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stoveJust a little bit to keep your Saturday rollin’ …

  • Interest in Alfonso Soriano – by the media, if not other teams – continues to tick upward, with a large piece on Soriano and crosstown outfield trade target Alex Rios by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick discusses the Pirates’ need for an outfield bat, though it seems they’re more interested in a lefty than a righty (Crasnick mentions Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus). I will be interested to see whether there is an uptick in DeJesus rumors if he returns even a couple days before the Trade Deadline. Outside of the injury, he’s a known quantity on a team-friendly deal (with a $6.5 million option for 2014). Presumably, if team’s are confident in his health, even if he hasn’t played much in July, it remains possible that he could be dealt.
  • Bruce Levine reports that “multiple teams” are calling the Cubs about Kevin Gregg and James Russell, the Cubs’ two most attractive reliever. The former is a free agent after the season and is in his mid-30s, making him a fairly certain trade piece. Russell, 27, is under team control for two more years after this one, and is cheap and effective. The Cubs could use Russell just about as much as any other team, so I’d expect any asking price on him to be quite high.
  • Speaking of lefty relievers, the Boston Red Sox picked one up from the White Sox last night. The Red Sox got 36-year-old Matt Thornton for 22-year-old AA outfield prospect Brandon Jacobs and a bunch of salary relief (they’re picking up most of the $3.5 million Thornton is owed the rest of this year). Jacobs was a top 15 organizational prospect to most services coming into the season, so it looks like a nice return for the White Sox, even if Jacobs appears to have some serious flaws in his game (and was/is going to be Rule 5 eligible this year). Thornton, who comes with a probably-to-be-declined $6 million option, has been a consistently good reliever who is increasingly able to dominate lefties. His overall performance is in something of a decline, however, since peaking around 2009. I tend to think this was a pretty nice price for an older, declining, rental reliever. Can’t hurt the Cubs when shopping Gregg or Russell, each of whom would net more than a Jacobs.
  • Does the Thornton deal take the Red Sox out of the reliever market? I tend to doubt it. They were looking before lefty Andrew Miller got hurt, so all they’ve done is patch that hole.
  • An anonymous GM tells Jon Heyman that, while Matt Garza is the best immediate impact pitcher on the market, the best long-term value is Bud Norris. Maybe because he offers team control, but color me unconvinced about the performance. Norris, 28, has his FIP under 4 this year for the first time in his career. (Of course, Garza’s only done it once before this year, so … )
  • Tobias

    Arizona is desperate for any back of the end bullpen help. Bell/Hernandez/Putz have given up 13 HRs and have the most blown saves. I could see a Kevin Gregg for Adam Eaton trade. A.J. Pollock has been very good for Arizona and Eaton would be expendable. I’m not sure how people would feel about this trade or would people like to see more for Gregg.

    • HackAttack

      Would love that trade for the Cubs. Can’t see Arizona even considering it for a second.

      • Tobias

        I live out in Arizona and was watching the game that was Eaton’s first game back and Brenly and Bertheume was wondering how they would play Eaton with Pollock playing so well.

        • Rebuilding

          And not to pile on too much but this is one reason I’m glad we got Bob Brenley as far away from this organization as possible. He’s an old school, the game is grit kind of guy – probably based on his own playing career. You can’t sit Pollock based on his career line of: 254/300/417 for a guy in Eaton who put up 247/382/412 last year? Ok, Bob

          • Cub Style

            Sample Size. Sample Size. Sample Size.

            • Rebuilding

              What does that mean? Look at their minor league numbers – Eaton is obviously a far superior hitter. He had a .450 OBA in over 1300 minor league at-bats and has consistently ranked ahead of Pollock as a prospect. Pollock is one year older and had this career minor league slash: 303/354/418 compared to Eaton’s 348/450/501. These two guys aren’t even comparable as hitters

              • DocPeterWimsey

                heh, an OBP that is greater than someone else’s SLG is pretty telling all by itself!

    • Alex

      I think anyone would jump at trading for Adam eaton. But we’re talking about their lead off and center fielder of the future for the next decade. No way he’s dealt for a reliever, or anything short of garza or smardzija for that matter.

    • Rebuilding

      Silly. Eaton looks to be their starting CF for the next 10 years. The guy had a career .450 OBP in the minors (!). Pollock is at best a fringe starter and probably is a 4th or 5th OF. Parra has a better chance of stealing playing time from Eaton than Pollock.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Well, look at what the Sox gave up to get Thornton. Now, there was salary relief involved, but the Cubs cannot expect to do too much better for Gregg. Eaton is way, way out of reach.

  • Timmy

    Big prediction: we trade Castro by the market.

    • TheoHoyer

      I highly doubt that.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    I think Rios is more of a thorn in the Cubs side than Peavy. If Texas wants Rios, that will kill ANY chance of them taking Soriano.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sure. But that doesn’t mean they won’t still want Garza. We don’t know for sure that Soriano would go to Texas anyway.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        At this point, I’m just being greedy. Soriano+Garza to Texas could (in MY head anyway) bring back a few Top 50 guys. Who knows what’s in Sori’s head as far as acceptable landing spots. I would think warm weather and an extreme hitters park, in a city he is familiar with, would be something he considers.

  • Abe Froman

    Jacobs has some troubling k numbers, the Red Sox may have generally soured on him, not sure I would like that as a main piece of a Gregg deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Given the money situation – as in, Gregg doesn’t really make any – I think the Cubs can do much better. That’s the idea there.

      • Abe Froman

        Sweet, thanks Brett, on pins and needles until the next trade. I regress into a childlike giddiness during the trade deadline.

  • Tobias

    Paul Sullivan tweeted that the Cubs claimed Cole Gillespie from SF. Any thoughts?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      My thoughts:
      1- I can’t wait for the day the Cubs don’t need to pick up bad players no one else wants, and
      2- Could mean a major league outfielder or two could be moving.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Or,( in my best Die hardian voice):

        3). He’s the ‘player to named early’ in a Garza trade.

        • DarthHater

          But the Cubs already acquired Borbon as the first step of a trade of Garza to Texas. they can’t do that twice for the same guy, can they? :-o

          • Mr. B. Patient

            In Die hard’s world? Yes. Yes they can.

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_spCP3JtxOPc/S2RY_NMbkEI/AAAAAAAABUE/Dbim30NAoJo/s400/285-13.jpg[/img]

              • Rebuilding

                Awesome

      • Cyranojoe

        How do you pick someone off the waiver wire that the original team actually wants?

        • Mick

          Gun to the head might work?

        • Mr. B. Patient

          I’m talking about not NEEDING castoffs.

  • Deacon

    Meh. Don’t see the need for him (unless Cubs think they’ll deal DeJesus, Soriano and Scheirholtz and run out of outfielders).

    • Rcleven

      All ready run out of outfielders. There is no one at AAA right now to fill in if there is another injury. Remember Scheirholtz was another SF castoff.

  • Rebuilding

    Chris Davis is up to 36 HRs now. He’s got an outside chance to get to 70

    • Rebuilding

      It’s too bad my first though is that he must have found some new, undetectable form of HGH. People just don’t get this much better do they?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Well, Davis was always someone that people thought had the power to produce a lot. However, he was really hampered by a bad batting eye: prior to this year, he had a 5:1 K:BB ratio. This year, his walks are way up (nearly double the rate of last year) while his K rate is also up. As of yesterday, 181 of his 385 PAs have been “true” outcomes: HR, walks or K’s.

        So, it looks like Davis might be waiting an extra split second and then unleashing an even harder swing when he decides to swing. HR goes up, BB goes up and K goes up. (And the fielders fall asleep!)

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