Cubs Den Staff Predictions: Who will the Cubs add for 2013?

Cubs Den Staff Predictions: Who will the Cubs add for 2013?

We have a rough idea of what the Cubs are looking for, what they are willing to spend, and what's on the market.  It's safe to say that this isn't a year for a dramatic free agent spending spree that will turn the team around.  Those looking for a quick fix solution are likely to be disappointed.

That's not to say that the Cubs can't improve drastically, but the feeling here is that they will improve in the short term with pitching and defense, not with star power.  And certainly not with non-stars making big free agent money.

Our predictions are for 2 starting pitchers, an outfielder, third baseman, and one wildcard.  Here are our picks...


SP) Trevor Bauer

Seeing as how I just wrote about him in a comments section, he's kind of on the brain. He's this year's Rizzo. A "Statement" acquisition about what Epstoyer is trying to do.

SP) Bronson Arroyo.

Excuse me while I punch myself in the rocks because this guy just drives me bats. But he's cost efficient, has a Red Sox tie with Epstoyer, fills the whole "Maholm" criteria. And him and Theo can "jam".Ugh.....

OF) Nate McLouth

Lefthanded, athletic, and rebounded after injuries and awfulness in Atlanta. Can shift OF spots. And is short term. All boxes ticked.

3B) Eric Chavez

I'm just so Anti-Ian Stewart, that I'm kind of reaching. But I think Chavez also fills a "Veteran bat off the bench" presence that this team so sorely needs. So you can rest him at 3rd with Valbuena (Hopefully Vitters in August...doubt it though) and will be someone that Rizzo and the other kids can talk to.

Wild card) Ryan Madson

Dude wants to close, and after Marmol is traded ( How can he not be traded now?) The Cubs will need a closer. Especially since they intend to make their best candidate a starter.


SP) Shawn Marcum

Kind of the media favorite, I'll go along on this one. Marcum throws strikes and wouldn't have far to go to relocate.  He's the kind of guy who could build value if he stays healthy and has another good year.

SP) Hyun-Jin Ryu

It's not very often you can sign a 25 year old LHP at the top of his game.  The fact that he dominated the KBO gives hope he can succeed here in the MLB, but that's far from a guarantee.  The stuff and command is of a #3 or #4 starter.  Ryu could be a long term solution.  Of course, this could be wrong as early as today when and if we find out another team has won the posting bid.  If not Ryu, then I'm turning to Joe Blanton ( xFIP of 3.39)

OF) Coco Crisp

Fits what Cubs are looking for as a good defensive CFer with versatility and a LH bat.   He should be relatively inexpensive as far as trade return.  He's also on a one year deal.

3B) Ian Stewart

I don't think the Cubs are going to sign anyone major to play 3B.  At best I see a bargain bin RH bat who can also play SS to give both Stewart an occasional breather.  Valbuena is the fallback plan again at 3B if Cubs decide they don't want Stewart based on reported off the field concerns that have surfaced.

Wildcard)  Scott Feldman

I'm guessing a 3rd pitcher with some flexibility might help.  Feldman can start, pitch short relief, or anywhere in between.  Throws strikes and was one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball.  I think there's some hidden value here. He may come in handy at the deadline, whether it's dealing him, putting him in the rotation to replace departed pitchers, or...get this...close if and when Cubs trade Carlos Marmol.  Theo hinted he'd like to create value by signing a  lesser known pitcher they like and then trying him in the closer role to increase value.  Though it was only 13.2 innings and small sample caveats apply, Feldman was pretty dominant when they put him in a relief role (1.98 ERA)


SP  Shawn Marcum

I think Marcum is the type of pitcher that is right in the Cubs wheelhouse, he fits their profile and is in need of a rebound. I think they can secure him on a one or two year deal. He could be this year’s Paul Maholm.

