Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureEven as the Chicago Cubs acknowledge both their competitive standing and their need for supplementation, Theo Epstein hinted this morning at the fundamental problem of making trades in baseball: it takes two to tango. Sure, you could identify a target and absolutely blow the other team away with an offer, but robbing Peter to pay Paul is not an advisable strategy.

So, then, the Cubs – like so many other potential buyers at this point – await the developing trade market.

  • It’s been hinted before, but Ken Rosenthal resumes wondering whether the Nationals will be both buyers and sellers this year, given their large number of free-agents-to-be, and their competitive standing. The tricky part, according to Rosenthal’s sources, is that the Nationals don’t like to add salary in the middle of a season. Of course, the Nationals just had to send Anthony Rendon back to the disabled list (quad strain), so they might not be able to trade away a big league bat to pick up something else. In reality, so long as the Nats wind up running away with the NL East, what they do isn’t of huge import to the Cubs (until and unless they meet in the playoffs, which is too remote at this point to get too concerned about), unless it affects the broader market.
  • In the same article, Rosenthal speaks with Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart about that Touki Toussaint “trade” with the Braves, and Stewart’s explanation defies belief – the Diamondbacks did not shop Toussaint, and felt his value was nowhere close to the $10 million they got from the Braves since the slot for where he was drafted was just $2.7 million. You are reading that correctly. I know, because I checked about five times.

  • The Jonathan Papelbon rumors seem to have faded a bit – not a surprise, given where we are in the season – but Jon Lester tells CSN that he’d be a good fit on the Cubs. Doubt we see much movement from the Phillies until their organizational reshuffling is complete – which could be soon, with Ryne Sandberg starting things off today.
  • Are you ready for more Mets-Cubs shortstop rumors? Keeping in mind that the two teams do still line up for a trade (the Mets really do need young bats and the Cubs really do need young arms) and that they’ve had trade talks in the past, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Mets’ plans to shift Wilmer Flores to second base, and let Ruben Tejada fill in at shortstop. The Mets may yet look to fill that shortstop spot externally.
  • Relatedly, the Mets know they need to add a bat if they’re going to stick around this year, and, to that end, John Harper reports that they’ve discussed Ben Zobrist with the A’s.

  • Meanwhile, with the arrival of top pitching prospect Steven Matz, the Mets today announced that they’ll be going with a six-man rotation for the foreseeable future (Harvey, DeGrom, Syndergaard, Colon, Niese, Matz).
  • And, ending where we began:

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