Lukewarm Stove: Red Sox Serious About Rizzo, But the Asking Price is High, Scherzer Deal Today? Yankees, Turner, Schwarber, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Red Sox Serious About Rizzo, But the Asking Price is High, Scherzer Deal Today? Yankees, Turner, Schwarber, More

Chicago Cubs

Ain’t no rest for the rumored.

Red Sox Serious About Rizzo

If Anthony Rizzo is going to be traded over the next 48 hours, it seems that it’ll be to the Boston Red Sox, where he has a history and they have a need, or bust.

In other words, if it doesn’t work out with Boston, I don’t see Rizzo being moved.

However, the latest via Gordon Wittenmyer at NBC Sports Chicago sure makes things sound hot and heavy – at least, on one side of the coin: “But sources say the interest by the Red Sox is real, if not significant, and subject at this point to the Cubs coming off what’s considered a high asking price.”

Sahadev Sharma said almost the exact same thing at The Athletic: “Boston continues to be attached to Rizzo, but sources indicated that the Cubs’ asking price for their first baseman remains pretty high.”

I’m happy to see the Cubs keeping the asking price on Anthony Rizzo remaining high, not only because he seems to be coming out of his prolonged slump (135 wRC+ since the Fourth of July, 116 wRC+ for the season), but also because trading him for next to nothing just because you can isn’t going to be worth the headache. Or the return. You have to do right by players, especially your longest tenured, decorated veterans, because reputation does mean something in a league where players can sign free agent deals wherever they want and construct no-trade clauses based on personal preference.

So hopefully, if Rizzo really is willing to move on, the Red Sox will pony up for a nice return.

Note: If the Cubs do trade Rizzo, it makes re-signing him this offseason just a tiny bit more challenging for Chicago. Consider this: If they hang onto him through the deadline and hand him a qualifying offer he rejects, he’ll be attached to draft pick compensation that costs his new team a pick in the draft when they sign him. But if he were to re-sign the Cubs after rejecting the qualifying offer they’d simply be giving up the pick they would have gained if he signed elsewhere (that’s more of an opportunity cost than a direct one). Point there being, the Cubs total cost to re-sign Rizzo after rejecting the qualifying offer would be lower than the other 29 teams. If he’s traded mid-season, there will be no qualifying offer and no draft pick compensation for anyone.

Note II: However, if Rizzo wants to be traded (maybe he wants to go back to Boston, maybe he wants to win another World Series this year, whatever), then trading him could also buy the Cubs some goodwill that could help them re-sign him in the offseason, despite the equal value proposition for all 30 teams.

Scherzer’s Preferences:

Max Scherzer is scheduled to start against the Phillies tomorrow afternoon, but I’m starting to think that’s not going to happen … even if it’d be his first start since missing a start with tricep soreness. Jon Morosi reports that trade talks have intensified and a deal could be met by tonight!

So who’s involved? Well, Jayson Stark says as many as eight teams are “in on Max Scherzer,” including the Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Astros, and Mets.

But Morosi hears the Padres, Giants, and Dodgers are leading the pack, which aligns exactly with Scherzer’s preferences, according to Ken Rosenthal.

But Scherzer’s preference, according to major-league sources, is one of the three NL West contenders — the Padres, the Dodgers and the Giants. And the Nationals, interested executives say, want to get a deal in place as quickly as possible. That way, they would create ample time before Friday’s trade deadline to entice Scherzer to waive the no-trade protection he enjoys as a player with 10 years of service, five consecutive with the same club.

So it would seem Scherzer could get moved tonight and to one of the West Coast teams battling to avoid a one-game Wild Card playoff. And if he does go to one of those three teams, you can bet the other two will quickly pivot to one of the other remaining starters on the market. Like, say, Zach Davies … who’s supposed to start tonight.

The Nationals Other Guys

The Trea Turner rumors/non-rumors have been tough to pin down this month, but the Nationals are reportedly listening to offers. Personally, I doubt he moves, but that’s just a gut feeling thing. He’s too good and young and comes with another year of team control. The Nationals would have to be bowled over to make it happen.

Kyle Schwarber, by contrast, could be on the move, because even as he’s injured, he’s “generating a good amount of interest.” Maybe he’ll make a recovery and come back in time for the World Series.

Odds and Ends:

•   I’ll believe the Yankees are going to be big time buyers when they actually become big-time buyers. I just don’t see them adding a reliever, a shortstop, and/or a left-handed bat when they’re 9.0 games behind the Red Sox and 7.0 games behind the Rays, both of whom are also looking to improve at the deadline. For now, I suspect this is all posturing to drive up prices on their rivals.

•   I wonder who’ll end up with Starling Marte.


Author: Michael Cerami

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