SP Brandon McCarthy

Ok I admit this one may be more what I’m hoping for rather than reality. I think this is the kind of move they need to be making. McCarthy could actually fit into the long term plan. If he really excels you could again flip him for prospects but I think he would be a potential keeper. It isn’t like the Cubs won’t be competitive in the next two seasons or so.

3B Ian Stewart

I had a brief flirtation with the Kevin Youkilis idea. However Stewart still fits as long as he hasn’t turned off the organization or teammates. Together with Luis Valbuena, they could hold down the fort until Javier Baez is ready.

OF Coco Crisp

I think this makes sense on many levels and he should be obtained without giving up too much. Front office has had interest in the past.

Wild card  Nyjer Morgan

I really feel the Cubs will get an outfielder rather by trade. I also would still like to make a play for Angel Pagan but I could see him being priced out of the Cubs range for this particular time. Morgan at the least would provide a glove in CF and another LH bat.

Which 5 players which would you pick at these spots?

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    3B: Ian Stewart
    CF: Nyjer Morgan
    SP: Ryu, McCarthy
    W/C: Casey McGahee

    McGahee might make sense as a platoon with Stewart and/or Chavez.

    I can't see Coco Crisp, since Beane seems to want young ML-ready talent in return, and we should not surrender ANY. Though Marmol might make sense for the A's, since they are closer to contention, and the $ would almost be a match.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Depends on what he wants back, I guess. Except for Castillo, Castro, Rizzo, Shark, Cabrera, and maybe Dolis, I consider most of our MLB ready talent to have a modest ceiling.

  • I like the way you guys think. One thing, wouldn't the Cubs have to trade for Arroyo?

  • You would be correct. He is signed through next year. Guess Felz meant trade on that one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Arroyo would still be a possibility but after the Cubs fleeced the Reds in the Marshall trade Cincinnati might be wary.

  • I was talking to my buddy yesterday who works out of Oakland Coliseum who said a lot of A's fans are concerned if McCarthy will come back the same after his severe head injury. He got ok'd to begin light throwing about a month of 6 weeks ago. Remember, his injury caused him to have brain surgery.

    Meanwhile it's Saturday, 1 am in Korea with no news about Ryu. I wonder if we'll hear anything before Monday.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I believe Ryu's owners have 4 full days to decide whether or not to accept the bid. That puts the deadline at Monday afternoon.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    They've received the bid. Now it's wait and see. It'll probably happen tonight since I'll be away from my computer.

  • Coco Crisp......Jim Hendry was after him several years ago

    Eric Chavez......I picked myself a few weeks ago

    I said earlier I have a feeling about Feldman.....

    McLouth would fit in good with our club......

    Due low quality starters on the F/A market, expect higher rates this year on below average pitchers.

  • Looks like Cleveland is listening on Masterson. Choo and Cabrera, as well. Not sure if the last 2 would be a fit.

  • I don't think Arroyo's price is anywhere high enough where they have to worry about getting fleeced. ( Did they get fleeced on the Marshall trade? Marshall was part of a very solid bullpen that propelled them to the central title....Seems like they got something out of it for two players they had no plans for.) And Arroyo has no place on the Reds. he can probably be had for b-level prospect.

    I hope I'm wrong. But it seems like a good call. It certainly is an easier move than outspending the Dodgers for Ryu....

  • In reply to felzz:

    3 "assets" for 1, and Marshall pitched himself out of the closer's role. Factor in his age and salary and he's an expensive set-up man. Meanwhile, the Cubs get a much younger starting pitcher and 2 much younger "prospects".

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    In reply to felzz:

    Is it a given that they'll try Aroldis Chapman as a starter next season? I've heard some buzz about it but nothing like a confirmation. If that's the case, then I guess you're right, someone in that rotation will become expendable. I'm not so sure Arroyo would come so cheap, though.

