Likely the last check-in at the rumor mill before the Draft, after which the rumor season really starts to pick up …
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer joined Buster Olney on his podcast, discussing a variety of topics, including the Cubs’ midseason plans. Hoyer said that no one wants to sell, but you have to take a dispassionate look at your situation, and sell if you’ve got movable pieces that aren’t going to help next year. His tone certainly suggested that he’s expecting the Cubs to sell, which is no surprise. The reality is that this team is not going to be competitive this year, and there no sense in keeping the team together just to win 75 games instead of 70 games.
- Hoyer also discussed Alfonso Soriano as a trade piece briefly, noting that the Cubs haven’t had too many conversations with him this year yet about trade possibilities. Hoyer said that Soriano’s intangible value on the team – particularly to young players – has made the organization feel like there’s no rush to move him. But Soriano likely wants a ring, and at some point the two sides are going to have to come together and decide whether he can be put in a better position to do that elsewhere.
- Jon Heyman is sticking to his story on the Orioles and Matt Garza: the Orioles need a starter, but they’re not interested in Garza.
- Nationals reliever Henry Rodrigez has been DFA’d and will be placed on waivers, which could pique the Cubs’ interest, given their penchant for grabbing and stashing arms. The 26-year-old righty has a huge arm – his fastball is regularly in the upper 90s, and frequently tops 100 – but has been plagued by control issues in recent years. He’s walked more than 6 per 9 each of the last three seasons. If you could harness that arm, there’s a ton of raw talent. The Cubs might feel he’s worth taking a shot on, particularly if they can finagle the same kind of grab and stash that they recently worked with Alex Burnett.
- The Brewers have now all but conceded that they will be sellers this year – GM Doug Melvin told the Journal-Sentinel is that they won’t be trading away any young pieces to try and bolster their big league club this year, and said that if they do make any trades, it will be with an eye toward a few years down the road. To the extent you’d rather not see a market full of sellers (and the Brewers could shop, for example, Yovani Gallardo, depressing the market for Cubs starting pitchers), you’re going to want to root for the Brewers to go on a sufficiently hot streak that stripping down to the bones is implausible. That said, given how good the top three in the Central look, and with a possible long suspension for Ryan Braun looming, I don’t think there’s going to be any stopping the Brewers from selling, at least a little.
- Cuban infield prospect Aledmys Diaz – in whom the Cubs have had interest – is reportedly now playing in Mexico, hoping to sign in the offseason. He’s had some age issues (allegedly claiming he was older than he said he was so that he wouldn’t be subject to signing restrictions), which might be cleared up by next January. So, um, I guess remember this in six months. (h/t MLBTR)