There are other Cubs rumors to address…
- The Orioles, who are still very much in the playoff hunt, are looking to upgrade at the corners, and they’ve inquired about Bryan LaHair, among a couple other names (Chase Headley, Placido Polanco). The talks are very preliminary, and, based on those names, the O’s are clearly looking at a wide range of players (in terms of contract, production, and cost in trade). LaHair has obviously fallen way off, in terms of his early season production, but still represents a cheap, left-handed power hitter, with some upside. As difficult as his trade value was to project back when he was raking, it’s even more difficult to project now. Is he a .900 OPS guy going forward, or is he a .750 OPS guy going forward? Can he ever learn to hit lefties, or will you always have to platoon him? Can he really play a corner outfield spot, or is he limited to first base and DH going forward? How the O’s and other teams answer these questions will determine his value, but, despite the cheap control, I can’t think the value is particularly high right now. A top 100 prospect is probably long out of the question.
- The Red Sox are more interested in Josh Johnson than in Matt Garza, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston. The reason? We all knew this was coming: Garza leaving his last start early. McDonald erroneously calls Garza’s injury an “arm strain,” but the point stands. Teams are concerned that Garza’s injury isn’t just a one-time case of the cramps. His ability to start one more time before the Trade Deadline is huge if the Cubs have any hopes of trading him.
- Then again, maybe the Red Sox aren’t interested in buying anyone. Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox are reaching the point where, if they don’t buy soon, they might as well sell.
- Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the Dodgers remain interested in Garza, despite the fact that his next start has, at a minimum, been pushed back. One thing is certain: the Cubs aren’t going to entertain dealing Garza until the Dempster deal is sewn up. They can’t afford to deal Garza in such a way that it hampers their market for Dempster, if the Braves deal somehow falls through.
- Dale Sveum says trading all of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Paul Maholm isn’t going to happen. “When you have commodities that people want,” Sveum told reporters yesterday, “anything can happen if you give it time. Now the odds of all three of them being gone? No. Those are very impossible odds.” I have no doubt that Sveum is right that, in terms of practical reality, it’s very hard to pull off three trades like that. But, with apologies to Dale, I’d hazard a guess that that’s exactly what the front office is trying to do.
- Jeff Passan looks at the teams on the margins of the races, and decides whether they should be buyers or sellers. There aren’t any great rumor-y bits in there, but it’s salient, and I like Passan.
- The Indians, like the Red Sox, might soon have to make the decision to sell. The sellers’ market could soon become crowded.
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