Results tagged ‘ cubs ’

7/30 Afternoon roundup: One more day

We’re about 24 hours away from Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it still has been a pretty quiet week. Some wheels were evidently set in motion on Tuesday afternoon, so let’s take a look at where some things stand around 5 p.m. ET:

  • White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Astros starter Bud Norris were both scratched from their Tuesday starts, and rumors started flying. The D-backs have interest in Peavy — Arizona GM Kevin Towers has history with the right-hander dating back to their San Diego days — along with a handful of other clubs with starting pitching needs.
  • The Phillies called up third base prospect Cody Asche, prompting rumors about Michael Young leaving town, but Young was slotted into Tuesday’s starting lineup when it was first unveiled this afternoon. There have been reports that Young’s no-trade clause would be waived only for a deal to the Rangers, though MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a Texas reunion is “unlikely” and the Red Sox and Orioles have also been tied to Young. And on top of the Young chatter, there are still rumors flying about Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee.
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Jose Veras deal was the big one that Detroit wanted to take care of, and the Tigers are not looking for a bat (even with shortstop Jhonny Peralta looking at a possible suspension with his ties to Bioegenesis). Javier Lopez and Kevin Gregg are other bullpen names that have been floated in connection with the Tigers.
  • A league source tells MLB.com‘s Joe Frisaro that if there’s any darkhorse team who could put together the right package to land Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, it would be the Red Sox.
  • Even with a wealth of quality relievers, it might be a quiet Trade Deadline for the Padres.
  • The Cubs have already dealt away some big pieces, and manager Dale Sveum says that any rumors about starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija being the next to go are “far-fetched.” Kevin Gregg and right fielder Nate Schierholtz could be a different story, though.

– Joey Nowak

7/30 Samardzija rumors “far-fetched”

The Trade Deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT, and manager Dale Sveum doesn’t expect Jeff Samardzija to be doing anything but prepping for his next start with the Cubs. Rumors continue to swirl about the Cubs listening to offers for Samardzija.

“If somebody asks, sure,” Sveum said on whether the Cubs were keeping an open mind. “That’s not my job, so I don’t know what goes in those kind of meetings. It’s not realistic [to deal Samardzija].”

The Cubs would have to be offered a lot to part with the 28-year-old right-hander who is under team control for two more years.

“This is me speaking, but I would think it’s very, very far-fetched to think that you have a guy under control for that long and possibly a No. 1 guy to do anything with him,” Sveum said. “Those are things that pop up and somebody will say, sure you’ll listen. But are you going to want to trade half your team [to get Samardzija]?”

Meanwhile, Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz wait to see if they will stay with the Cubs past the deadline.

“It is a compliment to be rumored,” Sveum said. “Some people get to be part of a pennant race and get to the playoffs and do some fun things.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/27 Could Samardzija be next?

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija. But Rosenthal says the asking price is high. The 28-year-old right-hander has two arbitration years remaining. He’s compiled a 3.94 ERA in 21 starts this season with a 9.1 strikeout/per nine innings ratio. Theo Epstein has said no player is untouchable, but it would take quite a package to pry Samardzija loose. With the trade of Alfonso Soriano, Samardzija has the longest tenure with the Cubs among players on the 25-man roster.

The Cubs already have traded Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Scott Hairston, Carlos Marmol and Soriano.

7/25 Soriano headed to Yankees

Alfonso Soriano is apparently headed back to the Yankees, where he began his Major League career. Soriano was in the Cubs’ starting lineup on Thursday for the series finale against the Diamondbacks, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein called manager Dale Sveum and asked him to pull the 37-year-old outfielder, saying a deal was “99 percent” completed.

Major League Baseball has to review the financial terms of the deal, and an official announcement may not come until Friday.

The Yankees were 6 1/2 games back in the American League East. Can Soriano help the Yankees?

“He’s going to a place that is obviously one of the better stadiums, and he’s been there before and has performed in that atmosphere before,” Sveum said. “Obviously, they’ve had a lot of injuries, and he’s the guy who can fill that void as [designated hitter] and in left field.”

Soriano has hit 10 home runs in his last 21 games, and was batting .286 in that stretch with six doubles, 21 RBIs and a 1.044 OPS, dating to June 28. He has homered in five of his last 14 games, and ranks seventh among active players in career home runs with 389.

