Monday, December 31, 2012

Cubs: The Next 5 Moves

So I already had one post recently in which I laid out what the Cubs should do next found here. But here is another route giving the recent rumors circling around.
  1. Trade for Giancarlo Stanton or Justin Upton.
I get the distinct feeling that the Cubs are working on something big and Upton or Stanton could be that something. I feel when the Cubs have shot at getting a young star with ML experience that is cost effective they jump at that chance to get him even if it means overpaying some. Now rumors have linked the Cubs (along with many other teams) to both young stars you have to believe the Cubs will do anything in their power to get one of these player because it is a trade opportunity of a lifetime. The Cubs are at a disadvantage because teams like the Rangers, Blue Jays, and Braves are stacked with great young prospects but whether those teams are willing to trade them is another story. If I am a part of the front office I have no problem building a package around Javier Baez or even Jeff Samardzija for Stanton. I would even consider trading both for Stanton. Now Justin Upton is a different story. I am not sure I would include either one in a deal for Upton but if it came down to dealing one I would be fine with it. What I am trying to say is Stanton value is much higher than Upton’s. Regardless this is a move the Cubs need to make and would actually shorten the rebuilding process by getting better now and in the future.
       2. Trade Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol to the Rangers for Mike Olt, Martin Perez, and 2 other prospects.
We all saw what the Royals gave up for Wade David and James Shields and I believe the Cubs can get something similar for Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol. The Rangers have been the most aggressive in the past for Matt Garza (even when Garza was injured at the deadline they were still interested). The Rangers are looking to upgrade their rotation and looking for a solid set-up guy with closing experience. Enter in Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol. Both would fulfill the Rangers need and the Cubs would get their need filled by acquiring a top left-handed prospect with Perez and a power hitting young natural 3rd baseman with Olt. The Cubs would also get two mid-level prospects to help re-stock the roster after trading young talent away for Stanton or Upton.
       3. Sign Michael Bourn.
I am going to continue to bang this drum even though I am in the minority. Here is what I wrote back on the 22nd of December.
The price of Bourn continues to fall as the market gets smaller and smaller. The Cubs have already shown wiliness to sign a big contract to a younger player in Edwin Jackson. A really big need for the Cubs is a CF with good defense and speed. He provides that. I do not think the Cubs should overpay for Bourn but a 4-5 year deal worth $60M-$72M makes sense to me. This would allow the Cubs to keep DeJesus in RF or even trade him. If they traded him they could go with Schierholtz and Sapplet platoon in RF. Either way the Cubs outfield defense would be one of the best in the league.
Now in this current scenario the Cubs would obtain a new RF with Stanton or Upton in which Sappelt and Schierholtz would likely be apart the Cubs bench. Adding Bourn to the top of this lineup automatically makes this team better and at the cost above why would you not sign Bourn who could be a part of a young exciting group moving toward the ultimate goal of a championship.
      4. Trade Alfonso Soriano somewhere.
Just like I laid out in the my first post the Cubs should deal Soriano to another team. Rumors suggest the Braves, Phillies, Rays, and Yankees all could be the most active for Soriano’s services but the Phillies seem like a logical fit to me. The Cubs should obtain a minor leaguer or two to restock the farm.

  1. Sign another reliever.

The Cubs need another reliever after dealing Marmol. I think signing a reliever with late inning experience like JP Howell, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Capps, Brian Wilson, Brett Myers, Jose Valverde, Todd Coffey, Jason Frasor, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, etc… would fill that need. There is plenty of choices and I feel the Cubs only need one.
After all is said and done this is what I see being the Cubs 25 man roster (I know even before ST).
  1. Michael Bourn CF
  2. Starlin Castro SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo 1st
  4. Giancarlo Stanton or Justin Upton RF
  5. Mike Olt 3b
  6. David DeJesus LF
  7. Welington Castillo C
  8. Darwin Barney 2b
With Samardzija-
  1. Jeff Samardzija
  2. Edwin Jackson
  3. Scott Feldman
  4. Martin Perez
  5. Scott Baker
Without Samardzija
  1. Edwin Jackson
  2. Martin Perez
  3. Scott Feldman
  4. Travis Wood
  5. Scott Baker
David Sapplet
Nate Schierholtz
Luis Valbuena
Ian Stewart
Dioneer Navarro
K. Fujikawa CL
Brian Wilson
(T. Wood to pen if Shark stays and take out either Rondon or Dolis)
Honestly with that lineup and rotation I can see the Cubs being sleepers in 2013 and contenders in 2014-2015.
Until Next Time….

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cubs Rumblings: Soriano, Garza, Other Targets, & Chatting

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and now onto baseball,
  • Well a milestone for me happened over the holiday reaching 1000 followers on twitter. Yeah ME!
  • Soriano continues to be a possible match for teams still looking for an outfielder with power. The Phillies, Braves, Yankees, Mariners, and Rays all have interest in Soriano.
  • Carlos Marmol trade value is somewhat of a mystery but sources tell me he is expected to be moved before Opening Day.
  • The Cubs would still like to add an outfielder who can play CF and an utility infielder who can play SS and 3rd well.
  • The Cubs maybe done adding pitching but are still monitoring the free agent market.
  • The Rangers have interest in Matt Garza but no team will trade for him until they at least see him in Spring Training.
  • A player that could interest the Cubs if officially made available is Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. There are rumors circling that the Rockies will consider dealing him or Troy Tulowitzki or both for cost effective MLB pitching and prospects. Although buyer beware because Cargo’s splits are bad away from Coors where Tulo’s are not as bad. Both could be options for the Cubs because of their age. Although money may or may not be a hurdle.
Here is the latest from Levine’s chat-
  • Brett Jackson is 3-6 months away from being a full time outfielder for the Cubs.
  • The two teams that have had the most interest in Garza is Texas and Toronto. His sources say they would be very interested in Garza if proved healthy in spring training.
  • He added that the Cubs could hold private workouts for teams during Spring Training for Garza.
  • Bruce thinks the Cubs overpaid for Edwin Jackson. Where, I do not.
  • The Cubs will not deal Baez for Upton unless they feel he can provide 30 homers and 100 RBI.
  • Carlos Villanueva has huge upside and could be a sleeper as a starter.
  • Levine saw Brett Jackson new swing and he says it is shorten and he is hitting the ball with more authority but that is against BP from Sveum so take it with a grain of salt
  • A trade of Brett Jackson, Javier Baez, and Marmol for Justin Upton may work so either GM should consider that deal.
  • The Cubs could go after Shaun Marcum if they feel Garza is not healthy (or likely to be traded).
  • The Cubs would insist on Olt in any deal involving Garza.
  • David Price will not be available.
  • The Cubs were turned down by the Angels when asking about Bourjos but the Cubs would love to get a player like him.
  • DeJesus will likely not end the year with the Cubs and would likely bring back a young player or two at the deadline.
  • The Cubs would not consider trading Castro for Upton.
Until Next Time…

