stoveWe’re still a few weeks out from the time that the trade season rumors really start to pick up, but you are reminded in advance to follow BN on Twitter and like BN on Facebook to make sure you’re getting everything there is to see/hear/read. The latest from the rumor mill …

  • Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles are looking for a top-of-the-rotation arm to supplement their early success this year, but he says “the Orioles are said to have little if any interest in Matt Garza, who’s still working his way back from injury.” Certainly the Orioles would – and should – have “little if any interest” in Garza right now, since he’s got to show everyone that he’s back to his normal self. If he does show that in the next couple months, are teams like the Orioles still going to have “little if any interest”? That’s the question the Cubs will have to navigate, simultaneously as they explore the possibility of a team-friendly extension with Garza. The twin injuries – elbow last Summer, lat this Spring – have really thrown a wrench into an otherwise clear set of plans. My gut tells me the preferred options with respect to Garza are (1) sign a short-term (three-year-ish), team-friendly extension; (2) trade him in July for value that exceeds a compensatory draft pick; (3) make him a qualifying offer after the season, and collect the compensatory draft pick (or enjoy his return on a one-year, $14 million deal).
  • Bruce Levine chatted at ESPNChicago, and … (1) Bruce says the reason we hear about Jacoby Ellsbury (see the discussion Dave Kaplan started) is because of the Boston connection, though he does expect the Cubs to take a “strong look” at him after the season; (2) previous extension talks with Jeff Samardzija were for a three-year deal, says Bruce, which would be odd, given that such a deal would not have bought out any free agent years – maybe there were options tacked onto the end, and that was the sticking point; (3) Bruce wonders whether the Cubs will try to re-sign Matt Garza soon to a short-term deal, and whether Garza, given his injuries, would be willing to do it; and (4) both the Cubs and Alfonso Soriano realize that it will be best if he’s on another team come the end of July.

  • A little more background on the failed Carlos Marmol/Dan Haren trade from Gordon Wittenmyer. Haren would have come to the Cubs for a total of $12 million, with, it appears Gordon is saying, the Angels taking on all of Marmol’s $9.8 million 2013 contract. I’m not going to blast the front office for scuttling the deal after being scared off by his medicals, but it’s very interesting to think about how the rest of the offseason would have looked if Marmol had been gone, and the Cubs had picked up Haren for a net of just a hair over $2 million. Do they still sign all those starting pitchers? If not, which one isn’t signed? Do they spend the saved money on one of the relievers they missed out on (Jason Grilli, Mike Adams, for example)?
  • MLBTR took a look at David DeJesus as a mid-season trade candidate, and profiled his value. The projected return is a top ten organizational prospect, plus another “respectable piece” in the deal. For me, it would depend on the organization’s top ten (obviously the number 10 prospect in the Cardinals’ system is far better than the number 10 prospect in the Brewers’ system), but that’s about where my projection on his value has landed as well. For the Cubs to maximize the return on DeJesus (if they decide to trade him), though, they’d be best served packaging him with a pitcher to a team that needs both.

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