Thursday, June 14, 2012


Lets check out Levine’s chat from Tuesday shall we-
  • Bruce says Soler will likely start in Mesa but with his experience he could start in Peoria. I say start him in Peoria so he can play everyday with guys he may play with in Chicago around 2015.
  • Levine says he thinks Rizzo will be called up by July 1st but that is a guess.
  • He thinks Jackson needs a whole year in AAA. No he does not I say.
  • Levine says it is doubtful that the Tigers give up their 3rd base prospect for “Dempster and/or Garza” but could sacrifice youth to win this season. I say the Tigers jump all over it if Garza is involved and they would have to give up more than just their top 3rd base prospect.
  • He thinks Vitters will be the future 3rd baseman ahead of Lake which is understandable giving their place in the farm system but Lake is a far better player in my opinion.
  • Levine guarantees Almora will not go to the University of Miami and he will sign on July 13th.
  • The White Sox are looking for a starting pitcher, 3rd baseman, and bullpen pitcher. Why do I say this? Well it coincides with a rumor I heard today. More on this later on in the post.
  • Matt Szczur is still a few years away from being a ML player.
  • The Padres compensation for Hoyer will not be anything significant.
  • He thinks Marmol will have to pitch well for a number of weeks for teams to trade for him. Well Bruce the Cubs brass is getting calls on him now so they could trade him at any time. Just waiting for his stock to rise more.
  • He thinks LaHair and Dempster both get traded.
  • He thinks out of Jeff Baker, Geovany Soto, and Reed Johnson; Soto will be traded because the others are not trade worthly because of the return. I disagree a lot. Players like Baker and Johnson have their place on a team for a playoff push. They give a team flexibility to rest their players and they are veterans that bring intangibles to any team. Obviously he does not remember Kenny Lofton, Dave Roberts, and other players like them.
  • He says Soler will be in RF at the end of 2014 and will be a starter by 2015.
  • Pitching will be the focus at the trade deadline.
  • Bruce thinks Baez will make it to the majors before Almora and Soler. I think Soler is their first.
Some other notes-
  • The White Sox have been scouting the Cubs and are looking at 5 players very closely; Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Ian Stewart (now injured), Carlos Marmol, and Shawn Camp. I do not think the White Sox have the farm system to land Garza so a guy like Chris Sale (which is outrageous I know) would have to be involved but that is how poor the White Sox farm system is. The next best player would be Viciedo or Reed which is not enough for Dempster let alone Garza. Now Stewart, Marmol, and/or Camp seem like good fits and they do have the talent for those players.
  • The Cubs may package Soriano with Garza according to sources to get teams to pay more of Soriano’s salary while getting a nice amount of prospects as well
More Cubs Stuff…
  • Ian Stewart was placed on the DL today and the Cubs called up Luis Valbuena to replace him on the roster. The Cubs are worried about Stewart’s wrist and according to Carrie Muskat via Twitter he may have nerve damage.
  • Koyie Hill has been DFA and Welington Castillo has been activated and placed on the Cubs 25 man roster.
  • Bleacher Nation has the latest on Theo and Jed Talk.
  • Ryan Dempster is getting a lot of attention; so much so he was spotted with Epstein yesterday chatting. Rumor has it they discussed his future and teams interested in him.
  • Adding more fuel to the fire is Dempster and Samardzija have been swapped in the rotation. Could Dempster last start be on Friday at Wrigley this season? Many think so.
  • Dempster biggest and most aggressive suitor seems to be the Dodgers according to Danny Knobler.
  • The Braves think trading for Dempster maybe too expensive for them. I love hearing that because that means the Cubs have a good asking price for Ryan.
  • Dempster could actually land back with the Cubs during the offseason according to reports. He loves Chicago and will do whatever he can to benefit the city and its team.
  • A report out of Detroit says if the Cubs are willing to settle for Turner and Crosby for Dempster the Tigers would be wise to do the trade. OMG!!! I agree the Cubs should jump all over that if proposed.
  • Many think a Dempster trade could come very quickly.
  • This Joker (David Schoenfield) has some “trade proposals” out for Dempster. The players he said were steep or will not give for Dempster are the players we are hearing the Cubs are targeting like Jacob Turner and Casey Crosby, Manny Machado, Will Middlebrooks, and Lonnie Chisenhall. The Cubs do not trade for the players he is recommending
  • There is a nice little rumor out there that says the Cubs and Indians are talking about a trade that involves Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano for Lonnie Chisenhall and a top pitching prospect. Sounds nice to me or too good to be true.
  • The Red Sox are exploring trading for Garza but will HAVE TO give up Middlebrooks in any deal.
  • Add the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Phllies to the large amount of teams that have been scouting the Cubs.
  • Keith Law and Jim Callis both said Almora cannot turn down a signing bonus around $3M and he will sign with the Cubs.
  • The Boston Herald has a nice write up on Epstein.
  • Bleacher Nation has a nice write up on Castro and Rizzo as well found here.
Now Doug Padilla’s chat-
  • Brett Jackson is likely a September call up.
  • David DeJesus has little trade value. I disagree and think DeJesus can fetch a nice prospect at the deadline.
  • Valbuena has earned the call up rather than Vitters because of this numbers and better defense.
  • Sveum is hoping Koyie Hill stays in the system but would be happy if he was claimed.