Saturday, December 22, 2012

3 Moves Ahead....

The Cubs have done a wonderful job solidifying their bullpen and rotation this off season but one big thing remains and that is the Cubs offensive upgrades or changes.  Here are 3 moves I think the Cubs should do next.

1.  Trade Carlos Marmol for Gerardo Parra and a mid-level prospect.

The Cubs have been shopping Marmol around and now that the Dbacks have agreed with Cody Ross they have a surplus of outfielders.  Word is the Dbacks could revisit Upton trade talks or look to deal Kubel or Parra.  The Cubs have been linked to Parra in the past and I think it makes more sense than ever to trade for him.  The Dbacks are rumored to be looking for a reliever in return for either Parra or Kubel.  Matt Thorten of the White Sox has been mentioned in a Kubel trade; so why wouldn't a Parra for Marmol trade not work.  I say it should.

2.  Trade Alfonso Soriano to somewhere.

The Cubs should get some good value for Soriano once some of the other outfielders come off the board.  To where? I can only speculate.  The Phillies, Mariners, Braves, and Rays makes sense.  This will leave LF open for Parra to start everyday.

3.  Sign Michael Bourn.

The price of Bourn continues to fall as the market gets smaller and smaller.  The Cubs have already shown wiliness to sign a big contract to a younger player in Edwin Jackson.  A really big need for the Cubs is a CF with good defense and speed.  He provides that.  I do not think the Cubs should overpay for Bourn but a 4-5 year deal worth $60M-$72M makes sense to me.  This would allow the Cubs to keep DeJesus in RF or even trade him.  If they traded him they could go with Schierholtz and Sapplet platoon in RF.  Either way the Cubs outfield defense would be one of the best in the league.

With all this said and done it seems the Cubs may go into the season with a possible Stewart/Valbuena platoon at 3rd.  But with the moves made that I listed above this is what I see for the starting lineup.

1. Michael Bourn CF
2. David DeJesus RF
3. Starlin Castro SS
4. Anthony Rizzo 1st
5. Gerardo Parra LF
6. Welington Castillo C
7. Ian Stewart 3rd
8. Darwin Barney 2nd
9. Pitcher

Not the dynamic power hitting lineup but I think it is good enough to at least be competitive.  With the Cubs new starting pitching defense has to be a priority since they are not a lot of power hitters available.  You have to work with what the market is giving you and I see that taking place here.

Until Next Time..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cubs Hits: EJax, Pitching, and More....

  • A report from Jim Bowden suggest the Cubs and Rangers are finalist for Edwin Jackson.
  • The price for Edwin Jackson is 4 years or more around 12-14M a year. If I am the Cubs I do not go much beyond 4 years 48M. In fact I do not guarantee 5 years.
  • The Cubs are still trying to sell Soriano but many teams are waiting to see where other free agents go before trading for the veteran outfielder.
  • The Tigers are taking calls on Drew Smyle in which case the Cubs should me more interested in him given his controllable cost compared to Porcello.
  • Ken Rosenthal on the MLB Network said he does not expect the Rangers to be the high bidder for Edwin Jackson. So that is good news for the Cubs since Bowden said the Rangers are the Cubs only competition right now.
  • The Cubs are very quietly still looking at available outfielders on the free agent market including Michael Bourn and Cody Ross.
  • T.R. Sullivan from says Edwin Jackson is not a logical fit for the Rangers at 4 years $50M. I would take Jackson at that cost if I was the Cubs.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Matt Garza could still be a target for the Red Sox.
  • The Cubs are one of the teams interested in J.P. Howell but so is about half the teams in baseball.
  • The Cubs still have some interest in bring in Kyle Farnsworth.
Some Levine Chat Talk-
  • The Cubs probably have interest in Bourjos but the Angels are not going to give him away.
  • Levine must be out of the loop because he says Jackson will get a three year deal from another team and the Padres are the leading dog for him. (Jackson wants 4 years so the Padres bowed out)
  • The Cubs are still in on Shaun Marcum.
  • Team are reluctant to give up young talent for players like Soriano.
  • The Cubs do not have an extensive talent to trade for the likes of Mark Trumbo and Stanton.
  • Bruce is getting grumpy at his old age. Check it out from his chat-
- Steve (Wilmington, IL) What do you make of Buster Olney saying the Cubs will make a run to get David Price next offseason? If this is true, who would they actually consider giving up?
Bruce Levine Next offseason? I don't understand what that is supposed to mean. Price may be traded or signed by Tampa before next offseason. To me that's just pie in the sky.
  • Levine does not see a Barney for Porcello swap because they now have Omar Infante.
  • The Padres do not want to trade Headley and Grady Sizemore as an impact player is gone.
  • Levine bets Marmol gets traded for a small package of prospects. (agreed)
  • No word on when Vizcaino will be ready but maybe not until early 2013
  • The Rangers could be a match for Marmol.
  • Organization believes Brett Jackson has tremendous upside.
  • The Cubs would love to trade for Trumbo but do not have the goods.
  • Andre Ethier is too old and expensive for the Cubs.
Until Next Time….

