T-minus 16 hours until the Trade Deadline Blogathon commences …

  • Interest in Alfonso Soriano may be trending upward, with reports that even National League teams – in this case, the Dodgers and Giants – are considering making a move for the surprisingly-still-kind-of-effective-on-defense outfielder. Long thought to be an AL-only possibility, if Soriano’s market expands to a few other NL teams, and if Jayson Stark’s report yesterday that the Cubs are willing to eat all but $2 million of the $36 million he’s owed in 2013-14 is true, the chances of moving him become fairly strong. That said, because of that money issue, and because of Soriano’s no-trade rights, I still don’t think a trade happens.
  • On that no-trade thing, Soriano said this to Bruce Levine: “It will have to be a good city with a good team,” he said. “I would give the team the opportunity to trade me, but as I said the team and city would have to be good. Nobody has come to me about a trade yet, so we have two or three days left. We will just wait and see what happens.”
  • The Mets spoke to the Cubs about Geovany Soto, but the talks didn’t get very far. I’m guessing the Mets were looking to buy low on a guy they figured might be non-tendered by the Cubs at the end of the year anyway. I suspect the Cubs won’t move Soto unless they get a legit – not great, but legit – prospect in return.
  • Doug Padilla’s sense is that Ryan Dempster will still be traded before the deadline on Tuesday, and he expects teams other than the Dodgers or Braves to jump into the fray as the deadline approaches. Peter Gammons, for what it’s worth, was on MLBN today saying that the Dodgers “need” to get a Dempster deal done, and that they should part with either Allen Webster or Zack Lee to make it happen.
  • Ken Rosenthal offers a source who confirms that the Cubs are not going to be giving a team a “discount” when trading Matt Garza, simply because of his minor arm injury. If a team wants Garza, they’ll have to pay full price, and I can tell you, that price is extremely high. The chances of a Garza trade remain remote.
  • All eyes were on Josh Johnson today as he started in San Diego, his last start before the trade deadline. He failed to impress, though he wasn’t awful. He managed just five innings thanks in part to six walks. He gave up two hits, two runs (one earned), and struck out four. I doubt it was the blowout start the Marlins were looking for, and interest in meeting their asking price was already waning. I’d now be modestly surprised if Johnson is dealt, which is good news for the Cubs.
  • The other big, non-Cub starting pitcher possibly on the market is James Shields, though teams are apparently starting to wonder whether the Rays will actually trade him before the Winter. Although he hasn’t been at his best this year, he comes with relatively cheap options in 2013 ($9 million) and 2014 ($12 million), so he’s got a lot of value. The Rays are said to be asking for more than what the Brewers got for Zack Greinke (as they should).
  • The Astros made yet another move, trading 27-year-old third baseman Chris Johnson to the Diamondbacks for a couple quality outfield prospects. It’s interesting, but the Cubs don’t really have a comparable piece they’re planning on moving, so I don’t really see a ton of relevance here. I suppose it will help continue the Astros’ pathetically awful slide into awfulness this year, but that was clearly the plan.
  • The Mariners are discussing free-agent-to-be Brandon League in trade talks. He’s a solid reliever, but one who’ll make a couple million over the final two months of the season. I’m not saying I’d *prefer* Shawn Camp if I were a contender, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t, depending on my money situation.
  • If you’re wondering whether the lack of Cubs rumors in the last few days are due to your own lack of attention, it is not. An exec recently asked Kevin Goldstein, “Have you heard anything on the Cubs? They seem to have gone underground.”
  • gutshot5820

    Same old updates. Thanks for the summaries Brett. These reporters are basically reporting what other reporters are reporting.

  • J R

    I really really hope that Sori is dealt by the deadline. I just don’t see how that guy can keep up the solid play with his jacked up body. Even if it is a seriously flawed prospect, bring em on. Because his value will not get higher..

    • gutshot5820

      I want Soriano traded, just not for a bag of balls as you are suggesting. If you forget his name is Soriano and just look at the production and average defense, how much is that worth in dollars as a free agent, Probably more than you think. If they trade Soriano they have to replace his production, how much is that going to cost them? They can’t just trot out Lahair and Campana everyday. i think he has more value than people think.

      • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

        LaHair and Campana, neither are in the plans for next year.Lahair has been awful for 2 months 3 rbi in July.

        • gutshot5820

          That is my point, you have to pay somebody to replace Soriano’s production if you trade him . Do you want to pay another 6-7 million for another player like Dejusus while paying all of Soriano’s salary or just keep him until the kids come up? If they don’t get a good return, they should keep him until the kids are ready. Besides, he is probably on the bottom of the FO to-do list since he can be traded anytime after the deadline.

      • J R

        Yeah, I would hate the Cubs to pay his entire salary and only get Michael Bowden back. I hope to god we can do better than the Byrd deal. My point is that if we wait he’s only going to be older and more gimpy looking. If there’s a player with some upside the F.O. likes, pull the trigger.

        • gutshot5820

          Yes, but that upside has to have a value of 6-7 mil for the money the Cubs are going to have to pay in free agency to replace Soriano’s production.

    • J-Nasty

      remember soriano’s trade deadline is not july 31st. He will clear waivers and can be traded after.

  • Jesse

    % We do trade Demp vs % We don’t trade Demp.

    • Daniel

      Lol if I said 55% chance gone, wouldn’t I have to say 45% chance he stays?

    • calicubsfan007

      60 % he’s traded, 40% he’s not

  • MichiganGoat

    “Underground” seems kind, after the Dempster nightmare the Cubs have tightened an already quiet FO I won’t hear anything again until a trade is official.

  • nick cafardo

    Word is boston has interest in soriano but luccinos wife wants a night alone with him..

    • notcubbiewubbie

      that’s funny

    • fromthemitten

      see this is how you do trolling right

  • The Show

    Garza and Camp to the Rangers for Buckel/Perez and Olt?

    • J-Nasty

      Reports are Olt isn’t going anywhere.

      • Njriv

        I wouldn’t put it past them, The Rangers are in a win-now position as you can get. They’ve been to the WS in back to back years with no title and the Angels just got better by adding Greinke.

  • J R

    Olt isn’t coming over in a Garza deal. They wouldn’t do Garza and Camp staright up for Olt.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I agree that isn’t happening, but the Rangers would be fools not to do that deal (and the Cubs would be fools to do it).

      • @cubsfantroy

        Weren’t the Rangers on record (last week?) that Olt is not going anywhere?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Never doesn’t really mean never. but that’s not really the point I’m making. Olt is not in the Profar/Machado/Bundy/Myers category where you don’t trade him for anything.

        • Njriv

          True, but that was before the Angels got Greinke.

  • J-Nasty

    Rangers weren’t really in on the Garza sweepstakes before the “cramp”, I would say 0% chance he goes to the rangers.

    • Stash

      Ranger’s Neftali Feiz just had a setback and was pulled from a minor league rehab start. May have some market consequences.

      • Stash


  • gutshot5820

    Here is an interesting way to look at Soriano’s value. Marmol should make it through waivers after the deadline. That means that if somebody pays all of his remaining salary, the Cubs would give him away for free. Since their are no takers, he is not worth the money remaining on his contract. Now, lets say he had only 5-6 mil remaining on his contract somebody would definitely pick him up in waivers. At the point where it is close where teams would pick him up or not is where his true value lies.

    If Soriano had only 10-12 million remaining on his contract, my guess is he would get picked up in waivers. If the Cubs are willing to pay all but 2 mil of his contract, then they are looking for a prospect that is worth at least 8-10 mil. I’m no baseball expert, but I’m sure the front office has a method of quantifying a prospects value in dollars.

  • cubzforlife

    On todays Cubs radio broadcast Moreland said Soriano has no errors this season. True? Damn shame sweet lou or quade didn’t try harder with sori. lighter bat. no more jump. better positioning. more production. better defense.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The lack of errors probably has more to do with experience and good luck than anything else. Sori’s range has improved a little, but it always was better than Cub fans believed. He’s an average LFer having a good year (so far): nothing more, nothing less.

      • J-Nasty

        I don’t think it was range that was the problem. It’s more the route in which he takes to the ball that needed work. He looks better this year than in the past.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “Route” probably is the single biggest factor in range, especially for a guy Sori’s age. But that, too, is a secondary trait: what it really reflects is Sori having a quicker and better idea of where the ball is going. After all, the goal is to immediately run to where the ball can be caught: and the faster you recognize this, the more direct a path you can take.

