javier baez defenseI am reminding myself to remain rational here, despite Javier Baez’s crazy upside – and recent two-homer return to Iowa – and how tantalizing his potential is. For now, it is only potential.


Here goes.

Jon Heyman reports that the Padres have talked to the Cubs about Baez, which shouldn’t really be a surprise, given that we know the Cubs have been targeting Padres pitchers, and we also know that Starlin Castro’s name may have come up, given the Padres’ desire for a shortstop.

If the Cubs are looking at some of the Padres’ controlled starters – Tyson Ross seems to be the top target, with Andrew Cashner also a possible consideration, according to Heyman – then it’s going to cost a pretty penny in prospects/young talent to land an arm like that. For the irrational fan reasons hinted at above, I hope that it doesn’t require a Baez trade. For the purely rational analytical reasons, I can see versions of a deal here that make sense on paper.

As usual, we’ll see what happens.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman adds an interesting wrinkle:

I don’t want to get too into the specifics there, because Sherman could be speaking hypothetically, but I can see this making sense. The trouble is that Upton has been brutally bad for going on two months (although the Cubs were connected to him before), has a decent salary this year, and maybe doesn’t really have a ton of trade value. Are Ross and Upton worth Baez plus prospects? Talk to me about Craig Kimbrel and some salary relief, then maybe we can get something started.

As it stands, a rental like Ian Kennedy and/or Will Venable seem more likely than a big-time blockbuster (smaller deals are easier, naturally), but there are definitely a ton of interesting fits here.

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