Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Murton as trade bait for relief help? Dempster to the Yanks? Marshall up, Cotts down

Thanks to mlbtraderumors again-

Cubs Offering Murton For Relief Help
According to John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus:
"The Chicago Cubs desperately need bullpen help, and reportedly would part with outfielder Matt Murton in the right deal."
For a team built to win now, that might make sense. Sure, you'd rather see the more expensive Jacque Jones go, but teams would of course rather acquire the younger, cheaper Murton. Murton, 25, only has 87 ABs this year. Cubs fans hoped to see him get a full-time look following a solid .297/.365/.444 season, but Lou Piniella hasn't complied.
What kind of deals might work here? To the Nationals for Jon Rauch or Chad Cordero? To the White Sox for Mike MacDougal? That'd be a tasty crosstown deal. Is he enough to bring in Scott Linebrink, Eric Gagne, or Akinori Otsuka? I have a hard time pinning down Murton's market value because I'm a Cubs fan. He seems a touch more than a tweener, perhaps a guy who can become a healthy version of a late-20s
Rondell White.
The Cubs got White from the Expos at the 2000 trading deadline for
Scott Downs. Downs was a 21 year-old southpaw coming off a 1.35 ERA and 11.36 K/9 in Double A the year before.

I would trade Murton for Linebrink in a heartbeat, I would also trade him for Gagne, Otsuka, and Cordero. I would not trade him for MacDougal or Rauch tho. He can get better value than that. I would also contact the Mets, they might not need his outfield help but you never know. I like the pen alot. I would like to see maybe a Murton for Feliciano or Burgos. Could we even throw in some relief help of own to get a combo of them two or throw in Heilman. Lets face it the Cubbies need relief help bad!


According to reports, the Yankees are interested in acquiring a starter, and may look to Ryan Dempster and the Cubs. Jim Hendry was unavailable for comment, but said he hopes to remain with the Cubs. Dempster is 9-for-10 in save opportunities, tied for sixth in save percentage among NL relievers. So why would they consider moving him to the rotation now? Dempster has only started six games since 2004, but has only had two winning records when he was a full time starter, and that was back in 1999 and 2000. I don't know exactly who the Cubs could get from the Yankees, but by trading him, they have no proven closer. Bob Howry and Scott Eyre aren't pitching like last year, and Carlos Marmol and Angel Guzman have too much potential to try and pitch them everyday, it would simply ruin their arms. Maybe the Cubs could swing a deal with Matt Murton, who they have also considered trading. Trading Matt Murton and cash or a PTBNL would probably get them Scott Linebrink, but at this point in the season it is uncertain. Before the Cubs do anything, I think the Cubs should try out Lou Piniella's idea of having the closer start the game and pitch two to three innings, and then bring in the normal starter to finish out the game. It would toy with hitters who would face the closer once, and then get a new pitcher with a fresh arm.

What could the Cubs get for Dempster? No No Arod is out of the question. The Yanks do have some young arms that are doing decent( at least the ones not on the DL). How bout Igawa? I know alot of people don't like that idea but I like this guy and his stuff. He would be a great 5th starter in a new environment in my opinion and we will leave it at that. If not for him then for who? Maybe bring Farnsworth back to Chicago? Lets face it the cubs main needs are a 5th starter, bullpen, and why not look to upgrade shortstop by acquiring a guy who can hit .270 with power and can steal and can play decent defense. Cuz lets face it Izzy is not doing the job.


Marshall was pulled for today's game in AAA and joined the cubs on the west coast coast. Cotts was sent down to AAA.

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Cubs Trade and move ideas

Great tidbit from MLBtraderumors.com-

Cubs Trade Speculation
What are those crazy Cubs up to now? They've got some surprising plans regarding their pitching staff. Here's the rundown:

Ryan Dempster may switch back to starting, after he mentors the future closer. Dempster made six starts for the Cubs to begin 2005, four of which were quality efforts. Apparently the Cubs think his repertoire is better suited as a starter. He's due $10.5MM for 2007-08, and if he can emerge as a quality #4 type starter the contract won't look so bad. Dempster's best season came in 2000 with the Marlins, when he made the All-Star team and won 14 games. His success will depend on his control. It doesn't appear that the Cubs are shopping him, though Paul Sullivan speculated that the Yankees could be interested.

Angel Guzman will be groomed as the next Cubs closer. This is an interesting and unexpected idea. He's looked sharp in relief this year, but it's only been seven innings. He does have good stuff and decent control. Phil Rogers offers a little Chad Cordero speculation. It seems the Cubs will try internal options first, with the knowledge that most great closers were once starters.
Rogers seems to think the Cubs should let the inconsistent Carlos Zambrano walk after this season, and focus that money towards a big name hitter. He names Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, and Kosuke Fukudome as options. I like the Fukudome idea. According to Mike Plugh, Fukudome is best served as a right fielder. A Cubs outfield of Soriano, Pie, and Fukudome could be a nice core. Not sure where that would leave Matt Murton, however.

Fukudome is a great fielder and is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball this year. He has posted .320 avg , 9hr, and 35 rbi. Gotta love a guy who can put up those numbers. If we do let Z go this offseason, we should get Fukudome( he could come cheap if there is not a bidding war) or Arod( if he opts out). Not to mention Veal or Gallgher could be ready to step up in the big leagues next year.

Rogers also reminds us that the Cubs nearly signed Japanese ace starter Hiroki Kuroda last winter, and could try again after the season. Kuroda has great command, and won't require a posting fee. Kuroda chose to re-sign with the Hiroshima Carps last winter. He'll turn 33 before the 2008 season.

I was really hoping that Kuroda would sign with the cubs next year. He is more polished with better stuff then Dice-k in my opinion.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dempster to the rotation? Miller to make rehab start

As heard today on Comcast and WGN. Lou has actually considered putting Demp in the starting roll. He wouldn't come out and say it for definitely but he hinted around it. He also said that he likes Ryan closing ball games and as of today he is the closer for the game. Lou has kept us fans and media on our toes this week with him saying he will "shake up things" and give the media "something to talk about." I do have some concerns with him starting games. 2 years ago they tried it and he couldn't find the strike zone, which has been a problem with the cubs so far this year is walks. He does have to build up his stamina is another problem. He probably can start this week and pitch 5 innings but probably not to much more because of the endurance issues. This could look like a genius idea in the next weeks or it could look terrible and we could be looking for another player to come up and start in the 5th spot.

Why not give Marmol or Marshall a chance in the 5th spot? Marmol has had some nasty stuff in Iowa and in the pen so far. Why not give that fireball a shot? Or Marshall who has ML experience and has an era below 2 in 2 starts in Iowa? These are just some of the questions and concerns I have. If I was manager I would call up Marshall, send down Cotts, and leave Marmol and Dempster in the pen. Having 3 leftys in the rotation wouldn't be that bad of an idea. But Lou is a great manager and I'm sure he is doing whats best for the Cubs. I have faith in LOU!


Other Notes-

- Wade Miller will make his second injury rehab start Monday for Triple-A Iowa.

-Class A Peoria manager Ryne Sandberg was ejected for the second time this season after an argument with a base umpire in the Chiefs' 4-1 loss to Beloit. Robert Hernandez, making his first start, took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits over five innings.

- Lee will be back on Tuesday in the starting lineup. He pinched hit today and took a walk. The only reason he wasent in the lineup today is because of the cold wet weather.