Lukewarm Stove: The Biogenesis Wait, Padres, Marlins, Schierholtz, Gregg, Soriano, More

stoveI really hope MLB announces/leaks/whatevers the Biogenesis suspensions by the end of this week to help clarify the trade market. I say that not as a fan of a selling team (although, yes, mass suspensions on contending teams would probably help the Cubs), but instead as someone trying to track trade rumors. Until there is relative certainty on the Biogenesis stuff, it’s hard for teams to make moves. The trickling effect isn’t difficult to imagine: say the A’s really like Yovani Gallardo, but don’t want to make a move until they know what’s up with Bartolo Colon’s possible suspension. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks kinda like Matt Garza and would be ready to offer the best package, but they won’t do it until they know that the same package won’t land them Gallardo. And the Brewers aren’t going to move Gallardo until they know if they can get that one special, awesome prospect they’ve always wanted from the A’s. That’s not only a plausible example, it’s a tiny, tiny circuit when compared to how extended this trickle could become. I want clarity, and, for that reason, I’m quite certain all of the buyers and sellers out there want clarity, too.

  • He sat the last two days before the All-Star break to get a full week’s rest, but Nate Schierholtz remains a popular name in trade circles discussing available outfielders. “Multiple sources” tell TribLive that the Pirates are checking in on Schierholtz in their pursuit of an outfield bat. My position on Schierholtz remains unchanged: if he can net you a very good prospect/player, or he can supplement a bigger trade and turn a package of so-so prospects into a package of elite prospects, then, sure, make a deal. But short of that, he’s under control through 2014, will make a very reasonable salary next year, and has taken quite well both to platooning and Wrigley. The Cubs don’t have a ton of starting-caliber outfielders ready to break through by the start of 2014, so there’s just no rush here.
  • It’s been a long time – well, a long time in rumor season days – since the Padres were “surprising” and “competitive” and “buying.” Danny Knobler reports that they’ve now swung completely in the other direction, and are ready to sell.* The big name that could mean is Chase Headley (no, I don’t see a fit with the Cubs for the reason I’ve said before: Headley doesn’t help the Cubs for the rest of 2013, even if he would in 2014. Because he doesn’t offer the Cubs value in 2013 (i.e., they aren’t playoff contenders), but does offer that value – hugely – to other teams), other teams will rightly be willing to pay much more for him. Where the Padres selling does affect the Cubs, however, is if they make Edinson Volquez (a cheap rental, though largely ineffective) or relievers Huston Street or Luke Gregerson available. Those latter two would command serious attention, even if it’s a down year for both.
  • *Another exemplary reminder of how difficult it is to peg the market in early July, let alone mid-June. And buyers – the legit ones – know this. They frequently would rather wait to buy until late July when there might be more players on the market. This is why a team like the Cubs, even if they for certain want to sell in June or early July can’t always pull it off. You’ve got to have a developed market for it to work.
  • As one team comes onto the market, one team might come off (kinda). That team would be the Marlins, per Joe Frisaro, who are now sending signals that they don’t want to trade any of their younger/cost-controlled players, including Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn. No one thought Stanton would be traded this year anyway (though this report, coupled with one from Danny Knobler, suggests the Marlins won’t trade him this Winter, either), and the Cubs don’t really have a competing piece on the market for Morrison, so there’s no impact there. But if Cishek and Dunn aren’t available, that helps the reliever market for the Cubs.
  • It doesn’t sounds like scouts trust Kevin Gregg as a sure-fire closer for contenders, given that, when asked by Danny Knobler, the listed on Jonathan Papelbon as a reliable closer that might be available (forget that Papelbon has blown 5 of 25 save opportunities this year … (ok, that’s a little unfair, because he actually has been dominant, though his strikeout rate is way down)). Gregg’s tough two games against the Cardinals on national TV the last two days probably haven’t helped.
  • Speaking of Papelbon and the Phillies, with Ben Revere going down with a broken foot, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is openly admitting that they’ll look for a center fielder in trade. Too bad David DeJesus has been out, and that Ryan Sweeney broke his rib. Not sure either of them would have been a perfect fit, but desperation is always welcomed by sellers in late July.
  • Ken Rosenthal suspects that scouts from the Pirates, Orioles, and Tigers could have been looking at Cubs relievers this weekend, rather than, for example, Matt Garza.
  • Jon Heyman was on the Score this morning, and, among other things, he said that there should be more interest in Alfonso Soriano than there is, and that the Cubs would likely focus on the prospect return, rather than just saving money. That last bit could ease the fears of folks who had heard Ken Rosenthal’s thoughts on the Cubs’ priorities in a Matt Garza deal

