And the Cubs are Now Open for Business

It is not yet July but the Cubs are talking to multiple teams about the players on their roster and some think the Cubs could start trading players in the very near future.

Jed Hoyer acknowledged on Tuesday that he and Theo Epstein have “talked to every other general manager in the last four, five days about possible deals.” And it appears the next two games in Milwaukee will be used as showcases for both Scott Feldman and Matt Garza.

The Sun-Times reported Feldman and Garza could be among the first players traded in what could be a busier July than last year.

With a few exceptions, the Cubs appear to be listening to offers for every player on their roster. The Cubs do not seem to be willing to part with Jeff Samardzija, Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood and Starlin Castro but unlike the previous regime, the word untouchable does not appear to be part of the Theo Epstein front office.

Carrie Muskat reported a National League scout at Miller Park joked that he “saw the garage sale sign and wanted to see what was available” and more scouts are expected in Milwaukee over the next two days with Scott Feldman and Matt Garza starting on Wednesday and Thursday.

Former Cubs’ farmhand, Ricky Nolasco appears to be the key right now as the Marlins are reportedly doing everything they can to move the veteran right hander. The Dodgers, Giants and Orioles are known to be interested in Nolasco with the Dodgers making a big push to acquire him due to the way he’s pitched against the Giants throughout his career.

Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman would seem to be a better fit for a National League team, especially one out west. There has been speculation that the Giants could be interested. Feldman and Matt Garza both fit what Giants’ GM Brian Sabean is looking for, a rental player who can be a free agent after the season, but the Giants are not looking to trade their prospects, which would not appear to match-up with the Cubs.

The Giants would prefer to make a deal with another team for a starter and take on the salary without giving up big prospects according to a report from Henry Schulman. Schulman has mentioned Feldman as a possibility for the Giants because he is from the Bay Area (Burlingame).

Matt Garza

Jed Hoyer would not discuss whether or not the Cubs are talking about dealing Matt Garza or signing him to a contract extension. Some feel the Cubs could maximize Garza’s value by trading him sooner rather than later so he could have a bigger impact with additional starts in July for his new team.

The Cubs have reportedly discussed Garza with the Padres and the Giants have also discussed Garza internally according to Jon Heyman. Heyman thinks the competition for Garza, along with Ricky Nolasco and Bud Norris, could get quite heavy due to the lack of starting pitching thought to be available.

The Rockies, Indians, Rangers and Orioles are also believed to be interested in trading for Matt Garza.

Bruce Levine thinks Garza will be the first one traded.

Kevin Gregg

According to Buster Olney, the Cubs are getting “multiple hits” on Kevin Gregg. The Cubs would like to turn Gregg into a long-term asset and cash in on his very good start to the season.

James Russell

The Cubs might be listening to offers on James Russell but according to Jon Heyman, the Cubs are not inclined to trade him.

This should come as no surprise. The Cubs do not have to move him. Russell not only fills a need but he is not expensive and figures to be a hot commodity next July as well. The Cubs would have to be blown away in order to trade Russell.

Nate Schierholtz

Nate Schierholtz is quietly having a very good season. For the first time in his career, Schierholtz has received regular playing time and has responded with a .300/.350/.576 line that includes 19 doubles, two triples and a career-high 11 home runs. Schierholtz is making only $2.25 million guaranteed this season. The Cubs do not have to move Schierholtz but he could end up netting a bigger return than some may think. Schierholtz is under team control for one more season and while he will be in line for a raise, he would still be very affordable.

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  • TheWrongGuy

    Good work nice read Neal.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you

  • Ripsnorter1

    I’m thinking that Marmol will go to another team and pitch successfully for them. I would rather Shawn Camp had been DFA’d. But perhaps the Cubs will realize some money off of this deal and it will help them on the International market. Marmol had to be traded anyway, so let’s get ‘er done.

    Schierholtz has played well as a one-way player. He’s both hitting and slugging .200 vs LHP in the mere 25 AB he has received.

    My thinking that Carlos Silva, er, Scott Feldman, will make the acquiring NL team sorry they got him. The league is starting to adjust to his stuff, and he’s starting to show it. I hope the Giants get him, or the Padres.

    And I hope this is a very busy trade season for the Cubs. Clean out the old and make way for the new.

    • Tony_Hall

      Seriously, you take time to talk about Schierholtz and you have to take a negative spin to even him. He has been a very good FA pickup that is filling the role he is being asked to play very well. Every player has a negative stat you can show…..every player.

