With the MLB trade deadline quickly approaching in just a few days, the Chicago Cubs are still searching for another pitching arm to round out their rotation for a push for the playoffs. Johnny Cueto was one of the first big names to be taken off the market when the Cincinnati Reds traded him to the Kansas City Royals. After getting a very good look at Cole Hamels over the weekend, are the Cubs pushing a deal quickly?
The Cubs got a better look at Hamels than they were hoping for. On Saturday, the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher tossed a no-hitter against Chicago as the Cubs' offense continues to sputter after a strong start to the season. Hamels' performance certainly comes at a good time as teams continue to explore trade talks with the Phillies and Chicago is definitely a team that is interested.
The issue is that Hamels' price just went up with the no-hitter. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Phillies are increasing the price tag for the pitcher, asking for less money and more players in the trade deal. This could either help or hurt Chicago in their quest to get Hamels before the deadline.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is reporting that the Cubs are offering up Starlin Castro and top prospect Javier Baez in the trade deal. While Baez is certainly a player worth accepting, Castro has been a disappointment this season which might leave the Phillies uninterested in his value in a deal. If the Phillies go a different direction than Chicago for the trade, is David Price the next-best move for Chicago?
Price's agent told the Detroit Free Press that he is very confident the pitcher is moved at the deadline. Price made it clear he would not be re-signing with the Tigers in free agency, leaving them to push trade deals at the deadline. The Cubs could try to offer the same type of package to Detroit and see if they bite after the Phillies passed it up. There are no guarantees, but it is worth a shot.
Other pitchers like James Shields could be an option for the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija is an option as the White Sox shop the pitcher. Mike Leake is also available from the Reds. Someone will take on the package the Cubs are offering if they get aggressive before the end of July.