There are other Cubs rumors to address…

  • The Orioles, who are still very much in the playoff hunt, are looking to upgrade at the corners, and they’ve inquired about Bryan LaHair, among a couple other names (Chase Headley, Placido Polanco). The talks are very preliminary, and, based on those names, the O’s are clearly looking at a wide range of players (in terms of contract, production, and cost in trade). LaHair has obviously fallen way off, in terms of his early season production, but still represents a cheap, left-handed power hitter, with some upside. As difficult as his trade value was to project back when he was raking, it’s even more difficult to project now. Is he a .900 OPS guy going forward, or is he a .750 OPS guy going forward? Can he ever learn to hit lefties, or will you always have to platoon him? Can he really play a corner outfield spot, or is he limited to first base and DH going forward? How the O’s and other teams answer these questions will determine his value, but, despite the cheap control, I can’t think the value is particularly high right now. A top 100 prospect is probably long out of the question.
  • The Red Sox are more interested in Josh Johnson than in Matt Garza, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston. The reason? We all knew this was coming: Garza leaving his last start early. McDonald erroneously calls Garza’s injury an “arm strain,” but the point stands. Teams are concerned that Garza’s injury isn’t just a one-time case of the cramps. His ability to start one more time before the Trade Deadline is huge if the Cubs have any hopes of trading him.
  • Then again, maybe the Red Sox aren’t interested in buying anyone. Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox are reaching the point where, if they don’t buy soon, they might as well sell.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the Dodgers remain interested in Garza, despite the fact that his next start has, at a minimum, been pushed back. One thing is certain: the Cubs aren’t going to entertain dealing Garza until the Dempster deal is sewn up. They can’t afford to deal Garza in such a way that it hampers their market for Dempster, if the Braves deal somehow falls through.
  • Dale Sveum says trading all of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Paul Maholm isn’t going to happen. “When you have commodities that people want,” Sveum told reporters yesterday, “anything can happen if you give it time. Now the odds of all three of them being gone? No. Those are very impossible odds.” I have no doubt that Sveum is right that, in terms of practical reality, it’s very hard to pull off three trades like that. But, with apologies to Dale, I’d hazard a guess that that’s exactly what the front office is trying to do.
  • Jeff Passan looks at the teams on the margins of the races, and decides whether they should be buyers or sellers. There aren’t any great rumor-y bits in there, but it’s salient, and I like Passan.
  • The Indians, like the Red Sox, might soon have to make the decision to sell. The sellers’ market could soon become crowded.
  • Mark

    I like Sveum…..but he really needs to keep his mouth shut. He’s talking out his rear in saying so confidently they won’t all be dealt.

    • ETS

      For all we know the front office wants him to drop these tid bits.

      • Smitty

        That was my thought exactly. I’m sure hte FO wants everyone to know we don’t feel we need to move any of these 3. That would make the other teams bring good offers

      • Whiteflag

        ETS… Seems like a real possibility.

  • rhino70

    I think you’re exactly right on trying to deal Dempster, Garza and Maholm. The front office will deal all three if they can get a reasonable return.

  • ETS

    The Reds make sense as a trade candidate for Lahair. He can play 1b till votto comes back and if he is killing it they can move him to OF (where they are weak). It just makes more sense than spending on a corner replacement that you won’t have any use for after votto returns.

    • bbmoney

      I agree, but I’d feel even better about it if they hadn’t won 5 straight. They might feel like they can hold out until Votto is back in August.

    • djriz

      I like LaHair, but I’m not sure a playoff team wants him in the outfield.

      • ETS

        I didn’t think he’d be everyday per se, but he would definitely bolster their bench.

  • MightyBear

    The Orioles need help at first and OF and DH. LaHair can help in all of these areas and he’s under control until 2017. If they can, the Cubs should package Lahair, Maholm and others to get one of the Orioles top two guys.

    • ETS

      That package is probably a little light for Machado or bundy but I’m not sure. You are right about it being a good fit, but doesn’t Thome get most of their DH starts now?

      • MightyBear

        Yeah but Thome is 100 years old and can’t play forever. If/when he retires, LaHair could help there as well.

        • ETS

          Yeah, if they are concerned about the future though, that’ll be addressed in the offseason when people aren’t desperate and the seller’s market isn’t as high. If they trade for Lahair now, it’s only because they think he can help them become playoff contenders.

    • bbmoney

      I think the others would have to be pretty good to get Machado or Bundy

    • Patrick G

      No way that happens

    • Jack Weiland

      Yeah the Orioles aren’t trading those guys for anyone, really, and certainly not for Bryan LaHair and Paul Maholm. Like, not even close.

      Bundy would cost Starlin +, I’m guessing.

      • ETS

        yeah, Machado’s value might be lower, maybe a package of vitters, lake, lahair and maholm? I don’t see it happening.

