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Rumor Mill is Picking Up – Wilson, Verlander, Baez, Happ, Cubs Prospects Not in Lineup, More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

If you told me yesterday that as the evening of July 30th began, I wouldn’t have much in the way of a Lukewarm Stove to offer, I would not have believed you.


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But here we are, with the last night before the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline having arrived, and things are relatively quiet around baseball.

We know that the A’s are probably going to trade Sonny Gray, and it’s probably going to be to the Yankees or Dodgers.

We know that the Rangers are going to trade Yu Darvish, and it’s probably going to be to the Dodgers or a Mystery Team.


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A number of smaller deals have been consummated in the last two days, and the reliever market remains ripe with options.

The Cubs are considering a host of back-up catcher options.

And that’s really where things stand. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just … quiet. But hey, there are *some* things to get into – actually, as I start going, there seem to be more things trickling out …

  • The Cubs are among the many, many teams that have been connected to Wilson this trade season, and for that reason alone, you couldn’t call them the most likely team to trade for him. But I don’t doubt the interest is there. Of course, a team like the Astros – who know they’ll be in the playoffs for certain – have as much incentive as any other team to really shore up the bullpen.
  • There will be a lot of chatter about Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis not being in the lineup tonight for Iowa. They are certainly plausible trade pieces, and it never hurts to hold guys out juuuuuust in case. It doesn’t mean anything is close, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean nothing. It is raining there in Albuquerque, for what it’s worth. Still, you’re on alert for Hugs.

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  • Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs’ talks with the Tigers on Justin Verlander have “little traction,” and it’s not hard to see why when the other thing he reported is that they want Javy Baez or Ian Happ included in the deal. The Tigers would have to eat an enormous amount of the 34-year-old righty’s remaining contract (which pays him $28 million this year, and then each of the next two years) for the Cubs to even consider a deal approaching fair value, and even then, I’m simply not convinced the Cubs would be willing to part with either young utility man right now in any case. It’s fun to talk about Verlander because of the track record and the possibility of getting him for a couple years on a reasonable deal, but if the Tigers aren’t serious about eating a ton of salary AND not getting back a significant return, then I can see why this has been a lot of hot air.
  • The other thing on Verlander to remember: there’s just no urgency. Tomorrow’s Trade Deadline is the non-waiver trade deadline – i.e., all players can be freely traded – but deals can still happen in August, involving players who clear waivers. With Verlander’s contract, he will clear waivers.
  • Levine, by the way, calls Wilson, Padres lefty Brad Hand, and Blue Jays lefty Aaron Loup the Cubs’ “main bullpen targets.”
  • Nothing new doing on Sonny Gray and Yu Darvish:

  • A possible wrinkle in the trade market for an NL contender:

  • There are conflicting reports out there about the Red Sox and Mets reliever Addison Reed (who has also been connected to the Cubs). One report has Reed a focus of the Red Sox, and another said there wasn’t much going on.
  • The White Sox traded another player today in Melky Cabrera, who heads to the Royals.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.