Greetings from the Great White North. Okay, so it’s not ACTUALLY the Great White North, but as I’m closer to Winnipeg than Minneapolis, that’s what I’m calling it. And while it’s hard to blog about the Chicago Cubs when you haven’t been paying attention to the Chicago Cubs for, oh, 48 hours or so, let’s give it a shot.
Over at CBS Sports, Jon Heyman lists the Cubs as the top seller approaching the trade deadline:
Cubs: If they consent to trading hard-throwing starter Jeff Samardzija, they could hold an all-time sale. As it is, it isn’t half bad. Matt Garza leads a pretty nice list of available pitchers, and the timing couldn’t be better for Garza to go on the market, what with only three runs allowed over his past three starts. He’s definitely going to go, with the Rangers, Orioles, Jays,Giants, Padres and Dodgers among teams believed interested in the AL-tested right-hander. Scott Feldman is a nice starter as a consolation prize. Closer Kevin Gregg was perhaps the best spring pickup, and he’ll draw plenty of interest, with James Russell, Shawn Camp and swingman Carlos Villanueva as other possibilities. Nate Schierholtz is having a very nice year; Alfonso Soriano (who has 10-and-5 veto rights and probably won’t OK the West Coast) looks like he could be primed for another big second half; and Scott Hairston hits lefties like few others.
I’m a little skittish on trading Samardzija and Garza and Feldman, because honestly, where does that leave the Cubs in terms of building a solid pitching rotation to compete in the next 2-3 years? And mostly because, DEAR GOD, I can’t any more seasons like the last 3. I know we’re rebuilding here, but I need to see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel, for crying out loud.
Meanwhile, in trade rumors I still can’t believe are true, the Dodgers insist they can “fix” Carlos Marmol. Here’s the latest from mlbtraderumors.com:
6:54pm: If the Dodgers get Marmol, the Cubs would pay most, if not all, of the $5MM owed to him tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The Cubs might also get a player recently removed from the Dodgers’ roster. Gurnick doesn’t specify, but the recently DFA’dMatt Guerrierwould fit the bill.
4:27pm: The Dodgers are closing in on a trade to acquire Carlos Marmol from the Cubs,according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. Marmol was designated for assignment by the Cubs last week.
There are some hurdles left, as the Dodgers are on Marmol’s limited no-trade list, and he’s owed about $5MM for the rest of the season. The Dodgers are expected to absorb some of the salary and it’s unclear which player or players might be heading to Chicago, according to Levine.
So, just to recap, the Cubs would pay the Dodgers to take Mamol off their hands and might get another crappy, DFAed player in return. Sounds about right.
It wouldn’t be trade season if Ken Rosenthal didn’t weigh in with weird little things to say:
• Evidence of a team that doesn’t know how to win: The Cubs, at minus-10, have a better run differential than the Padres, Nationals, Giants, Phillies and Dodgers — but their 35-45 record is worse than any of those clubs’.
• Speaking of the Cubs, they are all but certain to trade potential free agents such as right-handers Matt Garza, Scott Feldman and Kevin Gregg but aren’t necessarily inclined to move outfielders David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz, both of whom they control for 2014.
Schierholtz can be had for the right piece, sources say, but the Cubs can retain him for next season by offering him a raise on his current $2.25 million salary. DeJesus, currently on the DL, is the rare Cub who gets on base. Club officials also like his makeup, and they hold a $6.5 million option on his for ’14.
The Cubs are in Oakland tonight, which means a 9:05 pm start for all of us. Up here in the Great White North, I’ll still have an hour or so of daylight left at 9 pm. Cool, eh?