With the trade deadline approaching talks have increased but moves have not begun for the Cubs. Here is the latest-
- The Cubs signed Dave Bush to a minor league contract.
- Aramis Ramirez option does not vest for 2012 meaning the team he is traded to will only have to worry about what he is being paid this season. Because of this he is regarded as one of the top targets in the trade market.
- The Pirates are still very much interested in Ramirez.
- Jim Hendry has no interest in trading Dempster or Garza but he is likely to listen to offers.
- Bruce Levine said the Braves and Phillies have done extensive scouting on Marlon Byrd. The Pirates, Rangers, and Red Sox also have interest in Byrd.
- In the Chicago Tribune they credit an unconfirmed rumor that the Yankees are looking at Alfonso Soriano, Sean Marshall, and/or Aramis Ramirez. This report can be credited with a flurry of emails my way along with other sites adding to the rumor. It is said that the Yankees would be requiring the Cubs to pay a “large portion” of Soriano’s contract and include a player like Ramirez or Marshall to get a deal done that includes prospects going the Cubs way. The thought is Soriano would take over the DH role and play of LF for the Yankees PT while Marshall would be an ideal set-up man for the Yankees. If Ramirez is included he would man third base until Arod came back which would not be until around playoff time. Ramirez would be good insurance for the Yankees if Arod suffers a set back. Even if he does not, there is a thought that Ramirez could DH with Soriano in LF, and Arod at third leaving Posada a weapon off the bench. The only additional information for my emails that is not found online is that the Yankees are willing to pay 30 of the 63 million left on his contract.
- Carlos Pena has been getting more interest for the Angels, Diamondbacks, and Giants recently who are all looking for offensive upgrades. Ramirez is also gaining interest from the same three clubs.
- John Grabow and Fukudome’s interest is on the decline but could pick up once other bats and lefty relievers come off the board.
- Reed Johnson is looking like a sought after playoff chip for contending teams. The Cubs may get a low prospect for the outfielder.
- Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincy are all looking to upgrade their pitching and have scouted the Cubs. Several rumors found my in box regarding Z being reunited with Dusty Baker in Cincy. I have also heard the Indians have interest in Randy Wells (why, I don’t know).
- Jeff Baker will not be traded this season and is considered an affordable option for next year’s team.
Until Next Time..