As if today’s game wasn’t enough of a perfect reminder that the Cubs could really stand to add to their offensive reserves, a flurry of confirming-type reports came out this afternoon about the original Detroit News report about the Cubs’ pursuit of Tigers outfielder Nicholas Castellanos (“This one has some teeth” and such).
More on Castellanos and the Cubs …
The original Detroit News tweet got a full write-up this afternoon, complete with talk of ongoing negotiations and the Cubs as a “serious suitor.” The Indians, Rays, and Reds(?) were listed as also having scouted Castellanos recently.
The report out of Detroit was confirmed quickly by, among others, a trio of reporters, both local and national:
Nicholas Castellanos, 2-for-2 today, is batting .318 in July. He’s drawing interest from the #Cubs, to confirm @cmccosky’s report. Castellanos’ right-handed bat is of particular value among NL contenders right now. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 21, 2019
Sources confirm Cubs and Tigers have engaged in some talks about Nick Castellanos . Detroit News had report today . Nothing hot as of right now but bench trouble could change that. Still prefer leadoff type.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 21, 2019
The report from @cmccosky on the Cubs interest in Nick Castellanos is correct. There have also been discussions that include Tigers closer Shane Greene. To acquire both would be fairly costly. We are 10 days from the trade deadline.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 21, 2019
What is interesting in this situation is that you rarely – if ever – see a Cubs rumor so quickly confirmed by such a swath of reporters. Moreover, it’s a mix of guys whom I suspect (just experience reading their work here) are getting their confirmations of the report from a variety of sources.
So, then, what are we to conclude here? Given that the original report almost certainly originated from the Tigers, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that most of this is coming from the Tigers, and the Cubs are not at all keen to squash it. Why would that be? Why would the Cubs – among the tightest lips in the league – be cool with these rumors exploding? To me, the most logical possible explanations are either: (1) they aren’t OK with it, and this is just a rare flukey time when someone is speaking out of turn; (2) the Cubs actually aren’t all that serious about Castellanos and they’re happy to help the Tigers try to push up the price on someone else; and/or (3) a deal is close, so the rumors don’t matter.
(Oh, on that Shane Greene part, obviously it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Cubs also target a reliever, but if they sought Greene, the price tag calculus changes in a very fundamental way (especially because Greene is under control for one more year after this season (winds up looking a lot like the Alex Avila/Justin Wilson trade, eh?)). We’ll have to write up Greene separately, because his performance over the past few years is quite complicated.)
Obviously we’ll have to stay very closely on top of this track, as the Cubs and Tigers have dealt well together in the past (and have likely even already discussed certain prospects), and the match for Castellanos is pretty apparent, as we’ve discussed previously.
A bonus for today? After the report came out, Castellanos went ahead and hit a walk-off homer for the Tigers: