Cubs Trade Rumors: Britton Negotiations ‘Rounding Third’ but ‘Fluid,’ Cubs Asked About Gausman and Bundy

By now you’ve probably seen enough about the Zach Britton talk that I can keep any commentary to a minimum. The former top reliever in the AL is rounding back into form and is as good as guaranteed to be traded by the deadline. To whom, however, remains a question.

The lead team in the race to land Britton has changed seemingly by the hour over the last few days, with the Cubs at one point tabbed as the favorite. But with other teams better able to offer the Orioles a solid package of prospects, it appears the Cubs have fallen back in the pack. Or maybe not.

A quick perusal of the Twitter rabbit hole provides a look at several different teams that may or may not be leading the way.

Clear as mud, huh? Rosenthal did go on to say that, as of last night, the Cubs “did not seem as engaged on Britton as other clubs,” but that the situation is “fluid” and “subject to change.” He also confirmed what had previously only been speculation, which is that the Cubs have talked to Baltimore about starting pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

That link I included above is to a post that deals primarily with the Brewers’ pursuits in the wake of losing Brent Suter to a torn UCL, though I did delve briefly into the Cubs’ potential interest in those aforementioned Orioles. Rosenthal had previously mentioned that multiple teams had inquired about either Bundy or Gausman in a package with Britton.

The Cubs pursuing rotation help is no surprise at all, and not just because of the disappointing effort they got from emergency sixth starter Luke Farrell on Monday night. The Cubs will play 12 games in 11 days coming out of the break and even with a day off this coming Monday, they’ll have 21 games in as many days. That means perhaps having to use a sixth starter at least one more time prior to August 10.

And even with continued positive developments for both Drew Smyly and Yu Darvish, both of whom are (fingers crossed) trending toward rehab starts in August, the Cubs can’t depend on their contributions. Neither Gausman nor Bundy seems like a great option for a rotation that hasn’t performed consistently, but they are both under control for at least another two seasons and could be bounceback candidates.

Another attractive option is the Rays’ Nathan Eovaldi, who the Cubs have been scouting intently with pitching coordinator Jim Benedict. They’ve even been watching the Rangers’ Cole Hamels, who has been absolutely atrocious lately and seems like a long shot at best.

Britton has been the primary target in all of this, though, and the Orioles are expected to finalize a trade for him by the middle of this week. That gives them another week to move everything else that’s not nailed down, which also gives the Cubs time to pivot and explore other options.


There’s also this from Jerry Crasnick, who apparently didn’t get the memo about quote-tweeting previous reports.

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