With the deadline nigh, this is probably the last of our rumors series. It’s also the one that’s got the least amount of meat on the bones, which is really saying something when it comes to some of the reports this time of year. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see Buster Olney tweeting that the Cubs were still on the lookout for additional pitching depth.
Cubs have made their big moves, and currently monitoring for controllable depth among starting pitcher and reliever markets.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2017
Given that they’ve accomplished their primary objectives of acquiring a controllable starter, high-leverage reliever (both lefties) and backup catcher, the Cubs really don’t have any glaring holes to fill. And in making all those moves using only prospects, they don’t have open spots on the 25-man roster. So what does Olney’s tweet mean?
My guess is that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are checking the clearance aisle to see if anything interesting has slipped through the cracks. It’s like that time I found a Bears Super Bowl XX shirt for 65 cents at the thrift shop. You keep those hooks in the water and keep flipping through the racks and maybe you’ll find something.
But hey, what if we lay Olney’s info on top of Jon Heyman’s earlier report that the Cubs were still asking about Sonny Gray and start drawing some wild conclusions?
cubs, who never quit, are one more that's checked in on sonny gray. but price appears "too steep"
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2017
Yeah, you’re right, this is probably just a matter of the Cubs continuing to help Billy Beane out by goosing the Yankees into a higher price. Or it could just be Epstein and Hoyer taking advantage of the current impasse. Either way, I don’t think there’s any real teeth to his one.
If the Cubs do anything, I’d expect it to be more along the lines of picking up a pitcher with options remaining, someone who could be stashed in the minors.