This Rumor, And That Rumor

The MLB Trade deadline may be the best time to be a blogger. Because no matter where you look, you are bound to find a new rumor. That is the case today as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, and a couple other news outlets offered different tidbits on what the Cubs will do at the deadline. The trade deadline is a little over two weeks away, and the trades could start at any moment for the Cubs. Lets take a look at the latest.

Rosenthal reports that despite recent reports to the contrary, the Cubs are not going to trade utility man Jeff Baker. A source told the Fox Sports insider that the general manager Jim Hendry has no interest of moving any player whose contract runs through 2012 or beyond. Meaning Baker along with Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Marlon Byrd, and Geovany Soto will not be traded.

I always had the feeling that Hendry would find some way to fail at the trade deadline, and this may be it. The fact that he has no intention of moving any player under contract in 2012 or beyond makes no sense. There has been a lot of interest in Baker this season, with the Indians and Red Sox being among the leading suitors. Granted Baker would not have netted the Cubs much in regards of prospects, it would have created the opportunity for the Cubs’ own prospects like DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Flaherty to have a spot on the major league roster. The same can be said in regards to trading DeWitt. As for Soto, he is young enough that a team would likely give up a couple of quality prospects for the backstop.

Kosuke Fukudome, Carlos Pena, Reed Johnson, and Aramis Ramirez could all be free agents this winter, and they may be the players the Cubs are looking to trade considering they are not under contract in 2012.

Speaking of Ramirez, Pena, and Fukudome, Jon Heyman lists those three as well as Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano as part of 4o players that could get traded before the deadline. Both Ramirez and Pena are among the top power hitters on the market, and could be options for a team looking for a power upgrade.

In the case of Pena, the Pittsburgh Pirates may be the team to watch for the Cubs first baseman. The Cubs and Pirates are usually always good for at least one deadline deal, and that may be the case if the Pirates act on their interest in Pena. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have some interest Pena. Interesting enough, Kovacevic suggests that Pirates may not be willing to take on Pena’s contract, meaning they would have to give up a quality prospect to obtain him. The Pirates have a wealth of pitching prospects, so that figures to benefit the Cubs.

If Aramis Ramirez is traded, it will likely be to the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have been the team to register the most interest in Ramirez, and they figure to increase their efforts to land him in the coming weeks. The Yankees may also have interest in Ramirez, considering Alex Rodriguez will be sidelined until September. Though, Ramirez would have to waive his no trade clause. Also it has been unclear as to whether Ramirez’s 2012 option vests if he is traded, from what I have heard, that is not the case.

Sooner or later we will have trades to go along with rumors, then, we will be able see whether Hendry makes the right or wrong moves to prepare the Cubs for the future.

 

 

Topics: Aramis Ramirez, Blake DeWitt, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Pena, Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, Geovany Soto, Jim Hendry, Kerry Wood, Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Reed Johnson, Sean Marshall

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  • LouCub

    I’m of the mind set that Jim Hendry has no business conducting trades for this ballclub at the deadline considering what Rosenthal is reporting..screw him and his fat f’ing ego he’s created this mess and is to stubborn to right the ship the right way..he’s obviously in denial and it’s gonna set this team further back…. Ricketts has to put the hammer down, NOW!!!!!

  • LouCub

    By the way, a friend of mine is a HUGE Tigers fan andsays they are after Dempster big time!! It would make sense since Dombrowski drafted him

  • Luke Blaize

    I don’t believe for a minute that Hendry is refusing to trade anyone under contract beyond 2012. I absolutely believe he is acting reluctant to trade anyone on his roster in an effort to run the price up. Just like the other 29 GMs in baseball are doing when anyone asks about any of their players. I have no doubt that if the Cubs called tonight about the worst middle reliever in the worst bullpen in all baseball, that team’s GM would start by asking for Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson, Andrew Cashner, Matt Garza, DJ LeMahieu, and Matt Szczur. Or at least one of them. That’s why we’ll see ridiculous stories about teams trading top prospects for absolutely nothing as we near this deadline… like we do at every deadline. It is just part of how the game is played.

    If the Cubs are going to “get better with the kids” as Quade claims, then more vets than just expiring contracts have to go. Flaherty could move into the outfield, but LeMahieu has been an infielder his entire career, and getting him back in the majors is almost certainly somewhere on the Cubs To Do list.

    Also, if we check Hendry’s own comments, he has been saying that he won’t part with any player that is under team control and helps the Cubs in 2012 and beyond. We are consistently hearing that the Cubs are shopping Soriano, for instance. He is under the Cubs control beyond 2011, but he doesn’t fit into their plans. I think the more important indicator will be a player’s value to the Cubs in 2012 and beyond, not their contract status.

    All that said, I can think of one very good reason the Cubs would be reluctant to move Jeff Baker. If they do trade Pena, which is looking likely, who’s on first in 2012? What if they can’t get a free agent to agree to come here? Do they have to move Colvin, take a chance on LaHair, or trade as much as necessary to acquire one in the offseason? Shouldn’t they have a decent backup plan, just in case no other deals or free agent signings work out? I think Colvin could be that backup plan, but the Cubs seem to have lost confidence in him. Next on the list would be Jeff Baker. Cheap first base insurance for 2012 is not a bad reason to keep Baker in a Cub uniform.

    Of course, if the Cubs trade for a first baseman by the end of July, I think Baker will be shipped out by the end of August.

    And don’t forget, Hendry works trades clear through August, and has pulled off some very good ones in August. We won’t be relaxing on the rumor front until September 1. With the Cubs, trade season is never over in July. I’d not be surprised if he sits on someone like Baker or DeWitt into August if he thinks he can get a better deal for them. Reed Johnson could be more lucrative in August as well. So could Soto and Grabow.

  • LouCub

    I’m of the mind set that Jim Hendry has no business conducting trades for this ballclub at the deadline considering what Rosenthal is reporting..screw him and his fat f’ing ego he’s created this mess and is to stubborn to right the ship the right way..he’s obviously in denial and it’s gonna set this team further back…. Ricketts has to put the hammer down, NOW!!!!!

  • Luke Blaize

    @LouCub The Tigers don’t have a great farm system, unfortunately. They have some good looking arms, especially in the low minors, but most of their top talent is in the low minors. Cubs are likely to be looking for guys much closer to the majors if they trade Dempster.

    That said, if the Tigers would hand over two high level pitching prospects, at least one of which is a left handed starter, and toss in a third player who could develop into something, they might have the makings of a deal. Someone like Andy Oliver, Casey Crosby, or Drew Smyly would almost have to be in the deal.

  • LouCub

    By the way, a friend of mine is a HUGE Tigers fan andsays they are after Dempster big time!! It would make sense since Dombrowski drafted him

  • DarrellB

    Aramis Ramirez contract details from Cot’s Baseball Contracts…

    “2012 option becomes guaranteed if Ramirez:wins one MVP in 2007-11, or places 2nd or 3rd in MVP vote twice in 2007-11, or wins LCS MVP once in 2007-11, oris an All Star 3 times in 2007-11, or is traded at any time & Ramirez exercises 2011 option”

    If he is traded at any time…that would mean any time during the contract. He exercised his 2011 contract, so a trade makes 2012 guaranteed.

  • DarrellB

    @Luke Blaize I agree, that we don’t know who Hendry is really willing to trade. It not to his benefit to go public with this information. Why show his cards?

    I also agree that the real trade deadline is Sept 1 for the playoff rosters. Critical injuries to players on contending teams can change the trade picture very quickly until then.

  • Luke Blaize

    I don’t believe for a minute that Hendry is refusing to trade anyone under contract beyond 2012. I absolutely believe he is acting reluctant to trade anyone on his roster in an effort to run the price up. Just like the other 29 GMs in baseball are doing when anyone asks about any of their players. I have no doubt that if the Cubs called tonight about the worst middle reliever in the worst bullpen in all baseball, that team’s GM would start by asking for Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson, Andrew Cashner, Matt Garza, DJ LeMahieu, and Matt Szczur. Or at least one of them. That’s why we’ll see ridiculous stories about teams trading top prospects for absolutely nothing as we near this deadline… like we do at every deadline. It is just part of how the game is played.

