Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ceda is that good!?!?

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the O's wanted Jose Ceda in a deal for Brian Roberts at some point this offseason. Jim said Ceda is "untouchable" and Lou has said that he could make the jump from A ball( which he was in last year) to the Major Leagues this year. He was traded to the Cubs from the Pads in the Walker deal in '06 and is now ranked in the top 5 best pitching propsects in the system. Ceda is a big guy with a hard fastball and good slider. He moved to relief in A ball and pitched 23 hitless innings. Ceda went 5-2 with 3.28 era in 2 minor league seasons. He pitched in 39 games, 17 in which he started. He had a good WHIP and his K9 is 12.38 in those 2 seasons. The kid looks good!

It seems that a deal for Roberts will never get done. MacPhail said that he did not expect a d eal to get done before the O's report to ST next week. How is Gallagher, Murton, and Cedeno not enough for Roberts?? Can someone answer that for me?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pitchers the Cubs could look at the deadline.

Spring Training has not even started yet but I want to take a look ahead at the trade deadline. The Cubs have depth in the starting rotation but could make a deal for a good starting pitcher at the deadline to give them a push into and through out the playoffs. Its no secret that the Mets are the favorite to win the NL crown with the Brewers, Padres, Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs, etc fighting for the chance to knock them off there high horse. In order to do that the Cubs need to get a solid one-two punch in there rotation. Don't get me wrong Zambrano and Lilly along with Hill is a very tough 3 but I would feel more comfortable to get a big name pitcher added to the rotation.

A lot of things would have to happen for the Cubs to get a big named pitcher. The Cubs would have to be in the playoff hunt and the teams they would deal with would have to be close to dead in the water. They would have to match up well( which might not happen) and be able to find the right deal. With all that said I see 5 pitchers that the Cubs could land if all these things happen. Lets just have fun with it-

C.C. Sabathia- This should be the Cubs #1 guy if he is shopped. He would provide a power lefty behind Z, with Lilly and Hill to follow. I understand that would give the Cubs 3 leftys but who would not want C.C.???

Brad Penny- He is a free agent just like Sabathia after the season. He would be #2 on my list, although I do not see the Dodgers falling out of the playoff race. He went an outstanding 16-4 with a 3.03 era in 33 games. It would be nice to deal for him then sign him to an extension!

Scott Kazmir- He will be shopped at the end of the next season according to He would also give the Cubs 3 leftys but like Sabathia you would be adding another #1 starter to your rotation. He is another guy that I would love to have on the Cubs. He went 13-9 with a 3.48 era and 239 SO last season.

John Lackey- Although the Angels in my opinion are the team to beat in the West and he does have a team option for 9 million that the team would likely pick up, I still put him on my list. Its wishful thinking though. He went an amazing 19-9 with a 3.01 era and 179 SO in 224 innings pitched. I would love him to be in the 2 spot in the rotation.

Derek Lowe- Another guy who is a free agent after next season but unlikely to be delt for the same reason Penny won't be. But you never know. Lowe went 12-14 last year but had a good era at 3.88. He eats innings like crazy pitching near 200 innings the last 3 season. Not to mention his playoff experience.

All 5 of these pitchers would make the Cubs a tough team to beat in the 2nd half of the season and through out the playoffs. Getting one of them would help the chances of the Cubs end there 100 year WS drought.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pad still want Murton. Marquis good as gone??

Thanks to

Will they turn the corner? GM Kevin Towers said he will continue to explore trade options for a corner outfielder. The Padres have asked about three right-handed hitters: Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady and Jason Bay and the Chicago Cubs' Matt Murton. Triple-A catcher Nick Hundley could be a trade chip.

I don't see how Hundley fits with the Cubs. They should go after a better player for Murton. I really do not see the Pads and Cubs meshing well in a trade unless they want to send 2 decent prospects. Murton should just start in AAA if you can get a ML ready player in return.
Bruce Levine also had something to say tonight regarding Marquis. Without saying it, he thinks he is as good as gone. He also stated that the Angels and Red Sox among others are interested in Marquis. He mentioned a Marquis for Crisp as a thought and I would not be opposed to that trade. Crisp would be a nice addition to the outfield platoon with Pie or Fuld and a player that can fit in for Sori and Fuk. The Angels are also a interesting thought. The Cubs have had interest in Figgins but the Angels will want more than Marquis. A third team would have to get involved for a deal to work with Figgins involved.

Here are some trade scenarios with the Angels I have came up with-

Angels get Marquis
Cubs get Gary Matthews Jr.

Despite him being linked to HGH, Matthews is still a good defensive CF with a decent bat. He can steal bases and provide a solid starting CFer or platoon partner for Pie. He hit .252 with 18 homers, 72 RBI, and 18 SB last year in 140 games. Matthews spot on the team is up in the air with Vlad, Anderson, Hunter, and Willits filling out the outfield. He could still DH or play RF and have Vlad DH but it seems they want to get rid of him. He is owed 42 million over the next 4 season. He does have a full no trade clause but the can of course waive that. Marquis is owed 16 million over the next 2 seasons. If the Angles pay half of his contract I could see this deal getting done.

Angels get Marquis and a prospect
Cubs get Reggie Willits

Cubs would get a young speedy outfielder who can play multiple positions as well as handle the bat. He stole 27 bases last year in 136 games. He hit .293 with 34 rbi. He could be a nice 4th outfielder. Plus he is a switch hitter.

Here is my favorite-

Angels get Marquis and Brandon Inge

Tigers get 3 prospects from Cubs to restock there system( because of the young talent they traded to the Marlins)

Cubs get Chone Figgins

The Angels would get a good offensive 3rd baseman and add more power to there already strong lineup. They would also get a veteran inning eater that could fill in for Kelvim Escobar. The Tigers would get some decent prospects not named Gallagher or Pie. And the Cubs would get that speedy leadoff of two hole hitter they have been searching for. Not to mention he can play every position except Catcher, Pitcher, and first base.

Either way the Cubs should get something good for Marquis.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More on Roberts.

Thanks to MLBTR-

Brian Roberts Rumors
Here's the latest on the Brian Roberts situation. From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Cubs want the switch-hitting leadoff hitter, are ready to deal from a pretty deep hand of prospects and would like to have Roberts in camp by the time the full squad reports next week. But nobody at Fitch Park seems to be counting on that, given the teeth-pulling, teeth-gnashing nature of talks with the glacial O's.

And then there's Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun:

Will Roberts be the next former Oriole? Perhaps, but maybe not right away. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has engaged in trade talks about the All-Star second baseman for months, so it won't be surprising if he pulls something off soon. But there's really no rush.

To sum it up: there's nothing new, nothing imminent. Wittenmyer also dismisses a rumor that the Cubs are after Joe Nathan. The Cubs have the pieces they need to field a strong team, if they use them properly.

Monday, February 11, 2008

To Angelos: Are you rebuilding or not????

Thanks to MLBTR-

Some owners make headlines by talking to the press or releasing statements. This is best exemplified in New York, where the Steinbrenners aren't strangers to reporters. Some owners, though, like to make headlines in other ways. Take Peter Angelos for example. People know him not because he speaks to the press, but rather because he's always about to kill a certain move -- a free agent signing or a trade. Yes, despite dealing Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada this off-season, Angelos still isn't keen on dishing Brian Robers.

Jon Heyman is hearing that the haul for Roberts might not be enough for Angelos's liking. The reported package includes pitcher Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton, and infielder Ronny Cedeno. This isn't the first deal for Roberts that Angelos has reportedly killed.

Heyman has an interesting bit on Angelos:

There is also a sense that Angelos has an unreasonable attachment to Roberts, who may well remind the owner of himself: a little guy who's scrapped his way to the top of his profession (no, not baseball; Angelos is at the top of the legal profession, at least in terms of dollars earned).

Of course, there is no way to verify that this is the case. But if Angelos is holding back a possible Roberts deal, he might be doing a disservice to his team. They stand to benefit more in the future from the young talent they'd receive than they would from Roberts, who is 30 this year.

So who makes the decisions here? It seems Angelos is more concerned with keeping a guy he likes rather than making his team better. Its one thing to nix a trade that does not seem fair, its another thing to nix it just to do it. Angelos needs to make up his mind. Gallagher, Murton, and Cedeno is more than enough to get this deal done in my opinion. I am wondering if this deal will ever get done. Maybe Hendry should say forget it and move on to a guy like Figgins or other speedy guys who can play middle infield or outfield.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another update on Roberts!

Thanks to MLBTR-

Brian Roberts Rumors

ESPN's Buster Olney:
I've heard that Andy MacPhail is very much in favor of the notion of dealing Roberts to the Cubs, for the right price.

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun quotes MacPhail as calling the Roberts situation a "logical question that will come next." Trading him now certainly fits into MacPhail's all-out rebuilding plan; he's their last valuable veteran commodity. Talks with the Cubs are expected to drag into spring as the teams decide which young pitchers and outfielders make sense, if any. Zrebiec cautions that the O's might keep Roberts for now and trade him in July, though.

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune notes that people close to Roberts say he'd waive his no-trade clause to come to Chicago. His salary would not pose a payroll problem for the Cubs, and Jim Hendry has approval to add a few more players before camp.

I think the Cubs will end up with Roberts sooner than later. Expect serious rumors involving players before Feb. 15th, which was "deadline" set by the O's. I expect if a deal is close that they would extend talks into Spring Training. I still think they should talk to the Angels about Figgins incase Roberts does not work out.

Figgins back on Radar?? Marquis likely to be traded?

Thanks to MLB RUMORS-

Chone Figgins, Angels: This news came to me as I was working on this. One source I talk to frecuently believes that if the Cubs fail to acquire Roberts, they may look to acquire Chone Figgins of the Angels. He went on to say that the Cubs are determined to get a speedy lead off hitter and would like to get one before the start of Spring Training, so this week.

When will it gown down?: Spring Training, if necessary.

I think the Cubs will be better off getting Figgins than Roberts. It allows Derosa to say at 2nd because Chone will play CF for the Cubbies. He will cost more than Roberts as far as quality of players and I am hearing the Angels have backed off there demands for Aram for Figgins so I can see a deal going down. This should be the Cubs first option rather than Roberts.

Jason Marquis, Cubs: He will only be traded before season if it is to the Orioles. Otherwise, I expect a trade around the deadline, if not sooner. The Cubs do not have much confidence in Marquis despite 11 wins last season, and it will probably hurt them to start the season.

I still do not see why the Cubs are trying to unload Marquis so bad. He was very good in the first half of the season and won 11 games. Unless the Cubs get decent prospects or a player like Figgins or Roberts for him and a package of players I say wait until the deadline.