Cubs Rumor Mill: 10 teams to scout Dempster; Jays open for business with Garza a possible fit.

Cubs Rumor Mill: 10 teams to scout Dempster; Jays open for business with Garza a possible fit.

Update (10:10 a.m.):  Jon Heyman is reporting that the Dodgers and Cubs are talking both Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.  The Dodgers are seen as the favorites to land Dempster and Heyman lists the AL East contenders (Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, and possibly the Orioles) as all having interest in Garza. Personally, I don't think the Orioles have the goods to land Garza unless they include Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they won't part with those players and it's hard to blame them there.

According to ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla, there will be 10 teams scouting Cubs veteran RHP Ryan Dempster on Saturday.

Padilla states that according to major league sources, the clubs that have had the most interest in the pitcher have been the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and Cleveland Indians.  The Cubs are primarily interested in requiring young pitching and we've talked about some of the top pitching prospects for both the Dodgers and Braves.  In the Braves article we talked about primarily about Garza, but Dempster may be a better fit for the Braves and Cubs on a deal.  Dodgers star Matt Kemp and Braves legend Chipper Jones both vouched for Dempster, specifically mentioning him as a pitcher that is respected and who would help their respective teams chances.

As for the Indians, their top pitching prospect is 2011 draftee Dillon Howard, but Howard has logged just 10 professional innings in Rookie League, so he's a long, long way away.  Dillon's best pitch is a sinking fastball, which he throws in the low 90s. He can get his fastball up into the 94 mph range if needed. He also throws a change and slurvy breaking ball, which needs more consistency.

Former Boston farmhand Nick Hagadone a LH relief pitcher is also a possibility.  He has pitched for the big club this year but has been ineffective (6.39 ERA, 4.84 FIP).  Unfortunately, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he was placed on the minor league disqualified list after injuring himself in a fit of frustration following a recent poor outing.  In another stumbling block, most of the Indians pitching prospects are relievers.

Padilla says the Cubs are also looking for a third baseman.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, the Globe and Mail is reporting that Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos may be willing to pull the trigger on a deal for a pitcher.

The Jays GM has gone on record saying that he's not averse to trading prospects.  He said, however, that teams were looking for core players off their roster and that's why he didn't accept any offers this past offseason.

“There were no prospect discussions with other teams that we said a flat-out ‘no’ to,” the Blue Jays general manager said Tuesday. “It was the combinations, maybe of prospects or prospects and players off our major-league roster. All the deals we had in the off-season would have required a big-league guy being added – a core piece. It was never a pure prospect deal.”

The Blue Jays are widely considered to have one of the best groups of pitching prospects in baseball and would be an excellent fit for the Cubs.  There has been speculation that the Jays would also be interested in Garza rather than native Canadian Ryan Dempster because of the extra year of control, and because the Jays would get compensation in the form of a draft pick.

Jim Callis ranked the Jays top 10 pitching prospects in his chat yesterday...

The Blue Jays may have more quality pitching in their farm system than any team, though most of it is at least a couple of years away from making a big league impact. Here's how I'd stack up their 10 best mound prospects:

1. Aaron Sanchez, rhp
Misses bats with mid-90s fastball and curve, just needs command.
2. Noah Syndergaard, rhp
A little less dynamic but more polished than Sanchez.
3. Daniel Norris, lhp
$2 million second-rounder from 2011 can touch 96 mph with his fastball.
4. Marcus Stroman, rhp
Jays stole most electric arm in 2012 draft with 22nd overall pick.
5. Justin Nicolino, lhp
Classic finesse southpaw has quality changeup, best command in system.
6. Matt Smoral, lhp
Slid from mid-first round to 50th pick in 2012 after breaking bone in his foot.
7. Adonys Cardona, rhp
Can hit 94 mph, set record for Venezuelan pitchers with $2.8 million bonus.
8. Roberto Osuna, rhp
Lacks projection but reaches mid-90s and commands three pitches.
9. Tyler Gonzales, rhp
2012 sandwich pick repeatedly touched 97, showed big league slider in spring.
10. Kevin Comer, rhp
Projectable athlete has good life on fastball, feel for secondary pitches.

Stroman, Smoral, and Gonzales were 2012 draft picks and cannot be traded unless they are the PTBL in an offseason deal, but it does give the Jays some depth to trade from.  We also know how much Anthopoulos values draft picks and he'll be able to replenish his stock somewhat with expected compensation pick for Garza.

