According to ESPN's Bruce Levine, there were scouts on hand to see Silva pitch Sunday against the Reds. The Nationals seem most interested with 3 scouts in attendance. The
Yankees are also said to be looking for pitching and had at least one scout on hand to see Silva's best performance of the spring. Silva gave up just 2 runs on 3 hits in 4 innings before tiring and giving up 2 more runs in the 5th. It's also important to note that Larry Rothschild is the Yankees pitching coach and he did a pretty good job resurrecting Silva last season -- at least in the first half.
Before the game I was ambivalent as to Silva's performance. On one hand, I was afraid he'd do well and that the Cubs would ultimately decide to keep him in the rotation. On the other hand, I was hoping that he'd do well (or at least better) and that scouts would be in attendance -- which is, of course, what happened.
What are the Cubs options?
expect the Cubs to get too much for Silva. The Cubs are looking more
at addition by subtraction -- namely subtracting as much of Silva's
salary as they can. Typically when you're trying to deal a high
salaried player, you have 4 options:
1) You take minor league filler in exchange for the other team taking on his entire salary.
2) You pitch in some salary and get a somewhat better minor leaguer.
3) You take a lesser salaried player the other team doesn't want or need.
4) You make a trade for another team's bad contract to even out the salaries.
According to Cot's Baseball Contracts,
Silva's salary for 2011 this year is $11.5M but the original deal calls
for Seattle to pay $5.5M this year. That leaves the Cubs with just $6M
to pay on Silva. That is actually a reasonable salary if Silva can
stay healthy. So it's very possible that a team that needs a back of
the rotation innings eater will just pick up the entire $6M if the Cubs
pass along the check from the Mariners.
on-the-field benefit for the Cubs, however, is clearing a spot in the
starting rotation for Andrew Cashner, who's had a good spring so far.
The Cubs would like to give him a shot to develop as a starter, where
they think he can one day be good enough to be at the top of the
rotation The earlier they start this development, the better. And since
both the Yankees and Nationals have money to spend, the Cubs may just
prefer to get a minor leaguer and save as much salary as possible, but
again don't expect getting a top 20 or even a top 30 prospect in
return. As far as the Cubs are concerned, the player they receive is
secondary. They're hoping that just getting Cashner a chance to start
will give the Cubs pitching all the extra oomph they need.