Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Szczur picks Cubs and Other Notes...

- Matt Szczur has chosen the Cubs over a possible NFL career today by signing a 1.5 million dollar contact. Here is what Baseball America has to say about him-

"Szczur has a knack for barreling balls, which combined with his top-of-the-scale speed will allow him to hit for high averages. He has hit some 400-foot bombs in batting practice, and once he gets more coaching and learns to finish through the ball better, he could have average or better power. He's still refining his basestealing and baserunning, but his speed alone makes him a threat. Villanova football coach Andy Talley says Szczur is his fastest player ever, ahead of star NFL running back Brian Westbrook. In his short time in pro ball, Szczur's center-field play and his throwing made significant strides. He'll have plus-plus range once he improves his jumps, and his arm strength rated as average after he loosened up and lost some of his football tightness. His competitiveness and work ethic are impeccable."

Szczur was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 38th round of the 2007 draft before he decided to play football and baseball at Villanova. Szczur hit a robust .347 with a .414 OBP, 10 doubles, a triple in 25 games for the Boise Hawks, Peoria Chiefs, and in Rookie ball. I know it is early but he has all the tools to become a star in the making.

- Levine says the Cubs could add a guy like Orlando Cabrera that can play multiple spots and be a veteran bat off the bench. We have said the same thing here on HSC.

- Andrew Cashner has a spot in the rotation according to Levine.

- Mark Riggins says Smardzija will be heading to the bullpen.

- Fernando Perez and Reed Johnson will compete for the 5th outfield spot this spring. Perez has youth and speed while Johnson has fan support and a hard work ethic.

- There are only 4 candidates to call games with Pat Hughes; Gary Matthews Sr., Doug Glanville, Dave Otto, and Keith Moreland. Levine says Otto is the favorite. I think Moreland has the lead while I would love Glanville to get the job.

- Levine expects the Cubs to get a player or two before ST is over.

- Soto, Quade, and Hill have some strong words for Theriot and his comments he made toward his former team.

Until Next Time…

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cubs Avoid Aribtration with Two....

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and Sean Marshall. Garza signed a one year deal worth 5.95 million dollars which is slightly below what the majority of media thought he would make in 2011. Sean Marshall finally has some stability and is getting paid a lot better. Marshall signed a two year deal worth 4.7 million. He will make 1.6M in 2011 and 3.1M in 2012. This will buyout Sean Marshall's last two arbitration years.

The only arbitration eligible player left is Carlos Marmol. According to sources the Cubs and his agent are trying to get a multi-year deal hammer out to be the closer for "several more years."

Until Next Time..

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gorzelanny Gets A Good Return and More....

Tom Gorzelanny was traded to the Washington Nationals for 3 prospects today. The Cubs received Micheal Burgess, A.J. Morris, and Graham Hicks. Tom Gorzelanny got a better return than I (along with many others) thought. Burgess is a 22 year old lefty outfielder with a cannon arm. He hit .265 with a .357 OBP and 18 home runs in 122 games in between A and AA. Morris is a 24 year old right-handed pitcher who went 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) in Rookie and A ball. Hicks is not to impressive posting a 5.04 in A ball last season although he is only 21.

A.J. Morris is the 18th best prospect and Burgess is the 19th best prospect in the Nationals organization. Hicks did not show up in the top 20 best prospects.

This looks like a great trade for the Cubs because their pitching was such as surplus since the acquire Garza.


In Other News.....

- The Cubs agreed on term with Geovany Soto to avoid arbitration. He signed a one year deal worth 3 million.

- Want the latest on the Cubs Convention? No one does it better than and CubbieCrib.

- The Cubs are still looking for takers on Fukudome.

Until Next Time...