Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and the Chicago Cubs have been mighty busy.
The Cubs find themselves once again on the bottom of the pile this season, holding a 48-57 record and sitting 15 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central lead.
Naturally, with Chicago well out of the playoff race, the Cubs are looking to deal more proven players for young prospects to build around.
Here's the latest buzz circulating around Wrigley Field as the trade deadline approaches.
Nate Schierholtz on the Move?
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz is having a career year in his first season with the Cubs, hitting .274 with 14 home runs, 43 RBI and 40 runs while batting .286 with runners in scoring position.
Buster Olney of ESPN reported on Tuesday:
The Cubs are getting solid interest on Nate Schierholtz, one of the few good hitters on the market. More than likely he gets traded.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2013
On Monday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reported that Schierholtz was "most likely" the next Cub to be moved before Wednesday's deadline. The Texas Rangers, as well as "two or three other teams," are reportedly interested in the 29-year-old lefty.
Schierholtz is 11-for-36 (.306) in his last 11 games. He also is known as a good fielder, ranked eighth in fielding percentage among all eligible right fielders, per ESPN.com.
Cubs in the Market for Right-hander Ian Kennedy?
Just because the Cubs are bottom-feeders this season doesn't mean they aren't looking to acquire some veteran pieces.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Cubs could be in the market for Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Olney tweeted on Tuesday:
Cubs may also be a destination for Ian Kennedy -- along with the Padres/Angels, as @SteveGilbertMLB. But probably won't happen with SD.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2013
To say Kennedy has struggled this season would be an understatement. His ERA of 5.28 ranks fourth-worst among all eligible pitchers in baseball. Only 13 eligible pitchers have posted a worse WHIP than the 28-year-old. He's also 3-7 on the season.
Then again, Kennedy is relatively cheap ($4.3 million salary this season), and he's not due to become a free agent until after the 2015 season.
Also, Kennedy does have a history of success in the majors, going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 198 strikeouts in 222 innings pitched (33 starts) in 2011.
Will Cubs Deal Right-hander Jeff Samardzija?
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Cubs are dangling right-hander Jeff Samardzija in front of teams, but it's likely going to take a lot to nab the 28-year-old from northern Indiana.
The Cubs are reportedly telling interested parties that if they want Samardzija, then the Cubs get to "take whatever they want," per Heyman.
Samardzija has posted a 3.75 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 144 innings pitched (22 starts) this season.
The sixth-year veteran reportedly has yet to show much interest in signing a long-term deal with the Cubs as he looks ahead to free agency after the 2016 season. But it will still probably take quite the bundle to wrestle him away from Chicago.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com noted on Tuesday that Schierholtz is one of the most likely Cubs to get dealt, while there is "just about zero chance" that Samardzija is sent packing.