Cubs Trade Rumors

UPDATE by Rob G: The deal is done and the Cubs get RHP Robinson Lopez (age 19), LHP Jeffrey Lorick (age 22, 20th round pick in 2009) and RHP Tyrelle Harris (age 23, 19th round pick in 2009). I bumped this up top, but be sure not to miss Arizona Phil's 2010 Rule 4 draft update below this post.


In today's installment of "Who Can We Pawn Off On The NL East Leaders?" we pass along word from David Kaplan (@thekapman) that the Cubs and Braves are "very close" on a deal that would move Derrek Lee to Atlanta. Kaplan says the deal "should get done later today."

Sorry to hear that D-Lee could be operating out of the first-base dugout this weekend when the Braves visit Wrigley? This will cheer you up.

On Memorial Day, 1922, the Cubs and Cardinals completed a trade between games of a split doubleheader. After playing for their respective teams in the morning game, Cubs outfielder Max Flack and Cards OF Cliff Heathcote were traded for one another. Each man played for his new team in the afternoon.

The Cubs and Rockies have no doubleheaders scheduled this weekend, but in line with rumors that have been coming out of Chicago the past couple days, the Denver Post is reporting that Ryan Theriot may begin the weekend series as a Cub and end it as a member of the Rockies.

The Cubs rumor mill is starting to churn and the vultures are circling over the Cubs carcassas.

- Bruce Levine writes that teams are already sendng scouts to follow the Cubs and a bad road trip could mean the Cubs start selling. That might just be wishful thinking by the other teams, but losing 7 of 8 to the Pirates (so far) will send out a bad stench.

- Depending on who you want to believe, the Angels seemed to be interested in some of the Cubs first basemen. Dave Kaplan and Fred Mitchell are saying it's Derrek Lee.  The L.A. Times says it's Xavier Nady and Gordon Wittenmyer agrees. The L.A. Times also lists all the other first basemen in the league that the Angels could go after which includes Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche, Ty Wigginton or Russell Branyan. It'll come down to which teams are quitting their season the first and how little the Angels will have to give up. It should also be noted that the Angels are hoping Morales returns by September, so a more versatile and cheaper option like Nady may make more sense for them. Nady does have no-trade rights until June 15th and Lee has them for the rest of the season of course thanks to 10/5 CBA rights.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the White Sox, not our Cubs, are closing in on acquiring the Padres ace.

The sickening details are here.

As reported in multiple places, including here, the Cubs are baling out on the Jake Peavy trade talks. Writes Ken Rosenthal:

The Cubs were frustrated by the Padres' attempts to seek five or six
players for Peavy with one team executive saying, "They're looking for
a Herschel Walker-type deal."

I'll try and post anything I come across with the most recent news on the top. Feel free to add anything in the comments. The deadline is 3 PM CST, although finalized deals often come in as much as hour or two later.

3:15 PM CST: Sullivan says it doesn't look like the Cubs made a move at the deadline, although he's not 100% certain yet.

3:07 PM CST: The deadline has passed and not much out there. But, a lot of last minute deals take a good hour or two to get reported. 

2:18 PM CST: ESPN reporting that Cubs are out of the Ibanez derby.  

1:50 PM CST: Filed under WTF? - Jonah Keri hearing whispers that the Cubs may be in on Will Ohman. 

1:23 PM CST: Bruce Levine supposedly reported that the Cubs turned down an offer from the Padres for Brian Giles. No idea what the offer was though. 

1:09 PM CST: Our token Mexican reader Carlos tells me that ESPN Latin America reported that the Royals want a starter for David Dejesus, preferably an MLB-ready one like Sean Marshall.

12:47 PM CST: ESPN.com reporting that Yanks and Red Sox are interested in Steve Eyre.

12:45 PM CST: Someone watching the ESPN special has Gammons reporting that the Cubs still think a deal for Ibanez can get done even if the original asking price was too high.

12:30 PM CST:  Cubs asking about David Dejesus, Brian Giles and Raul Ibanez.

12:30 PM CST: Hendry asking about Milton Bradley. 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Rich Harden SP Dave Bush
(NL) 0-1, 1.04, 30 K, 8 BB, 17.1 IP
5-8, 4.51, 71 K, 26 BB, 111.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B Rickie Weeks
SS Ryan Theriot 3B *Craig Counsell
1B Derrek Lee LF J.J. Hardy
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Ryan Braun
RF Mark DeRosa RF Gabe Kapler
CF *Jim Edmonds CF Mike Cameron
C Geovany Soto C Jason Kendall
P Rich Harden P Dave Bush

Two Cubs trade rumors from this morning - the first comes from CBS Sportsline:

  The Chicago Cubs, who already made a big splash with pitcher Rich Harden, are exploring deals to add a lefty-hitting right fielder. The Cubs have inquired about Seattle's Raul Ibanez, San Diego's Brian Giles and Kansas City's David DeJesus, according to sources.

