The “waiver trade deadline” is Friday (remember, it’s not a real trade deadline – it’s just the date by which you’ve gotta have a guy on your roster if you want to use him in the playoffs), so there are just two days left to make a deal.
- Jed Hoyer says a deal in the next few days is possible, if not necessarily likely. ‘‘The last couple of days [of August], people are always looking to secure their playoff roster,’’ Hoyer said Tuesday, according to the Sun-Times. ‘‘So if we all of a sudden had interest in a guy that cleared waivers in the next 72 hours, it wouldn’t be surprising at all.’’
- Phil Rogers hasn’t given up on the possibility of Alfonso Soriano going to the Giants even if everyone else has.
- Bruce Levine did the chat thing yesterday, and shared some thoughts: (1) the Cubs will look for veteran starting pitching this Winter via trade or free agency (I’d add that they’ll at least “look” for young starting pitching, too, if they can swing a deal), with a particular focus on guys they can get with contract flexibility – i.e., tradable next year; (2) Bruce doesn’t see Bryan LaHair as back with the Cubs in 2013, and again mentions the possibility of LaHair going to Japan – and, in confirmation of discussions we’ve had here in the comments, Bruce notes that the Cubs would have to sell LaHair to a Japanese team, since they still control his rights; (3) there is a connection between the next TV deal (after the WGN contract is up in 2014), the Wrigley renovation, and big spending in free agency – namely, when more money comes in and isn’t being used on the renovation, the Cubs will spend (and that tends to conveniently line up with when the expectation of competitiveness is anyway); (4) the Cubs consider Luis Valbuena “a prospect”; (5) Bruce sidestepped the question on whether the Cubs might be willing to spend $25 million per year on a guy like Felix Hernandez in two years (I’d sidestep it, too: so much can happen in the next two years that it’s barely worth speculating on); (6) trading Matt Garza this offseason is unlikely, though he would have been dealt at the deadline if he hadn’t gotten hurt; (7) of the pitchers currently on the 25-man roster, only three or four will be back next year (bah, come on Bruce – there are at least a couple in the bullpen, and at least a couple in the rotation – four is the minimum, not the maximum); (8) Bruce seems to have heard that both Javier Baez and Jorge Soler will play in the Arizona Fall League (which would be awesome), and an announcement should be coming “in the next few days”; and (9) the Cubs will try to trade Carlos Marmol this Winter, perhaps eating a healthy chunk of his remaining money (Bruce keeps saying $9.2 million for next year, but it’s always been reported as $9.8 million).
- Everyone is pointing out the same thing about Starlin Castro’s extension, as it relates to the future: with no no-trade clause, the Cubs have created a long-term asset that could be an invaluable trade piece if someone like Javier Baez or Junior Lake (or, my addition, Arismendy Alcantara) or whomever blows up and is a clear cut future starter at shortstop, and the Cubs decide Castro’s value is higher in trade than it is at, say, third base. My thought? Sure, that’s technically correct, but that “if someone in the system becomes a clear cut future starter at shortstop” thing is a huge if. In other words, it’s nice to know it’s a possibility, but it’s far, far, far too soon to be thinking like that. Hell, it’s more likely that a guy like Lake or Baez (there’s a big difference in their values, by the way, so don’t construe me putting them together as a statement of equivalency) is dealt for pitching long before Castro is dealt.
- The Pirates released Erik Bedard. Would the Cubs bring him in for a few week audition? Eh. I doubt it. His season started out nicely enough, but he really, really fell off in the last month. I do think he’s the kind of guy the Cubs would look at as a bounce back candidate in the offseason, though – his BB rate increased, but he was also a bit unlucky with an elevated BABIP, an atypically low LOB%, a slightly elevated home run rate, and a K rate that actually looked good. I think he might be able to swing a guaranteed contract next year in the $2 million range, but it’s possible he might even have to settle for a minor league/split deal.