The Jays also have depth at CF in speedster and top defender Anthony Gose and all-around player Jake Marisnick.  They also have plenty of catching.  C Travis D'Arnaud is probably off limits, but the Jays also have defensive whiz AJ Jimenez at the AA level, who also has a chance to be a solid hitter, and Carlos Perez, who's a solid all-around catcher in low Class A.  Padilla mentioned the Cubs were looking at 3B, but we do know that Theo Epstein values defense up the middle, something this team currently lacks right now in CF, though Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and/or Albert Almora could change that down the road.  As far as catcher goes, the Cubs have a pair of  solid young catchers in Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, but little immediate depth behind them if they don't pan out.

Anthropolous understands long term value as well as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer do, but after a long term rebuilding project, it seems impatience is growing in Toronto, even among the players themselves.   According to the Globe and Mail,

...days after pitcher Ricky Romero made clear getting help after the break was an open topic of conversation in the clubhouse, Bautista used the bully pulpit of the All-Star Game to make a subtle link between the duration of his contract and how it was a matter of common sense for the club to make a run at things.

In terms of fit, the Jays are perfect for the Cubs in terms of pitching and athletic, defensive players up the middle, while the Cubs can offer something few, if any, other teams can, a #2 starter with an extra year of cost control and the potential draft pick compensation that goes with it.

Will Anthopoulos finally pull the trigger here? Will one of those 10 teams scouting Dempster roll the dice on a short term rental and give the Cubs some young pitching in return?

We'll find out within the next 3 weeks.


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  • i know that everyone wants us to get pitching prospects back who are in double or triple A so we can get some near-future help, but the blue jays have compiled what is most likely the best group of pitching prospects in the minors and i really dont care that most of their best pitchers are in A ball.

    i would be ecstatic if we got syndergaard, norris, nicolino and jiminez with a possible ptbnl in gonzales. i think thats a bit much and would settle for syndergaard, nicolino, jiminez and gonzales, but i think thats a great haul. its possible that we'd even get a chance at marisnik if lahair was involved. somehow i feel we'd have to include a bullpen arm like camp in order for AA to pull the trigger. i think theres a reason AA hasnt made a big trade, i think if he does he wants to fill multiple spots with impact players. garza is great, but he could get hurt and then the trade could be completely useless for the jays. by adding in lahair and camp you make the return better and also make it so that other players are impacting their team along with garza.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    It's possible. That's a huge return but we do know the Cubs are looking for something similar to the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, which would mean 3 top 10 prospects. The Jays system is stronger than Cleveland's was, however, but the guys are further back, so who knows? Looks like AA more interested in dealing prospects than guys who could help right now.

  • Music to my ears; back the truck up and get ready to load some combination of Syngaard, Sanchez, Norris or Nicolino(perhaps the Jays version of Smyley) on. In terms of jshmoran's comments above, I am not against adding some players in a mega-deal if it will help pry Marisnick or another quality prospect away. While the signings of Soler and Almora; along with the development of Jackson and Szczur may make it seem like we are set in the OF down the road-keep in mind in 2-3 years when we are ready to challenge in the NL, we will become buyers and will want to trade from areas of strength. At that point, a Jackson or Szczur may be a great trade chip to bring a player in from another organization. Another thought is with McNutt not taking the next step; and possibly headed to the bullpen eventually(would he even be on many top 10 prospect lists right now?)-why not include him in such a package as long as we are getting several arms back ourselves. It is definitely getting exciting!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Well, you can never really have too much talent because we don't know if any of those guys will pan out the way we think (or hope) they will. If they can get a top position player, I'm okay with it. The Jays have 3 position players in the top 50 and it'd be nice to get one of them to headline the deal. With the Jays, though, it's almost certain you'll get some pitching too.

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    In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    I totally agree.

    ANY other team would have to offer AAA pitching talent, but if Garza plus another player of two could net us Sanchez, Syndergaard, and Nicolino, then it would absolutely be worth it.

    Hell, at that point it might not even be a terrible idea to focus the rest of our trades on the Yankees and Red Sox, who also have excellent talent below AA.

    Combine the trade pieces with Baez, Soler, Almora, and this year's pitchers and the Cubs become a sleeping giant.

