Friday, March 30, 2012

Players Could be on the Move...

  • The Cubs are interested in adding a lefty reliever this season since Russell is the only one in the bullpen. Some recent names they have been interested in are Kasey Kiker, Dana Eveland, and Hong-Chih Kuo. I also would not count out free agent Mitch Stetter who played in MIL the past 4 years.

  • The Theo Epstein Compensation saga continues after Chris Carpenter having to have surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow. Now sources are saying the Red Sox may want to revisit the talks because of Carpenter’s injury. GOOD LUCK! He passed a physical before the compensation was completed.

  • Casey Coleman will remain a starter in AAA Iowa.

  • Sveum said the most difficult decision he had to make was cutting Welington Castillo. I just heard Randy Wells shed a tear.

  • The Braves have interest in Marlon Byrd which has already been noted several times but they are also looking at “lesser available Cubs” according to David O’Brien. I am guessing maybe Jeff Baker, Ian Stewart, or Brett Jackson.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays have called about Marlon Byrd and Brett Jackson according to sources. Tampa Bay is looking for OF help for the injured Sam Fuld and BJ Upton. Both will start the season on the DL.

  • There is a ton of interest in Randy Wells from other teams but the Cubs are reluctant to give up a nice fill in starter incase of injury.

  • Lendy Castillo and Manny Corpas look like they have the best shot to make the pen.

  • Nothing new on Soler but things could change quickly.

  • The Cubs are more interested now in signing Garza to a long-tern contract rather than trading him. They like how he has been a team leader.

  • It sounds like Clevenger will get some good playing time by Sveum saying he will get him in at least three games a week and at least one start.

  • Until Next Time…

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Roster Moves Made...And Trades???

    - The Chicago Cubs completed their Theo Epstein Compensation by receiving 19 year old first base prospect Jair Bogaerts. You can find out more on the youngster here. Honestly it is a better piece than I thought we would have gotten.
    - As expected the Cubs made a flurry of roster moves today by sending Randy Wells, Casey Coleman Travis Wood, Scott Maine, David Sappelt, and Welington Castillo to the minors. Non roster invitees sent to minor league camp were Blake Parker, Edgar Gonzalez, Matt Tolbert, and Blake Lalli.
    - Randy Wells, Casey Coleman, and Scott Maine were big surprises for me. From these moves it looks like Rodrigo Lopez and Shawn Camp may have made the pen (another option is Corpas). Scott Maine not making the pen means the Cubs will only go with one lefty in their bullpen which is pretty interesting. I also thought either Randy Wells or Casey Coleman would make the team as a long reliever, but neither did.
    - This also means Steve Clevenger gets the back-up catcher job so Castillo can catch everyday in Iowa.
    - It also means that Lendy Castillo looks like he made the team.
    - Jeff Samardzija landed the No. 3 spot in the rotation with Volstad nailing the #4.
    - Randy Wells has been told he is the next man in for the rotation spot if there is an injury.
    - The biggest non-move of today is OFer Tony Campana. I talked to my source today and he said that Theo and Jed are still working on a trade involving Marlon Byrd so they wanted to keep Campana in ML camp. If Byrd is traded that means that Campana would likely share time in CF with Reed Johnson. Again the Cubs do not want to start BJax ML clock so he will start in Iowa.
    - So we know that Soriano exercised his no-trade to go to the O’s earlier this year but did you know he did the same thing with the M’s? According to my source he turned down a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners for Chone Figgins.
    Until Next Time..

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Do You Hear An Echo?? Tons of Rumors and Notes...

    Some notes as we come to the end of ST-
    • The Cubs have signed Shawn Camp to a Minor League deal which was linked to the release of lefty Trever Miller. Camp will have a week to prove he is worthy of a spot in the pen which is pretty much up for grabs except for Wood, Russell, and Marmol (maybe Dolis as well).
    • Sveum says the Cubs will be better on defense this year which is not saying too much.
    • Ryan Dempster is the Opening Day starter if you did not already know that.
    • Gordon Wittenmyer is echoing what we said Sunday (found here) that the trade market is heating up for Marlon Byrd. Even going as far as labeling the Braves and Nationals which the former was discussed Sunday here and the latter in the past few months.
    • Jon Heyman tweeted today that the Nats are one of several teams that have kicked the tires on Marlon Byrd who could be had at the right price. He also says CF’s are really valuable right now.
    • I am hearing from my sources that there is a “better than 50%” chance Byrd gets traded. I am also hearing Sappelt or Campana would get Byrd’s spot not BJax because they do not want to start his ML clock yet.
    • The Cubs tried to trade Soriano all year but were unsuccessful which is why they have turned their attention to Marlon Byrd.
    • Another thing that a reader posed to me is this idea (if Byrd is traded) which I find interesting is that since Rizzo’s clock has already started he would be called up instead of another OF. This reader says Rizzo would take over at 1st, LaHair would move to RF, and DeJesus would move to CF. Now Sveum wants better defense which decreased in this scenario but it does increase the offense. Interesting idea to say the least.
    • Sveum is getting praise for his camp.
    • Bleacher Nation talks about Nyjer Morgan loving cats.
    • The Cubs brass will meet with the coaches after today’s game to make the final roster decisions. The big spots up for grabs are the number 3 & 4 starters, 2 bench spots, most of the bullpen, and back-up catcher.
    • I think the Cubs will pick Volstad and Shark for the 3&4 starters, bench spots will go to Mather and DeWitt, bullpen will go Castillo, Dolis, Wells, and Maine; and the backup catcher will go to Clevenger.
    • To counter what I said about the pen some sources believe Russell will be the only lefty in the pen.
    • Cubs Den has a nice piece on the Cubs top 5 post 1980 teams.
    • The Tribune has an article on the Cubs found here.
    Here is the latest from Mr. Bruce Levine-
    • Levine says Tony Campana will head to Iowa.
    • Levine says Byrd will NOT be moved because of the Cubs lack of depth in the OF. SERIOUSLY! I think the Cubs have plenty of depth in the outfield with young players ready to produce if they are giving the chance.
    • He says Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo will be in the starting lineup sometime this season.
    • Bruce says a lot of teams have called on Wells which HSC has reported as well.
    • Levine does not deny the interest from the Angels about Garza and the Braves/Nationals about Byrd which once again we broke on HSC.
    • He believes Sappelt is a security blanket for the Cubs OF.
    • He thinks Szczur will be in Double A most of the season and will not be called up this year. I would not be so quick to say that.
    • Levine feels Stewart will do the best in the 5th or 6th hole in the lineup.
    • Levine says Soto will be the biggest surprise this year and put up similar numbers when he won the Rookie of the Year in 2008. I hope he is right because that would be valuable trade bait.
    • Cubs are concerned about Dolis delivery which could lead to an injury according to Levine.
    • Bruce thinks Manny Corpas has a good shot to make the pen and I can definitely see that.
    Until Next Time…

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    This Just in.... Trade Rumors....

    -  The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs have been rumored off and on about a trade that would send Geovany Soto to Tampa for Jeff Nieman or Wade Davis but the Cubs were not to high on either.  But now the recent success of Castillo, Clevenger, and the steady play of Geovany Soto has the Cubs and Rays back in talks.  A source told me that the Cubs are willing to trade Soto to Tampa but for prospects.  Another option he said that is being discussed is a Randy Wells and Geovany Soto for Wade Davis and Alex Colome.  This rumor is getting legs according to a separate source.

    -  The Angels have been in contact with the Cubs about Matt Garza recently but the Cubs are currently trying to work out an extension with the ace.

    -  The Reds are very much interested in Carlos Marmol and have contacted the Cubs but they are hesitant to trade Marmol because of bullpen concerns of their own.

    -  The Braves have been in contact the Cubs about Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, and Marlon Byrd according to sources to help with their depth and injury woes. 

    -  One source told me if the Cubs do not make any trades before Opening Day he will be "shocked" because all of the things they are working on.

    Until Next Time...

    HSC 2012 Chicago Cubs 25-man Roster Stat Projection


    All stat projections are subject to change because of roster moves such as trades or demotion, position relocation, or injury.

    What is your stat projections for 2012??? Just comment below to start the lively conversation!

    Until Next Time...