Central Rumors: Russell, Colon, Burnett, Bonifacio, Pirates

The Cubs are a bit lacking in starting pitching depth following the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but lefty reliever James Russell suggested one name to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that could help alleviate the problem: his own name. “There’s still not a doubt in my mind that I could [start],” said Russell, who was drafted as a starter. Russell acknowledged that he may not get the opportunity to start with the Cubs, because they may prefer to keep him in a relief role or because they may trade him this week. He adds that he’s stated his case with the front office multiple times to return to the rotation, and he’d be open to doing so again with another club if they felt he could handle the role.

More from the game’s central divisions …

  • The Royals have at least some interest in both Mets starter Bartolo Colon and Phillies hurler A.J. Burnett, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino had noted yesterday that there was no action on Colon. Though it is not yet clear how serious the interest is, the club likes both righties. One major issue for Kansas City, of course, is payroll, and Martino adds that the club may not be in a position to take on the salary (and significant future obligations) owed to Colon and Burnett. New York is said to be amenable to paying $2MM of Colon’s tab, but he is earning $9MM this year and comes with a guaranteed $11MM salary next year. Burnett, meanwhile, is making $7.5MM this year (in addition to a $7.5MM signing bonus) and comes with an option that will likely turn into a $12.75MM player option.
  • Emilio Bonifacio isn’t letting himself worry about the possibility of being traded by the Cubs, but Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago spoke to one NL official who feels that the utilityman would be a perfect last-minute addition on Thursday before the deadline. Rogers notes that if Bonifacio is traded, it could lead to a much-anticipated call-up for Javier Baez, wish Arismendy Alcantara manning center through season’s end and Baez taking over at the keystone. Currently, Bonifacio splits time between second and center.
  • The Pirates remain on the lookout for a left-handed reliever, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Pittsburgh has been rumored to have interest in severable available southpaws, including Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies and Andrew Miller of the Red Sox.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


29 Responses to Central Rumors: Russell, Colon, Burnett, Bonifacio, Pirates Leave a Reply

  1. JaelMicheff 11 months ago

    Andrew Miller not Andrew Bailey

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      Yep. I’ve now mixed their names so thoroughly in my head that I have no idea which is which anymore.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      Yep. I’ve now mixed their names so thoroughly in my head that I have no idea which is which anymore.

  2. GrilledCheese39 11 months ago

    Do you mean Andrew Miller of the Red Sox? Because Andrew Bailey is a righty..

  3. Dogger27 11 months ago

    Burnett or Colon…. I think Colon is the better pitcher but Burnett should be cheaper! Maybe Bubba Starling for Colon and cash?

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      Bubba Starling, LOL
      I am thinking probably not.

      Plus, and this is to anyone in general.
      Why would the Royals trade for either Colon or Burnett?
      They are both owed big bucks and they said they either didn’t want or could afford Santana. Santana is the better amongst the three in my opinion.

      • Tom 11 months ago

        Starling’s stock has slipped. Still a good prospect, but he hasn’t made a top 100 list this year and probably will not next year. He just hasn’t been able to hit much at all.

      • Tom 11 months ago

        Starling’s stock has slipped. Still a good prospect, but he hasn’t made a top 100 list this year and probably will not next year. He just hasn’t been able to hit much at all.

    • Hayabusa 11 months ago

      That’d be a horrendous trade for Kansas City.

      • Tom 11 months ago

        How so? the only attachment I can see KC have towards him is that he’s a local kid. His hit tool is below average and his stock has slipped each year. Kid still has tools, but he hasn’t proven they can translate into hitting.

      • paqza 11 months ago

        I’m not sure Bubba Starling will ever play in the Majors. If he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be a bad trade at all.

    • Nathan Sullins 11 months ago

      Lolol yeah NO. Starling is not going anywhere but for some serious RF power. I’m not saying he’s not a potential chip, but the return is definitely not going to be Bartolo Colon. And anyway.. Starling isn’t even out of A ball yet. He’s not going to make any impact at all for a few years

  4. Guest 11 months ago

    So Andrew Bailey is making a comeback by throwing with his other arm? Interesting.

  5. Eric 11 months ago

    Baez probably deserves a promotion. However, he has a whole 11 games at 2B in his career and is only 21. The Cubs could pull an Astros and leave him down until the middle of next year.

    • bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

      Most likely the Cubs will call up Baez & Bryant in May. This will keep these players longer in service time with the Cubs.

  6. Derpy 11 months ago

    It is funny that a small market team like the Mets can afford a player that a big market team like the Royals cannot. Baseball really has changed.

  7. Karkat 11 months ago

    Package Lester and Miller to Pittsburgh for two legit prospects and change, maybe?

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

      Since both are rental players Josh Bell (OF, mid-season #35 overall prospect) or 2 lesser prospect for Lester and Miller sounds fair to me.

      • paqza 11 months ago

        Doesn’t seem like a good move unless it’s a trade-and-sign for Lester. For a straight rental, it would be quite an overpay.

      • Asd 11 months ago

        HaHaHaHa – no. The sox can dream all they want but there is no way pittsburgh would give up a top prospect for rental players. You obviously don’t know how Neil Huntington values his prospects. Look at the Pirates lineup – Marte, McCutchen, Walker, Alverez, Mercer, Polonco… And a host of starting pitchers who are 6 to 12 months from the majors – the pirates don’t waste their value rental, they jettison lesser prospects who won’t make the cut.

    • Kirk Weaver 11 months ago

      No way the Bucs give up Bell for a rental

  8. Sky14 11 months ago

    Duensing makes a lot of sense, could probably be had at a modest price too . Wouldn’t be surprising to see a deal materialize considering the teams recent history of dealing with one another.

  9. OriginalHitman 11 months ago

    Wonder if KC would be interested in Murphy as well? Would be an offensive upgrade over Infante.

    • bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

      Cubs Bonifacio and Valbuena have been scouted by the Royals in trade talks.

      • OriginalHitman 11 months ago

        If they’re scouting Valbuena, they should be looking Murphy’s way. I’d like to see the Mets get back a couple of arms, especially if they give some big chips from our pitching for Tulo.

      • Frank Richard 11 months ago

        That’s funny considering the Royals are the team that released him this spring. The could have had him for whatever they were already paying him.

  10. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    James Russell as a starter !…..not going to happen……….Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez will be considered before Russell………a matter of fact, Russell could be heading towards Atlanta in the near future.

  11. jb226 11 months ago

    Russell had a chance to start in 2011. He posted a 9.33 ERA in five games and gave up seven home runs.

    Five games is clearly a small sample size, but it’s hardly encouraging a return to the rotation. He’s been a good reliever and a poor starter. Making him start again would be pretty desperate. Not to mention that he wouldn’t be extended quickly enough this year to make a difference.

  12. Tre-Day 11 months ago

    I would love for the Dodgers to go after Emilio Bonifacio. He’s a much better version of Chone Figgins

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