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Nothin' Like A (Sorta) Rumor
by alex ciepley
Last night's All-Star Game chat with Rob Neyer over on ESPN produced this tasty exchange:
charles ro, seattle: Any thoughts about nomar to the cubs, johnson to the bosox and prospects/young talent to the d-backs?
Rob Neyer: (11:40 PM ET ) Now this one makes a lot more sense than Garciaparra to the White Sox. In this one, everybody gets what they need. If I'm the Red Sox, I'm concerned about the Big Unit's durability over the next season and a half, but they probably have to do something bold...
So this actually isn't really a rumor; rather just an idea proposed in a chat. Still, considering that there have been a few rumors floating around involving the Cubs and each of the players involved, it isn't such a bad thought.
A Cub fan later in the chat suggested that he'd rather see the Cubs hang onto the Big Unit if they were involved in a trade with him. In this case, I disagree: the starting pitching really hasn't been a problem, even with Wood and Prior out for extended periods. The Cubs enter the second half with two starters pitching extremely well (Clement and Zambrano), two who you can expect to pitch well (Wood and Prior), and one who has been average but -- let's admit -- has a pretty decent track record to fall back on (Maddux). Throw in a quality spot starter in Rusch and the Cubs now have virtual riches in starting pitching.
Shortstop, though, is another matter, and a chance to upgrade from schlek to Nomah could add a couple notches to the win column something quick. Still, this isn't even a rumor, just an idea someone had in a chat. I just thought it was a pretty decent one.
UPDATE (10:00 AM ET):
Okay, then, it is a legit rumor. Reader Joel just pointed out in an email that Jack Curry from the New York Times ran a column today discussing this exact trade. The Cubs would give prospects to Arizona, who would ship Johnson to Boston, who in return would send Nomar to the Cubs.
An American League team executive, who has been briefed on the trade discussions, said the Red Sox were talking with at least one team about using Garciaparra as a chip to help land the 40-year-old Johnson, who is a five-time Cy Young award winner. And that team is the Chicago Cubs, whose farm system is rich in pitching.