  • Seems that the Cubs have made an offer to Francisco Liriano. For some reason not a big story, it's buried at the bottom of a Cubs won't get Youkilis story for ESPN Chicago. I'm sure this stuff is going on all the time, but interesting that he was among the first. Cubs may be going for upside here.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I like it, anytime you can buy somewhat low on a LHP Im in.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, Shawn Marcum is a RHP.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    He's referring to Francisco Liriano.

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    In reply to João Lucas:

    Referred to Marcum as a LHP in the article, Joao

  • In reply to DGP10:

    Ooops I was rushing this AM, sorry brain cramp.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, you guys rock - no worries. Tons of people check out this site so you've got plenty of editors to keep you guys in line ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for posting that, John. You'd think that'd be bigger news. The Cubs' FO sure plays their cards close to their vest, don't they?

  • Morgan, Stewart, Ryu, Marcum, no wild card.

  • I don't think the Cubs will be interested in Marcum based on his last start at Wrigley Field. If Theo and Jed were watching, it was a hot, humid day and Marcum sweated so profusely he couldn't control his pitches. He was coming back from injury and labored through four innings. Knowing that Marcum is a professional, I doubt he was sweating out the toxins from the previous night on the town, so his age and body type leave little pause for optimism. This is also a pitcher that Milwaukee, with all their injuries, has no interest in bringing back. Caveat emptor with Marcum.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    I doubt our front office would base a player evaluation on one performance, sweaty or not.

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    SP: Shaun Marcum
    SP: Joe Saunders
    3B: Ian Stewart
    CF: Drew Stubbs
    WC: Carlos Villanueva
    WC: Kyle Blanks

    (With compliments to John for having hinted at those bolder guesses of mine!)

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Drew Stubbs...excellent.....but unlikely.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree, I just thought I should mention someone that no one seems to be talking about. But I don't think it's such a wild guess either. I figure the Reds have to be a little frustrated with his numbers at the plate, especially in 2012, and, as a contender, they gotta be tempted to go after a bigger bat. Stubbs was even considered a non-tender candidate by MLBTR the other day. And he'd be a great fit for the Cubs, in my opinion.

  • Lots of good guesses out here. We'll have to see who's closest at the end. Might not be until spring, though!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The non-tender deadline (Nov. 30) might be putting a crimp on player movement.

  • Good point. I'm sure it will slow it down, especially those teams looking for some bargains.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Just in time to award that person a spot in the official Cubs Den fantasy league! :D

  • What would it take for the Cubs to get Gordon Beckham from the Sox?

    Could Beckham play third?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    He can play 3B, but he was replacement level at 2B. Not sure he can carry that position offensively.

  • SP: Brandon McCarthy
    SP: Francisco Liriano
    CF: Nate McClouth
    3B: Ian Stewart
    W/C: Scott Feldman

    I love the two S/P. High upside and we can overpay on 1-year deals with club option for 2nd w/ buyout. Just like Malholm.

  • In reply to apalifer:

    I'd take that.

    I'm not as big a fan of McLouth as a lot of people here. I dont think his defense is what the Cubs are looking for at that position.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. You'd really have to put McLouth in RF and DeJesus in CF and then both positions are weak defensively. McLouth could be a nice low-cost gamble in LF if they trade Soriano this off-season.

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    In reply to apalifer:

    I'd go longer with McCarthy if his physical checks out.

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    John on Feldman: He may come in handy at the deadline, whether it's dealing him, putting him in the rotation to replace departed pitchers, or...get this...close if and when Cubs trade Carlos Marmol--John, you're speaking my language. Yes, the Cubs should absolutely go after him as a value signing for closer. Also, what do think John if the Tigers non-tender Boesch or the Rays non-tender Sean Rodriguez? Rodriguez has played 3b during his career and he's a plus defender. Should the Cubs acquire either one?

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    Not a big fan of Boesch, but I've always kind of liked Rodriguez. Can play all over the IF, athletic, some pop.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Do you think his increased SO rate (Boesch) is due to his swing and could the Cubs fix it like their trying with Jackson? Boesch does have solid power when he makes contact.

