Based on the countless reports, the Cubs have talked to the Indians, Padres and Braves about acquiring a young, controllable starting pitcher. And the same names have appeared in each report: Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Tyson Ross, Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller.
Peter Gammons joined Bruce Levine and Mike Esposito during Inside the Clubhouse (670 The Score) on Saturday morning and talked about the Cubs search for starting pitching. Gammons said the Cubs are trying to trade for starting pitching and there was a foundation of a deal in place with the Braves for Shelby Miller.
“They thought, as of Thursday, that they had the foundation for a Shelby Miller deal. All of the sudden the Braves seemed to be saying we are not trading Shelby Miller,” Gammons said. “Why were they going a long way with certain other organizations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? That is a little bit of an unstable situation out there in Atlanta. I think it’s still a possibility but at the same time I’m a little confused by, yeah he’s out there and the next day, no he’s not out there.”
Gammons’ timeline on the Cubs discussions with the Braves and John Coppolella switching directions falls in line with reports that surfaced Thursday.
Jerry Crasnick reported two days ago, the Braves may not move Miller despite receiving “a ton of hits” on him. Crasnick explained the Cubs and Braves had the pieces to make a deal but “there might not be a fit” for Jorge Soler with the way the Braves’ roster is currently constructed.
Crasnick indicated the Cubs would rather part with Starlin Castro or Javier Baez and not trade Soler for a starting pitcher.
Peter Gammons did not say which of the Cubs young position players were in the talks with the Braves.
The Cubs see what Shelby Miller could add to a starting rotation that now includes John Lackey. Barring injuries, a starting five of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Shelby Miller and either Jason Hammel or Kyle Hendricks on paper in early December would be the best in the NL Central.
It’s unclear if the Braves have taken Miller off the market. It is clear the Cubs’ front office is exploring ways to improve the pitching staff and will trade from the position player depth if the right deal presents itself.