Ready or not, trade rumor season is probably here. After a nice outing from Matt Garza last night any major league team in need of pitching will be sending scouts to watch the Cubs. And the Cubs will be sending scouts all over the country to check out minor league systems. Those scouts will be spotted, rumors will start, be analyzed, discussed, doubted, believed, changed, and forgotten when the next crop emerges. And this year looks to be even wackier than other recent years.
With the Blue Jays and the Dodgers playing badly despite loaded payrolls, the Cubs could find themselves buying from or selling to either of those teams. Or perhaps both at once. Kansas City is in contention and are essentially all in this season after the James Shields trade. And any talk of Kansas City includes the possibility of dealing for their competitive balance draft pick (and associated pool money), something that has never before been a possibility (although one trade involving a swap of those types of picks is in the books).
In fact, those select few tradeable draft picks could get the whole trade season off sooner than usual. Normally we don’t see that market really heat up until after the June draft, but the timing may be different this year. We could easily see an explosion of trade talk hit the rumor wires very soon.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – It was a doubleheader in Iowa on Tuesday, and the Cubs swept it. The bullpen combined for a 3 hitter in a 2-1 win in Game One. They had to withstand a 5 run rally by Las Vegas in Game Two, but that one ended in a 6-5 Cubs win.
Tennessee – Three errors on the road usually results in a loss, and although the Smokies fought through eleven innings, a 5-4 loss is what they got.
Daytona – With an emphatic five run outburst in the tenth inning the Daytona Cubs picked up the 7-2 win.
Kane County – Kane County had the day off.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic homered in each game and finished with three hits on the day. Dave Sappelt also had three hits and raised his batting average about thirty points in the process.
- [Iowa] Brooks Raley struck out four over three innings in the start in Game One. Esmailin Caridad pitched three scoreless in the middle, and Rafael Dolis struck out three in the seventh.
- [Iowa] Game Two saw an unusual final line from Barret Loux. Loux gave up a single hit over 5.1 innings, but thanks to three walks he coughed four runs (two earned). He struck out five.
- [Tennessee] Some key arms in the Tennessee bullpen pitched well in this extended game. Tony Zych, Zach Rosscup, and Trey McNutt each pitched a scoreless frame.
- [Tennessee] Rubi Silva tripled (his fifth) as part of his two hit game. Christian Villanueva kept his hot streak alive by reach twice on a double and a walk.
- [Daytona] Frank Del Valle dropped his ERA to 1.80 with two more innings of one hit relief.
- [Daytona] Javier Baez walked. That’s number eight if you’re counting… and, let’s be honest here, we’re all counting. He also had two hits and his fourth stolen base.
- [Daytona] With two more hits of his own, Jorge Soler finished the day with a May OPS of .980. His SLG dropped to .603 for the month.
- I’ve called it out before, but it bears repeating. Ben Carhart was not a guy many were watching before this season started. I even commented that his assignment to Daytona was surprisingly aggressive when rosters were announced in spring training. Despite that, Carhart has been holding his own in the Florida State League. He broke out of a nasty slump with three hits in this game. Even with that slump, though, he is still striking out at just a 12.9% rate. His walk rate is a little low (4.9%), but that is showing signs of improvement as five of his eight walks have come in May. For now his name stays in the intriguing column, but he is earning our attention for his play on the field, not just by virtue of his of unexpected promotion from Rookie Ball to High A in a single stride.