Saturday, July 09, 2011

Rumors Rolling IN..

- The Cubs released Augie Ojeda and Fernando Perez.

- Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs are likely to take a pass on trading Zambrano, Dempster, and Garza. On the last two I get but Zambrano?

- The Cubs will not trade Sean Marshall.

- Hendry is receiving a ton of calls about players he is not willing to move. My guess is Castro, Soto, Garza, and Barney.

- The Cubs and Kerry Wood will soon discuss what teams he will be willing to be traded to.

- Levine wonders if the Yankees would have interest in Soriano, Ramirez, and Grabow. I would love for them to take all three!

- Quade was already on a warm seat as Cubs manager but now it may have just hotter after the altercation with Dempster. Dempster is the easiest guy to get along with and yet you manage to rub him the wrong way Quade. Not Good, please bring back Ryno!

- Ivy Report stats the Rangers could have interest in Zambrano if they eat some of his salary. Rumor has it they could offer up Chris Davis and Tanner Scheppers for Big Z.

Until Next Time...

Friday, July 08, 2011

28 under 28: Red Sox and Royals

As we continue “28 players under 28 years old” we take a look at the Red Sox and Royals, so here we go!

Red Sox-

Lars Anderson-1st Base- Red Sox

Lars Anderson is the definition of a guy with nowhere to go. Lars is considered an “old” prospect because it seems like he has been around forever. Lars has spent 5 seasons in the minors but is only 23 years old. He is a career .276 hitter with a .370 OBP and smacked 60 homeruns in 5 seasons. Lars is the 87th best prospect in baseball is drawing comparisons to anyone from Lyle Overbay to Mark Grace to Aubrey Huff.

Anderson is definitely available and could be dangled for pitching or an outfielder this season. The Red Sox currently have 3 potential 1st baseman on their roster with A-Gon, Ortiz, and Youkilis so the need for Lars is on the decline. I can see the Cubs wanting to install the young first baseman for the rest of the season to replace Pena when he is traded. Lars fits that need. Even if the Cubs sign Prince to a 5 year deal Lars will be 28 by the time his contract expires which is still very young. Hey, it worked for Gaby Sanchez! I could see the Red Sox targeting a guy like Zambrano, Byrd, Wells, or Fukudome. Trading one of those players straight up for Lars makes a ton of sense for both clubs.

In the end I think this deal makes a lot of sense and I put a 40% chance of this happening.


Billy Butler-1st Base- Royals

This guy can hit and field 1st very well. He recently signed a team friendly contract and at the time he signed it he was considered the face of the franchise. It would be hard to believe they would trade Butler given the previous statement but enter the young gun Eric Hosmer. Hosmer is younger, has more power, and more upside making Billy Butler available to other teams. Butler could fetch a nice return for the Royals and allow them to build up their rotation and middle infield with young talent. Butler signed a 4 year $30M deal earlier this year so if the Cubs landed him they would have their 1st baseman of the future ready to go at a small price. Butler is a career .298 hitter with a .364 OBP and is good for 15+ homers a year. He also plays really good defense at first and has a career .994 fielding percentage at 1st which is the same number as Carlos Pena and Derrek Lee.

The Royals could look at players like a Geovany Soto, Tyler Colvin, Darwin Barney, Ryan Flaherty, Jay Jackson, Randy Wells, and any other young players in the Cubs system. I also would not be surprised if they looked at Carlos Marmol.

I doubt the Royals would trade Butler unless they are blown away with a deal. I think a Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol for Butler is something the Royals would look for but it is hard to say. There is a 15% chance a deal like this would happen.

Alex Gordon-3rd/OF-Royals

Naturally a 3rd baseman Alex Gordon has shown he is a damn good outfielder as well. But the thing that sticks out for Gordon is his bat this season. He is hitting .296 with 10 homers and a .363 OBP. He was projected as the next George Brett but did not live up to expectations. Since the move to the outfield he has flourished but the Cubs would not use Gordon in LF, he would be slotted back at his natural position at 3rd base. The only reason the Royals would trade Gordon is because they need to fill holes other places like I described above. The same players talked abut trading for Butler applies to Gordon as well but Gordon I see as less obtainable giving his price and upside.

I see a 10% chance a deal gets made.

Kila Ka’aihue-1st Base- Royals

Kila has done extremely well in the minors but they have not transferred to the ML yet. Kila is another older blocked prospect and seems to be the most available right now. He has 10 seasons in the minors and is a career .267 hitter with a .393 OBP and 160 homers. In the ML he only has 283 ABs which he hit .216 with a .309 OBP and 11 homers. The Cubs could use him as insurance incase they don’t land one of their big free agents, they could also use him to just add depth at 1st base. The Royals are stacked at 1st base so he is being dangled and he would likely just cost the mid-level prospect.

I see this as a minor good move for both clubs which means it has good chance of happening so I put it at 45%.

That does it for Royals and Red Sox… Look for the Rangers and Angels in our next edition of 28 under 28!

Until Next Time…

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Out with the Old in with the New!

Here is the latest with the Cubs rumor and news-

- In case you missed it the Cubs signed SS Enrique Acosta to a 1.1MM bonus. He is considered on the top bats in Latin America at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds so he could move to an outfield spot or 3rd base. He is only 16 years old.

