With the July 31st trade deadline only 3 weeks away from today, the rumors are starting to be known. Here's the latest from the rumor mill from the last day or so.
According to Bruce Levine, the Texas Rangers are interested in 1B/OF Xavier Nady along with the Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres. It was said yesterday that the Rangers have "strong interest" in Nady after trading there starting 1B Justin Smoak to the Seattle Mariners in the Cliff Lee trade. For now the Rangers called up 1B Chris Davis from Triple A to fill in at 1B for now, but...they do not think he can fill the role at 1B full time. The Rangers like Nady because he can play 1B and is a cheap option as they will only have to pay 1.6 million left on Nady's contract. People think the Rangers will platoon Nady with Davis at 1B if they acquire him. As Nady is a righty and Davis is a lefty. We have heard of the Angels being interested in Nady about 3 weeks ago or so after they lost there starting 1B Kendry Morales to a season-ending leg injury. But the new team that we have have not heard of is the Padres. I think Nady will be there backup 1B, 4th OF and a bench player like he was supposed to be in Chicago. As he won't be starting at 1B for the Padres as they have Gonzo (Adrian Gonzalez) who made the all-star this year and can hit the ball like crazy. I think the Cubs will trade him before the trade deadline and soon, maybe a week. I see the Rangers stepping up there pursuit in the upcoming days and at the end, Nady will be traded to Texas for a mid-low level prospect. This will also help the Cubs in many ways as there payroll will be cut slightly and the OF situation will be eaiser to manage. But the Cubs will have no backup 1B after this trade, what do they do? I say they will call up Brian LaHair from Triple A to take Nady's spot on the roster.
According to Bruce Levine, before Friday's game GM Jim Hendry and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti had a 8-9 minute conversation about trade possibilities. What players could the Dodgers have interest in? Maybe pitcher Ted Lilly, pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and utility man Jeff Baker. As you can tell the Dodgers need pitching and they could of talked about Lilly or Gorzelanny. Also the Dodgers are hurting and might talked about a cheap option like Jeff Baker who can play all the infield positions and LF/RF. I have every indication in my mind Lilly will be traded and maybe soon. I think Gorzelanny will stay as he is only 28 and is also cheap. I don't know Baker will be traded but I do think either Baker or Fontenot will be traded before the 31st. But I do not think the Dodgers will acquire a player from the Cubs as it is all said and done.
Also according to Bruce Levine, the Colorado Rockies have "apparent interest" in 2B Ryan Theriot. This is no surprise to me as there all-star SS Troy Tulowitzki is recovering from an injury but is on fast pace to returning. Before this, the Rockies were rumored to have interest in Theriot when Tulo went down. I do see Theriot being traded before the 31st for a mid level prospect or two but not to the Rockies. Maybe the Tigers or Red Sox. If the Cubs do trade Theriot, I say they will call up Darwin Barney to take his spot on the roster.
According to Buster Olney, the New York Mets have finally put all there efforts into acquiring Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly after there number one choice Cliff Lee was traded. It was actually said the Mets could have more interest in Lilly than Lee because he will cost less in prospects. The Mets like the idea of taking on the 5.55 million left on Lilly's contract and that will result in giving up less players for Lilly. The Cubs and Mets have reportedly started talking trade with both teams throwing names around. One name that has been thrown around is lefty catcher Josh Thole (He is link to his minor league page), this is according to George Ofman of WGN. I'm not a big fan of Thole as he is already 24, has poor stats and the Cubs really don't need a catcher. If the Cubs trade Lilly, I would want a SP and a position player in return, not a catcher. I think it would be smart for the Cubs to trade Lilly as soon as possible as his last two outings were awful. I expect the Cubs do trade Lilly to the Mets sooner rather than later for 2-3 average prospects.
Also according to Buster Olney, OF Kosuke Fukudome stock is falling but the Cubs are still keeping an eye on the market for his service. This does not surprise me at all because he lost his starting job and teams have not seen him play on a regular day basis. The only team that has really shown interest in Kosuke this year was the Red Sox but they wanted the Cubs to pick up the majority of his contract and the Cubs were hesitant to do so. I don't see the Cubs trading Kosuke by the 31st but if they do, I see OF Sam Fuld being called up from Triple A to take his spot on the roster.
These rumors suggest that the Cubs will rebuild and try to trade away as many veterans as possible. We just have to wait and see what the Cubs do as the day is getting closer everyday. This is the day, I always look forward to when the baseball season is at the half way point. Just can't wait for the Cubs to make a move! I say Lilly is the first player traded followed by Nady.