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 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).
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.
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.
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 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.