  • I sure Theo is a great poker player, but I hope he does not wait
    until the last day to trade Garza. With so many more SP going
    on the market less teams will wait Garza. Many GM's will
    not trade their top 1-3 prospects unless they get great
    player in return. The soner he trades Garza and Dempster
    ,at our terms, the better. If we get a 3rd baseman in return
    I hope we package Vitters in one of the deals.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    What you say may be true (fewer teams competing for Garza at the deadline), but there is a large number of teams that think they can get into the playoffs. When team A sees team B making a move to upgrade that possibility, team A is likely going to have to act also. I say (and always have) that the Cubs are in a very good "driver's seat" on this, in that there is no desperation with Garza. The only real problem the Cubs' FO has is that not everyone will be the right fit for a trade, and I'll bet money that Theo, et. al., already have informed suitors as to who is and who isn't that fit. Now we let them compete and see how it shakes out, and if it never does, so be it. To me, the more complex situation is Demp.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    True, I just hope there are many teams still in it. This may
    be the best time to trade Garza, Dempster and other
    players in package deals get the best top prospects.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    On some levels, the Dempster situation may be more complex, but on others more clear cut. He is going to be moved-that much you can pretty much count on. The question remains what we can get given his contractual status. I like your comment regarding the Team A/Team B scenario; and think it gives us a sense that we may make out well with Demp, especially if he nails it Saturday with close to a dozen scouts watching. Will we get Lee from the Dodgers? Maybe not; but we might get a Reed(you have to believe Threeo will love his pedigree) and perhaps another propect. The Dempster move may be one that we add another player in order to extract another prospect from the Dodgers/Braves/etc.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It depends. We don't know what he's being offered now. If he's getting low-balled, why wouldn't he wait to see if he could get more? The only way the Cubs trade Garza or even Demp well before the deadline is if somebody just pays the price they're asking.

  • Off topic, but has anyone heard of possible trade destinations for LaHair? What about Pittsburgh? The Pirates need to acquire more hitting for a title run, and they lack pop at first base and left field, both positions that LaHair can play.
    With their pregnant farm system, wouldn't they be an ideal trade partner for the Cubs. Even though teams don't like to fortify their intradivisional competition, since the Cubs are rebuilding I'd think that would mitigate those worries.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The general consensus on this board is that LaHair would only be traded in a package deal added to a Dempster or Garza trade. On his own, he probably doesn't net enough to justify trading his big bat and his low salary away. But who knows? We all will in 20 days or so.

    You've gotta think the phone lines will be burning up over the next two days with nothing going on.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I would think that LaHair's big bat and low salary would be really attractive to a title hunting team desperate for pop at first base. The Pirates might be willing to fork over some good prospects in order to go for the gusto. They haven't had a winning season in a generation and they have a legitimate chance to win it all. Their best player and MVP candidate is in his prime and their prospect pipeline is plump with promotables.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I think it's hard to justify giving up a good young prospect who is also cheap, for a 29 year old rookie, with little proven track record, and who is pretty much a platoon player given his troubles with LHP. But I'm just an idiot fan, so who knows?!?!

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    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I agree, LaHair's value to the Cubs likely far exceeds his trade value, at least at this point. But maybe some desperate team comes calling with an offer that surprises us.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I'm in this boat as well. I don't think we get fair value for LaHair, so might as well keep him. He doesn't have the most range, but he hasn't been awful in the OF either.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Hey, it worked for the Cubs in 2003 when they got that 1B kid from Pittsburgh who ended up knocking the sausage over in Milwaukee:) I have to believe LaHair is generating some serious interest right now. I love the fact that this guy was given a chance, and made good on it(including making the All Star Team). With his limitations against left handed pitching, however-it seems like the move may be to add him into a mega-type deal with Garza/Dempster if it nets additional prospects in return.

  • John/Tom, please explain the compensation part. How does that work? Why would Jays get comp? Or am I reading that wrong and the comp would be to Cubs?

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Under the old CBA, teams would get a pick or two depending on the level of free agent. They'd have to offer that player arb and the player would have to reject it. This is how the Cubs got extra picks for A-Ram and Carlos Pena.

    Under the new CBA, teams will receive compensation for losing a free agent only if they offer -- and the player rejects -- a guaranteed one-year contract equal to the average salary of the league's 125 highest-paid players. Compensation for losing such players will consist of one Draft pick at the end of the first round.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    By the way, that current value is around $12M for one year. So it's almost certain Garza would decline that and the Jays would get a pick. Even if he doesn't, that would be a bargain considering his recent production.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If that's how compensation works now under the new CBA, wouldn't Greinke and Hamels also bring compensation for their teams? Those guys also would turn down 1 year $12 mil offers instead to shop for a multi-year deal. I keep reading that neither player will bring compensation.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    New CBA also states that you can't acquire a player in his FA year and get compensation. Has to be with your team for at least a full season to qualify to get comp.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Ah, that explains it. Thanks. Boy that really should damage the trade market. No wonder Garza is being rumored to have so much value.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Exactly. He's a notch below a guy like Greinke (and having a worse year), but that extra year and the comp pick are huge for teams.

    Next best pitcher under those guidelines is Wandy Rodriguez. But nobody sees him as a front line guy. Especially in the AL East.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also offering 12 million to Wandy when hes 35 is a bit much and the average for top 25 could be higher by then too. There may be no compensation for Wandy anyways therefore.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John: I'm not extremely familiar with Greinke, but aren't there some concerns out there surrounding his mental make-up and ability to handle a large market environment? With Garza's proven track record in the AL East and competitive fire, he would seem to me like a better option for a playoff-type team. While Greinke may fit at home in a Brewers/Braves/Cardinals uniform-you still have to get it done away from your friendly confines.

