I will shortly try to head to bed early to begin a pre-Blogathon slumber (reminder: things start early tomorrow at 5am CT sharp), so here’s your rumor round-up for the night. If and when anything else comes up tonight/overnight, feel free to use the comments to share and discuss.
- Jon Lester continues to dominate the rumor mill, with more and more sources indicating an expectation that he will be traded by the deadline. Your canary in the coal mine is his start tomorrow. If he’s scratched, he’s probably going. If he starts, well, he still might be going. Interestingly, David Price is also scheduled to start tomorrow.
- The most interesting Lester bit, as discussed a little earlier, is how much buzz there is about the Pirates going after him. There’s still an argument to be made – especially now that the Red Sox do not appear likely to extend Lester regardless – that the best case for the Cubs is the Red Sox hanging onto Lester and making him a qualifying offer (thus tying him to draft pick compensation and giving teams with a protected first round pick, like the Cubs, an advantage). But, that’s seems very unlikely at this point, so Lester to the Pirates might be the next best thing. It guarantees that he’ll reach free agency (because they aren’t extending him), and it depletes the Pirates’ ample farm system (which could knock them back a bit during the Cubs’ prime competitive window). And it’ll also make the Pirates a nice story again in the home stretch, and I have no problem whatsoever rooting for the Pirates this year.
- The Brewers are also reportedly among the teams that want Lester, though I’m not convinced they’ve got what it takes to get him, even if Boston really likes Jimmy Nelson.
- Jesse Rogers writes about Emilio Bonifacio as a trade candidate, hearing from one NL executive that Bonifacio is a “perfect” last-minute roster addition for contenders out there. He’s not going to completely change a playoff race, but I’m inclined to agree: he’s a great bench guy to have.
- I love everything about these two reports, in tandem. I can’t decide which should go first for maximum hilarity. Let’s try it this way:
At this time Phillies frustrated by what teams are offering for their players
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 29, 2014
- And then there’s a report from Bob Nightengale that the Phillies’ request of the Dodgers for Cole Hamels was Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, AND Corey Seager. That’s three top 20/30 prospects in all of baseball. For a very good pitcher, but one whose contract arguably offers not a single dollar of surplus value. Frustrated by other teams, Phillies? It’s almost like your asking prices are insane …
- That same Nightengale report suggests that if the Rays were to deal David Price to the Cardinals, the return could be something like Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller, and that oft-derided compensatory draft pick the Cardinals got a couple weeks ago. I’m not sure where I land on that one. I think, yes, I’d want that deal to happen, because it’s a whole lot taken away from the Cardinals. But Price is awfully good, and makes the Cardinals awfully good in 2015. But after that?
- Speaking of Price … is he even available? The Rays are playing very well in a winnable division. Jon Heyman says yes, they will still consider moving him if the right deal comes along.
- The Houston Astros could really shake things up by dealing some of their young-ish starters, something it sounds like they’re open to doing. For longer-term pitching pieces, sure, I say kick the tires if you’re the Cubs. But overcoming the premium that teams pay this time of year when they’re in the playoff race is a sticky issue. Plus, some of the pitchers mentioned, to me, look to be of questionably sustainable value.
- The Giants might not be getting Matt Cain back any time soon:
Shawn Estes on Matt Cain: "Hes going to get a 2nd opinion…when ur going to see Dr. Andrews, ur not going to look at bone chips" #SFGiants
— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) July 29, 2014
- If he goes down for the year – or longer – you wonder if they’re going to scramble to pick up a pitcher. Any pitcher.