The non waiver trading deadline day is here. Teams have until 3PM central time to make deals without having to go through waivers first. Though, Cubs fans should not get their hopes up, as all indications are that the Cubs will remain silent today and may not make a trade. With Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena off the trading block, the only other player that has a realistic chance of being traded today is reliever John Grabow. But here at Cubbies Crib, we are not letting the Cubs expected inactivity affect our deadline plans.
This will be the live thread for the MLB Trade Deadline, this post will be updated throughout the day with tweets, rumors, and deals that hopefully impact the Cubs. In addition, I will also throw in my opinion where I see fit.
8:00 AM: Ken Rosenthal tweeted last night that the Chicago White Sox may be looking to add a starting pitcher to add depth to their pitching staff. The Cleveland Indians have been the most aggresive team in the American League Central–Acquiring Kosuke Fukudome, Ubaldo Jimenez, and on the cusp of landing Ryan Ludwick. White Sox general manager Kenny Williams has a flare for the dramatic and usually has one trick up his sleeve. If Williams wants to stay on pace with the Indians, he may give Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry a call regarding starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs are believed to be willing to absorb most of the remaining salary on Zambrano’s contract, which would work for the White Sox who do not intend to add salary today. This is my own speculation, and Zambrano has yet to be linked to the White Sox this season.
8:21 AM: Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated seems to confirm what other outlets are reporting, and that is that the Cubs are telling teams that they want to keep both Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena. As I suggested last night, Heyman notes that Byrd might have netted the Cubs a haul of prospects. Considering that the Cubs told teams they are not shopping Byrd or Pena before the deadline, it is fair to assume that the Cubs do not intend to trade either in August. Byrd figures to be the Cubs starting center fielder until top prospect Brett Jackson is ready, which could be as early as this season. Meanwhile, Pena could be back with the Cubs, though it depends on whether or not the Cubs sign Prince Fielder this off-season.
10:00 AM: Bob Nightengale of USA Today joined Matt Spiegel and Barry Rozner on 670 The Score’s Sunday morning baseball show “Hit and Run.” Nightengale told Rozner and Spiegel that he has heard nothing on the Cubs’ trade front, saying that general manager Jim Hendry has had little if any any trade discussions with other teams. If that is indeed true, which seems likely, then this is unacceptable from the Cubs’ general manager. Whether his true intentions or not, Hendry has allowed his “lame-duck” status get in the way of making trades to better the Cubs for the future. Nightengale also offered some inside to possible front office changes that may be coming for the Cubs, but, I will save that for after our trade deadline coverage.
11:30: WBBM 780 Sports Reporter and long-time Chicago Sports insider George Ofman tweeted that he was told the Rangers wanted Carlos Marmol, but the Cubs turned them down. That does not come as a surprise considering Hendry has said multiple times that the team would not be trading Marmol. But, that does not make it right. While Marmol could be viewed as having future impact on the Cubs, some believe that the Cubs closer has already reached his prime and has leveled out. If the Rangers were offering up some of their top prospects for Marmol, I can’t see why the Cubs would object to a deal. Especially when they could have Kerry Wood fill in as the closer, while they groom Chris Carpenter.
Check back throughout the day, as this post will be constantly updated with tweets, rumors, and deals that hopefully impact the Cubs.