After that long prospects list, thought it might be a good idea to catch up with what's going on around Cubville...
- Logan Watkins has been named to replace Javier Baez on the Mesa Solar Sox. Watkins can fill in at a number of positions, including 2B, CF, and SS. I like the idea of getting him some ABs this fall. He tends to be a slow starter and maybe this will help him hit the ground running when he starts at Iowa this coming spring.
- Speaking of Javier Baez, there's a nice article on him at Baseball America (Insider required). In case you still think he's not a good kid despite some of the antics, this could change you're mind. For those who don't subscribe to BA, the article focuses on him dealing with being a young kid away from home and living (and eating) in a different culture. It also talks about how his competitive nature sometimes rubs the opposition the wrong way, but Baez just has an intense passion for the game and is trying to learn to balance that with respecting the game, his teammates, and the opposition.
- Theo Epstein doesn't sound too keen on Carlos Marmol's long term fit with the Cubs. That's not to say he doesn't think he's valuable to the team. Epstein talked about how much Marmol improved and how he's reinvented himself as a viable reliever, but it appears that Theo would like to give other players an opportunity or perhaps go outside the organization to try and get a short term asset to convert to a long term asset later, "I would look at it as an opportunity to try to give someone an opportunity. Either internally - a pitcher that we believed in and liked and exposed them to that role (so he) could maybe develop into that type of asset... Or go outside the organization and try to buy low on a pitcher that we really liked and then build value by putting him in that role." It seems we should expect to hear Marmol in the Cubs rumors quite a bit this offseason.
- Speaking of rumors, the deadlines for Angels pitchers Dan Haren and Ervin Santana and decisions on whether to pick up their options years are fast approaching. The Angels are trying to decide whether to pick up that option or trade one or both. They've been talking with several teams regarding a possible fit. The Cubs are said to be among these teams, but to what extent is not known at this time. Either pitcher would be welcomed as a short-term fit but the Cubs may look to flip them long term. The issue is the price tag. It's not likely the Cubs can pick up elite prospects for a rental at the deadline, but the idea is that they'd like to come out ahead when it comes to dealing the prospects they need to acquire him now versus the ones they might acquire later. It's possible the Angels may have some interest in Marmol, as they have in the past. UPDATE: The Royals have acquired Santana for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk. And so it goes, the cost was obviously reasonable and it seems that if the Cubs could have beat that if they chose. Perhaps there really wasn't a whole lot of interest there to begin with.
- Some 3Bs just potentially became available recently. Mark Reynolds and Placido Polanco have had their options declined and Casey McGehee has chosen free agency over a minor league assignment. Slim pickings, but such is the state of the 3B market these days.
- One more piece to go on the top prospects lists and it's the overall list. So get your own lists ready and see how it compares. Barring some unexpected Cubs news, that post will be up tomorrow morning.
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