Lukewarm Stove: Verlander, Gray, Darvish, Red Sox Buying, Cardinals Selling, Lots More

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Lukewarm Stove: Verlander, Gray, Darvish, Red Sox Buying, Cardinals Selling, Lots More

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

Last night’s Nisei Lounge Make-A-Wish #BNBlogathon event was a success. And although I just bartended for a short while, I can tell you, I have a brand new appreciation for the art.

I’d love to ramble on more up here, but we have quite a full stove for you this afternoon. Let’s skip the small talk and get right to it …

  • While adding a reliever and a back-up catcher remain the more likely Cubs’ moves before the deadline, a trade for a starter remains on everybody’s mind and Justin Verlander appears to be the most likely option (which is not to say it’s likely – just that, of the options, he might be the most likely). However, Bruce Levine is hearing that the Cubs and Tigers are having difficulty matching up on the return, presumably because of how much (or little) the Tigers are willing to kick into the deal. He throws some more dust on the first by saying, although it’s not totally dead, there’s no traction right now. Shrug. We’ll see.
  • On Twitter, Jon Morosi suggests that the Dodgers are confident they’ll acquire one of Yu Darvish, Sonny Gray, and/or Justin Verlander. And with Clayton Kershaw going down and their stockpile of prospects, so am I.
  • On the former pitcher, Darvish, Ken Rosenthal is hearing the Rangers have made him officially and entirely available, and that they are confident they’ll get a quality return. In fact, Rosenthal suggests that they’ve already exchanged names with teams. With that said, it’s not yet clear if Darvish would approve a deal to one of the teams on his 10-team no trade list, which includes the Cubs and Indians (two potentially interested suitors). For what it’s worth, the Rangers may not be interested in sending Darvish to the Astros, while the Dodgers and Yankees are reportedly reluctant to move any top prospects for the rental. He will be an interesting name to watch over the next few days, especially considering how confident the Rangers seem to be that he will be moved before the deadline.
  • Stray note from the Rosenthal piece: The Cubs remain interested in Sonny Gray, but probably cannot get a deal done without including a Major Leaguer like Ian Happ. Given Happ’s importance to this team right now, plus his versatility both at the plate and in the field, I just don’t see the Cubs moving him this deadline. Though we’ll have to wait and see.
  • There is SO MUCH in Rosenthal’s piece, but I can’t include it all here. Just check it out for yourself.
  • The Nationals have reportedly been scouting Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham and reliever Trevor Rosenthal, which, along with the interest in Lance Lynn, and the discord in the clubhouse, further suggests they could be selling.
  • According to Jon Heyman, the A’s are shooting high with their asking price on Sonny Gray. From the Yankees, they’ve asked for either of Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres, from the Brewers they’ve asked for Lewis Brinson (though Heyman says the Brewers have backed off lately), and from the Braves they’ve asked for Ronald Acuna (yep, they continue to be interested). All three of those prospects are top 15 types in baseball, so, yeah, if the Cubs wanted a chance at Gray, they DEFINITELY don’t have the prospects to do it.
  • As of now, the teams interested in adding a starter seem to be (in no particular order) the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, Mariners, and possibly the Cubs and Brewers. However, there may be a late, great entry to the race: the Boston Red Sox. In case you missed it, news recently broke that Red Sox starter David Price will go on the 10-Day disabled list with recurring left elbow soreness. Yikes. Given the Red Sox tenuous 0.5 game lead over the Yankees and increased rotational concerns, a move for a starter isn’t out of the question. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, they have the young players to land just about anyone. For what it’s worth, Mark Feinsand is hearing that they’re unlikely to make a significant move for a starter.
  • Speaking of those Brewers, Ken Rosenthal is hearing that they may have some interest in Mets outfielder and Chicago native Curtis Granderson. Granderson is hitting .225/.307/.453 this season and is a free agent at the end of the year. As of today, the Brewers outfield WAR is the 11th worst in Major League baseball. Granderson could probably provide a bit of a lift there, without costing too much to acquire or blocking future youngsters.
  • Wanna know what it’s like following rumors at the deadline:

  • In the span of less than 24 hours, the Marlins have made Straily available, taken him off the market, and made him available again. Or, well, he was always available, and some wires got crossed on the meaning of “available.”
  • After three consecutive seasons with an ERA under 3.00, Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress has gotten blown up this year (5.21 ERA, 5.65 FIP). Despite those unattractive stats, Jerry Crasnick has heard that the Rangers are shopping Jeffress and are selling him as a potentially solid “change of scenery,” and “could benefit from a move to the NL” guy. Which, eh, I’m not so sure I’m buying that. Especially because, relievers face a lot less starting pitchers and lot more pinch hitters than their starting counter parts, so the primary reason a change to the NL would benefit him (one fewer “hitter”) doesn’t even really apply.
  • A new Cubs rumor:

  • Could Liriano work out as a reliever? Well, maybe – to be sure, he has dominated lefties through his career (.272 wOBA) and this season (.275 wOBA) – but how would you know about a guy who has always had command troubles and has never really worked out of the bullpen? This sort of move could pay off for the team that takes the risk, but make no mistake it would be a risk – probably not one that would cost you very much in a return, but still. In any case, the Royals appear to be the most interested party as of now.

Meanwhile, there’s a great clearance sale going on at The MLB Shop, so if you want to check out the Cubs gear go for it – you’re supporting BN in the process!


Author: Michael Cerami

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