        I know there is a huge drop off after the top 2 in baltimore, but maybe they can put together several guys? Again, seems unlikely. Just not a good fit.

        • bbmoney

          I doubt that would be even close to enough for Machado.

          • ETS

            Yeah, I agree.

      • bbmoney

        And by pretty good I was thinking…Garza….etc.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    mr dumpster which hat are you wearing???? im a nice guy and i will agree to a trade to help my team? or are you really aramis (piece of crap ) ramirez i won’t let you trade me cause i am scared to go to a contender because other teams might see who i really am?? just asking.

  • JulioZuleta

    Dempster’s going to accept…

    • Internet Random

      Sweet. I assume that you’re prepared to put his horse’s severed head in bed with him.

    • Njriv

      Where did you see this?

      • cjdubbya

        He’s usually pretty spot-on with these things. No idea on his sources, but they’re usually right.

  • fromthemitten

    The best thing LaHair’s got going for his trade value is how dry the market is for first basement

    • ETS

      Well, that and how he crushes right handed pitching and can at least fill in in spots other than first and is very cheap and until team control for several years…

    • mudge

      Maybe they could trade him for a dehumidifier.

  • Big Joe

    For what it’s worth, Josh Johnson > Matt Garza, anyhow. I can’t blame the Red Sox.

  • gritsngravy

    Dempster is in no way a piece of crap. He is a class act who wears a smile everyday eventhough he has alot to deal with in his personal life.

    • Smitty

      Not to mention he goes to a job on a team where having a .500 record would be glorious right now. The man is a class act on and off the field.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      its easy to smile evryday when you got 50-60- million in the bank.

  • yield51

    I think it is probably best to wait on Garza until this winter. Let’s hope Maholm brings his best stuff the next two starts with the Bucs, and they overpay to bring him back. It is never a good idea to sell low, and that is exactly what the Cubs would be doing in moving Garza right now. Maybe Garza puts together a great final two months, and his stock goes up again. If his injury turns out to be more serious, or if he doesn’t pitch well his asking price for an extension would likely go done a bit. Many people are clamoring over Hamels/Greinke/Sanchez, if the Cubs would indeed be in on any of those guys next season, it would make just as much sense to keep Garza (who is the same age) on a cheaper salary. I would like to move Lahair, Maholm, Dejesus, Johnson, and Baker. Unless they are blown away by an offer for Soriano, it makes no sense to trade him either. Why would the Cubs give a .270/.320/.500 hitter PLUS 40 million away for fringe prospects?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I think its starting to become very clear that no team is going to overpay for Garza unfortunately.

  • Aaron

    I am starting to move into the camp that we should just hang on to Garza at this point, with the “injury” and the cost control. If they aren’t able to get the value we see in him, we can just re-sign him to a modest contract (he’ll probably make $13m a year in his next contract), and maybe look to move him next season when the market for him improves (or when his own pitching improves).

  • Oliver

    Is Maholm on a 1 year deal? I thought it was 2 or 3. It seems there’s less urgency to trade him than the other two

    • bbmoney

      I believe club option next year ~6 or 6.5M

      • Scotti

        Club option @ 6.5 w/ a .5 buyout.

    • Aaron

      1 year, $4.75m.

      • Aaron

        To edit myself: Club option for 2013 at $6.5m also.

  • Mick

    Garza won’t put pen to paper for less than 5-years at $15 million/season and I doubt he’d even do that. If the Dodgers are the only team interested even with his recent injury and they’re willing to cough Lee, Webster, Eovaldi, and Sanchez then I say DO IT!

  • lou brock lives

    Bruce Levine reported earlier that several teams had multiple scouts at Twins/White Sox game last night to see Liriano pitch – NOT GOOD. Those teams included the Jays & Reds.
    How about Maholm & DeJesus & LaHair & Mc Nutt to the Reds for Leake & Cingrani.

    • bbmoney

      Does the “not good” refer to Liriano’s performance last night…because it was terrible.

    • Brett

      They’re not trading Leake, but I do think they’d have interest in DeJesus.

    • AB

      why do people seem to think other organizatins have interest in our flawed prospects (Lake, Vitters, McNutt) in exchange for their good ones??

      They scout the Cubs minor leagues too and probably know more about the Cubs prospects than we do on here.

      • Scotti

        Lake is flawed, yes. McNutt is stalled, sure. But Vitters is a very legitimate prospect. While a prospect for prospect swap is uncommon, it is very common to see a prospect added to balance out a trade–even a flawed or stalled prospect.

        • Brett

          Vitters is legit, but that doesn’t mean he’s also not flawed – right now, his defense at third base just doesn’t play. That’s a flaw. Correctable, we hope, but a bit flaw for now.

        • Aaron

          If you’ve ever played fantasy baseball, it’s the same theory. I’ll give you multiple average players for one or two of your good players. The owner offering the deal thinks that there is value in quantity to overwhelm.

          In a way, that’s what we do as sellers, too. We think of Garza as a guy who’s going to go out and get a Gio-esque type prospect haul. A 3 or 4 for one deal. As sellers though, we’re getting to pick the prospects, usually.

      • quintz

        Impossible! Nobody knows more than we do on here, we have twitter!

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Why all the hating on Matty G? Before he got hurt, he was dealing in the 2nd half. Assuming he comes back fully heathy on Sat or Sun the market should be very strong. I think for a lot teams the only better pitcher is Hammels. Garza is the only one who has a track record of success in the AL East and his stuff when he puts it together is close to a 1. Think the return will be SUBSTANTIAL

    • bbmoney

      Agreed assuming the healthy start.

      While I’d guess most teams consider Greinke and Hamels better pitchers, the extra year of control is huge. Josh Johnson potentially being on the market is tricky because he’s under control until 2013 as well. But he has some serious injury concerns of his own. He’s been healthy this year he hasn’t been great, and only has 1 30+ start season.

  • baseballet

    If LaHair couldn’t bring back a top 100 prospect then the Cubs should keep him, as he’s clearly worth one. He is a wild card in that nobody knows how good he’ll be, and he certainly has flaws, but after 95 games he currently leads the team in OBP and OPS. And he hits a home run every 18.2 at-bats (for reference, Soriano homers every 18.4 at-bats and Rizzo every 21.5 at-bats). I’d think an American League team with the right holes in the lineup would be happy to trade a top 100 prospect for that kind of production.

    • someday…2015?

      Agree 100%. I would like to see LaHair go with someone in a package deal (Garza, Maholm) to maximize the return. Same with Camp, Russel, Johnson, Baker, Soto, Soriano(depending on how much contract the Cubs have to eat), Campana( a lot of value to a contender!), Vitters, Jackson, Lake, and im sure there is more. I know out of the 13 Cubs players I named at least 2 are going to be gone before the deadline. All those players besides Garza and Maholm should all be considered as nice sweetness to any deal. IMO Campana and LaHair are the most valuable sweetness the Cubs have along with Vitters and Jackson. Oh and if I was Thed I’d trade Marmol and Soto together to a 7/11 for a couple of slurpees.

  • Fastball

    Agreed. We don’t really have much in the minors to offer except our very few untouchables. I do think that Garza getting traded is very unlikely. I read somewhere that this stiffness is closer to the elbow or just above the elbow. That to me as an ex pitcher is a red flag. If he is sent back out to start it could be a bad result. I know the xray was negative. I would have an MRI done for sure. If he ended up with some damage and was out the rest of this year and or needed surgery our best pitcher probably costs us a ton in lost opportunity. Most likely he already has.

  • Big Joe

    I can only speak for myself when I say, I’m not hatibg on Garza. I commented on the Red Sox apparent preference of Josh Johnson over Garza. And, I’d have to admitt, all things being equal (mainly health), I would take Johnson first, if he was available at a comparable price. Johnson is the better pitcher/player. That isn’t taking a shot at Garza. It is an honest admission of talent. I realize that a lot of folks around here want an absolute hail for Garza in trade for him. I just don’t see it happening. Garza is an A+ numer 3 starter, or a solid number 2. You don’t break the bank, or fleece anyone’s farm system in a deal involving him. The return, if he is dealt, will be fair…not, ummm…(squeal!!!).

  • Master Dan

    12:43pm: Dempster doesn’t want to be traded to the Braves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Instead, the right-hander hopes to be dealt to the Dodgers. While the Dodgers had interest in Dempster and were considered by some to be the favorites to acquire him, they didn’t reach an agreement with the Cubs. Chicago would lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to the Braves, his second choice.

    • Jack Weiland


    • Master Dan

      The curse of the Cubs continue. First Garza, now Dempster…

    • Patrick G

      Just read that from Ken Rosenthal….I hope this is some kind of sick joke

    • quintz

      Wait for it, wait for it…….. queue the “Dempster is an a-hole” rants.

      • bt

        If he blocks a trade to the braves after letting everyone believe he would let the Cubs trade him anywhere that would help the team, you don’t think a bit of anger would be warranted?

  • Pat

    Brett, I’d be willing to bet there’s more to the Garza deal than cramps. You don’t usually delay a guy’s next start because he cramped five days previously.

    • bbmoney

      I’m worried too. Too many times you hear about guys with forearm problems and it ends up being an elbow problem…..requiring surgery…..usually of the season ending variety…if you know what I mean. Pure speculation of course, but I know what you mean.

      But…..we’ll see what happens the next few days, hopefully nothing.

    • Brett

      I don’t disagree.

  • leroy k.

    Our luck we make no moves by the deadline….