Lukewarm Stove: Nationals Aggressively Pursuing Trades, Bard, Garza, Crawford, Gonzalez

stoveJuly is one week away from today, though we might not have to wait that long if the Cubs are already “open for business” and exchanging names

  • An executive source tells Andy Martino that, in the early going, the Washington Nationals have been the most agressive in trying to make a move soon. “They’re calling everybody, trying to do something,” the exec told Martino. “They’re looking for pitching, and they’re being really aggressive.” If the Nationals are looking to make a move much earlier than any other team, and they’re looking for pitching, the Cubs might be one of the best teams for them to try and line something up with, given (1) the Cubs’ tradable pitching, and (2) the Cubs’ openness to selling immediately. The catch for the Nationals is that, if they want a player now, they’re going to have to pay a price sufficient to convince the Cubs – or whatever team – to forgo the potential bidding war that could emerge in late July. That’s the tricky part for a seller, too. How much is enough to sell now? Might there be more buyers – more confident buyers – in July than right now?
  • Ken Rosenthal’s latest video report touches on a few items of tangential interest to the Cubs. Among them, the Rockies and Marlins talked about a Ricky Nolasco trade, but money was a hold-up (Nolasco is owed $6 million over the rest of the season). I find that interesting as the Cubs are likely to be in position to eat salary in pitcher trades in order to maximize the prospect return.
  • Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox may at some point soon decide that a change of scenery is what’s best for Daniel Bard, who can’t seem to stay healthy or effective, despite obvious talent. The Cubs’ front office is obviously familiar with the 27-year-old, and is known to have just a touch of interest in taking flyers on high-upside arms. Although he’s not going to be a reasonable in-season acquisition for a team looking to bolster its pitching staff for a stretch run, he could be a perfect fit for a team like the Cubs who’ve got nothing but time to evaluate and try to reclaim someone like Bard in the second half. The rub is that he’s got three arbitration years left after this one and is already making $1.83 million this year. How much do you trade away for a guy in that situation who has also been hurt and sports a 6.27 ERA over the last two years in just 60.1 innings in the bigs (not to mention a minor league ERA near 7 over that span)? You might land him only to decide in November that he’s not worth tendering a contract.
  • Yahoo’s Jeff Passan writes about a variety of possible trade pieces this year, in addition to the types of teams that will be making moves. The Cubs, listed as obvious sellers, have the pieces to move that you’d expect, and Matt Garza gets top billing. (Unrelatedly, Passan discusses the Dodgers’ pending outfield crunch, and I can’t help but be ridiculous and openly wonder whether the Cubs would consider taking on Carl Crawford for pennies on the dollar. They’re going to have plenty of outfield spaces to fill in the next two years, and Crawford would likely cost nothing more than some salary relief. I’m not saying the Cubs would go for it, but it’s the kind of outside-the-box acquisition that can surprise to the upside in the next couple of years, and for cheap.)
  • A small update from Jeff Passan, whose piece there was discussed this morning in reference to Cuban free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Passan wrote about the possibility of Gonzalez helping a team this year (which could hurt the Cubs’ in both the trade market and in offering Gonzalez the best contract), but he now hears from at least one official that Gonzalez has good stuff, but is not ready to help a team this year. That would position the Cubs slightly better.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

85 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Nationals Aggressively Pursuing Trades, Bard, Garza, Crawford, Gonzalez”

  1. Die hard

    Shark and Soriano package only

  2. Superman

    I was just thinking about Crawford as well. I even went as far as thinking a Carlos Marmol for Crawford deal. The rumors about Ellsbury to Chicago in the offseason make me wonder if Crawford now would be a fit.

  3. Dumpgobbler

    Haha I guess we’ll see just how eager Rizzo is to add an arm. I could see a huge dip in his eagerness after he learns how much the Cubs want for Garza / Feldman this early in the process.

