The Trade Winds Blow
Undoubtedbly the Cubs wil be selling as the July trade deadline approaches with Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Kevin Gregg & Nate Schierholtz being the most likely chips on the table. There certainly may be others, but those players make the most sense. Let's take a look at some potential trade partners:
When it comes to starting pitching, a contender is one injury away from being in the market, so I'm sure the list will expand, but here are the most obvious candidates (NH stands for not happening):
1. Baltimore (Starters' ERA: 4.88)
Prospects To Target: Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy
2. San Francisco Giants (Starters' ERA: 4.50)
3. Colorado Rockies (Starters' ERA: 4.41)
4. Arizona Diamdonbacks (Starters' ERA: 4.13)
Prospects to Target: Tyler Skaggs(NH) or Archie Bradley (NH)
5. Oakland Athletics (Starter's ERA 4.11)
6. Texas Rangers (Starters' ERA 3.98)
Prospects to Target: Mike Olt
7. San Diego Padres (Starters' ERA: 4.56)
8. Anaheim Angels (Starters' ERA: 4.49)
Prospects to Target: Kaleb Cowart
The Angels might seem like an odd choice on this list, but they didn't spend all that money to pack it in. That being said, they'll need a bit of a run heading into the deadline before they start being buyers. The Orioles seem to make the most sense on the list and could easily slot Garza and Feldman in their rotation, Gregg in their bullpen and maybe, just maybe that would be enough to land one of Gausman or Bundy and 3-4 other B/C prospects. Feldman makes a ton of sense for the Rockies if they go shopping (sinkerballers and all in Coors), but who knows how willing they are to move prospects and of what quality. The A's have always been willing to make deals when they feel they're in it, hence their inclusion. I know Adam Eaton might seem like an odd inclusion from the Diamondbacks, but with the emergence of Parra and with Pollock around and Eaton's injuries, they can probably spare a young outfielder.
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Cincinnati Reds
6. Baltimore Orioles
7. Anaheim Angels
The Cards, Reds, Angels and Orioles could have a use for Gregg as a set-up man and I'm sure many other teams could emerge in that role. The other 3 could probably use Gregg as a closer, but how much any team is going to give up in a deal for a guy picked off waivers is beyond my prediction capabilities.
1. Kansas City Royals (OPS by RF'ers: .707)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (OPS by RF'ers: .664)
3. Oakland A's (OPS by RF'ers: .663)
4. New York Yankees (OPS by RF'ers: .679/ LF: .624)
5. Cincinnati Reds (OPS by LF'ers: .669)
I imagine Dejesus might be shopped around as well once he comes back, but Schierholtz seems to be the best best. Royals are in desparate need of power and a Francouer/Schierholtz platoon would be lethal, but who knows if that's on their radar. The Reds are expecting Ludwick back at LF at some point and seem to be doing well enough without him, so I don't expect a move, but I imagine it's a possibility. The A's were without Reddick that got them to that number and while he's struggled since returning, I'm not sure if they're looking for a minor upgrade on offense, especially considering Reddick's far superior defense.
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.