A huge trade appears to be in the works, but we all know how quick things can change. Toronto is obviously going for it as they are rumored to have acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerlhe, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck from the Miami Marlins. The Marlins will receive SS Yunel Escobar, pitchers Henderson Alvarez and Justin Nicolino, INF Adeiny Hechavarria, and OF Jake Marisnick. The Marlins, who spent like crazy last winter have blown their team up and are beginning to stock pile young talent throughout their system. Marisnick, Nicolino, and Hechavarria were all in the Blue Jays top 10 prospects at number two, five, and seven respectively. Alvarez is a nice young arm that they can put in their rotation right now, and Escobar has always had talent, but has had some issues both on the field and off during his career. The Marlins have virtually erased 2011 off-season moving Reyes and Buerhle in this deal. As you recall they have already moved Heath Bell and have fired Ozzie Guillen. If any more details come out we will let you know.
UPDATE: The Marlins will also receive C Jeff Mathis and RHP Anthony DeSclafani. Toronto will receive $4 million from the Marlins.
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One night after getting knocked around pretty good the Cubs bounced back to even the series with the Marlins at one game a piece. Jeff Samardzija got the start for the Cubs and walked a fine line all night, accumulating 90+ pitches in the fifth inning which is where his night would end. Samardzija went five innings giving up one run on six hits while walking three and striking out nine. It’s clear to see how he was taxed so early as he allowed nine guys on base through five innings but was able to wiggle off the hook with the strikeout ball. Thanks to a Starlin Castro home run, Samardzija was off the hook for the loss and settled for a no decision. The Cubs pen came in and did a tremendous job. Manny Corpas, James Russell, and Shawn Camp shut down the Marlins the rest of the way and gave the Cubs offense a chance to come through late. That’s exactly what they did as Geovany Soto bounced a base hit over Hanley Ramirez to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the seventh. Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena, and Jeff Baker all followed with hits, the big blow being a pinch hit two-run double from Baker to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead. Mother Nature remembered that she had a job to do in the 8th inning as the skies opened up and let Wrigleyville have it. Play was stopped with one out in the top of the 8th with one runner on for the Marlins, and that’s where it would end, with the Cubs taking the rain shortened affair 5-1. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
The Cubs looks to rebound after getting knocked around by the Marlins yesterday. Jeff Samardzija faces off against Marlins righty Josh Johnson in game two of the series. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST, and the game can be seen on WGN. Here is how the Cubs will line up tonight.
1. DeJesus – CF
2. Castro – SS
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. LaHair – RF
6. Soto – C
7. Barney – 2B
8. Valbuena – 3B
9. Samardzija – P
Was really hoping to see Clevenger tonight instead of Soto, thanks for reading, go Cubs!
Lot’s of news to sift through today on the rumor front, so here goes..
The Nationals are the latest team to get involved with the Cubs and Ryan Dempster. The thought here is that the Nationals want a veteran arm to help them down the stretch given the innings limit for Strasburg. Assuming they adhere to that 160 inning limit they will have a hole in their rotation and instead of plugging a system guy into the rotation they want a legit top of the rotation guy, hence Dempster. Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Nationals interest in Dempster earlier today.
There is a reason that most of the rumors I report are about Ryan Dempster, Joel Sherman thinks it’s because Dempster is the first domino of the trade season. For that reason, among others, the Cubs do not want to delay the trading of Ryan Dempster and would like to deal the right hander “this week” according to a MLB executive.
Ken Rosenthal speaks to that rumor about the Cubs wanting to move Dempster immediately as he says that the Cubs have started exchanging names with other teams. He lists the “finalists” as the Dodgers, Tigers, Braves, Red Sox, and the Nationals.
The Cubs other big trade arm, Matt Garza is also being asked about quite often. Danny Knobler is reporting that the Kansas City Royals have asked about Garza as they want to add a big FA arm for the 2013 season. Because Garza has one more year of control after this year he would fit the criteria of being that big arm for the 2013 Royals rotation. The best news yet for the Royals is they wouldn’t have to convince Garza to sign as a FA, they just need to acquire him in a deal, not exactly an easy task but might be easier than obtaining a big arm on an open market.
There have been a few reports that the Tampa Bay Rays are willing to move James Shields, and the Marlins might be interested in moving Josh Johnson. The reason this is news to the Cubs is that it could add arms to the trade market, thus lowering the value of a Matt Garza. I haven’t seen anything concrete about Shields or Johnson but there are whispers about them being available.
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The hottest team in the majors since June 25th? That’s right, the Cubs. The record says so, the Cubs are 12-4 since June 25th and are clicking on all cylinders as they welcome the Miami Marlins to town. Or should I say they welcome the circus to town as Tuesday will mark the return of Ozzie Guillen, Mark Buehrle, and Carlos Zambrano to Chicago. Guillen had an opportunity to set his rotation for this series and he chose to have Zambrano watch all three games from the bench. Of course I guess that could be good for all parties involved. The Cubs only care about one thing, and that’s winning, which is what they have been doing as they come into this series on the heels of a three game sweep over the Diamondbacks. A big reason for the success has been the Cubs starters who have had an ERA under two over the last five games and have the opportunity to continue that dominance as they face a scuffling Marlins offense (14th in runs scored in the NL). The improved lineup has been another big reason for the Cubs turnaround, and there’s no reason to expect them to slow down against a Marlins staff that is ranked 11th in the NL in team ERA. Full preview/breakdown after the jump.
It’s gone beyond a troubling trend, it is now something that all Cubs fans have come to expect this season, late innings losses, and shoddy defensive work. Both were on display in Miami on Tuesday Night where the only thing uglier than the Marlins new home run sculpture was the Cubs defense and tremendous ability to ground into double plays like it was cool. Ryan Dempster turned in another solid outing, but Josh Johnson matched him as both starters did not figure into the decision. The end result was left up to each team’s bullpen, and usually when that happens the Cubs will come out on the short end of the stick, and they did.