The Bullets will come later this morning. For now, there’s a number of important transactions to discuss …
- The Dodgers reportedly just acquired Hanley Ramirez and lefty reliever Randy Choate from the Marlins for Nate Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough. The move doesn’t directly impact the Cubs insofar as they weren’t going to be sending a third baseman (or shortstop, however the Dodgers decide to use Ramirez) to the Dodgers any time soon (though they may have tried to send a lefty reliever), but there are implications here. For one thing, sending along Eovaldi could make the Dodgers even more pressed to pick up a starting pitcher, like Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. It also means, obviously, that in any deal with the Dodgers, you’re not getting Eovaldi anymore.
- The Dodgers won’t be getting Cole Hamels, by the way, nor will any other team. He’s about to sign a huge, six-year, $144 million extension with the Phillies. The move is good for the Cubs inasmuch as it takes the most attractive pitcher off the market this trade season, but is a bummer for those holding out hope that the Cubs would make a serious run at the lefty in the offseason.
- Jon Morosi reports that there are ways that the Dodgers could get Dempster from the Cubs without giving up top prospect Zach Lee (given the current status of the leverage in the talks – namely, that Ryan Dempster has all but told the world he strongly prefers to go to LA – I can believe that), and that a source tells him the Cubs are interested in building a package around number two prospect, Allen Webster. For me, the difference between 20-year-old AA pitcher Zach Lee (who made it to AA in just his second professional year), and 22-year-old AA pitcher Allen Webster (who is pitching for the second time at AA) is stark. If a package is built around Webster, it would have to include a number of attractive other prospects for it to match Randall Delgado in my head. For what it’s worth, Webster was a fringe top 100 prospect in baseball before the season started, so it’s not like he’s a total clunker of a prospect. He’s a good one. But he’s no Zach Lee or Randall Delgado in the eyes of the experts.
- In case you missed the latest on Dempster, you can start here. The gist is: he hasn’t officially rejected the Braves deal, but clearly wants the Cubs to try harder to work something out with the Dodgers. He plans to start today, but, man, that would be such an unnecessary risk.
- Zack Greinke returned to the mound last night in a dominant start against the Phillies after a 10-day layoff to “recharge his batteries.” A number of teams had scouts in attendance, and among the interested teams is the Braves. Greinke would certainly cost more than Dempster, but the Braves – and other teams – certainly like Greinke more than Dempster.
- The Pirates picked up Wandy Rodriguez last night, which takes them out of the Paul Maholm market. They were his most seriously-rumored suitor, but it’s hard to imagine their aren’t others, considering Maholm’s repeatedly dominant performances over the past month and a half, and his modest contract (which includes a $6.5 million option for 2013).