Andrew Miller sits atop the Cubs’ wish list this summer, according to Jon Heyman of todaysknuckleball.com. The Yankees southpaw is humming along with a 1.47 ERA and ridiculous 13.2 K/BB ratio, so the price won’t be low — if he can be had at all. While teammate Dellin Betances would also hold interest, Heyman says that Chicago doesn’t believe there’s any chance he’d be available. The Cubbies do not have interest in a reunion with Braves righty Arodys Vizcaino, who has already twice changed hands between the organizations.
- In terms of Cubs trade chips, there’s been plenty of speculation about Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez. But Heyman says that neither is likely to go anywhere. Indeed, we heard recently that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein isn’t inclined at all to part with the injured Schwarber, and it’s tough to imagine the organization removing a useful Baez from its current mix. One interesting player who could be moved, per Heyman, is third base prospect Jeimer Candelario.
- Phillies righty Jeremy Hellickson looks like the club’s most obvious trade piece: he’ll be a free agent at year’s end and has been both solid and durable, which is why he sits among the top 20 trade candidates in baseball on MLBTR’s most recent list. But Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com wonders whether there’s a scenario where Philadelphia holds onto the veteran starter. A qualifying offer could make sense, he posits, since that could net the Phils a draft pick that could be more valuable (particularly given the likelihood of a big draft pool) than any prospect return. And if Hellickson were to take it, that wouldn’t be a terrible result for an organization that could use the stability in the rotation both now and in 2017. GM Matt Klentak hinted recently that his team may not “be super active” at the deadline.
- The Phillies could also push toward contention as soon as next year, though that still seems optimistic. A major factor in that timeline is young shortstop J.P. Crawford, who is currently playing at Triple-A. He was recently named the top prospect in all of baseball in a mid-season ranking update from Baseball Prospectus.
- The Dodgers are said to be looking at outfielders, but may have an internal option on hand before long. Manager Dave Roberts says that Andre Ethier could make his way back to the bigs by early August, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The veteran has missed the entire season with a broken leg, but had been a highly productive player in 2015.