A few rumor-y bits for your pre-game consumption …
- Gordon Wittenmyer writes about the possibility of Chase Headley down the road for the Cubs, since Headley is in town (and looking good, as usual). Headley’s a great player at a position of need, but feels like a bad fit for a variety of reasons. For one thing, if he’s traded by the Padres, it’s almost certainly going to be this Summer, and it won’t be to the Cubs. If that happens, who knows how much his new team will offer him in an extension? If he’s not traded, there’s always the possibility of the Padres digging deep to keep Headley, who has become something of the face of the franchise. He loves being in San Diego, and might accept a slight discount to stay. If he does end up testing the free agent waters after 2014, there are new tricky issues. For one thing, the Cubs might have a long-term third baseman by then – maybe Javier Baez is ready, and he or Starlin Castro is manning third. Maybe someone surprising like Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva, Josh Vitters, Luis Valbuena, or Ian Stewart (hey, I said surprising) emerges as a long-term option by then. Headley turns 31 in that 2015 season, which would be his first with the Cubs if they signed him to a long-term deal in free agency. If the Cubs are good in 2015, which they could be, and a third baseman hasn’t already emerged, then maybe he does make some sense. But it’s early, early, early.
- Bruce Levine chatted at ESPNChicago, and among his thoughts: (1) When Kyuji Fujikawa comes back off of the disabled list, Bruce thinks there’s a chance the Cubs may try to get Michael Bowden through waivers once again (my guess is Kameron Loe, for whatever that’s worth); (2) Bruce’s guess on total players traded by the Cubs before the Trade Deadline is three to five (sounds about right to me, though I’d lean toward the three end of that spectrum, simply because it’s hard to put together that many deals); (3) Giancarlo Stanton’s desirability in trade could be taking a hit with his injury issues (it is fair to say that, when a young player has knee issues and hamstring issues in close proximity, it makes you nervous); (4) Bruce thinks June 1 is an optimistic timetable for a Matt Garza return – here’s hoping he’s back earlier than that; (5) Travis Wood has been a “special project” of Chris Bosio’s, making it less likely that the Cubs will be interested in trading him, even if his value is high; (6) David DeJesus is more valuable to the Cubs over the next two months than whatever he’d net in trade (I’m not sure exactly what Bruce means here – if he’s saying the Cubs should hold onto DeJesus at least until July, then I don’t have a huge beef with it – though I’d say, as soon as a team makes you an acceptable offer for DeJesus or Alfonso Soriano, pull the trigger); and (7) the Cubs don’t have the players to get David Price, unless they part with Javier Baez plus more (which, well, yeah – that’d be the starting point).
- Tim Dierkes also chatted over at MLBTR, and … (1) If Tim’s guess of 10% for the Blue Jays’ playoff odds is accurate, they might become surprise sellers this Summer; (2) that could put Josh Johnson on the market, which could give the Cubs some pitching competition on the trade market; (3) the Cubs might have to include two of Soler/Baez/Almora in a deal for Price, and, if so, Tim doesn’t see the Cubs doing that for two years of Price (I agree, though I’d add a couple subpoints: the Cubs wouldn’t deal for Price at all unless they were very certain they could extend him, and it’s too early to say the Cubs couldn’t land him without including two of that trio – it might only take one, and then a whole lot else); (4) like Bruce, Tim sees Stanton’s trade value as having taken a hit; and (5) Matt Garza won’t be traded before he shows at least two or three healthy, effective starts in the big leagues.