stoveThe Trade Deadline is 20 days away. Feels like it’s about 20 hours away.

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke to the media yesterday about, among other things, the trade market. He did his duty. “There’s obviously a lot of incoming phone calls,” Hoyer said, per Cubs. “There’s a lot about Matt [Garza], obviously, but a lot about other players on the team, too. I think in general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel there’s a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well, and a lot of our individual players are playing well. I think that’s a big part of it.” You hear that, other teams? The Cubs are getting lots of calls on their inventory. Act fast before it’s all gone!
  • Hoyer also noted that those of us on the outside of the negotiation chamber probably tend to overstate the impact of hot streaks leading up to the Trade Deadline. “For the most part, the ups and downs of a player probably impact the trade deadline less than people think,” Hoyer said, per CSN. “They still have a lot of scouting reports. They still have stats from before. So I think when a guy gets hot, sometimes it gets overblown how much it effects his trade value. The trade value might waver a hair, but I don’t think it’s going to waver too much.” I tend to think that a two-week hot streak – even a ridiculous one like Alfonso Soriano is on – won’t bump up a guy’s value in the sense that you get a much better prospect than you would have without the streak. But I do think it tends to prevent teams that were otherwise interested from losing interest, and could spur a team to move when they might otherwise not (even if it doesn’t directly increase the value of the return in that move).
  • Speaking of Soriano, Dayn Perry thinks this might finally be the time that the Cubs are able to deal him. Perry looks at some of the candidates for Soriano’s services, and there are several teams that could . The nice thing about Soriano is that, because of his contract, if the Cubs don’t find a taker by the Deadline, they’ll confidently be able to deal him in August, because it’s not like he won’t clear waivers.
  • Although I’m not sure I buy it, Ruben Amaro is apparently telling teams that not only are the Phillies not selling, they are interesting in buying. The Phillies are 6.5 back of the second Wild Card, and 7.5 back in the NL East. If the Phillies actually want to buy, they could definitely use a bat like Alfonso Soriano. For my part, I’d just like to see them not sell Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon. That would be plenty to keep me satisfied.
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Yankees are pushing hard to move reliever Joba Chamberlain, an impending free agent who has fallen out of favor with the organization. Although he’s not a big piece, he would impact the reliever market, so his movements will be worth tracking. Jon Heyman says the same thing about Phil Hughes, and all of the same stuff applies (as a starting pitcher). On Hughes, although he makes no sense for the Cubs as a rental, I remain intrigued by him as a possible free agent target. But I guess we’ll get to that in November.
  • Jonah Keri takes a look at how the possible Biogenesis suspensions could impact the various playoff races as well as the trade market. It’s not difficult to connect the dots to some Cubs pieces if guys like Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, or Gio Gonzalez are suspended (not that they all are going to be, as each of the last three have possible outs).
  • Here’s hoping the Royals stay in playoff contention over the next two weeks, because a scout tells Danny Knobler that if the Royals made Ervin Santana available, he’d command a steeper price than even Matt Garza. I’m not sure I’d go that far, given that a great deal of Santana’s 2.90 ERA this year is attributable to an extremely low BABIP (.252 – 30 points lower than his career mark) and an extremely high LOB% (81.3% – almost 10 points higher than his career mark). That’s probably why his FIP is a run higher than his ERA (though, to his credit, his walk rate is down considerably this year, and his K rate is up). Nevertheless, he’d be a nice rental option on the market, offering a back-up plan to teams who find the asking price on Garza to be exorbitant. The Royals are currently six games behind the AL Central-leading Tigers, and even further back in the Wild Card. I don’t think they have a chance, but hopefully they aren’t willing to accept that just yet.
  • That same scout – based on the quote, I’m guessing – talked to Knobler about the whole of the pitching market, and, among other things, confirms that he, too, sees Garza as the best known to be available. The scout isn’t all that high on Yovani Gallardo or Bud Norris.
  • The Indians promoted pitching prospect Danny Salazar (drool over the track record) today, and he is looking ridiculously good early against the Blue Jays. If you’re the Indians and want(ed) Matt Garza, what does Salazar succeeding in, say, a few July starts do for your plans? Well, on the one hand, Cubs fans will say, “duuuude, I totally want that guy for Garza,” and the Indians would surely have done a good job of making Salazar look like an attractive trade chip (indeed, some think these kind of call-ups for MLB-ready talent is all about showcasing). On the other hand, might they just decide to take their chances with a potential superstar? Who’s to say that Salazar can’t be better than Garza over the next couple months, to say nothing of the next six years. Remember that when you get excited about the next great young player who looks like a trade chip. Sometimes teams would simply be better off keeping that dude. (As for Salazar, specifically … well, yeah, I’m sure the Cubs are interested.)
  • dash

