The latest from the rumor mill, which doesn’t need a couple days to think things over …

  • “At least one club has inquired” about Alfonso Soriano, says Jon Morosi. Hooray! Except that, I mean, like every team in the league “inquires” about just about every player in the league at one point or another. “Inquiring” could mean nothing more than a phone call, “hey, you guys willing to give Soriano away for $1 million in salary relief yet? No? Kthxbye.” Soriano keeps killing the ball, so you’d like to think some interest would develop, particularly in a market almost completely devoid of right-handed power options, but it just isn’t happening. I can only assume that the Cubs have decided on a number, salary-wise, that they’re willing to eat, and it’s far lower than the amount necessary to spur interest. In that case, the Cubs will be satisfied to just hang onto Soriano for now. I would be very surprised if he were dealt at this point.
  • You know the primary story on Matt Garza: he was pulled from his start last Saturday (which he was dominating) in the 4th inning with a “right triceps cramp.” He’s at home right now awaiting the arrival of his fourth child, and he’ll throw on Friday in the hopes that he can actually make a start on Monday. If he doesn’t, it’s very hard to see the Cubs being able to trade him by Tuesday’s Trade Deadline. Indeed, Jayson Stark reports that the Cubs haven’t assured interested teams – and there are many – that Garza will pitch again before the deadline. Despite that, the Cubs remain in contact with multiple suitors about Garza, according to Morosi.
  • George Ofman says the first Cub to go could actually be Reed Johnson in a deal to the Tigers. Reed Johnson, who’s once again hitting extremely well this year and can play all over the outfield, has definite value to a number of contending teams. But, you’ve got to remember: that value is merely as a bench guy. Teams will want him, but the Cubs aren’t going to get a big-time prospect in return. In fact, I’d be pretty happy if the Cubs were able to get a prospect who checked in on the top 30 list in an average farm system.
  • Assistant GM Randy Bush says that the Cubs will at least do *something* this week.
  • ‘‘Yeah, we’ll get something done,’’ Bush told the Sun-Times about the Cubs’ pre-deadline activity. ‘‘We’re having a lot of positive talks with a lot of teams about a number of our players. We all feel confident that we’re going to be able to make a deal that helps us in the future.’’
  • The same article notes that the Dodgers remain interested in Garza, despite the injury, and that’s a complicating factor in the Ryan Dempster discussions – obviously the Dodgers would prefer to have Garza.
  • It doesn’t sound like Paul Maholm, who’s suddenly become rather valuable, particularly wants to be traded. “That’s one of the reasons I signed and gave them a [contract] option,” he said. “I finished last year hurt and everyone thought I was still hurt. They showed they believed in me and signed me, and I’m hoping to stick around for a good while. The fans are awesome.” Very few guys want to be traded in their first year with a team, so you can understand where Paul is coming from. But if a great offer comes along, I hope the Cubs won’t allow sentiment to sway the decision.
  • Bruce Levine chatted this week, and shared some thoughts: (1) In exchange for Garza and Darwin Barney, the Cubs were asking the Tigers for Nick Castellanos AND Jacob Turner AND Drew Smyly – indeed, the Cubs’ asking price on guys is astronomical right now (or, at least it was last week); (2) Bruce doesn’t see David DeJesus as a legitimate top-of-the-order option for a contending team; (3) a team would not be wise to trade for Garza until/unless they see him make one more start; (4) the Cubs would like to trade Geovany Soto now if they got the right offer, and Bruce says the Angels have been watching; (5) Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker are likely to be moved, but probably not Bryan LaHair; (6) no interest in Carlos Marmol or Alfonso Soriano right now (Bruce mentions one team calling with peripheral interest last week, but they didn’t want to take on any of his salary – perhaps that’s the “one team” Morosi referenced); (7) at some point in the past, the Royals had interest in Maholm; and (8) Bruce says that what Ryan Dempster actually told the Cubs is that there were a number of teams he would “consider going to.”
  • Reminder: follow BN on Twitter, “like” it on Facebook, and you’ll have all of your Trade Deadline needs covered.
  • mak

    My wife is on a tour of Wrigley and just emailed me a photo. The field looks like its not in great shape after the soccer game, particularly the strip of grass between home and the plate. They did, however, mow a “10” into the CF grass, which is tight.

