Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureThe Cubs made the first notable trade of the season earlier this week by sending Welington Castillo the Mariners for reliever Yoervis Medina, and almost on cue, the rumor mill has ticked up considerably. I suspect that’s due, in no small part, to the Cubs’ 22-17 start to the year, despite some holes. Those holes may eventually need to be filled …

  • And, as Patrick Mooney writes, the Cubs should have the flexibility to make a midseason move should the right opportunity present itself.
  • Will it be the long-rumored bat-for-arm swap with the Mets? Well, Jed Hoyer has confirmed that the two sides have talked, but Jon Heyman says the Mets are not the easiest team to deal with, and they have an aversion to making big trades. Heyman describes the Cubs as a team “willing to deal,” but intimated that the Mets could be the holdup.
  • In an interestingly-timed piece, Ken Rosenthal extols the virtues of Starlin Castro, discusses how he’s the known quantity, which makes it hard for the Cubs to trade him, and how they cannot move him without getting a hugely valuable piece in return.

  • In a broader piece, Rosenthal touches on all kinds of trade items, including the likelihood of a A’s sell-off (Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard, Ben Zobrist, Josh Reddick), as well as the possibility that the Rays could move reliever Jake McGee.
  • In a long article primarily about Troy Tulowitzki, Heyman connects the Cubs – among 10 other teams – to the Colorado shortstop on the theory that the Cubs could send a shortstop back to the Rockies in a deal. I’m pretty much going to ignore that part, because I can’t imagine a realistic scenario where the Cubs get involved in any kind of discussions about Tulotwitzki. What intrigued me more was the mention of still-a-free-agent Rafael Soriano, whom Heyman says the Cubs may consider. Soriano, 35, fell out of favor in Washington, but seems likely to still be a productive arm that a team like the Cubs could use in the bullpen. The question, of course, is the cost.
  • Heyman also mentions that the Cubs have been “all over” the Mets’ farm system – presumably meaning in a scouting capacity – and they are believed to really like Noah Syndergaard (how could you not?). I don’t think any of that should be a surprise at this point. But, then again, see the above Bullet from Heyman on dealing with the Mets.

  • Buster Olney speculates that the Red Sox could unclutter their outfield by sending Shane Victorino to the Cubs. I definitely think the Cubs could use an upgrade in the reserve portion of the outfield, though specific names and approaches there seem to be a ways off.
  • We talked yesterday about the latest big-name Cuban player, Eddy Julio Martinez, and, like Kiley McDaniel, Jesse Sanchez has the Cubs as one of the interested teams:

  • This is what it looks like when an owner is too involved on the baseball side:

  • The Rockies, who’ve overhauled the front office, have been spiraling for years, and the outright refusal – apparently from ownership – to consider trades of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez (back when he had value) is an example of an organization denying its own reality. I understand that not everyone loves Tom Ricketts for whatever reason, but you’ve at least got to acknowledge that he knows how to let his baseball guys do the baseball thing.

  • Matt Goldman writes about five teams that project to buy at the Trade Deadline, and the Cubs are one of those teams.
  • As Michael noted in the MLBits today, Hyun-Jin Ryu is undergoing shoulder surgery, which makes you wonder if the Dodgers will be all the more aggressive looking for pitching at the deadline and/or the offseason. The Dodgers already lost Brandon McCarthy to Tommy John surgery.

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