Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cubs Hit and Run: Cubs Sign Hairston, OF market, & Other Players on the Move..

  • The Cubs have signed Scott Hairston to a two year deal that could reach $6M with incentives. The Cubs were looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder but this is not what I would have thought. Yes he smashed left-handed pitching (.867 OPS against lefties) and he can play all three outfield spots but I really do not care for the signing. I feel the Cubs had the prospects to land a young impact everyday OF through trade and instead we settled on Hairston.
  • One good thing is Bruce Levine adds he is likely the 4th/5th outfielder.
  • It also sounds like the Cubs willdo a mix and match platoon with RF and CF with Hairston/Schierholtz and Hairston/DeJesus as of right now.
  • Rumors should start up fast about Soriano and DeJesus being traded since the Cubs have a lot of OF depth now and their roster sitting at 42 unofficially.
  • The Cubs 40 man roster unofficially stands at 42 with the unofficial additions of Scott Hairston and Carlos Villanueva so some moves have to be made soon.
  • The most disappointing part of this is that David Sappelt or Tony Campana are the most likely to start in Iowa (or end up on another team) next season since the Cubs do not need to carry 6 OF. I honestly think Sappelt deserved a shot for his defense and how well he played at the end of last season for Chicago.
  • The biggest non-Cub news today is the Braves landing Justin Upton and Chris Johnson for Randall Delgado, Martin Prado, Zeke Spruill, Brandon Drury, and Nick Ahmed. First off the Cubs could have beaten this deal but it seems the Dbacks really wanted Prado in which the Cubs do not have a “Prado” type player on their team they would be willing to give up. Honestly the Braves are scary good now on paper but the game is not played on paper. They should be a really fun team to watch. To me once again the Diamondbacks got hosed in a trade and it did not involve the Cubs which saddens me.
  • Reports out now say the Dbacks are dangling recently required Nick Ahmed for Rick Porcello which would knock off another guy the Cubs have been interested in.
  • The Cubs have interest in Chris Carpenter who was DFA by the Red Sox. Carpenter was the compensation for the hiring of Theo Epstein.
  • The Mets and Rangers are the top landing spot for Michael Bourn now according to many sources. The Cubs had interest but did not want to give up a draft pick.
  • The Rays signed Kyle Farnsworth to a 1 year $3M deal. I am hearing the Cubs made an offer to Farnsworth but it was not close to the deal he got from the Rays.
  • The Mets signed Shaun Marcum to a one-year deal pending a physical which is no guarantee. The Cubs had interest from Marcum but just like Haren they were scared of his medicals.
  • Bleacher Nation has the Cubs Spring Training Broadcast Schedule found here.
  • Until Next Time…

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Cubs Hit and Run: Convention, Stewart, Pitching and More...

    • If you did not go to the Cubs Convention like me then you were checking Bleacher Nation a lot. One of the most notable pieces is on the Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch found here. I love the upgrade ideas along with keeping the integrity of the ballpark.
    • Brett Jackson says what everyone wants to hear which is he has every intention of making the big league team and he has no intention of going to Iowa.
    • BJax swing has changed dramatically according to the few that have seen it up close including Dale Sveum. It mirrors a lot of what Rizzo approach/stance is at the plate is.
    • The announcement of the Carlos Villanueva signing should happen this week with a corresponding 40 man roster move quickly before or after the announcement.
    • So Ian Stewart talked to Carrie Muskat and Ian said he is 100% healthy for the first time since 2010. It would be wonderful if the Cubs could catch lightning in a bottle with Stewart. His defense is really good and worth having on this team but if his bat comes around like it was before his injury; WATCH OUT. If Stewart can bat .260 with a .320 OBP and 20 homers next season I call that a win!
    • The Cubs are still being tossed around as a landing spot for Michael Bourn but as the days go by I think it is less likely he will be making his way to the north-side.
    • The Phillies signed Delmon Young so I ask why they picked him over Soriano? Hmmm...
    • The Diamondbacks and Cubs discussed Justin Upton according to Bruce Levine but the Cubs walked away when Castro got brought up. Cannot blame them there.
    • The Cubs have the possibility of a 7 man rotation if no other moves get made with Shark, Garza, Jackson, Baker, Feldman, Wood, and Villanueva. Now to me it is likely to go to a 6 man with Travis Wood likely to be moved to the bullpen. So the next logically thing is Matt Garza being traded in Spring Training. Especially with reports of a possible contact extension being on hold indefinitely, which is an understanding by both sides. There are 5 places I can see Garza landing as of right now and they are with the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, Angels, and Indians.
    • Indians and Yankees are my wild cards because the Indians have spent some money this winter and need an upgrade to their rotation. Not to mention they have a player that Cubs would love to have in Lonnie Chisenhall. The Yankees on the other had have decent pitching depth but never count them out when talking about a prominent player on the move. Not sure what the Yankees would give up for Garza.
    • The place that makes the most sense is the Rangers for Garza considering they have a want and need to make a splash and have shopped Olt who is a guy that would interest the Cubs. I think Matt goes to the Rangers for a package of 4+ prospects that include Olt and Martin Perez or Buckle.
    • The Cubs could have some interest in 24 year old pitcher Sam Dyson who was DFA by the Blue Jays to make room for Mark DeRosa. Dyson was a 4th round pick in the 2010 MLB draft. See his stats here.
    Now onto the latest with Bruce Levine-
    • Matt Garza will be the Opening Day starter as long as he logs enough ST innings.
    • There is rumors that the Phillies and Cubs are still talking about Soriano but he then says they are still rumors.
    • The Cubs and Phillies have not talked since the Ben Revere trade.
    • Vogelbach is more than a couple years from the big leagues so worrying about a position now is not an issue.
    • The Cubs are not interested in giving up as draft pick for Bourn at this point unless he give the Cubs a heck of a deal.
    • If the Tigers liked the Cubs relievers then a deal for Rick Porcello could work.
    • Valbuena and Stewart will battle for 3rd. Neither one has a lock on the position.
    • There is nothing Brett Jackson can do in Spring Training to change the FO mind about keeping him in Chicago. I CANNOT DISAGREE MORE.
    • Bruce thinks Garza stays put and proves he is healthy then the Cubs sign him to an extension. I do not thing that will happen either because he will be traded before Opening Day.
    • He thinks Marmol is gone first and I think it will be Garza.
    Until Next Time…