    • The Pubic LaHairs


  • The Brian Roberts Trade

    The reality with Sori is that his knee could give out at any time. Might as well trade him as his value will never be higher and get something instead of having him on the DL for a year. I like Sori and give him credit for his hard work he has put in on his D but if you can get rid of him for anything of value, you have to do it IMO.

    • Sosa23

      love your name hahaha

    • Bill In Plainfield

      If you know you won’t be able to move Soriano, as soon as he goes into a slump shut him down and get whatever is ailing his knee fixed, in hope that you can move him next year.

  • Aaron

    What if the trade to ATL was actually Garza rather than Demp? Maybe someone just got the name wrong and we all ran with it? That’d make more sense value-wise (with Delgado being in play).

    • Aaron

      Furthermore, Dempster to LAD for Gould + another would make a lot more sense value-wise on that end.

      • Mick

        I’m not sure what Theo is holding out for but WIthrow and Gould would immediately rank as our 2 best pitching prospects. Sounds a whole lot better than having to risk Dempster actually accepting our $12.5 million qualifying offer this off-season and having to do this all over again next trade deadline.

        As for Garza, I knew they should have traded him this last off-season. He was coming off a career year, had two full years of team control, and concensus was he was a #2 type SP. Now what? We wait until next off-season when there’ll be a buffet of SPs for teams to choose from? In which case, teams will be less likely to trade prospects when they could just sign a pitcher of their choosing and ride it out until the trade deadline. At which point, we’ll be lucky to pull a B+ prospect for a rental pitcher.

        In regards to Soriano, why keep him? It’s not like he’s some great Cub who we’ll erect a statue for. We’re terrible, will be terrible for the next couple of seasons, and the $7 million we could get in cost savings from moving him could at least pay for new sod in the OF. Or, don’t hold your breath, a reduction in ticket prices???

        • Aaron

          Bingo. Especially your first paragraph.

    • The Brian Roberts Trade

      It would have to be much more than Delgado for Garza.

      • Aaron

        I agree. Delgado was just one of the names that was revealed. It obviously would have been 2 or 3 guys from their end.

    • Myles

      This sounds like the plot of a really crappy movie.

      • Aaron

        And yes, it does sound like that. But my theory isn’t as crappy as what has actually played out to this point, and everyone on this site can agree with that.

        • The Brian Roberts Trade

          What played out so far is close to worst case scenario….

    • Sandberg

      Except the Atlanta GM publicly stated it was Dempster.

    • BeyondFukudome

      Atlanta’s GM just got the name wrong and we all ran with it? Right. It would make more sense brain-wise if you would think before saying this stuff.

      • Aaron

        Valid point. You don’t realy have to be rude about it though.

        • BeyondFukudome

          Valid point. I apologize for being rude.

  • Leo

    I think it would be funny if the Cubs clubhouse would prank Dempster and tell him he has been traded to the Dodgers of Tokyo.

    • Sosa23

      he would start bashing stuff in the clubhouse like a maniac

    • cubs217

      They could make a movie out of it, “Mr. Baseball 2: What happens when you screw the Cubs”

  • HotStoveCubbies

    I am sad because right now twitter is down and I cannot access instant information from my “Cub Friends”

    Dont they know it is trade season!

    • dabynsky

      It is working now.

  • Leo

    Why is so much effort being put into trying to find great pitching prospects why don’t we just let some other team do all the work for us then get them when they are free agents. It’s what the Yankees, Mets, Phillies do and its worked.

    • Ryan

      Yeah, that’s working REALLY well for the Phillies right now…

      • Whiteflag

        Did the cubs try that already? I like the direction the cubs are going in, and think its the only way to built a consistent contender.

  • lou brock lives

    Does anyone know who Dempster’s agent is ? Or the firm who reps him ? If Dempster is truly worried about his family & its future he is getting extremely bad advice or is not listening to the good advice he may have been given.
    Dempster is 36 & does not have many productive years left in that right arm of his. If lucky he maybe has 2 years. However, we all know he considers himself the current ” Mark Grace ” of the team when it comes to TV & radio opportunities. Why on earth would he be jeopardizing his future with WGN, Comcast, or ESPN by acting like a spoiled child in this trade refusal scenario ? That is where his long term future will be made if he acts like a professional & takes the deal to Atlanta. Two months is not very long in one’s professional life yet Dempster’s acting as though this is a ” make or break ” decision. I’m truly surprised at his childlike selfish behavior – I thought he was more savvy & well schooled.

    • Aaron

      Craig Landis, I believe.

