Thursday, March 22, 2012

Indeed More Moves A Comin'

      - Marmol health scare was just that and the MRI showed no damage. He will be pitching in a game by Monday.
- Strasburg will get the Opening Day start for the Nationals against the Cubs.
- LaHair will make the team out of Spring Training unless he ends up on the DL with an injury.
- Hoyer said the Cubs are still open for business and the final two weeks could bring movement to the Cubs.
- Hoyer feels they have solid (if not crazy) rotation depth but things usually work themselves out.
- Jed says late spring deals heat up in the last 10 days or so and he had this to say- “wouldn’t be surprised if we made a move.”YAY MORE MOVES!
- So less than 24 hours after Hoyer saying things will heat up here comes the rumors-
1. The Angels are looking for rotation depth and have spoke to the Cubs about Randy Wells, Chris Volstad, and Casey Coleman according to sources.
2. The Red Sox are also looking for affordable rotation depth through a trade and are targeting Randy Wells.
3. The Red Sox may also be looking for a reliever so they can put Daniel Bard back in the rotation.
4. A source said ignore the Phillies statement of them “staying put” with what they have. They have been on the phone with several clubs including both Chicago teams about middle infield depth.
- Andy Sonnanstine was option to AAA Iowa.
- In case you were wondering the Cubs have no deal in place with Jorge Soler.
- It sounds like Dempster is lined up for the opening day starter but nothing is official yet.
- Ian Stewart will not be stopped or slowed by his wrist issue.
Until Next Time..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roster Stuff and Levine Speaks...

  • ESPN Chicago thinks the back-up catcher position will go down to the wire. I think it has already been decided for the Cubs with Clevenger. He is left-handed, better polished, and is a traditional back up catcher. Castillo needs to play everyday so he needs to be either a starter in Chicago or in Iowa. Clevenger is the clear choice.

  • If you have not checked out The Cubs Reporter then you should ask why.

  • Everyone is talking about Travis Wood and his poor spring but I am still optimistic about what he can bring but it doesn’t mean he won’t enjoy his first game in an Iowa Cubs uni.

  • Dale Sveum sure likes his bench as it is taking shape.

  • Now some stuff from Bruce Levine-
    · Levine suspects like most of us that the Phillies will be or already have called on Cubs about DeWitt. Levine does say he feels DeWitt is a more valuable than a marginal prospect. I disagree, because if he was so valuable then why did the Cubs put him on waivers?
    · Levine says Junior Lake is about a year away from playing everyday in the majors. I can agree with that.
    · Levine does not see Cubs management worried about LaHair.
    · He feels Stewart will be the most improved player on the Cubs this year. I agree again!
    · He sees Jay Jackson in AAA although he pitched well.
    · Levine drops a BOMB and says the Cubs have been discussing trading Byrd and replacing him with Jackson. But then backs off and said it will likely happen in June or July.
    · Levine has not heard anything on Soler but says the Cubs have a leg up on him.
    · Levine believes if Marmol is traded the Cubs will lose 100 games and says the Cubs can’t trade away all their players because they have to keep fans interested. I completely disagree with the “losing 100 games” comment and I don’t think Marmol is one of those players people flock to see. Not to mention winning and putting a good product on the field will bring people to the ballpark more than individual players. His premise is flawed.
    · Bruce thinks Shark will make the rotation and the Cubs will make Wells available in a deal with another team. I see Wells making the team or being traded now.
    · He thinks Rodrigo Lopez will secure a spot in the pen. NO WAY!
    Until Next Time…

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Trades Brewing with Roster Shaping....

  • The Royals are searching for catching help with Salvador Perez’s left need operation and could call the Cubs about Geovany Soto. Geo is slated to make $4.3M next season which fits what the Royals can handle money wise. One thing that the Royals are stated to look for is a short term plan to replace Perez which does not fit for the Cubs or Soto unless KC declined to offer Soto arbitration next season or traded him.

  • Bleacher Nation said the Phillies could target Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt as a replacement for Chase Utley who has reached a plateau in his rehab.

  • The Chicago Cubs were really close to having both Maddux brothers on the north side instead of Sveum and Co. according to the Sun Times before Mike eventually pulled out; or did he???

  • It looks like Samardzija is a lock to the make rotation while Volstad and Wells battle for the 5th spot in the rotation.

  • Joe Mather’s surge in Spring Training could push the Cubs to trade Baker (maybe to the Phillies).

  • Ian Stewart is close to being back in the Cubs lineup everyday.

  • It sounds like Dolis is a favorite to land a spot in the pen which is expected since Shark will head to the rotation.

  • The Cubs are really happy with Rule 5 draft pick Lendy Castillo and he could even make the team out of Spring Training.

  • The Cubs really like Matt Harrison of the Rangers and tried to obtain him among others when the Rangers had interest in Garza. All that fell apart when Darvish signed with Texas but the Cubs interest in Harrison remains. Harrison is only 26 years and is not arbitration eligible until next Spring and will not become a free agent until 2015. See more on Harrison here.

  • Nothing like looking at my 25 man roster from March 5th and now realizing how off I was! Now on March 19th this is how I see the line-up, bench, rotation, and bullpen.
    1. David DeJesus RF
    2. Marlon Byrd CF
    3. Starlin Castro SS
    4. Bryan LaHair 1st
    5. Alfonso Soriano LF
    6. Ian Stewart 3rd
    7. Geovany Soto C
    8. Darwin Barney 2b
    1. Steve Clevenger C
    2. Jeff Baker IF/OF
    3. Joe Mather IF/OF
    4. Reed Johnson OF
    5. Blake DeWitt IF/OF
    1. Ryan Dempster
    2. Matt Garza
    3. Paul Maholm
    4. Jeff Samardzija
    5. Chris Volstad
    1. Carlos Marmol
    2. Kerry Wood
    3. Rafael Dolis
    4. Lendy Castillo
    5. James Russell
    6. Trever Miller
    7. Randy Wells
    Unless something drastic happens this looks like your Chicago Cubs 25 man roster for Opening Day.

    Until Next Time...

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Green With Envy

    Here is our post St. Patrick's Day update-
    •  Castro talks about Junior Lake taking his spot at SS.
    •  The Cubs claimed Frankie De La Cruz from the Brewers and he was placed on the 40 man roster. De La Cruz will report to Cubs camp right away and fight for a position in the Cubs bullpen.  You can find more on Frankie here.
    •  I ask myself this question. Do the Cubs take a small gamble and sign recently released Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal? I would not be opposed to it.
    •  All Garza knows how to do is lead.
    • Wood feels he can be durable this year but not 78 games durable.
    • Garza thinks the Cubs are "Special"
    • The Chicago Tribune talks about the older outfielders fighting off the young pups trying to make it their job.
    • So remember about a month ago we told you the Cubs  offered Cespedes a 7 year deal before he eventually signed with the A's for 4 years well we were close a according to the Chicago Sun Times and Cespedes.  I would have loved to have Cespedes on the team but only for the amount the Cubs offered or less.  I just do not know how you go 4 or 8 years on Cespedes with similar average annual salary.
    • I am hearing from my sources that Soler could be gaining residency by the end of the month if not sooner.
    Until Next Time...