  • After initially liking the idea of dealing Garza last winter, then talking myself into keeping him this spring, I'm having a hard time going back to the frame of mind where I want him dealt.

    But I like to hear how many teams have scouts circling the Cubs games. That tells me that there is a bidding war underway. And my hunch is that Jed and Theo have allowed Garza to go on the market only after they started fielding some pretty terrific offers. That sounds pretty good.

    Still, as John's pointed out, there are only a couple teams who have the farm system talent that we're looking for in a trading partner. My concern is that the Jays find themselves the only contender for Garza, then adjust their package downward.

    The next few weeks, I'll be a Blue Jays fan, because if they get to within a few more games of the wild card (currently five games out), then the pressure will build even more to cash in elite pitching prospects for Garza.

    This month is also an opportunity for the Cubs brass to realign its prospect depth. We're heavy on positions players, starved for pitchers. With that in mind, we should look to trade high on guys like Szczur, Vitters and even Jackson if there are teams out there who see those guys as future MLB regulars (Personally, I have doubts.) and for whom adding a prospect bat helps cement a deal for an elite pitching prospect.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I hear what you're saying with respect to the Blue Jays. I just wonder if the Tigers may be in that Garza conversation as well; we've heard their name linked with him more than anyone since the off-season. I'd love it if Castellanos were part of a package along with pitching prospects; the question there is which ones? It seems like the Yankees and Red Sox names keep coming up as well; but not that crazy about what their systems may offer. Who knows, maybe some surprise team such as the Pirates will come out of nowhere to overwhelm with an offer...

  • In reply to Taft:

    Interesting. I do think the Cubs would explore all avenues if it means sweetening a deal. Of the three you mention, Vitters would be the most likely to be added as part of any deal.

  • I believe that Garza and Dempster WILL be dealt, it's a matter of when , not if it will happen. The Dodgers seem to want Dempster very badly, unless Zach Lee is thrown in, the Cubs will look elsewhere. I like Garza, but if the Blue Jays are serious and offer a excellent pitching package, the Cubs would be fools to say no.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I'm about 99% sure on Dempster and more like 60% sure on Garza.

    The Jays are one of the few teams that could obtain Garza and keep a strong farm system pretty much in tact. Other teams have the prospects to land Garza, but few have the kind of depth the Jays have to withstand that kind of blow.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John: You have to love the balance the Blue Jays seem to offer with respect to position players and pitchers. You mentioned it yourself earlier; 3 position players in the the Top 50, but also a stable of young guns to go along with them. Who else has that?! Many of us love the thought of Castellanos; but what about the pitching prospect(s)? If the Dodgers include Lee; do they have a position prospect we'd be excited about(they may and I just am not aware)? It is very exciting/encouraging to hear AA's recent comments-and I for one will be thrilled if Garza/others if necessary help us net 3-4 top 10 prospects from the Jays.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    I think we'd all be excited if the Cubs and Jays could work out a fair deal.

    Dodgers have some pitching prospects. If you click on the Dodgers link in the article, it goes to a past piece where I go through a few nice arms -- all of them have question marks and probably not on the level of the Jays arm. On the bright side, they're further along (most in AA).

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Blue Jays - D'Arnaud isn't going anywhere, right?

    I don't think they'd let Gose go either, but maybe.

    Marisnick is in AA and struggling after his call-up a few weeks ago. His high-A ball numbers are nothing to write home about either. He rates out like Szczur (with more power).

    I think the package requested will be all pitching - and although made up of highly rated guys, most are in lower levels, so lot's of risk. I'd think it would take at least 3 of those guys to get a deal done.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Marisnick's advantage is that he's a couple years younger than Szczur and he probably has more power potential, something we know that Theo values.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I was surprised by Marisnick's call-up based on his numbers; but those could work to our advantage if Threeo are high on this guy. Besides the difference in age(Szczur turns 23 next week), scouts seem to think Marisnick will continue to grow and add significantly more power down the road. Like I mentioned in earlier posts, some may see my Marisnick suggestion as a head-scratcher-given that we may now have 4 OF's among our top 5 organizational prospects. My first preference would be a stud 3B and a top prospect SP-that sounds like Detroit-but will they include Castellanos and is Turner still that highly valued? You may be right about all SP, and we could do worse than a trio of Syndergaard, Sanchez and someone like Nicolino.

