Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureInjuries around the game are piling up, some teams are emerging as likely sellers, and the trade rumors will pick up …

  • And maybe sooner than usual. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has suggested there could be more early trade activity than usual, and Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers could sell soon if there isn’t a turnaround, with pitchers Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza in play. Given the volume of pitchers reaching free agency after this season, plus the obvious presence of Cole Hamels, the pitching trade market could be really, really robust this trade season. Maybe we’ll see a team or two pull the trigger long before things usually pick up in late June/early July (which tends to be the earliest).
  • Speaking of Hamels, Jon Heyman has an extensive write-up on his potential trade market. The Cubs are mentioned as a plausible suitor – they are not on Hamels’ 20-team no-trade list – just as they were last year, but there isn’t any urgency. Instead, teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers, Rangers, and I would add the Yankees now that Masahiro Tanaka is hurt, make the most sense.

  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Bob Nightengale that the team is willing to eat some of Hamels’ contract in order to make a trade more palatable. It’s a virtual lock, absent a surprise injury to Hamels, himself, that he’ll be dealt before July 31. I think it’s unlikely that it’ll be to the Cubs (instead, as I said earlier this week, I could see the Cubs preferring to go the rental route this Summer, if necessary, and then exploring the vast free agent market after the season), but obviously his movements could greatly impact the Cubs.
  • That said: things can change. If the Cubs join the parade of teams with key, injured starting pitchers (heaven forbid), and if the rental market is weak, and if the price is right from the Phillies … you never know.
  • While the Jarrod Saltalamacchia market shakes out, Jon Heyman says the Orioles are not interested. The Orioles were connected to the Cubs and Welington Castillo before the season started.

  • Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford has a torn oblique, and could be out a while. The Dodgers are obviously extremely well-equipped to handle injuries in their outfield, so I don’t see them scrambling to make a move. But it could make them less likely to try and swap an outfielder for an arm, for example.

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