Obviously this trade became much bigger as the evening went on. See below for updates.
In tonight’s game, Reed Johnson was pulled in the 5th inning (of a blowout), and was spotted shaking hands with his teammates in such a way as to suggest that he’d been traded.
We don’t know much of anything quite yet – nothing is confirmed – but I’ll updating as the details come out.
Johnson has value as a bench bat to just about any playoff contender, but he has even more value to the Cubs as an included piece in a bigger deal. We’ll see if this is a one-off type move, or if Johnson is part of a bigger deal.
If Reed has indeed been dealt, his presence will be missed. He’s a great teammate, and a 100% effort guy. But dealing him is the right move.
UPDATE: Bruce Levine reports that this is, indeed, probably a trade, and up to four teams submitted offers today. Pittsburgh and Detroit were among the suitors. That report, by the way, suggests this is a one-off deal, rather than a larger trade.
UPDATE 2 (at 9:10pm CT): Dave Kaplan says Johnson is meeting with Cubs’ management right now, which confirms there’s a trade.
UPDATE 3 (at 9:12pm CT): Reed was prophetic in his blog just three days ago, writing, “If I get a call from Theo or Jed, I’d be like oh, darn, there’s four, five days before the Trade Deadline, this is probably not about what gardener do you use in the Chicago area. If you get a phone call from them, you want to pick it up, especially at this time of year.”
UPDATE 4 (at 9:17pm CT): I’m not saying there’s any relationship here, but Brett Jackson was just pulled mid-game from the Iowa Cubs game. Injury? Call-up? Trade? Nothing? I honestly have no idea.
UPDATE 5 (at 9:18pm CT): Bob Nightengale notes – without confirming a trade – that Tigers’ pitching prospect Thomas Collier was just pulled from his start after three innings. Collier, 22, is still in Low A, but putting up solid numbers, and was a 2011 22nd rounder (so, the low level isn’t just a matter of him being a non-prospect). Don’t go nuts just yet. This is only one guy’s theory based on a pitcher being pulled.
UPDATE 6 (at 9:38pm CT): Just so it’s here, too, the Geovany Soto trade and this one are separate deals, apparently.
UPDATE 7 (at 9:43pm CT): The Twitter is playing a hilarious game where various sources say where he HASN’T been traded. So far, it appears that he isn’t going to Pittsburgh, Detroit, or Los Angeles (Dodgers).
UPDATE 8 (at 9:54pm CT): Multiple reports now say this is a combo deal with Johnson and *PAUL MAHOLM* going to the Braves. The implications of such a trade are huge, and will take some time to susse out.
UPDATE 9 (at 10:04pm CT): Jerry Crasnick says the Cubs are getting two minor league pitchers, but they aren’t in the Teheran-Gilmartin-Delgado-Minor group. The Braves still have many great prospects beyond that, so don’t get worried yet. Maholm had real value.
UPDATE 11 (at 10:37pm CT): YES. Ken Rosenthal says the other pitcher in the deal is prospect Arodys Vizcaino, who is currently out after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this year. Obviously that part isn’t good, but that’s how the Cubs could get him in a deal like this – before the surgery, he was a big-time prospect. He’s just 21, and before the year, was a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. EEeeeeeeh!
UPDATE 12 (at 10:34pm CT): OK, I’m leaving the updates on this post where they are, while I move on to the crazy Matt Garza rumors that are flying. I’ll have more on Vizcaino and Chapman later today/tomorrow.