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    I really like the idea of getting Feldman. Can do a lot of things for you. I don't think he's ever closed, but I think that was kind of Theo's point. If not, he makes a pretty decent starter at a pretty low price.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    40 total saves in the minors from 2005 through 2007. A+ to AAA.

  • Condolences to the MacPhail family.

  • SP Liriano 1 yr 5 mil (club option 7 mil)
    SP Marcum 2 yrs/ 14 mil
    CF Crisp
    3B Stewart 1 yr/1.5 mil
    WC Blanks
    Super Wild Card: Garza proves healthy and we trade him to toronto for drabek and 2 pitching prospects.
    Raelly hope this is the way it turns out and its realistic at the same time. if liriano or marcum turns it around we have a pretty decent trade chip on our hands. if both do then we could be looking at a fun deadline. if garza is still around he, liriano and marcum could all be traded

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    That's good haul. I'd be happy with that.

  • SP: Brandon McCarthy
    SP: Francisco Liriano
    3B: Ian Stewart
    CF: Coco Crisp
    WC: Nyjer Morgan
    WC: John Lannan

    I put Liriano because of the reports they made him an offer. I think Lannan would be a great Wrigley pitcher & I feel he is a step above Travis Wood. Garza-Samardzija-Mccarthy-Wood-Lannan or Liriano to start. Maybe even both Lannan & Liriano with one of the LHP in the pen?

    The 3B choices are pretty ugly, they may be thinking defense first, thats why Im thinking Stewart. If his wrist isnt healed, maybe they will make a play at Eric Chavez, though his fielding isnt quite what it used to be.

    I dont know if the Cubs want to pony up what Oakland might ask for Crisp & give Morgan a shot. Maybe Gerardo Parra if they can come up with the trade bait.

  • Fangraphs has a nice piece on Feldman today. Calling him a poor man's Brandon McCarthy...

  • BTW McClouth was a PED user so I wonder what the deal is with his yo yo career.

  • I think you guys are missing how important Coco was to that A's team. He was the soul in a lot of ways. I don't see them moving him.

    How about Michael Young as a deep sleeper wild card?

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I guess they could try him at 3B if they can get him cheap. Defense would be a stumbling block. Not a good defender at any position.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Micheal Young was my first thought for WC. But I ultimately decided against him because 1) His production is in rapid decline (Don't have the numbers but from an eye test he's gone way down...) . and 2) a player who's been on a contending team going to a rebuilder like the Cubs takes a certain humility and character, and I doubt Young has it.

    I'd be all for it, if he's ready to play jack of all trades on the field and be a mentor off of it. I just don't think he is.

  • I think I just had the Maholm comparison on the brain too much in regards to Marcum.

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    Tori Hunter (Maybe outside of the Cubs price range but a great defender although his plate approach maybe the Cubs would not be interested. His son will be playing at ND next year if that helps)
    Madson or another closer type especially if Marmol is on the way out of town.

  • Sp: Liriano
    Sp: Masterson
    Of: Morgan
    3b: Stewart and Mcgahee

    Stewart's wrist will never be 100%. Too many small bones that surgery cannot repair. He will always need rest days and will be one hard, awkward, or check swing away from reinjury, but with a good platoon or backup could be useful.

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    I like how you think with Trevor Bauer, and to me it is a not brainer but I don't think we are willing to give up the pieces to land him. I don't see us trading Baez for him just because pitchers carry more risk then position players and this is clearly a buy low situation.

  • SP Baker (Like his upside more than Marcum, but it's reach since the Twins do seem to want him back)
    SP Ryu
    3B Stewart (If there's one thing we don't address this offseason. It's 3B.)
    OF - Crisp (A's seem to have a logjam in the OF, just hope it doesn't cost to much)
    WC - Feldman (Pretty much the reasons you stated, although will he be willing to sign if he isn't guaranteed a SP job? Assuming we sign 2 SP previous to his signing)

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    I like Baker too but same thing. Dont' think the Cubs will sign him. I think he stays in MN.

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    SP: Ryu, Liriano
    3B: Stewart/Valbuena
    OF: Nyjer Morgan
    WC: Marcum (Wood as 5th starter after Garza is traded)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can buy this one. I'm still going Feldman for that WC spot, He's getting a lot of love on the interwebs today.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I like the Feldman call a lot, but I had to keep someone off to play by the rules, and it was him. It actually wouldn't surprise me to see tham sign all four pitchers.

  • Chavez can wow all the kids with stories of his rookie year in Nineteen Dickety Two.

  • John: For what it's worth, I heard that they are talking to Baker about a one year deal if he can pass a physical. Hope it is right!

  • SP - Ryu and Marcum
    3B - Stewart
    OF - Pagan
    WC - Feldman

  • SP - Scott Feldman
    SP - Charlie Morton (Non-Tender or Trade)
    OF - Rajai Davis (Trade)
    3B - Brandon Inge
    WC - Ryan Sweeney (Non-Tender or Trade)

    Unfortunately everyone and their brother knows the Cubs game plan which is too sign low and trade high.

    I think they'll try hard at Liriano, McCarthy, Marcum, and Blanton but someone else will offer them better contracts. So I think the FO staff will have to work hard at the winter meetings to come up with some trades. Eric Chavez won't come here. He wants to win a championship and he knows his time is limited. I hope he proves me wrong. I hope they try to go after Rasmus in a trade but Toronto will ask for too much.

    BTW I'd take all the Oakland FA's. I think they're all studs.

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    SP- Francisco Liriano
    SP- Shaun Marcum
    OF- Torii Hunter
    3rd- Lonnie Chisenhall
    WC- Carlos Santana

    The Cubs will go after cost effective injury plague pitcher that they can either flip to another team if out of contention or sign long term. Marcum and Liriano fit that mold. The Cubs also need a guy who can produce from the right side and hit behind or in front of RIzzo and Hunter does that. Once again cost effective and he can play everyday. The Cubs will also make a trade with the Indians that net them Chisenhall and Santana. They will have to give up prospects of their own to get this deal done but the Indians make so much sense in a trade. The Cubs need a good solid young backstop with ML experience and that is Carlos Santana.

    Cost effective now and makes the team beter for the future.

  • SP) Carlos Villanueva
    SP) Brian Matusz
    OF) Melky Cabrera
    3B) Jeff Keppinger
    WC) A.J. Pierzynski (need a back-up to Castillo).

  • Off topic - I see that LaHair is leading the Venezulean winter leagues with 15 HRs. Too bad he doesn't have a position here. I wonder if this can boost his worth?

  • Just saw this tweet:

    Dan ‏@MyKBO

    Ryu Hyun-jin's winning bid is $25,737,737.33
    Retweeted by Harry Pavlidis

  • In reply to SFToby:

    For some reason, probably the repeating numbers, I'll bet the Red Sox or the Rangers won the bidding. I can't recall which team used a repeating series of numbers to win a previous auction.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    お先真っ暗 ‏@osaki_makkura

    Chicago Cubs have won the exclusive negotiating right for Ryu-hyun-Jin with a record $25.7 million posting fee. #mlb

    not official - rumor

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Jon Heyman is saying is not the Cubs.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I dont know who to believe john heyman or osaki

  • In reply to SFToby:

    The repeating number for the Sox getting Dace K was a bunch of ones. 737 is the area code of Austin, Tx. I think the Rangers won.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Rangers and Cubs say no.

  • Dodgers? They've got more dollars than sense as Captain Stubing would say.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Could see it being the Dodgers.

  • That Dallas source now says he's not sure.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    SI says it the Cubs.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    7 and 3 are lucky numbers in Korean culture, I read. Hence the odd figure on the bid.

