The Brewers are willing to offer Zack Greinke around $100 million over 5 years while the Phillies are prepared to offer Cole Hamels an equally large contract extension. Greinke and Hamels were likely going to be the two best starters available at the deadline if their respective teams made them available.
My first thought was that this was potentially good news for the Cubs who figure to be active on the trade front in the coming weeks. If Greinke and Hamels are off the market, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster might become more appealing.
My second thought was that both teams had explored a trade and didn't like what teams were willing to give up. This could be bad news for the Cubs who hope to better their farm system through the trades they'll make this month.
My next thought was that this was just posturing by the teams. That seems to be the least likely of all I thought about. It would not look good for either team to leak info about long term contracts because if they weren't sincere it probably would piss off the player. However, it's a distinct possibility.
It was easy enough for me to figure out which seemed the most unlikely, but I'm not sure which is the most likely. Let's talk about the other two in more detail.
This could be good news for the Cubs if both were taken off the market. That was my initial thought, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. Dempster and Garza may be the best two pitchers available at that point, but that doesn't mean teams are going to give up more to acquire them. Imagine that Ryan Theriot is the best player available in a trade. Do we really think teams are going to give up a lot to acquire someone like that? It might help the Cubs in that there are fewer arms to acquire, but it also may make teams more content to stand pat knowing their competitors won't get all that much better.
If both the Brewers and Phillies had briefly explored trade options for Greinke and Hamels and found no acceptable offers, this is obviously bad news for the Cubs. They would be unlikely to find what they currently consider an acceptable offer for Garza or Dempster. If either are traded they would more than likely be acquiring less talent in return than they'd hoped. This doesn't mean it's less talent than we've projected they'll receive. It just means it would be less talent than they were expecting.
Both of these seem plausible. It might make guys like Dempster and Garza more appealing though I'm not convinced it means they'll bring more in return. It might also mean the Cubs can expect less than they were intiially expecting. There's still the off chance that this is just posturing though that seems highly unlikely to me.
What do you guys think?