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Mark P
The Weekend Chat becomes the Memorial Day Chat this time around, as things got a little too busy news-wise yesterday for the usual Sunday questions.  But, let's open up the mailbag now...
Who do you see the Cubs selling at the deadline? In this part of the “rebuild” do you see Jed and Carter going for prospects or selling to try to solidify the bullpen?
Mark P
It might be a little early (and the NL too compacted) to call the Cubs sellers just yet, but things obviously aren't looking great for the team right now.  

In terms of trade chips, the pending free agents (Bellinger, Hendricks, Gomes, Fulmer, etc.) would naturally be the first ones on the trade market.  Stroman is the big question mark since even as a rental, he'd get the Cubs the biggest return, but Chicago also might want to try extending his contract
That's the other factor in the Cubs being sellers....they've invested enough in this payroll that they're looking to reload for 2024.  So they'd want younger players who could conceivably provide help at the MLB level immediately.
Is there any credibility to the athletic article about the reds trading jonathan india to make room for elly de la cruz? I think moving him to the outfield or DH makes much more sense.
Mark P
The piece seemed more like a hypothetical than a clear "the Reds are exploring trading India" type of item, and frankly, I really doubt Cincinnati would actually move a proven player until they have a better idea of what they have in their many prospects.

The Reds' unusually big glut of infield prospects might mean that India does get dealt down the road, yet not all of these prospects will end up being reliable MLB-level players.
P Mark
Mark P
Do you see Andrew Abbott or Gavin Williams being called up anytime soon?
Mark P
Allen and Bibee have done well enough that Cleveland might not have quite as great a need for Williams as it seemed a few weeks ago, but I do expect him to be in MLB at some point in 2023.  Man, the Guardians just keep producing these young arms like clockwork!
Abbott is another interesting young prospect who is racking up strikeouts like mad.  He'll be in Cincinnati at some point perhaps a bit later in the season, since while the Reds may have a lot of infielders, the pitching is another story
Walton Dilcox
What’s a Camilo Doval trade look like this summer?
Mark P
Extremely high, but I also don't think Doval is being moved.  The Giants have a winning record and might have as good a chance as anyone in the tight NL at a wild card, plus Doval is a controllable asset who looks like an elite arm
Mike Elias
With Colton Cowser and Kyle Stowers both on the IL what do I do about the Mullins injury?
Mark P
I outlined this in the post about Mullins' injury, but the O's have enough outfield depth that it won't be a huge deal if Mullins is only gone for 2-3 weeks.  If he's out longer it isn't ideal naturally, but by then Cowser or Stowers might be options, or the O's might look into trades
Is this predictable "infield glut" for the Reds just not confirmation that trading Luis Castillo as opposed to signing him was a mistake? Reds seem ready to compete and Marte/Arroyo just do not fill needs.
Mark P
The Reds weren't in a position to contend, and Castillo might well have left in free agency.  I can understand their logic in dealing Castilo, even if I disagree with the team's overall decision to completely tear down what looked like at least a decent roster a couple of years ago.
And the reason that teams load up on middle infield prospects if they can is because that shortstops are usually good enough athletes that they can more easily switch to other positions.
How likely do you think it is that Aaron Nola gets traded and if so what do you think the Phillies could get for him?
Mark P
I don't expect the Phils to sell, since they'd have to really catastrophically out of the race to entirely throw in the towel on the season.
Even a lesser version of Nola would get a decent return in a trade as a rental player, but since the Phillies had (and presumably still have) interest in keeping him, the Phils might not see "a decent return" as worthwhile in the bigger picture
Was this a major set back for Lance McCullers?   Will this push him further back then the all star timeline.
Mark P
The Astros are pretty vague about injury specifics, so we don't know if this is a big setback or maybe just some light soreness or something that is making them more cautious.  It isn't good news, to be sure, but maybe it's something short of "bad" news.
Jays fan
Which Jays team is the real one? The April one or the May one?
Mark P
"Somewhere in between" is the copout answer but maybe also the accurate one.  The fact that the Jays still struggle to beat winning teams isn't a good sign, especially since losing games to division rivals puts them in an even deeper hole.

If basically every AL East team beats up on non-division foes, then it puts Toronto in a bind if things come down to intra-division performance.
A's Fan
Is David Forst on the hot seat? He's wasted what little money he had on vets that have drastically under-produced. His trades looked shaky when they happened and look worse now.
Mark P
The A's are such a unique situation that I'm not sure it's fair to really judge Forst's performance.  He probably has more limitations on him than any other exec in baseball.
Brew Crew
What's your take on Milwaukee? They've good a fantastic young group playing right now, and with Urias beginning his rehab, their offense can only get stronger. The bullpen has been consistent this far as well with Williams having full control of the bullpen. Even without Woodruff, the rotation has been good enough to hold the lead over a weak NL Central
Mark P
They definitely seem to have the fewest questions of any team in the NLC, which is saying something considering all of the Brewers' pitching injuries.  I like their chances of winning the division but obviously there's a lot of baseball yet to be played.
Last year, the Yankees were willing to trade Jasson Dominguez for a half-season of Luis Castillo. Are there any pitchers who will likely be available this season who‘d be worth moving Dominguez for?
Mark P
Castillo wasn't a rental, since he wouldn't have been a free agent until after the 2023 season.

If the White Sox made, say, Cease available in trade talks, one would imagine he'd be the type of controllable pitcher the Yankees might be willing to dangle Dominguez for
Iowa Padre fan
Good move by the Padres to pick up Gary Sachez?
Mark P
I guess?  The Padres' catchers have been so poor that there's basically no risk in seeing what Sanchez can do
TO Tonight.
Do you see the Jays selling if they are out by the deadline?
Mark P
This is a question I've pondered a few times during the Jays' slump in the last two weeks.  Chapman, Kiermaier, Merrifield, maybe Ryu or Belt would all be interesting trade chips to be shopped if the Jays did decide to reload for 2024.

But like I noted with the Phillies earlier, the Blue Jays have so much interested in their 2023 roster that they aren't going to become sellers unless things go drastically haywire.  The additional difficulty for the Jays is the division, since the Phillies making a late run at the NL East seem more plausible than the Jays leapfrogging everyone in the AL East.
Shaun O
I love the Tigers but this next 12 of 15 is going to put their actual talent into clear focus. How much can they reasonable get for E-Rod, who has an opt out? Does that effectively make him a rental, or could they get more if he makes guarantees to opt in or re-sign at a preferred destination?
Mark P
If I'm E-Rod or his agents, why would I give away my flexibility like that in midseason?  The Tigers are probably approaching this as if E-Rod will opt out, which will limit trade offers to some extent.  Rodriguez has already rejected a qualifying offer once in his career and can't be issued another, so if he leaves, the Tigers don't even get any compensation
But to your point about the schedule, Detroit has quietly been playing some pretty good baseball over the last month or so.  In a thin division, they also might not want to move E-Rod unless they feel they have to.
Do the Yankees come away from the trade deadline with a bonafide everyday LF, or will they continue to  piece things together?
Mark P
Bader being healthy and solidifying CF make the left field problem seem a little less, uh, problematic.
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