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cubs Hits: Lim, Rosario, Hamilton, & the Fallout

  • It looks like the Red Sox could be landing former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. No surprise there considering they had interest in trading for him during the deadline in July.
  • The Cubs claimed pitcher Sandy Rosario off of waivers from the Red Sox. The 27 year old Rosario has not been given much of a chance in the big leagues. Putting up just 7.2 IP and a 15.26 ERA but his minor league numbers say a different story. Last season with Miami’s AAA affiliate he posted a 1.04 ERA with 16 SV in 26 IP. His career numbers are pretty good as well posting a 21-14 record in the minors with a 3.48 ERA in 310 IP with 319 SO. This guy seems like a classic “let’s see if this guy has it figured out”. He has the make-up of a good reliever but only time will tell.
  • The Cubs are set to sign 36-year-old Korean pitcher Chang-Yong Lim to a 2 year $5M deal but it is a minor/major league split which means he does not make a ton of money until he is in the majors. The big issue is he is coming off his 2ndTommy John Surgery and will not be ready to pitch in games until 2014. There is some risk but more reward. He is right-handed reliever with a funky side arm delivery in which his fastball sits in the low 90s. I really like a pick up like this for the Cubs.
  • Buster Olney said the buzz around baseball is positive on how the Cubs are rebuilding from the ground up. He also throws in a tidbit about the Cubs being poised to maybe trade for David Price next winter to which I say… HELL YEAH!
  • Jayson Stark is reporting the Cubs among 7 other clubs are in the mix for 34-year-old right-handed reliever Mike Adams. He goes on to say that he will likely make his decision in the next few days.
  • The Cubs adding depth to their bullpen is an obvious need but with a rotation that is not as strong they see a very cost effective way to counteract that by signing good relievers. Thus making their rotation not leaned on as much like last season.
  • Now onto the good stuff. It looks like the Angels and Josh Hamilton are on the verge of a 5 year deal worth $125M which could impact the Cubs in many ways. First off the deal makes the Angels outfield, infield corners, and DH too full. They have Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, Vernon Wells, Alberto Callaspo, Albert Pujols, and Kendry Morales to fill only 6 starting spots. Players that will not be traded are Mike Trout and Albert Pujols so that fills two spots. Vernon Wells is a tougher sell than Soriano so he is likely not to be moved. So out of this possible fall out after Hamilton you really only have 2 starting spots open for the rest of the players involved. That tells me that Bourjos, Trumbo, Morales, or Callaspo will be traded before the start of the season. There has already been thoughts that Callaspo could be traded with Bourjos taking over in CF, Trumbo at 3rd, Morales/Wells to DH and Hamilton in RF. There has also been talk about Bourjos or Trumbo being traded for starting pitching (RA Dickey) which makes some since minus their rotation being solid.
Now with the players that would interest the Cubs the most are Peter Bourjos which you can find his stats here, Mark Trumbo (here),or Alberto Callaspo (here). Morales is purely a DH/1st baseman and that does not fit the Cubs. The Cubs have an obvious fit with Peter Bourjos to fill the huge void in CF for them. He is 25 years old, has not even tapped into his talent, can play great defense, and has great speed. He also would cost the Cubs a lot in the terms of talent. Another big fit would be Mark Trumbo who will be just 27 next month. Trumbo can handle the OF, 1st, and many think he can handle 3rd. Trumbo is a pure power hitter and very cost effective but he could cost more in talent than Bourjos. Finally Callaspo fits what the Cubs are doing right now. Looking for guys they can plug into hole in hopes of him doing well then flipping them for prospects. The Cubs currently have Luis Valbuena and Ian Stewart (non-guaranteed contract) to man third in this up and coming season. So obviously Callaspo is an upgrade offensively but he could also be a good platoon with Stewart or Valbuena being a switch hitter. He is going to cost a lot less in talent but is not as good of a player.
The fall out of this Hamilton deal is going to spread far and wide. Whether the Cubs are able to capitalize remains to be seen.
Until Next Time…

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cubs Hits: Soriano, Garza, Trades, and More...

  • So there are reports the Cubs are opting out of the MLB’s deal with StubHub while the Cubs said they are not opting out but looking at all options.
  • The Phillies really like the idea of adding Soriano but will look at other players on the market as well like Cody Ross, Nick Swisher, and Josh Hamilton.
  • The Cubs have announced their minor league coaching staff found here here.
  • The Indians are interested in Alfonso Soriano according to a source. The Indians are looking for a corner outfielder and DH so he is a fit.
  • You can add the Tigers to the list of teams who like Soriano. Here is a quote from Dombrowski say his top priority is to find ““the correct right handed bat for the outfield”
  • The Tigers could also be interested in Matt Garza once he is proved healthy since they were in on James Shields and still very much want Anibal Sanchez. They were dangling Avisail Garcia plus other prospects for Shields. Garcia is a good piece but he is no Wil Myers. Find Garcia’s stats here.
  • I still have not been able to confirm or deny the Delmon Young contract offer.
  • The Cubs front office has big hopes (AND I MEAN BIG) that a player like Cody Ross, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, or even Josh Hamilton falls in their lap for a cheap price. Which is why you see them in a kind of wait and see pattern currently regarding position player (minus the Nate Schierholtz signing).
  • Jason Grilli ended up signing with the Bucs.
  • The Cubs have been more active in the trade talks than talks with free agents a source tells me. He also says the Cubs are in a holding pattern to see how the market for outfielders and relievers pan out after bigger names come off the board.
  • A report originated from Jon Heyman says the Cubs discussed a deal that would have sent Soriano and a lot of cash to the Phillies for Domonic Brown. Later Jayson Stark said the Phillies were initially uninterested when the Cubs approached them about Soriano but now they are kicking the tires on him. A trade remains possible but unlikely.
  • The Dbacks, Reds, and Indians pulled off a monster trade last night netting the Reds OF Shin-Soo Choo and IF Jason Donald, the Diamondbacks got SS Didi Gregoruis, P Tony Sipp, and 1stbaseman Lars Anderson, and the Indians got CF Drew Stubbs, P Trevor Bauer, P Bryan Shaw, and Matt Albers.
  • A trade like this does make me ill because the Cubs could have sent a similar package to the Dbacks for Trevor Bauer without giving up much in the way of the future.
  • The deal could spark the Dbacks trading Gerardo Parra since they landed Lars Anderson in which Parra would interest the Cubs a lot.
  • Did you know that pitchers and catchers are going to report to Spring Training on February 10th? I mere 2 months away. HOORAY!
  • The Cubs have called the Tigers on Porcello which is no surprise.
  • Bruce Levine chimes in to say the Cubs and Phillies did discuss a deal with Philly for Soriano but it involved pitching not former prospect Brown.
  • The Red signed Jack Hannanhan to a one year 2M deal. The Cubs had interest until they signed Ian Stewart to a similar deal.
  • The Red Sox could wait until Pitchers and Catchers report before acquiring a starter to help their rotation. They could be a match for Travis Wood or Matt Garza.
  • David DeJesus is gaining a lot of trade interest from both leagues.
  • Here is another round of Bruce Levine’s chat from yesterday. (Some of my twitter followers “love” Levine :sarcasm: )
    • Marmol’s value will just increase as the relievers come off the free agency board.
    • The Cubs will be hitting the trade market soon.
    • The Cubs will likely platoon Schierholtz and Sapplet.
    • If Garza proves healthy this spring he will likely be traded.
    • The Rangers have always been interested in Garza and was very interested before the deadline. So a deal with them is not out of the question if proved healthy. Olt could be a part of it.
    • The front office has said that players must have 500 Abs in AAA before making it to the ML.
    • The Cubs and Dempster had talks about a 1 year $10M deal but nothing official came of it.
    • Baez will likely move back to SS after he played 3B in fall league.
    • Delmon Young does not makes sense to him.
    • The Cubs are not interested in trading Baez but they will listen to every player in the organization.
    • The Cubs want to add a quality arm or two before ST.
    Until Next Time…