    Soriano’s value may be about to skyrocket with MLB about to announce a list of guys getting PED suspensions.

    • Jay

      Considering Soriano didn’t do squat all year until he finally got hot a few weeks ago, that streak was highly necessary. But even if they ANNOUNCE suspensions, there’s going to be all kinds of appeals that’ll take a while—I doubt it affects playing time this year.

      And also, Joba’s a total goon—not surprised the Yankees are done with him.

      • BIg Joe

        The Yanks have been looking to move him since the story of his verbal dust up with Mariano Rivera surfaced. I don’t blame them.

  • ssckelley


  • Patrick G

    I’m not sure Hughes makes sense for the Cubs. I watch him alot for the Yanks and is a fly ball pitcher in a small Yankee stadium. I don’t see him succeeding at wrigley and will demand a pretty high penny. As for Salazar, I just wrote in the message boards, I’m watching his start now and looks awesome. Would love him in a Garza swap and have said it all year

  • B_Scwared

    I agree that hot streaks won’t dramatically sway the market in most instances. However, with Soriano I think prior to this streak teams could have been trying to buy him on the cheap, with an argument that he was regressing significantly, and that argument may have been valid. This hot streak has gotten his value up to par with his production from last year.

    • ssckelley

      Yeah I agree, you mean the prospect you offer for a guy hitting .240 with 7 home runs is the same prospect you will get for someone who is now hitting .264 with 15 homers? Results are everything in baseball, before the hot streak there was not much trade talk surrounding Soriano at all.

    • EQ76

      Soriano’s whole career has been hot/cold streaks.. bottom line, with Sori you’re getting around a .250/30/100 (or close to that) hitter. That’s worth a lot to me. It floors me that the Cubs can pay most of his salary and still can’t seem to move him for a decent prospect. Shoot, don’t trade him if you can’t get a decent return.. right now he is one of our only 2 run producers in the lineup.

      • praying the cubs get ready to win

        I agree. If we don’t get much for Sori keep him. His 250 BA and 30 HRs and 100 RBIs are still near the top by year end.

      • LWeb23

        Just a general thought… Not that this team is gonna win a championship with Soriano, but I think players like Soriano are not the type you try and build a championship team with. I love Soriano and he’s a great player and all, but you can’t have hot/cold streaky players if you want to win in October. It’s way too risky to have a player like him go 4-25 with 10 K’s in a given series.

  • Hawkeye

    Couple of questions for you and the peanut gallery. #1) I saw somebody mention in the comments this morning that the Cubs may delay trade talks until after the supposed Biogensis suspensions are announced in an effort to maximize their return in a deal to a desperate team? #2) Where to you fall on announcing the suspensions before/after the ASG? You don’t want to overshadow the game with news of a handful of players that can’t play now due to a suspension. You also would probably prefer to not risk the ASG being decided by players that are going to be suspended a week later. Would look bad if home field advantage was decided based upon some players that were cheating.

    Appreciate your thoughts, and as always, don’t ever stop doing what your doing. BN is a great site!

    • Hawkeye

      RE #1) Forgot to actually ask my question. Any truth to those thoughts?

