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It may have been a busy day already, but the rumor mill knows nothing of your “busy” …

  • Hey, it’s a Geovany Soto tidbit! Bruce Levine reports that, despite his weak overall year, “numerous teams” are interested in the Cubs’ catcher. He’s playing his best baseball at the right time (he’s hitting .306/.359/.472 since June 30, and .242/.309/.435 since returning from knee surgery in mid-June), and might actually be tradable at this point. Levine mentions the Angels by name, who might be looking to take a chance on a hypothetical upgrade at catcher. Don’t get your hopes up for a big return, though. The Cubs *might* be able to squeeze a B prospect out of a Soto deal, but I’m not optimistic.
  • Another offensive player you didn’t expect the Cubs to be able to move … Alfonso Soriano. And, indeed, it looks increasingly unlikely that the Cubs can move him, despite another homer today. The Dodgers, who are desperate for a bat, are the latest team to shrug their shoulders at the possibility of adding Soriano, says Jon Heyman. You can understand, given that he’d have to play some outfield for the Dodgers (and he can’t be expected to fill in at first or third base, where the Dodgers really need an upgrade). But, man oh man, I just don’t understand why no one wants his bat.
  • Bruce Levine also reports that the Blue Jays and Rangers remain interested in Matt Garza, and the Royals and Pirates, among other teams, are interested in Paul Maholm (who was dominant once again today).
  • I’m hearing that the Tigers are far more interested in finding an infield upgrade than a pitching upgrade, but, if they do seek a pitcher, Matt Garza makes some sense. The same source would be “stunned” if Garza is not traded before the deadline (not necessarily to the Tigers, mind you). Also, on Garza, the Red Sox are still interested, says Jayson Stark, but they’re out on Dempster.
  • George Ofman says the Cubs are finding almost no interest at this point in Bryan LaHair, which, sadly, is pretty understandable. It’s easier said than done, but this is why you “sell high” whenever you’re in sell mode. For LaHair, that was all the way back in May.
  • The Cubs are getting interest on Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson, according to Ken Rosenthal. That is to be expected, as each is a very nice bench option, particularly against lefties. Just don’t get your hopes up that they’ll net much in return.
  • That competitive balance lottery went yesterday (as we discussed), and the Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Reds and Marlins won picks after the first round, and the Padres, Indians, Rockies, Athletics, Brewers and Tigers won picks after the second round. Those picks – and only those picks – are tradable, and you can see some possible trade partners in there for the Cubs. (SCardenfreude: the Cardinals, together with the Rays, were the only teams that were eligible and didn’t win a pick. Lulz.)
  • Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal have been reporting today that the Phillies are readying to offer Cole Hamels a huge, six-year, $130+ million extension. If he gets that kind of offer, it’d be pretty darn risky for him to say no. Yeah, he could probably get a hair more in free agency … but you’ve got to make it there healthy first.
  • The Giants “heavily scouted” the Cubs’ AAA squad a couple weeks ago. What do you reckon that’s about? Maybe looking at an inclusion like Josh Vitters in a bigger deal? Looking at a pitcher? Search me.
  • A little Ryan Dempster bit, which is kind of a repeat, but: Bruce Levine says the Dodgers have made an offer for Ryan Dempster. We’ve kind of known this for a while, and I mentioned it again earlier today. But, additional confirmation is always nice (Levine adds that “it is not known whether Zach Lee, the top-rated arm in Los Angeles’ farm system, is included in the offer.” I mean, that isn’t a completely meaningless statement, but it’s also not known whether Matt Kemp is included in the offer. I’ve said for a while now that the Cubs aren’t getting Lee for Dempster (at least alone). Ken Rosenthal confirms, just for good measure.). Further, George Offman adds that it’s possible, in this offer, the Dodgers have stepped up from the previous Garrett Gould/Chris Withrow offer that he said was on the table previously (or, at least, the Cubs’ price might be higher than that).
  • And, while you wait for the actual trades to roll in, please sign up for the one-day fantasy contest. You can win a share of $300, it’s fun, and you support BN by signing up. Also, it’s free, and it takes about two minutes. Full details here.
  • Njriv

    All these rumors are going to make my head explode. Trade who ever you can! I don’t even want to look at twitter or any site until the deadline passes.

