Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cubs notes. My thoughts.

- According to Lou he likes the dilemma of the closer situation. He really likes how Wood is throwing and wants to see how he responds pitching back to back days and in multiple innings. He also threw out that he is fine with having only one lefty in the pen if he has rightys that can get out leftys.

- He says Howry is off to a slow start. I think that may hurt his chances as closer and it seems he will use Marmol in a setup role. Although nothing is set and wont be for a week or so.

- Mike Fontenot will play SS tommarrow and might find himself as a utility guy on this team.

- Derosa is expected to be in a game Monday or Tuesday.

- Dempster has locked up the 3rd spot in the rotation leaving Marquis, Marshall, and Lieber fighting for the 5th spot.


- I think Lieber will take the 5th spot in the rotation leaving Marquis as trade bait. His comments earlier this week didn't help his cause and Lieber's pitching today was incredible which didn't help Jason either. There are plenty of teams looking for pitching depth like the Angels. There is also a rumor that Marquis could be part of the Roberts deal if the O's include Payton which would fill the need for there 4th outfielder that can play all over the outfield.

- To me the Cubs will carry 12 pitchers to start the season. My starters are Z, Lilly, Dempster, Hill, and Lieber. My 7 relievers are Wood, Howry, Marmol, Eyre, Weurtz, Hart, and Marshall as a long reliever( if he is not traded in the deal for Roberts)( that is if it even happens). If Marshall is traded I can see Cotts, Jose Ascanio, or maybe Lahey picking up the the last spot or if they made the trade. They may go into opening day will just 11 pitchers.

- The ideal trade for the Cubs-

Cubs get Roberts, Payton, and George Sherrill

O's get Jason Marquis, Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, Ronny Cedeno, and Jose Ceda or Donald Veal.

Seems like a lot to give up but all these players are either blocked by other players or have heavy contract like Marquis.

The Cubs would get the starting 2nd baseman and leadoff hitter, there 4th outfielder, and another lefty in the pen. They would not give up Colvin, Pie, Fuld, or Marshall in the deal leaving depth in CF and in the rotation. Its a win-win for both teams!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cubs cut nine players.

The Cubs have cut nine players from the team sending down players like Tyler Colvin and Billy Petrick. The rest were non-roster invitees. The other players were Caridad, Ceda, Jones, Scales, Castillo, Donaldson, and Torres.

In other notes, Soriano will be back in the lineup Saturday according to the suntimes. This is good news for the Cubs along with Aramis being in the lineup today.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Did Someone Say Trades??

"Did Someone Say Trades??" is my new feature on Hot Stove Cubbies. This will discuss potential players to be traded before opening day or during the season. In this I will discuss why I think the player will be traded, possible suitors for the player, and what players the Cubs could get in return. So here we go-

Matt Murton- Although it hurts me to say it, Matt does not have a spot on this team. Yes, he could start in AAA and be called up for an injury but he and the Cubs are better suited parting ways and sending him to a team that needs OF help. I think Matt could post something like a .280 avg., with 20 homers, and 70 RBI in a full time role in the Bigs. Now who could he help??

The Mets- With the injuries plaguing NY they may make a move for OF help. They do have OF depth but I do not see them trotting out Pagan and Anderson everyday in LF. Although Murton is not the sexiest name, the Mets could have interest and I think the Cubs could land a couple of decent prospects for him.

The Padres- Murton to the Pads have cooled but they remain interested in the red head. I can see him also going there for a couple of minor league players.

The Giants- The most intriguing off all to me. The Giants have an aging OF with Roberts and Winn. They are poised to have a firesale with most of there veterans on the move. The Giants do have some decent young talent in the OF but they would not mind adding Murton. I think a deal like Murton and a low level prospect for Randy Winn would benefit both teams. The Giants would get younger while the Cubs got there switch hitting, defensive minded 4th outfielder. Winn hit .300 with 14 homers, 65 RBI, and 15 SB last season. His OBP was a good .353 and would be a fall back if Pie does not cut it. Winn is owed 16.25 million over the next two seasons, the Giants would have to pay a portion of that off course.

The Rangers- The Cubs were rumored to offer Murton straight up for Byrd and Texas rejected the offer. I think the Cubs could still make a trade with Texas. Texas would be getting younger and have a ML ready LF to platoon with Murphy or take the reigns by himself. The Cubs could take a good prospect or two from Texas for Murton. Maybe like Warner Madrigal and Brennan Garr for Murton??

The O's- The most likely of all of them. He could go there in the Roberts trade if it ever happens.

Either way I think Murton will be traded this season, it is too bad we do not have a spot for him because he has a bright future ahead of him.

I will continue with "Did Someone Say Trades??" next week with a new player so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Roberts deal not close??

Anyone else tired of this??? Thanks to MLBTR-

On Monday,'s Jon Heyman said the Cubs and Orioles had resumed talks for Brian Roberts, and one of his sources said these talks were getting serious.

Not so, according to Jim Hendry and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hendry says he's had "no active talks in any trade situation in the last five, six days." Wittenmyer talked to one Cubs source who indicated that no progress has been made toward acquiring Roberts since camp began. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has the same story.

Both journalists reference "Internet rumors" rather than Heyman's specific report, a practice that still strikes me as odd.

Honestly I do not understand what the hold up is. This is the longest potential trade rumor I have heard in a long time. Jim needs to come out and say either- yes, we want Roberts and are pursuing him- or - No, we are looking elsewhere for help-. That would make me happy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tigers and Cubs trade?? Other Cub Notes.

Thanks to

Still, the Tigers have had general discussions with the Chicago Cubs about acquiring bullpen help, according to one industry executive. Chicago general manager Jim Hendry is a close friend of Dombrowski’s, and the two have worked on several trades in recent seasons.

Interesting... I would love to ship Marquis for Inge but I do not see that happening. I would not be opposed to trading Dempster for Inge either because Inge could be flipped somewhere else or kept as a utility guy. Inge can play pretty much everywhere. He hit .236 with 14 homers, 71 RBI in 151 games. He would be a nice fit as a super utility guy or as trade bait( maybe to Angels???)


- Fukudome hits his first homer today. It is nice to see him hit 2nd, that might be where he starts on Opening Day.

- Wood had a 1-2-3 6th inning today.

- Ward and Aram are due to make there Cactus League debut Thursday. Both have been out with injuries.

- Soriano swelling in his finger is going down and will start throwing tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Roberts talks getting serious!

According to Jon Heyman of talks are getting serious. It seems the O's want to dump Jay Payton on the Cubs in the Roberts deal so they Cubs in return send Marquis to the O's. It seems to me the Cubs and O's will hammer out a deal soon.

Here is a list of players the O's may get in a deal-

Sean Gallagher
Ronny Cedeno
Eric Patterson
Matt Murton
Mike Fontantoe
Jason Marquis
Sean Marshall
Tim Lahey
Donald Veal
Kevin Hart

Players that will not be in the deal-

Felix Pie- Hendry says he is off limits
Carlos Marmol- Same
Jose Ceda- Same

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Injury reports.

The Cubs have had there share of injuries this spring, so lets check them out-

Derosa- Irregular heart beat- expected to be back in the lineup within a week.

Jose Ascanio- Bruised face- Back with team and playing.

Felix Pie- Twisted testicle- OUCH!!! Back with team and playing.

Ward- Sore back- Could be back in lineup within next couple days.

Aram- Sore shoulder- Resume baseball activities in next couple days.

Soriano- Non-displaced fracture of the tip of his right middle finger- Resume baseball activities in 3 to 5 days. In lineup within the week.

None of these seem serious which is a relief!

Crisp talks starting up again.

The Cubs have started up talks with Boston regarding CoCo Crisp. According to the Daily Herald, the Cubs did offer Murton for Crisp but the BoSox did not like that deal. The Cubs do still seem to be set on having Pie or Fuld start in center field on opening day. The Cubs are looking for a 4th outfielder with speed that is either a righty or a switch hitter. Crisp is that kind of player, although Crisp wants to start somewhere( but he has no say in the matter). Regardless, I think the Cubs will not have Crisp in cubbie blue anytime soon considering his asking price and the idea that Crisp wants to start somewhere. It seems like its not a good fit.

Angelos gives green light to trade Roberts to Cubs!

Finally the deal looks like it will be complete in the next few days. According to Bruce Levine and several Internet sources Angelos has gave permission to Andy MacPhail to trade Roberts. We have heard that the Cubs had scouts at O's camp the past few days and it seems a deal maybe already in place that involves Gallagher, Cedeno, and two other prospects. The two prospects I am hearing are Donald Veal or Tim Lahey and Eric Patterson though that might change. The Cubs have the issue with Derosa recent surgery and it seems that created more of an urgency among the Cubs front office. I will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

Here is my lineup with Roberts-

1. Roberts 2b
2. Soriano LF
3. Fukudome RF
4. Lee 1st
5. Aram 3b
6. Soto C
7. Pie CF
8. Theriot SS
9. Pitcher

Roberts give the stealing threat at the top of the lineup and allows Soriano to be moved down to the 2 spot giving the Cubs a double lead off man. This also gives the Cubs a really big power surge two through 5. Soriano will see a lot of fastballs hitting in front of Lee and behind Roberts especially if Roberts gets on base. This should be the lineup for opening day in my opinion but you will most likely see this instead-

1. Roberts 2b
2. Theriot SS
3. Fukudome RF
4. Lee 1st
5. Aram 3b
6. Soriano LF
7. Soto C
8. Pie CF
9. Pitcher

Should be fun either way!! GO CUBS!!!!!!!!!

Marquis on the HOT SEAT!!!

WOW!! This according to MLBTR-

Jason Marquis made it clear today that he does not want to be a member of the Cubs if he is sent to the bullpen.

"I love Chicago," Marquis said. "I definitely want to stay here. This is the place I want to be. I signed here for a reason. But I also signed as a starter, and I think that's where I help the team the most. Obviously we'll see what happens when it's time for [the Cubs] to make their decision.

Apparently Marquis forgot who his manager is. Lou Piniella responded by saying that Marquis will only be in the rotation if he wins a spot.

"Well, if that's the case, he can go somewhere else," Piniella said. "Win a spot in the rotation, you don't have to worry about it. ... I've got seven starters here for five spots, you know? It's a little bit too early to start talking about what he wants to do or not do...He can go somewhere else right now if he wants. How's that?"

Marquis, who signed with the Cubs prior to last season, went 12-9, with a 4.60 ERA in 34 appearances last year. He has two years remaining on his deal that will pay him $6.4MM this year and $9.9MM in 2009.

Wow, Marquis is not doing himself any favors. By saying something stupid like that he has signed his way out of the north side. I see Dempster and Lieber being in the rotation to start the season leaving Marquis to be traded or in the pen. When are guys like this going to realize that this is a team game. Hey Marquis, follow the lead of Lee, Aram, Cintron, and others... Do what is best for the team, not what is best for Marquis.