Lukewarm Stove: Everybody "In" on Britton, Packaging Bundy-Gausman, MIL Looking for IF Help, Granderson, Escobar, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Everybody “In” on Britton, Packaging Bundy-Gausman, MIL Looking for IF Help, Granderson, Escobar, More

Chicago Cubs

Later tonight (around 6:00 pm), I’ll be returning to TVs around the globe (or the greater Chicagoland area, whatever) with another short segment on CLTV’s Sports Feed. I’ve been on more than a handful of times now, and it’s always a really fun experience with some good conversation. Those guys do really know what they’re talking about, and always ask good, tough questions. You should really check it out – especially with the Trade Deadline coming up.

Speaking of which, we’ve got a ton of rumors to get to today …

  • Already today, we’ve learned that the Milwaukee Brewers are in on Orioles reliever and Cubs target Zach Britton, but that’s not the only place their interests could overlap with the Cubs. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers are also asking about Chris Archer, to which I say “good luck.” Teams have been trying to pry Archer away from the Rays for a while now, and they’ve always resisted. They will eventually move him – no doubt about that – but I’m beginning to think they’ll hope for a second-half rebound (to build back up some of his lost value) before they move him this winter or at the next Trade Deadline. In addition to waiting for his results to improve, waiting until the winter would give them more options (i.e., buyers) in trade. Still something to keep an eye on.
  • Back to Britton – Jesse Rogers confirms what we more or less already know to be true: the Cubs are indeed in on Britton, as are the Astros. Both teams appear to be favorited relative to everyone else, but the Astros have the upper-hand because of a stronger farm system. There’s nothing groundbreaking there, but it’s always good to get continued confirmation on these things – teams fall out of races, after all.
  • You know it’s going to be Ken-Rosenthal-heavy day when just one of his tweets has like four rumors in it:

  • Let’s break that down. For one, the Brewers are apparently still focusing on Brian Dozier, after missing out on Machado, but according to Rosenthal they’re also hoping to get Eduardo Escobar. Landing both guys would immediately transform their infield offensive contributions, but would probably cost a lot. Both guys are rentals, but Escobar has a 121 wRC+ and 14 HRs, and Dozier is coming off his second consecutive 5.0 WAR season.
  • For another, Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are being asked about packaging Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman along with Britton (the Rockies are reportedly one of the more interested teams for such a deal). That’s something we thought the Cubs might be interested in, and now, apparently, multiple teams are jumping on board. It’s not easy to determine which starter the Cubs would be more interested in, because both guys have big-time pedigrees as top pitching prospects, but neither has really put it all together for an extended period of time. Gausman, 27, did have a 3.0 WAR season two years ago, but he is two years older than Bundy and comes with one less season of control (free agent after 2020). My guess is that the Cubs have a preference based on something the coaches think they can work on for either guy, but it’d be impossible to know and they wouldn’t tip their hand right now.
  • In an article ranking the Orioles trade pieces at The Athletic, Dan Connolly placed Gausman (#7) just ahead of Bundy (#8), but concedes that they’re frequently grouped together for a reason. Moreover, Connolly seems to believe their willingness to part with either guy will be defined by how deep of a rebuild they intend on entering.
  • Connolly also suggests that the Dodgers are in on Zach Britton this deadline, which isn’t too surprising, I suppose, but others have heard it’s not quite as likely a landing spot as some other destinations:

  • Random Note: Roch Kubatko is pretty locked in on Orioles stuff usually, so if you want the latest on Britton/Bundy/Gausman rumors, he’s a good one to follow.
  • Jon Heyman reports that just about everyone in the world is on on Zach Britton: Braves, Rockies, Brewers, Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, and “others.” Swell. But despite the loaded list of buyers, Ken Rosenthal reminds us that there are a LOT of relievers available this deadline:

  • The Phillies have reportedly been discussing Curtis Granderson with the Blue Jays, which seems like a mighty good fit for them. If you recall, Granderson was a rumored Cubs target a while back, but I think this offense and outfield rotation is both full enough already and firing on all cylinders. Positive veteran presences are good, too – particularly for teams with playoff aspirations – but this Cubs team has plenty of experience, even though they’re young, and guys like Ben Zobrist, Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, and Jason Heyward around.
  • In addition to Granderson, the Phillies are also looking at Asdrubal Cabrera, Derek Dietrich, and even Eduardo Escobar. The latter would be more of an everyday player than a bench bat, but the short version is the Phillies – clinging to the lead in the NL East – are looking.
  • And finally, the Cleveland Indians are not done yet. After already adding Brad Hand, they’re now looking to add outfield help, so they could soon jump into the Granderson market, themselves. According to Mark Feinsand, the Indians were heavily involved with Machado, so you know they’re at least open to the idea of something big. Lot of buyers this year, eh? (But also a lot of clear sellers.)
  • A reminder: we’re raising money for Make-A-Wish in support of their mission to grant wishes to children needing a great experience – like this Cubs experience! – and if you want to bump Brett’s crazy Trade Deadline cover up another hour, we’re just $150 away from that next bump up!

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami