Saturday, December 10, 2011

3 Way the Cubs Way!

With the numerous trade and free agency rumors surrounding the Cubs I am going to try to link some together that not only maximizes value for all teams involved but also fulfills the direction Theo and Co. are going. I will use the information obtained by rumors sites, radio, and of course my sources. This trade scenario is not a rumor by any means, I am just trying to link several rumors together in the form of one trade so here we go!

First off the rumors and news-

Cubs: They need an upgrade at 1st base but according to Theo it cannot jeopardize what they are doing for the future. The Cubs have been linked to just about everyone but Ike Davis, Kendry Morales, Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, among others have been talked about a lot. Now the Cubs could give up youth to get some of these players or they could dangle several of their valuable pieces like Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Geovany Soto, or even Matt Garza to obtain a first baseman. The Cubs are also looking to get younger in the rotation as well which is why it is important to get pitching in a potential deal.

Rangers: The Rangers may have just saw their division hopes fade with the Angels signing Pujols and their former ace C.J. Wilson. Now it is rumored that the Rangers are wanting to make a splash of their own. The Rangers have been linked to Matt Garza since last season when they tried to acquire him before the Cubs did. The Cubs and Rangers have talked about a Garza trade but they said the price is too steep. The price may have been too steep before the Angels signed both Wilson and Pujols but now they are in a different position which could really favor the team dealing with them. The Rangers are reportedly going to be big players on Fielder as well in fact most think Prince likely destination is Texas. Now for the Rangers to land Prince they could shed salary but they may not be necessary according to sources close to Nolan Ryan. One thing to note is the Rangers farm system is good and they have great depth in several areas including middle infield and pitching so dealing young players in that area of the field is easier than lets say catcher.

Mets: The Mets feel they will not be relevant for at least another 2 years according to some sources. Many media outlets are reporting the Mets are putting all their players on the market with exception to David Wright. One player that could fetch several young prospects is Ike Davis which is why the Cubs and Mets have talked about him. Now the price of Ike Davis is about as steep as Garza so the Cubs would need to acquire some peices through another trade to get Ike. The Mets are looking for infield help and pitching so that is likely what they would ask for in return for Davis.

The deal-

Cubs get: Ike Davis, Alex Ogando, and Martin Perez
Rangers get: Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, and Jonathan Niese
Mets get: Jurickson Profar, Mitch Moreland, Josh Vitters, and Trey McNutt

What it takes-

Cubs: The Cubs have to get rid of some of their excess in the farm to get some top prospects in return to help them in the very near future. Giving up ML ready pitchers Garza and Marmol do clear up about $15M this season and at least $10M next season by dealing both pitchers. The Cubs are looking ahead and both Marmol and Garza are likely to be gone in 2 years when they elect free agency. The Cubs also are giving up two young prospects in the deal with Josh Vitters and Trey McNutt. Vitters really does not fit the philosphy of the new Theo era with good defense. McNutt is a player you have to give up to get the quaility you are getting in return. Josh Vitters was rated the #70 best prospect in baseball in 2010 but has sense dropped out of that discussion. Trey McNutt is ranked the 48th best prospect in baseball in 2011.

Rangers: Like I said in the opening now that the Angels have put pressure on the Rangers look for them to overpay some for the players they want. The Rangers give up two good pieces from their ML roster in Mitch Moreland and Alexi Ogando. Both are valuable pieces to the team but in the big picture they are expendable because of what they get in return. The Rangers also give up their future all-star SS Jurickson Profar who ranks in the top 10 prospects of 2012. Martin Perez is also dealt and is in the top 25 best prospects of 2012. The Rangers give up a lot but it is on par with what the Cubs had to give up to get Garza.

Mets: The Mets give up only two players but they could hold more value than some of the players that the Cubs and Rangers give up because Niese is not arbitration eligible until next season and won't be a free agent until 2016 and is only 25. Ike Davis is also not eligible for arbitration until next season and won't be a free agent until 2017. Ike is only 24 years old. Those are two very valuable pieces and worth what they received when you break it down.

Now what they receive-

Cubs: The Cubs get their first baseman of the future that is only 24 years old and Major League tested and ready. There is only a once in a great while opportunity you get a player that is under 25, has had success, and is not even arbitration eligible yet.

The Cubs also get a guy who is a young 28 years old (just over a season in the ML) and won't be arbitration eligible until 2014 and won't be ready to leave for FA until 2017. Ogando has electric stuff and is smart beyond his years.

The last guy the Cubs get for their package of players is Martin Perez. This guy has been compared to Johan Santana and rightfully so. He is only 20 years old and pitching for Texas' AAA affiliate. Projected as a number 1 or 2 starter in the Bigs he has great movement and command on his pitches. This player could start in Chicago next season if this trade were to happen.

Rangers: The Rangers just put themselves back in the drivers seat by adding Matt Garza to their rotation and Carlos Marmol to their already deep bullpen. Marmol provides insurance for Joe Nathan and would a nice 1/2 punch. The Rangers rotation is already good but got even better by adding a 25 year old lefty in Niese. When you have Garza and Niese back to back it is hard not to be worried if you are an AL west team.

Another thing that should be noted about the Rangers is I am assuming they will land Fielder to replace Moreland at 1st which makes this trade look even better for the Rangers.

Mets: After seeing Jose Reyes leave; the Mets will stop licking their wounds and start making their team look a lot better for the future. The Mets gave up two very talented players but would likely not get the talent they did trading them in separate deals. The Mets get their next Jose Reyes (Profar maybe better) in Jurickson Profar. A 18 year old that is in the top 10 best prospects in baseball on every list published.

Since the Mets have no immediate replacement for Ike Davis at first they get a more experienced older lefty bat in Mitch Moreland. He is only 26 years old and not arbitration eligible until 2014.

The two players they receive from the Cubs is Trey McNutt who is their top prospect pitcher and their top 3rd base prospect Josh Vitters who will likely replace David Wright when his contract expires.


Each team gives up quality talent but in the end all the players each team trades and receives achieves their ultimate goal and philosophy.

So did I hit the mark or miss it completely? Who is getting the better deal? Or is it fair? Feel free to comment or tweet me @HotStoveCubbies.

Until Next Time...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Stewart, Non-Tender, Darvish, and more...

- The Cubs traded D.J. LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart. Stewart is arbitration eligible so the Rockies are likely to save $2.6M in the deal. The Cubs get there much needed third baseman. I am not as mad as yesterday about the deal but I just don't understand giving up LeMahieu and losing Ryan Flaherty to the Rule 5 draft.

- Stewart is labeled as the starting 3rd baseman right now according to Jed Hoyer. He says they did not give up what they did to have him as a atilt player.

- The Cubs are likely waiting for the Non-Tender deadline to pass before making anymore deals. Rumor has it that Kendry Morales maybe non-tendered in which case the Cubs will sign him.

- The only possible position players I see the Cubs looking at is James Loney and Kendry Morales. Pitching wise there are several players they should look at to add depth like Andrew Miller, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Volstad, Joe Saunders, Andy Sonnanstine, Taylor Buckholtz, and Rich Hill.

- Cubs not too serious about Kuroda.

- The Cubs do have interest in Mark Trumbo but he may not be available.

- We heard earlier today that there have been several talks about the Mets young lefty 1st baseman Ike Davis. A deal could be done fast but both the Mets and Cubs will wait until the Non-tender deadline on Monday before discussing more. You can find the stats for Ike Davis here.

- Cubs have two big sticking points with Prince Fielder. Him wanting at least 7 years and a no-trade clause.

- The Cubs have claimed Jeff Bianchi off of waivers from the Royals. Find more on him here. Looks like he is a valuable replacement for LeMahieu although no real ML experience.

Until Next Time..

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Last Day of Winter Meeting Rumors, News, and Notes...

