UPDATE 4:48 PM- Yoenis Cespedes has gain residency in the Dominican and will be granted free agency soon according to sources. So let the bidding begin!
Wow! Who saw Prince Fielder landing with the Tigers for 9 years $215M? I think no one! Now that Prince and King Albert are out of the NL lets check out what is going on in Cubland.
- Gerardo Concepcion could decide within the week on which team will win his services. He stats he has two offers on the table right now. The Yankees, Cubs, and Rangers are all "in" on him.
- Levine says the Cubs will either sign Garza to an extension before ST or trade him between now and July 31st.
- Although not official the Cubs have signed Matt Tolbert to a minor league deal with an invite to ST.
- Levine feels Soriano will be with the team during ST but maybe traded before Opening Day.
- Now that the compensation issue is on Bud Selig's desk you can expect the Red Sox to get a low-level prospect and some cash.
- Levine mentions that Braves 2nd baseman Martin Prado as a possibility for 2nd base next season. He still views Barney as a middle infield bench player and I agree. He also links Marlon Byrd to the Braves who have had recent and past interest in him. Find more on Prado here.
- The Cubs will bid "big bucks" for Soler and Cespedes according to sources. Both are young guys; with Cespedes helping more now and Soler helping more in the future.
- With the Tigers locking up Prince for many years it means two great things for the Cubs-
*******1. The Tigers are officially out of the Cespedes derby which means the Marlins and Cubs are the two remaining serious suitors for the Cuban star.
*******2. The Tigers now see a clear path for victory in the AL central but passed that is not looking as good. The Tigers next upgrade could be the rotation and it just so happens that after the Prince signing they are likely to add pitching via trade by dangling some young prospects. One pitcher named Jacob Turner has been on the table then off the table and back on again. I can assure you he is being viewed as trade bait. But one player until today was almost deemed "not available" is Nick Castellanos. The reason he was viewed as "untouchable" is because he was the future for the Tigers at 3rd base but now he could be blocked by Miguel Cabrera when Victor Martinez comes back; making him also trade bait.
I talked to a reliable source recently that stated this move for Prince Fielder makes perfect sense because now they can trade Castellanos and Turner for a top of the rotation pitcher (Matt Garza). He says when Victor Martinez comes back he will likely man 1st or DH while Prince Fielder will play 1st or DH depending on Martinez which in turn would move Cabrera back to his original and natural position of 3rd base. VMart is not a free agent until after the 2015 season which is the earliest FA out of the trio.
I have to say this makes more and more sense for both the Tigers and Cubs. The Cubs would be netting two top prospects to head in their direction for the future while the Tigers deal a promising young pitcher and blocked 3rd base prospect for two years of an established top of the rotation pitcher that has success not only in the AL but in the toughest division the AL East. Not to mention it is a win now move for the Tigers, something they are obviously moving toward. So I say watch for the Tigers/Cubs trade chatter to increase especially with the looming arbitration case fast approaching for Garza and the Cubs.
Until Next Time...