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

295 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: The Biogenesis Wait, Padres, Marlins, Schierholtz, Gregg, Soriano, More”

  1. Jason Powers

    Since the Cards left, here’s a video to watch to remember better times:

    I watched it on NBC and it was as awesome a game could be those last 5 innings were the Cubs calling card for the rest of the regular season.

    1. Jason Powers

      The most famous softball game – 23 to 22 Phils over Cubs. – 19:35 Kingman hits one to Milwaukee!

  2. NotAssman22

    Good but not great

    1. Scott

      How many players? Are they prospects or MLB ready players?

    2. Dr. Leroy Quackenbush

      Are we going to meltdown? Should I just start now?

      1. Crockett

        I’m already melting down.

      2. Rebuilding

        There will be a meltdown from some since we won’t get Skaggs and Bradley. For some perspective: Edwin Jackson xFIP 3.74 Garza 3.87. ZIPS has Jackson projected to have a better 2nd half than Garza based on peripherals and his contract is a lot less than a Garza extension

    3. nkniacc13

      we still looking at 4-5 prospects from texas in this deal?

  3. Rebuilding

    Not sure if anyone has posted this but Bucholz had some soreness after his bullpen session today and is not ready for his rehab assignment per the Boston Globe

  4. Die hard

    Cubs may throw in Coleman if team takes Soriano and one year of salary in exchange for conditional PTBNL

  5. NotAssman22

    From what I’ve heard it’s gonna involve at least 8 players maybe 9 with 5 good players coming our way

    1. Crockett

      Wow. Garza, Schierholtz, Gregg/Russell, and prospect for 3 prospects and 2 guys on an MLB roster.

      That’s my guess.

    2. Carew

      Hints on who the return is?

  6. jeff1969

    Assman, if you are close with getting this one right I’m gonna email you a dollar!

  7. NotAssman22

    Get that dollar ready because all I have to say is OMG!! If this happens it will be even bigger than I thought in my first post!!!

    1. Carew

      Dude. You’re getting me excited, and we would still have to wait a couple days

    2. Rebuilding

      If the Mets are involved please give me some Montero or Syndergaard

    3. willis

      Teaser…this isn’t fair. Give hints…

    4. Mr. B. Patient

      Hell, I’ll throw in 2 dollars if the Cubs return is OMG….

    5. Jason Powers

      Does it involve LA ‘we make it rain’ Dodgers?

  8. NotAssman22

    Not even close Crockett

    1. Crockett

      Good. When I’m close, it’s a nightmare.

  9. NotAssman22

    No Mets, NL East, West or Central team. And no Toronto or rangers

    1. Cyranojoe

      Red Sox make the most sense at that point. I think. Mostly because the FO knows ‘em…?

    2. willis

      So, AL central and AL west, no rangers. I’m sniffing Oakland or Cleveland here

      1. willis

        Forgot about AL east…add red sox

    3. Crockett

      So that leaves the Indians as the main name we’ve been hearing. Or maybe the Tigers (they like to be stealthy…remember the Miguel Cabrera deal) or the A’s.

    4. CC

      I think this an imposter Ass. Far too conversational compared to previous Assman posts…

      1. Carew

        now that you mention it…

    5. TonyP


    6. Jason Powers

      Will the assman cometh true?

  10. nkniacc13

    then I say Indians or A’s

  11. Mike F

    Washington, LA, or Arizona and St. Louis……

  12. jeff1969

    Assman, you don’t have to confirm or deny this but I have been thinking Cleveland for a couple of weeks. Bauer, then that new pitcher who just debuted whose name I forgot, possibly Chisenhall…just thinking.

