The Chicago Cubs fell 20 games below the .500 mark yesterday, as the Florida Marlins beat them to take three games out of four in the series. Now despite reaching the 20-game below mark, manager Mike Quade put little blame on his team yesterday. Quade blamed the umpires for “mind-boggling” calls during the series between the Marlins. It is fair to say that Major League Baseball officials will probably contact Quade some time in the next couple of days. Though, there still is hope for Cubs fans. Hope that things could change over the next two weeks. The MLB Trade Deadline is July 31, and the Cubs figure to try and move the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, and Kosuke Fukudome in an effort to shed salary and create opportunities for some of the prospects in their farm system.
Speaking of Soriano, it is believed that the Cubs and the New York Yankees are in talks involving the Cubs’ outfielder. Tom Loxas of Cubs Insider believes the Yankees are interested in Ramirez, Zambrano, and/or Soriano and are working on a trade to acquire one of them. Though in his latest article, Loxas reports that no one from Soriano’s camp has been contacted about a trade to New York and that Soriano does not have an interest in returning to the Yankees. Even if Soriano is not interested in returning to New York, there is a strong chance that he would still waive his no trade clause. Remember, Soriano said earlier in the season that he would approve a trade if the Cubs wanted to trade him. That theory may be tested in the coming weeks.
In what is quickly becoming the best source for breaking news, MLB Network insider Peter Gammons reported on twitter that the Cubs have no interest in trading Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. However, that does not mean that the Cubs are not listening to offers for either Dempster or Garza. While they may have no intereste in trading either on of the starters, that does not mean that it is impossible. If a team like the Detroit Tigers or New York Yankees offer a substantial package to the Cubs for Dempster, then, general manager Jim Hendry might be compelled to pull the trigger. Garza is turning into the Ace of the Cubs’ pitching staff and I do not envision him being traded any time soon.
Bruce Levine reported over the weekend that both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies have done some extensive scouting on Marlon Byrd over the past couple of weeks. Both the Braves and Phillies could use another outfielder. Before Byrd missed time after being hit in the face with a pitch, many considered him as one of the most likely players to be traded. That may still be the case as in addition to the Braves and Phillies, I have heard that the Texas Rangers may have some interest acquiring Byrd. The reason the Cubs would move Byrd would be to create a spot on in the outfield for either Brett Jackson or Tyler Colvin. I would imagine that the Cubs would like to trade two outfielders in order to have 2/3 of their future outfield at the major league level in Colvin and Jackson.