With a week to go in the non-waiver trade deadline as expected, the rumor mill has kicked into high gear and the Cubs appear to be mentioned in just about every other report and rumor that surfaces.
For every report that states the Cubs are interested in one player, there is another that says the exact opposite … welcome to the ‘Silly Season’.
Multiple reports have suggested the Cubs are dangling Starlin Castro and Jayson Stark said Castro, along with Javier Baez, were offered to the Phillies in talks for Cole Hamels.
The Sun-Times reported the Cubs “recently gauged the market interest in Starlin Castro but found little potential traction.” The Cubs floating Castro’s name could have more to do with deals down the road than for this season. Gordon Wittenmyer added “the Cubs did not expect to trade Castro in a deadline deal.”
The front office would prefer to make deals that would benefit the big league team now and in the future. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer haven’t said the Cubs would not trade for a rental player. The Sun-Times reported the front office “is casting a wide net” that has included conversations on “nearly every two-month rental perceived to be on the market.”
David Kaplan reported late Thursday that his sources confirmed the Cubs “have been in discussions with the Phillies on a deal for Cole Hamels.” And the Cubs “will probably add an additional starter for depth perhaps as a rental type but that is not expected to be a significant acquisition.”
Not more than 10 minutes before David Kaplan’s report hit the wire, Gordon Wittenmyer reported, “Forget Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels. The Cubs have plenty of interest in the opposing starter they’ll face Saturday, but don’t appear to have the combination of payroll flexibility and high-end prospects they’re willing to trade to pull it off.” The Cubs are still talking to the Phillies about Hamels “but not pursuing as hard as other teams.”
David Price made what could have been his last start at Comerica Park on Thursday. And Price left to a standing ovation. Price allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in eight-plus innings.
The Cubs were among the teams with scouts in attendance to watch Price’s start on Thursday.
For every report that says the Cubs are making a run at Price, there is one that states the Cubs cannot afford his salary and the front office is not willing to deal the prospects to acquire him.
• According to Bob Nightengale, the Dodgers have David Price “atop their wish list.” The Tigers won’t decide until next week whether Price will be made available before the deadline.
• The Dodgers are determined to add a top of the rotation starter according to Jim Bowden and are focused on Cole Hamels, David Price and Johnny Cueto.
• A day after Bruce Levine reported the Cubs and Tigers were talking about a David Price deal, Mark Gonzales mentioned a top Tigers’ scout attended the Cubs-Reds series.
• According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs do not have the payroll flexibility to acquire David Price and are not willing to pay, in terms of prospects, what it would take to make a deal with the Tigers for Price.
The Cubs are one of several team interested in INF/OF Ben Zobrist … whether or not the front office will pay the price to acquire him that is the question.
• Shortly after the news of Scott Kazmir being moved to Houston, Susan Slusser tweeted, “With Kazmir gone, don’t be surprised to see Ben Zobrist dealt next.”
• Jeff Passan reported deals are not close with the A’s for Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard, but both will be moved in the coming days … it’s just a matter of time.
• According to John Harper, Billy Beane “told a confident he has better offers for Ben Zobrist than anything the Mets have proposed.”
• The A’s are drawing “heavy interest in Zobrist” according to Ken Rosenthal. A deal is “unlikely to happen quickly, team will need time to shift through proposals.”
• The Cubs have checked in with the A’s about Ben Zobrist multiple times over the past two months according to the Sun-Times.
Joe Frisaro reported Thursday that the Blue Jays and Cubs “are potential landing spots for Mat Latos.”
Latos is a free agent at the end of the season. And it is questionable if the Cubs would make a deal for a rental like Latos.
Jed Hoyer knows Mat Latos well from their time together in San Diego. If the reports are accurate about his clubhouse issues with the Reds and Marlins, Hoyer’s history with Latos should provide the Cubs enough information if he would fit in Joe Maddon’s clubhouse and not disrupt team chemistry.
• According to a report from the Sun-Times, RHP Mat Latos and RHP Dan Haren are among the starting pitchers the Cubs have had “exploratory conversations.”
Other Cubs Rumors
• The Cubs have contacted the Braves about RHP Julio Teheran according to the Sun-Times.
• Cubs are one of the teams pushing the hardest for starting pitching according to Joel Sherman.
• The Cubs are “pushing their efforts to find a bat almost as hard as they were looking for starting pitching” according to the Sun-Times.
• The Cubs have been linked to RHP Tyson Ross, RHP James Shields, RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Ian Kennedy, OF Will Venable and RHP Craig Kimbrel … and according to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres “are officially sellers.” Tyson Ross is perhaps the least likely of the players A.J. Preller will attempt to trade. Scott Miller reported, the Padres “are ready to sell but will first wait and see how the four-game series with the Marlins goes.”
• The Sun-Times reported “forget about Jonathan Papelbon the Cubs made their bullpen moves” with the additions of RHP Yoervis Medina and RHP Rafael Soriano.”
• If the Cubs make an addition to the bullpen it will likely be a call-up of Carl Edwards Jr. from Triple-A Iowa according to the Sun-Times.
• The Cubs are waiting to see what message the front office sends at the trade deadline according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.