– Carrie Muskat

7/25 Schierholtz, DeJesus wait

Cubs outfielders Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus are both well aware the Trade Deadline is one week away. Any team looking for a left-handed bat and a solid defensive outfielder would be interested in Schierholtz, who was batting .313 with runners in scoring position this season. A few teams have followed Schierholtz, including the Pirates.

“It’s out of our control what happens,” Schierholtz said after Wednesday’s extra inning win over the Diamondbacks in which he had his first five RBIs game. “I love being a Cub, and hope to stay here. You never know what will happen in the next week. All we can do is go out there and focus on trying to win games.”

DeJesus’ name also has been mentioned in trade rumors, and Theo Epstein did take time to talk to the outfielder, but not about a possible move. Instead, Epstein wanted to thank DeJesus, and tell him how much they appreciate his mentorship of the younger players. DeJesus showed that during his rehab stint with the Rookie League players, many of whom are teenagers.

“He’s a really good baseball player, lived up to his contract, he’s a left-handed bat who has the exact approach we’re trying to teach in this organization,” Epstein said. “There’s a lot of value to having him here. That said, will we make him untouchable? No — no one’s untouchable. We’ll sit and weigh out the options and what’s best for the Cubs.”

DeJesus, activated from the DL on Wednesday, was prepared.

“My name’s been in the rumors before,” he said. “It’s nothing new. You’ve just got to be professional and play the game and see what happens from there.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/23 Alfonso Soriano update

Theo Epstein planned to meet with Alfonso Soriano, who was caught off guard by reports that the Cubs and Yankees were close to completing a deal which would send the 37-year-old outfielder back to the team he broke in with.

“I saw the news and got surprised,” Soriano said Tuesday. “My agent told me the Yankees just called but it’s nothing serious and it’s nothing close. When I saw it on TV, I got a little surprised. I didn’t know it was coming — they put a lot of pressure on me, because a lot of friends called me and family when they saw the rumor on TV. my agent and me, we have the control. We talked, and I think if something happens, I want to be the first one to know.”

Epstein and Jed Hoyer were in Arizona on Tuesday and were going to talk to Soriano about his options. The Yankees aren’t the only team that has inquired about Soriano, Epstein said.

“They’re not the first team to call,” Epstein said. “They’re the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away.”

Soriano has a no-trade clause. Would he consider playing for the Yankees again?

“I just focus, play baseball, play the game today,” he said. “If it happens, if I’m getting closer, I’ll think about it. Now, there’s nothing there. If the president and the GM don’t call my agent, it’s because nothing happened, nothing’s close. If it gets close, I want time to think about it. Now, there’s nothing to think about.”

It would be a homecoming for Soriano, who broke into the U.S. Major Leagues with the Yankees in 1999.

“That’s my first organization, and I enjoyed my time with the Yankees,” he said. “They have a very good team. They are the Yankees. They always make the playoffs, no matter what team they have, no matter what pitching they’ve got. They always find a way. It’s one of the best organizations in baseball.”

– Carrie Muskat

Yanks in talks to acquire Soriano

Alfonso Soriano could soon be making a return to the Bronx.

The Yankees are currently working to acquire the Cubs outfielder and a deal is close, according to George King of the New York Post. There are still a number of wrinkles to be worked out with the deal, including how much of Soriano’s remaining contract will be paid by the Cubs, as well as Soriano needing to waive his no-trade clause.

Soriano, who turned down a trade to the Giants last season, is owed approximately $25 million through the end of next season. The Cubs are willing to cover most of that, but are asking for a mid-level prospect in return, according to the report.

Soriano’s bat would add some much-needed pop to a Yankees lineup that ranks 12th in the American League in runs scored, 13th in home runs and 14th in batting average.

The Cubs outfielder  is hitting .256 with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs. Ten of those homers have come in Soriano’s last 20 games, including eight already in the month of July.

Soriano made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1999 and went on to hit .284 with 98 home runs, 270 RBIs and 121 stolen bases over parts of five seasons in pinstripes. As a member of the Yanks in 2002, he led the American League in runs (128), hits (209) and stolen bases (41).

