Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors - July 1st

Peter Gammons was in the house today, working over time on the Cubs rumor mill. Not sure about you, but I'm a huge Peter Gammons fan. Love the guy's stuff. For my money, he's among the best and most reliable baseball writers in the game. That's why he's in the Hall of Fame. If I were running baseball, this guy would have been named Commissioner years ago. Let's get to what Petey had to say today, along with a few other rumors from around the Internets:
  • Gammons has talked ($) to some sources in the Cubs front office and reveals that the Cubs have some self-esteem issues regarding the perception of their farm system: "They doubt they have enough to get Sabathia, although Hendry constantly touches base with Indians GM Mark Shapiro." Just a guess here-but with only 30 MLB GMs, 29 of whom aren't Jim Hendry, he probably touches base with most of them pretty frequently. I think it's his job or something.
  • In the same article, Gammons says he spoke with a "Cubs official" re: the Cubs position as we head towards the July 31st trade deadline as well as on Cubs SP Sean Gallagher, "We almost certainly will do something. But we really don't want to give up Sean Gallagher at this point."
  • Courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com, here are the primary candidates that could be involved in a Cubs trade, per the Gammons article linked above:
  • C.C. Sabathia - Cubs don't believe they have enough to get him.
  • Rich Harden - Gammons doesn't specifically say the Cubs are interested, just that they're monitoring Oakland.
  • Randy Wolf - The Cubs have interest, and Gammons says Wolf would waive his no-trade to go to a contender. Plus, Wolf treated the Cubs well when they courted him in the 2006-07 offseason. Gammons adds that the Padres still like Matt Murton. History has shown that Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers work well together on trades.
  • A.J. Burnett - The Cubs "also keep looking" at him. Last Thursday, Gammons' colleague Jayson Stark hadn't found "any indication that the Cubs have even batted his name around."
  • Aaron Cook - Gammons says the Cubs would love him, but Rockies' GM Dan O'Dowd said earlier this month, "We're not doing anything with Cookie."
  • Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Millwood - Gammons says the Cubs have "kicked around" these names.
  • In a final note from Gammons' latest blog effort, the HOFer says the Tampa Rays are looking to acquire a right-handed bat and may look to Cubs sometimes OFer Matt Murton. This deal wouldn't do much for us, I'd imagine. If, and a big if, the best team in the NL (the Cubs) would make a deal with potential playoff opponent and best team in the AL (the Rays) it's not going to be a blockbuster. If we moved Murton here, I'd guess we'd probably be taking a dip into the Rays uber-deep farm system rather than getting a player that will help immediately.
  • Baseball Prospectus's Will Carroll and Kevin Goldstein weigh in ($) on a potential CC Sabathia to the Cubs deal. Goldstein, BPs prospect guy, stated: "The Cubs don't have a good minor league system, at all. So for them to do something, it might have to be a quantity over quality scenario. Maybe Cleveland would be a good landing spot for Ronny Cedeno, who I still believe in, but after that, it's kind of hard to find things that might appeal to the Indians. Maybe you could start off with power arms like Donald Veal and Jose Ceda, but after that, what else do you want?"
  • Finally, I'll go ahead and throw this one in, even though I don't think it has a shot of actually happening. The Cubs may or may not be interested in Rockies closer Brian Fuentes. Ken Rosenthal had originally stated the Cubs were interested. But he later retracted that report. However, today, Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News revived the rumor, listing the Cubs, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Phillies, Rays, and Cardinals as possible trade partners. I gotta be honest-this one doesn't make much sense to me. The Cubs already have a tremendous back end to their 'pen with Wood, Marmol, and Howry. Adding Fuentes would simply push back a guy like Wuertz or Eyre or Cotts, it wouldn't really help out that much. Definitely not worth the cost.

Comments (2)

Lionel

July 2, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I won't pull a Gammons/Stark and contradict my colleague who I work with, but I do have a few comments.

First, I am not sure that the issue is that the Cubs don't have any talent in their farm system, it's that they don't have much in the "big league ready" farm system. Vitters is in Boise; Colvin is in Tennessee (and struggling), and while Jeff ND is at Iowa, I'm not sure that many teams are convinced he's big league ready, let alone ready to take on that contract. If you traded Rich Hill and/or Felix Pie, you'd be trading at their lowest values.

Second, I don't know that I trust much of what comes from the Rocky Mountain News. This, after all, was the publication that said a trade of Sean Gallagher for Coco Crisp had been finalized.

Lionel

July 2, 2008 at 9:57 AM

I missed one other comment. I would welcome a Matt Murton trade to the Rays. For one, it gets Murton off the team. Look, I don't dislike the guy, but he's a one-position player who only has one strength...he hits for average. He is riding the pine while a guy like D-Ward gets a start in left. A trade to the Rays will bring back a prospect, albeit not a great prospect, but it will nonetheless increase the Cubs ability to make a bigger impact trade down the road.