  • There have been rumors going around that the Cubs would like a 3rd base prospect in addition to arms as they look to make trades. We know that Detroit has Castellanos and Texas has Olt, but which other teams, that are looking to trade for Either Demp or Garza, have potential stud 3rd basemen in their systems?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to supercapo:

    No other teams, that I am aware of, that are rumored in on Garza and/or Demp have stud 3b prospects. And everything I've read about Olt in Texas is that they don't want to trade him, he can play 1b and RF as well and gives them protection if Hamilton or Napoli leave as free agents. He's supposed to be one heck of a hitter.

    Hopefully they can pry Castellanos away from Detroit. I'd have to think that Turner and Castellanos would be a more appealing package than just pitching from Toronto. Maybe we can get a 2nd good SP prospect from Detroit, but we might have to throw in more than Garza (Barney, or someone else?)

    I still think Shawn Camp is also going to be traded. He should bring back a potential decent prospect, he's having a nice year and every contender needs bullpen help.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Turner & Castellanos - the Tigers top two prospects. Turner is a top 10 overall prospect and Castellanos is a top 50 overall.

    IF they decide they can't win the AL Central with what they've got, they do need a P & 2B.

    Would Garza & Barney be enough? Probably not, have to throw in Vitters at least, which would be a no-brainer if you're getting Castellanos.

    I get the feeling they may stand pat however.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I'm getting that feeling with Detroit as well. They still have the most talent in the AL Central, and they may just count on their own guys turning it around.

    I don't think they get beyond a division title, though, so if they're thinking bigger than maybe they'll roll the dice.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    turner is no longer a top 10 prospect, hes actually been bounces from the top 50.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    It would be very interesting if it got to the point where the Tigers did offer Castellanos and Turner for Garza; but the Jays really wanted to make a run for Garza as well-what the Jays would have to realistically package to exceed the Tigers offer in the FO's mind. Many on this site love d'Arnaud; a package with him and two young arms(Syndergaard/Sanchez) sounds good-but would we have to throw someone else in at our end? For some reason, I wonder if our FO really wants Marisnick included in a Jays deal along with a couple pitchers despite our apparent future depth in the OF...

  • In reply to supercapo:

    Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts. Indians have a good hitting 3B named Lonnie Chisenhall. Not sure Chisenhall much different than Vitters, though.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I've seen Chisenhall in the minors with Columbus. I think better version of Vitters might be the best description. Slighty better range and instincts in the field, and about the same at the plate, but with probably more pop. Like Vitters, Chisenhall will probably never lead the league in walks and OBP. He's not someone I'd expect the Cubs to target in a trade, and it doesn't matter now anyways. He's on the DL, as of July 1, with an injury to the UCL in his right elbow. He's expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I mean fractured right Ulna, not UCL.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    He's probably better than Vitters, particularly because he has a chance to be a legit defender. Just not sure if it's enough of an upgrade to warrant a deal. But as you say, the injury renders the question moot.

  • Which players could they include with Garza and Dempster
    to get a better deal. Dempster & Lahair, Garza & Barney,etc.
    If they had a chance to win in 2014 I would say keep Garza,
    but they don't. Please hope a team meets our price.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Not only do I think they have a chance to compete in 2014, I think the FO better too, or they will have some explaining to do.

    2013: Although not many prospects coming up next year, with most of the big contracts gone, they start to have a LOT of spending flexibility. If they only tinker with the FA market, their payroll will be $70mm. That is unacceptably low for this team. The only way to justify that payroll in 2013, is if they intend to spend a ton in 2014.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I think they'll sign their first big FA before the 2014 season.

  • Ran out of space with the above thread with Just Win/Andrew thread on compensation.

    Andrew: As far as the $12M for Wandy, that's an excellent point. It's an overpayment and I think Wandy would (and should) take it at this stage of his career. Maybe no comp. Similar to Demp. If the Cubs kept him, he just may keep take that kind of offer to stay in Chicago.

    Justin Win: There are concerns with Greinke's makeup and whether he could handle a big market and intense media scrutiny, similar to Javier Vazquez. Garza, on the other hand, has handled the Chicago media very well and we know he's had success in the AL East.

    No question Garza is the most valuable pitcher on the market right now and I think that means the Cubs will try to cash in on that.

  • Sigh.....

    I know I'm skipping a step in the whole process here. But I'm wondering who are the FA pitchers that the Cubs go after this Winter. I mean, the only starters are Shark and Travis Wood. Demp and Garza are supposedly traded. Maholm might be traded but is a UFA after this year. There's simply nothing coming from the minor leagues and at best, AT BEST, one of the players acquired in these trades make the rotation.

    So that leaves 2 pitchers that will have to be bought at FA prices. I mean Theo and Jed have said repeatedly about how important starting pitching depth is. So in reality you might be looking at 3-4 pitchers, Maybe Rusin is slotted as starter #6 or 7. But that's still a lot of P to buy at Marked up prices.

    Maybe they roll dice on a Lincecum bounce back.....? Maybe? Perhaps Jake Peavy. God knows he likes Wrigleyville bars enough. But that will be an interesting discussion. You know, once we're done making predictions about minor leaguers we've never seen play....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Big holes in SP for sure. But lot's of $$ to spend and hopefully plenty of prospects to trade for others team's arb-eligible pitchers.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Interesting points felzz. I'm probably in the minority here in terms of actually keeping Maholm around again next year for the very reasons you mention. I read somewhere again today that there may be teams interested in him before the deadline; but will it bring us back that good of a prospect anyway(maybe if packaged with someone else)? If Garza and Dempster are both dealt, a rotation of Shark, Wood, Maholm, a SP prospect from a trade, and a 5th starter from Wells(tell me I didn't really just say that), Rusin, Raley or a one year sign may be our options. Here's the thing though, I do not believe the Cubs will go all-in on FA pitchers until prior to the 2014 season-that is when I think these guys put the pedal to the metal and look to add whatever missing pieces are left.

  • In reply to felzz:

    FYI, I watch and attend minor league games all the time. I've easily seen more minor league games than major league games this year. I see them play just about everyday, both those with the Cubs and those they've been rumored to have interest in.

    And at any rate I think it's every bit as predictable as to a) which free agents will be available and b) which ones the Cubs will sign. The time for speculating on FA pitchers is in the offseason, when we have a better handle of who's out there and where the Cubs are at. I don't expect them to go for a Hamels or a Greinke. But taking a one year flyer/make good deal on a player like Lincecum may actually make a lot of sense for them. Anibal Sanchez makes some sense if a bidding war doesn't erupt if Hamels/Greinke aren't available.

  • In reply to John Arguello:


    You know when I reference "we" as in "minor league players WE'VE never seen" I am simply referring to us mere mortal humans. Super human Cyborgs like yourself that can somehow check out 6 different games at once and blog about it are exempt because we simply can't comprehend your awesomeness. We need Blood to course through our veins to survive. Whereas as long as we fill up the Arguello 5000 with a liter of Scotch, it can run for days on end....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    Some serious consideration for "Comment of The Year" award here? This is John to a tee. I cannot fathom how he does it.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Haha! When it comes to baseball, I would use the word obsessive over those words :) Can't get enough of it. I'm thankful that I'm able to devote so much time to the game (thanks, in no small part to my wife).

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I like Sanchez, he's young enough to be a future piece but any chance we sign him or Lincecum with the intent of flipping them for prospects later on? Oakland does it all the time and it has jump-started their farm system and major league team with good young players whether big signing or trading for big names. Imo they signed Cespedes to a short deal for that exact reason. For them they just paid for prospects. We could do the same with Sanchez with the added option of being able to retain him long term ala Matt Garza. Possible?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Definitely possible in all cases. Lincecum would have more value on a two year deal as trade bait, though.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I could see theo and CO doing this. It's ironic seeing as Lincecum was once a cubs draft pick.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yes he was! Very late round flyer. Cubs had no chance to sign him. They tried but Lincecum wanted to go to school and deal never came close. Wonder if they could have done it with the money and philosophy they used in 2011?

  • In reply to felzz:

    I'm there with you in thought. Though I'm the crazy person who thinks Theo should go after top pitchers this off-season, within reason--no Pujols type deals....

    To me, it potentially offers a few great benefits:

    1) Have proven top of the rotation pitchers.

    2) Lessens the demand on the farm system to produce pitchers.

    3) Pitching is hard to find.

    4) Those pitchers can always be flipped to a contender next year if the Cubs' success matches this year. Or flipped in 2014. Even if the Cubs had to throw some money in, they'd have more premium trade chips to cash in if it becomes evident that they aren't contending in 2013-2015. Basically two more Garzas, only Ricketts would have to give up money instead of Theo giving up prospects to get a trading chip pitcher.

    5) The Cubs have $. They can spend if they want to. This is especially true with Z off the books next season. It seems to me that "buying" trade chips to potentially acquire pitchers is better than trading chips--when you're short of chips--for pitchers. The Cubs should use their major market $ for their benefit. The new CBA really narrows talent aquisition via the draft & international signing. This could be a way to add talent fast.

