Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Fielder, Cespedes, Prado, Byrd, Floyd, Oswalt

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Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Fielder, Cespedes, Prado, Byrd, Floyd, Oswalt

Chicago Cubs

It’s another day and the same storylines … but now they’re all colored by yesterday’s big news.

  • In the wake of the Tigers surprisingly signing Prince Fielder, I did some digging into everyone’s favorite aftershock rumor: what about Matt Garza? As for the Tigers, I regret to report that the Fielder signing didn’t increase the Tigers’ desire for Garza. They feel pretty flush in the AL Central as it is, and, while they aren’t broke, the purse strings are suddenly being clutched even more tightly. But, hey, who knows? Last week Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski adamantly told Buster Olney that the Tigers had no interest in Prince Fielder on a long-term deal.
  • The other vogue Garza destination? The Kansas City Royals. I mentioned last week that a new team had come to the table with interest in Garza, and, now that every message board around is alight with speculation about the Royals, I can confirm that, yeah, that team I mentioned was the Royals. Two things, though. First, I’m told tip-top prospects Mike Montgomery and Wil Myers are not available. Second, the Tigers’ acquisition of Fielder could have muddied the waters. Let me put it to you this way: it wasn’t a coincidence that the Royals came to the table after Victor Martinez went down. Now that Martinez has more than adequately been replaced, will the Royals stay at the table? They might not.
  • That all said, I’m told any serious Garza trade talks are largely on hold until (1) the compensation issue with Boston is resolved, and (2) Garza’s arbitration case is concluded or settled.
  • As for the other ongoing story, there’s nothing terribly new to say about Yoenis Cespedes from last night. The news of his residency (and possibly also free agency) yesterday are causing folks in Florida to reiterate their “we’ll outbid anyone” stance, though. The Nationals probably aren’t terribly interested in Cespedes, given that they view him, long-term, as a first baseman or a corner outfielder (at which positions they’re set). The Tigers are also probably out on Cespedes.
  • Bruce Levine did his chatting thing this week, and the tidbit making people buzz is tied to a remark about Martin Prado’s availability, the Braves’ past interest in Marlon Byrd, and the Cubs’ possible desire to upgrade at second base. I don’t believe Bruce was reporting that the Cubs and Braves have discussed such a swap, though it might be of modest interest to both teams. Prado has been discussed here before, and comes with considerable risk. Further, the Braves’ interest in Byrd largely pre-dated their acquisition of Michael Bourn at the trade deadline.
  • Bruce added that he thinks the Cubs will either extend Matt Garza, or trade him by the deadline this year. He also thinks the Cubs’ front office would rather see Darwin Barney in a utility role, rather than starting at second base. (Hence, in part, the Prado suggestion.)
  • One other piece of fallout from the Fielder signing: the White Sox might push even harder to unload than they already have been. That means guys like Gavin Floyd – who’s no Matt Garza, mind you – could be made available at prices that further depress the market for Garza.
  • Of vague import to the Cubs: Roy Oswalt would reportedly like to pitch in Texas next year, or possibly St. Louis. The rumors of him going to Boston have died down a bit since they spent their “saved” money on Cody Ross.

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Author: Brett Taylor

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