Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

A quick rundown of the latest stuff …

  • Setting aside Matt Garza’s cramp, interest in him was ticking up. Bruce Levine reported that the Dodgers were shifting their focus from Ryan Dempster to Matt Garza (about which, more in a bit), and Nick Cafardo talks about the Red Sox’s interest, including a discussion of Daniel Bard. To the former, I don’t see the Dodgers as a good fit for the Cubs on Garza (not enough high-end talent for my taste), and I’m not particularly interested in 27-year-old tweener Bard, who succeeds out of the pen, but not the rotation. He’s also due to start arbitration next year. An inclusion? Sure. A centerpiece? No way.
  • Speaking of the Dodgers and Dempster, as I told you yesterday, you can’t always trust reports that say a team is “highly unlikely” to trade for a guy after two weeks of dickering about that guy. The Sun-Times suggests I was right, reporting that the Dodgers are still as in on Dempster as any other team. The Cardinals’ interest, according to the ST, is overstated, and the Nationals’ interest might fall off after John Lannan’s strong season debut on Saturday. Jon Heyman says, however, that the Cardinals, Braves, and Nationals are the favorites on Dempster. How has no one yet said the words “mystery team”?
  • Phil Rogers notes that the Cubs are, for now, keeping their prices on players quite high. He also wonders if the Nationals might be the best fit for one of the Cubs’ pitchers, because that pitcher could be packaged with someone like Geovany Soto.

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer offers his thoughts on Ryan Dempster (not ruling out keeping him/bringing him back), and Matt Garza (same old line about we need more guys “like” Matt Garza). As for trade timing: “It’s July 21 and we just had our first couple of real trades in the last 24 hours with the big trade between Houston and Toronto and the trade with Brett Myers [to the White Sox]. We were saying that sometimes it takes a trade or two to break the ice and those were the first real trades in this deadline period. Maybe that will break things loose, who knows? But usually things don’t happen early. People talk about doing deals early but for the most part, things seem to find their way to creep into late July.”
  • The right-handed power bat market might be shrinking even further (it’s already tiny – Alfonso Soriano, and … Justin Upton, I suppose, if he’s actually to be traded), with the Padres and Carlos Quentin reportedly close to an extension. Will a team decide it’s Soriano or bust if they want to pick up some cheap power? We’re still not hearing so much as a whiff of it.
  • A great thread on the Message Board, wondering about the possibilities with surprise potential buyer, the Oakland A’s.
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