stoveAs the operator of this site, I’m sensitive to the twin interests of getting you my thoughts on every bit of salient Cubs-related info out there in a timely fashion, while simultaneously not inundating you with so much that it all becomes noise and you grow irritated. Never is that risk more prevalent than during trade rumor season (and free agency). To that end, I’m cognizant of the fact that there have been a ton of rumors and Lukewarm Stoves the last 10 days or so, and I was starting to wonder if it was just me, or if the market was going rumor crazy very early this year. It sounds like Dodgers GM Ned Colletti answered for me in a comment to Jim Bowden: “There have been far more serious trade discussions five weeks away from July 31st deadline than I can ever recall.”

So, it isn’t just me, and that’s why you’re getting a Lukewarm Stove in the middle of a Cubs game …

  • As I mentioned yesterday, the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco might end up kicking off the trade market, and if a report from ESPN is accurate, it could happen very, very soon. (Jon Heyman confirms that the talks are happening.) A source tells ESPN that the Dodgers and Marlins are already “deep into trade talks” about Nolasco. The Dodgers are a possible destination for the Cubs’ available arms and this would probably close the Dodgers off as a trading partner, but Nolasco going to the NL West is a good thing. Every team is in the race, and the Dodgers moving early could compel each of the other teams to aggressively pursue an upgrade (creating a ripple effect, putting the Cubs in the catbird seat).
  • One of the big arms the Cubs have to follow up a Nolasco deal is Matt Garza, who is pitching today in front of a huge number of scouts. Carrie Muskat says the Nationals, Dodgers, Orioles, Blue Jays and Phillies are all represented in Milwaukee, though it probably isn’t a lock that the scouts are there to see only Matt Garza.
  • George Ofman says that the Rangers are very interested in Garza (recall, they were heavily in on him last year before his elbow owwie), and could make a move as soon as this weekend. To that end, Garza’s start (and health) today could be even more important. I sense an “Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch” in the offing, and it makes me a little sad.
  • In a writeup on the state of the Braves’ bullpen (injured), Braves beat writer Mark Bowman suggests that the Braves will have interest in Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, should he be shopped. No real surprise there – I’d be shocked if there was a competitive team in baseball with bullpen needs that would not have at least some interest in Gregg. He’s cheap, he’s a perfect rental, and he’s performing exceptionally well. The Cubs aren’t going to get a ton for Gregg, but there will be interested teams.
  • In a bummer for baseball/the Orioles, top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who’s been out with arm issues this year, is having Tommy John surgery. This is of significance on the trade market not only because it removes Bundy as a trade chip (he was never going to be traded anyway (and if he was, it’s not like the Cubs are afraid to take on a Tommy John pitcher)), but because it could impact the Orioles’ plans. They now cannot hope for Bundy to be ready in the second half, and this could push them even further into the we-desperately-need-a-pitcher mode. Then again, as BN’er North Side Irish pointed out in the comments, it could make the Orioles more inclined to pursue a pitcher with at least another year of control left, since they’ll be sans Bundy in 2014. The only tradable Cub who fits that bill is Carlos Villanueva, a name were aren’t hearing too much in rumors.
  • Mark Teixeira is done for the year because his ongoing wrist problems will require surgery. Without Teix, Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson, or ARod for an extended period of time, you’ve got to believe the Yankees are desperately searching for some thump on the trade market. Alfonso Soriano? Nate Schierholtz? Too bad Ian Stewart didn’t work out, otherwise he’d be a really nice trade chip to have right now. Of course, if he had worked out, we’d probably want to see him stick around, and we wouldn’t have seen the emergence of Luis Valbuena.
  • Tim Dierkes chatted at MLBTR, and there were a number of Cubs bits … (1) the Garza/Padres rumor makes a lot of sense given the fit, but Reymond Fuentes doesn’t make sense as the center piece of a deal – the Cubs would aim higher; (2) extremely difficult to see the Cubs getting anything at all for Carlos Marmol; (3) Dierkes sees the Nationals going after a big arm like Garza (or others in that same class); (3) Scott Feldman’s trade value isn’t quite as high as Paul Maholm’s was last year (extra year of control, longer successful track record), but if the Cubs sweeten the pot with a Ryan Sweeney type, they might be able to get an Arodys Vizcaino-like return (to which I’d note that the Cubs did sweeten the pot last year with Reed Johnson, a reserve outfield rental like Sweeney would be, though Sweeney might offer just a touch more value than Johnson); (4) the Cubs would probably have a lot of interest in buying low on Will Middlebrooks from the Red Sox if there was a matchup on a deal; and (5) Dierkes isn’t sure the Cubs could land a top 100 prospect for Nate Schierholtz, but definitely an “interesting” piece (you’ll call me crazy, but given the 2014 outfield configuration and the cheap year of control left, I’m not sure I’d want the Cubs dealing Schierholtz for less than that – he offers a lot of value to the 2014 Cubs; not that I’m saying he *could* net a top 100 prospect).
  • North Side Irish

    Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 51s
    Matt Garza’s last three starts, including first 6 innings today; 21 innings, 2 ER, 13 hits, 5 walks, 23 strikeouts. Price rising.

    • BluBlud

      I likey

    • JB88

      I would love for Olney to be right, but I’ve never really felt like he had his thumb on the pulse of baseball as much as others in the industry.

      • JoeyCollins

        I’m not a big fan of Olney either but saying Garzas price is rising isn’t exactly a detailed report. He basically said a really good outing helps trade value, i think it’s safe to assume he’s right on that.

  • sven-erik312

    Give us everything you get Brett!

  • BluBlud

    Here is my list of names that the Cubs should trade as long as the return is right:


    The young guys are getting close, and several of them are less then a year away.

    • Rich H

      I like the list but some of them are not going to get us anything (Hairston) then on some it matters the return (Sweeney). If we got to keep our current available guys to replace Sweeny/DeJesus/Sheirholtz we are going to be in serious trouble.

    • MoneyBoy

      Just me BluBud, but that’s rather Larry Brown of you. Instead of the Dodgers “Sign everybody,” Larry regularly engaged in a “Trade everybody” orgiastic frenzy at least once a year.

    • JoeyCollins

      I’m in favor of trading literally everyone if the “return is right.” It just depends on the FO’s defintion of what that return should be.

  • North Side Irish

    I know it never happens, but games like this make me want the Cubs to trade Garza and then resign him in the offseason. Which means they can’t trade him anywhere near California.

  • Matt

    Assuming there were a lot of scouts there keeping an eye on Garza, it could not have gone much better, that is assuming he’s now done for the day.

    • Matt

      …and now I know for sure he day is done, awesome outing for him.

      • Matt

        *his day is done

  • X the Cubs fan

    On another note Castro’s been great like I said he’d be.

    • AB

      Never mind how’s he hitting, does he look fat??

      /Die Harded

    • Cyranojoe

      Not at all. Die hard said he should go down to the minors, so to the minors he must go!! He’ll never be any good if not!

  • Abe Froman

    Brett, I check your website roughly 300 times a day, and think I speak for everyone, you can’t post too much. I don’t care if you are embedded with Kane County and are live blogging Vogelbach eating lunch, ‘ladies and gentlemen this is his second pudding cup, yet we are led to believe Mr. Vogelbach is on a strict diet. You just got Taylored!’

    • scorecardpaul

      I agree, more is better. I just want more.

      • cjdubbya

        More is better than less because if stuff is not less… if there’s more less stuff then you might, you might want to have some more and your parents just don’t let you because there’s only a little.

        We want more. We want more. Like, you really like it. You want more.

        • wasssssup


  • Justin

    The Orioles can say what they want, but they want Garza and need him badly. They have a real good team and Garza would help them a ton. I know Bundy was off limits, but Garza, and Villanueva for Bundy. Lets get this done.

    • Kramden

      Let’s not..,. This is one Cub fan that’s had his fill of seeing the Cubs trade for injured and rehabbing players.

