Trade Deadline Rumor Roundup

TRADE RUMOR UPDATE (4:23 PM CST): Jayson Stark reports that the Mariners are asking a steep price for Ibanez:

The Cubs, meanwhile, are resisting attempts by Seattle to get Felix Pie and a second prospect for Ibanez. The Cubs almost certainly would be willing to offer a couple of prospects in the Sam Fuld stratum. But teams that have spoken with the Cubs say they've shown little sense of urgency to overpay to add a final piece or two of late. 


A few notes about the Cubs/Brewers series first...

- So the Cubs win the battle of the aces last night, with Carlos Zambrano putting together the type of heroic effort that should be remembered for years. 118 laser precision-like pitches over eight innings with nine strikeouts and only five hits and the Cubs are guaranteed to be still in first place after the series ends. They're also set-up nicely for a series win or dare I say series sweep with Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden going the next two games. (Doing my best Mel Allen) How about that?

- The "struggling" Cubs offense has pounded out 26 hits over the last two games. Apparently you can just turn it on when it's needed most. 

- Entering the series, Jason Kendall had morphed himself into a late-90's Ivan Rodriguez, throwing out 27 of 57 baserunners for a league-leading .474 caught stealing percentage. Lou and the Cubs baserunners didn't seem impressed. They're now a perfect five for five in the first two games. Kendall needs to take another dip into whatever fountain of youth he found.

Some trade rumors after the jump...

Game 107 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (2 of 4)

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Carlos Zambrano SP Ben Sheets
  11-4, 2.96, 87 K, 44 BB, 133.2 IP
10-3, 2.87, 115 K, 31 BB, 135 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B #Ray Durham
SS Ryan Theriot SS J.J. Hardy
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
CF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Corey Hart
RF Mark DeRosa 3B *Russ Branyan
2B *Mike Fontenot CF Mike Cameron
C Geovany Soto C Jason Kendall
P #Carlos Zambrano P Ben Sheets

My apologies for lack of a game thread last night, I was out on a 3-day weekend celebrating seven years of marriage with the Angelfan wife. Many ask what our secret is (okay, no one does), and the answer? Marry a girl who likes baseball and doesn't mind if you check the scores on your cellphone during a sunset dinner at the beach. Lucky in love I am...

Czech, please!

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

=================

After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

No Lead Safe When Playing AZL Cubs

Cubs 2008 20th round draft pick and current AZL batting leader LF Jericho Jones (who is now hitting .437) rapped out four hits (three singles and a double), 1B Bryan Jost reached base five times (two singles, a triple, and two walks), and RHP Ryan Searle returned from Australia to throw three innings of no run/no hit relief (0/5 BB/K), as the AZL Cubs rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to edge the AZL Brewers 9-8 at Fitch Park Field #3 Saturday morning. 

box score

Game 104 Thread / Marlins @ Cubs (3 of 4)

Game Chat | BR Preview

SP Chris Volstad SP Rich Harden
  2-1, 2.16, 9 K, 6 BB, 16.2 IP
5-2, 2.12, 112 K, 36 BB, 89.1 IP
       
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Jeremy Hermida SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla 2B *Mike Fontenot
LF Josh Willingham RF Mark DeRosa
C *John Baker C Geovany Soto
CF #Alfredo Amezaga CF *Kosuke Fukudome
P Chris Volstad P *Rich Harden

 

Rise and shine, Cubbies. A 12:05 day game in Chicago sees Rich Harden looking for his first win as a Cub, the Cubs looking for reliable offense, and fans looking to maintain bragging rights over the charging Brewers. That's three more uses of the verb "looking" than I'd make if I wasn't rusty from yet another long hiatus.

Who is John Baker?

The biggest pregame news has to be Fontenot's promotion and Fukudome's demotion. This is by my quick count the second time this season Fukudome started a game in center, the first time Fontenot has started the game hitting fifth, likewise for Fukudome hitting eighth.

Game 103 Thread / Marlins @ Cubs (2 of 4)

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Josh Johnson SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 3.86, 10 K, 3 BB, 11.2 IP
11-4, 3.05, 111 K, 51 BB, 132.2 IP
       
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Luis Gonzalez SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla RF *Kosuke Fukudome
LF Josh Willingham C Geovany Soto
CF Cody Ross 2B *Mike Fontenot
C Paul Hoover CF Reed Johnson
P *Josh Johnson P Ryan Dempster

 

With Jeff Samardzija (last name = 29 Scrabble points) in a Major League uniform for the first time and the Brewers so close you can smell the Miller High Life and cannibal sandwiches on their breaths, the Cubs go for a second win in a row against the Fightin' Fish.

Kosuke Fukudome returns to the starting lineup, as does Mike Fontenot, who has gone 14-for-41 (.341) with four homers and a 1260 OPS since the first of July.

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