      • MichiganGoat

        The idea that a team is waiting for the suspension to rain down is just educated connect-the-dots. If the Rangers are going to lose Cruz… Soriano is more valuable, if A’s lose Colon… Garza, etc. etc.

        • willis

          I think it’s a smart strategy if there is confirmation that these names/suspensions will be handed out before July 31. Kind of a game of roulette but I’d be holding my cards right now.

          • Hcs

            Wait, you’re playing roulette with cards? No wonder I always lose.

            • DarthHater

              I’d be betting everything on a dark horse to come up snake eyes.

              • willis

                Double gambling reference…I have problems.

  • davidalanu

    One thing in regard to Soriano’s hot streak. While a hot streak in general may not bump a player’s trade value normally, for an older guy like Soriano, I think it’s important for teams to see that he’s still capable of such a streak. If it’s a younger guy with a track record, yeah, you figure things to even out. But someone who’s on the downside of his career, it’s got to be good for teams to see that he can still carry a club offensively.

  • Crockett

    My friend from Minnesota texted me a bit ago saying that it now seems like Garza won’t be gone today and maybe not before the All-star break. Whatever chatter was out there apparently cooled off. Kind of irritated he won’t give me any details.

    • Whiteflag

      It’s cool just to know someone.

  • CubFan Paul

    Knobler’s scout wasn’t too high on Phil Hughes either…

    Its not a surprise the scout isn’t high on mediocre NL types. Gallardo isn’t the ace the media wants him to be and Bud is ..Bud.

    • YourResidentJag

      Would the Royals be willing to sell on Shields, though. That’s the question.

  • SenorGato

    I’m not uninterested in Chamberlain if he hits the FA market this year. Only issue withhim is injuries, but healthy he is on the extreme end of talented.

    Hughes is a guy who can improve outside of that bandbox but his fastball is Mila Kunis’ ass level flat. It can have some good pop at 92-94 when he locates it well, but it does not sink oranything. I don’t get how he doesn’t have a cutter yet. His curveball can get swings ans misses. I canpicture the Cards signing him for two years and making it worthwhile.

    • SenorGato

      Actually Hughes does have a cutter, but I’m not sure he uses it much.

  • Cub Style

    I want Lindor. Will we get Lindor? Probably not. But, I want him.

    • davidalanu

      Funny thing is, I have a friend who is a huge Indian’s fan. Stopped by to see him yesterday and said “man, I can’t believe the Cubs got Lindor from the Indian’s for Garza”. He just about blew an eyeball, until I finally told him I was joking.

  • someday…2015?

    Wouldn’t it be dangerous to rely on the biogenisis suspensions to up value of guys like Garza and Soriano? I mean couldn’t the guilty players all appeal and carry the process way past the end of the season, not missing any games this year? If that’s the case I would say Theo and Jed are playing a very dangerous game.

  • Coop

    I don’t get the Ervin Santana > Matt Garza at all. That sounds nuts.

    • Rebuilding

      As much as I think Garza is sometimes overvalued here, he seems to be just as undervalued by the national media for some reason

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Ervin Santana has allowed 7 ER in 4.2 IP and is responsible for two riunners!

  • sclem21

    Wait…I can’t tell if you’re saying Salazar is a potential superstar? Parks has said odds are against him even sustaining a career in a rotation…and has inconsistent secondaries. Plus the whole 6’0” RHP thing. Hes only thrown over 100 innings in a season once to this point…

    He obviously looked good today against a bunch of hitters unfamiliar with him but compared to some of the other headliners I’ve heard rumored re: Garza return package, Salazar just doesn’t get me all that excited.

    Not to say that you suggested he would be the only piece in a deal for Garza…I was just surprised at how much you seemed to love him.

    • Brett

      I was making a broader point about young talents using Salazar as the opening. I’m not really making much of a point about Salazar, specifically, other than his numbers look crazy good, his performance today was crazy good, and he’s the type of guy the Cubs probably would want in a package.

  • Harry Ramirez

    Garza for Trevor Bauer or Tyler Skaggs would make me proud.

