Friday, July 22, 2011

Cubs Round-Up: Signings, Soriano, Ramirez, Gillick

- The Cubs have signed Paul Hoilman and Trevor Gretzky. The Cubs are also very close to signing Shawon Dunston Jr. and Dan Vogelbach.

- According to Bruce Levine the Cubs are willing to absorb a high percentage of Soriano’s contract to get him traded. Soriano is owed 60 million over this year and the next 3. It is undetermined what high percentage the Cubs could be talking. I think the Cubs would eat close to 30 million to get a deal done.

- The Red Sox must have heard the news because they are interested in Soriano if they cannot land Carlos Beltran. The Red Sox would use Soriano in a platoon area in RF and DH. He would also provide insurance for Ortiz incase they do not sign him to an extension.

- Aramis Ramirez will stay a Cub according to ESPN Chicago and said he will not waive his NTC. The Cubs are now rumored to be preparing an offer for Aram to stay in Chicago for 3+ years.

- Several teams have interest in John Grabow and Marlon Byrd.

- Fukudome is drawing interest from several clubs but most notably the Indians who are looking to upgrade defense and depth in their outfield.

- The Cubs will not trade 3 of their outfielders. Only two are likely to be dealt this season and the most likely to hang on is Marlon Byrd because of his presence in the clubhouse. Not to mention he is a great mentor to the other younger outfielders and players.

- The Suntimes has a piece on why the Cubs should keep Jim Hendry. Although I give Wittenmyer credit on taking the opposition, I don’t know how you can sell that to fans without them tearing it apart.

- So while some media outlets shot down the rumor or Gillick and Hahn coming to Chicago; I have the exact opposition. Sources have indicated that Ricketts does have a short list of “baseball people” he wants to come in and help the organization. The list includes the usual suspects and some new names as well-

Billy Beane

Josh Byrnes

Rick Hahn

Pat Gillick

Brian Cashman

Mike Arbuckle

Ned Collett

Al Avila

Jason McLeod

Ben Cherington

Andrew Friedman

It should be noted that by “baseball people” the list is likely to include a replacement for President, Vice President, GM, and other baseball execs. A name that is extremely intriguing is Mike Arbuckle who was the mastermind behind the Phillies World Championship team by drafting Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels. He also drafted guys like Pat Burrell, Scott Rolen, and Randy Wolf. He should be strongly considered as a GM or at the very least an assistant GM role. He is currently the senior adviser to GM Dayton Moore.

- Bruce Levine reports today that Pat Gillick is open to talking to the Cubs. Gillick told the Sun-Times Thursday that although he is happy with his consulting job with the Phillies he would be open to leaving for a president level position with the Cubs or another team. Gillick is the ideal Cubs President and I hope Ricketts can make it happen.

- If the Cubs do clean house I think the Cubs should have short list for the President and GM positions. Pick two of Billy Beane, Rick Hahn, Pat Gillick, Brian Cashman Mike Arbuckle, and Andrew Friedman and I think the Cubs would be set in management for years to come. I see Rick Hahn and Arbuckle not in the running for President but I can see the entire list being candidates for GM.

Until next Time...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Guys Leaving and their Replacements

- Jim Hendry explains his approach to the trade market in the Des Moines Register which I don’t completely agree with. I think players like Colvin, Dempster, Baker, DeWitt, Byrd, Marmol, and players like that should be dangled while players like Castro, Barney, Jackson, and other youth should be untouchable. You can find the link here

- CubbiesCrib takes a look at Hendry’s Trade Metric and applies it to this team and I think they do a great job of doing so.

- Foxsports has some of the latest on the possibly of changes in the front office-

Speculation persists that owner Tom Ricketts might hire Hall of Fame inductee Pat Gillick as club president. In theory, Gillick could retain Hendry, and the two could work together to fix the club. But the entire idea seems far-fetched; Cubs fans want change, and both Hendry and manager Mike Quade seem likely to be replaced.

The real intrigue would begin once Ricketts began his search for a new GM.

White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn is generally regarded as the game’s leading GM candidate, but many in the industry believe that the Cubs’ job also might draw interest from some of the game’s top current GMs -

Now the Cubs have had a slew of rumors that indicate that Quade and Hendry are likely to be on their way out with their replacements rumored from Gillick to Beane to Cashman to Hahn for Hendry and Sandberg replacing Quade. But I am going to go out on a limb here and state by the start of next season you will not see Hendry, Kenney, Quade, or any of the coaching staff besides maybe Jaramillo gone. I think Ricketts has had enough of this and is listening to the fans thus making changes.

- Soriano did not know he had a NTC but he probably won’t have to be using it because his trade value is low. Soriano did say he would not stand in the way of the Cubs trading him.

- Ramirez will likely not waive his NTC until August when his family goes back to the Dominican Republic for school.

- Big rumor states the Cubs are planning on offering Ramirez a 3 year deal worth 40 million dollars plus incentives to see if he really wants to remain a Cub. A friend of Aramis said he would would want a similar contract to what Adrian Beltre got from the Rangers (5 years 80 million) on the open market. I have not problem extending Aramis just not beyond 3 years or 50 million but I can see him getting 5 years 80 million from a team like the Angels or Reds.

Slow day for Cubs rumors, maybe the calm before the storm?

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

28 under 28: Indians, White Sox, Phillies, Dbacks, and Jays

In our final edition of “28 under 28” we take a look at the Indians, White Sox, Phillies, Dbacks and Jays.


Carlos Santana-C/1st-Indians

I view along with others that Carlos Santana is the next wave of superstar catchers in the ML. Santana is hitting .231 with 15 homers and 46 RBI in 90 games this season. He is also sporting a .990 Fld% and a 22% CS rate. The Fld% is right in line with Hill and above Soto while his CS rate is right in line with both. But it should be noted that he has one of the best arms in the league. Santana is your dual threat catcher that calls a great game and can hit. He also is also a switch-hitter and is only 25 years old. He would provide the Cubs with the catcher that Geovany Soto was suppose to be. The Indians are looking for offensive help in the outfield and infield. They could target Byrd, Colvin, Pena, and Ramirez. I think the Cubs should offer Soto, Pena, and Ramirez for Santana and Chisenhall.

Trade- 5%

White Sox

Dayan Viciedo-1st/3rd/OF-White Sox

The one prospect of the White Sox you really, really, I mean really; want! Viciedo is only 22 years old and is nicknamed “The Tank” he is a big guy. He is rated the 61st best prospect in baseball and he shows why. This year in just 91 games he is hitting .317 with a .368 OBP and 16 homers while playing 3rd, RF, and 1st. Not the best defensive guy but he will maintain with his bat. If the Cubs traded for Viciedo he would fulfill the Cubs need for a 3rd baseman in 2012 and beyond. The White Sox could look to get more youth and prospects for Dayan but only being 4.5 games out of first in the division they could be looking for both pitching and power. The White Sox could target Garza or even Zambrano to bolster their rotation. They could also check on Marlon Byrd or Alfonso Soriano to upgrade their outfield since both are hitting better than Pierre and Rios both. The White Sox main issue is their bullpen which the Cubs could offer Marmol, Grabow, Marshall, Smardzija, and/or Wood in order to land Viciedo. Another thing that would make sense is the fact that Aramis Ramirez is said to not want to waive his NTC because he does not want to uproot his family. If he is dealt to the Southside he would not have to and Aram would be a huge upgrade at 3rd for the Sox. I think the Cubs and Sox match up well for a trade.



Matt Rizzotti-1st-Phillies

The 25 year old Rizzotti is a good young first baseman but is blocked by a guy named Ryan Howard. Rizzotti is hitting .295 with season with a .385 OBP and 18 homers in 93 games in AA. The Phillies could make him available and they have been scouting Marlon Byrd recently. A Byrd for Rizzotti makes sense for both teams because neither one fit into the clubs future plans. Rizzotti could fulfill the Cubs need for a prospect 1st baseman for the future and even next season.



Bobby Borchering-1st/3rd-Dbacks

The 20 year old Borchering was selected 16th overall in the 2009 draft. In two years he has went from rookie ball to low A ball to high A ball. Borchering needs help defensively but has been known to make the highlight plays. The switch-hitter has logged time at 1st and 3rd and has had some success with the bat. Bochering is having a 2011 break out season hitting .266 with 18 homers and 68 RBI in 90 games. The Diamondbacks have been linked to the usual suspects like Wood, Pena, and Aramis Ramirez but could also target pitching help. Out of all the deals this one I see happening the most sense his name came up in rumors regarding the Cubs lately.


Blue Jays

JP Arencibia-C-Jays and Travis d’Arnaud-C-Jays

The Jays have two catching prospects that are only 3 years apart in age. One is currently in the majors struggling some while the other is in AA tearing the cover off the ball. Because of this the Jays should and will dangle one of the catching prospects to fulfill another need on the field. Unlike most teams the Jays don’t need many upgrades except for the outfield. They would likely look at youth rather than veterans so Tyler Colvin could interest them as well as some other young outfielders. JP and Travis should be able to land them some young impact players. JP is hitting just .211 with 12 homers but is expect to develop into an average hitter with good power to all fields. d’Arnaud is the guy I would target because he is only 22 years old and is hitting .330 with a .398 OBP, 12 homers and 42 RBI in AA. Travis is also better defensively than JP; Travis has a .992 Fld% and a 31% CS rate in AA while JP has a .991 and 23% CS rate. Both would be a big addition to the Cubs.

Trade- 15%

That concludes our “28 players under 28 years old.” I now encourage you, the reader’ to give me your input and contribute to the site. If good enough I will post it on my blog for everyone to see. Here is what I require-

Name/Screen Name
What player the Cubs should target less than 28 years of age.
Why the Cubs should target that player.
What kind of impact that player could have for the Cubs.
What the trading team would want in return and why.
Give me an actual trade scenario regarding both teams.
Finally any additional information that helps your case.

The good entries will make it on my blog, just post your entries under the comment section below and I will read each and every one.

Thanks and Good Luck!!!!

28 under 28: Giants, Nationals, and A's

In this post of “28 under 28” we take a look at the Giants, Nationals, and Athletics.


Brandon Belt-1st/OF-Giants

Brandon Belt busted on the scene this year with the Giants and is considered their 1st baseman of the future but things did not go according to plan. Belt has been up and down a couple of times this season and has played LF and 1st for the ML club. Belt is not showing the promise the Giants expected and is only hitting .211 with 1 homer. The Giants could use Belt as trade bait to improve their offense which has been struggling without Posey. The Giants could target a guy like Pena or Ramirez and dangle Belt to land one. Brandon Belt could be the 1st baseman of the future and would still allow them to make a run at Prince Fielder since Belt is only 23 years old. Or they could just go with youth and start him full time at first in 2012.

Trade- 30%


Derek Norris-C-Nationals

The Nationals defensive catcher that has been compared to Pudge is more defensive minded than offensive but his HR numbers don’t support that. This year he is hitting .196 with a .352 OBP and 12 homers in 64 games in AA. He also is sporting a 37% CS rate and a .991 Fld%. In 2010, his CS rate was at 51% which his unreal. The Nationals would likely be looking for upgrades in their outfield and could target guys like Ha, Golden, Marwin Gonzalez, and/or Tyler Colvin. Norris could be the franchise back stop the Cubs are looking for since Soto does not seem to be the real deal.

Trade- 10%


Chris Carter-1st-A’s

While Chris Carter has been in the league since 2005 he is only 24 years old and still has good upside. Carter is never going to hit for average or HR but could provide the Cubs with depth in their farm system at 1st. Oakland could be looking at a young arm for their bullpen or some upgrades in the outfield. Carter is a career .281 hitter with a .378 OBP and 158 homers in 7 seasons in the minors. He would be a nice piece for the Cubs system but not a necessary one.

Trade- 15%

Up Next on “28 under 28” we look at the rest; Indians, Jays, White Sox, Phillies, and Dbacks.

Until Next Time…

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cubs Talk, No Walk...

With the trade deadline approaching talks have increased but moves have not begun for the Cubs. Here is the latest-

- The Cubs signed Dave Bush to a minor league contract.

- Aramis Ramirez option does not vest for 2012 meaning the team he is traded to will only have to worry about what he is being paid this season. Because of this he is regarded as one of the top targets in the trade market.

- The Pirates are still very much interested in Ramirez.

- Jim Hendry has no interest in trading Dempster or Garza but he is likely to listen to offers.

- Bruce Levine said the Braves and Phillies have done extensive scouting on Marlon Byrd. The Pirates, Rangers, and Red Sox also have interest in Byrd.

- In the Chicago Tribune they credit an unconfirmed rumor that the Yankees are looking at Alfonso Soriano, Sean Marshall, and/or Aramis Ramirez. This report can be credited with a flurry of emails my way along with other sites adding to the rumor. It is said that the Yankees would be requiring the Cubs to pay a “large portion” of Soriano’s contract and include a player like Ramirez or Marshall to get a deal done that includes prospects going the Cubs way. The thought is Soriano would take over the DH role and play of LF for the Yankees PT while Marshall would be an ideal set-up man for the Yankees. If Ramirez is included he would man third base until Arod came back which would not be until around playoff time. Ramirez would be good insurance for the Yankees if Arod suffers a set back. Even if he does not, there is a thought that Ramirez could DH with Soriano in LF, and Arod at third leaving Posada a weapon off the bench. The only additional information for my emails that is not found online is that the Yankees are willing to pay 30 of the 63 million left on his contract.

- Carlos Pena has been getting more interest for the Angels, Diamondbacks, and Giants recently who are all looking for offensive upgrades. Ramirez is also gaining interest from the same three clubs.

- John Grabow and Fukudome’s interest is on the decline but could pick up once other bats and lefty relievers come off the board.

- Reed Johnson is looking like a sought after playoff chip for contending teams. The Cubs may get a low prospect for the outfielder.

- Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincy are all looking to upgrade their pitching and have scouted the Cubs. Several rumors found my in box regarding Z being reunited with Dusty Baker in Cincy. I have also heard the Indians have interest in Randy Wells (why, I don’t know).

- Jeff Baker will not be traded this season and is considered an affordable option for next year’s team.

Until Next Time..