Cubs Offseason Notes: Watkins, Baez, Marmol, rumors

Cubs Offseason Notes: Watkins, Baez, Marmol, rumors

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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  • Santana to KC.

  • Thanks Ray. KC isn't surprising at all, they're as desperate for pitching as the Cubs and they're tired of rebuilding.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Kind of cheap too. Sisk has a solid arm for a LHP, but he's been in AAA for awhile and I believe they exposed him to the Rule 5 this past year too.

  • John what bothers me is so call cubs fans already complaining about not spending money. They will be the same fans asking for theo to be fired when things don't go well. That's why I like coming here and hear you guys make sense. I understand people are frustrated and the economy is bad, but theo and company can't make baseball decisions based on fans being too old to wait or the economy. Those are some of the complaints I hear, spending money and not producing would be more frustrating if you ask me. I'm glad theo is sticking with the plan, and you see the teams that win in the playoffs are the teams that have good farm systems. Do you think theo would go after haren if doesn't cost to much ?

  • In reply to seankl:

    Thanks Sean. You'll always have those group of fans who want to make big baseball decisions based on things that are off the field. It's not going to happen with this FO. They'll only make a move if it makes sense on the field, not because of the economy or attendance or the general impatience of fans. Trying to please fans whims is a good way to wind up sitting in the stands next to them.

  • In reply to seankl:

    As for Haren, I think it's possible but it has to be at a reasonable cost. Perhaps the Angels will be less motivated to trade Haren cheap after dumping Santana's salary. We'll find out soon, I guess.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I got one more question, how many errors did baez have AFL, and the splits between short and third. And carrie muskat said some scout told her that baez is a better defender than castro. What do you think ?

  • In reply to seankl:

    I talked to a different scout that says Baez is good but Castro is better. I think that would probably be the consensus, but it's a nice problem to have.

    I don't know on the splits. I think Baez made something like 9 errors and I believe 4 were at 3B even though he spent much less time there.

  • Joakim Soira is now free. He could be used as a late inning guy or an eventual replacement for Carlos. But then again, what use does a possible 90 loss team need with a closer.

  • In reply to historyrat:

    No use really, except to flip him later, as Theo implied in the quote above.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Word from KC is that the Royals are negotiating with Jack on a new deal. But anything is possible; we'll see if that deal comes through or if they decide he's a luxury. The Royals do have a ton of power arms in the bullpen.

  • John,

    Carlos pitched much better in the second half of the year, but was it enough to raise his trade value significantly? Who might be interested if and when the Cubs move him and what would be a reasonable return for him? When he is on he still has very good stuff, so he could be a solid piece for a team that is close or looking to compete.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    I think what will raise his trade value was getting his fastball up to 96 mph last year. There's no more questions of him losing arm strength, if anything, he was throwing harder than ever.

    I think any team that lacks a closer and wants one that's ready to go will be interested because Marmol has the experience already.

  • Bruce Levine mentioned in his chat that the Angels were looking at Carlos Marmol. Seeing the Ervin Santana for Sisk trade makes me wonder if Cubs pulled back or were asking for more for Carlos. Or maybe there thinking Dan Haren swap??

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Could be. That would really cut down on how much the Angels save by trading Haren, so if I were them I'd turn it down. Kind of defeats the purpose. Maybe the Cubs can take on additional salary to balance it out in a multiplayer deal.

  • Haren just makes so much sense for the Cubs. He is a solid starter, and if he pitches any where near his norm next season, they could make him a qualifying offer and pick up a supplemental pick if he goes free agent after the year. How many teams are really prepared or able to take on 15 mil. for a pitcher right now?
    I would not mind a Polanco if the price was right, nice stopgap player, who plays the game the right way. You could do worse than him and Valbuena sharing time.

  • I think he makes sense if the price is right. Whatever they give up has to be much less than the value of a supplemental pick. They can't count on him being worth 15M after next season, so you need to mitigate that risk. They seemed pretty reasonable with Santana, so perhaps the offers for Haren will be as well.

  • Dal-las Bra-den.....
    Clap! Clap! Clap Clap Clap Clap!

    Dal-las Bra-den....

    Clap! Clap! Clap Clap Clap Clap!

  • In reply to felzz:

    Today referred to as an STD.

  • I'm all in with Felzz--Dallas Braden is worth a shot. He's a character, but, when healthy, he's got good stuff and the kind of grit this front office is looking for. He's young, and coming off surgery similar to what they've done in the past. Good man in the clubhouse.

  • I just read that Rick Ankiel may be willing to give pitching another shot. Any chance the Cubs take a flyer on him if the price is right? If that doesn't work they could always stick him in the OF.

  • fb_avatar

    Not sure if this has already been posted but anyone check out They mentioned something about the Cubs and Dempster being in talks of a contract. They refer to Carrie Muskat and an article on Did anyone else call this last year? I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

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