- I first want to say goodbye to Cub killer Albert Pujols as he packs his bags and heads to the West Coast after signing a 10 year $254M deal with the Angels. There is nothing I like more than the cries of angry redbirds about how things are not fair. My answer to you is you guys is your management should have signed him to an extension years ago and never signed Matt Holliday to that horrible 7 year $120M deal. You bid against yourself when you got Holliday and that cost you Pujols.
- The Cubs have taken Ricky Alvarez Ricky Alvarez and Lendry Castillo Lendry Castillo
- The Rangers and Angels are very interested in Matt Garza. The Angels are also interested in Carlos Marmol.
- Yu Darvish was posted today and will go through the 4 day bidding process. The Cubs are expected to be big time bidders on Darvish. We should know by Tuesday who won the bid.
- The Cubs are still in on Ian Stewart but also still like Chase Headley. We will likely hear more of these two in the up and coming weeks.
- The Marlins remain interested in Carlos Zambrano. I am hearing the Cubs will probably pick up a pitcher before trading their depth away unless they get a pitcher in return for their pitcher. I hope that makes sense.
- The Cubs are expected to go hard after 28 year old oft-injured, switch-hitting 1st baseman Kendry Morales and/or 25 year old Mark Trumbo. It should be noted that Trumbo could be a candidate for 3rd base because the Angel scouts are sure he would do well at 3rd and could be the starting 3rd baseman next season for the Halos if not dealt.
- The Cubs are still in on Prince Fielder regardless of what Peter Gammons says. Gammons said the Cubs do not have money to spend on Fielder which makes no sense because they plan on bidding on Darvish ($40+M), submitted an offer to Pujols (more $ than Fielder is asking for), and are in on Cespedes (looking for a 5 year deal $60M). Gammons needs to check his sources. One thing that the Cubs are up against in Fielder is the other AL west teams. The Mariners are increasing their deal to Fielder to 7 years $160M according to two different sources of mine. Another source says he expects the Cubs up their pursuit and try to sign him quickly. The Rangers are also actively in on Fielder.
- The Cards are not in on Fielder but will instead upgrade SS and outfield. They are targeting Rollins (I see him signing with Philly) and Beltran. They plan on using Berkman at 1st. Pujols really made the Cards a weaker team.
- The Cubs were one of the four finalists for Pujols according to sources.
- If you don’t follow me on Twitter you should because I tweeted this hours ago: This is my trade idea- Garza, Marmol, Vitters, and McNutt to the Angels for Morales, Trumbo, Trout, and 2 top pitching prospects. I may be dreaming but there is tremendous value for both teams going both ways. The Cubs could use Morales at 1st, Trumbo at 3rd, and Trout in RF.
- Levine says the Cubs are involved in the International market as well stating they have great interest in Yoenis Cespedes, Jorge Soler, and Geraldo Concepcion. We have heard about the first two but not a lot on Concepcion which I have a hard time finding anything on him.

Until Next Time..

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

WInter Meetings Day 3- Cubs Talk Up but Moves Are Not

- Depending on what reports you read the Cubs are in on Prince Fielder. The latest suggest Fielder is looking for a Ryan Howard type deal 5/$125M which I think is reasonable and the Cubs need to offer soon.

- Seattle and the Marlins are not in on Fielder.

- The fish have pulled their offer from Pujols but he still has two 10/$200M+ deal out there but the Cubs are not one of those teams.

- Theo says the Cubs are looking toward building the future and is concentrating on smaller moves.

- The Cubs still like Stewart from the Rockies but the Rox are asking for LeMahieu which the Cubs rightfully turned down.

- The Marmol for Headley rumors are buried because the Padres acquired Street from the Rockies.

- The Pirates have joined the Stewart derby.

- The Cubs are still very much interested in a number of players including Chase Headley but are awaiting the Pujols decision.

- The Mets are shopping just about everyone but officially they are shopping Jonathon Niese and Ike Davis. Niese name has not came up on the radar for the Cubs yet but they should be interested in the lefty. One name that the Cubs are considering and in talks with the Mets on is Ike Davis. Davis is 24 years old, solid defensively at 1st base, a lefty bat, and is not even arbitration eligible yet. The Mets are looking to get a number of young players for Davis and the Cubs could offer Vitters, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, Andrew Cashner, or even Matt Szczur.

- The Cubs are interested in Pujols but on a 5 year deal. The Cubs are not the mystery team offering 10 years.

- Pena and Ramirez will not accept arbitration.

- The Braves have called the Cubs on Darwin Barney according to a source.

- Still reports out there that the Cubs are interested in Kuroda because he is seeking a short-term high annual salary deal.

- All signs point to Wood signing a deal with the Cubs. Likely to be more than last year's super discount.

- Jed Hoyer says Fielder reports are "overblown." I did not expect him to say anything more than that.

- Zambrano is still in play for Marlins but many expect Z to start the season with the Cubs.

- Ken Davidoff says a friend of Prince Fielders says the Cubs really interest him. I am sure he can put up big numbers hitting in Wrigley for half a season.

That is it for today hopefully things start heating up more move wise!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Winter Meetings Day 2: Late Afternoon Update

Here is a late afternoon update to summarize what happened late last night until now. Here we go-