  4. Kevin F.

    They should call Hendry, ask him how he got the Dodgers into that Hundley ==> Karros/Gruzelaniek deal.

  5. CubFan Paul

    Does anyone know anything about the Nats’ farm system, upper minors in particular?

    Theo&Co should only be interested in proven AA/AAA arms

    1. Dumpgobbler

      Lucas Giolito would be the obvious get from the Nats farm. He has a huge arm but is also a big time question mark comming off TJS. Big time arm that if healthy is one of the better pitching prospects in the game. But hes 18, arm injury concerns, ect ect

      A.J Cole is a solid arm prospect, who would become our top pitching prospect instantly. Obviously a bit closer to the majors then Giolito but doesn’t nearly have the ceiling.

      Rendon probably isn’t worth mentioning.

      Brian Goodwin is a toolsy AA OFer who has a good approach already. Doubt we look too much into him.

      Then they have a bevy of arms we could certainly be interested in. Nate Karns, Sammy Solis and Matt Purke all would garner interest I’d assume. All three would challenge Pierce as our top Pitching prospect if received in a deal.

      1. When the Music's Over

        I would definitely take either of those guys as a centerpiece in a Garza deal.

  6. BT

    I don’t understand, why do they need pitching? They clearly stole Dan Haren away from the Cubs when they stupidly didn’t trade for him, so they should be all set. Gordon Wittenmeyer told me so in May.

    1. David

      You haven’t looked at Haren’s stats this year have you? It’s a good thing we didn’t trade for him.

      1. TWC

        David, meet sarcasm. Sarcasm, meet David.

        1. David

          I guess that’s why you read the whole comment. Didn’t even bother to read the last sentence.

          1. TWC

            And that’s why you always read the whole comment …

            UTO6Q.jpg

  7. Justin

    I’m calling it now. Garza to the Orioles. It’s a lock.. That report that came out a couple weeks ago about how the Orioles have “little, to no interest in Garza”. Come on now.. Seems way to orchestrated in my book.

    1. Dumpgobbler

      Unless the O’s dangle Gausmen or Bundy they probably arent a fit.

    2. Crockett

      So, let’s play that game. What would you expect/want from the Orioles?

      1. BluBlud

        If the Orioles wanna keep their big 2, they can start a package with Johnathan Schoop and Eduardo Rodriguez.

      2. Justin

        First off the Cubs aren’t getting Gausman or Bundy. Garza’s trade value is not close to what it was last year, Obviously.. But the Orioles have other guys. Some comination of Hader, Schoop, Rodriguez, and maybe retread Arrieta. The Cubs aren’t getting blue chippers for garza. But i really believe the Orioles want Garza.

        1. Rich H

          Keep in mind that the buyer sets the market early. If they want those extra 5 starts they are going to PAY for it. So if we move Garza in the next 2 weeks someone is parting with a couple of top ten prospects and probably a top 5 and a top 10 depending on the team.

        2. praying the cubs get ready to win

          I think the piece the Cubs should go for is Hedges from SD and a top pitching prospect for garza, one of our catchers, one of our of and Gregg. This gives them a top of the rotation guy, their closer they need, a catcher for their system and an extra of. We get a great catching prospect as we have no top catching prospect and their top young arm. They have a chance to win now and we now have the best minor league system. Then trade an of, Barney, Russell and Feldman to Baltimore for their top young pitcher like Gausman or Bundy and their top 2b. Baltimore has a chance to win now and our minors is so the best.

    3. Patrick G

      It will be interesting to see how much the AL east teams will pursue trades now that all teams are over .500. Mostly the Orioles and Red Sox I would see making deals with the Yanks, Rays and Jays not doing anything big

    4. Rich H

      Right team wrong pitcher. I could see Feldman and Barney going to Baltimore for some there of their high intrigue guys as at AA like Mike Wright and maybe one of their high upside guys likes Eduardo Rodriguez.

      1. Dumpgobbler

        Sounds more realistic.