July 19 notes: Garza, Rios, A. Ramirez^2

With no trade yet completed, right-hander Matt Garza arrived with the Cubs in Denver on Friday to open the second half. The Rangers remain the favorite to land the righty and, although no  deal has been reported as of late Friday afternoon, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes the Rangers would like to get one done in time for Garza to pitch on Saturday.

One of Texas’ biggest chips is third baseman Mike Olt, MLB.com’s 19th overall prospect.  Here’s part of what he told MLB.com’s Mastesr Tesfatsion on Thursday night about the rumors: 

“Whatever happens, I’m in a good spot. If Texas needs something, they’re going to do whatever they can to win a championship. They’re going to get it. If I’m part of that piece, then the next team I’ll have an opportunity to play there. That’s something that I look forward to if I get an opportunity like that. If not, then I’m in a good spot with Texas. I have to be up there and contribute and help them win.”

The Red Sox, thought by some to also be in the Garza derby, appear out because of their unwillingness to deal prospects, according to WEEI.com.

- The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tweeted Friday the Red Sox have, however, scouted White Sox outfielder Alex Rios and Philadelphia infielder Michael Young.

- Cafardo also tweets the Red Sox and Yankees will have scouts watching Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez when he returns from the disabled list Monday.

- Along with the Red Sox, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports the Pirates also are looking at Rios and also could be interested in White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

- Finally, it appears the Tim Lincecum trade rumors can be put to rest. Giants general manager Brian Sabean said on his KNBR-AM radio show: “I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform. I find it hard to believe that he’d pitch elsewhere this year.”

- Cash Kruth

7/19 Matt Garza en route to Denver

Matt Garza tweeted Friday morning that he was headed to Denver to join the Cubs, who open a three-game series there. How long will he stay? According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and Rangers are close to a deal. Among the names discussed are Triple-A third baseman Mike Olt and Class A right-hander C.J. Edwards. Edwards, 21, is 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA at Class A Hickory with 122 strikeouts and 34 walks. Rosenthal reports the Cubs will receive a strong package of prospects for Garza, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

– Carrie Muskat

Rockies won’t deal Cuddyer, believe they’re a contender

The Rockies enter the second half four games under .500, but at 4 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading D-backs, which has Rockies owner Dick Monfort believing the team is a contender. That assessment will color the team’s approach to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, even though they tend not to make huge moves.

The Rockies were 35-32 when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left the lineup with a broken rib. Tulowitzki returned for the final series before the break, and team could improve if he can stay healthy and performs to his current numbers (.332, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs in 64 games).

“You’ve got him back — you don’t know for how long; he’s got a history – but if he stays healthy, yeah I think so,” Monfort said when asked if he believes the Rockies have a shot.

Monfort threw cold water on the suggestion that the club could trade All-Star right fielder Michael Cuddyer.  Speculation during the break was that the Rockies could deal him for an established pitcher, such as the Cubs’ Matt Garza.

“Not a chance,” Monfort said. “You look at how vulnerable we are when we lose ‘Tulo,’ he [Cuddyer] is a right-handed bat,” Monfort said. “Right-handed corner bats with power are pretty important. You put into the mix he’s a guy that has Major League at-bats, and he plays first base.”

Monfort said he could see trading for “the right starting pitcher,” but he said he will not deal key lineup parts or prized prospects. That’s especially true in the case of Garza, who is a free agent at season’s end. Still, there are holes in the rotation. Juan Nicasio threw well in his final start before the break, after a brief demotion to the Minors. Lefty Drew Pomeranz has yet to have a strong start in the Majors this year.

That could mean the Rockies are more in the market for bullpen help. White Sox All-Star right-hander Jesse Crain has been a prime target, but he currently out with a shoulder injury and it isn’t certain if he’ll pitch before the deadline.

“We’re hoping Nicasio stays good, but that still leaves a hole until [veteran Roy] Oswalt comes back [from a hamstring injury], but that’s no given,” Monfort said. “I guess that’s where you’d look first, but bullpen is something else.

“Starting pitchers don’t profile well here. You just never know when you get one of those, a la [Jeremy] Guthrie, a la Jason Marquis.”

Monfort allowed for the possibility that the right starter at the right price could be had closer to the deadline.

“Everybody’s asking price is huge for these pitchers right now,” Monfort said. “You never know what happens [close to the deadline when teams struggle]. Look at San Diego. They went from a buyer to potentially a seller.”

Thomas Harding

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