Since the Cubs aren’t playing good baseball and will be sellers come the trade deadline, the rumors are already starting to heat up. That’s with almost 2 months ’til the July 31st trade deadline. Here’s the latest from the rumor mill:
**The perspective around the league is the Cubs will trade starting pitcher Matt Garza. Theo Epstein has said Garza is a player the Cubs would love to build around. He is a player to build around, but if the Cubs are offered a great package for Garza, he will be traded. There’s no question in my mind. Garza may be the top pitcher come the trade deadline as more teams will be buyers than sellers. Also, the Cubs could get more for Garza now than in the off-season because more teams see Garza as a true #2 starter now. In the off-season teams were more skeptical because they saw him as a #3 starter. The Yankees have Garza atop their list for the trade deadline. Cbssports reports the Red Sox have Garza high on their list too. The Blue Jays are playing great baseball and need a starting pitcher. The Jays had a lot of interest Garza in the off-season, but backed out because of the price tag. Garza knows the AL East well and why they have the most interest. The Tigers also could have interest in Garza again, but only if they pick up the pace. If not, I don’t see them paying the price for Garza. I do see Garza being traded as I think a team will over-pay for Garza’s services as a bidding way will start up.
If Garza is not traded at the July 31st trade deadline, I see the Cubs signing him to an extension. Just because his price tag will go down and the Cubs will most likely lose the Garza trade.
Zack Greinke could become available, but teams don’t like how he has trouble pitching in big crowds. Also, I don’t see him being traded as the Brewers will still be in the race. The NL Central is wide open and anyone can still take it.
Another pitcher that may be available is Phillies’ Cole Hamels. However, I do not see him be traded as well. I highly doubt the Phillies will be out of the race come July. Also, he’s a free agent after the year and teams don’t want to pay for a rental. Garza has 1 more year ’til free agency and teams have a full year to lock him up.
**Another pitcher the Cubs will likely deal is Ryan Dempster. Teams see him having a great season and since he’s a free agent after the year and knowing the Cubs will likely not re-sign him. Teams will know that Dempster won’t cost a whole lot. Dempster does have a no-trade cause, but said he will not let that get in the way of a trade. Team Theo has sat down with him and have talked about this situation. I see the Blue Jays and Yankees battling for Matt Garza and the Red Sox/White Sox battling for Dempster. The Red Sox and White Sox are pretty weak in their minors, but they will have a player or two to acquire Dempster. This may sound bad, but Dempster wants to stay in Chicago and if it’s not with the Cubs, try and trade him to the South Side.
**Third and final rumor for now is … could the Dodgers make a play for OF Reed Johnson or Jeff Baker? Buster Olney thinks they could have interest in either of the players. The Cubs will likely trade both of the players and both players will be on the cheap side. The Dodgers have picked up one player the Cubs did not want anymore and that was Ryan Theriot. If the Cubs do trade Johnson, Dave Sappelt could take his spot on the roster. If the Cubs trade Baker, Luis Valbuena could take his spot on the roster. Sappelt is not having a great season for Triple A, but he’ll be a good replacement for Johnson and Valbuena is doing pretty well in Triple A.
The Cubs are expected to be very active come the trade deadline and many players could be moved. There’s was some talk that Dempster could be moved in the coming weeks, so we’ll see. For a struggling team, this is the best part of the season for Cub fans!
**Teams can finally negotiate with Cuban’ Jorge Soler. 5 months later and may finally come to the US to play ball. The Cubs are the leader to sign Soler and we could see a signing very soon. I believe teams can talk to Soler, but he cannot officially sign with a team yet.
**Also, if you have time on your hands, watch Triple A players … Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. Rizzo just returned to the line-up, while Jackson and Vitters are red hot right now. We could see all 3 players in Chicago this year. So … watch for these 3 players!