    Thursday, December 06, 2012

    Cubs Re-Sign Stewart and More...

    • The Chicago Cubs have re-signed Ian Stewart on a non-guaranteed one year deal worth $2M including incentives.  The Cubs could terminate his contract during Spring Training without take a financial hit.
    • Ian Stewart is the starting 3rd baseman but the Cubs would like to bring in a right-handed bench guy who can back him up says Gordon Wittenmyer.
    • Another move will have to be made once the other recent signings and acquisitions are final because the roster is now at 41.
    • Some right-handed bench players that can back up 3rd and fit with the Cubs are Hiroyuki Nakajima, Placido Polanco, Casey McGehee, Ty Wigginton, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ryan Raburn, Freddy Sanchez, Alex Gonzalez, Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, and Jose Lopez.
    • Out of the group above I really lke Polanco, Wigginton, Sanchez, and Inge.
    • The Cubs will have a press conference for Kyuji Fujikawa tomarrow.
    • The Cubs are waiting out the outfield free agent class to see who is the last guy standing looking for a short-term deal and it is very smart. Especially with Bourn, Hamilton, Ross, and Swisher still available and only a handful a teams left.  Not to mention trade candidates like Upton and Soriano out there as well.  Cubs are poised to get a deal on the last man standing.
    • The Phillies are still very much interested in Soriano even after the trade for Revere.

    Until Next Time....

    The Last Day Of Winter Meetings... Hey Some Moves!

    · The Cubs lost 4 players to the MLB Rule 5 Draft today. They lost OF Michael Burgess, P Starlin Peralta, INF Matt Cerda, and P Alvido Jimenez. None really hurt too bad but Peralta had the most upside but he may not stick with the Dbacks. What the Cubs could have lost and what they did lose is a big win for the Cubs.

    · The Cubs did not partake in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

    · The Cubs took 24 year old pitcher Hector Rondon. He has had two elbow surgeries so there is considerable risk there but he has bounced back well. Toward the end of last season he was hitting 98 MPH on the radar and in winter league he is sporting a 3.71 ERA with 5 BB 10 H 11K in 17 innings. Scouts seem to really like him and he is a nice pick up for the Cubs.

    · It seems like Jason Grilli will sign with the Pirates on a two year deal. Which means a Farnsworth/Cubs reunion is still possible!

    · The Cubs are not in on Ryan Dempster and all the reunion contract talks are overblown.

    · The Cubs did sign Nate Schierholtz to a one year $2.25M with incentives. It seems Schierholtz maybe the starting RF for the Cubs or he could platoon or this could be a precursor to a bigger signing or trade. Lots of “ORS” in play.

    · I do not really care for the Schierholtz signing although the money and time is a good value. I just see Nate as only a 4th or 5th outfielder and if that is all he is on this team than it is a great deal. I can even say if he is a possible platoon with Sappelt or maybe a guy like Delmon Young then it seems OK. But if he is “the guy” for RF I just do not like it. See Schierholtz statshere and make sure to check out his splits for last season. He did well against righties so he has that going for him.

    · With the Cubs interested in Grilli I am surprised to hear them not at least linked to Koji Uehara since he only signed a one year deal with the BoSox.

    · The Phillies and Twins made a solid baseball trade today that was great for both teams. The Twins get Vance Worley and Trevor May while the Phillies get a controllable speedy CFer in Ben Revere. Just a great trade for both clubs.

    · The Royals have some financial issues so they may be looking for a starter via trade where a team can take on that cash. Reports state they are not in on Anibal Sanchez because of money he wants. Reports also say that the Rays want Wil Myers plus more for James Shields which is like WHOA! So they Royals may wait until Spring to find a starter which benefits the Cubs since they could audition Garza in the Spring. I am still all for a Wil Myers for Matt Garza trade with the Cubs picking up most of the money.