      2. Kygavin

        Any deal with the Orioles I want Jonathan Schoop. Has struggled in the upper minors but has been rushed and is young for the level. Has the tools just needs to put them to use and could be a potential 2B or 3B of the future

        1. Dumpgobbler

          Schoop is interesting for sure. Not sure what they have rammed him through the minors though.

          1. Kygavin

            From what I heard they wanted to keep him and Machado together so they just advanced Schoop when Manny was ready. Seems like an odd way to promote one of your top specs but maybe they wanted them to build chemistry up the middle?

            He has also been playing about half of his games at SS without terrible results even though from everything ive read he isnt staying there

            1. Crockett

              I just don’t see why Schoop would be a priority given the plethora of 2B/3B prospects the Cubs already have…at least 2 of which I think are much more valuable (Baez/Alcantara) and another 3B prospect who is pretty good will be added soon (Bryant). I don’t think you move your most valuable commodity for a headlining return of Schoop.

              1. Kygavin

                Im just looking at stockpiling assets. If anything he can be used as a piece in another deal.

                1. Crockett

                  Certainly nothing wrong with this approach either. I just think that’s something you might do with Feldman, etc. With Garza…you want to get the best possible prospect you can and prioritize pitching.

                  1. Kygavin

                    Oh I thought we were talking about Feldman…. Youre 100% right I wouldnt do that with Garza.

                    1. Crockett

                      You thought I read the entire thread? Pfft no. Haha.

  8. BluBlud

    I dont think Theo would want any part of Crawford. After claiming that he wanted no parts of Crawford in Boston, he would look like a hypocrit if he brings him to Chicago. I see why he would with the Dodgers paying most of his salary, but I don’t think he would do it.

  9. Die hard

    Hairston and DeJesus to Yankees for Hughes Chamberlain and lots of cash

    1. DarthHater

      Why the heck would the Cubs trade DeJesus for nothing but free agents and cash?

      1. TWC

        Why the heck would you take a Die hard trade scenario seriously?

        1. Die hard

          Yea why… Only because I was spot on about Castro long before any of you mopes realized he was tanking

          1. cms0101

            The book isn’t exactly closed on the 23 year old Castro.

        2. DarthHater

          Because I enjoy his hilarious responses like the above.

      2. Die hard

        Dump salary and get back cash frees up cash for other moves

        1. Kygavin

          Or you could just dump salary and idk get a young guy who might help your org in the future while also saving money. Just a thought

  10. steve123

    To go along with all our minor league trades, wouldnt Brian Bogusevic have a bit of trade value, since he probably won’t be called upon by the cubs and is only a 1 year deal? He could garner a decent PTBNL.

    1. cms0101

      I think they are really just focusing on moving the guys in the majors and then calling Bogusevic up when the requisite space is available in the OF. He’s another cheap money-ball type option having success in AAA. As a AAA OF, they just wouldn’t get the value for him. PTBNL or cash, like the other 2 recent trades. None of those players, if a player is selected, will be worth even keeping an eye on. The value play is to move a DeJesus and/or Soriano and call up Bogusevic to get some at bats in the majors.

  11. Rebuilding

    The problem with dealing with the Rockies is that their minor league arms might be worse than ours if possible. But if we are content to get a positional prospect back I would love Dickerson, Story or Dahl

    1. Rich H

      Would it surprise you if there was a double flip this year? Where we get high prospects that are not a fit for us and then flip some pieces to a non-contender like say the Mariners for pitching?

      I don’t know what the front office is going to do to acquire the arms out there but I am hoping for a stretch and a little out of the box thinking like this.

      1. steve123

        I honestly think that this is what the Cubs should do it they are not going to get top rated pitching. We might as well stockpile talent and use it to our advantage instead of holding on to guys like Feldman, who can easily be replaced.