          • MoneyBoy

            The comments from Kasper and Brenly give a ton of credit to Dave McKay … perhaps it’s the “route” thing and the willingness to go back to the wall. Gotta give credit where it’s due. His defensive play has increased remarkably.

            The balky knees seem to have healed up as well. He’s been running well and more on the bases as well as the outfield.

            • Mysterious4th


      • Diesel

        Average LF? Yeah. Increased hussle. Yup that is why I have been happy with him this year.

  • Michael McGrath

    The Soriano Effect…or affect?

    I don’t want him traded till the off season UNLESS it somehow brings back an impact bat. ( we all know that ain’t happening)
    Reasons being
    1. cant replace the offense AT ALL.
    2. More importantly he give protection to Rizzo. Which allows Rizzo to see better pitches and therefore develop without seeing crap all the time. With out Sori who bats behind Rizz?

    • notcubbiewubbie

      and remember the most important reason winning this year is real important!!!!

      • Michael McGrath

        Winning even when the team stinks. Means much more to the young players in the game then to us fans looking to the future. Situations like what Rizzo did today are far more important to his development than a 2 for three in a loss.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Who bats behind Rizzo will have no effect on how pitchers throw to him. These days, it is all about attacking individual hitters’ weaknesses. (This probably is the single biggest reason why offense has declined over the last several years: pitchers have information now that was a pipe dream just 10 years ago.)

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Oh come on Doc, that is that old Bill James baloney, that it doesnt matter who bats behind a great hitter in a lineup, his production will be the same.
        So if they batted the pitcher 4th behind Rizzo, it would have no effect on how he is pitched to? The more protection with quality hitters in any lineup makes it more difficult to pitch around their best.

      • Michael McGrath

        I understand what your saying and it goes without saying that the statistics and video being used by all sports makes some of the past concerns of the game less important. But, in every lineup it is still evident that when you have protection you tend to see better pitches. Just because a pitcher knows a weakness doesnt mean he can exploit it.

  • BleedingCubbieBlue

    How about Soriano (all but $2mil paid) and Russel or Camp for Pirates Kevin Correia (who has said he wants to be traded.

    • dudeski


    • Njriv

      I think that would be a bad trade, he is already 31 and has a career ERA near 4.60, that would be giving up too much.

  • Josh

    I’m pretty shocked nobody has been traded thus far. Disappointed we aren’t going to be able to trade Garza. We better at least trade Dempster. Wouldn’t mind shipping off Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, or David DeJesus

  • nkniacc13

    I thought the Cubs would trade a bunch of players and now with the Phillies getting swept by Atl I think they will be the most active team and make a bunch of trades and the Cubs maybe left with only moving maybe a player similar to last year

  • die hard

    mark this down…Soriano to Yankees to platoon with Ichiro who cant hit lefties anymore…

  • die hard

    Dempster to Tigers or White Sox….take it to the bank

    • Mysterious4th

      Not too much to take to the bank with the white sux! Taking it to the bank would be toronto, pirates, and we will throw detroit atlanta and texas in there. But detroit only has a few good prospects that have a better chance of panning out.

    • art

      my bank won’t take humans.

      • djriz

        then you need a new bank.

  • fromthemitten

    If I were the Cubs front office I would be “underground” as well… I bet Theo and Jed are making calzones and claymation movies while wearing a “Letters to Cleo” t-shirts as I type this

    • gutshot5820

      The dream team FO failed in my opinion. They totally misjudged and mistimed the market.

      • @cubsfantroy


  • thejackal

    UPDATE: Tom has a source that says to expect a couple of deals and the insinuation was that they would not be minor ones. That corroborates the idea that the Cubs will get multiple prospects. via the cubs den

  • EB

    I feel like we’re in the eye of the storm, hopefully about ready to be hit be some trade madness

  • Cheryl

    Is Correa (sp?) worth checking out. He’s 31 and wouldn’t fit long-term, but he’s younger than He Who Shall Not Be Named.

    • @cubsfantroy

      Corriea is pretty much an average pitcher. Back end of the rotation kind of guy. Not worth trading for.

