Theo Epstein says Cubs not currently engaged in trade talks

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The Cubs don’t appear to be in a rush to make a trade. | Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

The Cubs may end up being active buyers before this year’s trade deadline, but with more than two months until July 31, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said there are “essentially zero trade talks” involving the team going on right now.

“I’m not addressing any specific rumor or any player with another team,” Epstein said Friday. “I would never talk about that in a million years, but the simple way to put it is there’s been a lot of trade rumors involving the Cubs, but essentially zero trade talks right now involving the Cubs.”

The Cubs have been the subject of a steady stream of reports and rumors over the past few weeks, specifically regarding their potential pursuit of Orioles slugger Manny Machado.

The Sun-Times reported in early May that the team was planning to discuss acquiring Machado with Baltimore “in the coming weeks,” a time frame that we’re still firmly operating within.

Machado could be traded any time between now and July 31, so he’ll remain in play for the Cubs until then unless he’s traded elsewhere. There would be a benefit to trading for him sooner because he would be in the lineup for a larger portion of the season, but it’s rare that marquee trade candidates are moved so far in advance of the waiver deadline.

Epstein didn’t say anything about the Cubs’ upcoming plans regarding trade negotiations, although he did express confidence in the roster already in place. “We have more than enough ability to win the division, win the World Series,” Epstein said, “and we really need to focus on our roster and getting the most out of our ability and finding some consistency.”

Changes may still come from outside in the coming weeks. But based Epstein’s comments Friday, those talks haven’t began yet.

Reporting contributed by Steve Greenberg

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