Time for the Cubs to Sell, Sell, Sell

With the 83rd Mid-Summer Classic in the rearview mirror, the focus throughout the game will turn to the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of the month. While the new CBA might have thrown the Cubs for a loop with the draft, the new playoff format could end up benefiting the organization.

The Cubs have several players that could help teams fighting for a division crown … or for one of the now four wild card spots. During a recent interview on MLB Network Radio, Jed Hoyer said under the new format teams will do everything they can to win their respective division and avoid the play-in game.

While the pieces have not fit together, players such as Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker could be good role players on contending teams and there are several arms on the Cubs’ current staff that will help teams. Ryan Dempster figures to be the first pitcher traded and Matt Garza could not far behind him … then there is Paul Maholm. Teams have started asking about Maholm to help with the backend of their rotation.

Ryan Dempster
According to a report from Bruce Levine upwards of ten teams will be on hand Saturday for Ryan Dempster’s start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers, Braves and Indians have shown the most interest in Dempster to this point … and both the Braves and Indians could offer a better package for Dempster than the Dodgers. The White Sox are also in the mix and Paul Konerko wouldn’t mind Dempster pitching on the South Side of Chicago.

According to Levine, the Cubs are looking for “impact young pitching that can be projected for 2014 and beyond” and third base is “also a position that is high on the Cubs’ wish list.”

During a spot on ESPN 1000 on Tuesday afternoon, Levine reported that if all goes well on Saturday that Dempster could be dealt over the next week. Levine acknowledged that the White Sox are one of the teams interested in trading for Dempster and it could take a package that would include Nestor Molina to get a deal done with the Cubs.

Matt Garza
The Cubs are listening to offers for Matt Garza, and they have been since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the organization. According to Bruce Levine, Garza should be traded a couple of weeks after Ryan Dempster … which would be right before the trade deadline. Numerous teams, including the Tigers, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Braves, Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox, have been linked to Matt Garza.

According to a report from the Boston Herald, the Cubs are believed to be one possible destination for outfielder Ryan Sweeney and Sweeney could be in the talks with the Cubs for either Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster. The report from the Herald correctly pointed out that “Sweeney would have to be part of a much larger package if either of those pitchers (Garza or Dempster), particularly Garza, went to the Red Sox.” Reports from Jon Heyman and Nick Cafardo during the All-Star game indicated that Ryan Sweeney could be dealt in order to activate Jacoby Ellsbury from the DL on Friday.

More Rumors
During his weekly chat, Bruce Levine said there is a good chance that Paul Maholm will be traded. Levine sees Maholm as “underrated player as far as trade talk goes.”

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs would like to keep Jeff Samardzija and develop him.

There are a couple teams interested in Reed Johnson. According to Bruce Levine, Johnson would be a nice addition to the White Sox.

Darwin Barney is drawing interest from teams but the Cubs will not move him unless they receive a young second base prospect back in the deal.

News and Notes
The Cubs have not made the Albert Almora signing official yet but Albert Almora has. Almora tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he was officially a Cub and his professional career starts on Wednesday.

Ian Stewart said the surgery on his left wrist was a success. Stewart admitted that his season is likely done … and possibly his Cubs’ career as well. During one of his nightly Twitter sessions, Stewart mentioned there is a chance he will not be back with the Cubs next season.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax