Jed Hoyer met with the media prior to the opener of the six-game homestand. Hoyer said the front office is actively trying to make the team better. The Cubs are working the phones non-stop and are in communication with everyone.
Hoyer indicated, “There’s a very long week to go. We wouldn’t be making this many calls and working hard as we are if we weren’t trying to make moves before the deadline.”
According to multiple reports, Hoyer said it’s too early to tell if it is a buyers or seller’s market. The Cubs are focused on pitching but may try to add a bat. Hoyer pointed out most of the improvement on offense will have to come from within. Players are going to have to pick it up.
Bruce Levine reported, Hoyer “emphasized pitching and a versatile super utility man are priorities.”
The Cubs are buyers at the deadline for the first time under the current front office as ESPN Chicago reported. And he responded to the constant flow of trade rumors and speculation.
“People push their narratives out there for their own benefit,” Hoyer told ESPN Chicago. “Sometimes there’s a parallel universe of rumors out there.”
- Full Report from the Sun-Times
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
- Full Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Full Report from the Tribune
Javier Baez played second base and batted third for the AZL Cubs on Friday night. After going 1-for-3 in his first action in six weeks on Thursday night, Baez went 1-for-3 in his second game.
Javier Baez is 2-for-6 in two games without a walk or a strikeout.
Before Friday’s game in which he picked up save No. 17 on the season, Jonathan Papelbon spent time with his former bosses, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. By no means is it uncommon to see a visiting player leave the home clubhouse, but Papelbon was seen leaving the Cubs’ side of Wrigley Field with Jed Hoyer.
Papelbon likes the idea of pitching for the Cubs and said Friday that “Chicago would be a fun place to win.”
Papelbon defended the time he spent with Epstein and Hoyer and pointed out he did not “need to make a sales pitch.” Papelbon asked about their families and caught up with two people he described as “guys that will be baseball friends forever.” Papelbon stressed that Epstein and Hoyer know him and he would not try to sell himself to them.
According to reports late Friday from Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Nationals have talked to the Phillies about Jonathan Papelbon. And there would be a fit, according to Rosenthal, if the Phillies “paid most of his remaining salary.”
The Phillies might be overvaluing Jonathan Papelbon and still asking too much for their players according to a report from the Philadelphia Daily News.
The Cubs first round pick, OF/2B Ian Happ, spent Friday at Wrigley Field. Happ hung out on the field before the game, took batting practice and stayed for the game. Happ is scheduled to report to South Bend on Saturday.
Cubs Rumors Links Corner
• George Ofman reported Friday, the Dodgers are pressing hard for David Price. Andrew Friedman wants another ace on his staff. Cole Hamels has slipped behind Price on the Dodgers’ preference list. Ofman added it is “doubtful either (Price or Hamels) winds up with the Cubs, but you never know.”
• According to Ken Rosenthal, the Astros will have scouts at Wrigley on Saturday to watch Cole Hamels. The Astros would like to add another starter and are “staying on periphery knowing that not many teams can offer what the Phillies want” for Hamels.
• The Padres “are listening on at least half their staff” according to Jayson Stark. Teams that Stark has talked to indicated A.J. Preller “really wants to move both James Shields and Andrew Cashner.”
• According to a report from Tony Andracki, Jon Lester is fine if the Cubs stand pat at the trade deadline. Lester thinks an addition would be a shot in the arm but he thinks the team is “pretty darn good right now.”
News, Notes and Other Rumors
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Blue Jays “remain in active discussions with the White Sox about Jeff Samardzija.
• Ben Lindbergh: What’s Behind the Sudden Surge in Pitchers Batting Eighth?
• Comcast SportsNet: Cubs bullpen coughs up game to lowly Phillies
• According to a report from Anthony DiComo, the Mets admitted that the success Kyle Schwarber has had played into their decision to promote OF Michael Conforto.
And last, but not least, a dispute between two beat reporters led Joe Maddon to wear a catcher’s mask into his pre-game meeting Friday with the media.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – Andre Dawson was inducted into the Hall of Fame
1988 – Cubs tested their new $5 million lighting system at Wrigley Field with the first scheduled night game (August 8) two weeks away. Six banks of lights on 33-foot steel towers along the first base and third base lines illuminated the field during a charity even in which the players took batting practice and participated in a home run derby.
1980 – Joey Amalfitano replaced Preston Gomez as Cubs manager
1965 – Cubs executed a triple play in the fourth inning of game two of a double header at Wrigley Field. Bob Clemente of the Pirates hit a ball to Glenn Beckert to shortstop Don Kessinger to first baseman Ernie Banks. The Cubs beat the Pirates 5-0 in the second game after losing the first game 3-2.
1964 – Jose Bautista, born
1948 – Bill Nicholson hit the 200th homer of his career in the seventh inning and Eddie Waitkus hit a three-run inside-the-park home run in the fourth as the Cubs topped the Giants 6-3 at Wrigley Field
1947 – Mick Kelleher, born
1936 – Cubs pounded out 19 hits and beat the Phillies 17-4. The Cubs extended their lead over the Cardinals in the National League to three games. Augie Galen and Ethan Allen hit home runs.
1894 – George Decker hit a 520-foot home run and Jimmy Ryan scored six runs as the Chicago National League Ball Club beat the Pirates 24-6 at West Side Grounds
1876 – The Chicago National League Ball Club collected 26 hits, six by Cal McVey, in a 23-3 victory over the Reds behind Albert Spalding at 23rd Street Grounds