 

I think pretty much any left-handed hitting outfielder is going to be associated with the Cubs over the next few hours. Lo and behold, we have some rumblings from the cubs.com board that Jim has asked the Rangers about Milton Bradley. 

As Robert Ripley would say - Believe it or Not! 

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...

The Tribune reports Tuesday that Mark DeRosa is "still hearing about" the Orioles' Brian Roberts, who will be on the field with his Baltimore mates tonight at Wrigley. (Wild thought—the primary sources of the Roberts reminders are those who ask DeRosa about Roberts and then write stories about his reaction to the reminders.)

For what it's worth, here are the 2008 numbers. First, an offensive comparison of Roberts, DeRosa (his total '08 numbers, not just those accumulated while he's playing 2B), and Cubs second basemen in total:

Roberts Rumor Process
"The first test of Andy MacPhail's authority as Orioles president of baseball operations will come if a rival club makes a strong push to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts.

"A year ago, Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to allow his previous front office to trade Roberts...Orioles executives, however, say privately that they are not under orders to keep Roberts.

"The Mets and Astros were among the teams that showed interest in Roberts before signing free-agent second basemen Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, respectively.

"The next team to take a run at Roberts could be the Cubs, who failed to land Matsui."

-- FoxSports.com, 12/3/07

....counting down to Vegas (I'm going next week, Cubs arrive at the end of the month).

- Feel free to use this as today's game thread, Cubs stay home in Mesa and battle the Angels; Ryan Dempster vs. Ervin Santana. 

- The big news of the week was another Lou lineup change, this one involving our highest paid player though. I immediately expressed my displeasure over the experiment, but I'll save my final judgement when it's actual put to use in a game that counts. Lou still has a few weeks to change his mind. I have no problems with moving Soriano to the 2-spot or the 5-spot or the 4-spot or even the 3-spot. I have all kinds of problems with giving Ryan Theriot even more plate appearances, even if it's just a handful more.

On the other hand...

There's just something about the Lou tenure so far that makes me give him the benefit of the doubt. It's not that I think he's infallible or anything. It's just that if he does go down this road with Theriot at the top of the order, I feel just as confident that he'll abandon it if it's not working. This is the complete opposite of how I felt about Dusty, who was stubbornly stupid.

One of our readers, chifan, says he heard on the radio that the Cubs and Red Sox are close to a deal that would send Sam Fuld and Jason Marquis to the Red Sox for Coco Crisp. I've also seen the same radio rumor mentioned on a few other message boards as well, so keep your eyes and ears open.

The Cubs and Diamondbacks play in Tucson, their first meeting since the clubs matched up in last season's NLDS. (I don't recall who won.) Carlos Zambrano makes his second appearance of the Spring after pitching two scoreless innings against the Giants last Friday. Kosuke Fukudome had a big day in yesterday's loss to the Brewers, collecting three hits while batting in the two hole. Plus he has learned how to yank Bruce Miles's chain.

And what in the world is Jim Hendry talking about? He must not read Jeff Zrebiec.

Earlier today, Rob alluded to this story in the Baltimore Sun, which says the O's will be sending a scout to Mesa next week "to get a closer look" at players the Cubs and Orioles have discussed as part of a potential Brian Roberts swap.

The same story indicates that Luis Hernandez currently has the edge over Brandon Fahey and--I'm going to try to type this without laughing--Freddie Bynum in the competition to succeed Miguel Tejada as Baltimore's starting shortstop.

Hernandez was snagged off waivers by the O's after the Braves released him following the '06 season. Though he is good with the glove, over six minor league seasons, his career OPS is 621. Baseball Prospectus says:

He's as light-hitting an infielder as you'll find, with three years of Double-A ball under his belt and no apparent improvement. Tejada's injury last year gave him a chance to play in the majors last year, and he hit .290, but it was almost all singles and was accompanied by a single solitary walk.

That's one walk in 71 plate appearances.

That's Neifi Perez...without the power.

And that's a reason you might be thinking about trading for Ronny Cedeno.

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

AZ PHIL:

Orioles GM Andy MacPhail, Scouting Director John Stockstill, and Manager Dave Trembley all came to BAL from the Cubs. Also, ex-Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Alan Dunn is the O's bullpen coach. So they probably have opinions and personal knowledge about Cubs players and prospects that go well beyond what other organizations might have. For instance, Ronny Cedeno was signed under Stockstill's tenure, and Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall were drafted by Stockstill, as was Donald Veal.

BTW, the reason the Orioles scout will be coming to Mesa next week instead of right now is that minor league camp hasn't opened yet, so if the Orioles want to get an updated look at Veal, they will have to wait until next week. 

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