    • YourResidentJag

      Again, I think if the Red Sox aren’t players, the Phillies and Biddle would be just as solid as Bauer.

      • On The Farm

        A lot of people like Biddle. Just for a frame of reference for me, last winter the Phils traded Trevor May to the Twins, how comparable is May to Biddle in terms of talent. I know May was the top pitching prospect for the Phils before the trade.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    Yu Darvish has been DL’d!

    • On The Farm

      Saw that this morning, it definitely weakens Texas’ poker face.

  • Rebuilding

    Pierce Johnson with another great outing for Daytona today. Between him and Cabrera (who goes for Tenn tonight) we finally have some pitching prospects to get excited about (still not sold on Hendricks but would love to be wrong)

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Im excited about Pierce’d & Cabrera, also!

    • ssckelley

      Not sure on Hendricks either but he has been successful at every minor league level so far. I would not be surprised to see him pitching in Chicago by the end of next season.

    • Jason P

      Paul Blackburn’s put himself up there as well with his performance in the Northwest league. Hopefully with his polish he can move up the ladder more quickly than your typical 19-year-old prospect.

      Then you have the 2 wildcards Vizcaino and Paniagua; if those 2 figure it out, then your suddenly looking at a system with 5 pretty decent starting/closing pitching prospects.

      • Rebuilding

        Yep. Really interested to hear reports on Paniagua. Maybe I missed it but is Vizcaino throwing at all? Sure has been a looooooong recovery

        • Peter

          Sure has been, he is probably a wash, I doubt he will ever contribute in a meaningful way to the team. The next Guzman, will pitch 1 or 2 seasons and be done.

          • Lou Brown

            Way too early to make that call. He had to have a bone chip removed from his elbow. That’s a fairly common TJ complication.I think he is scheduled to start throwing in August.

        • willis

          I haven’t heard a peep since he went down for that elbow surgery about what…6 weeks ago? It doesn’t look promising. At this point if he can contribute anything to the bullpen by 2015 or so I’ll be happy.

          No wonder the Braves were willing to dump him for Maholm. Maholm is doing work for them too. This dude is damaged goods.

          • MoneyBoy

            what a fool !!!!

        • Jason P

          He had a follow-up procedure to the initial TJS to remove calcium buildup in his elbow.

          I’d assume he’s rehabbing in Arizona, but then again, I don’t really know. The initial report said the Cubs don’t expect him to be with the big club at any point this season.

          Hopefully he gets into some sort of minor league action this year, though. He still is only 22.

      • ssckelley

        I have to say the Cubs are getting a nice group of pitching prospects to get excited about. It seems like only yesterday the only pitcher we talked about was Trey McNutt.

        • RD

          Did I miss a Dolis injury a while back? Where has he been?

  • Andrew Korb

    that would be awesome

  • mybrettjacksonhat

    A friend sat right behind home plate for the Cleveland-Toronto game today. Not adding much but he texted that Salazar looked great and had a ton of movement on his pitches. He was very impressed by the performance. I’ll see him tonight (beer night!!!) and see if he has anything else to add.

  • Jono

    (I’m not going to disagree with Hoyer, so I’ll start my this post carefully worded) I’m surpised to be wrong about Soriano’s hot streak increasing his trade value. My take was that his current hot streak acts to confirm that he will indeed go through his usual mid-year improvement and that teams should expect him to produce similiar numbers from last year. Before the hot streak, a team could down play his value that he’s on the decline and won’t do what he did in 2012. But this streak merely acts to confirm that his 2012 should look like his 2012. Again, I’m surpsised to be wrong about that b/c I would never disagree with Hoyer about his player’s trade value

    • Jono

      ugh, you know what I mean, sorry about the typos

      • Bilbo161

        I agree. Sori is just getting hot with the warm weather as usual. Though his heating up does not move his trade value much for those who know him, it does make GMs more comfortable that he hasn’t regressed from old age (so to speak). Soriano was t kidding about not wanting to go to SF due to the weather. He hits well in the heat! Texas anyone?

