While the Cubs have plenty of trade chips at their disposal due to farm system that is deep in position players, infielder Javier Baez is not among the candidates to be moved, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Cubs value Baez’s versatility and power upside enough that they wouldn’t part with him even if the Yankees were to make Andrew Miller available, per Rosenthal. Rather, the FOX scribe lists players such as Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis as more realistic trade options for Chicago, who is loath to part with Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora or Willson Contreras in summer trades. A power lefty for the bullpen is the team’s top priority as the Aug. 1 deadline inches closer, per Rosenthal.
More from the Senior Circuit…
- Fernando Rodney’s brilliant season with the Padres is “not going unnoticed by contenders” in the market for bullpen help, tweets MLB Network’s Peter Gammons. Rodney has, incredibly, yet to allow an earned run through 25 1/3 innings with San Diego this season. He’s still averaging a solid 94.3 mph on his fastball and has made improvements over last season in both K/9 (9.6) and BB/9 (3.6). Beyond that, he’s also inducing grounders at a career-best 60 percent clip. While Rodney is an obvious regression candidate due to that 0.00 ERA, metrics such as FIP, xFIP and SIERA all feel that an ERA in the low 3.00s or upper 2.00s would be a reasonable expectation moving forward. On top of that, he’s affordable, as he’s earning just a $1.6MM base salary with a $2MM option for the 2017 season. Rodney can also earn up to $5MM worth of incentives, and any incentives he does reach are tacked onto the value of that option.
- Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin sounded frustrated with his team’s lack of success at the plate following yesterday’s loss to the D-backs, as the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb writes. “We need some professional at-bats,” said Mackanin. “The guys are all not the type of hitters who are established.” Mackanin has tried various lineup alterations and motivational tactics for his position players, but the production hasn’t been there, resulting in a team that is presently on pace to finish with the second-worst team OBP in Major League history. As Gelb points out, a number of the team’s top prospects getting closer to the Majors. With a number of placeholders currently in the lineup, it stands to reason that the Phils could dip into their farm if the MLB stopgaps continue to underwhelm.
- Similarly, the struggling Mets “may shake things up,” manager Terry Collins said after suffering a sweep at the hands of the last-place Braves, which was capped off by a one-hit Julio Teheran shutout. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post was among those to speak to Collins, and Davidoff opines that the shakeup should begin with the reinstatement of Travis d’Arnaud from his rehab assignment and the promotion of outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo. The arrival of Nimmo, he adds, should come at the expense of either designating Alejandro De Aza or optioning Michael Conforto. As Davidoff notes, meaningful upgrades on the trade market (e.g. Danny Valencia, Yunel Escobar, Yangervis Solarte) aren’t likely to be moved until mid-July, and early asking prices tend to be exorbitant in nature. As such, internal maneuverings should be considered to help right the ship. The Mets are 7-10 in June and have lost six of their past eight games