    • http://defeatingboredom.wordpress.com Rob

      I wish I had it in me to do that. I’ve had Twitter open on my phone all day waiting for the inevitable Dempster deal.

      • Diesel

        I don’t even have twitter so I don’t have that problem. Except I’m addicted to BN.

  • Matt3

    Dodger’s make offer to Cubs for Dempster… I know someone else may have already posted this!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Someone posted it … in this very post! :)

  • Wester

    [img]http://grouchymuffin.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/webster.jpg[/img]

    Boy oh boy would I squeal if we traded maholm back to the pirates

    • Dougy D

      Very nice

  • Tyler

    Why not see if the Tigers would want Jeff Baker, you could trade him for a high-upside guy.

    • baldtaxguy

      Not a bad plan

  • Cheryl

    It looks like LaHair will fall by the wayside. He hasn’t been able to adjust to the changes that pitchers made on him and is pretty much a bench player, if that. Too bad.

    • Dougy D

      I think that he is more of an everyday player. I think that he just needs to get consistent looks at the plate. Clearly Sveum is more about Valbuena than LaHair, as whenever a LHP is going LaHair sits and Valbuena plays. I’d like to see him get consistent (I know, hitting against only righties can be considered consistent) at bats like he did earlier in the season. Hopefully he can find his groove.

      • Cheryl

        That’s how I’ve felt but he isn’t getting the consistent at bats and the more he doesn’t hit the more Sveum feels he is justified in sitting him. The position he was in once Rizzo was traded for put him in a very awkward position. Sveum has classified him as not an everyday player. If he could get elsewhere and get consistent at bats he might find his groove, but at this point it isn’t in the cards. I was hoping he’d be traded but that doesn’t look possible at this point.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          But Sveum hasn’t been sitting LaHair: if it’s a RHP, then LaHair starts (unless he’s hurt, of course). This will not change if LaHair is traded, especially if he is traded to a contender: a team that needs to win cannot afford a guy with LaHair’s track record against LHP playing full time.

          Batting against lefties won’t magically “cure” LaHair’s batting right now. (Indeed, there probably is nothing to cure: he’s never deviated from constant rates all year.)

  • Nick

    Baez just hit another homerun and brought his average up to .340. Can we promote this guy? I am so excited to see him play for the Cubs eventually.

    • http://defeatingboredom.wordpress.com Rob

      As well as he’s hit the ball, I think this is an example of the Cubs being cautious with a player. Given, the Midwest League is known to be a pitchers’ paradise, but Baez still strikes out more than you’d like to see, and he hasn’t shown much patience. Besides, Arismendy Alcantara is playing well in Daytona and won’t likely be moved to Double-A for a while, still. Give them both a little more time and they’ll move up a rung on the ladder.

      • Pat

        The thing is, to promote a guy you essentially either hae to promote someone to the ML roster, or release someone. My guess is they aren’t ready to release anyone above him at this point. Also, sometimes guys start off red hot and then regress (see Lahair). It’s a good idea to make them prove it over a large sample.

    • Dougy D

      Don’t promote him until I get over to see him play in Peoria again!

  • Matt

    Does anyone know when or perhaps even how Jorge Soler is doing in his first game?

    • Matt3

      just tried to look it up, but couldn’t find anything

      • MaxM1908

        http://www.milb.com/scoreboard/league.jsp?sid=milb&lid=121

        The games are in warmup right now. If you go to play-by-play and refresh throughout the night, you can follow along.

        • Matt3

          awesome thanks

          • MaxM1908

            Looks like Soler is up first in the bottom of the second. Here’s to his first ever Cubs at-bat.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              EEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh!!!

              • MaxM1908

                Eh, he grounded out to SS. So, nothing to exciting for his first AB.

            • Cubs217

              ground out!? That’s it, he’s a bust, might as well cut him now. haha

              • djriz

                Don’t get too depressed. I think an earlier comment had him going 3 for 4 with a walkoff HR and delivering a baby (something like that), so there’s still time.

