Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Cubs Hit and Run: Marmol, Prospects, SP, and More.....

- Matt Garza looks like he could miss most of April with his lat issue and is expected to start the season on the DL.

- Scott Baker is progressing well but the Cubs are not going to push him and he is likely to start the season on the DL as well.

- The Cubs have renewed contracts with their 21 pre-arbitration players.

- I asked a old-time scout friend of mine to compare Dan Vogelbach, Jorge Soler, and Javier Baez to players of the past (which he was reluctant to do) and he said Vogelbach reminds him of a young Mo Vaughn, Jorge Soler reminds him Gary Sheffield especially because of his bat speed, and he says Javier Baez is tough to judge because he can turn into so many different players. He did say the three players he sees when he looks at Baez is Barry Larkin, Miguel Tejada, and Dave Concepcion. Pretty excitable comparisons to say the least for all three players.

- It looks like Carlos Villanueva will start the season in the rotation with Garza being down with injury.

- Sveum likes Vogelbach; saying the looks like a guy who can just hit, he is more patient than most guys his age, and he has good bat speed.

- There was a barrage of reports yesterday about Carlos Marmol being on the move… eventually. Bruce Levine started the talk with him saying several teams are taking a look at acquiring Carlos Marmol and naming the Tigers are one of the teams.

- The other teams he did not mention but the Rangers and Angels have also been “in” Marmol this season. Both also have a need for a reliever.

- It should be noted that Marmol has the power to veto a trade to four West Coast teams but has already approved a trade to go to the Angels before the Haren trade fell apart.

- Phil Rogers chimes in and says that Rick Porcello would be a possible target for the Cubs in Marmol talks. He also speculates that Soriano could be involved in those same trade talks. To me a Porcello and mid-range prospect or two for Soriano and Marmol with the Tigers pickup all of Marmol’s contract and the Cubs paying all but $10M of Soriano’s contract sounds pretty good.

- Injured Cub Ian Stewart took batting and fielding practice along with jogging yesterday but Sveum does not seem as positive about Stewart making the team saying he is a big question mark and stating how good Valbuena is doing. All in all I see Stewart making the team unless there is a setback.

- Jeff Samardzija gets the Opening Day nod.

- If the Tigers add Soriano, their outfield would be jammed packed which means one of outfielders could be on the move (maybe even to the Cubs). Those outfielders could be Avisail Garcia, Quentin Berry, Brennan Boesch, or Andy Dirks. I suppose I would take Avisail Garcia out of the group considering his age, he is right-handed, and decent success in the minors. Plus he has options and would not take a spot on the 25 man roster.

- Many media members decided to poo-poo Levine’s report including Wittenmyer who says there is nothing to the reports of trade interest for Marmol especially with the Tigers. He goes on to bury Levine by saying the Cubs do not expect to move him until the deadline this summer. Not only that but Paul Sullivan says the Tigers have not discussed a Marmol deal either. So someone is very wrong and very right here.

- The Cubs are not interested in Kyle Lohse and they should not be.

- The Cubs are scouting Scott Kazmir who is on a minor league deal with the Indians. Kazmir recently pitched 3 innings gave up 3 hits and struck out 5. Not sure why a scout would be there unless they are scouting another player on the Indians.

- Starlin Castro is hopeful to return this weekend to game action after straining his left hamstring.

Here is the latest from Levine-

- The Cubs would be interested in a trade with Tigers but he could see them going after Castellenos rather than Porcello.
- Cubs want Castillo to catch 110-120 games but he sees Navarro getting more playing time than a traditional backup.
- No on Kyle Lohse
- The Cubs are hoping that Junior Lake and Brett Jackson have a strong first three months at Iowa so they can get a mid-season call up.
- Yankees are not interested in Soriano and the Cubs are hesitant to move him because they need protection for Castro and Rizzo.
- There are no locks for pen regardless of players being out of options.
- Levine things Junior Lake will be the starting 3B for the Cubs in two years.
- Sappelt and McDonald will battle for the 5th spot in the outfield.
- Brett Jackson looks good this spring.
- Cubs not interested in veteran pitching at this point. They want to develop their own.
- Kane County could see Soler and Almora start there this season.
- David DeJesus is a July trade candidate.
- Fujikawa will be the closer by April because he is convinced Marmol is traded by Opening Day. We actually agree on this.

Until Next Time…