      2. Rebuilding

        That would be playing chess instead of checkers. I would be all for it given that I think the positional prospects that might be moved this year are higher impact than the arms. For instance someone brought up Schoop. We could give him the opportunity to move back to SS and build value to flip for pitching later

  12. Rebuilding

    Looking around the contenders farm systems it’s fairly depressing that there aren’t that many impact arms in their high minors. And even fewer they would consider trading:

    Yankees – no
    Orioles – Bundy and Gausman
    Red Sox – Ranaudo and maybe Webster
    Blue Jays – good arms in low minors

    Indians – Bauer
    Tigers – Smyly or Porcello
    Royals – no

    A’s – Gray or Straily
    Rangers – Perez

    Nationals – no (although a Giolito flyer is interesting)
    Braves – good arms in lower levels, maybe Alex Wood

    Reds – Cingrani, but now he’s in the pen, Robert Stephenson
    Pirates – Taillion
    Cards – Martinez and Wacha

    Dodgers – Lee
    Diamondbacks – Bradley and Skaggs
    Padres – Casey Kelly (injured)
    Giants – Crick

    1. Rich H

      You forgot about a couple pieces that Toronto have that are in the Bullpen and injured but I agree with the majority of your list.

    2. David

      Red Sox also have Delarosa, Workman, Barnes, and Owens. If you’re looking for a team with lots of quality pitching to trade, it’s Boston, and they are a great fit for Garza.

    3. Alex

      How about taijuan walker, probably up there as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. This list is missing far to many names for you to say they aren’t many impact pitchers throughout baseball. Matt Harvey and Shelby miller are prospects who just this season debuted as well, since you included gausman.

      1. Rebuilding

        I said contenders. Why would the Mariners trade for Garza or Feldman?

      2. Rebuilding

        And why would the Mets do so either. The Cardinals also aren’t trading Shelby Miller whose a little more established than Gausman

  13. Serious Cubs Fan

    The most I would trade for Bard is a fringy prospect. And the crawford trade scenario is a joke. I’d only trade mediocre true prospect IF the dodgers ate half the contract and thats even a huge IF. Crawford age and main skill being speed seems to be in line for a big regression. On top of that the injury history. He isn’t an attractive tradable asset.

  14. another JP

    I wouldn’t go so far as suggest the Crawford trade is a joke because the Red Sox had a taker with LA last year… Cherington sure saw those macaroons coming. But he definitely doesn’t fit the Cubs plans with his contract. Besides, we have a log-jam in the OF already with a contract of Sori’s that we can’t move.

    I see the Cubs as being a huge source of pitching this trade season. Can’t see how Feldman, Garza, or Gregg are not dealt with the need for pitching among contenders. Look for Marmol and Camp to be gone before the end of the season too. If someone gives us a Sean Marshall type return then let Russell walk also. Villanueva, Parker, Coleman, Rusin, Dolis, and maybe Baker can finish up the season in their place.

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      If the dodgers want to eat 3/4 his contract and get just a ok prospect in return then I wouldn’t be apposed to trading for crawford, but I don’t see that being the case.

  15. North Side Irish

    Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 1m
    GM rumors du jour:Garza to Padres(Reymond Fuentes, 2 other Hoyer/McLeod prospects), Nolasco to Giants.

    Meh.

    1. Rich H

      Nothing against Peter Gammons but his sources are mostly east coast. If he is saying something about the Padres and Giants then he probably is speculating or is using hear say.

    2. Rebuilding

      Hmmmm…was a Theo 1st round pick in 2009. Speedy CF with great plate discipline. really struggled in AA last year, but seems to have figured it out this year. Traded with Rizzo and Kelly as part of the Gonzalez trade. Include Casy Kelly and we would basically have all of the Gonzalez pieces for Garza and Cashner.

      1. Rebuilding

        From Scouting Book “a superior defender who makes great reads. Uses his speed to make highlight reel plays in the gaps”. Is Carlos Beltran’s cousin

      2. Rich H

        I can not see this having legs because it is exactly opposite of what Team Theo has said they were looking for. Now if Fried was one of the two prospects then MAYBE it is in the weeds.

