Checking In on the Cubs Rumor Mill

The countdown has begun to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, will the Cubs’ GM be ‘Trader Jim‘ or ‘Stand-Pat Hendry‘?

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Jim Hendry sees a turnaround for the Cubs by 2012. Hendry “believes in the strength of the organization, that the scouting and player development departments are building a pipeline that will flow more and more talent into Wrigley Field” and he doesn’t see the Cubs “as a long-term rebuilding project.”

According to Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs “will hold onto the pieces they believe will help make them a contender in 2012.”

Teams are rumored to be calling on the availability on several of the players on the Cubs roster. Here is the update from the mill …

Carlos Pena
According to Jim Bowden, the Cubs need to trade Carlos Pena and his remaining salary in order to use that money toward making a run at either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols in the off-season. Bowden’s opinion aside, the Diamondbacks, Pirates and Angels have had conversations with the Cubs about Pena.

According to Bowden, the Cubs are reluctant to move him but Bowden feels the Cubs will trade him if a team offers the right prospect in return.

Jon Heyman tweeted Monday that Pena “will almost surely be moved” and he’s heard Arizona is interested as well.

According to the Sun-Times, “there’s a growing sense that the Cubs might consider Pena an option for first base next year.”

Jeff Baker
Several reports have indicated that Jeff Baker is one of the untouchables on the Cubs roster and Jim Hendry has no desire to trade him because he figures into the Cubs’ plans for 2012. Jim Bowden acknowledged the fact the Cubs are telling teams he’s unavailable but Bowden believes every player is available at the right price … and Baker’s versatility could help a lot of teams.

According to the Sun-Times, the Red Sox and Phillies have shown interest in trading for Jeff Baker.

Aramis Ramirez
According to Bruce Levine, Ramirez and Jim Hendry recently met about Ramirez waiving his 10-and-5 rights. Ramirez said he did not want to leave the Cubs and would not approve a trade. According to Levine, Aramis Ramirez is off the market.

Marlon Byrd
According to Jim Bowden, too many teams need outfield help and Marlon Byrd could help a lot of them.

Kosuke Fukudome
Bruce Levine reported Sunday that at least four teams are zeroing in on Fukudome … with the Indians being hot on his trail. Jim Bowden mentioned the Red Sox have shown interest in Fukudome as well. Bowden said Boston sounds willing to give up a mid-level prospect for Fukudome. The Giants have also been linked to Fukudome.

Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood
Both Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood will stay with the team for the remainder of the season. Dempster has 10-and-5 rights and Jim Hendry has told teams that he is not going to trade Ryan Dempster. As for Wood, the one-year deal the former ‘Kid K‘ signed in the off-season included a full no-trade clause. Wood will not be traded this season.

Sean Marshall
The Cubs have said Marshall is not available as well but Jim Bowden is convinced that if he was, teams like the Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees would be interested.

John Grabow
The high-priced mop-up reliever has a contract that would make him hard to deal according to Jon Heyman. John Grabow signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract in the winter of 2009 and is being paid $4.8 million this season.

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney