So... whose sources do you believe? All the reports are out of Chicago so far, and the initial reports are already being contradicted by subsequent posts on Twitter, but what are they talking about?
Chicago Sun-Times' writer Gordon Wittenmyer wrote tonight that "multiple sources" were telling him that, "... the Cubs are in talks with the Washington Nationals to acquire right-hander Jordan Zimmermann."
As Wittenmyer wrote, the Cubs have been rumored to have interest in several of the high-priced free agent arms on the market this winter, but Zimmermann represents a lower-priced, younger alternative, though, "... the player package to acquire him would have to include at least one of their touted young middle infielders."
"One source," told the reporter, "...the teams have enough mutual interest that names have been discussed," and "[a]nother said he expected the Cubs to complete the deal."
The Cubs, Wittenmyer noted, "who likely will need assurances they can extend Zimmermann to finalize a deal, initiated the talks, according to a source," and Chicago has the sort of middle infield depth that could attract the Nationals with the likes of Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Addison Russell among the middle infielders in the organization though no names from the Cubs' side are mentioned in the report.
Would the Nationals really consider trading Jordan Zimmermann?:
Asked today about trading players with 1 yr left (such as Fister, Desmond & Zimmermann), Rizzo wasn't opposed: "The return has to be right."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) November 12, 2014
Of course, within an hour of the original report coming out and being spread around and copy/pasted into articles all over the internet, the following reports came out of other Chicago-based beat writers in response to Wittenmyer's report:
Source says #Cubs are not working on a Jordan Zimmermann deal with #Nationals.— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) November 12, 2014
Source says Cubs not getting Zimmermann from Nats and haven't exchanged names, as rumored.— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) November 12, 2014
So it's the Chicago Sun Times' writer and his sources vs The Chicago Tribune and CSN Chicago! Source wars!
As for the Nationals beat writers?
Heard from people on both sides there's nothing doing with the Cubs and Nats discussing a trade for Jordan Zimmermann.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 12, 2014
In Paul Sullivan's report at the Chicago Tribune, he quoted a source who told him, "'We’ve had no discussions, and he’s not available.'"
Wake up, NatsTown. It's Hot Stove time...