Chicago Cubs trade rumors have been intensifying over the last several weeks, specifically with regards to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, and now it appears to additional names can be added to the list of veterans that could be dealt prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday night that Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker are both "drawing interest" and that they could be nice "bats off [the] bench for contenders."
Source: #Cubs drawing interest in Baker, Johnson as well as the more familiar names. Both could be RH bats off bench for contenders.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 20, 2012
It's yet another sign that the Cubs are committed to a long-term rebuilding process centered around years of minor league development. As Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein recently told Patrick Mooney of CSN-Chicago, don't expect the team to sign any big name free agents after this season:
"Free agency's definitely a nice way to add talent to an organization without giving up talent. But you cannot make an organization that way. And we have a lot of steps ahead of us that we need to take care of before we're in a position to add a finishing piece or two through free agency."