The Rundown: Bryant Hits 1st Career Walk-Off HR, Rumors Swirling About Possible Cubs-Padres Trades, Tulo Traded to Blue Jays

This entire Cubs season hasn’t been for the faint of heart. But last night’s thriller was especially heart-attack-inducing.

Evan sums thing up very well here.

I’ll just say that this was a huge win. After the Phillies used the Cubs as their personal punching bag for the entirety of this past weekend, the Cubs needed a victory. Kris Bryant picked the perfect time to hit his first career walk-off home run.

Cubs talking trade with Padres

Rumors were swirling yesterday and last night regarding a potential trade between the Cubs and Padres.

The Padres have been a huge disappointment this year after an aggressive offseason, and they will reportedly be willing to trade just about anyone right now.

Everything started with a report from Jon Morosi that the Cubs and Padres discussed a trade involving Starlin Castro, and that James Shields would make sense as a return.

Later in the night, Matt Spiegel from 670 the Score tweeted that a deal for Shields was “very close”:

Minutes later, however, Buster Olney shot that down:

Ken Rosenthal and Patrick Mooney chimed in that the Cubs were looking at a trade for LHP Tyson Ross — not Shields:

Olney also mentions that the Cubs are focused on Ross:

I like the idea of acquiring Ross rather than Shields. He’s younger and cheaper, and wouldn’t be a free agent until 2018.

Ross has an ERA of 3.45 (which is pretty decent), but a FIP of 2.75, so he probably has run into a bit of bad luck this year. He also has a bunch of strikeouts: 132 in 122.2 innings.

It’ll be an interesting story to monitor. Earlier in the day, Ken Rosenthal said the Cubs may wait until Friday to pull off a deal for a pitcher in hopes that the prices will drop.

Will the Cubs be willing to give up what it takes to get Ross? Or might they go for a rental, such as Ian Kennedy?

Tulo traded

Well this was unexpected: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been traded to the Blue Jays, according to Ken Rosenthal.

As of writing this, the reported trade was Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays for shortstop Jose Reyes and prospects. One of those prospects is 20-year-old RHP Miguel Castro, according to Jon Morosi.

I’m not sure I really understand this trade. The Blue Jays already have a very potent lineup, and giving up a ton for an injury-prone shortstop such as Tulo seems risky. How will his legs hold up on the artificial turf? And the inclusion of Hawkins is flat-out bizarre.

I’m sure we’ll find out more details later today.

Zobrist interest

The Cubs are still interested in utility man Ben Zobrist — but so are pretty much every team in contention, writes Jon Heyman.

Zobrist would be an obvious fit for the Cubs, but with so much competition, I anticipate it being a long-shot. He’d be able to spell Addison Russell and Kris Bryant on the infield, as well as the corner outfield spots, on a rotating basis.

It’s basically what I anticipated Arismendy Alcantara’s role to be this year, but that unfortunately did not work out. But here we are in late July, and some of the Cubs’ young players look like they could use an occasional breather.

Zobrist could provide that. The problem is that Zobrist and the Marlins’ Martin Prado are really the only legitimate middle-infield options.

Zobrist got off to a slow start with the A’s this year, but has heated up at the plate lately. He’d provide another veteran presence, and he’s familiar with Joe Maddon from their days in Tampa.

Theo Epstein hinted before yesterday’s game that the Cubs will be looking at players who can help beyond this year. That might mean they avoid Zobrist, since he would be a rental.

Missing out on Zobrist may not be the end of the world for the Cubs, however. They have some internal options to possibly turn to, in Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella, Alcantara and Mike Olt.

Other notes

* Speaking of Tommy La Stella, he could begin a rehab assignment later this week. La Stella hasn’t played since the first series of the season. Seems like forever.

* Dallas Beeler will be getting the start for the Cubs today, as he’s really the only option they have at the fifth-starter spot. Tsuyoshi Wada pitched last night for Iowa (and did well), and Clayton Richard cannot be recalled from Triple-A yet. Beeler didn’t make it past the 2nd inning in his last start, allowing five runs.

* The Cubs announced yesterday that Edwin Jackson has been released. So that means they were unable to find a trade partner. I would imagine some team will take a chance on him, at least as a mop-up option.

* Mike Olt hit his third home run in as many games last night and also added a double. He has been heating up considerably; I hope we get to see him up with the big-league club sometime soon.

* Finally, take a break from re-watching Kris Bryant’s walk-off winner from last night and check out this amazing play from Addison Russell. Sick:

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