Earlier this week Chicago radio station WSCR-670 (and later the Chicago Tribune) reported that the Cubs had talked to Hall of Fame general manager Pat Gillick about taking a potential role with the team.
The next day Cubs president Tom Ricketts denied having any talks with Gillick, saying: “Reports of a conversation are unfounded.”
And now Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago quotes “one of his longtime associates” as saying that Gillick “would definitely consider the Cubs … if the situation was right for Pat.”
So, to recap: One report said the Cubs had talked to Gillick, the Cubs said they hadn’t talked to Gillick, and now someone who’s worked with him in the past thinks the Cubs should talk to Gillick.
As for Gillick himself, he told the Chicago Sun-Times that he’d be open to potentially leaving his consulting job with the Philllies for “something in a presidency role” elsewhere and “if something came up where it would be above the GM position, I would think about it.”
Gillick is 74 years old and last served as a GM with the Phillies in 2008, but the Cubs seem ready to part with longtime GM Jim Hendry and they could certainly do a lot worse than turning to Gillick even if he’s realistically a short-term solution.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.