Results tagged ‘ cubs ’
With the Trade Deadline on July 31, Theo Epstein is getting plenty of phone calls from teams interested in Cubs players. Matt Garza is high on some team’s lists, as well as relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
Garza is considered the best starting pitcher on the market.
“Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well and he’s very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him,” Epstein said Friday. “For us, he’s helping us win games now, there’s a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we’ll just balance all that out and do what’s best for the organization.”
It is a busy time of the season.
“There’s a lot of chatter going on right now,” said Epstein, president of baseball operations. “I wouldn’t say anything major is imminent. There’s a lot of talk, and we’ll continue to stay abreast with what other teams are trying to do as their situation changes.”
This is the second year the Cubs have been sellers. That’s not a position Epstein wants to be in.
“We wanted to be buyers this year,” he said. “With a few breaks, this year, we could’ve been in a much different situation. If some one-run games early change, and different bullpen situations [it could've been different]. The goal every year is to be in a position where you’re looking to add and have a strong pennant push.”
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza’s name may be the one most often mentioned in trade rumors, but scouts are very much interested in Cubs relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell and outfielder Nate Schierholtz. Garza is the top starting pitcher on the market but the Cubs are demanding top prospects in return. Gregg is 15-for-17 in save situations since taking over the closer’s duties. He was released by the Dodgers at the end of Spring Training because they didn’t have a roster spot. Russell is the only left in the Cubs’ ‘pen now. Schierholtz has value against right-handed pitchers and has been the most consistent with runners in scoring position.
– Carrie Muskat
A year ago at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs dealt two of their starters, lost another to injury, and then shut down another in early September. They had to scramble to fill in the gaps. This year, the Cubs have already traded one starter — Scott Feldman — and Matt Garza could also change uniforms by the July 31 deadline. But this year, the Cubs feel they’re better prepared to handle the moves.
“There’s no question the pitching staff we ran out there in September  was short,” GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “I think we feel a lot better about that. We have more depth in the Minor Leagues, more depth on the Major League roster. It was hard to watch [last year]. … Shutting down [Jeff] Samardzija was incredibly hard because we didn’t have anyone to fill in for him.”
The Cubs expect Scott Baker, who has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, to be ready in about a month. Jake Arrieta, acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal, also could start. Plus, they already have Carlos Villanueva, who has gone from the rotation to the ‘pen and back to the rotation.
Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, who both made their Major League debuts last season, also have another year of experience.
“There’s obviously no question we’re much more equipped than last year,” manager Dale Sveum said.
Garza is the prime pitcher on the trade market, and Hoyer acknowledged that he has received a lot of interest.
“There’s obviously a lot of incoming phone calls,” Hoyer said. “There’s a lot about Matt, obviously, but a lot about other players on the team, too. I think in general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel there’s a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well, and a lot of our individual players are playing well. I think that’s a big part of it.”
Scouts also are keeping an eye on closer Kevin Gregg and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
– Carrie Muskat
The Indians are among the teams seeking a starting pitcher, and are keeping an eye on Matt Garza, according to CBSSports.com and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. They had a rep among the dozen scouts at U.S. Cellular Field Monday night to watch Garza, who was impressive. The right-hander picked up the win over the White Sox, and has given up four earned runs over his last 37 innings in his last five starts to lower his ERA to 3.22. Before this stretch, he had a 6.26 ERA in five games. The Rangers, Dodgers and Red Sox also are following Garza’s outings.
Garza, who will be a free agent after this season, did acknowledge after Monday’s game that he has talked to the Cubs about a possible extension.
“[An extension] is always on the table,” Garza said. “I voiced my opinion about how I love it here. My family loves it here. It’s always something you think about. I don’t know which route they’re going to go.”
How real is an extension?
“As real as a trade,” Garza said. “Trades are just rumors like everything else. An extension talk, I’m part of, I know for a fact where it’s at. It’s always a possibility, man, 50-50.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to my decision if I want an extension, and a trade, it’s obviously [the Cubs']decision,” he said. “I like being a Cub, I want to get this team to October and win it here. Like I’ve said before, it’d be one [heck] of a party. I’m just going to get ready for every five days.”
So, what uniform is he wearing on Aug. 1?
“I’m hoping the Cubs, but I don’t even look that far,” Garza said. “What’s today, the 8th? Probably the 13th will be the next day I look at.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Indians have already been linked to the Cubs‘ Matt Garza. Now, they’re reportedly interested in Milwaukee‘s Yovani Gallardo.
At the moment, those two players are Cleveland’s “main and only pitchers of interest,” according to a CBSSports.com story by Jon Heyman. The Tribe is seeking a pitcher to “pair with ace [All-Star] Justin Masterson,” a source is quoted as saying in the report. The Indians want a starter with high-end stuff, and they might be content to leave their rotation untouched if a deal can’t be made for a top-of-the-rotation player.
This season, opposing clubs have devalued Gallardo, whose performance in 2013 has not reflected past success. Through 19 starts, the Brewers’ right-hander has assembled a 7-8 record and 4.85 ERA while averaging 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. In each of the past four seasons, Gallardo kept his ERA under 4.00 and struck out at least nine hitters per nine innings, on average.
Gallardo, 27, has another year on his contract, plus an option year after that.
