Day two of the GM meetings continued today and the Chicago Cubs have been staying active in the rumor mill.
Breaking News: The Cubs have engaged in serious trade talks with the Washington Nationals for starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman. If any more comes with this, I will write an article up. Right now, I won’t believe it until more people report it and seems to be more serious.
Update (unconfirmed rumor): Evan Altman of cubsinside.com hears the Cubs are not in the lead for either Martin or Lester.
*The Cubs have always been in talks with starting pitcher Jon Lester’s agent and starting pitcher Jason Hammel agents. Lester is the number one pitcher on the Cubs radar this off-season. Manly due to Theo Epstein’s connection with Lester in Boston. Lester is looking for a nice contract, upwards of 150 million. The Cubs do have a lot of interest in Lester and seem to be a top competitor. The Cubs top competitor for Lester seems to be the Boston Red Sox. Along with Lester, the Cubs have interest in signing Hammel again. The Cubs signed Hammel last off-season and traded him on July 4th, along with starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija for top prospect Addison Russell and two others. Hammel had a good half season with the Cubs and the interest is real. Bruce Levine of the Score reports the meetings were had with Lester and Hammel’s agents.
*The Cubs have been connected to outfielder Nick Markasis and Markasis is interested in the Cubs, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. Markasis and the Baltimore Orioles were trying to hammer down a contract extension before free agency, but the talks have stalled between the two. Talks could still happen, but Markasis is now exploring his options.
*In his weekly chat, Jesse Rogers says keep an eye on what the Atlanta Braves do with outfielder Jason Heywood. Heywood is a free agent next season and is available. The Braves reportedly want to trade one of Justin Upton and Heywood. This is not the first we heard of Heywood and the Cubs connected. If the Cubs sign catcher Russell Martin, don’t be surprise is we hear catcher Wellington Castillo’s name floated in trade talks.
*In not so big news, Justin Upton can reject a trade to the Cubs, says Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Upton can reject a trade to four teams and the Cubs are one of the four. The Cubs weren’t expected to have much interest, if at all. But Upton is not a fan of the Cubs. When Upton was on the Arizona Diamondbacks, he still had the Cubs as one of four teams he would reject a trade to.
*The Cubs have interest in relief pitcher Andrew Miller, according to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score. The Cubs are one of many teams that have express interest in Miller, including the South Siders (Chicago White Sox).
*Will the Cubs have interest in Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford? Bruce Levine thinks they may. The Dodgers are expected to trade an outfielder this year since they have a surplus of them. The Dodgers will likely trade Crawford, Andrew Ethier or possibly Matt Kemo. Just to mention it, but this is not a rumor, it is manly speculation by Levine.
The rumor mill is just starting…