      Schierholtz
      300/350/576

      • SomeGuy27

        Dateline: October 25, 2015-CHICAGO CUBS SWEEP TIGERS FOR SERIES WIN!

        Meanwhile at CCO…

        Ripsnorter1: I always KNEW this front office had a plan, that’s why I’ve preached patience. The fact that Mr. Epstein and Mr. Hoyer were savvy enough to not only re-acquire Ian Stewart but to also lock up Mr. Scott Feldman long term is proof that blah, blah, blah, … :)

        • Ray Ray

          2015? Really? You really want to go there?

          • SomeGuy27

            Dateline: October 25, 2015-CHICAGO CUBS SWEEP TIGERS FOR SERIES WIN!

            Meanwhile at CCO…

            Ray Ray: Although I expected us to win it all last year…

          • Ray Ray

            Hahahaha.

            Dateline: October, 2015

            The Cubs finished in 3rd and almost finished with a .500 record.

            Meanwhile at the CCO…..

            SomeGuy says Theo is building an empire and in another 3 years this team with have SUSTAINED success and be the envy of every major league team. Theo has set a record as having the lowest winning percentage in Cubs history as a GM in his first 4 years but his job appears safe. Dale Sveum is still the manager. Rizzo got his average up to .225 with RISP. Castro still shows lapses and Sveum continues to threaten to send these 2 down to AAA.

          • paulcatanese

            And don’t forget all of this and trading for the 20something players that were suspended shortly after joining the Cubs for substance abuse.:)

          • Ray Ray

            Unfortunately Some Guy….My scenario is more realistic! LOL

          • paulcatanese

            As did I, at least close to the .500 mark.

        • Brp921

          So is the 2015 world series prediction a guarantee ?:)

        • paulcatanese

          Ah, the Cub fan, ever so the optimist. That could be a bit premature. 2015 you say.
          Each year it gets put off another two or three.:):)

    • 07GreyDigger

      I thought Scott Feldman was Chris Volstad? I guess Carlos Silva is an upgrade because he was effective for a few seasons. I’ll take it!

    • calicub

      If Feldman started the season 8-0 like silva did a few years back for us I think he’d return a much better haul.

    • paulcatanese

      Can’t figure what you are saying about Marmol Rip, he has been pitching for another team, any team the Cubs have faced:)))

  • calicub

    I know we spoke about it a few days ago, but with the Giants faltering in the West and in need of a salary dump player with some power, soriano should be looking fairly attractive to the limp noodle Giants. They are also looking for pitching better than a perspective 4 or 5 starter packaging Garza soriano and cash could net a solid return and benefit all parties involved (phonzie may need some prodding but a chance to join a team with a legit chance of winning, he may be convinced). The giants would get a number 3 starter and phonzie would greatly boost an offense who as a team failed to hit a HR in 90+ innings

    • gary3411

      I like this idea. They probably would want to take on more of Soriano’s contract as they’ve stated they’d rather do that than give up top prospects. That’s ok though, if he comes off the books we will have a ridiculous amount of money in 2014 and beyond.

      The Edwin Jackson contract really seems to suck right now, but he has another year or 2 and a chance to turn it around to make it not so horrible.

    • Suzy S

      Remember last year when Soriano claimed that playing in the cold weather would be bad for his legs??? I don’t see that changing…I would discount Soriano to the Giants rumors at this point.

  • Ray Ray

    Let’s hope Theo brings back some starting pitching this year. Last year was kind of a circus with the Ryan Dempster saga. I mentioned before that Patrick Corbin was aquired in a trade for Dan Haren in 2010. Jeff Locke was aquired in a deal for Nate McClouth. Hopefully they can get a higher ceiling pitcher without as much risk as a Vizcaino(injury and doubts that he is durable enough to start) With all these trade chips they have…he should be able to bring in some near ready talent to contribute soon.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I agree. Dempster really hosed them with his whole circus. I think if he would have gone to Atlanta in the first place, they wouldn’t have rushed the whole Maholm deal. I think with them open for business early they can really work deals better.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I don’t blame Dempster for the bad Atlanta deal or the circus. The media got a hold of information and things got blown way out of proportion.

        • Ray Ray

          They had a deal in place without getting Dempster’s approval to waive his no trade. That is not the media. Atlanta thought the deal was done. Go back and check the quotes.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I believe the story was that he said he was open to it and then changed his mind because it was “not his first choice.” I understand that it was his right, but he waffled and they got hosed.

          • Ray Ray

            Per Frank Wren. Dempster was wanting to go to Dodgers but Theo never told him about the deal until after the fact. Dempster was pissed and said no.

            ON WHAT HAPPENED TO LOSE DEMPSTER DEAL: “In his case, from my
            understanding – and I’m only getting it second hand from the Cubs – they
            had a meeting with him a couple weeks ago and laid it out, and the
            primary two suitors were use and theDodgers. And he had positive things
            to say about both, and he had a slight preference to the Dodgers because
            of Ted Lilly. He and Ted Lilly are best of friends and he’d like to go
            play with his friend. And I think there were also some personal issues
            that suited better for him. And as it went down, from my understanding,
            the Cubs informed him in the last week that the Dodgers weren’t really
            as aggressive as we were and they thought the deal was going to go with
            us. I think he was given a heads up along the way. I think it may be the
            way it was presented as far as coming out in the media [Monday]. I
            think that was blindsiding, not that he necessarily didn’t know this was
            coming down.’’

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes but they (the media) also had reported before the deal was final that it was final. That p*ssed Dempster off. Also adding all that you mentioned was true as well.

          • Ray Ray

            Agreed. I think if Theo and Jed handled it better with Dempster though it would have been done. Don’t you think that you need 100% confirmation from Dempster that he would approve a deal to Atlanta before finalizing anything with Wren? Wren was blindsided. He thought it was a done deal.

          • 07GreyDigger

            From the same story you posted, “theyhad a meeting with him a couple weeks ago and laid it out, and the primary two suitors were us and the Dodgers. And he had positive things to say about both, and he had a slight preference to the Dodgers because of Ted Lilly.”

            To me this says that Theo and Jed DID go to the Dempster and explain the situation and Dempster reiterated that his preference was to the Dodgers and gave his reasons.

            “And as it went down, from my understanding, the Cubs informed him in the last week that the Dodgers weren’t really
            as aggressive as we were and they thought the deal was going to go with
            us.”

            I think this is where the issue comes in either from Dempster or the media. I don’t think it necessarily was a flub on the FO. It seems from the beginning they were transparent and told Dempster his two choices. When they got a better deal from the Braves, they told him so and that was their preference. Once the media got a hold of the rumor they figured it was a done deal and Dempster either took offense or wasn’t truthful about being OK with the Braves.

            I don’t really see in that quote how the FO mishandled it. Seems like they handled it pretty well.

            I’ve also heard in the past that Dempster thought he’d have more input and be more involved in the trade and they may have been part of the reason he got so upset when he wasn’t.

          • Ray Ray

            I don’t want to go back and forth all day on this. The point that I was making is that it should have been 100% cut and dry that Dempster would approve a trade to a team before players are even discussed. The meeting they had with Dempster(according to reports) seemed pretty vague. It sounded as if You like the Dodgers but the Braves are #2 so we will try and make the Dodgers work first. That’s how it turned into the circus. It should have been clear to Dempster that the Cubs were going to try and get the better offer from either team and IF a deal is made ….IS he willing to waive his not trade to go the Braves or Dodgers. Somehow, I don’t think it ever got that clear cut.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I guess will agree to disagree, because to me it sounds like that’s what happened. He was open to both, but mad that he didn’t get what he wanted.

          • John_CC

            Can we go back and nit-pick more past trades? It’s so productive. Oh and soo much fun to read too!

          • 07GreyDigger

            I’m all for that. How about we blame Theo and Jed for trading Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto in 2010 for Juan Pierre. Go!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Yep, they’re idiots. Always wrong and everything is their fault. When we finally win a world series in a few years it will be despite these bozo’s as they’re not even qualified to collect garbage.

          • Ray Ray

            I would let Theo and Jed collect my trash :) Nobody is saying they are idiots. They are both very intelligent baseball men. The Ryan Dempster deal last year was a circus and was not handled correctly. That is what was brought up. But of course it turns into a ……”don’t ever qestion the great and all powerful Thoyer” “the great and all powerful Thoyer would never make a mistake,bad trade,bad signing,screw up a deal etc.” Everyone makes a mistake and/or bad deal!