  • Kyle

    I think we should trade Soriano in the off-season, hope that he keeps his value high throughout the rest of the year, then they can take their time trading him, and work with him to get through his 10-5 rights to find the right team, with the right return.

    And the key part of this is you open up a spot in the outfield, for who? Josh Vitters. It will give him a full season of triple A ball, where he is crushing it right now, but no one really wants him playing 3rd in the Majors. For me this is a perfect fit, if the guy can hit, he has to get a shot in the Majors, LF or even RF (if he has the range and arm) is a great fit.

    I would love to hear some thoughts on this…

    • @cubsfantroy

      10-5 rights mean nothing for Soriano. He has a full no trade clause in his contract.

      I say keep him even next year as a bench player. Heck, they’re going to pay his salary either way so they may as well keep him for a veteran presence and an occasional player in left and a power bat off the bench.

      • Kyle

        same difference of the no trade clause, moral of the story is he can reject a trade.

        but as to putting him on the bench, you don’t put a guy who makes that much money on the bench, it just looks bad for the organization.

  • thejackal

    actally corriea hasnt had bad numbers until thsyear however i doubt he fits the cubs plans

  • thejackal

    i take that back hes been nothing to brag about

  • thejackal

    when he came up with the giants he wasnt that bad

  • Yohler

    I think this whole trade topic, much as every other sports situation in our great city, has grown like Pinocchio’s nose after each lie. The Cubs are in an obvious weak negotiating position on most of these so called trade targets. Dempster: Yeah, he’s been solid this year but a career National league rental isn’t getting any love from AL teams like a stud of ZG caliber did, notice how you’ve heard nothing about the pitching needy, must win now Rangers on him? The Dodgers for all their efforts look like a hero of a new regime for trying to immediately improve their team and can thus afford to low-ball the Cubs in addition to the scenario where Dempster has the Cubs by the balls with his 10-5 rights. Garza: Take away all the injury BS and drama and you’re really left with two issues. Garza is a proven pitcher, a competitive one at that. Nobody likes being on a losing team and the Cubs and other teams know this. What does this mean? Major league teams know the cubs NEED to move a guy like Garza and yet again lose bargaining ground. The second issue is the fact that Garza flat out has the yips. I don’t care how much practice hes takes or how confident he talks. If hes pitching against me in the playoffs I’m bunting on him in every meaningful situation.

    The rest of the crew like Sori, Camp, Maholm, etc aren’t impact players so you’re not getting anything for them anyhow. Before anyone starts saying Sori is an impact player – I ask then why do the Cubs have to eat 90% of his salary to even potentially move him? It’s like the movie Moneyball where he explains to David Justice how the Yankees wanted rid of him so badly they’re paying the A’s for him to play against them.

  • Fastball

    I for one think Soriano is one of the top 3 players on this team that sre position players. Soriano comes and plays everyday and gives 100%. He hss improved his game. We have nobody who can replace his production and trading him at this point makes no sense to me. Where we going to find a replacement. I hope we keep him for a while.

    1. Rizzo
    2. Castro
    3. Soriano
    4. Barney

  • Mike S

    Dillion Maples is making his debut tonight. So far:
    1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

  • TonyS

    Strongly disagree gunshot. They tried hard to get the RD trade completed early and I think we all agree the return of Delgado+others would have been awesome, but loose lips and a flaky trade candidate ruined it all.
    Garza getting hurt is pure bad luck and nothing to do with the FO and as it stands the trades that have gone down, may have improved the Cubs trade prospects at the deadline. The grienke trade especially could increase the desperation of some other AL teams as the clock winds down.
    If the FO manage to acquire some impact talent in trades before the deadline then they will have done a great job in my opinion. The RD debacle would have set them back on their heels but they’ve still had time to recover and line some other things up.

  • Dan

    I think Vitters deserves a chance right now at 3rd. I’ve seen enough of Valbuena. If Soriano gets traded in the off-season, Brett Jackson comes in at any one of the OF spots.

  • alsongs

    I know this is crazy, but if the alien that has invaded Soriano’s body could somehow manage to play at this level for two more years, why not keep him? I mean, how many of us would have predicted last season that Soriano would be legging out triples, cracking clutch hits and playing decent left field?