Another wrinkle in the trade deadline madness…
- The competitive balance lottery (an added part of the Draft, which next year will give 12 additional picks after the first round to, essentially, small market teams and crappy teams (the Cubs will almost certainly never be eligible to receive a pick from the lottery)) is today (going on right now, actually), and it’s relevant to the Cubs’ trade doings for one reason: these particular picks are tradable. As soon as the lottery is over, some of the teams with whom the Cubs will be dealing might have just picked up an additional trade chip. Pretty great. There were early suggestions that picks that were traded would come with only half of their slot value (meaning, if the Cubs picked up a pick whose slot value was $1 million, they would have only $500K to spend for that pick). If true, this whole trading draft picks thing is a whole lot less compelling. After all, how attractive is the 35th pick if you can only spend $500K on him, while the 34th pick can get up to $1 million, and the 36th pick can get up to $950K?
It’s still valuable, but not nearly as valuable as just getting the pick. I’ve been trying to find/get an answer on this one, but so far, no luck. No one else seems to be as interested in it as I am – which is a mistake. This is pretty important to the “maybe the Cubs are waiting to trade Dempster so they can get a draft pick” narrative. Scratch all that: I finally got an answer from BA’s Jim Callis, who’s the expert on this stuff. He says the halving of traded pick value was an early rumor, but one that he doesn’t see in any of his current documentation from the league. So, he’s guessing it didn’t actually come to fruition. If so, today’s lottery is of additional interest to the Cubs.
- The 14 teams eligible to win a pick today (there will be 12 different winners of a pick) are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers. Among them, all but the Padres, Rockies, and probably Brewers are theoretical trade partners.
- ESPN’s David Schoenfield chatted, and, among the non-Ryan Dempster bits (which were covered earlier): (1) the Rangers have almost certainly contacted the Cubs about Matt Garza; (2) Bryan LaHair to the Reds makes sense, because LaHair can fill-in at first while Votto is out, and then move to the outfield when Votto returns (the Reds could use another bat in the outfield) – David DeJesus is, thus, also a good fit; (3) Schoenfield guesses that the Cubs would say yes to a Julio Teheran/Mike Minor for Matt Garza trade, but isn’t sure the Braves would (I’m not convinced the Cubs would say yes, but they probably would); (4) the Cubs can do better than Ryan Kalish for Ryan Dempster (ok, that’s a Ryan Dempster bit that I didn’t cover earlier); and (5) if the Cubs believe Darwin Barney is as good as his defensive metrics say he’s been this year, they’ll probably be keeping him long-term at second.
- The Phillies are reportedly readying a six-year, $130ish million extension offer for Cole Hamels. He can’t turn that down, right? I don’t know which way I’m rooting on that one.
- The Marlins could become sellers even after spending lavishly in the offseason. Although I’d rather the Marlins didn’t dilute the market for Cubs trade pieces, there would certainly be a bit of LOL-SchadenFish in them having to sell off already.
- The Indians and White Sox, in addition to the Tigers, should be hard up for a pitching acquisition in the next couple weeks, says Jon Morosi.
- The Tigers are still interested in picking up an upgrade at second base, says Jim Bowden, and that could be Darwin Barney, even if they don’t also get one of the Cubs’ pitchers. (That Bowden feature? It’s called “Bowden’s Bullets.” Harrumph.)
- Bob Nightengale says the Red Sox and Marlins are discussing a Carl Crawford plus prospect for Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell swap, which would be insane for so many reasons. I assume the prospect would have to be pretty good, given the money aspect.
Obsessive Manager Watch: Giants Interested in Venable, Phillies on Dusty, Fuld Passes On Cubs, Morerardi and Kapler