A rare early May Lukewarm Stove appearance …
- But there won’t be much to it, as Cubs GM Jed Hoyer reiterates the reality of May when it comes to trade rumors: it’s just not that time of year. “I certainly talk to a lot of GMs on a daily or weekly basis,” Hoyer told the media on Friday (CSN). “But having a GM call about a specific player? I’m not even sure I fielded one of those yet. Really, that trade talk always dies right at the end of Spring Training. Usually, it’s late May or early June until people sort of reconvene and start talking that way. Right now, the calls are mostly catching up and seeing how people are doing and keeping a dialogue but not specific at all.”
- At this time of year, very few teams know whether they’ll be buying or selling, let alone which pieces they’re willing to trade/wanting to acquire, let alone how to value those assets just yet. And even if you’re in the small contingent of teams that does know those things, it’s hard to make the best possible deal in such a limited market. It’s easy to talk about “jumping” the market, or selling an asset while he could provide more value in a given season, but it’s much harder to actually put that kind of May deal together.
- … but there’s still a little bit to discuss.
- The Cubs have reportedly had Dave Littlefield scouting top Blue Jays pitching prospect Marcus Stroman. You probably remember him as one of the arms the Cubs reportedly sought over the winter in a possible Jeff Samardzija deal (the Cubs reportedly asked for Stroman and Aaron Sanchez (another top 100 prospect) and a third piece for Samardzija – that’s steep). Stroman started out the year on fire at AAA, and he was recently promoted to the big club to help stabilize some bullpen woes. That the Cubs were still scouting Stroman doesn’t necessarily mean trade talks are still ongoing, mind you. The Cubs could simply be doing their regular scouting work on theoretical potential mid-season targets.
- Speaking of possible pitcher deals, Susan Slusser reports that the A’s are likely to be in the market for another starting pitcher. The Cubs figure to have some options available, so the A’s will be a team to watch as we head toward rumor season.
- And speaking of things to watch, those Blue Jays could probably use an upgrade at second base to go along with a pitcher like Samardzija. The Cubs do have some pieces to potentially offer in that area (Bonifacio, Valbuena, Barney), but it remains to be seen how enticing they’ll be. Also: I’ve become irrationally attached to Luis Valbuena. Don’t trade him.
- Remember Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, whose value was very hard to peg early in his defection process, and whose stock seemed to fall each time scouts got another look at him? Well, his value fell all the way to a mere $1 million deal, which he signed with the Padres, according to Jon Heyman.