Friday, June 27, 2008

Sabathia, Harden, and Burnett... Oh My!

Here are some good notes on possible pitchers that the Cubs could land.

- A trade for C.C. is the Cubs #1 objective at the deadline and there is some good news. Jim Hendry has said he will go out and get the best available pitcher before the deadline is up on July 31st. The Indians have now been rumored that "any team that acquires C.C. Sabathia would gain an exclusive window to sign him long-term before he reaches free agency." People have stated more than 20 teams in baseball would trade for Sabathia with only about 5 that are the most serious. The Brewers, Rays, Yankess, Red Sox, and Cubs are the most serious about landing him. My bet is on the Cubs because unlike the other teams they will trade the farm to win this year!

- Rich Harden is a stud but has health issues so he is a gamble, but a good one at that. He is the Cubs number 2 pitcher on their wish list. The A's were recently scouting the O's and Cubs series that wrapped up yesterday. Its too bad, they did not see a very good series on the Cubs side.

- A.J. Burnett is becoming more of the most affordable pick up for the Cubs. Since his comments about wanting to play on the Cubs, his trade stock has went down and the manager got fired. The Blue Jays are close to blowing up the team and starting over, keeping guys like Wells, Halladay, and younger guys but getting rid of guys like Stairs, Burnett, and maybe Rolen. Plus it does not help the Jays that A.J. has an opt out clause in this contract for this year which also makes it hard to trade. Unless the Jays allow a window to renegotiate his contract which is unlikely.

Cubs notes.

- Scott Eyre has a sore groin and is going to take a few days off and be reevaluated to see if he will have to go on the DL.

- Samardzija will make his next start at Iowa. It will be his second start in AAA.

- Lou will be the replacement for Willie Randolph as a coach of the National League All Star Team.

"I'm happy that they asked," Piniella said Thursday. "I look forward to going to New York. It'll be the last time I'm in Yankee Stadium. I played there, I managed there, coached there, I was a general manager. It'll be fun for me, and I'm appreciative that I was asked, and I'm looking forward to helping Clint Hurdle out in any way I can."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fukudome hurting and Soriano back earlier than expected??

Good and bad news today-

-Fukudome is scratched from tonight's lineup with tightness in his calf. Lets hope he is back tomorrow but Lou sounds concerned. WE CANNOT TAKE ON MORE HURT PLAYERS!

- Soriano is going to be back before the 6 week time table. Soriano feels that he will be back in the lineup after the all star break. Lou also backs up this new time table.

- Jon Lieber will likely retire after the season.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cubs call up Marshall.

The Cubs called up Sean Marshall today to pitch against the O's. They had to make room for him so they put Reed Johnson on the 15 day DL and is expected to be back July 3rd because he has not played since the Rays series. The Cubs also activated Ward and sent Hoffpauier to AAA Iowa.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cubs are showing off young talent.

Soriano's broken hand maybe not that bad after all. With Soriano being out the Cubs have turned their attention to players such as Micah Hoffpauier, Eric Patterson, and Matt Murton, and they all have been doing quite well. Hoffpauier is hitting .400 with a .432 OBP in just 35. He has been a stud! While Eric Patterson helped his numbers last night, putting his avg. to .318 with 1 homer, 5 RBI, and 2 SB in just 22 ABs. Murton is up to .273 with 4 RBI and really improving.

So what does all this mean. It means the Cubs all the sudden have improved their chances to land a top tier starter at the deadline. They have all the pieces in my opinion to land a pitcher like Bedard, Sabathia, or Harden.

The thing that better improves the chances of landing a big named pitcher is the fact that the Cubs are pretty well set in the outfield( with the platoon of Edmonds and Johnson), the infield( we have the best depth in the majors), bullpen( we could get another reliever but we are still strong), and bench( still very strong and have good talent in Iowa as well to fill the role). So the Cubs have a leg up on a team like the Brewers, Mets, Yanks, and Phillies because they will also setting their eyes on another bat, reliever, or bench. While the Cubs put all their time, energy, and prospects together to land one big pitcher.

I think the Cubs will land a great #1 or #2 starter before the trade deadline passes. Here is the order I would go with-

1. Sabathia- Lefty, big power pitcher, good health, and will come over from the American League which is a bonus.

2. Harden- The guys is straight up nasty, not to mention cheap money wise. 4.5 million this year and 7 million next year. He does have some health concerns but when healthy he is a number 1 starter.

3. Bedard- A good lefty with some health issues but has number 1 stuff. He could come kind of cheap because the M's might fire sale and start over.

4. Burnett- Again some health issues and could opt out of his contract but has good number 2 stuff. When he is on, he is unhittable and he would like to become a Cub.

5. Harang- Not going to happen but they say he is available so why not give it a try. He still has 3 years 30.75 million left on this contract which is affordable these days.

6. Wolf- Another decent option if the others fall through the cracks but he is a #4 at best.

7. Maddog- Not a bad choice, can pitch in big games, still has good stuff, and I would love to see him back in that sweet Cubs' blue!

I think the Cubs will land one of these pitchers and here is to hoping it is one of the top 3!