    Until Next Time…

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012

    Cubs Winter Meetings Run Down

    The Chicago Cubs talk has been loud and frequent but actions have been bleak. This is a complete run down of rumors and news (in order of oldest to newest the best I can) so far during the winter meetings Cub style-
    • The Rangers could move Derek Holland which would interest the Cubs.
    • The Yankees could be interested in a Soriano reunion given ARod's injury woes.
    • The Cubs are interested in Jeff Kepinger but not at the 3 year 15M price tag. Yankees look the most aggressive. (Signed with the White Sox)
    • The Braves, Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are have varying levels of interest in Soriano.
    • The Cubs front office has been up front with Marmol and Soriano on trying to move them. They all are working closely to get something done.
    • The Cubs will not just give up Marmol or Soriano but will take on most of the salary for a better prospects in return.
    • A mystery team is in on Anibal Sanchez and rumors are circulation it could be the Cubs.
    • The Cubs are very much interested in Jason Grilli. (Will make a decision tonight likely)
    • Jim Deshaies is the new Color Broadcaster in the Cubs TV booth.
    • The Cubs had no interest in Angel Pagan.
    • The Cubs are looking for either a RF or CF. There has been conflicting reports whether DeJesus will play RF or CF.
    • The Cubs could bring back Ian Stewart but also could look at Polanco and Chavez. (Chavez signed with the Dbacks)
    • The Cubs will add a player through the Rule 5 draft.
    • The Cubs have shown good interest in Jair Jurrjens who was non-tendered by the Braves.
    • The Cubs do not have the talent they want to give up for Stanton.
    • Cubs Den had a nice idea of signing Hiroyki Nakajima to play 3rd.
    • I followed up with Dee Gordon as a possible fit for 3rd but before I found out his asking price is "insane."
    • A number of free agents have shown interest in signing with the Cubs regardless of wins and losses.
    • The Cubs had interest in Yunel Escobar to play 3rd before he was traded to the Rays.
    • Nate McLouth could be a nice stopgap for the Cubs outfield and there is talk around him. ( He signed with the O's)
    • The Red Sox could package Lackey and Ellsbury together in a trade then go after Hamilton. This would provide financial flexibility for the Red Sox and the deal should interest the Cubs.
    • The Cubs have close 0% chance of signing Dempster who is looking for a 3 year deal.
    • The Phillies remain desperate for OF help and have been linked to Soriano for days now.
    • The Cubs have interest in Phil Hughes who the Yankees are shopping. Last season there was a Dempster for Hughes rumor so it seems the front office really likes Hughes.
    • The Rangers are entertaining the thought of trading Olt but only for a premier player. It would take a lot for the Cubs to trade for him but they are interested.
    • Cubs still are being linked to Michael Bourn but have also been linked to Dexter Fowler, Peter Bourjos, and CoCo Crisp.
    • The Cubs were in on Shane Victorino until the bidding got ridiculous a source tells me.
    • Ryan Sweeney remains on the Cubs radar for OF help.
    • The Cubs were never really in on Dan Haren even before he signed with the Nationals.
    • The Cubs should have interest in Scott Kazmir who has been throwing mid 90s in winter ball and gaining interest from many teams.
    • Carrie Muskat alludes the Cubs are talking to teams about RF then mentions Shin-Soo Choo.
    • The Rays are looking to move one of their starters pitchers, Shields, Hellickson, Cobb, Niemann, Davis, or Price. The Cubs have obvious interest in all the names listed.
    • The Cubs may or may not have interest in Curtis Granderson depending on who you follow on twitter.
    • The Cubs do like John Lannan but will not get in a bidding war for him.
    • Jason Grilli remains a strong target for the Cubs.
    • Bruce Levine speaks and hits us with possible trade of Garza for Myers but says it has never been discussed. You know I have discussed that on twitter a lot recently.
    • Unless something dramatic changes the Angels are not in on Carlos Marmol.
    • Mark Reynolds has been on the Cubs watch list according to Jon Heyman.
    • The Dbacks are looking to trade either Kubel or Parra but it is unknown of the asking price. The Cubs really like Parra because of his stellar defense and offensive upside. Kubel does not seem like a good fit.
    • The Phillies are putting Vance Worley and Trevor May out there to lure a OF bat. If the front office can land either one for Soriano it would be an amazing deal for the Cubs. Having said that it is not likely to happen.
    • The Cubs are considering Yuniesky Betancourt for 3rd base says Carrie Muskat. OMG NO!
    • The Cubs are not planning on using Bowden in the rotation even though they are stretching him out in winter league.
    • Marmol is the Cubs closer says Hoyer and Sveum… until he is traded. I added that last part.
    • The Dodgers OF Alfredo Silverio could be a guy they look at with their 2nd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft.
    • There could be a Farnsworth and Cubs reunion to which I say YES!!! Just for pure entertainment value, YES!
    • Levine has a good piece on Soriano and Marmol found here.
    • Already looking ahead to next year I am. If the Cubs pull a Nationals and sign a player (like Jason Werth) before they are ready to compete they should do it next season. Some players that would fit that mold for the Cubs are Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum, James Shields, and/or Josh Johnson. A lot of talent out there next season to make a move like that.
    • Patrick Mooney has a great piece on Brett Jackson and the direction of the Cubs outfield found here.
    • Cubs Den says the Cubs will have to overpay for Ellsbury which they will not do.
    • Joel Sherman says the Indians are leading in on Jason Bay with the M’s 2nd and the Cubs on the periphery to sign him. He is nearing a decision says Tim Brown.
    • Olney says the Cubs are not a fit for Ellsbury. He says the Red Sox are looking for young pitching in return.
    • Jason Grilli is close to a deal but does not say to who. Thanks to MLBTR.
    • The Twins made an offer to Liriano which impacts the Cubs less than it would several weeks ago.
    • So Youkilis has several offers and is looking them over. I wonder if the Cubs at least made an offer?
    • 5 teams have interest in Hannahan and the Cubs have been mentioned as a possible suitor but nothing more.
    Until Next Time…

    Saturday, December 01, 2012

    Cubs sign Fujikawa, Soriano Trade Talk, & More Trade Chatter!!!!

