A modest update from the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations on the state of trade pursuits as we head into the All-Star break.
Theo on trades: “We’re not close to anything right now. We’re in a proactive stance. We’re looking for things we can make happen just because we haven’t playing that well for a while now.”
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 6, 2019
To be sure, we’ve learned enough over the years from this crew to know that unless a deal was about to come down the pipeline as an announcement, they would not say they were “close” to anything. So don’t misconstrue Epstein’s first comment as some kind of proclamation that the Cubs are not involved in trade discussions. I have little doubt that they are, at least at some preliminary/peripheral levels.
Epstein just last week said there could be a “ton of changes” if things didn’t turn around quickly for the Cubs. In the meantime, the Cubs can keep searching for some kind of impact.
Indeed, I suspect the Cubs are trying to do exactly what we’ve hoped they could do: locate an established, short-term, low-trade-cost veteran bat in advance of the Trade Deadline, if possible, so they can see what’s what with the offense before they get to July 31 and might have to make a more serious decision. It is tough to make that kind of trade happen just because you want it to, however, as many teams are not willing to sell even those pieces just yet – either because they’re not selling at all yet, or because they want to wait for more of the market to develop. Hence the Cubs taking chances on a guy like Carlos Gonzalez on a minor league deal or taking a chance on calling up a guy like Robel Garcia. Those are the things the Cubs can “make happen” without needing another team to cooperate.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to know the Cubs are being proactive on this front, even this early in the month. When GM Jed Hoyer mentioned that the Cubs weren’t ruling anything out last week, we talked more about what kinds of bats the Cubs could try to add from the market. Those were smaller moves, and, of course, it remains possible that the front office will really surprise everyone with a monster, roster-re-shaping trade.
This front office has historically been unafraid of moving a bit early on their biggest July moves, whether it was trading away Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel on the Fourth of July, or picking up Jose Quintana during the All-Star break. It’s that time of year …
UPDATE: And now there’s a Cubs-interested-in-David-Peralta rumor …