Friday, February 15, 2013

Post Valentine's Day Cubs Talk

· The Angels and Cubs have had recent trade discussions about a “few players” as source tells me. Not knowing the players I think it could be Garza and/or Marmol considering they have had interest in both previously.
· Jeff Samardzija is not interested in a long-term deal yet. But he was offered one last fall to the tune of 5 years.
· Here is a great write up on Javier Baez onBleacherNation by Sahdev Sharma who I suggest following on twitter as well.
· Casey Coleman will be working his way back but only as a reliever.
· Travis Wood is looking a lot better than he did than last year at this time.
· As of right now it seems the rotation will be Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Travis Wood.
· The Cubs are going to “baby” Scott Baker who is coming back from arm issues.
· Carlos Villanueva will be pitching out of the bullpen as a long reliever/spot starter.
· Matt Garza is looking more impressive than he was last year at this time.
· While Jeff Samardzija looks in playoff form.
· A trend we see that gives the Cubs a leg up on signing free agents can be summed up in this Scott Hairston quote”There was a lot of interest early on, but I don’t think there was enough interest to make anything happen. Interest is a word that can be described in many ways. The Cubs had real interest and they made things happen. I was happy to have both New York teams want me there, but when it came down to it, the Cubs wanted me the most, and that’s why I’m here.”
· Early interest has really benefited the Cubs this off-season.
· Welington Castillo will be the starter behind the plate with Dioner Navarro as his backup.
· The Cubs will give Hairston, Castillo, and others a look at first since the Cubs do not have a true back-up on the roster.
· It seems early on that Brent Lillibridge has the inside track for a bench spot on this team. He has played every position on the field except catcher and pitcher.
· In case you missed it Tony Campana was DFA assignment and looks like he could be traded within the 10 day time period otherwise he will be claimed off waivers by someone.
· Speaking of Campana he was claimed by the White Sox in August off of waivers but pulled by after a trade was not reached.
· It is unlikely the Cubs make a move for a back-up first baseman but it is not impossible.
· Brett Jackson has no plans to start in Iowa this season, he is determined to make the Cubs roster.
· I think the Cubs should beef up their minor league system with some vets by inking Grady Sizemore and Freddy Sanchez to minor league deals.
· Kyle Lohse does not make sense for the Cubs according to everyone.
· The Cubs adding more night games this season seems in jeopardy.
· Brett Lillibridge sounds like could get spot starts and lead off against lefties.
· Do not count out David Sappelt starting many games for the Cubs this season. The Cubs front office loves his attitude, defense, and bat.
· The Cubs are still likely to make a move or two before Opening Day.
· Please check out the FANTASTIC write up on aSoriano-for-Stubbs trade on Cubs Den. I would be all for that trade!
Quick Bruce Levine Hits-
· Garza will get a lot more on the open market than Jackson. DUH!
· Someone will trade for Campana soon.
· Angels could be interested in Marmol if Madson’s injury is bad enough.
· Return on Marmol would be a very good younger player.
· Brett Jackson will not be traded.
· He sees Garza on the Blue Jays or Rangers by August 1st this season.
Until Next Time…

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cubs Hits: Pitchers and Catchers Report Edition

  • Every pitcher and catcher was basically already in camp before today while many position players have reported as well.
  • Alfonso Soriano rumors are increasing yet again and this time circling around the Yankees.  A few days ago Hal Steinbrenner said in order for the Yankees to be a championship calibre team they need another right-handed bat.  The Yankees have a heavy left-handed outfield and their recently signed DH Hafner is a lefty so there is a clear need for a bat like Soriano. The Yankees know Soriano quite well having played for them for years.  The Yankees had interested in Scott Hairston before the Cubs signed him so trading for Soriano makes a ton of sense since the Cubs are likely to pay all but 10 million over 2 years.
  • The Yankees farm system is not great but is is pretty decent so a trade between the teams just makes sense.
  • Besides the Yankees; the Rays, Orioles, and Rangers are the other teams that have interest in Soriano.
  • Marmol should be reporting to Spring Training by Monday.
  • If Opening Day was today then DeJesus would start in CF, Soriano in LF, and Schierholtz/Hairston platoon in RF.
  • Kyuji Fujikawa wants to make it tough on the Cubs about naming a closer.
  • Junior Lake could make the team as a super utility infielder if he impresses this Spring.
  • Brett Jackson swing has improved dramatically but the Cubs want to see the trend continue into ST games.

Until Next Time...

Cubs Hits: Earlier this Week

News has been slow so in turn the post have not been as frequent. But there is the latest-
  • Lendy Castillo cleared waivers and is not being sent to Iowa.
  • Cub killer Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch this year or maybe ever again.
  • The talk about Bourn and the Cubs has gone quite especially with the Mets pushing for him. But talk about a 4/$40 for him I WANT the Cubs to get involved.
  • has put together their top 20 prospect list which is topped by Baez, Almora, Soler, Jackson, and Vizcaino. Find the rest of the list here.
  • Carlos Marmol is expected to report to Spring Training with any issues.
  • Sources say the Cubs would like to make a move or two during Spring Training and I am guess maybe Soriano and Garza?
  • The Cubs do have interest in the Rays Dane De La Rosa who was DFA yesterday to make room for Luke Scott. Dane De La Rosa is 30 years old with only 12 innings pitched in the big leagues but his minor numbers are not bad. Found here.
Here is the latest from Levine-
  • Marmol for Porcello has not been discussed. Just rumored but that could change when ST starts.
  • Garza is ahead of schedule more than he was last year at this time.
  • Campana is a good 25th man on roster in the majors.
  • If healthy Stewart will be the starter at 3rd.
  • The Cubs are not interested in putting Travis Wood in the pen but something has to give.
  • Marmol will get traded by opening day because of the trade value he has.
  • Scott Hairston could take grounders at 1st during ST to back up Rizzo.
  • The Cubs will look to get young pitching and some left-handed relief for Marmol.
  • Cubs are not sure if they would give Mark Prior a deal but the door is not shut. Could be a minor league deal.
  • Baker make take longer to be ready so there are 6 pitchers for 5 spots.
  • Bruce thinks they overpaid for Edwin Jackson which is crazy talk.
Until Next Time…