    1. Cyranojoe

      Oh, Cleveland, yeah, that’s doable.

  13. jeff1969

    I agree about Assman talking more & being way less cryptic. But it’s still fun! He’s got us on the hook.

  14. nkniacc13

    Isnt Cleveland one of the teams that want to try an work out an extension?

  15. nkniacc13

    Hoe weird would that be if Garza went to Arizona and his next start is vs the Cubs

    1. Tobias

      I’m going to the Cubs/Diamondbacks game on the 22nd. I’ll be happy either way.

  16. Afinch

    Brett – how is traffic on this site compared to last year at this time with the Dempster saga? I never thought I’d be on this site as much as I was last summer but I’ve easily beaten that the last week or two.

  17. jpeck

    Yesterday. Assmn said expect a deal in 6 hrs. Some people think ass
    Is full of **it!

    1. AB

      I just think he poaches his “sources” from other places like pro sports daily.

      1. cubchymyst

        I just went over there and apparently the one guy who supplies information said Barney might get traded depending on the biogenesis outcomes.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Assman has had a very good track record. No, he’s not always correct: but he’s correct far, far more often than even a normally informed fan should be. Even when things do not turn out the way that Assman suggests, then I am pretty convinced that things must have come pretty close to turning out that way.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Sorry, that should read “a very well-informed fan should be.” The espressos are wearing off…

    3. X the Cubs fan

      he said there could be a deal

      1. jpeck

        That really narrows it down. No wonder you think he is always right. Lol. This is exactly what
        Mind readers do. Talk in generalities and let you fill in the facts. At least its fun speculation.

        1. X the Cubs fan

          How do you know it wasn’t finished and wasn’t leaked.

          1. jpeck

            What finished and what “leaked” ? He hasnt really said anything yet.

  18. Timster

    BREAKING NEWS: The Cubs trade Alphonso Soriano for Adam Dunn

    1. #23

      If you are going to type BREAKING NEWS, it should be a real trade.

      1. Timster

        BREAKING NEWS: The Cubs trade George Bell for Sammy Sosa

    2. Carew

      Also spell Alfonso’s name right

  19. NotAssman22

    [Impersonating other posters is not acceptable]

    1. Scott

      That would be an uncomfortable prediction to verify.

      1. cubchymyst

        Not necessarily, what if your checking on a hot female. No penis and the verification could be a lot of fun.

        1. Scott

          I thought Timster was just the nickname Timmy (Timmeh) gave himself.

          1. cubchymyst

            Its the internet, who knows who is what. I could be a beluga whale and no one would be the wiser.

            1. jpeck

              Call me Ishmael…..

    2. Timster

      assman must be reading ‘the sun also rises’

    3. NotBrett


  20. Timster

    BREAKING NEWS: “assman”

    1. MichiganGoat

      So now Timmy is Timpster… How GoldFinch of you

      1. Jason Powers

        Multiple personality disorder…Next Tommy Tutone!

        1. Timster

          almost funny… something more like: “timmy two-timer” or “timmy teamster” would have had more alliteration and matched the variation. though i appreciate the 80s rock references.

          1. Jason Powers

            almost? Jeez…tough to time talking to timmy the toolman taylor trade tracking temerity.

            1. Timster

              hah, toolman taylor. there you go…well done.

  21. ferris

    Id like to see alot of trades made,no reason not to next yr we wll have a ton of moey to spend on free agents……. Nate Shurhiltz to pitt for aa rhp Nick Kingham………barney and gregg to detroit for rhp drew verhagen and brenny paulino(recovering from surgery big upside poss.)……… soriano, garza, and 10mm to tx for olt, rhp ramon mendez, rhp niel ramerez, and lhp victor payano……..

    these are all realistic and our farm would be stocked……fft

    1. Nathan

      CJ Edwards instead of Payano and im down

  22. Sumpting

    I have been reading this site for years but I am getting to the point where I go elsewhere to read my cubs news because of the trolls. This has gotten ridiculous due to just a few. Brett I hope you can get this under control because you do a great job but there are other sites with less trolls and that can control them better.

