Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureThe latest from the rumor mill …

  • Joe Maddon doesn’t want to have any specific expectations as to what the front office may or may not do as the trade season approaches, but he believes they’ll do what it takes to “augment” the roster as necessary if the team stays competitive (CSN). Until then, as we’ve seen, he’ll make the best of what he has.
  • A relatively vague rumor from Dan Bernstein indicates the Cubs will add “a pitcher” “soon.” The Cubs are finding prices high right now, according to Bernstein’s sources, but would prefer to pick up an arm now rather than late July, given the extra value he could provide between now and then. I suspect that true of most buyers at this point, but it’s very difficult to force a seller to sell before it’s ready – and, indeed, you won’t know who else is selling for a few weeks yet. We’ll keep an eye on this, but I’d be surprised if the Cubs made a significant move – significant – until after the All-Star break.
  • The big rumor yesterday had the Phillies and Rangers discussing Cole Hamels in trade, but the ears in Arlington aren’t hearing the same thing:

  • So it goes this time of year. You are advised, as always, to keep your wits about you.
  • One thing that might slow things up on any Hamels deal: the Phillies’ baseball operations department is in a state of flux, as president Pat Gillick could be hiring his replacement or at least a similarly high-up executive. Maybe soon. Maybe even before this year’s Trade Deadline. Maybe even within a week, and maybe it’s going to be former Cubs and Orioles exec, Andy MacPhail, according to Jon Heyman.
  • Hamels returned to action today, by the way, with a rough outing in New York against the Yankees.
  • Even as their playoff odds have fallen to nearly zero, there is still a question – directed by ownership – as to whether the Reds will be sellers this year, according to John Fay. If they do decide to sell, Johnny Cueto’s ongoing elbow issues could cause a problem in getting top dollar for two months of his service.

  • Things are kind of disaster in Boston right now (Boston Globe), which will probably prove useful following over the next month, not only because of the obvious connection to the Chicago front office, but also because the Red Sox could plausibly become sellers with a whole lot of interesting pieces to offer even if they don’t completely sell off.
  • In the same article, Nick Cafardo notes that the Blue Jays are watching the Brewers’ Francisco Rodriguez, who could be a cheaper alternative than Jonathan Papelbon.
  • Royals want some more All-Stars (which is to say, they’d instantly become All-Stars upon being added to the Royals roster):

  • Dave Cameron believes it’s time for the White Sox to blow things up, even after their offseason efforts to put together a winner. That would mean selling off the team’s most valuable asset, ace Chris Sale. He’s not only a stud, but he makes just $50 million over the next four years. Cameron suggests the price would be something close to Kyle Schwarber, Javy Baez, Arismendy Alcantara, and the Cubs eating Melky Cabrera’s contract. Whether that’s a worthwhile deal or not for the Cubs (it might well be), it’s all academic. The White Sox would be right to ask for an ungodly sum for Sale in trade, and a team like the Cubs would be right to refuse.
  • Dillon Gee cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA. Even teams looking for depth starting options weren’t willing to pay the $3 million remaining on his contract this year in order to get it. Gee has been quite bad this year, and even his “good” years weren’t that great – but still, it tells you a fair bit about the availability of pure depth arms.

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