    • The Cubs have signed Kyuji Fujikawa to a 2 year deal with an option for the 3rd.  Ken Rosenthal broke the story and said the Cubs are expected to make Fujikawa their closer. The Cubs committed $9.5M over 2 years for Fujikawa with a $5.5M team option for a 3rd year.  Interesting move for the Cubs and they needed good bullpen help.  This deal looks really good on the surface.
    • Jon Morosi says the Cubs will meet with teams over the winter meetings to trade Soriano.  Soriano is looking more attractive of late after the deals that have been handed to outfielders this season. 
    • The Cubs are expecting to pay more money toward Soriano's contract to get a better prospect in return.  The Phillies, Rays, and Braves have shown the most interest in Soriano.
    • The Jays are looking for a starting pitcher and are shopping one of their catchers.  So I say what about a Garza package for a d'Arnaud package?
    • Sources tell me the Cubs are expected to make a lot of changes over the winter meetings.  The names Soriano, Barney, and Marmol have all surface recently.
    • The signing of Fujikawa allows the Cubs to move Marmol to the set up role or trade him.
    • Could the Cubs be trading Soriano to make room for Bourn and another OF trade target?  That is the talk that is heating up right now.
    • Two players the Cubs have been the most aggressive in trade talks are Wil Myers and Nick Castellanos a source tells me.  The front office views them as "game changers."
    Until Next Time...

    Some GOOD Late Night Cubs Notes...

    • Matt Garza, James Russell, Luis Valbuena, and Jeff Samardzija have all been tendered contracts.  While Ian Stewart, Jaye Chapman, and Zach Putnam have been non-tendered. I am not surprised on any of these moves and it should be noted the Cubs are expected to try to negotiate a contract with Stewart even though they let him go today.  The Cubs just did not want to pay him the $2.5M next year given his production and health concerns.  There others maybe brought back on minor league contracts but not on the 40 man roster.
    • Bruce Levine from ESPN is reporting a source told him that the Chicago Cubs have spoken to Michael Bourn's agent.  Couple of things to remember is Bourn's agent is Boras and he is known to leak stuff like this.  Also the Cubs make contact with a lot of free agents.  Also Boras represents more than just Bourn which means the Cubs could have contacted Boras about another player or coach.  Not Bourn.  Having said all that if you still need convincing that Bourn is not an "ideal" or "smart" target is he is wanting a $100M+ contract which the Cubs will not do.  He does not fit the age "requirements" of the front office.  Not to mention I do not see Theo making another Crawford type mistake.  Bourn does not seem likely.
    • One more tidbit on Bourn.  If the market for CF has dropped as much as the media said it has that could work in the Cubs favor if they are legitimately interesting in him. If the Cubs can get a 3 year deal worth $50M I say pull the trigger but that is not going to happen.
    • There is a rumor out there stating the Cubs have some interest in Josh Hamilton as well which I say is pretty bogus.  The only way he ends up in a Cubs uniform is if he signs a 3-4 year deal which is not likely since the Rangers offering a similar deal that Hamilton turned down and the Orioles ready to pony up big cash and years to get him.
    • I am already hearing reports of the Cubs having some level of interest in outfielder Ryan Sweeney, pitcher Anthony Carter, outfielder Derrick Robinson, reliever Peter Moylan, and starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens.  All have been non-tendered before today's deadline.
    • If the reports of Brian Wilson looking for an incentive laden one year deal to prove himself is true.  The Cubs need to jump all over that.  No word if there is interest in him yet but I expect chatter to start with him and the Cubs very soon.
    • Another pitcher the Cubs could look at is John Lannan.
    • I am hearing from a source the Cubs have minimal to no interest in Mark Reynolds.
    • Casey Coleman cleared waivers and will report to AAA Iowa.
    • Fujikawa is nearing a decision and it seems he is leaning toward the Angels.  The Cubs were considered a front runner as well but recent talk indicates the Angels have an edge over the Cubs.
    • The Cubs have some interest in bringing in Grady Sizemore on a minor league deal.
    Until Next Time....

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Cubs Sign Scott Feldman, Levine Speaks, & Other Tidbits

    • The Chicago Cubs have reached an agreement with right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman on a one year deal worth 6 million dollars.  The soon to be 30 year old Feldman holds a 4.81 career ERA over 8 major league seasons all with Texas.  So the signing on the surface does not look like a good move but lets dig deeper.  His average K's is 7 per 9 innings while his base on balls are only 2 which says he is a solid pitcher.  He also has played in the better league in a tough division his entire career.  He also was moved to the pen and rotation and back several times which is not good for a pitchers confidence.  Feldman is also traditionally a ground ball pitcher which will be great at Wrigley.  All in all this is a good move and I would not be surprised if truly breaks out this year with the Cubs.
    • So the Cubs rotation looks set for next season. Or does it?  A source tells me the Cubs are still looking at all pitchers available on the free agent and trade markets.  The Cubs are still very much interested in Brandon McCarthy, Francisco Liriano, and Shaun Marcum. 
    • The Royals are looking to deal Wil Myers for a veteran top of the rotation pitcher and have looked at James Shields and Jon Lester.  I hope Theo is seeing this because the Cubs have a pitcher named Matt Garza who is as good as they both are and I am sure the Cubs would even include more than him for Myers.  Myers is a can't miss prospect and one the Cubs could go all out for if the Royals are dangling him.
    • The Reds are ready to move Chapman to the rotation since they are close to signing Broxton to a deal.  This will likely force the Reds to trade one of their starters.  26 year old Homer Bailey, 25 year old Mike Leake, 24 year old Mat Latos, 26 year old Johny Cueto, or 35 year old Bronson Arroyo could be on their way out.  All could interest the Cubs in one way or another.
    • So Olney said the Cubs, Rays, and Dbacks were the most interested in Keppinger before he broke his fibula.  Regardless on the injury Keppinger should still interest the Cubs and he could now be a much cheaper option for them.  I should also state that if they signed Jeff he would likely be a bench player or be in the mix for 3rd base next season.
    • Cubs name Rob Deer assistant pitching coach for next season. 

    Bruce Levine Speaks-

    • The Cubs are not done adding pitching according to Levine. 
    • The Cubs are not afraid to add more payroll through the winter.
    • Levine does not understand trading Castro for Stanton and neither do I.
    • WGN, Comcast, and Crane Kenney will make the decision on the TV color guy but nothing is imminent.
    • Levine chiming in on Myers!  Garza is perfect for the Royals and Wil Myers might be of interest to the Cubs.
    • 2012 is when the Cubs may start signing big free agents.
    • Feldman should benefit for the move to the NL.
    • Bruce not sure if Marcum is still on the Cubs radar.
    • You can always find spot for young impact players.
    • The Cubs have to make a decision on non-tenders Friday and Stewart maybe one of them not tendered.
    • The Cubs will part with Marmol for other pitching talent.
    •  Lake needs 500 ABs in AAA before he makes the jump to the majors.
    • The Cubs would have to trade young talent to get Chisenhall.
    • Chone Figgins does not fit with the Cubs.
    • Soriano will be in LF with DeJesus in right.
    • The Cubs maybe willing to deal their young catcher if the price is right.
    Until Next Time...

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Happy Thanksgiving From Hot Stove Cubbies

    I just want to thank each and every one of you that make Hot Stove Cubbies even relevant.  This blog all started back on November 9th of 2006 and has been growing ever since. Since last year I have gained just under 900 followers on twitter, have been mentioned on the radio several times, have had 250,000 unique page views in the past year, and close to a million hits since December of last year.  Not bad for just one man doing something he loves.  Without readers, posters, tweeters, and die hard Cub fans like yourselves this site would have not been possible.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart and.....

    GO CUBS!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Not The Only Cubs Move Today....

    The Cubs finally made their roster moves to protect the youngsters they did not want to lose in the Rule 5 draft. They put 2nd baseman Logan Watkins, 3rd baseman Christian Villanueva, pitching prospect Trey McNutt, and high upside pitcher Robert Whitenack all on the 40 man.  Which all wre hoped for and somewhat expected to have a spot on the roster.

    In the corresponding moves the Cubs did trade Brigham for Loux opening up one spot on the 40 man roster. They also designated Bryan LaHair for assignment (who is expected to continue his baseball career in Japan) and waived pitcher Carlos Gutierrez who then cleared waivers and was sent to Iowa.

    One thing that I am surprised with is Nick Struck being left off the 40 man and Steve Clevenger being left on. But it should be noted Struck could end up not being picked, he could still be traded, and if he does get picked he has to remain on the other team’s roster for the whole year or else he gets offered back.

    It should also be noted that the Cubs may in fact still waive, trade, or DFA players on the 40 man roster. This deadline was just to protect those prospects eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

    Until Next Time...

    Barret Loux for Jake Brigham

    The Cubs finally made a move today by trading Jake Brigham to Texas (oddly enough Texas traded him to the Cubs for Soto) for Barret Loux.  The trade removes Brigham from the 40 man roster and the Cubs add the 20th best prospect in the Rangers system in Loux (he will not be on the 40 man).  The now 23 year old pitcher was the Diamondbacks 1st round pick, 6th overall, in the 2010 draft.  Loux is projected as a back of the rotation starter in the big leagues and has some nice numbers in the minors. Two seasons in high A and AA he compiled a 22-6 record with a 3.62 ERA in 236 innings pitched.  He struck out 227 in his two season while walking only 75.

    This is both a now and future move with the Cubs. The now part of the move is clearing up a spot on the 40 man roster and the future move is because Cubs also believe Loux could figure into the back end of the rotation if he continues his successful numbers with the Cubs minor league affiliates.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Cubs Notes: A Big Trade, Signings, Rumored Trades, and More....

            Chicago Cubs are not presently in discussions to move any of their young players .
    The Cubs are courting top Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa who visited Wrigley on Saturday. He is a 32 year old closer who throws in the mid 90’s and has a sub 2.00 ERA. Definitely a guy that will be highly sought after in the free agent market. Because he is a FA he does not go through the posting process.
    - The Cubs have interest in Rick Porcello according to George Ofman via twitter but he is also getting attention from various other teams.
    - The Cubs have re-signed Shawn Camp to a one year $1.35M deal with 200K in incentives.
    - The Cubs continue to eye Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Castellanos to fill their hole at 3rd for the future.
    - Doug Glanville and Dan Pleasc will not be the next Cubs announcer but Jim Deshales has moved into the finalist round.
    - The Cubs are really trying hard to move Carlos Marmol.
    - The deadline to protect players from the rule 5 draft is tomorrow so each team is expect to make a flurry of moves to protect those players including the Cubs who roster stands at 39 players.
    - Bruce Levine hinted on Saturday there is a big trade on the horizon with the Cubs involving young players. Let the speculation start on which team and players because he did not hint to those things. The teams/players that could be involved are the Indians with Masterson, Santana, Chisenhall, Brantley, etc; the Padres with Gyorko and Kelly, the Jays with prospects, and Detroit with Castellanos and Porcello. Either way I expect Bruce is right reading the tea leafs from Theo, Jed, and “leaked” information.
    - The Cubs have signed catcher Dioner Navarro to a major league deal worth $1.75M. He will likely serve as primary backup to Welington Castillo. This also could spell out the end of Clevenger in one way or another.
    Until Next Time…

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Cubs Notes: Baker Signs, Liriano Might, Levine's Latest, and More...

