The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays were scouting the Chicago Cubs this past week, reports Bruce Levineof ESPNChicago.com. Baltimore was watching Cubs starting pitchers and outfielder Alfonso Soriano while Levine speculates the Blue Jays could be looking into a bundle deal that would include pitchers and hitters.
Cubs team president and general manager Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have told Levine that top prospect Anthony Rizzo is ready for the majors. Levine believes a Rizzo promotion would make Bryan LaHair and Soriano expendable.
The Cubs are reportedly open to eating a considerable amount of Soriano’s remaining salary to facilitate a trade and the veteran slugger has said he’s open to a deal. Levine still considers Soriano to be a productive run-producer who could thrive in the American League as a designated hitter. After his slow start the season, Soriano has posted OPSs of .944 in May and 1.103 in June.
The Orioles have been tied to starting pitching this season, as many believe they will need to add an established starter if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive. Levine believes the Blue Jays could be interested in a package deal that would include a pitcher, such as veteran starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, and a hitter, such as LaHair and Soriano.