      • Engine 78

        Yup. It’s Landis. All Cubs representatives can be found here.

  • Engine 78

    Interesting couple tweets from Joel Sherman. If only because it’s different than something anyone else has suggested.

    Joel Sherman ‏@Joelsherman1
    1 exec wondered if discrepancy in return was so great between what #Braves #Dodgers would give #Cubs for Dempster, would Chi say, (cont)

    kick in $1M extra to convince Demspter to go to Atl, viewing someone like Randall Delgado as worth several million for next few yrs in value

    • Mick

      I was thinking of the same thing. Are we allowed to pay Dempster anything outside of his contract to entice him to accept the deal to Atlanta? $1 million would definately soften the blow of having to spend an extra few hours on a plane to see his family for 3 months.

  • ted lilly

    I wish the cubs would kick in extra cash so demp goes to the braves. I want that guy off my jock.

    • Ted Lilly’s Jock

      “Please trade Ryan to the Dodgers! PLEASE!!!”

    • Ash

      Ted, you know you can’t quit old 46. Just admit it, you miss his musk.

  • Leo

    It may not be working now but it obviously works cause they have more rings then us smart guy.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Who are you talking to? It would really help the flow of discussions if everyone would use the reply button in the post you are replying to. (I’m not trying to jump on you, but it is a real pet peeve of mine)

      • Ogyu

        If you are replying to a long chain and it’s near the bottom of the page, it can be pretty hard to tell whether you are typing in the reply box or the bottom of the page box. I always try to reply in the right spot, but occasionally mess it up. C’est la vie.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I understand that it can happen on occasion. It seems that it is happening more often this past month though.

    • Whiteflag

      As does just about every team in baseball.

    • Leo L

      that was actually to philosphy of the prevoius regime. it did not work. I like the new direction. hopefully more sustained success.

      • Ash

        I’d be totally cool if we could develop pitching talent like the A’s have over the past 15 years. Their idea of a big FA pitching pick up is Bartolo Colon. And that’s FA as in Free Agent, not Fat Ass.

  • rcleven

    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors

    Brewers GM Doug Melvin told @BNightengale Zack Greinke will be traded. Details here:

    Now what is Garza worth?

    • bbmoney


  • BD

    How do you tell Dempster, “the Dodgers want Garza instead of you, so please go to Atlanta!”

    • Sandberg

      Trade them Garza

  • Leo

    We never tried that we get players after there prime and hope they can find it again.

  • Toby

    Now that Melvin has said that Greinke will be traded and is looking at Atlanta and the Dodgers might be interested in the Rays James Shields does not look good for Dempster. He might actually be left behind. So, Dempster might be deciding alot sooner than what he wants for fearing of missing out of being on a playoff team.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    According to Bruce Levine, Dempster flip flopped on the cubs. I dont care how nice a guy is, be a MAN a stay true to your word. A man is only as good as his word. He has rights and he earned them, but the Cubs also deserve honesty and when someone tells you ya it be fine to trade me here, and then when it gets to the point where they get a trade and he chickens out. Lost a little repsect for him. Hes a great guy but he hurt his team, not to mention he fed the media and fans a bunch a bs because he wanted to sound like the good guy

  • Master Dan

    Here’s what’s going to happen. Dempster is going to go to the Dodgers for B prospects at best. The Cubs hands are tied and the whole league knows it. Garza won’t be traded till maybe in the off-season. I believe he won’t make his scheduled start on Monday. Malholm will be staying also. I do see Reed Johnson going though, but that’s about it. So in essence, I think the Cubs won’t really make significant improvements. The two biggest trading chips the Cubs had were Dempster and Garza. Both of them had issues this past week which will cost the Cubs in the future. Someone convince me that things will get better before the trading deadline, till then, I’ll be standing in the corner.[img][/img]

    • Carew

      Garza will be extended maybe. That way our rotation would a little better than what it couldve been

  • leroy k.
  • Chris Sanchez

    The Braves Are Moving On And Are No longer Intrested; So Now That Leaves The Dodgers But They Have The Upperhandd So Expect A #10 Prospect Or Up From The Dodgers System

  • Fastball

    Master Dan, I believe you have hit the nail on the head. All of this is going to come down and we will minus Dempster for whatever Theo can pull from the Dodgers. Maybe he can package another player with Dempster to get something more. We have been suffering this long we will suffer a little longer. If we look at the upside. We flushed out Dempster and we now know what we are dealing with. The brite side of things is that we have made major improvements in our farm system in the last 6 months. We signed a ton of pitching in the draft and we have signed some top notch position players as well. At this point we are going to be drafting high in next years draft and will do well again. I believe if we keep Garza that is one less hurdle we need to overcome moving forward. I also think that Maholm is maturing into a very good starting pitcher (3 thru 5) Nothing wrong with having a very good LH starting pitcher on a cheap salary. He is still young and should stick around for a while. My opinion was going into this that trading Dempster and or even Garza was not going to pump eternal life into the 40 or 25 man roster and would only help our minor league pitching depth over the next year or two. I say that because we don’t know how well Theo actually did in drafting all these pitchers this year. My guess is we did pretty well. If we are going to trade Baker, Johnson and Soto we need to get some decent Bull Pen help. That can be done and should be the priority when dealing those 3 guys. We have a replacement for Dempster the rest of this year. Germano will fill that void over the next 2 months. If we were to trade Garza we are in a bigger bind. Casey Coleman sucks and I don’t even want to see Volstadt again. I say we keep our pitching except Dempster. In the off season Theo will find another SP the likes of Maholm or even a little better. (although right now Maholm is and has been a very good investment). Find another Maholm. The only other gap is LaHair who has fallen off a cliff or something. If we keep him his future is a power bat off the bench or stop gap for another half season in the OF. Summary: Get BP help and a Prospect or 2 trading Dempster to the Dodgers.

  • someday…2015?

    I may be wrong but I think this is what Delgado was trying to say on his twitter. “Nothing happened about going to Chicago”… Could be wrong.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    After this week’s “debaclapacolypse”, I doubt even if a trade goes down with any member of the team –especially Dempster — no one is going to hear about it until both respective FOs cross all the t’s and dot all the lower-case j’s.

  • The Show

    If the Cubs can make these trades, it’ll make the best out of a tough situation.
    Dempster to LA for Webster and Reed
    Garza to ATL for Delgado, Bethancourt and Graham/Gilmartin
    Maholm to KC for Odorizzi or Ventura
    Johnson to Tigers for A level player

    • Twinkletoez

      You think Maholm could net Odorizzi?

  • Rich

    So Zack Greinke will go to ATL and they will get Delgado (among others) to beat us up for years to come…

    Anyone think that Demp may just say ok Ill go to ATL?

    I dont think so…

  • BleedingCubbieBlue

    Could we convince Dempster to accept if we send a friend with him to Atlanta? Maybe even give Dempster a little cash on the side to say maybe this will change his mind?

  • Bill In Plainfield

    Just because these guys aren’t trade before the 31st doesn’t mean that they can’t be traded right? With the trades after the 31st teams can make a trade once the player clears a waiver process correct? If that’s the case couldn’t a team that would want to block another team from getting one of these players, possibly offer a little bit more in return, so that they could block Garza, Soto, Barney or whoever else from a team they might be competing against for the playoffs?

    • WGNstatic

      Sure, but a team can put in a waiver claim then make no attempt to actually make a reasonable offer, if the sides don’t agree on a trade the player in question is either released to the claiming team (with them picking up his salary) or he stays where is at.

      So… A player like Soriano would certainly clear waivers and the Cubs could trade him wherever they want. Players like Dempster, Maholm, and Garza will never make it through waivers so the odds of them being dealt post Aug. 1 are between slim and none.

      • Bill In Plainfield

        @ WGNStatic Thanks for making that clear for me. I’m always confused by the whole waiver process. I guess that is why I am a carpenter and not a GM or agent. Thanks man.

  • Steve

    Between Garza’s tricep, and Dempster waffling on us, this organization will, in essence, lose out on probably 3, possibly 4 top flight prospects. How do you do that???
    If that doesn’t just plain suck…..I mean…. FML!!!

    • Bill In Plainfield


      Wouldn’t it be a sad way for the Saviors of the franchise Epstein and Hoyer to screw up their first real good chance to grab some really good pieces for the team?

      • Shawn H

        I don’t see how they screwed this up.

