Lukewarm Stove: Royals/Tigers/Blue Jays Scouting Cubs, Lefties Still on Radar, Hudson, Giles, Kemp, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Royals/Tigers/Blue Jays Scouting Cubs, Lefties Still on Radar, Hudson, Giles, Kemp, More

Chicago Cubs

It amazes how much everyone – including myself – was pretty much entirely wrong regarding the impact of a unified trade deadline on the overall trade season. All logic pointed to increased activity earlier on from a larger number of teams, who’d have to decide (1) what their plan was and (2) how they were going to effectuate it. No waiver trades in August meant sitting back and letting things play out was a much riskier strategy. So here come the moves in mid-July baby!

Instead we got … *crickets*

  • And this isn’t just “slow compared to our expectations.” It’s just slow. Period. Jeff Todd went ahead and assembled every trade before July 25th from 2014-2018 and you’ll find that in the very recent past, there were MANY more big deals done by now: Manny Machado, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, J.D. Martinez, Aroldis Chapman, Mike Montgomery, Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel, Jason Grilli, Kendrys Morals, etc. Funny … four of those deals and five of those players were Cubs trades.
  • The Athletic reports that the Cubs have been in contact with the Giants, probably regarding left-handed relievers Will Smith (rental) and Tony Watson (cheap player option for 2020, so he could be a rental). More than that, they report that the Giants had a “significant scouting presence at the Cubs Double-A affiliate this month” and have been watching Triple-A, as well. We’ve been tracking the Cubs interest in these two for about a month now – the only real question is whether the Giants, suddenly back in the Wild Card race, will actually sell.
  • Indeed, the Giants might actually hang onto Madison Bumgarner and become buyers – though that strikes me as a mistake. If I was forced to guess, I’d say they’re in limbo right now and will literally allow the next 3-4 games make their decision for them. They probably want to go 4-0 or 0-4.

  • 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell needs arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his left elbow and will be on the shelf until at least September. Ouch. Given how far out of the AL East they are (9.5 games), I wouldn’t expect them to “buy” and I wouldn’t be shocked if they sold.
  • This weekend series against the Brewers was already going to be a big one for the division, but it could have deadline implications, as well:

  • If the Brewers take two of three from the Cubs or better, you can bet they’ll make a trade for a starter before the deadline (especially with another series against the Cubs coming up immediately after). But if they lose 2 of 3 or worse, who knows?
  • And finally, here’s a thing:

  • Kemp, 27, has been a slightly-below-average bat in the big leagues, plays effective second base and all over the outfield, including center field. Kinda sounds like a bench guy the Cubs wished they would have had back in April, and the Astros are dumping him because he’s out of options. Not sure he’d be a target for the team now, but he would cost almost nothing, and could be an interesting back-up-back-up depth option.

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