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stoveThe rumor mill is turning slowly …

  • In a rumor headline you thought you wouldn’t see for decades, Danny Knobler reports that the San Francisco Giants are in the market – hard – for a starting pitcher. They’ve got a 4.75 ERA as a starting staff, so it’s understandable that they’d be looking. Among the pitchers they’ve been discussing are Bud Norris and Ricky Nolasco, decent arms that are eminently available. Knobler mentions Matt Garza, but notes that Giants GM Brian Sabean generally has a reticence to pursue players that he views as injury risks. The Cubs will obviously be shopping arms this year – not just Garza, but also Scott Feldman, Carlos Villanueva, and possibly even Travis Wood – so there are likely to be some conversations. Speaking of which …
  • Theo Epstein on the nature of the next month and a half, per Patrick Mooney: “[We’ll] assess where we are and then the needs of the other 29 teams. It’s sort of a long process to put it together. You don’t just wake up on July 31 and decide you’re going to make a trade one way or another. There’s a lot of information gathering and strategizing. We’re starting those internal discussions of what good fits might be and things like that, even as we watch our club play and hope that we get real hot and change our current position.” I’d expect that the Cubs are hitting the pavement hard these days, ascertaining which teams are likely to be buying in July, what they might need, what they might be willing to trade, and what the Cubs want to land. No sense in getting behind the 8-ball hoping for a hot streak that isn’t coming, and, frankly, wouldn’t change things even if it did come.
  • Bruce Levine did the chat thing yesterday, and … (1) Starlin Castro doesn’t need to be looking over his shoulder any time soon; (2) Alfonso Soriano is easier to trade than Carlos Marmol at this point because the former is still viewed as a quality bat, while the latter would need a very hot stretch from now until the Trade Deadline to garner any interest at all; (3) Matt Garza is not likely to sign the kind of three-year, $36 million deal the Cubs would probably want to off him on an extension (in part because that’s less than Edwin Jackson got, and Garza is inarguably in a higher tier of pitcher … when healthy); (4) Bruce and I are in complete agreement on what should happen with Garza: extension by July 31, or otherwise he’s traded – the risk in taking him all the way to the offseason is too high, and the compensation if he walks (a compensatory draft pick) is too small; (5) on why the Cubs didn’t sign Yasiel Puig, Bruce says it was mostly money, but adds this: “Besides, Puig has allegedly had some personal issues in dealing with people that the Cubs may not have liked.” – wonder what that’s about; and (6) Darwin Barney would be a better fit on a team where his flaws at the plate don’t stand out so much (i.e., a good team that needs a great glove).
  • MLBTR’s Steve Adams filled in for Tim Dierkes on the chat this week, and among his thoughts … (1) Unsurprisingly, Steve expects the Cubs to do a whole lot of selling this Summer; (2) the Blue Jays likely won’t strip down, but could sell off pieces like Josh Johnson or Adam Lind; and (3) there’s no sense in the Marlins dealing Giancarlo Stanton at the deadline, even if he’s healthy – the Marlins can almost certainly get more for him in the offseason.

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