      • Steve

        Yeah Bill…it would be. Yet, this will not make or break us, it just stinks to have the chance right in front of us then have it literally taken away at the last second. I hate”what ifs”….but what if Demp takes the trade, and Garza doesn’t leave the game the other day and goes 8 with a shut out??
        Oh well…we’ll get there one way or another…

        • Bill In Plainfield

          Steve. My grandmother was born a couple of days after the Cubs won the World Series in 1908. She passed away in 2006. I am going to be 50 on August 6th. I certainly don’t want to die and never see the Cubs win the World Series. I still have vivid memories of 1969. I had my first experience at a Cubs game in 1968. My grandfather and I took the Bus from Archer and Harlem and we sat on the top bench up against the fence in the left field bleachers. If I remember it was $1.50 for a ticket to the game, a soda, and either a hot dog or box of popcorn. From that day on I knew being a Cubs fan is in my DNA. I think every true Cubbie Blue fan has that DNA in their blood. I think being a Cubs fan is genetic, and being a Sox fan is manufactured. The only good memory of being at a Sox game at old Comiskey Park was taking my sister’s Andy Gibb and Donna Summer’s albums to Disco Demolition Night, and running around like a moron with an Argo High School football jersey on trying to pull up home plate. I thought if I didn’t get chased with a billy club and I could’ve pulled up home plate, I could get Steve Dahl and Gary Mier to sign it for me.

          • Steve

            Great story Bill.. Im 43 and have had vanity Cubs plates ( Cubsn95, Cubsn96 etc etc) I fly a 5 ft Cubs flag outside my home here in Atlanta…I miss Harry terribly and cried as if I had lost a loved one when we blew it in 03.
            I’ve lost girlfriends and sleep over this team…Spent the night in jail after fighting a Cards fan at a bar who walked up to me and said “Cubs suck” ( I punched him without hesitation…I know, I know)
            I have sworn to never watch or follow them at times, only to relent and run into the living room when I know they are about to start. Direct TV has saved my life more than once…
            I have hope….hope that one day before I die we will win it all..and what a glorious, glorious day that will be.
            So, this past week and the next will not kill me, or you, it will just make that ‘one day” that much sweeter.

            • Bill In Plainfield

              Do you watch wrestling? There was an episode where Vince McMahon got into a limousine and it blew up the instant the door shut. My son and wife had these stunned expression frozen on their faces.When the Cubs lost it in 03, I had that same expression for 6 months. I was ready to pop open a bottle of champagne, and just go all out crazy. Next thing you know it was like I lost my first pet as a kid, or the day my grandfather passed away. I was in a funk for weeks, and the guys who worked for my construction company were afraid to ask me anything.

          • Bill In Plainfield

            I meant to say my grandmother was born in 1908 days after the Cubs won the WS. She died in 2002, I confused her with my dad’s mom. Anyway she lived her whole life routing for the Cubs since she was about 4 or 5. I can remember back watching the Cubs the summer before Kindergarten in1968. Then being so sad when the Mets passed them up in 1969. This past Wednesday night we had our fall ball baseball player draft, and then we drew team names. My team got the frickin METS! A new coach who was moving up to the Bronco level picked names before me, and got the Cubs. I hope we shut them out in fall ball!

  • Seamhead

    Strangely enough, Carlos Lee may be partially to blame for all of this. Reports in Chicago indicate that players were very impressed with how he manipulated the system though his 10-5 rights to refuse a couple of trades before he got one to his liking a few weeks ago.

    • dudeski

      carlos lee: ultimate cub killer

  • Bill In Plainfield

    Carlos Lee isn’t the first guy to manipulate the system to get to a team he preferred I’m sure.

  • rcleven

    ChicagoCubsOnline ‏@TheCCO

    RT @CarrieMuskat: RHP Jairo Asencio has been outrighted to Iowa. #Cubs

    Who fills Asencio’s spot?

    • rhino70

      Ascencio was designated for assignment when Justin Germano was added to the roster

      • rcleven

        Does this mean he just cleared wavers?

        • rhino70

          I believe so, yes.

        • Brett

          Presumably, yes.

  • True(ly) Blue

    I feel bad for Dempster. I suspect that he was trying to help out the Cubs and still get to the Dodgers and it backfired on him. Who knows, eh? He might still OK the Atlanta trade and we could get Delgado (?). Don’t be too hard on him as he earned his 10-5 rights fair and square and he has been a stand-up guy since he became a Cub. I have always believed that how a FO treats it’s players plays a part in how free agents will respond to offers. If you had equal offers (all other things being equal) from 2 or 3 clubs and only one had a great reputation for player treatment which club would you select? Enjoy the next few days and keep hoping for the best.