Lukewarm Stove: D-Backs-Rays Trade, Yankees Need Catcher? Brewers Talking IF, Happ, Relief Market, More

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Lukewarm Stove: D-Backs-Rays Trade, Yankees Need Catcher? Brewers Talking IF, Happ, Relief Market, More

Chicago Cubs

The stove is really cooking lately, with Zach Britton (Yankees) and Nathan Eovaldi (Red Sox) on the move in recent days, plus J.A. Happ seemingly changing teams any second.

  • And on top of that, the team in town to play the Cubs has just executed a deal of their own:

  • The Diamondbacks have reportedly added right-handed swing-man Matt Andriese from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for their #23 prospect, Brian Schaffer and Minor Leaguer Michael Perez.
  • Andriese, 28, has made four starts and 23 appearances out of the pen this season earning a 4.07 ERA (3.71 FIP). He comes with three more years of team control after this season and is a pretty solid pickup, all things considered. If the Cubs didn’t already add Jesse Chavez, Andriese could’ve been a very interesting alternative, albeit a younger one with more control and upside. As it is, I don’t see this as much of an impact on the Cubs trade competition, because (on top of already having Chavez in the fold) you can’t really say this takes Arizona out of the top-end relief market, which we know the Cubs occupy, because he just isn’t really that type of arm.
  • Fallout from the trade involves a blast from the Cubs’ would-be past:

  • For those that remember, the Cubs were supposed to get Randall Delgado in exchange for Ryan Dempster way back when. But when the deal was nixed by Dempster, the Cubs pivoted to the Rangers who traded them Christian Villanueva and … Kyle Hendricks.
  • Although the Yankees will most likely have to settle for a one-game Wild Card playoff when the regular season comes to an end, they aren’t taking that opportunity lightly. Already, they’ve added one of the top relievers – and Cubs targets – on the market in Zach Britton, and they’ve been connected to another Cubs target, J.A. Happ all afternoon. But in the meantime, they may have a more pressing need at catcher, now that Gary Sanchez has hit the disabled list (again) with a right groin strain. Unfortunately (for them), GM Brian Cashman isn’t optimistic about adding a catcher. The known most attractive option is J.T. Realmuto, but he’ll cost a very pretty penny, and his cost controlled years aren’t really necessary in New York with Sanchez already in the fold. Wilson Ramos is good, available, and a rental, but he’s currently on the disabled list and could be through the deadline. With that said, news did just break that he’s scheduled to catch live BP on Saturday, so maybe a desperate team will jump in.
  • Speaking of which, if the Yankees do decide to go after a catcher, they might have to battle the Washington Nationals and/or Milwaukee Brewers for the right, which could make an already thin, imperfect market even trickier to navigate.
  • According to Jon Morosi, the Brewers are talking about infielders with the Twins, but a larger deal including right-hander Kyle Gibson (3.57 ERA, 3.85 FIP in 20 starts this season) could be in the cards. Gibson may have 1.5 years of control remaining, but I think he would have otherwise been a very attractive trade target for the Cubs (or any team for that matter). The problem is with such a full rotation on the books for next year (Tyler Chatwood, Mike Montgomery, and Drew Smyly are all already fighting for that fifth spot, in theory, and that’s with considering no prospects or offseason additions), adding someone for next season at a deadline premium doesn’t seem like the best use of resources.
  • In the meantime, it’s worth reminding you that the Blue Jays are apparently getting ready to move on J.A. Happ and the Brewers remain in the mix. It sure seems like they’re going to add something this deadline and that something will probably include a starting pitcher and at least one infielder of consequence. The Brewers sat out the deadline last year and it cost them. I doubt they’ll do that twice.
  • Also, Happ might not be the only Jays pitcher dealt today:

  • After a down year last year, Oh, 36, has been excellent this season for the Jays. Combo Happ-Oh deal looming?
  • At ESPN Jeff Sullivan writes about baseball’s top under-the-radar targets at the deadline and that list includes potentially super-attractive targets like reliever Adam Conley (Marlins) and Jose Leclerc (Rangers), though Sullivan admits that the youth and success of both guys makes a trade for either difficult to imagine. Among the more realistic options you’ll find Twins righty Ryan Pressly (3.45 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 1.5 years of control), Blue Jays righty Ryan Tepera (2.81 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 3.5 years of control), and Padres righty Kirby Yates (1.40 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 2.5 years of control). Needless to say, if the Cubs want a filthy reliever, there are plenty out there. It might cost them, but there are a ton of options.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.



Author: Michael Cerami

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