SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Dale Sveum was surprised at a report in USA Today that said the Cubs were "letting teams know that nearly everyone but starter Jeff Samardzija is available." "I didn't read it, but I've heard about it, obviously," Sveum said on Friday. "I think it's absurd for somebody to even write something like that. Some of it might be warranted, and some of it isn't even close to what we're going to do with this organization. You talk about the ultimate skepticism, that's what it is. I think Theo [Epstein] took care of that himself." Epstein, president of baseball operations, has denied the Cubs were making players like Starlin Castro available.
The Trade Deadline is July 31, which means there will be more rumors. "The job we have to do has nothing to do with what the media talks about and who's going to get traded and all that," Sveum said. "Your job is to come out here and prepare to do the best you can and win a baseball game. You don't have control over all [the rumors]." The Cubs have made changes since the season began, such as dealing Marlon Byrd and moving Carlos Marmol out of the closer's role. They began Friday's game 18-32, which is not what Sveum envisioned. "Did I expect to be 15 games under .500? Of course not," he said. "I don't care what -- if you're rebuilding or anything. You think about each game and winning the ballgame that day. You don't think about rebuilding. That's not my job. My job is to do the best I can with the players I have on an everyday basis."