    If the Cubs are going to “get better with the kids” as Quade claims, then more vets than just expiring contracts have to go. Flaherty could move into the outfield, but LeMahieu has been an infielder his entire career, and getting him back in the majors is almost certainly somewhere on the Cubs To Do list.

    Also, if we check Hendry’s own comments, he has been saying that he won’t part with any player that is under team control and helps the Cubs in 2012 and beyond. We are consistently hearing that the Cubs are shopping Soriano, for instance. He is under the Cubs control beyond 2011, but he doesn’t fit into their plans. I think the more important indicator will be a player’s value to the Cubs in 2012 and beyond, not their contract status.

    All that said, I can think of one very good reason the Cubs would be reluctant to move Jeff Baker. If they do trade Pena, which is looking likely, who’s on first in 2012? What if they can’t get a free agent to agree to come here? Do they have to move Colvin, take a chance on LaHair, or trade as much as necessary to acquire one in the offseason? Shouldn’t they have a decent backup plan, just in case no other deals or free agent signings work out? I think Colvin could be that backup plan, but the Cubs seem to have lost confidence in him. Next on the list would be Jeff Baker. Cheap first base insurance for 2012 is not a bad reason to keep Baker in a Cub uniform.

    Of course, if the Cubs trade for a first baseman by the end of July, I think Baker will be shipped out by the end of August.

    And don’t forget, Hendry works trades clear through August, and has pulled off some very good ones in August. We won’t be relaxing on the rumor front until September 1. With the Cubs, trade season is never over in July. I’d not be surprised if he sits on someone like Baker or DeWitt into August if he thinks he can get a better deal for them. Reed Johnson could be more lucrative in August as well. So could Soto and Grabow.

  • Luke Blaize

    @LouCub The Tigers don’t have a great farm system, unfortunately. They have some good looking arms, especially in the low minors, but most of their top talent is in the low minors. Cubs are likely to be looking for guys much closer to the majors if they trade Dempster.

    That said, if the Tigers would hand over two high level pitching prospects, at least one of which is a left handed starter, and toss in a third player who could develop into something, they might have the makings of a deal. Someone like Andy Oliver, Casey Crosby, or Drew Smyly would almost have to be in the deal.

  • DarrellB

    Aramis Ramirez contract details from Cot’s Baseball Contracts…

    “2012 option becomes guaranteed if Ramirez:wins one MVP in 2007-11, or places 2nd or 3rd in MVP vote twice in 2007-11, or wins LCS MVP once in 2007-11, oris an All Star 3 times in 2007-11, or is traded at any time & Ramirez exercises 2011 option”

    If he is traded at any time…that would mean any time during the contract. He exercised his 2011 contract, so a trade makes 2012 guaranteed.

  • DarrellB

    @Luke Blaize I agree, that we don’t know who Hendry is really willing to trade. It not to his benefit to go public with this information. Why show his cards?

    I also agree that the real trade deadline is Sept 1 for the playoff rosters. Critical injuries to players on contending teams can change the trade picture very quickly until then.

  • LouCub

    @Luke Blaize @LouCub

    Luke, i’d hope the Cubs could get some quality like that for Dempster as compared to what we got from LA for Lilly last year..There have been rumblings out here in Phoenix about the D’Backs interest in Demp, Woody, Ram and Pena but their system except for their draft this year isn’t really great either.

  • LouCub

    @Luke Blaize @LouCub

    Luke, i’d hope the Cubs could get some quality like that for Dempster as compared to what we got from LA for Lilly last year..There have been rumblings out here in Phoenix about the D’Backs interest in Demp, Woody, Ram and Pena but their system except for their draft this year isn’t really great either.

