After the Chicago Cubs sent lefty reliever Andrew Chafin to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, the floodgates broke wide open on the Cubs rumors front.
We’ve known for some time that Chicago prefers to hold onto guys like Kyle Hendricks and Javier Baez. Most recently, we heard reports that Baez was seeking a deal in excess of $200 million – and the latest from Gordon Wittenmyer suggests there are no talks currently ongoing with the Cubs shortstop.
Hendricks is cost-controlled and remains one of the most consistent starting pitchers in baseball. So, knowing the front office isn’t envisioning this turnover being a lengthy, drawn-out process, it makes sense Jed Hoyer wants to keep the former Cy Young finalist in the mix unless he’s completely overwhelmed by an offer ahead of Friday’s deadline.
So let’s dive right in. Here is a collection of the latest rumblings from around the league and what it could mean for the team.
Chicago Cubs Rumors: The low-budget Tampa Bay Rays are eyeing Kris Bryant?
Wait, what? Seriously when I saw this report earlier today, I had to read it twice. Doesn’t Kris Bryant make roughly a third of the Rays’ entire payroll? Well, not quite. He’s due just $6.8 million through the end of the year, with Tampa Bay’s payroll coming in just under $75 million.
The Rays made a splash when they traded for slugger Nelson Cruz, then dumped Rich Hill to save three-quarters of a million bucks and help off-set at least some of the move. To see them connected not only to Bryant, but another free agent-to-be in Nationals ace Max Scherzer is pretty wild.
The former National League MVP has re-established himself in a big way this year, despite a slump that’s gone on for some time at the dish. He brings tremendous defensive versatility and it’s not hard to see why Tampa Bay would like to add him to the mix for the stretch run.
This feels a lot like one of those scenarios where Chicago pays a good chunk of Bryant’s remaining salary in order to get a stronger return from the Rays prospect-wise. Tampa Bay has one of the best young talent pipelines in the game and if the Cubs are ready to eat some money, Hoyer might just pry away a big name.