Is James Russell merely a guy the Cubs are willing to listen on, or is he a piece they’re actively looking to move? Well, “other teams” tell Buster Olney that it’s the latter, and the Cubs are looking to trade Russell this month. As we’ve discussed, he certainly has trade value (cost-controlled young lefty who is effective against lefties and righties), and I doubt the Cubs would give him up without getting a nice return (or without upping the return in a Garza deal nicely).
Everything comingout of Pittsburgh has the Pirates as ready and willing to add pieces as any team in baseball (given that they’re looking to break a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons, you can understand why). Their biggest need, arguably, is a big bat for right field. The Pirates have previously been connected to Nate Schierholtz (who could platoon with Jose Tabata), but, given his cheap year of control left in 2014 and the Cubs’ lack of immediate outfield replacements, I doubt the Cubs unload him just to unload him.
The Nationals are waiting to determine the health of Ross Detwiler before making a move for a pitcher. If they do decide to go for a pitcher, Adam Kilgore suggests it will be Jake Peavy, and not Matt Garza. Given that the Nats are so far behind the Braves (to say nothing of the Wild Card), maybe that’s a reasonable position.
Speaking of Peavy versus Garza, Jon Heyman spoke to executives about which pitcher they’d prefer to add this year, and Peavy was pretty much the consensus. Although some feel like Garza is the better add for 2013, only, Peavy comes with an extra year of control (albeit an expensive one at $14.5 million; of course, if you want to extend Garza, it’ll probably cost you at least that much annually). I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that Peavy could net more in trade right now than Garza – but in a clear seller’s market, I’m not sure that Peavy’s now-healthy presence is going to damage Garza’s market too dramatically. It could cause teams to want to wait a little bit before pulling the trigger, though.
The Diamondbacks are merely at the “periphery” of any Matt Garza trade talks, per Nick Piecoro. They’d only make a move if Garza “fell” to them, with the implication being that they aren’t prepared to make a considerable offer.
Aramis Ramirez could be out for a couple weeks with a knee issue, and may no longer a realistic trade option for teams looking for a bat before the deadline. Because of his contract, though, he’ll be an August trade option. The relevance here is to comment only on the bat market – it’s one less “bat” available, regardless of position.
Some in the Tigers organization are “hopeful” that they’re the team that lands Francisco Rodriguez. He is pitching ridiculously well this year, so maybe that’s a fair position to take. If the Tigers are hoping for Rodriguez, they might not be all that interested in settling for Kevin Gregg, for example.
Remember Cuban outfield free agent Dariel Alvarez? He was the outfield complement to infielder Aledmys Diaz, in whom the Cubs had interest, but who has to wait a year before signing due to some alleged age funny business. The Cubs weren’t in on Alvarez, but I’m letting you know that he signed with the Orioles for $800,000. Why am I letting you know? It’s a reminder that not all international prospects/Cuban defectors who get media play are big timers. (Though you can usually get a rough sense – Alvarez was not expected to be a big-money guy.)
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