  • LouCub

    So now per Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi on Twitter, that Baker will not be traded because the Cubs deem him too valueable for next years team and affordable..and that Boston and Cleveland have inquired about him…A utility guy untouchable??? Look it may be posturing on the Cubs part to get a better deal, but if this is true, Hendry should be sent packing IMMEDIATELY!!!! This guy is so friggin stubborn about the state of his team, with what he could trade on the major league level only, he could fortify any weak areas in the farm system with near ready prospects and stock us to the point that the Cubs could easily make multiple deals for proven talent in the offseason and during the trade deadline next year, while shedding salary to hit free agency hard…he’s ridicullous and like i said I hope it’s posturing for a better deal..bakers value may never be so high again

  • JordanC

    I saw that, but, recent reports suggest otherwise

  • LouCub

    So now per Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi on Twitter, that Baker will not be traded because the Cubs deem him too valueable for next years team and affordable..and that Boston and Cleveland have inquired about him…A utility guy untouchable??? Look it may be posturing on the Cubs part to get a better deal, but if this is true, Hendry should be sent packing IMMEDIATELY!!!! This guy is so friggin stubborn about the state of his team, with what he could trade on the major league level only, he could fortify any weak areas in the farm system with near ready prospects and stock us to the point that the Cubs could easily make multiple deals for proven talent in the offseason and during the trade deadline next year, while shedding salary to hit free agency hard…he’s ridicullous and like i said I hope it’s posturing for a better deal..bakers value may never be so high again

  • JordanC

    @Luke Blaize

    If Jeff Baker is the only viable option at first base entering the 2012 season, the Cubs will have a major issue on their hand. There is no question that the Cubs will add a starting first baseman via free agency or trade this winter. Baker should not be kept on this team just because he is a mediocre first baseman at best.

    For those who still believe in Hendry, look at past deadlines when the Cubs were in a selling position. Hendry has come up short and not pulled off any trade that would has signidicantly improve the Cubs chances for the future. Need I remind Hendry is the one that did not trade Rich Harden or Kevin Gregg to the Twins in 2009.

    Hendy is no different than the 29 other general managers in the league that work trades in August. Though, I would not go as far as to sau that he will get better deal’s for specific players in August. Considering the difficulty of pulling off trades in August, you seldomly see a blockbuster trade that improves both teams.

    With the exception of acquiring Randall Simon in 2003 in August, I’m curious what other trades Hendry has made in August that are deemed “very good”. The Derrek Lee trade last season was no where near as good as the package the Angels or Nationals were offering before the July 31 trade deadline. More times than not Hendry has made minor league moves that have had little to no impact.

  • JordanC

    @DarrellB

    And, it is likely that the Cubs or the team interested in Ramirez would re-work the deal. LIke what the Brewers did with new addition Francisco Rodriguez. Though, that was vesting option was based off of production. But, a team convincing a player to waive his vesting option if traded has happened many times before.

  • JordanC

    I saw that, but, recent reports suggest otherwise

  • JordanC

    @Luke Blaize

    If Jeff Baker is the only viable option at first base entering the 2012 season, the Cubs will have a major issue on their hand. There is no question that the Cubs will add a starting first baseman via free agency or trade this winter. Baker should not be kept on this team just because he is a mediocre first baseman at best.

    For those who still believe in Hendry, look at past deadlines when the Cubs were in a selling position. Hendry has come up short and not pulled off any trade that would has signidicantly improve the Cubs chances for the future. Need I remind Hendry is the one that did not trade Rich Harden or Kevin Gregg to the Twins in 2009.

    Hendy is no different than the 29 other general managers in the league that work trades in August. Though, I would not go as far as to sau that he will get better deal’s for specific players in August. Considering the difficulty of pulling off trades in August, you seldomly see a blockbuster trade that improves both teams.

    With the exception of acquiring Randall Simon in 2003 in August, I’m curious what other trades Hendry has made in August that are deemed “very good”. The Derrek Lee trade last season was no where near as good as the package the Angels or Nationals were offering before the July 31 trade deadline. More times than not Hendry has made minor league moves that have had little to no impact.

  • JordanC

    @DarrellB

    And, it is likely that the Cubs or the team interested in Ramirez would re-work the deal. LIke what the Brewers did with new addition Francisco Rodriguez. Though, that was vesting option was based off of production. But, a team convincing a player to waive his vesting option if traded has happened many times before.