The less-heralded waiver trade deadline (see how less-heralded? I don’t even offer the reverence to capitalize it) comes on Sunday. That is the deadline by which a team must have a player in its organization if it wants the guy on its playoff roster (and he must be acquired subject to the August waiver rules). Teams can still make deals after August 31, but players acquired in September can’t be used in the playoffs. Hence “waiver trade deadline.” In any case, we’ll see if any relevant rumors pop up between now and Sunday with respect to the waiver trade deadline. I don’t expect it, but it’s possible.
In other rumor-y bits …
- Giancarlo Stanton knows how to get folks riled back up. Just two weeks after word came out that the Marlins were still trying to extend Stanton and wouldn’t be shopping him in the offseason, Stanton answered what may have been an innocuous question from Tim Brown about whether the team’s recent competitiveness changes his thinking about the organization in a borderline nocuous way: “Five months doesn’t change five years.” Yes, indeed, that’ll get folks talking. If Stanton is absolutely not going to extend with the Marlins, then the team may have to strongly consider shopping him this offseason or at the next deadline. Stanton is just 24, and has two arbitration years remaining after this season. As I mentioned the last time this came up, I really, really hope Stanton is overtly shopped. No, not necessarily because of the Cubs’ involvement (whatever it could be), but purely for the crazy rumors. Young guys like Stanton simply aren’t shopped around anymore.
- Gordon Wittenmyer notes something to look for in the offseason: the Cubs will pursue veteran position players to help set the tone for (and ease the pressure from) the Cubs’ young positional base. It won’t be easy to add a quality everyday player, given that most the Cubs’ regular spots will be gobbled up by youngsters, and the pool of outfielders this offseason is very weak. We’ll just have to see how things play out. But even if it’s a quality bench guy or two, there’s nothing wrong with that. (Though, let me be clear: I really still think the Cubs have to figure out a way to add at least one big bat – by which I mean a productive, reliable regular.)
- Jed Hoyer was on Buster Olney’s podcast last week, and, among other things, I think it’s worth pointing out that Hoyer was quick to emphasize that the Cubs’ process of adding pieces in the offseason is coming both this and next offseason. Obviously the Cubs aren’t going to go out and say that “we’re going to add a bunch of guys this offseason, and this offseason only, so that we can compete in 2015,” but I do think it’s time we really absorb what they’re saying and take it to heart. Even by adding just one big starting pitcher and one bat, the Cubs can be a competitive (read: .500ish, plus or minus luck) team in 2015. But we shouldn’t be expecting that the Cubs will go hog wild this offseason to the exclusion of next offseason (when, remember, there are a huge number of really exciting arms projected to reach free agency).
- A great read from Ben Badler on 19-year-old Cuban Yoan Moncada, who is probably in the process of defecting. He’s very, very well thought-of, but if he reaches free agency before next June, the Cubs won’t have a shot at him. Why? Because of his age, he’s subject to international signing restrictions. And, as you probably recall, the Cubs are prohibited from signing any player for more than $250,000 this year. If Moncada lasts until after June 2015, then the Cubs could be back in the mix (it sounds like a team will have to really, really blow its budget just to get Moncada).
- I’d be lying if I said I knew much of anything about these guys:
Next two Cuban defectors likely to sign – 1B Jozzen Cuesta and LHP Misael Siverio – will work out Friday in South Florida.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 25, 2014
- Silverio came up in a non-substantive way when he defected over a year ago in Des Moines, Iowa. I’d imagine we’ll hear more on these two after their workout on Friday, including whether they are GUYS or just guys.
- It sounds like Rusney Castillo’s deal with the Red Sox is even more generous than we thought when it was, effectively six years and $72 million. It’s still that, but he also gets the right to opt-out after 2019 (one year before the deal runs out), when he would otherwise be making $13 million. Not a huge benefit, but something. All that said, I can’t wait to see how he pans out.