“We’ve got a lot of hooks in the water.”
That’s how Cubs GM Jed Hoyer described their approach to the upcoming trade deadline, and that certainly feels accurate.
For the past few weeks, we’ve heard rumors connecting the Cubs to various starting pitchers, relievers, and back-up catchers. A move for any of the above (especially the latter two) are – at least – somewhat plausible at this point, if not outright expected.
But will the Cubs really trade for another starting pitcher, even after already adding Jose Quintana? While the “hooks” may be in the water up until the deadline on that front, perhaps a move for a starter is becoming less likely by the day. At least, that’s the way manager Joe Maddon sees it.
“I really think what we need is right here,” Maddon told ESPN regarding the addition of another starting pitcher. “If you bring someone else in, a lot of moving parts would have to occur for something like that. That has not been part of my discussion with Theo and Jed at all.”
Many of Maddon’s other postgame comments seem to imply the same thing: he has not discussed adding another starter with the front office.
Now, of course, just because Maddon hasn’t talked about it with the front office doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. After all, we almost certainly *know* that the Cubs have had some contact with the Tigers on Justin Verlander, but even that smoke may be thinning:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 26, 2017
For a while now, a deal between the Tigers and, well, anybody really, for Justin Verlander has come down to how much money the Tigers are willing to kick in. Reportedly, they’ve been very reluctant to part with any significant amount of money whatsoever, but are still looking for a quality prospect return.
I can tell you right now that despite his solid performance of late, that’s not going to happen.
And so the Cubs/Verlander dance continues. Or maybe it’s more like a game of chicken and the deadline is the point of impact. Does either team blink?
For what it’s worth, Verlander has been quite good over his past four starts:
Justin Verlander's last 4 starts (26.0 IP): 2.77 ERA, 25.9 K%, 9.3 BB%.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) July 26, 2017
Though, perhaps the ramped up performance has increased the Tigers’ demands? Shrug.
It’s gonna be a fun few days. Make sure you check out the BN Blogathon fundraiser for Make-A-Wish, if you haven’t already! And Brett will be guest bartending tomorrow night from 7pm to 9pm at the Nisei Lounge in Wrigleyville to raise tips for Make-A-Wish, too!