old stove featureChecking in on the latest rumors of extended relevance to the Cubs …

  • Some of the fallout from this morning’s big the-Tigers-will-be-selling rumor:
    • Ken Rosenthal hears from other GMs that the Tigers aren’t selling just yet, even if they might eventually make that decision.
    • David Cameron argues the Tigers should wait, given that they still have better than a 25% chance at the playoffs, per FanGraphs’ models. BP’s odds are right there in the same range.
    • Jon Morosi reports that the Tigers may be changing the way they’ve been doing things in recent years (i.e., escalating payrolls), and that the time for a modestly broad sell-off has arrived. Although Morosi rejects the comparison, I’ll offer my endorsement: the Tigers absolutely are on the verge of becoming the Phillies – old players, bloated payroll, terrible farm system. A sell-off now, even one mostly designed to preserve a possible competitive future in 2016, is very much the right move, and could helps stave off the sharp, deep downturn the Phillies are only just now starting the process of digging out from.
    • Buster Olney gets into the market impact of David Price, who would immediately become the best available arm for 2015.
  • Ken Rosenthal writes that the Phillies may have to change their expectations in a Cole Hamels deal if they’re going to get any value at all in trade. Even if the surplus value of Hamels’ deal reaches $28.5 million – a generous calculation, even by Rosenthal’s admission – that doesn’t net you an elite prospect these days, let alone multiple elite prospects.
  • Jon Heyman hears that the two teams most frequently connected to Cole Hamels are the Dodgers and Rangers, with the Dodgers at the top. We know that the Dodgers are going to acquire at least one starting pitcher before the deadline, and Hamels does seem like an obvious fit (especially when you consider that Zack Greinke could depart in the offseason).
  • Evan Grant would add the Astros to the mix, with an emphasis on the Rangers (he believes it might be a matter of the Astros and Rangers bidding against each other at this point).
  • Jon Heyman says that the Blue Jays are not currently focused on Jonathan Papelbon. Outside of the Cubs, the Blue Jays are just about the only team that has been publicly connected to Papelbon.
  • Although not directly tied to a trade rumor, the fact that the Royals just optioned erstwhile ace Yordano Ventura to AAA does bear upon the trade market, since the Royals were already believed to be looking for a starter. Also, I know it’s crazy, but wouldn’t it be nice to try and figure a way to make a deal for Ventura?
  • The Pirates might be among the growing list of teams (including the Cubs, according to previous rumors) interest in Ben Zobrist, given their recent injuries to Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer.
  • Ouch for the Reds:

  • Gerardo Parra, who could be a Cubs target, is on the Mets’ radar, per Jon Heyman.
  • It’s not a trade, but the Cardinals are bringing up top positional prospect Stephen Piscotty to chip in, probably some at first base.

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