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Lukewarm Stove: Nationals on Gray! Er, Nope … Cardinals Selling, Samardzija No-Trade, Deals Done, More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

In an effort to give the Cubs their best possible shot at winning the Crosstown Cup this evening, the White Sox have made yet ANOTHER trade from their Major League roster.


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This time, they’ve sent left-handed reliever Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for the Rays’ #10 prospect Casey Gillaspie. The White Sox rebuild is WELL underway, and while their Minor League system is already stacked, their Major League squad may soon be among the best in baseball.

But there’s a lot more going on around the league. So let’s check in.

  • In the Bullets earlier today, Brett covered the Stephen Strasburg injury that sent the Nationals starter to the disabled list. The weird wrinkle, however, was how adamantly Dusty Baker pushed the “he’ll be right back,” angle of it. Brett wondered if the Nationals were hot on trading for a starter, they wouldn’t want to reveal a significant rotational injury, lest they lose leverage in the deal.
  • With all of that in mind, check this out:

  • Ken Rosenthal is arguably the most trusted voice in the rumor-mongering industry and he’s rarely ever wrong. Is it possible that this one time he did misunderstand everything and the Nats are not actually in on Gray? Sure. Do I think that’s what happened? Well … either way, like Brett said, they can’t keep giving starts to Edwin Jackson – he’s made two already and has an 8.32 FIP. They’re looking at starters.
  • At the New York post, Joel Sherman writes about how the Yankees may have the best offer on the table for Sonny Gray as of now, while the Astros could be trying hard for Zach Britton. Both teams certainly have the pieces and justified motives to pull off those trades, so perhaps that’ll be how things shake out over the coming days. The Cubs have been connected to both pitchers this summer, though the move for Jose Quintana (and somewhat barren Minor League system) might push them out of the Gray sweepstakes, while their relatively solid bullpen makes Britton more of a luxury than a need. (Though some kind of relief addition is likely.)

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  • According to Rosenthal, the around-the-league rumors insist that Jerry Dipoto (Mariners GM) is going to land Sonny Gray. However, conflicting reports suggest that he hasn’t spoken with the A’s in a week and may not even have the pieces to pull it off. Rosenthal has much more on how such a deal could/would play out on his Facebook.
  • Yesterday, the Rockies announced that they acquired right-handed reliever Pat Neshek from the Phillies in exchange for minor league infielder Jose Gomez, and right-handers J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena. Neshek, 36, is having a resurgent year after a couple of solid, but unspectacular seasons with the Astros. Through 43 appearances he’s got a 1.12 ERA and an astonishing 9.00 (!) K/BB ratio. The Cubs were never really connected to Neshek, so there’s nothing lost there, but the Rockies did just improve for a likely playoff appearance (via the Wild Card). More on the move here at MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Just under a week ago, I relayed some fresh rumors connecting the Cubs to the Mets’ (would-be-rental) reliever/closer Addison Reed. Apparently, the Cubs, Indians and Royals were all scouting one of his games. Given that the Mets are almost certainly not going to make the playoffs this year and Reed’s contract is expiring, you’d expect him to be available. However, Jerry Crasnick is reporting that a scout from one of the interested teams has concerns that manager Terry Collins has overused Reed. Now, by the 2017 stat line it’s hard to see that (Reed’s 48.0 IP is only the 22nd most in baseball this year and has just 2.0 more innings than he had by this time last year), but scouts are looking at things in completely different ways (including pitch count and, more likely, the stressfulness of any one particular appearances). Further, Reed appeared in 80 games last season with the Mets. With that said, for the right price, you’d still be thrilled if the Cubs added someone like Reed.
  • Former Cub Jeff Samardzija tossed 7.0-inning against the Pirates last night allowing just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks. So, naturally, with his team well out of contention, the trade rumors are popping up. However, Samardzija reportedly prefers to stay in San Francisco and has a limited no-trade clause that can block trades to 22 different teams. Among the teams to which he cannot block a trade, however – who might also be interested in his services – you’ll find the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs. We’ll see if anything comes of this in the ensuing days, but my best bet is that he stays put.

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  • Remember when the Twins won a few games and traded for the Braves’ Jamie Garcia to help propel them into first? Well, they’ve lost four games in a row and have fallen into third place of the AL Central, 5.5 games behind the Indians. So, according to Jon Morosi, they may consider selling at the deadline, and yes, that includes the *just* recently acquired Garcia. Whoops.
  • And finally, it kinda sounds like the Cardinals are going to start selling soon …

  • Is it bad that I want the Cardinals to sell – even though it’ll probably make them better in the future – just so they have to admit that, once again, they’re not going ANYWHERE this year? [Brett: Yes, it is bad. Let them languish with their pieces intact for the rest of this season, with no improvements for the future!]

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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.