- The Cubs are currently shopping Soriano to the O’s as only a salary dump. The Cubs are expected to eat 75% or more of this contract to get a deal done. The Cubs would likely just receive a PTBNL.
- Numerous reports suggested the Cubs made an offer to Pujols with just one (Carrie Muskat) denying those reports. I then heard two of my sources say an offer was made just disagreeing on the amount. One source said the Cubs offered 5 years with an option for 6 at $165M over the life of the contract while the other stats an offer of 5 years $145M has been offered. That same source also stated he expects the Marlins to go as high as 10 years $260M with a NTC for Pujols. That is not to far off from reports of 10 years $220M with a NTC.
- The Angels and Cubs are the most active on Ian Stewart according to Jon Morosi.
- The Chicago Cubs plan on making an offer to Prince Fielder in today’s meeting. According to this source the Cubs could go as high as 6 years with a 7th option year. While other reports suggest the Cubs prefer Fielder over Pujols and would like to sign Fielder at less years but higher annual salary. One report says 5 years $160M could be an offer the Cubs would submit to Boras.
- Paul Sullivan says if Pujols lands in Miami that will cause the Fish to deal Gaby Sanchez in which the Cubs would have great interest in because he fits in their long-term plans. I see Gaby more as a guy that fits now with a low salary and has 3 arbitration years left which could take us up to the Vogelbach era.
- There are rumors of a possible opt out clause in play for Fielder and Pujols which would give the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs a chance to land them in 2-4 years.
- Phil Rogers is saying the Pujols situation IS GOING TO BE DECIDED in the next 36 hours. I would have to agree especially with reports that the Marlins have offered 10 years and the Cardinals will have a chance to submit their bid before a decision is made; it is a make or break for both teams.
- Bleacher Nation is saying one of his sources has been swayed from Garza “probably not” going to be traded to “probably.” Peter Gammons even thinks he will be eventually traded.
- Bruce Levine names James Russell as a possible target for the Padres for Headley. Sounds good to me.
- The Cubs are getting several calls on two players recently; Darwin Barney and Randy Wells.
- Epstein says he is interested in bringing back Rodrigo Lopez but maybe he is just kidding because I just don’t see why with all the other pitchers on the market.
- Carlos Pena will not accept arbitration according to numerous sources.
- The Marlins are really concentration on Pujols but that did not stop them by meeting with the Cubs about Carlos Zambrano. The Marlins wanted to know the asking price on Z. I would take Christian Yelich! Actually I would trade him just for salary relief at this time.
- The Cubs are cooling on Stewart and the Rockies asking price.
- The suitors for Fielder are dwindling. The known are the Cubs, Mariners, Blue Jays, and Brewers.
- The Cubs are reluctant to give Fielder 7 years like he is seeking. Mariners may go 7 to get him which makes sense since he could DH later in deal.
- Sveum said they have not talked to Prince which is likely true because all talks have been with Boras.

Until Next Time..

Until Next Time...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Day 1: Winter Meetings Rumor Roundup

Lets take a look at the rumors swirling around Cubland in the first day and a half of the Winter Meetings-

- Congrats to Ron Santo for taking his rightful place in the Hall of Fame. It is a shame that it happened after his passing but I am sure he is clicking his heels in the ballpark in the sky.

- The Chicago Cubs will not trade Garza for anything less than what the Brewers gave up for Grienke. That is a good package and the Cubs should not settle for anything less.

- The rumors around the Cubs interest in Kuroda are legit until you heard the asking price of 2 years 30 million. Like they say on SportsCenter "Com' on Man!"

- The Cubs are still interested in Stewart but look at him as a back-up plan to Headley.

- The Rockies like Colvin for Stewart which is understandable but remember Stewart is a non-tender candidate.

- The Cubs called the Marlins on Hanley Ramirez but his asking price was way too high. If the Cubs acquired Ramirez they would have played him at 2nd.

- BleacherNation stated on Twitter (@BleacherNation) that the Cubs are trying to get Headley and Kyle Blanks in the same deal. If Theo and Co. can pull that off then they are even more smarter than I think.

- MLBTR says the Cubs are looking at Pujols but want to offer him higher annual salary with less years. Like maybe 5 years $150M?

- The Cubs have called the Mets on Wright but his asking price was "offensive" according to a Cubs source.

- The Padres are very interested in moving Headley, Hudson, and/or Bartlett. There is a rumor out there the Padres want to attach Hudson with Headley in a move to the Cubs. If that happens the Cubs may only have to give up Marmol and a minor leaguer. Which would be huge. I would give up Carlos Marmol, Josh Vitters, and Tyler Colvin for Orlando Hudson, Kyle Blanks, and Chase Headley.

- The Chicago Cubs are getting teams calling them on Soriano, mostly AL squads. They would like the Cubs to pick up the bulk of the money owed ($54M). I would pay 40+ to get a deal done if I was Jed and Theo.

- There is some Placido Polanco talk because the Phillies are interested in signing Aramis Ramirez so naturally Polanco has been linked to the Cubs. I do not see a fit with so many other 3rd baseman on the market via trade.

- The Cubs have met with Dan Lozano today. He is Albert Pujols agent and it just so happens he represents Rodrigo Lopez. Muskat says the Cubs are interested in bringing back Lopez and I ask WHY!?!?!

