On the eve of the trade deadline, the rumors have have begun to turn up. Today has been a slow today around baseball regarding trades and especially on the Cubs side, so moves are on the way! Here’s the latest in the eve edition of rumor round up:
*Is Nate Schierholtz on the move? Schierholtz has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since the all-star break and a bat contenders would love to have in their line-up. The Cubs are in the 2nd game of a day-night doubleheader vs. the Milwaukee Brewers and Schierholtz is not in the line-up. Yes, Schierholtz did play in game 1; however, a righty is pitching and Schierholtz in on fire. Making it look like a trade is on the horizon. Yesterday a report came out that Schierholtz is the next player likely to be traded by the Cubs and could today be the day? The Pittsburgh Pirates are said to have the most interest in Schierholtz and could be the one to pull off a trade. The Pirates lost all interest in Chicago White Sox’ Alex Rios; making Schierholtz look a lot better in their eyes. The Royals could also have interest in Schierholtz, but that’s still to be determine. Member, the Cubs do not need to trade Schierholtz and will only accept a good offer. The Cubs have all the leverage. My guess is the Cubs will trade Schierholtz to the Pirates for a good prospect or two.
*Are the Cubs shopping Darwin Barney? There is an unconfirmed rumor floating around the internet that the Cubs could be talking about a trade with the Kansas City Royals involving Barney and Schierholtz. The Royals are in full effort to acquire a 2nd baseman. We have not heard Barney’s names in the rumor mill, but it makes sense. Barney is not hitting and playing good defense, nothing like last year, though. He already has four errors and plays he always made. Possibly pairing Barney with Schierholtz could land the Cubs a better pakage. If the Cubs were to trade Barney, they could move Junior Lake to 2nd and call up Matt Szczur or keep Lake in the OF and call up Logan Watkins for 2nd. I still think Barney stays, but anything can happen.
*Are the Cubs interested in Ian Kennedy? Could the Cubs actually buy a pitcher instead of just trading players for prospects? According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Cubs could very well do so. Mr. Olney says the Cubs have interest in trading for Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ian Kennedy. The D’backs are trying to trade Kennedy to cut his salary so they can try to trade for Chicago White Sox’ Jake Peavy. Kevin Towers reportedly still likes Josh Vitters and he could be one player to go back to Arizona. Vitters lost his way with the Cubs and is no longer in their plans. The Cubs could also ship Kevin Gregg to Arizona as the D’backs want relief pitching. The Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres are also interested in Kennedy and seem like better fits than the Cubs.
*Where will Kevin Gregg go? Gregg is almost a certain to be traded according to all reports. Many teams are in need of relief pitching and Gregg looks like a trade candidate that won’t cost too much. Teams that could acquire Gregg are the D’backs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pirates and Boston Red Sox. Teams that probably lost interest in Gregg are the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves since they already acquired a RP recently.
*Jeff Samardzija ain’t going anywhere? The Cubs have indeed been shopping Samardzija, but the price is “sky high” and a main reason he’s unlikely to be traded. Samardzija thinks he can be an ace and would want more money than what Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo received. That right there would make me work harder to trade him. He’s not an ace and probably a number 3 pitcher at best. If the Cubs were to get a good pitching prospect or two in return, he would be gone. I think teams may offer a good package for Samardzija since he’s younger. cost controlled, not a lot of starting pitchers out there and the lack of pitchers in the upcoming free agency classes. But not the packages the Cubs are looking for a reason he’ll stay.
*Will James Russell stay or go? The Cubs are shopping Russell and could very well trade him by tomorrow. One team that had interest in Russell was the Braves, but splashed on another RP. The Cubs actually almost had a trade with the Braves last week. Russell being trade is probably 50/50 right now. One team that could make a play for Russell is the D’backs so watch out for them.
With about 20 hours to go until the trade deadline, moves are on the way! The Cubs will make at least 1 trade, probably 2-3 trades or 2-3 players.