Lukewarm Stove: Soto, Soriano, Garza, Maholm, Competitive Balance Lottery, LaHair, and ... Dempster

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Lukewarm Stove: Soto, Soriano, Garza, Maholm, Competitive Balance Lottery, LaHair, and … Dempster

Chicago Cubs

It may have been a busy day already, but the rumor mill knows nothing of your “busy” …

  • Hey, it’s a Geovany Soto tidbit! Bruce Levine reports that, despite his weak overall year, “numerous teams” are interested in the Cubs’ catcher. He’s playing his best baseball at the right time (he’s hitting .306/.359/.472 since June 30, and .242/.309/.435 since returning from knee surgery in mid-June), and might actually be tradable at this point. Levine mentions the Angels by name, who might be looking to take a chance on a hypothetical upgrade at catcher. Don’t get your hopes up for a big return, though. The Cubs *might* be able to squeeze a B prospect out of a Soto deal, but I’m not optimistic.
  • Another offensive player you didn’t expect the Cubs to be able to move … Alfonso Soriano. And, indeed, it looks increasingly unlikely that the Cubs can move him, despite another homer today. The Dodgers, who are desperate for a bat, are the latest team to shrug their shoulders at the possibility of adding Soriano, says Jon Heyman. You can understand, given that he’d have to play some outfield for the Dodgers (and he can’t be expected to fill in at first or third base, where the Dodgers really need an upgrade). But, man oh man, I just don’t understand why no one wants his bat.
  • Bruce Levine also reports that the Blue Jays and Rangers remain interested in Matt Garza, and the Royals and Pirates, among other teams, are interested in Paul Maholm (who was dominant once again today).
  • I’m hearing that the Tigers are far more interested in finding an infield upgrade than a pitching upgrade, but, if they do seek a pitcher, Matt Garza makes some sense. The same source would be “stunned” if Garza is not traded before the deadline (not necessarily to the Tigers, mind you). Also, on Garza, the Red Sox are still interested, says Jayson Stark, but they’re out on Dempster.
  • George Ofman says the Cubs are finding almost no interest at this point in Bryan LaHair, which, sadly, is pretty understandable. It’s easier said than done, but this is why you “sell high” whenever you’re in sell mode. For LaHair, that was all the way back in May.
  • The Cubs are getting interest on Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson, according to Ken Rosenthal. That is to be expected, as each is a very nice bench option, particularly against lefties. Just don’t get your hopes up that they’ll net much in return.
  • That competitive balance lottery went yesterday (as we discussed), and the Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Reds and Marlins won picks after the first round, and the Padres, Indians, Rockies, Athletics, Brewers and Tigers won picks after the second round. Those picks – and only those picks – are tradable, and you can see some possible trade partners in there for the Cubs. (SCardenfreude: the Cardinals, together with the Rays, were the only teams that were eligible and didn’t win a pick. Lulz.)
  • Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal have been reporting today that the Phillies are readying to offer Cole Hamels a huge, six-year, $130+ million extension. If he gets that kind of offer, it’d be pretty darn risky for him to say no. Yeah, he could probably get a hair more in free agency … but you’ve got to make it there healthy first.
  • The Giants “heavily scouted” the Cubs’ AAA squad a couple weeks ago. What do you reckon that’s about? Maybe looking at an inclusion like Josh Vitters in a bigger deal? Looking at a pitcher? Search me.
  • A little Ryan Dempster bit, which is kind of a repeat, but: Bruce Levine says the Dodgers have made an offer for Ryan Dempster. We’ve kind of known this for a while, and I mentioned it again earlier today. But, additional confirmation is always nice (Levine adds that “it is not known whether Zach Lee, the top-rated arm in Los Angeles’ farm system, is included in the offer.” I mean, that isn’t a completely meaningless statement, but it’s also not known whether Matt Kemp is included in the offer. I’ve said for a while now that the Cubs aren’t getting Lee for Dempster (at least alone). Ken Rosenthal confirms, just for good measure.). Further, George Offman adds that it’s possible, in this offer, the Dodgers have stepped up from the previous Garrett Gould/Chris Withrow offer that he said was on the table previously (or, at least, the Cubs’ price might be higher than that).
  • And, while you wait for the actual trades to roll in, please sign up for the one-day fantasy contest. You can win a share of $300, it’s fun, and you support BN by signing up. Also, it’s free, and it takes about two minutes. Full details here.

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.