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    God I hope the Cubs won that Bid

    SP 1 RYU

    SP 2 Liriano if we don't get RYU as they want a lefty

    3B Jeff Keppinger

    WIldcard----BJ Upton.....I think Theo still has nitemares of what Garza/Crawford/Upton/Longoria did to him in that playoff series. He has Garza, made crawford rich, and now will make BJ rich. Longoria, he will be going after next year.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Also I could see them pick up Villanueva which could make it a lot easier to trade Garza if they feel he's pricing himself out of an extension.

  • sp1 ryu
    sp2 marcum
    2b stewart
    cf morgan
    WC1 jair jurrjens
    WC2 daniel bard
    I can see theo getting jair very cheap and if he works out it will pay off and i have a feeling that theo will want to take bard because of his relationship with him

  • john will you make an article about RYU if the cubs get him ? and i guess you were right they did announce the winning bid tonight...

  • Liriano
    I also see the FO making another bold trade alike the Rizzo one. If this happens it would be a successful offseason. And please dont trade Baez.

  • SP) Scott Baker. Like his 2.1 BB/9 plus coming off an injury so should get him relatively cheap.
    SP)I was going to go with Hyun-jin Ryu here but Heyman's reporting we didn't win him so I'll go with Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy's injury history scares the poopsmith out of me, but I like his 1.9 BB/9.

    OF) Michael Bourn. I know, I know, but some reports have him going for as low as 5 years 65 mil which we could totally do without a bump in the road of the rebuild.

    3B) Valbuena/Stewart/Lake. Too many in the pipeline to go out and spend money on them in such a crappy market.

    Wildcard) Trevor Bauer. This is just the kind of deal this FO is genius at pulling off. Only thing I wonder is if they're a little gunshy about the rumor he's hard to coach after the same problem with Volstad, especially with what they'd have to give up to get him.

  • SP) Roy Oswalt - He should be cheap and won't be in the way when the team is relevant.
    SP) Scott Baker - muncher of innings
    OF) Grady Sizemore - a cheap risk-free bounceback candidate with Tony C as his caddy
    3B) Winner of an iron cage death match between Brandon Wood and Andy Laroche. It would be virtually impossible to get lesoducon from this corner so why not take a bottle out in a storm and look for me lightning? Fallback: Minor league fa Marquez Smith,who earned and never got a shot w the big club.
    Wild Card) Alex Rodriguez and a dump truck of cash in exchange for future considerations.

  • Dark horse 3B candidate: Matt Carpenter of the Cards. He's a natural corner IFer. It would probably take some chicanery--I mean creativity--to get him because the Cards are reluctant to deal with a Central rival, something like a 3-way trade may do the trick. I like his bat too. he might be a good pickup.
    Plan B: Keppinger.

  • I don't care about which they get now, but I do have an opinion on arms long term. It isn't often that you can find a #1 or even a #1a or 2. I think it is easy to find a boat load of 3s, 4s, and 5s. If a pitcher has the arm and the repertoire to be that, then how can you devalue him? I think that Arodys Vizcaino must be given the chance to pitch as a top of the rotation starter, but also progress by his schedule and not the Cubs desperate schedule. If he breaks down again, or somehow he can't bring back his repertoire, then make a closer out of him. I think Samardzija is at least a #2. I have a feeling there are a few more #1s or #2s down on the farm. I think that max's the talent for the future 5.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    There is a rumor out there that Taijuan Walker and James Paxton are both available.

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    In reply to WickitCub:

    Is the Mariners GM high?

  • Jeremy Bonderman says he's finally healthy. We should invite him to SP.

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    I like the idea of McClouth and I have a soft spot for Arroyo, but how in the world do you propose the Cubs could land Trevor Bauer from the Diamondbacks? I'm not against it at all, it's something that would happen in my dreams, I just don't see how it even seems possible in reality.

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