Cubs

The Brewers look like they're ready to go all-in this trade deadline

The Brewers look like they're ready to go all-in this trade deadline

The Cubs woke up Wednesday morning 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.

Sure, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic that the Cubs can overtake the Brew Crew in the division for the second straight summer, but it's not a guarantee Milwaukee fades in the second half again.

Especially if they go all-in before the July trade deadline.

A rumor from Jim Bowden popped up Wednsday morning indicating the Brewers could give up a huge group of guys to Baltimore for Manny Machado:

That is a RIDICULOUS package if true. Burnes is Milwaukee's top pitching prospect (No. 2 prospect overall, according to MLB.com), Broxton is a 28-year-old outfielder with extensive MLB experience and a 20-20 season under his belt (2017) before getting caught up in the numbers game in the outfield and Arcia is a stellar defensive shortstop who won't turn 24 until next month and was the organization's top prospect a couple years ago.

All for less than half a season of Machado? 

Adding Machado to a lineup that already features Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Braun is enticing from the Brewers' end, sure, but is all that really worth it?

Cubs fans balked at trying to give up Addison Russell in any deal for Machado. Arcia may not be as established as Russell, but he's younger, under team control for longer (won't become a free agent until after the 2022 season) and just put up a .731 OPS with 15 homers and 14 steals last season. He's taken a step back offensively this year, but it seems unwise to give up on a guy with only 274 big-league games under his belt.

Still, that's exactly the kind of package Cubs fans would hope the Brewers would give up — hurting the long-term hopes of the franchise while trying to go all-in for this season.

But Jon Heyman threw some cold water on that rumored three-player package Wednesday afternoon:

Still, the existence of the rumor is just another nod to the Brewers going all-in.

In a matter of hours over the winter, they signed Cain to a 5-year, $80 million deal and traded for Yelich, greatly improving the top of the lineup, the outfield defense and the clubhouse in the process.

And if the Brewers can't get Machado, there are plenty of other candidates out there who could be nice additions to Milwaukee's playoff run:

Both Escobar and Dozier are set to become free agents in November and the Twins certainly don't look like they're going to make a run at the AL Wild Card anytime soon. 

Escobar leads the league with 35 doubles and is posting a career-high .853 OPS as a switch-hitter who can play all over the infield. Dozier is in the midst of the worst season of his career, but started slow last year, too, before going on a blistering pace after the All-Star Break (.304 AVG, .985 OPS, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 67 R in 71 G).

Both players should be available at a much, much cheaper price than Machado and would still help boost Milwaukee's squad.

Keep in mind this latest round of Brewers trade rumors are all about position players and doesn't even address the team's biggest weakness: Starting pitching.

The Brewers have the clout in the farm system to acquire a guy like Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard if the Mets put either of their aces on the block. 

No matter what way you look at it, the Brewers aren't going to back down anytime soon as the Cubs continue to try to find their stride in 2018.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Rizzo hurt as Cubs sweep Pirates

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USA Today

Cubs Talk Podcast: Rizzo hurt as Cubs sweep Pirates

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the injury to Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs offense coming alive against the Pirates and the playoff chase with 2 weeks left in the season.

01:00     How worried are you about Rizzo's injury

05:00     Wrigley's reaction to Rizzo's injury

08:00     Bryant leads the Cubs offense against the Pirates

10:00     Heyward's resurgence after moving out of leadoff spot

12:00     Nico Hoerner's looks impressive in first series at Wrigley

15:00     How do Cubs stand with 2 weeks left?

17:00     Cubs have a chance to make up ground with Cardinals playing Nationals

18:30     Brewers staying in race without Yelich

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Cubs put up historic numbers in three-game series against Pirates

Cubs put up historic numbers in three-game series against Pirates

Offense came in bunches this weekend at Wrigley Field. 

After scoring 17 and 14 runs on Friday and Saturday respectively, the Cubs continued their offensive barrage on Sunday. With 16 runs scored Sunday against the Pirates, the North Siders bumped their weekend total to a whopping 47 (yes, really). 

According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, the Cubs' franchise record for most runs scored in a single three-game series is 48 (set in 1894). Despite coming one run short of tying their franchise water mark, though, the Cubs did score at a historic level:

Although their offensive outburst came against the last place Pirates, the Cubs have to be happy with their performance. Before welcoming Pittsburgh to town, the Cubs scored a combined 22 runs Monday-Thursday in their four-game series against the Padres.

Unfortunately, Sunday's series finale saw Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo go down with a nasty right ankle sprain in the third inning. The Cubs announced later in the game that X-rays didn't reveal a fracture in Rizzo's ankle. However, he'll undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the sprain.

In lighter news, the Cubs will enter Monday just two games back of the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central, as the Brewers took down St. Louis 7-6 on Sunday. The Cubs and their fans will certainly hold their breath on Monday awaiting news on Rizzo, though.

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