Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer won’t be attending the All-Star game. They will spend the break in the office working on possible deals as the trading deadline approaches.
Epstein and Hoyer are fielding plenty of calls from teams interested in trading for players such as Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg, James Russell and Nate Schierholtz. According to a report from Carrie Muskat, there is a lot of chatter right now but nothing is imminent.
Matt Garza is the hot topic around the game. Epstein addressed Garza’s situation on Friday and reiterated there is a chance the Cubs “retain him beyond this year.”
The Cubs are expected to trade Matt Garza but Epstein and Hoyer are not going to give him away. The Cubs are reportedly asking for a lot in return for Garza, who is seen as a difference maker for a contending team.
Olney reported on Friday that the Rangers and Cardinals “are the teams most likely to land Matt Garza” and it will come down to which team is willing to “surrender a high-end package requested by the Cubs.”
After snapping his 0-for-20 skid on Thursday night, Javier Baez had a big day on Friday for the Smokies. Baez singled in the go ahead run in game one of the doubleheader that broke a scoreless tie then smacked his second homer in a Smokies uniform in game two.
The Smokies won both games of the twin bill and Javier Baez went 4-for-8 with a home run, two RBI and a walk.
News and Notes
The Cubs will stay true to their vision according to a report from Bruce Levine.
Dale Sveum announced his possible rotation coming out of the All-Star break on Friday. The Cubs open the second half with an extremely challenging 10-game trip out West that begins with three in Colorado on the Friday following the All-Star game. After the weekend series against the Rockies, the Cubs play four games in Arizona then wrap-up the trip with a weekend series in San Francisco. Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson will start the three games in Denver. Matt Garza and Travis Wood will follow and start the first two games in Phoenix.
Starlin Castro is back in the swing according to a report from ESPN Chicago. Castro is 13-for-43 this month with two doubles, two home runs, and three walks (.302/.362/.488/.850).
And speaking of Starlin Castro, his home run on Friday was the Cubs’ 100th of the season. The Cubs did not hit 100 home runs until the second game of a doubleheader on August 16 last year.
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs hope to emulate the Cardinal Way.
The Cubs are 11-20 in one run games this season and 4-9 in one run games at Wrigley Field.