Saturday, January 05, 2013

Cubs Hits: Front Office Speaks, Signings, and More...

There is a lot to get caught up on so here go-
  • First off Bleacher Nation is rocking it with two original pieces that are must reads found here and here.
  • Matt Garza offseason workout is going well and looks like he will be ready by Opening Day.
  • The Orioles have interest in Carlos Marmol and could look to get young pitching in return.
  • Edwin Jackson was officially made a Cub which is neat.
  • The Cubs have re-signed pitchers Jaye Chapman and Zach Putnam to minor league deals with invites to ST.
  • The Cubs have signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract.
  • Jed Hoyer did some speaking-
  • You have to sign free agents that fit your scheme when they are available he said. Something a lot of us fans have been saying which is why you see them going after guys like Sanchez and signing a guy like Jackson.
  • The Cubs went after both Edwin Jackson and Anibal Sanchez because they wanted them both. He even said that he and Sveum met with Jackson while Ricketts and Epstein met with Sanchez at around the same time.
  • Through the grapevine I heard this from a follower that Hoyer on MLBN Radio said he is looking to add to the outfield but specifically CF. He also said they are considering position players on similar deals to what Edwin Jackson got. That to me screams Michael Bourn and to me that is exciting. I have been beating the Bourn drum for a while now.
  • Right now Nate Schierholtz is a platoon partner/starter in RF with DeJesus in CF and Soriano in left although a lot can change that.
  • Theo also did some talking-
  • The Cubs front office is more comfortable and looking to improve the team now that they know their strengths and weakness.
  • He echos what Hoyer says about getting players when they are available not necessarily when you are ready to compete.
  • There are free agents worth surrendering a first round pick if the contract makes sense.
  • Bruce Levine held a chat Thursday so here is some of that-
  • Levine likes the Edwin Jackson move.
  • The Soriano to Phillies rumors is old.
  • Castillo and Navarro will be the catching tandem.
  • If the Cubs can find suitors for Marmol and Soriano they will be traded.
  • Marmol and prospects could be traded to the Tigers for Procello he says.
  • Trading for Upton is just a rumor and they do not have the inventory to trade for a would be superstar. I disagree.
  • The Cubs are not in a position to acquire Stanton. I disagree because if they offer a package around Samardzija and Baez the fish would look at that deal.
  • The Cubs would consider trading Garza to the Rangers for Olt and a young pitcher or two. I sure hope so.
  • Brett Jackson is the closest to making the big league roster with his change approach and swing at the plate.
Until Next Time…

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cubs: The Next 5 Moves

So I already had one post recently in which I laid out what the Cubs should do next found here. But here is another route giving the recent rumors circling around.
  1. Trade for Giancarlo Stanton or Justin Upton.
I get the distinct feeling that the Cubs are working on something big and Upton or Stanton could be that something. I feel when the Cubs have shot at getting a young star with ML experience that is cost effective they jump at that chance to get him even if it means overpaying some. Now rumors have linked the Cubs (along with many other teams) to both young stars you have to believe the Cubs will do anything in their power to get one of these player because it is a trade opportunity of a lifetime. The Cubs are at a disadvantage because teams like the Rangers, Blue Jays, and Braves are stacked with great young prospects but whether those teams are willing to trade them is another story. If I am a part of the front office I have no problem building a package around Javier Baez or even Jeff Samardzija for Stanton. I would even consider trading both for Stanton. Now Justin Upton is a different story. I am not sure I would include either one in a deal for Upton but if it came down to dealing one I would be fine with it. What I am trying to say is Stanton value is much higher than Upton’s. Regardless this is a move the Cubs need to make and would actually shorten the rebuilding process by getting better now and in the future.
       2. Trade Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol to the Rangers for Mike Olt, Martin Perez, and 2 other prospects.
We all saw what the Royals gave up for Wade David and James Shields and I believe the Cubs can get something similar for Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol. The Rangers have been the most aggressive in the past for Matt Garza (even when Garza was injured at the deadline they were still interested). The Rangers are looking to upgrade their rotation and looking for a solid set-up guy with closing experience. Enter in Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol. Both would fulfill the Rangers need and the Cubs would get their need filled by acquiring a top left-handed prospect with Perez and a power hitting young natural 3rd baseman with Olt. The Cubs would also get two mid-level prospects to help re-stock the roster after trading young talent away for Stanton or Upton.
       3. Sign Michael Bourn.
I am going to continue to bang this drum even though I am in the minority. Here is what I wrote back on the 22nd of December.
The price of Bourn continues to fall as the market gets smaller and smaller. The Cubs have already shown wiliness to sign a big contract to a younger player in Edwin Jackson. A really big need for the Cubs is a CF with good defense and speed. He provides that. I do not think the Cubs should overpay for Bourn but a 4-5 year deal worth $60M-$72M makes sense to me. This would allow the Cubs to keep DeJesus in RF or even trade him. If they traded him they could go with Schierholtz and Sapplet platoon in RF. Either way the Cubs outfield defense would be one of the best in the league.
Now in this current scenario the Cubs would obtain a new RF with Stanton or Upton in which Sappelt and Schierholtz would likely be apart the Cubs bench. Adding Bourn to the top of this lineup automatically makes this team better and at the cost above why would you not sign Bourn who could be a part of a young exciting group moving toward the ultimate goal of a championship.
      4. Trade Alfonso Soriano somewhere.
Just like I laid out in the my first post the Cubs should deal Soriano to another team. Rumors suggest the Braves, Phillies, Rays, and Yankees all could be the most active for Soriano’s services but the Phillies seem like a logical fit to me. The Cubs should obtain a minor leaguer or two to restock the farm.

  1. Sign another reliever.

The Cubs need another reliever after dealing Marmol. I think signing a reliever with late inning experience like JP Howell, Kyle Farnsworth, Matt Capps, Brian Wilson, Brett Myers, Jose Valverde, Todd Coffey, Jason Frasor, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, etc… would fill that need. There is plenty of choices and I feel the Cubs only need one.
After all is said and done this is what I see being the Cubs 25 man roster (I know even before ST).
  1. Michael Bourn CF
  2. Starlin Castro SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo 1st
  4. Giancarlo Stanton or Justin Upton RF
  5. Mike Olt 3b
  6. David DeJesus LF
  7. Welington Castillo C
  8. Darwin Barney 2b
With Samardzija-
  1. Jeff Samardzija
  2. Edwin Jackson
  3. Scott Feldman
  4. Martin Perez
  5. Scott Baker
Without Samardzija
  1. Edwin Jackson
  2. Martin Perez
  3. Scott Feldman
  4. Travis Wood
  5. Scott Baker
David Sapplet
Nate Schierholtz
Luis Valbuena
Ian Stewart
Dioneer Navarro
K. Fujikawa CL
Brian Wilson
(T. Wood to pen if Shark stays and take out either Rondon or Dolis)
Honestly with that lineup and rotation I can see the Cubs being sleepers in 2013 and contenders in 2014-2015.
Until Next Time….