      The Cubs need to change their logo to a Red Cross.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I wouldn’t trade for will Middlebrooks unless it was a serious by-low to the point is was “meh” ok prospect. Maybe nothing even in our top 20

  • Adarecub

    Why do you pinch hit for a guy who’s gone 2 for 3

  • North Side Irish

    Futures Game ‏@MLBFutures 4m
    First #FuturesFinalists update: World: Baez (@Cubs) 40%; Correa (@Astros) 36%; Odor (@Rangers) 12; Choi (@Mariners) 7; Nunez (@Athletics) 5

    • Coop

      I think I voted about 50 times earlier today…

      • Crockett

        Just dropped 100 votes on Mr Baez…

  • G2Ellis

    Yes Baez is in front right now I’d love to see him play and hit a HR than walk 3 times

  • cubchymyst

    I saw this on another site earlier, and I liked it so much I’m going to use it.

    Brett, you are like an internet Brita filter for the Cubs. You take all of the baseball information out there and filter down to the good stuff about the cubs. Keep posting information and people will keep coming by to read it.

  • mak

    Is it totally a foregone conclusion that Garza won’t resign?

    • willis

      I don’t think the cubs want to give him in a new contract what he wants. In that case they are going to try and maximize him in a trade, trying to get something for him. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is.

  • #1lahairfan

    I don’t think the Red Sox would sell low on Middlebrooks.

    Would love to have him though.

  • nkniacc13

    So when does the Garza trade watch get to the point that its a distraction to the players ie like Marmol was a distraction. I know its 2 completely different situations in a way but hoyer did say part of the reason they made the move with marmol is because it became a distraction

    • Carew

      Marmol was a distraction for the entire team, and organization, based on crap performance and trying to move him for months. I doubt a couple weeks (possibly) of trade talk would be a distraction.

    • Voice of Reason

      A distraction?

      The cubs are terrible and will lose 95+ games.

      What would they be distracted from if they were to be distracted? Lmao

  • Die hard

    Wouldn’t a contender want Chamberlain or Hughes instead? Especially if Yanks pay some of salary which Cubs won’t as to Garza?

    • Carew

      Garza is better than Chamberlain and Hughes combined.

      • Die hard

        They have more playoff exp

        • X the Cubs Fan

          Garza has AL championship series MVP if im not mistaken.

          • DarthHater


          • Rebuilding

            Yes. And he pitched Games 3 and 6 behind Shields and Price. Facts

    • nkniacc13

      aren’t they both FA after the year? If so they could be Cubs targets?

  • Jim

    I just hope the Cubs trade Garza before his next start! He is about due for another injury at any point now …

  • Morgan

    Keep the updates coming Brett! Last year’s trade deadline on the site was awesome and I think this year will be much more exciting.

  • WNebCub

    according to ken rosenthal the dbacks are interested in Gallardo and Shark.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      that kind of makes me smile because before the season I said if the Cubs were to trade Shark it would be to the Dbacks or Mariners.

      • AD

        Wed have to get one of Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs, plus Matt Davidson or Chris Owings, David Holmberg and another top twenty prospect.

        • someday…2015?

          I love Shark but Archie Bradley, Matt Davidson, David Holmberg, and Jake Barrett would be tough to pass up. Hard to imagine the Dbacks getting that desperate though. It’s much more likely we see them go after Gallardo who would be much cheaper then Shark.

          • AD

            Those are advanced guys that could turn around the ship much quicker. Shark is a proven talent however so it would be a tough call.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          what about Bradley, Delgado, Davidson, Holmberg and Tony Campana for Shark

          • AD

            Tony would probably make the deal unfair!

            • X the Cubs Fan

              I figured he put it over the top…

              • AD

                If we could get three quality and advanced pitchers it would be tough. If we arent going to compete next year why waste Shark’s effort?

                • X the Cubs Fan

                  it wouldn’t necessarily be a waste but I see what you mean.

                  • AD

                    You’re right, not a waste, but that’s another 200 innings for a guy a bad team. At age 28 you figure he’s got 5-10 years of good pitching yet. Plus he threw relatively few innings early in his career. You really have to believe in the talent your getting back if you choose to trade him.