        1. Rebuilding

          I don’t know. The more I read about Fuentes the more I like him. Supposedly a plus-plus defender in CF. has a 419 OBP as one of the youngest hitters in AA. Has started to show a little power as he grows into his frame (5 HRs and 472 SLG this year)

        2. Rich H

          But considering what we have been talking about as a possible return would this kid be a great center of any deal? I keep thinking that we need pitching and SD has some great young arms.

      3. Carew

        What’s the word on that Kelly? I heard he was solid but I don’t know much else

  16. Serious Cubs Fan

    Trade Proposal: Garza, schierholtz to the Pirates for Jameson Taillon? Feasible trade scenario? fair trade? What you guys think?

    1. Rebuilding

      The Cubs would have that called into the league office before Pittsburgh got off the phone

      1. X the Cubs fan

        Theo would be in the GM hall of fame … if he already isn’t.

    2. David

      No, it’s about as lobsided as it gets. You aren’t getting a top 20 prospect for anything short of Castro, Rizzo, or Shark.

  17. Cheryl

    The cubs may be looking at moving many of our major leaguers but wouldn’t other teams be looking at the minor leaguers we have? There might be more of a major deal with a combination of major and minor leaguers, but we have some good ones coming up and I’d hate to trade some of them at this point.

    1. another JP

      That’s a good point- with an improving farm club teams might want Chris Rusin or Bogusevic to make a deal more worth their while. With the amount of depth the Cubs have built and need to clear space for top shelf prospects like Baez and Alcantara, I’d see a trade involving Logan Watkins, Torreyes, or even Voglebach as a real possibility.

      1. nkniacc13

        I think with those 3 you mentioned at the end could all be winter meeting trade targets. Part of the reason you tend to see Sceriholtz and Dejesus mentioned in deals with Feldman and with Garza is because they have that extra control.

  18. Cheryl

    With Rizzo’s signing of an extension I can see the cubs moving Vogelbach, yet imo they might regret it.

  19. mjhurdle

    I agree with everyone that the Cubs definitely need pitching in the system.
    However, im not down on trading Garza for non-pitching if it nets better caliber players.
    If, big if, Theo and Co see that they can get more quality in a positional players than trying to pry pitching out of someone, i think they do it.
    This deal is intriguing, but as mentioned by others, is highly dependent on who the other 2 players are.

  20. Bob Johnson

    I talked to a very knowledgeable Boston fan at a recent Cub game & he confirmed what I had heard previously that Epstein is no longer a fan of Elllsbury.

  21. SenorGato

    Rather than Bard I would love to land another UNC disappointment in Andrew Miller. The Red Sox have done a lot of good for Miller IMO.

  22. Ben

    Read the Dodgers are interested in a pitcher and a third baseman. What about something like Soriano (to be a platoon partner for Ethier), Garza, and Valbeuna for Crawford, Zach Lee, and another top 10 Dodger prospect? Fills the Dodgers needs nicely (dumping an OF so Puig can play, solidifying third base, and adding a top flight SP), and for the Cubs, we could land a really highly ranked pitching prospect and a LF for the next few seasons.

    1. ChicagoMike702

      Why would the Cubs want Crawford and why would the Dodgers want Soriano?

      Crawford is do over $80M over the next 4 years and is always hurt. The Dodgers are trying to get rid of OFers so why would they want one back?

      1. Ben

        Because Ethier has a .522 OPS vs LHP. Soriano is a perfect platoon partner for him (.815 OPS).

        I highly doubt that the Cubs will be able to land any top prospects for Garza/Valbeuna. The rumored Padres deal sounds ok, but there isn’t a stud coming back in the deal. I would happliy take 4 years of Crawford for 2 years of Soriano if we can land Lee + something else good from LA.

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