Checking On the Cubs Rumor Mill at the All-Star Break

While the front office has already dealt its two biggest trade chips of the summer, there are several players on the Cubs big league roster that teams are believed to have interest in.

Teams have recently scouted LHP James Russell and LHP Wesley Wright. The Royals and Blue Jays have been connected to Carlos Villanueva. Luis Valbuena is believed to be on Oakland’s radar. The Royals are reportedly interested in reunion with a rehabbing Emilio Bonifacio. And Justin Ruggiano and Chris Coghlan are being viewed as possible options for teams.

Plus, the New York media is convinced the Cubs front office is willing to trade a shortstop.

Emilio Bonifacio

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Emilio Bonifacio is “coveted by numerous teams” including the Kansas City Royals, the team that let him walk in the spring and that is paying some of his contract, and Blue Jays. Levine also mentioned the Reds as a possibility for Bonifacio with Brandon Phillips on the DL.

PrintBonifacio is rehabbing a right oblique strain in Arizona that has sidelined him since June 13. The Cubs have not given a timeframe on when Bonifacio should be ready to re-join the team.

As of this writing, Emilio Bonifacio had played in two games for the AZL Cubs and was 3-for-6 with a walk, a strikeout and a stolen base.

Justin Ruggiano and Cubs Outfielders

The Royals are looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder and have shown interest in Justin Ruggiano according to Bruce Levine. Kansas City could be looking at a package deal with the Cubs for Ruggiano that would include Carlos Villanueva. Jerry Crasnick reported Monday that Jonny Gomes is also on the Royals’ radar.

The Mariners would also like to add a right-handed hitting outfielder and are looking at other options if they cannot trade for Marlon Byrd. Justin Ruggiano and Junior Lake are believed to be on their list, along with Josh Willingham, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo. Seattle might not be the only team looking at Junior Lake. According to Jon Heyman, other teams have scouted Lake and view him as a possible change-of scenery candidate.

And Jon Heyman reported Monday, that Cubs could receive interest in the hot-hitting Chris Coghlan. Coghlan is 20-for-46 over his last 13 games with eight doubles and three home runs (.435/.509/.804/1.313) and has his line up to .275/.355/.477 in 58 games this season with 11 doubles, two triples, five home runs and a .832 OPS. Coghlan began the year in the minors. Fredi Gonzalez, Coghlan’s manager in Florida five years ago, said last weekend that what he is seeing from Coghlan lately is very similar to the player that was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2009.

Cubs Shortstops

Within 10 minutes of the trade between the Cubs and Athletics being confirmed, the National and New York media jumped on the fact the Cubs have three, very good young shortstops in the organization, and the Cubs would match up with the pitching-rich New York Mets on a trade.

Theo Epstein is on record saying the Cubs are not looking to trade any of the three shortstops right now, but the New York media is convinced that Starlin Castro, Javier Baez or Addison Russell is available.

Adam Rubin reported Monday the Mets are looking to upgrade at shortstop from Ruben Tejada and the Cubs “have a glut of young shortstops.” The Cubs “may ultimately deal Starlin Castro” for that reason but Javier Baez “is believed to be a more realistic target for the Mets.”

Adam Rubin did not speculate on which pitchers the Mets would have to give up when he speculated Javier Baez could be acquired.

Considering many feel Baez and Russell could ultimately move off shortstop and Kris Bryant will be a corner outfielder, what motivation would the Cubs have this season to move a 24-year old shortstop that already has a 200-hit season under his belt at the Major League level and is now driving the baseball instead of just collecting hits?

Other Cubs Rumors

Frank Wren is looking for a lefty to add to the Braves bullpen. According to Jim Bowden, Wren is interested in James Russell. The Braves scouted James Russell and Wesley Wright prior to the series at Wrigley Field. Russell pitched two innings against the Braves on Saturday and was very good while Wright faced only one batter during the three games with Atlanta.

The Blue Jays remain interested in Darwin Barney according to Bruce Levine.

David Price added a little fuel to the possibility of him signing with the Cubs when he hits free agency after the 2015 season. During media day for the All-Star Game, Price was asked a hypothetical question about the possibly of joining the Cubs. Price’s response, “That would probably be the coolest city to win a championship.” Price was asked about the trade rumors and admitted he is not sure where he will be on July 31. Price said “he has a few teams in mind, but he wouldn’t divulge” which ones according to a report from Barry Bloom.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth