Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cubs Making Moves...

The Chicago Cubs have made some moves and are about to make some more. Here is the latest-

  • The Cubs have placed Ryan Dempster on the 15 day DL with a quad strain.  He is expected to miss his next two starts.
  • In a corresponding move the Cubs have called up Tony Campana; not Randy Wells.
  • According to CubsDen and BleacherNation the Cubs are close to dealing Marlon Byrd.
  • Cubs Den was the first (at least I know of) to suggest the Cubs talking to the Red Sox about a Byrd trade.  They were the first to mention DFA man Michael Bowden as a possiable return.
  • @ChiTribRogers says the Cubs will indeed get Michael Bowden and he will have a shot to stick in the Cubs pen.
  • @sahadevsharma from Bruce Levine is saying the Cubs will get LH reliever and a minor league player. Which contradicts Rogers
  • Phil Rogers say he thinks the Cubs will pay most of Byrd's salary.  I honestly do not see that happening but I have been surprised in the past.  Depending on the "other" minor league player will probably determine how much the Cubs will pay.
  • Many sites including Bleacher Nation are saying the Cubs will not rush BJax to the big leagues and I do not blame them.  All I wanted to see is to see some movement of the Cubs part.  Now that is done I really don't mind seeing a combination of Campana, Mather, and Johnson in CF.
  • No word on the other player coming to the Cubs or money sent to Boston.  Follow me on twitter @HotStoveCubbies for the latest news.
Until Next Time..

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cubs Rumors Are Moving On Up....

  • The Cubs could place a claim on another reliever giving their troubles in the pen. Rich Thompson was just designated for assignment. The 27 year old has pretty good stats if you don’t include this year. You can find them here.

  • Trade talk around Marlon Byrd has increased dramatically over the past few days with the Nationals and Red Sox the primary destinations. The main reason the Sox and Nats like him because he is a buy low guy. The Cubs started the season hoping Byrd would fetch a B level prospect at the deadline or sooner plus pay his entire salary but now his value has dumped down to the PTBNL category.

  • One baseball official told me that the Cubs are planning on claiming Michael Bowden regardless of Boston/Byrd trade talks.

  • There have been internal discussions among the Cubs front office about dealing Byrd now and calling up (not Jackson) but Campana or Sappelt because the way they have played at Iowa. They just don’t want to start BJax ML clock.

  • Bleacher Nation obsesses on the Wrigley Field Renovation Watch found here.

  • Cubs Den has the Cubs April draft preview.

  • Are the Cubs playing the veterans to increase their numbers to make the more valuable at the trade deadline? One of my Cub sources says you better believe it!

  • - Bleacher Nation says Z has no hard feelings towards the Cubs.
    - Also more Wrigley Field renovation talk from BleacherNation.
    - Cubs Den is looking at fixing the bullpenthrough trade or internal options.
    - ESPN Chicago says Clevenger is playing like he wants to see the field more.
    - According to sources the Cubs could start playing the long-term deal game that other teams have done with their impact players. Two names the Cubs maybe looking to lock up soon into long term deals are Starlin Castro and Matt Garza.
    - The Cubs are enjoying being free from Carlos Zambrano according to the SunTimes.
    - The Chicago Cubs may put a claim on switch-hitting former top prospect Josh Bell. He was designated for assignment yesterday by the O’s
    - Bleacher Report has the top 30 worst clubhouse cancers in baseball. 5 former Cubs made the list of 31!
    Here is the latest from Levine
    - Levine keeps to his Hendry ties and says keep Soto in the game because he has experience and it is too soon into the season. Come on man! Clevenger has the hot bat, you play him.
    - Levine says BJax will not be called up until mid-July. I think late May.
    - Levine still feels Soto and Marmol have value. WHAT?
    - Levine says he has not seen an Iowa Cubs team since late 1980’s when they had Grace, Palmeiro, Girardi, and Berryhill. I agree!
    - Levine says besides Barney and Castro it is hard to envision any of the current 2012 25-man roster being in Chicago in 2014. He forgot Dolis and Clevenger as well.
    - Bruce says don’t trade Vitters and 6 months ago I would disagree but now I say keep him.
    - He says Garza is looking for at least 5 years 65-75 million. I can see that but I think Garza and the Cubs should agree on a 4 year deal worth 55 million with a $15M club option for the 5th year.
    - Bruce can see 25-30 SB out of Castro this season.
    - Bruce says he can see the 2016 All-Star game coming to Chicago.
    - Levine thinks Marmol will continue to be a dominate closer if he is handled properly. This coming from the guy that said if we traded Marmol we would lose 100 games. I think we may lose 100 games with him.
    - Bruce says once Casto’s off the field problems are resolved they will begin talking a long term contract with him.
    - Bruce thinks LaHair will not move positions for Rizzo but he will be traded. I disagree, I think he will find a spot in the OF short-term unless they are blown away in a trade.
    Until Next Time…

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Rumors Already Starting...

    -  The Red Sox have contacted the Cubs about Marlon Byrd since it looks like Ellsbury is out until at least the All-Star break.  The Red Sox have been linked to Byrd since last season but that was before he took one off his face at Fenway.  The Red Sox have said they are "OK" with the players in house but we all know they are posturing.

    -  Many people ask me (via twitter) why the Red Sox would not like to pick up Soriano to help with the offense in Boston.  Two big things are defense and money.  The Red Sox want a strong defender in the outfield and the Cubs would have to be willing to eat over 90% of Soriano contract without getting a good player in return (they will not do that).

    -  Sveum made a call yesterday I agree with but of course he is getting pummeled for.  With runners in score position lat in the game and a lefty called to the mound Dale Sveum decided not to bring in Jeff Baker but let Ian Stewart bat.  Now keep in mind I have been very critical of Dale but this was the right call.  Baker has been great against lefties but I can argue that Stewart actually has been hitting the ball much better and you have to ride the hot bat (don't say anything to Mather).  This was a good call even though it did not work out.

    -  So how long until the Carlos Marmol to Giants rumors start?  Well right now!  According to sources the Giants are discussing internally trade options to replace Brian Wilson who is done for the season with injury.  One of the many names that has been discussed is Carlos Marmol.

    -  With Soto struggling expect to see Clevenger get more starts and at bats.

    -  Put this in the interesting column.  A reader of mine (usually does not have many tips or rumors) says that he is hearing May 21st is the target day to call up Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson, and maybe even Josh Vitters.  He also says the Cubs will look to trade two outfielder between now and then as a corresponding move.  The idea is to put Jackson and LaHair in the outfield and Anthony Rizzo at first.  If Vitters is called up he lays out two scenarios both of which have Barney going to a bench role.  One has Vitters manning 3rd base with Stewart taking over 2nd and the other is having Vitters take over 2nd (which is hard to believe since he has not spent any time there).  I think if they called up Vitters they would put him in the outfield but that is just my opinion.  If he is correct you could see this lineup after May 21st. One that looks really good on paper!

    1. Brett Jackson CF
    2. Starlin Castro SS
    3. Anthony Rizzo 1st
    4. Bryan LaHair LF
    5. Josh Vitters 3rd
    6. Ian Stewart 2b
    7. Steve Clevenger/Wellington Castillo/Geovany Soto C
    8. David DeJesus RF
    9. Pitcher

    - Cubs Den says the Cubs and Red Sox could match up on a trade that would send recently DFA Michael Bowden to the Cubs for Byrd.  I really like that trade for many reasons including getting another more deserving OF called up, Byrd going to a team that actually wants him, clears the way to call up Jackson if they want, and get a reliever that Jed and Theo know.

    Until Next Time...