What’s true of Gallardo does not apply to Garza, who will be a free agent but remains open to signing on for more time in Chicago after this season ends. Over his last five outings, the 29-year-old righty has gone 4-0 and put together an impressive 0.97 ERA. Across his most recent 37 innings, Garza has issued eight walks and 34 strikeouts, while holding opponents to a .180 batting average.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Indians were one of five teams to scout Garza’s start on Monday, when he held the White Sox to five hits and two runs (one earned) over seven innings. In 10 starts this year, Garza is 5-1 and owns a 3.22 ERA.
Entering the 2013 campaign, Cleveland’s starting rotation was thought to be the club’s primary weakness. The starters have performed better than expected, though lately manager Terry Francona has gone to his bullpen earlier in games than he’d probably like to. Overall, Tribe starters are 30-34 with a 4.58 ERA. They’ve thrown 506 2/3 innings (12th in the American League) and racked up 453 strikeouts (fifth in the AL).
Even if the Indians don’t make a deal for a starter, they’ll still receive second-half reinforcements in the form of Zach McAllister, who hasn’t pitched since June 2 because of a right middle finger sprain.
– Mark Emery
Matt Garza has been rumored to be traded since Spring Training. Could the Cubs keep the right-hander and sign him to a long-term deal? CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Monday the Cubs have talked to Garza’s agents about a possible long-term contract. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Cubs and Garza have had recent talks. Rosenthal reported that signing Garza has always been one of the Cubs’ options. The team also could make him a one-year qualifying offer at the end of the season.
Garza is considered the top pitcher available on the trade market, and there is still time before the July 31 deadline for teams to make a deal with the Cubs. One scout told MLB.com that because Garza will be a free agent at year’s end, and a possible short-term rental, teams don’t want to give up top top prospects in exchange. The Cubs, obviously, are looking for top prospects.
The Rangers, Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Nationals and Cardinals all need starting pitching, and the number of scouts has increased each time Garza pitches. Garza, who is making $10.25 million this year, will be a free agent after this season, and could demand a deal similar to what Anibal Sanchez got — five years, $80 million.
Garza will be on the mound Monday night when the Cubs face the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in a makeup game.
– Carrie Muskat
The Nationals have added a right-handed bat to their bench, acquiring outfielder Scott Hairston from the Cubs in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Ivan Pineyro.
The Nationals hope that Hairston – hitting .163 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs — can lend some right-handed power off the bench in the way that Tyler Moore has not been able to this year. The Nats were hoping players like Moore and Steve Lombardozzi would provide great depth off the bench after strong breakout seasons last year, but both have struggled.
Hairston will now be reunited with Washington GM Mike Rizzo, who drafted him in the third round of the 2001 Draft.
Pineyro, 21, has a 3.24 ERA in 15 games (all starts) between Low-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac this year.
Both teams will also receive a player to be named later in the deal.
– Joey Nowak
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers were interested in Matt Garza last season, and nearly acquired him at the Trade Deadline. However, Garza had a stress reaction in his right elbow, and he didn’t pitch after July 21. The Rangers instead dealt for Ryan Dempster. The Rangers are reportedly pursuing Garza again this year. The right-hander is healthy, and will make his 10th start on Monday against the White Sox. He’s given up two earned runs over 30 innings in his last four starts.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs kicked off the trading season on Tuesday, dealing pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for right-handed pitchers Jake Arrietta and Pedro Strop plus two international signing bonus slots. The Cubs also have acquired the Astros’ No. 2 and 3 international signing bonus slots for Minor League infielder Ronald Torreyes.
Feldman (7-6, 3.46 ERA), who has been one of the Cubs most consistent starters, was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Athletics, but instead, lefty Chris Rusin will get the assignment.
Feldman most likely won’t be the only starter to be dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline. There also has been interest in right-hander Matt Garza, scheduled to start Wednesday.
Clevenger made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster but has struggled with a strained left oblique, and was with Triple-A Iowa. A Baltimore native, the catcher was thrilled at the news, according to his agent, Joshua Kusnick, who tweeted: “Clevenger is an oriole done deal home coming!”
The Cubs will get $388,100 from the Orioles in international slot money, which may help them sign top prospect Eloy Jimenez.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have found Carlos Marmol a new home. The Cubs traded the embattled closer to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier in a deal that also includes a swap of draft picks and financial considerations.
Marmol, who was designated for assignment June 25, will not become the Dodgers’ closer but provide a veteran arm in their revamped bullpen.
The Dodgers will pay roughly $500,000 of the remaining $5 million on Marmol’s contract. Guerrier has about $1.8 million remaining on the final year of a three-year, $12 million contract. Guerrier was designated for assignment on Sunday.
After the Cubs designated Marmol last week, a few teams had expressed an interest in the right-hander, who was 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA in 31 games. He did strike out 32, but also walked 21 and served up 26 hits over 27 2/3 innings.
Marmol, 30, began the season as the Cubs closer but lost the job after the first week to Kyuji Fujikawa. However, the Japanese pitcher had elbow problems and eventually required Tommy John surgery. Kevin Gregg has taken over as closer, replacing Marmol, who had replaced Gregg in that role in 2009. It’s also ironic that Gregg was with the Dodgers in Spring Training, but they released him.
– Carrie Muskat