- Craig Counsell is waiting to see if he gets any offers before retiring. The Cubs would like him to be a coach.

- The Cubs really like Fielder but will not go over 6 guaranteed years for him.

- The Cubs have expressed interest in Marlins 22 year old 3rd base prospect Matt Dominguez. He is a great defender but has not done well in the minors. He is a career .255 hitter with .325 OBP in the minors but he is playing above his age. He moved from High A to AAA last year at the age of 21.

- Rosenthal and Morosi say the Cubs are in on C.J. Wilson. With the Nationals offering a 6th year I do not see the Cubs as a fit.

- I just got an interesting name in the email I received from a source of mine. This source says the Cubs have contacted the Orioles about 3rd base prospect Josh Bell. He did have a cup of coffee in the majors so it is hard to judge him there so here is his minor league stats. I put him in the same category as Matt Dominguez.

I am sure there will be more rumors come out as the night goes on. So check me out on Twitter @HotStoveCubbies for the latest rumors and news.

Until Next Time...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Lets Get Ready To Rumble, Winter Meetings Style!

The Winter Meetings have not even started yet but the rumors are flying around. Lets get caught up over a busy weekend.

- It was first reported that the Rockies wanted DeWitt for Stewart. Of course that would have been a really good trade for the Cubs which is why the Rockies asked for Colvin and a prospect instead. I say not thanks!

- Speaking of third baseman. I have been hearing from numerous sites and my sources that Chase Headley is a top target for the Cubs during the Winter Meeting. One source says he would be shocked not to see Headley make his way to the Cubs by next week.

- A player the Padres want in return for Headley, Carlos Marmol.

- The Padres and Red Sox are the most active in pursing Carlos Marmol.

- The Cubs like Mark Burhle but not his asking price of 4 years $50M.

- Cubs did lose out on Capuano to the Dodgers but 2 years $10M is over paying for a guy like Capuano.

- Congrats to Chris Bosio to landing the Chicago Cubs pitching coach position.

- OK, so the Brewers offered Prince 6/120! The Cubs should automatically offer 5 years with a 6th option year for $160M.

- If the Cubs were to trade for Justin Upton then they would have to send Carlos Marmol, one of Matt Szczur and Trey McNutt, and an top 10 Cubs prospect.

- The Cubs are active talks with lefties Wei-Yan Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada. Both became unrestricted FA on Thursday. It is reported that the Cubs like Chen better than Wada because of his age (26 years old) and price (4 years $20M).

- Yu Darvish is expected to be posted during or shortly after the meetings. The Cubs are expected to bid on the young righty.

- If the Cubs want to deal Soriano for another bad contract, as I reported on twitter some guys he could be dealt for like Chone Figgins, Barry Zito, Adam Dunn, Jason Bay, Carl Crawford, Dice K, Vernon Wells. Here are some other possibilities Ted Lilly, Travis Hafner, Hanley Ramirez (especially if the fish land Jose Reyes), Nick Markakis, Mark Reynolds, Brian Roberts, Justin Morneau, Jake Peavy, and A.J. Burnett. Now some of these players are making less than Soriano and some are making more so money will likely be exchanging hands as well. Not to mention some of these players would require more than just Soriano to land in the case of Nick Markakis, Travis Hafner, Hanley Ramirez, and others. I just wanted to give everyone an idea of players and teams the Cubs could match up well with in a bad contract trade including Soriano.

- Monday morning could have great significance for the Chicago Cubs, the fans, and the Santo family. That is likely when they will learn whether Ron Santo will be inducted into his rightful place in the Hall of Fame. Santo needs 12 of 16 votes to be inducted by the Golden Era Committee which meets every three years and usually votes on managers, umpires, executives, and players who had a career impact on the game from 1942 to 1972. Bruce Levine reported yesterday that he talked to a industry source that says Santo's chances of being inducted are "excellent." I do want to note than this if the first year Santo has been on the Golden Era Committee ballot. He was passed over in past years by the stingy Veteran Committee lead by anti-Cub and anti-Santo leader Joe Morgan. If you can't tell I have no respect for Joe Morgan.

- Garza rumors are swirling but the is not letting it bother him. He did say he would like to sign an extenstion with the Cubs though.

- The Theo Epstein compensation maybe settled during the Rule 5 draft according to sources.

Keep in touch with the latest breaking news and rumors by following me on twitter @HotStoveCubbies and of course look at more in depth coverage of the Cubs news and rumor wise here on Hot Stove Cubbies.