          • 07GreyDigger

            Yes they do make bad deals. Ian Stewart bad deal. Not trading Marmol, bad deal. But I feel like we dump on them for everything and especially for things not their fault.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Of course everyone makes mistakes but these guys get it right more often than not. I just don’t get what’s not to be excited about with the direction of the system. Yes the team is bad but they have made it clear that they are building from the ground up. When you look at what they’ve said are they’re goals, they are doing a fabulous job of achieving them. Even most of their signings have turned into prospects. To me they are making all the right moves and I love that instead of making a run to be good one year we are setting up to be competitive year in and year out for a decade.

            I just don’t think they get enough credit and are judged by the wrong criteria. I’m grateful they work for the Cubs and believe in them and think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.

            Again, I think it mostly goes back to the decision not to hire Ryno. Which is so unfair and pitiful. He wasn’t their guy, after reading the Francona book I totally understand why. I don’t know for a fact but they wanted to build a development system and anyone that didn’t believe in that wasn’t going to be brought on board.

            I really wish everyone would read the book. As Cubs fans you’ll find it extremely enlightening into the minds of Thoyer.

          • Tony_Hall

            He HATES Theo. Was extremely vocal that he was the last guy he wanted to get the job before he was hired. He will always be anti-Theo.

  • DWalker

    Heyman is saying that the Cubs and No. 2 overall selection Kris Bryant are “nowhere close to a deal.” and he might not sign. – I don’t beleive it, no way he goes back into the pond on the chance he gets more money next year in what is supposed to be a much stronger field next year and he looses the junior bargaining chip. Worst case, Cubs get #3 pick and probably # 4-6 in what could be a much stronger class next year, but I just don’t see it happening even with Boras. Its not like Appel last year where he slipped so far in the draft.

    • Ray Ray

      I saw that. He is just trying to get as much $ as he can. As you said…it wouldn’t be a bad thing if he didn’t sign since next years class is stronger but I don’t see him not signing.

    • 07GreyDigger

      This is just Boras grandstanding to me. It’ll probably come down to the deadline, but he’ll sign. Like Appel, he has family here and he’s not going to throw that away. In Appel’s case he went from being drafted #8 to #1. #2 and #1 seems silly over a few 100k.

    • paulcatanese

      I think I had said that a few days ago that it’s a strong possibility that Bryant would finish school and then sign. Remember? A religious school, and his word from a scholarship. Hope I’m wrong, but.
      Remember or how does that go, School, honor,
      Agent and Money, somewhere in there.
      Wait, he is not joining the Marines!

  • Thomas D

    I know this is off topic but I really hate Boras. I don’t know if anyone has read this but here you go

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/06/cubs-kris-bryant-nowhere-close-to-deal.html

    If we lose out on Bryant and have to get a compensatory pick that is going to blow. How can he want 7mm signing bonus he hasn’t proved anything only that he can hit with a metal bat things change with the wooden bat and if chooses not to sign and goes back to school because Boras tells him I hope he has a bad statistical year and then get’s drafted in like round 20.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I can’t stand Boras either. If you watch USA at all, they have a show called Necessary Roughness about a therapist who works for a fictional NFL team. In this season, she left the team and works for a sports agency that seems based off the Boras corporation. The Boras character is played by a smug, slimy John Stamos. They nailed how Boras seems to be to a tee.

    • paulcatanese

      Boras, agree many do not like him. But in Appels case and maybe in Bryants as well, those two may have picked Boras as their agent, if only not to get hosed.
      Boras did not go into this blind, he had to know that these two players have convictions and obligations, and Appel proved that.
      I would like to see Bryant sign, but also understand their feelings. A degree is important and so is you’re word, it may just depend on what relationship Bryant and his school have had.

      • 07GreyDigger

        He can always get the degree after he signs though. Ross Olhendorf former Pirates pitcher got an internship at his former school one offseason to finish his degree.

        • paulcatanese

          You are absolutely correct. And most (not all) include a dollar amount separate from the bonus to do just that.

          What one should look at though is how many players put that money (scholarship) into play and actually use it?

          The amount of scholarship dollars is way below what the tuition actually cost.

          Plus with the bonus, the players for the most part, just skip the education bonus.

          I relay this with first hand knowledge of this part.

          Strong family values and a prior commitment to the school often wins out.

          It is not the end of the world if the player chooses a degree over signing a bonus,and it should be substantial enough to cover the loss of a degree.