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    Here is an interesting scenario brought up. I've heard if the Cards do acquire Grienke and the Pirates consider themselves serious that they would be willing to deal Gerrit Cole or even more likely Jaimson Tallion for Garza because they feel their rotation wouldnt be up to par with what the Reds and Cardinals could throw out there in a playoff series. I hear that those two are untouchable when it comes to Grienke and Hamels because of their free-agent/no comp pick status. Garza give them both a frontline starter for this year AND next year while giving a pick or two when/if he leaves which is the main reason they'd deal a Cole/Tallion for him and would even willing to throw in a Jose Tabata. Is that at all possible for them to be in on Garza? I'd take Cole in a heartbeat, he just seems like the kind of guy Theo clamors for.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think alot of us would Marcel. The problem is that the Pirates sound unwilling to budge on Cole, but would perhaps consider including Tallion in a trade. Not that any of us really know what the boys upstairs are thinking, but is Tallion an attractive enough piece to headline our return?

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    In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    No maybe not straight up, but as the headline of a 3-4 player package for Garza I feel he is attractive enough. I'd have to snoop around their system a bit more. Tabata is a good looking player but has struggled.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Tallion would definitely be worth headlining a Garza deal for the Cubs. He's just not as close to the majors as Cole, which is why Pirates would rather have him than Tallion.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed, beat me to it lol Im sure in the cubs eyes Tallion being a bit farther away doesn't concern them much if he's as legit as the scouts think he is. Some say he might even surpass Cole at some point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Rotoworld just posted that the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting the Cardinals are willing to part with Shelby Miller and Rotoworld is suggesting Dempster as a possibility. I would love to see the Cubs flip Dempster for Miller and then see them trade Garza to the Pirates for Taillon. Maybe they could convince Boras to have Appel sign with the understanding he would be the "Player to be named later" in the deal. Clearly the Cubs have a good relationship with Boras and Appel is not going to make more money by not signing. By convincing his client the Cubs are his best option could be exactly what Boras needs to save face.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Hmmm. I know there's been some concerns with him this year. He has over a 6 ERA and has lost some velo...but Miller is a big time talent when right. If it's nothing physical, that would be interesting to look into.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm hearing they're more likely to trade Tallion, which is fine by me. I like Cole, but Tallion is a good prospect too, just a bit farther away.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't know. I sometimes wonder if the Cole versus Tallion debate is somewhat like the Lincecum versus Cain debate. Cole is ahead of Tallion right now, and Lincecum was ahead of Cain for a while, but eventually Cain passed up Lincecum. I'm not so sure we won't see that with Tallion. I realize that comparison isn't completely accurate. Lincecum and Cain are completely different body types. Most experts thought Cain would surpass Lincecum at some point.. Cole and Tallion have similar body types. Tallion is a year younger and went pro right out of high school. Cole came out of UCLA.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Down the road maybe, but Cole will almost certainly beat him to the majors.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. Cole is going to beat Tallion to the show, but I just can't help but think, as they enter their prime years, that Tallion will surpass Cole. Maybe not by as much as Cain has passed up Lincecum, but to a degree that every still knows it.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It's certainly possible. Both look very good right now.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed, like I said in the above comment and agree with I think Tallion eventually passes up Cole in watching both of them pitch. Cole is a bit more polished right now due to his college experience but Tallion just looks like he'll be the better pitcher.

    Good comparison with Lincecum and Cain, that was highly debated for a long time, but just looking at their body builds it was safe to say Cain would no doubt pass up lincecum at some point, his body and delivery projected a guy who would lose substantial amounts of velocity from the beginning and thats exactly what happened.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    perhaps "throwing in" Dempster and an OF like Reed Johnson &/ or LaHair along with Garza could convince them to include both Cole and Tallion? I don't know how great their rotation is, but I would imagine adding both could really propel them toward the ultimate goal. And I'd assume Demp would be willing to re-sign there if they went deep in the playoffs.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    That's highly unlikely. They'd only have Garza next year to show for giving up 2 of the top 15 prospects in the game. The Pirates are still young, they don't need to give up the farm for one season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That is if he wouldn't re-sign with them. It is all conjecture, but I'm assuming he wouldn't be making a whole lot of money next year at age 37(?).

    They don't need to go all in right now, but at the same time, if you have an opening to get to/win a WS, you take it. You don't sit on your hands just because you are still young. Making/winning a WS could really boost a small market team like the Pirates.

    And the Cubs could always send one of their low level pitching prospects Pittsburgh's way.

    But again, its all conjecture.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    I respectfully disagree on that. They also have a chance to win for the next several years and Cole will be pitching for them by next year and has ace potential, will be cost-controlled for 6 years, and is someone they can build that staff around. They'd be foolish to put all their eggs in the 2012 basket. I'd rather have Cole than the possibility of retaining a 37 year old Dempster for 2013, who despite his good year, is still a mid-rotation guy. If I'm the Pirates GM, there's no chance I trade Cole for short term guys.