                • cjdubbya

                  I like the cut of your jib. That’s just funny right there.

              • Steve

                That made me chuckle….and I don’t chuckle a lot.

            • MaxM1908

              Through three innings, Blackburn has 3 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 1 K.

      • MaxM1908

        Should also be a good game because Blackburn is pitching. It will be interesting to see what he can do to the other team.

  • wernert

    I wonder if part of the Soriano neglect comes from his piss poor performance in the playoffs. I am way too lazy to look up numbers but hasn’t been pretty much close to a complete bust in the playoffs?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Sori had good post-seasons in ’01 and ’03. He’s best remembered for the HR off of Schilling that “should” have won the WS for the Yankees. Those will be the post-seasons that anybody remembers, as he was with the Yankees then.

  • North Side Irish

    Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi
    Sources: #Cubs, #Dodgers have exchanged names multiple times on possible Ryan Dempster trade. Other clubs were involved as of today.

    Does it still count as “multiple times” if the Cubs just keep asking for Lee over and over?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha.

    • NCMoss

      Hey, it says names multiple times and not multiple names.

  • NCMoss

    So A.j piernsksmnjazzzzy wears the same nail polish my 12 year old neighbor wears…….yeah……
    Btw I was watching just because it’s the only game on and I just love to torture myself by watching two teams I hate play each other.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    I’ll say it again – Dodgers made their offer to Cubs last week when Ned Colletti was in town for the allstar break. The deal would have been done if the offer was good enough then – it wasn’t. Dodgers have moved on & may be in on Garza with better offer but I believe Cubs would like to move Garza next week after Dempster deal is done.
    Dodgers looking for big bat but not Soriano or LaHair. Hart at Milwaukee may be on their radar.

  • Oswego chris

    I don’t want to see Maholm go…cheap starter who may be just right at wrigley…I don’t think we will get equal value…..you have to have some MLB starters…

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Totally agree on Maholm unless we could pry Hanson – 2B away from Pirates – then I would hold on to him for next years rotation with Samardzija & T. Wood – that would at least give us 3 experienced guys at the top of the rotation.

  • ShootTheGoat

    Vitters isn’t in the lineup tonight. Wonder if he’s part of a pending trade or just needing a day off? Might be reading a little too much into it with all the trade talk.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett/Luke,

    How about Paul Maholm and reed johnson/Jeff Baker to the pirates for competitive balance lottery pick? Is that realistic or a pipe dream?

  • calicubsfan007

    From what I have heard, the Cards are seriously interested in Maholm and that the Royals might include Wil Myers and a couple of mid range prospects for Garza as long as the Royals are able to negotiate for a extension with Garza. And the Tigers might be out on Demp, as the Cubs are asking for a ton (including, but not only, Turner).

    • dudeski

      if this is true, someone give me garza’s phone number and i will try my best to sell him on how awesome kansas city is

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I can’t fathom a scenario where the Cubs could get Myers in a Garza deal. Can I ask where you heard that?

      • Dumpgobbler

        I’m with you there. Ordorizzi and Cuthbert could probably be had, but I’d be shocked dumpless if Myers was dealt.

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

      Theo and Jed might pass out if the Royals include Myers in a deal for Garza, I know I would.

    • LWeb23

      i may have just wet myself. i cant find any way to actually believe this, but i cant find the paper towels either. this is getting messy.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Brett and everyone else who asked:
      http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/
      “Another source says the Royals would give up Wil Meyers plus some mid-level prospects for Matt Garza if they have a window to sign him to an extension.”
      cubsfan82 is pretty reliable with solid sources.

