Lukewarm Stove: Cubs Rumors Aplenty, Braves Lose Duvall for the Season, Yankees Blockbuster Coming? Cardinals and Smyly, Soto, Ohtani, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Cubs Rumors Aplenty, Braves Lose Duvall for the Season, Yankees Blockbuster Coming? Cardinals and Smyly, Soto, Ohtani, More

Chicago Cubs

We are quickly approaching a part of the calendar that requires multiple Lukewarm Stoves in the same day. I love it. Let’s dive right in with a trio of Cubs rumors.

Cubs, Cubs, Cubs

There’s not an explicit connection between these three rumors/trade chats, but when the Cubs are featured prominently from reliable sources eight days before the deadline, we pay attention.

The Padres could go in any number of directions. They have spoken with the Cubs about different concepts for the last 12 months, including one last summer that would have sent first baseman Eric Hosmer and a top prospect to Chicago for an unspecified return. Considering that both Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and left fielder Ian Happ are fits for the Padres, it would not be surprising if those talks revived in some form.

With so many players to trade (Contreras, Happ, Robertson, Givens, Martin, and even Drew Smyly all seem like DISTINCT possibilities at this point), the Cubs are going to get serious very soon. They won’t save it all for the last day.

Adam Duvall Out for the Year, Happ Possible?

Braves outfielder Adam Duvall will have surgery on his left wrist this week, which means he’s going to be out for the rest of the season.

Duvall had a very rough start to the season, but has been on fire lately, slashing .255/.317/.618 (153 wRC+) with 10 homers since June 4. Losing that sort of production from your lineup has to hurt for a team just a inch back of the Mets in the NL East.

All of which is to say, Ian Happ sure seems like a logical trade target. I haven’t gotten the sense that this is anything more than speculation at this point, but the Duvall news is so fresh, I think this could get legs over the next few days.

Yankees Blockbuster on Tap?

MLB Twitter was stopped in its tracks yesterday, when two of the Yankees top prospects, outfielder Jason Dominguez and shortstop Trey Sweeney, were pulled from their game after just six innings on Sunday just as Triple-A catcher Josh Breaux was scratched from his start, as well. There are no minor league games today, so you could understand why they’d be pulled if a couple of front offices thought they were getting close and/or could wrap something up before the next slate of games begin tomorrow.

The prevailing theory – based on the quality of those prospects – is something in the Luis Castillo range (i.e. not the Juan Soto range, which just isn’t happening without the inclusion of Anthony Volpe). Other possible answers include Andrew Benintendi or maybe even Ian Happ.

Obligatory Juan Soto Section

There’s Juan Soto updates every hour on the hour. Sadly, precious few actually even mention the Chicago Cubs, who just don’t seem to be in this race in any serious capacity.

In that respect, I really appreciate Sahadev Sharma making the case for Chicago, putting into perspective just how good and how young Soto is. If you’re still on edge about giving up what it would take for Soto, just please read this post. He is truly singular and the Cubs really should make a legitimate pass at him. I doubt they will – and they may just not have what the Nationals are looking for – but you’ve just gotta try.

To that end, here’s one more report on the expected price tag, via Ken Rosenthal:

Odds and Ends:

  • Although the Juan Soto-Cardinals noise has picked up a troubling amount of steam lately, they’re still not the UNANIMOUS front-runner in MLB. According to Ken Rosenthal, one executive says “I think San Diego is as likely as the other 28 teams combined. They have the players and they have Preller.” I’d greatly prefer Soto in San Diego, not only because Soto on the Cardinals would be hell, but also because that would almost necessarily mean the Padres were going to have to make some corresponding moves that could include the Cubs.
  • Speaking of the Cardinals, they’ve just found out Steven Matz has a torn MCL and will miss at least several weeks (if not the rest of the season). The implication here lies within the starting pitcher trade market. The Cardinals were already thought to be heavily pursuing a starter and while the Cubs (probably) won’t be eager to trade them Drew Smyly, the Cardinals could take some of Smyly’s competition off the market in a trade, indirectly improving Smyly’s attractiveness (by way of scarcity). Maybe someone even gets desperate and reaches for Wade Miley on a gamble. Remember, aside from Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas (depending on health), there isn’t much in the way of starter trade capital out there.
  • And finally, this:


Author: Michael Cerami

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