Romero, and Rivero… If all that came to pass I don’t see how the Cubs wouldn’t have the top Farm system in all of baseball.

    • JasonB

      At least you’re being realistic in your expectations…

      why don’t the Jays just trade us Bautista and Lawrie while they’re at it? And we could probably ask the Rays for Longoria to help sweeten the pot

      • someday…2015?

        You must not pay much attention… Theo and Jed want a “Ubaldo” Haul for Garza. Theo Would probably want more then what I proposed. As for the Rays trade… Look at what the Astros got just for Carlos Lee… If the Rays were interested in both Soto and Soriano, figuring the Cubs eat 90% of his salary, Theo and Jed wouldn’t expect anything less of a package back… If your saying what I proposed is unrealistic then your saying what Theo and Jed expect back is unrealistic… I think the Cubs FO is gonna “WOW” a lot of people with up-coming trades. Big moves are coming, book it!

        • Master Plan

          Turner is untouchable so even the thought that it would require additional pieces including Turner isn’t really a reasonable expectation. Soto has 0 value. Garza will net a big haul, Dempster will get us a solid haul, but the others such as Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, and Paul Maholm will be relatively marginal returns

        • JasonB

          You’re asking for what could be the top three pitchers in the Jays’ system right now. And if you think Garza this year is as valuable as Ubaldo was considered to be at the deadline last year, then you must not be paying much attention. Fangraphs’ rated Ubaldo’s contract as one of the 20 best in baseball last summer. Yes, the mighty have fallen since but 1 1/2 years of Garza isn’t even close to that value.

          In Sickel’s midseason rankings, he had Syndergaard at #40, Sanchez at #49 and Norris at #71. Those values are worth $16 million, $16 million, and $12 million, respectively. So you’re arguing that Garza is worth $44 million surplus value. FYI – he’s not. If we got two of those pitchers, it would be considered a steal but the Jays aren’t even giving up two of those guys for 1 1/2 years of Garza.

          But keep playing in fantasy land

  • someday…2015?

    This would be the ultimate blockbuster trade. I know the D-Backs want to win now and want major league talent so here’s my best shot… Garza, Dempster, Vitters, Jackson, Castillo, Russel, and LaHair to the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton and Tyler Skaggs. Now that’s unrealistic!!

    • someday…2015?

      If that trade happened^^^… Future Cubs outfield… Upton, Almora, and Soler. Cubs infield… Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Baez, and Clevenger(maybe). That would be impressive.

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