      • stillmisskennyhubbs

        I would be “shocked, I say, shocked” if Wil Myers is on the table for Garza (or anyone). I follow the Royals regularly and Myers to them is what Rizzo was to us. Everyone is clamoring for him to be called up yesterday.
        The only way he might be in a discussion is 1) if a buyer is throwing out a feeler: “Oh by they way, just wonderin’, is um Myers available?” OR
        2) Dayton Moore is panicking over the Royals pitching woes. That could be, considering that their starters average about 5 innings and they’ve had top prospects go down for TJ surgery. That and the flop of J. Sanchez.
        I believe that if Francoeur moves, Myers comes up to all the hoopla that Rizzo had here. They are projecting a damned good OF of Gordon, Cain, and Myers for their long-awaited push, and it would take a radical change of direction for them to trade Myers.
        I’m afraid that any Myers rumors are speculation built on desire.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          I am pumped for this trade deadline, but these kind of rumors annoy the hell out of me. Wil Myers is going NOWHERE. Oy vey

          • stillmisskennyhubbs

            You said it in fewer words too.
            I just checked the KC Star and there is NO TALK of Myers doing anything except boarding a bus from Omaha to KC soon.
            It would be a total paradigm shift for Dayton Moore to do a blockbuster swap of Myers for a pitcher or two, as desperate as they are for pitching.
            But watch, in an hour or later today or tomorrow, someone will say, Hey, what about Wil Myers…Geez fellers, wouldn’t it be great if we got Wil Myers golly…. and the vapors will coalesce again.

  • North Side Irish

    Jesse Sanchez ‏@JesseSanchezMLB
    Soler sporting no. 24 & high socks grounds out to pitcher on first pitch of his second at-bat. 0-for-2 #Cubs http://pic.twitter.com/86TsAh3E

    Can we unsqueal now?

    • MaxM1908

      I bet a lot of future All-Stars went 0-2 tonight. It’s a tight 1-1 game. Maybe Soler is saving his magic for a go-ahead RBI. Or, maybe he’s just having an off-night on his first start as a professional, in a new country, where everybody speaks a different language.

      • North Side Irish

        Or maybe it’s two ABs and it really doesn’t matter what he does tonight.

        • MaxM1908

          Exactly. Cool picture. I’m amazed how empty the stands are. I’m following the Play-by-play on MiLB, and if I was in AZ, I’d be there tonight.

  • MaxM1908

    Due up bottom of the 7th for the Arizona Cubs down 2-1 pitcher’s duel: Vogelbach, Soler, Belaguert.

    • North Side Irish

      Jesse Sanchez ‏@JesseSanchezMLB
      Soler lines a shot up the middle snared by the pitcher. Great play. He’s 0-for-3 & likely done for the night. #Cubs http://pic.twitter.com/40BVfP52

  • North Side Irish

    Kevin Goldstein ‏@Kevin_Goldstein
    Interesting: Source indicates Cubs are targeting pitching “that could be in Wrigley this year” from Dodgers – which leaves me confused.

    Uh….no idea who that would be. Eovaldi?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And even if it’s Eovaldi, why would the Cubs WANT a 2012 pitcher? I understand why they might ACCEPT a 2012 pitcher, but why would they specifically target that?

      • Ted

        If true, seems to say they’re looking more 2013/2014 than 2015/2016, which isn’t terribly surprising. If they think they can homegrow a strong staff by 2015/2016, it’s 2013/2014 that’s more of a need.

        • North Side Irish

          2012 and 2013 shouldn’t matter in these trade discussions…no reason to target anyone for those seasons specifically. Trading Dempster should be about building for the future, which to me is 2014 not August.

      • Patrick W.

        There is a possibility they trade 3 starters and shut down a fourth. Seems to me they might be looking for a ML starting pitcher as a throw-in. Not as the key to a deal but a necessity to complete a trade. The conversation might be something like, “we need a guy to give us 10 starts this season to make this work, whatcha got?” So, targeted yes but not bulls eye.

        • Patrick W.

          Yes I am going to beat this dead horse until August 1. :)

      • Gcheezpuff

        Theo and Jed might be discussing multiple player trades with other teams… Maybe they are down the road on guys like Garza and Maholm too and plan to fill the rotation this year and next with someone they get back in the Demp deal. Just a thought. Maybe looking at big picture of moves rather than individual trades.

    • Ryan G

      Eovaldi or De La Rosa?

  • Kevin

    If not Zack Lee, how about RHP Nate Eovaldi and RHP Allen Webster or RHP Garret Gould?