    Tallion is a possibility if Garza is involved.

  • I've always liked Cain better for the long haul. I was glad when the Cubs didn't get Peavy. I think his mechanics, body type and shoulder/elbow torque made him destined for DL stints or replacement surgeries. The next guy that makes me believe so is Sale. Too much bend on that elbow and his body seems like an easy bet for breaking down.

    It's enjoyable to read so many informed commenters. I can only imagine how these discussions go for the FO. They must have volumes of information on these guys everyone's discussing.

    Any chance that Dempster comes back to the Cubs after he's traded? He seems like a Cub lifer. Would he come back on a 1 year contract and repeat that annually?

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    In reply to Greg Shuey:

    It's hard to say Greg, but depending upon the prospects the Cubs get, it may be two or three years before they see a return on investment. For example, Toronto's has the best to offer, but their best prospects are all in Low-A. Those guys aren't sure things, even if their ceilings are sky high.

  • In reply to Greg Shuey:

    Sometimes I cringe when Peavy pitches. He's always had questionable mechanics but healthy so far this year. Let's see if it lasts.

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    In my opinion we need to stop listening to the Yankee's, red sox, blue jays and orioles. They are not going to give up what we want for Garza. In my opinion we need to go to the Tigers. Go and get Nick Castallanos and take a few other pitching prospects and be happy. i think that is the best deal we can get. Honestly i would then take and bundle Dempster, Lahair, and Barney together and see if you can get a top prospect somewhere, preferably a top 10 prospect in majors. What do you think john.

  • In reply to Larry:

    I think Dempster will still get a very good prospect by himself and the the Cubs should only include those guys if the upgrade is significant. I don't know if that kind of package could get the Cubs a top 10 prospect overall -- you're talking an elite ballplayer for a couple months of Dempster and a couple of average regulars.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think most fans will be pleasantly surprised with the return that Dempster brings back. If a contender believes that Dempster puts them over the top in terms of a legitimate shot at a championship, they likely won't let losing a top tier prospect stand in the way, especially if that prospect is still pretty far away from reaching the majors. Looking at it from the other side, if the Cubs were one "Dempster" away from having a good chance of winning the WS, who here wouldn't part with a top ten prospect in "A" ball who may never amount to anything in terms of a MLB career?

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    I'd be willing to consider a top 10 prospect from the team within reason, not a Soler, Almora, or Baez but I'd be willing to listen on just about everyone else...if I thought I was a Dempster away.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I've been thinking for a while that Dempster to the Jays would make sense. How could he refuse a chance to go back to Canada? Seeing as how Toronto is stacked with young pitchers at the lower levels, they wouldn't be giving up any sure things for a rental, and Dempster would likely consider re-signing with them. If the FO could get Syndergaard and Sanchez for Dempster, even if they had to throw in a Baker or Campana with the Jays adding a lower tier prospect, that would be a nice start.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    Dempster, though, is from BC, which is on the other side of Canada. Chicago is closer to where he's from than Toronto is. He'd probably be okay with it, but the Jays seem to want someone they can have for next year too, and Anthopoulos likes his extra draft picks. They'd prefer Garza for that second reason.

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    The idea that Dempster would be "going home" going to Toronto is kind of like saying a guy from LA would be "going home to Detroit. British Columbia and Toronto are a long ways apart both geographically and socially. Besides that, Garza just makes a lot more sense for the Jays because of the extra year of control. They have a great core in Toronto but still a good deal of work to do to make a serious run THIS year. Next year could be more feasible.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    In the end, the cost-control for another year and the likelihood of regaining a comp pick is what's most appealing to AA,. He knows he's close, he knows Bautista is about to be leaving his peak years. They just resigned Encarnacion. He might want to take his shot in these next couple of years. I think he's willing to deal A ball pitchers and I happen to think that's a worthwhile risk for him. They easily have the goods to get Garza if they choose,

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    In reply to Matt McNear:

    I guess I shoul have read John's comment before I responded. Well said John.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    I have always wondered how much impact greg maddox had on Dempster. I know that we think of his impact on younger pitchers but it seems Demp got smarter as a pitcher.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Demp really did become a good pitcher. He never quite fit as a closer because he didn't get a chance to use all his stuff.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I dunno, I just sorta feel that Demp will go to an NL club and Garza to an AL club (if he goes at all).

    For Demp, I see the Dodgers or the darkhorse Nats, who are shutting down Strasbourg and have a great 3B prospect and a bunch of not-top, but not-too-shabby pitching prospects. Third option would be the Braves.

    As noted by many, Garza to Jays, less likely to the Tigers, or possibly the Red Sox/Yankees/Orioles.

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