- The Cubs signed Venezuelan catcher Mark Malave and 3rd baseman Ricardo Marcano who are both 16-years old. Marcano could end up being an outfielder because of his size and Malave could move from catcher as well. Both were highly sought after international free agents and the Cubs are receiving praise around baseball for their money well spent on amateur free agents.

- The Cubs are expected to sign two of their top picks this week. Javier Baez and Zeke DeVoss are the two likely to sign while Daniel Vogelbach may take a while because of his previous commitment to play baseball at the University of Florida. I really hope they sign Vogelbach because he reminds me of a young Mo Vaughn.

- Although Quade and Hendry both seem on the hot seat, Hendry seems more likely to be gone at the end of the season.

- The Cubs front office has thrown around the idea of signing Jimmy Rollins to play 3rd base for the Cubs next season. Rollins has never played 3rd in the majors but would provide the Cubs with a nice top of the lineup switch hitter with really good infield defense.

- The Cubs have discussed internally about the possibility of trading for Hanley Ramirez and placing him at 3rd.

Until Next Time..

28 players under 28 years old: Marlins and Twins

28 players under 28 years old brings forth the Marlins and Twins-


Christian Yelich-1st Base- Marlins

Yelich is your ideal 1st baseman for the Major Leagues. He is 6-foot-4 lefty with a ton of power and sweet swing. He is the Marlins 3rd best prospect in baseball and ranked #184 overall last season. He is likely to see a huge jump in his prospect ranking after this season considering he is hitting .283 with a .351 OBP, 20 SB, 20 doubles, 8 homers, and 42 RBI in just 74 games. The fact that he is just 19 years old and producing that well in high A ball is pretty good.

The reason Yelich could be available is he has Gaby Sanchez blocking him at 1st. Yelich has played primarily outfield but is not doing well in there so he maybe shifted back to 1st base. The Cubs would want Yelich for many reasons but the main on is they do not have a prospect for 1st base in their system which he would fill. It would also allow the Cubs to sign a guy like Prince Fielder to a 5 year deal thus giving Yelich 5 year to develop in the minor leagues. While Yelich would not give the Cubs immediate impact his impact in the long run will be substantial. The only players you can see the Marlins targeting is young players in the Cubs system like a Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, or even a Darwin Barney which the Cubs are unlikely to trade.

I see a deal for Yelich being around the 10% mark of happening.

Gaby Sanchez-1st Base- Marlins

Sanchez is the guy blocking Yelich and could be the Marlins new franchise player. Having said that his stock has never been higher and could move him before his stock falls like what they are seeing with Hanley Ramirez right now. Sanchez is 28 years old and has been selected to his first All-Star team because he is hitting .292 with 13 homers and 47 RBI.

Sanchez could be available because his stock is so high and the Marlins are known for trading everyone good they get. He would have immediate impact on the Cubs and solidify 1st base for many years to come. I look at Sanchez as a younger Derek Lee or a right handed hitting Sean Casey from 1999 to 2004. He would allow the Cubs to spend millions of dollar elsewhere which is also a huge benefit. Again the Marlins would want a huge return for Sanchez.

The Cubs and Marlins just don’t match up good trade wise so I don’t see this taking place but crazier things have happened.


Danny Valencia-3rd Base- Twins

Valencia is the Twins 3rd baseman of the future and he is showing why. Valencia is will amaze you with his raw power and glove but might struggle to hit for average at the ML level. He is currently hitting .237 with 10 homers in 82 games at the age of 26. It is rare you can find power and defense as good as Valencia has at the hot corner.

Danny would be an immediate replacement for Aramis Ramirez after he leaves and would have immediate impact on the Cubs. By trading for Danny you could shift Vitters to 1st base or trade him for other needs. The Twins were in more of a position to trade Valencia for guys like Carlos Pena or Aramis Ramirez a week ago but have fallen 7 games out of first so they may just hold onto Valencia.

A week ago I would put a potential trade at around 30% especially with the talk about the Twins wanting to add more power at the corners but now I see them selling off their older more expensive players thus putting a deal near 10% for me.

Francisco Liriano-SP- Twins

Rumors have been running wild for Liriano who could be a free agent after the 2013 season depending on service time. The Cubs have been linked to Liriano in the past and should still show interest at he deadline giving their lack of a dominate lefty in the rotation. Two years ago Liriano would command 4 top prospects now the Twins might be looking to save face and trade Liriano even though his stock has not been lower. Francisco is 5-7 with a 4.76 ERA this season and has been pitching more to contract than years past.

If the Cubs traded for Liriano then he would immediately make the rotation better and the Cubs will at least have him for 2 years. The transfer from AL to NL should benefit him about the same as it did for Lilly when he came to Chicago. With the Twins shopping Liriano for young players and the Cubs looking to strengthen the rotation I see this being a match for both teams. I can see the Twins looking at guys like Tyler Colvin, Josh Vitters, and of course young pitching.

A week ago I put this trade at around 15% chance of happening but since they are falling out of the playoff race I see an increase in a deal happening. I put the percentage around 25% because they Twins will look to rebuild their farm and don’t see Liriano as a building piece for the future.

That concludes this installment “28 players under 28 years old” look for the Royals and Red Sox next!