  • Kevin

    If Dempster likes the Dodgers, is it even possible to sign him to a contract extension before the trade which would then justify including Lee in the deal?

    • Pat

      An extension would be possible, but it doesn’t really add to his value.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Something to consider is a lot of people other than the Cubs are talking.

    Here’s two things we know for certain. First if the Cubs do nothing and offer Dempster 12 M which he isn’t likely to take he’s gong to get more and at least a couple of years, they walk away with a 1st round compensation pick. I believe the Dodgers want to throw junk, but not sure the Cubs would take.

    And second, teams seem to be backing away now saying the Cubs demands were too high, several in fact. And Detroit is rumored to be indicating they walked away finally when the Cubs wanted Jacob Turner plus another player. Seems to me, the original Dodgers offer was short in light of what the Braves and now Detroit are said to have been asked for and in the case of the Braves offering. And while Lee might be the best of the Dodgers prospects he’s not can’t miss and he’s not in the same league as a guy like Turner or some of the Braves prospects. To me kind of fits in under McNutt. If they offer him and a player great, but not sure he’s spare tires are better than keeping Dempster and getting our own composition pick.

    Theo has handled this well, I feel a fleecing coming on and ain’t no one better to fleece than the Pizza man and who knows, maybe we get the shocks of shocks StL swoops in and sends us Miller, can’t see it, but the water turnovers this time of year in the Mississippi River…..

    • Other JP

      Well, if we could have got Turner or Demp, but we asked too much (not sure I believe that), I’m not sure I can say Theo handled that well……I’d take Turner and Brett would pee himself.

  • Kevin

    Back in 1984 The Cubs traded Carter and Hall to Cleveland in exchange for Rick Siucliffe who was in the final year of his contract. The Cubs took a chance knowing there was no guarantee Sutcliffe would sign with them after the season ended. It all worked out but the Cubs had to take a chance.

  • Kevin

    No need to make Any trades if it doesn’t improve
    the club long term.

  • thejackal

    so anyone kno for sure if demp not startn tomm

    • Sean

      Some sources say he is some say he isn’t. Im reading it as no if you have Coleman coming to St.Louis along with newly acquired Justin Germano you wouldn’t do that if you weren’t close to dealing someone. That’s my guess

      • thejackal

        thats my guess to jus checkn tho tthanx sean n e guesses who strtn im thinkn coleman if germano gets n late

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    If Goldstein correct about Cubs asking for 2012 starting pitching help then Dodgers not a good fit since Billingsley now injured & his future uncertain. However, Braves & Nationals become much more obvious choices with Jurjens or Delgado as possible help this year.
    Nationals could offer Lanaan as throw in to bigger deal.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Check out numbers on RHP Nathan Karns in Nationals high A Potomac roster. This guy not even on their top 20 prospect list but I would deal Dempster for him if nothing else too great presents itself. GM Rizzo plans on shutting down Strasburg & Dempster could step right in to that spot. Rizzo will not try to resign Dempster for next year so if Cubs want he could come back & we would have Karns – only 1 HR given up in over 90 innings pitched this year.

    • Tony S

      Karns is fairly old for A ball. I’d hope we’d at least be able to trade Dempster for some younger, high upside starting pitchers rather than a 25yo relief pitcher.
      While Zach Lee or Turner are on everybody’s wish list I’m thinking the return might be more towards the Karns side of the prospect spectrum.

  • http://Yes Dude

    Karns is 25 in Aball. Pass, pass, pass

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

    Well im really hoping when I wake up tomorrow the trade is done. Gonna be disappointed if nothing happens.

  • calicubsfan007

    I agree with someday…2015?. There better be something going down, or I am gonna be pissed! It’s like these latest Stallone movies that build up all this hype, then you see it and it is kinda like awwww…. dude…… that’s it???? (Rocky Balboa, the last Rambo movie, the Expendables)

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Theo to Jed: Hey, we’re selling way short, but make the deal. Fans X, Y, and Z will be pissed if we don’t do something, anything, NOW.

      • calicubsfan007

        @stillmiss: Ouch, that hurts! Heh, my opinion is very important to Jed and Theo! Haha!

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