Cubs

Recent SP trades could bode well for Cubs

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Recent SP trades could bode well for Cubs

The Cubs may be in rebuilding mode at just the right time.

On Saturday, the Reds dealt four prospects to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos. Thursday, the Nationals did the same for Gio Gonzalez.

That has to make the Cubs feel good about what they might get for Matt Garza.

Garza is two years older than Gonzalez and four years older than Latos. It's possible the two younger guns have more upside, but neither are as accomplished as Garza as it stands right now.

The Cubs' ace has shown an ability to pitch in big games against big lineups and in a big division. He is still under team control for two more seasons and will be relatively cheap in arbitration, by some standards.

Could the Cubs fetch something close to the same kind of haul Latos and Gonzalez commanded?

The Rangers don't need another starting pitcher now. But with these two young guys off the board, teams like the Red Sox and Blue Jays could be hitting the market hard.

Maybe they'll be calling Jed Hoyer's number.

The Cubs would love to get at least a top catching and first base prospect like Hoyer's former team received for Latos.

After all, Garza has an extra "T" in his first name, so he's got to be worth more than Latos, right?

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

Basket Slam: Wrigley's quirks come to Cubs' aid in walk-off win

The Wrigley Field basket has played a huge role in this week's Cubs-Reds series.

In Monday night's game, Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali hit a game-tying homer into the basket in the seventh inning of a game the Cubs went on to lose.

But the basket giveth and the basket also taketh away.

Tuesday night, it was Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs who were singing the praises of one of the strangest ballpark quirks in baseball.

Schwarber connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, hitting a fly ball through the impossibly-humid air and into the basket in left-centerfield for a 4-3 Cubs win.

"Whoever thought about that basket — whenever that occurred — tell them, 'thank you,'" Joe Maddon said. "Although it did work against us [Monday]. When it works for you, it's awesome."

Schwarber has stood under the left-field basket many times with his back against the wall, thinking he might be able to make a play on a high fly ball only to see it settle into the wickets and turn into a chance for a Bleacher Bum to show off their arm. 

But is he a huge fan of the basket now that it worked in his favor?

"I guess so," Schwarber laughed. "Yesterday, it cost us, but today, it helped us out. It's just the factor of Wrigley Field. Happy it worked out today."

It was Schwarber's first career walk off RBI of any kind.

It was the Cubs' fourth walk-off homer of the season, but their first since May 11 when Willson Contreras called "game" on the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The Cubs are now 4-1 since the All-Star Break and hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Big changes to the Cubs roster

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USA TODAY

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: Big changes to the Cubs roster

Doug Glanville and Ozzie Guillen join Leila Rahimi on Baseball Night in Chicago to discuss all things baseball.

The talk about the trade that sent Cubs pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Royals in exchange for Martin Maldonado, Willson Contreras' injury that sent him to the injured list and an update on the White Sox roster moves and rebuild status.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: