I saw a metaphor on Twitter today that I had to share.
Normally, the July 31 Trade Deadline is like Christmas in July for baseball fans across the country. This year, it was more like Thanksgiving for vegetarians. Lots to see, but little to eat.
The Chicago Cubs made no moves at all. That’s right. None.
Despite being linked to an array of National League Central rivals, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were not overwhelmed by the offers they received for the players they had been shopping, and in typical Epstein fashion, held onto his pieces rather than sell low and receive less-than-reputable players in return.
For weeks, teams have been scouting the Cubs’ outfield duo of David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz, but when the deadline hour drew near, those involved – rumored to be the Tigers and namely, the Pirates – were unwilling to give up much for either. This was especially true of Schierholtz, who is in the midst of a career year, with an OPS of .850 – 100 points higher than his career average, and a .517 slugging percentage, which is near 90 points above his career mark. Many baseball executives who were interviewed throughout the afternoon echoed the same sentiment: the bats on the market weren’t first-tier hitters, but came with first-tier price tags.
During last night’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, catcher Yadier Molina sustained an injury, and was placed on the disabled this today. This led many to believe John Mozeliak would make a deadline deal to bring a catcher into the fold, but talks between Chicago and St. Louis concerning Dioner Navarro broke down late, leading the backstop to stay in the Windy City.
Left-hander James Russell was close to being dealt last week, in an under-the-radar move that would have sent the southpaw to the Atlanta Braves, before the Braves’ front office acquired Scott Downs. Today, reports surfaced that Cincinnati was inquiring about Russell, but again, no talks progressed.
Lastly, and with little surprise on my part, Jeff Samardzija is still a member of the Cubs rotation. Asking price was “skyscraper high,” according to general managers across the league.
In the coming days, Cubbies Crib will put out a winners and losers of the trade season article that breaks down the deals that did take place. including Astros’ pitcher Bud Norris going to Baltimore and Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks heading to the Padres. Of course, the most prominent player to be dealt was easily Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox, who went to the Red Sox as part of a three-team deal that sent prospects to both Chicago and Detroit.