    1. Timster

      you guys just bring out the best/worst in people like me and others. we try to make points and you attack people’s character then try to censor them and then call them trolls over minor disagreements. so we have a laugh, then you get upset cause no one will talk baseball with you. you live in some kind of hell of your own creation.

      1. Timster

        but actually you’re right, i’m off topic here so i’ll stop with the goofing for now.

    2. MichiganGoat

      Stick around we are just in a troll heavy period it will go down in a couple of days.

    3. mjhurdle

      having spent quite a lot of time on ESPN/SI/FoxSports game boards, i have to say that Bleacher Nation is perhaps one of the most troll-free sites i visit.
      Even the couple trolls they do have here are so amazingly obvious about it that it makes it easy to avoid.
      The quality of the posts and the knowledge of not just Brett and Luke, but also 90% of the posters here explain exactly why it is, imo, the best Cubs site on the web.
      well, that, and the fact that it is free :)

      1. someday...2015?

        Well said.

  23. NotAssman22

    Can you say Salazar, Bauer, Lee, Allen and PTBNL

    [This is your warning: stop commenting under this name. I am adding "not" to the front of your fake name, so you aren't accomplishing anything anyway. Give it up.]

    1. someday...2015?

      What?!!?!?! Don’t lie to me.

      1. MichiganGoat

        It’s a fake account

    2. bbmoney

      Ban him. Stupid fake assman.

      1. YourResidentJag

        Is that something Kramer said on Seinfeld? ;)

  24. MichiganGoat

    Guys I’m fairly certain that the Assman that has been commenting tonight is a fake account.

    1. Timster

      that would be low, even by michigan standards

    2. someday...2015?

      That package he just proposed sure makes me think so. No way we get all that.

      1. MichiganGoat

        It’s absolutely a fake Brett changed the other ones as NotAssman22

    3. Carew


    4. cubchymyst

      Well that is a disappointing revelation.

  25. jpeck

    I apologize to the real Assman, for calling this one full of **it. My belief is that the Cubs dont get nearly what most of the posters here are asking for. I think the prospects they get will be more of the high-A variety but more of them. Here is to hoping I am wrong and we get a top Prospect that is a cant miss.

  26. Abe Froman

    Have you been on ESPN lately, message boards chalk full of hate and trolls? This site has a nice community of conversation with waves of trolls, which at times can be entertaining but mostly frustrating. No one has the secret troll repellent, the trick is listening to the ones that matter, and there’s a lot of genuine, thoughtful posters on this site.

  27. Assman22

    Cubs have 7 regulars in trade proposals today…could very well be watching a completely different team from August on…

    1. gocatsgo2003

      And the intrigue/identity theft plot thickens…

    2. MichiganGoat

      Is this the real or fake Assman

      1. Luke

        This one has the ellipses addiction down pat… If it is a fake… it’s… a more intelligent one…

        1. someday...2015?

          Exactly what I was thinking Luke.

        2. Jason Powers

          Its a more intelligent one… ;) Classic line.

        3. jt

          I would expect the real assman to use the same e-mail addie as used in previous dates. If so Brett should be able to tell which witch is which?

    3. MichiganGoat

      If this is fake bring on the BANHAMMER

      1. Scott

        If it was not the real assman wouldn’t his name have be displayed as “notassman”?

        1. MichiganGoat

          That has to be changed retroactively

          1. X the Cubs fan

            Unless Brett does it…

  28. Scott


  29. Old Style

    Hopefully this year is the last big fire sale we have in decades.

    1. Jason Powers

      We don’t have much to fire sale if 8 guys go. Unless, we bring in 5-6 FAs in the 2014 FA period. That would be intriguing…

      Last night: WE set a first half record for the Cubs in most guys playing for the squad. Something like 42 guys, 23 pitchers in the first half. I’m thinking 53 will be the final body count, er, players used.

      1. hansman1982

        43 positional and 23 pitchers. 16 off of last year’s total.

        1. Jason Powers

          Yep, that’s using that 40 man roster + 15 wandering folks.

  30. Jason Powers

    Garza, Schierholtz, Gregg, Russell, Villanueva ( or DeJesus), Soriano, Navarro.

    The magnificent seven or eight.

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