    - So the Cubs signed Scott Baker to a one year $5.5M deal with $1.5M in incentives. This is a typical risk/reward move by the front office and I expect the Cubs to sign or trade for 2 more pitchers this offseason.
    - More talk is heating up around the Cubs and Francisco Liriano sources tell me.
    - I am also told the Cubs front office has been in constant contact with the agents of Brandon McCarthy, Shaun Marcum, Scott Feldman, and Dallas Braden.
    - The Cubs are looking at starting pitching right now while having position players more on the back burner.
    - The Cubs are expected to make a “flurry” of moves between now and the winter meetings a source told me.
    - The Jays/Marlins trade was a big win for both clubs because it filled a need for both. The Jays want to be contenders next season so this “all in move” was necessary. The Marlins got their stadium so they did not need their overpriced players anymore so they sent them on their way. What this means for the Cubs is the Jays are no longer looking for pitching and the Marlins could be open for business on all their remaining players. Although Stanton does not seem like a guy on the move.
    - Matt Garza is going to get another scan on the injured elbow this week so they can plan out the next few months. Everything points to him pitching in the Spring.
    - Torii Hunter signed a 2 year deal with the Tigers worth $26M! I like Torii but not that much.
    - If the Cubs are able to trade DeJesus and/or Soriano soon and save money they could actually ink someone like B.J. Upton to a 5 year deal.
    Bruce Levine had a chat today so here we go-
    - Don’t expect to sign Bourn or any top flight CF this season. They could go with a Campana/Sappelt platoon. (I am not exactly too thrilled with that answer)
    - The Cubs will trade Marmol and maybe for a 3rd baseman because they feel secure at 1st, 2nd, and SS.
    - Scott Baker looks like he will start to pitch in March and be ready to mid-April.
    - Levine says the Cubs do not have a legit 3rd baseman for the future. He says they are looking for a more finished product like Castellanos and Chisenhall. (I agree with you Bruce 100%).
    - It does not sound like Ian Stewart is an answer at third.
    - The Cubs will listen for trades on Barney but really like him at 2nd.
    - The Cubs were close to dealing Garza at the deadline and nothing has changed. The Cubs opened up his side sessions to teams. (I am hearing they will do the same in the next couple months.
    - McCarthy would love to come back to Chicago.
    - Levine shames Miami and I totally agree with him. A disgraceful owner and team in Florida.
    - The Indians like the Cubs young players and to get Chisenhall it would cost Vitters and another young player. (Bruce, I would do that in a heartbeat).
    - Baez will be 100% by spring training.
    - A lot of talk around Liriano from a deal on the table reported by Jim Bowden and another report stating the Cubs have offered him a two year deal. Nothing concrete on Levine’s end though.
    - Vogelbach will spend the year in High A or Double A next season. (He could also be trade bait).
    - Chavez and McGehee are just part-time players for the Cubs.
    Until Next Time..

    Friday, November 09, 2012

    Cubs Talk: Liriano, Ryu, DBacks, Indians, and more....

    Ø A report by Jim Bowden and back up by sources and several other media outlets saying the Cubs have made an offer to lefty Francisco Liriano. This is a move I have been wanting and anticipating going back to last season. Liriano is the definition on a buy low sell high guy. He has the stuff to be a great #2 pitcher if he bounces back. Money or years have not been released but assuming nothing crazy happens this is a solid pick up for the Cubs.
    Ø Another lefty making guidelines is Korean lefty Hyun-jin Ryu. Bid were due at 4 pm CST yesterday and it is confirmed that the Cubs did bid along with at least the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Rangers. Ryu must go though the posting process and his current team the Hanwha Eagles have until the 15th to accept the posting fee. After that the team who won the bid will have window negotiate a contract which usually takes a few days.
    Ø The most recent report is the Hanwha Eagles have been informed of the high bidder but have not accepted yet and no word on what team won the bid. We should find out by sometime tonight who won the bid.
    Ø The Cubs could have interest in Justin Upton but it would likely cost them Starlin Castro so that won’t happen.
    Ø The Dbacks are also dangling 21 year old righty Trevor Bauer. Although the Cubs are not likely to have the available pieces to make a move for him he is still an interesting target.
    Ø A new name to the Cubs trade talk is 26 year old Carlos Santana who just signed a 5 year $21M deal with the Indians in 2012. The Indians are looking for young controllable players. They could have interest in Brett Jackson, Dan Vogelbach, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and others. Once again the Indians and Cubs match up well in just about any trade.
    Ø The Cubs are pushing to re-sign their only free agent Shawn Camp.
    Ø The Blue Jays signed former Cubs Justin Germano to a minor league contract.
    Ø Patrick Mooney said the Cubs are interested in Kevin Youkilis but expect him to go beyond their price range and he would like to sign with a contender. The White Sox, Phillies, and Indians have all shown interest.
    Ø John Lannan name has come up in trade talk although he is also a non-tender candidate.
    Ø The Cubs are not a fit for Mark Reynolds for their 3rd base vacancy.
    Ø Darwin Barney is getting a ton of trade interest from teams looking for both a SS and 2nd baseman. The Tigers have shown the most interest.
    Ø The Cubs are looking to lock up Shark to a multi-year deal to be one of their core players going forward.
    Ø John Arguello from CubsDen says the Padres and Cubs could meet up in a trade. He names Clayton Richard (meh) and Casey Kelly (oh yeah) as targets. He also mentions Barney as a player that could interest San Diego.
    Until Next Time…

    Wednesday, November 07, 2012

    Len's Partner, Free Agency, and Trade Talk...

    Ø The finalist for the Cubs color job are Dan Plesac, Eric Karros, Rick Sutcliffe, Todd Hollandsworth, and Gary Matthews. Immediately I notice no Steve Stone, John Kruk, or Doug Glanville which is unfortunate because I believe all three would have been solid guys in the booth with Len. The person I would pick is Rick Sutcliffe.
    Ø The Cubs have strong interest in Korean lefty Hyn-jin Ryu and have even paid for data on him from the Korean baseball organization. Ryu is 25 and has been extremely effective in Korea with a fastball in the low 90s. He will be part of the posting process and it is unclear what price he will cost.
    Ø The Cubs are not afraid to spend money but doing so effectively. Buying on low number of year contracts in which they can possibly flip at the deadline, buying and trading for young players that are or before arbitration eligible, and various things like that. In other words no Grienke or Hamilton but the Cubs will be active in the Marcum/Hunter/Larine etc… class.
    Ø The Cubs could lose and gain prospect in the Rule 5 draft looking for diamonds in the rough once again.
    Ø The Cubs and Red Sox have talked about a Alfredo Aceves trade which is interesting since they may be looking at him as a starter.
    Ø Jon Heyman projects possible contracts for some free agent players and Bleacher Nation runs them down here. The players and their contracts Brett listed don’t seem to be deals the Cubs would hand out besides maybe McCarthy, Marcum, and Baker. Brett and I disagree on Sanchez because I do not think the Cubs should commit what they have projected for him in pay. Too expensive and too many years in my opinion at age 29.
    Ø A source told me the Cubs and Indians have had the most dialogue regarding trades. The Cubs have interest in several of their players including Lonnie Chisenhall, Justin Masterson, Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Brantley, Zach McAllister, and David Huff. If the Cubs can get Chisenhall, McAllister, and Brantley I would be pretty stoked given their age and upside. Of course the Cubs would have to give up some valuable pieces of their own including a Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, and other young talent like that. No word on who the Indians have interest in.
    Until Next Time…