  • Lou Brown

    I saw Zastryzny is scheduled to start for Boise tonight. Will it will be a regular start, or just an inning or two? I know they like to go light on the college arms in their first year.

    • ssckelley

      I doubt he pitches very many innings. He only pitched 1 inning in his last appearance.

  • North Side Irish

    Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 11m
    Ten years ago today: Mark Prior flips over, lands on shoulder in baserunning collision with Marcus Giles. Stays in game. #TimeFlies

    Big day in recent Cubs history…

    • JB88

      And I was at that game. What an odd one. I think the Cubs were up 6-0 at the time and Baker still trotted Prior out the next inning. It was unreal that he did that, even at the time all the fans were questioning the move.

      • Crockett

        Good ol’ Dusty. He’ll rip Bailey’s arms off his body shortly.

        • Diamond Don

          I still believe Dusty’s mismanagement of the Cub’s pitching staff had more to do with loss to the Marlins in NLCS than Bartman, the Goat hex, or the shortstop’s error. He completely blew it by saving his starters for the World Series, which they never got to. Every other manager plays to win that game six including bringing in starting pitchers in relief to win the game. Dusty doesn’t know how to do this.

  • jim

    Bryant signed 2hrs ago 6.7 mill

    • ssckelley

      WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • North Side Irish

      Still pending approval from Alderman Tunney…

      • Jono

        haha, good one

      • Indy57

        Ok…that’s good! Made my day.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone see the front page of the sports section in the Tribune this morning? It had a giant picture of miguel alfredo Gonzalez on it, for Phil Rogers column.

    • Jono

      yep. It was pretty awesome. I’m glad they’re highlighting some of these moves that the more casual Cubs fan might not notice otherwise. It gets old hearing Cubs fans not know anything about the organization outside of the 25 man roster

      • AlwaysNextYear

        Did they sign him. I’m pretty sure they have not.

        • Jono

          From the article: “The U.S. government is close to clearing Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to sign a contract. He’s 26 and scouts consider him capable of helping a big league team almost immediately, which is why the Cubs might offer him $10 million per for four or five years, the same type of commitment they were willing to make for Ryu before the Dodgers outbid them.”

          I though I read about it being unofficially a done deal that he’d sign with the Cubs, but this article makes it seem like there’s still competition for him. Maybe I was getting players confused. Maybe Brett could clarify a little? Here’s a link to the article, you have to scroll down a little, it starts off about Bryant

    • On The Farm

      I just hope with his middle name being alfredo the Cubs add a pasta option at Wrigley. I bet the Landmark commision would have something to say about it though

  • AlwaysNextYear

    Gotcha yeah he has not signed yet and if he signs with anybody besides the Dodgers I think most people will be shocked.

  • DarthHater
  • Jason

    I am all about trading off pieces for future talent and haven’t complained about a move all year… Although you all will probably disagree I want to keep Soriano. We’ve paid him all of these years, he and the young guys seem to be having fun together, and he appears to have climbed to #60 on the all time HR list the right way- at a time when many were taking PED’s. let alone he has been making the games watchable! Let him retire a Cubby and be one for life. His smile wouldn’t be a bad one to have around at Cubs conventions!!!

    • King Jeff

      I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping Soriano around, especially if all they get in return would be salary relief and a borderline prospect.

  • Die hard

    Phillies need backup catcher, IF, OF and SP— Barney would be perfect for a Sandberg project

    • King Jeff

      Absolutely, then Sandberg can teach him to play all of those positions too. Match made in heave!

      • Die hard

        Ha– Sandberg would have him hitting like did in college which is enuf with fielding to make All Star team 2014

  • Die hard

    Garza to Oakland for 3 conditional PTBNL and Cubs pay balance of 2013 salary and Garza FA at end of season with Cubs agreeing not to sign him

    • DarthHater

      Hey, Die hard, we found you a perfect avatar. You should use it:


    • TWC

      Words. You typed words. Good for you.