  • Stewart wrist issue could need surgery and could knock him out for the rest of the year.
  • He could see Lake, Castro, and Baez in the same infield. Seeing Lake at 3rd, Baez at 2nd, and Castro at SS. I think you flip Baez and Lake.
  • The Cubs expect to sign all their picks but are confident to land most of them.
  • Nothing official on Soler but no one is worried.
  • He thinks Dempster, Garza, and Soriano likely to get traded in that order.
  • LaHair is drawing interest.
  • Big time free agents will likely not be signed for a couple years.
  • DeJesus is likely to stay on the team because of clubhouse presence, consistent play, and low salary.
  • Doug said Theo and Dempster talked yesterday about being on the same page heading into the trade deadline.
  • Castro is a building block and not a trading chip.
  • LaHair does not look like he will be in the long-term plans because of Rizzo so he could be traded.
  • In a Garza trade they are looking for guys who are ready to break through next season.
  • The core expected to be left after this season consist of Castro and Samardzija according to Padilla
  • Vitters needs work at 3rd defensively to be an everyday 3rd baseman.
  • Almora will sign.
Until Next Time…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cubs Rumor Bag: Soler and Draft Players Sign, Trades, and more...

Truly sorry I did not have a write up on Jorge Soler yesterday but we have a busy week at my household so make sure to follow me on Twitter @HotStoveCubbies to get the latest Cubs rumors and talk.
- Jorge Soler landed a 9 year deal worth 30 million which on the surface looks like an amazing deal for the Cubs but the deal does have some stipulations. Soler can opt out of his deal and go through the arbitration process with the Cubs. This can make Soler whole lotta money but could also benefit the Cubs because if that happens then he is legit. A real win-win for the Cubs.
- Many scouts and other baseball execs put Jorge Soler in the number two spot on the top prospects for the Cubs system right behind Anthony Rizzo. Many scouts place Soler in the top 50 prospects right now. Keith Law says he would have been a top 5 pick if he was in the draft this year or even next.
- Jorge Soler could end up seeing time in Peoria this season according to sources and will likely not see the big league club until 2014/2015.
- I know like many people I am drooling over the potential lineup in 2014/2015 (if Almora signs) looking like this
1. Brett Jackson LF
2. Starlin Castro SS
3. Anthony Rizzo 1st
4. Jorge Soler RF
5. Javier Baez 3rd
6. Albert Almora CF
7. Junior Lake 2b
8. Welington Castillo C
- The Cubs signed their supplemental first round pick Pierce Johnson. He was the 43rd overall pick in the Draft but most thought he was top 30 talent so it is a welcome sight to see him sign. No word on the numbers but it is likely to be around the slot of 1.2M.
- In case you missed it the Cubs have signed Lance Rymel C, Corbin Hoffner P, Isaac Garcez OF, Daniel Prieto P, Ryan McNeil, and Rashad Crawford. Most have not been announced but they have agreed to the terms.
- No word yet on Albert Almora but he is expect to sign and the Cubs front office is “very confident” according to sources that he will in fact sign.
- Jorge Soler will be added to the 40-man roster so that means someone will be let go. It is likely it could be Koyie Hill once Castillo or Soto returns. But it could also be a reliever or the catcher Blake Lalli.
- Soto and Castillo look like they may be able to return early next week with Castillo likely landing back in Iowa and Soto coming back to Chicago.
- It is so important that Soto improves his numbers in the next 4-6 weeks so the Cubs can get good trade value otherwise they will hold onto him and possibly trade or non-tender him next season.
- Muskat said an AL scout told her he would love to have Soriano in his lineup. Come on Carrie tell Jed and Theo the good news.
- Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are likely to trade Garza, Dempster, Soriano, and others but said Theo and Co. are also making Bryan LaHair available via trade. Many think including me that LaHair is more valuable to the Cubs than other teams but there is interest.
- Speaking of LaHair I am hearing Phillies (if they can pull it together), Indians, Marlins, Giants, and Dodgers have interest.
- Primary suitors for Garza are the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles according to sources.
- Soriano is now gaining interest from multiple AL teams and a few NL squads.
- The Cubs may put LaHair in a few games in the outfield soon to see how he does. Rizzo could be called up at the end of this month and no later than after the trade deadline.
- Dempster, Garza, and LaHair have the most trade value and the Cubs will look to fill holes in the farm with those deals. So look for pitching and maybe some help at 3rd.
- I talked to a source that said the Cubs could trade up to 10 players currently on the 25 man roster. I have to admit that actually would make me very happy. Would love to see some young players move up in the system at all levels.
- With Soler and the possibility of Almora being up with the Cubs in 2015 the Cubs could add a low-year, high annual salary outfielder via free agency. An intriguing name I am hearing is Josh Hamilton who is looking for a 5 year deal but maybe only able to land a 3 year deal with the “things”that come with him. Two other guys that could fit that mold are Nick Swisher or Tori Hunter although their salary would be significantly lower than Hamilton. Again the only reason the Cubs would sign a free agent outfielder is if they have a need for one and a lot more will be determined at the trade deadline.
- The Dodgers have reached a 5 year $85M extenstion with Andre Ethier which gives me some relief because that is not the kind of guy I think the Cubs should go after.
Until Next Time…