I know there will be action eventually (and that the Cubs have already made a move for Martin Maldonado, no less), but doesn’t the trade market feel quieter than usual for this time of year?
Maybe it’s the lack of an obvious and big-name trade candidate on the market, maybe teams are still navigating how to approach a now-singular trade deadline, or maybe the trend towards extensions has changed teams plans a bit in the short-term, but it all feels just generally dialed down.
I still think that’ll change (and let’s hope it does for the sake of the BN Blogathon), but, yeah. It’s been a little more quiet than I’ve typically come to expect.
- Brandon Kintzler, who’s twice been traded at the deadline, recently addressed the impact of being traded mid-season and it’s both interesting and important: “It turns your world upside down,” Kintzler said. “It’s great for the player to go to a great team. But in the background, your wife’s stressed out, your kid’s life just changed, you’re trying to settle. It’s not fun.”
- You should check out that story not only because it’s a great, revealing read from Patrick Mooney, but also because it’s important to note the less-than-smooth on-boarding process of guys like Kintzler and Justin Wilson (both of whom were much better in their first full-season with the Cubs than their traded year) in the recent past. The Cubs will look to add this team before the end of July and the speed with which they can bring a new player along can be very important.
- And while we’re still somewhat in the abstract, MLB.com highlights one prospect from every system that could draw significant trade interest and for the Cubs you’ll be unsurprised to learn it’s Brailyn Marquez – the Cubs pitching prospect with arguably the highest ceiling. Losing Marquez would hurt, but (1) I think the Cubs would be more reluctant to give up Nico Hoerner and/or Miguel Amaya and (2) we all know the saying (TINSTAAPP – google it). With that said, this line from Bryan’s piece about past Cubs trade costs has me shook: “The obvious comparison to [Dylan] Cease is Brailyn Marquez.”
- The Cleveland Indians are not such certain sellers as they once were, having strung together 5 straight wins (enough to put them in the drivers seat of the AL Wild Card race), but they might still trade Trevor Bauer. And the team the Cubs are hosting this weekend, the Padres, are interested. The only way the Tribe would make the deal, however, is if the return includes a MLB-ready hitter … like say Franmil Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, or Luis Urias. Of course, the Padres are hardly alone in that pursuit. The Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Rays, and Reds all had scouts in attendance for Bauer’s latest start – although potential Tigers trade targets like Matthew Boyd and Shane Green could’ve been the draw for some of those teams, as well.
- The Dodgers, for instance, are known to be looking at relievers, like Tigers closer Shane Green, though their interest in Felipe Vasquez and Will Smith is well-known, as well. It’s not yet clear if the Giants are selling at all (more on that later) – let alone within their division – but there’ll be plenty of suitors for Smith, including the Cubs, when the time comes.
- Potential Cubs trade target Nick Castellanos has been on a bit of a hot streak, hitting safely in 32 of his last 37 games with a .306/.387/.486 slash line, including 14 doubles and 4 homers. And he’s very aware of the trade rumors out there. He’s also come to peace with them, knowing there’s nothing he can do to change it.
- Castellanos has mostly played right field this season, with a .283/.343/.471 (114 wRC+) overall slash line. His walks and strikeouts both come in moderation, his base running rates well, while his defense does not. Castellanos is not a perfect player – he’s just about league average against right-handed pitching – but his performance against lefties has been nothing short of brilliant: .377/.451/.639 (184 wRC+). For a Cubs team with a bottom-half 94 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season, he would be welcomed with open arms.
- The Phillies have picked up a starter:
Drew Smyly agrees to Phillies deal. They could use lefty in rotation. @JSalisburyNBCS on it
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 19, 2019
- Former Cub and speed-man Terrance Gore has been traded to the Yankees, so he’s not going to be an option for the Cubs token base stealer. Maybe Billy Hamilton will, though.
- Since the Mets are not considering moving Jacob deGrom and do not seem motivated to trade Noah Syndergaard, Joel Sherman opines they shouldn’t trade anybody. In his opinion, if the returns for the guys they are willing to trade aren’t going to be particularly strong, then they’re better off taking their chances on the 5-10% shot at the postseason. “Plus, the Mets are not in rebuild mode. They are again going to try to win next year. So if they are able to retain Wheeler and Vargas for around $26 million for 2020, which they can only do if they hold onto the two starters now, then why not try that?”
- Ken Rosenthal has more on the Angels’ trade deadline plans – as well as their offseason goal of signing Gerrit Cole – but discusses how the unfortunate loss of Tyler Skaggs (both personally, of course, and professional) has muddied the water.
- Rosenthal also looks ahead to this offseason’s infield/third base market, which could/will feature Anthony Rendon (coveted by the Dodgers), Josh Donaldson, and Didi Gregorious. The Cubs could certainly be in play for some of these guys, but the Phillies, Brewers, White Sox, Nationals, Rangers, and Braves could all be in play for third base help, as well.
- Other random notes from Rosenthal: Aroldis Chapman will “one million percent” opt-out of his contract with the Yankees at the end of this season (the Cubs will not be involved). And the Astros had interest in Maldonado before he was traded to the Cubs.
- Jeff Passan discusses 10 things to watch as the trade deadline approaches, with notes on potential Cubs targets like Nick Castellanos, Will Smith and other tangentially related points like Brewers targets Robbie Ray, Zack Wheeler, and other various starting pitchers, as well as the Pirates potential trading away of reliever Felipe Vasquez.
- And finally, David Schoenfield thinks the Cubs should trade for Ken Giles, even though they already added Craig Kimbrel. But he also recognizes that they need a bat in a market without many options (he mentions David Peralta, whom we’ve covered before).