Cubs Notes: Non-Tenders, Castro trade value, TV $, and more on Feldman

Cubs Notes: Non-Tenders, Castro trade value, TV $, and more on Feldman
Ian Stewart: Should he stay or should he go?

Busy day here at Cubs Den already.  In case you missed it, I wrote a comprehensive guide to the Cubs rebuilding process (as I see it) and then later they agreed to sign Scott Feldman and  but there's still more interesting stuff that I want to cover.

I'll put them in a news and notes format for now...

  • The Mets have non-tendered three players and all of them are expected to become free agents when the Friday deadline rolls around.  Two of them put up very good seasons just two years ago and may interest the Cubs. The first is Mike Pelfrey.  The 28 year old RHP was 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 2010.  His FIP is usually higher than his ERA because he has just average control and is a pitch to contact guy, so he needs a good defense and some luck to do well.  He's coming off TJ surgery in May and won't be ready by the opener, but he could provide depth for the Cubs if he's willing to take a minor league deal.
  • The second player is Andres Torres.  I like Coco Crisp as the solution in CF but if the A's asking price is too high, maybe Torres is a poor man's version.  Just 2 years ago he had a phenomenal year in San Francisco (6.9 WAR) largely on his defense, some unexpected power (16 HRs, .479 slugging), and a solid on base skills (9.8% walk rate, .343 OBP).  Like Crisp, he's a switch-hitter who plays outstanding defense and provides some speed (13 SBs last year).  He is, however, coming off an off year where he hit .230/.327/.337 but he still played good CF defense and drew walks.  Some of you may remember Torres had a very season in AAA Iowa in 2008, but that was one year where the Cubs didn't need much help and the Giants picked him up the next year.
  • Carrie Muskat writes that the Cubs are still evaluating whether to tender Ian Stewart.

 “We’re still talking to Ian,” Hoyer said. “We got a report today on his wrist and how he’s doing. He’s taking light batting practice, hitting balls off a tee and it seems like the wrist is progressing nicely. We’ll continue those conversations throughout the week. There’s a decision to be made at the end of the week. We’ve had a good dialogue with Ian and Larry Reynolds, his agent, and we’ll continue to do that for the next three or four days.”

  • Grantland had part 2 of their piece that ranks the trade value of MLB players.  Anthony Rizzo made the "honorable mention" list in Part 1.  Today Starlin Castro came in at #24 in all of baseball.  He's listed in a group with Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Kemp, and Jose Bautista.  You'll notice that group is called, "Group 12: These Guys Aren't Getting Traded, But It'd Be Fun to See What Would Happen If They Did."  No other Cubs player made the list but you'll probably be interested to know that Giancarlo Stanton ranked #7 and that writer Jonah Keri believes the price to obtain him will be enormous.  He also thinks he isn't going anywhere this offseason.  I tend to agree.  For what it's worth, so does CBS Sports' Jon Heyman in this article.  All the signs seem to indicate that the Marlins will not trade Stanton.
  • The Cubs are getting a lot of love from some national media types.  Earlier Jon Heyman tweeted in his typical non-committal style, "i kinda like what the cubs are doing with pitching. feldman has a chance to be a steal at $6M." Dave Cameron of Fangraphs loves the Scott Feldman signing for the Cubs, saying,

"Feldman “might be one of the best buys on the market.” Well, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s headed to the north side of Chicago — the Cubs are making themselves the destination for undervalued starting pitchers."

Hang on to your hats.  The Cubs have been active and I think it will continue to be eventful for the next couple of weeks.

Filed under: News and Notes


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  • Great job. Like what the Cubs are doing. Until next year this is
    the route we have to take. If they can get the right player or
    package of prospects they should trade Castro since Baez
    might be 1 or 2 years away.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks E. It's been busy today.

    From everything I've heard and read, the Cubs will not trade Starlin Castro. Epstein considers him part of the core. Baez still an unknown right now. There are better ways to fill needs than by trading the guys you consider core players.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    I like what the Cubs are doing as well. Your Castro statement, though, is one of the things i've heard quite a few people say should be done and I just don't get it.

    If your trading a Castro or a Kemp, Tulo, etc level player you shouldn't be getting Minor league prospects, no matter the number. The only plausible deal for guys like these are

    1. Multiple legit, can't miss guys who are preferably already close to the majors(at LEAST in AA) or in it. Jurickson Profar, Matt Moore, or Mike Trout level prospects.

    2. A straight "my-best-player-for-your-best-player type deal" for example, Castro-for-Stanton

    3. A young, productive, borderline all-star level player on the ML squad and 2-3 prospects in a teams top 15.

    I know it sounds high, but Castro really does have THAT much value and I don't see any team meeting those demands and they shouldn't. Which is why a Castro, Stanton, etc is so hard to acquire through trade. That's why we're doing what we're doing now. To develop our own impact players so we don't have to gut the farm for them.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Edit: I didn't mean you shouldn't get ANY prospects but if your trading Castro you should be getting the other teams Mike Trouts or Bryce Harpers. And they should have played no lower than AA.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I wouldn't trade Castro either. Baez hasn't hit they way anyone thought he would since he left Boise. He had a terrible average in Daytona and also in the AFL. He had a bunch of RBI's in Arizona, but a lot of people who like the new metrics believe that RBIs are overrated. I know that we're talking a small sample size, but he's been hyped as being a great hitter due to his pretty swing and great bat speed, just like Vitters was. If he doesn't start hitting next spring, I'll begin to worry about the guy.

    Am I worrying too much about him? I'm a Cubs fan and am waiting for something bad to happen.

  • I was watching feldman pitch earlier and he has some good stuff. If he and baker pitch like they can then cubs would be alot better than last year.Not saying playoffs even though things happen but the rotation could be better than last year.

  • In reply to seankl:

    It was pretty good last season until Garza got hurt and Demp and Maholm got traded. At the same time, Shark and Wood could be better in 2013, perhaps Garza too.

  • I immediately thought of the Cubs when I saw that Pelfrey and Torres were going to be non-tendered earlier this morning. My question for you, John is this....With the Cubs already giving Baker 5.5MM, coming off TJ, and Pelfrey also coming off TJ with a pretty similar track record, AND being two plus years younger, why would he accept a minor league deal?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    He probably won't :(

    I think the Cubs will have to look elsewhere for that kind of depth. It probably won't be that big a name.

  • Looking at the TV deal article, the proposed deal with Fox Sports West was why the Dodgers went for $2 billion (and, before that, that McCort wanted to siphon that off for himself). Obviously, a chunk of that goes to pay off the $2 billion.

    The article also leaves the Cubs and Sox in an ambiguous position. In the Cubs' case, CSN pays maybe $36 million a year for 80 games, but there is also the 20% equity interest. In the Cubs' case, they are estimating $14 million a year from WGN (by implication of total revenue of $50 million). I thought that WGN had locked up the Cubs as part of the terms of sale, but the article indicates only through 2014, or just 2 more years. I assume that the Cubs will do better than that the next time.

  • In reply to jack:

    Cubs will do much better than that in 2 years. That was a sweetheart deal between Zell and WGN.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think we can count on that money coming in a couple years and get a CF and a SP now and just backload their contracts.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I hope you're kidding.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If the Dodgers are getting almost 1.5 million a game for the next 25 season's worth of games, I'll bet the Cubs should get some insane money as well, although probably not as much as the Dodgers. The Dodgers have been spending that money since the new ownership stepped in. I know that ownership group has money, but they won't want to throw it away. Everyone is saying that they'll be sorry because of the luxury tax, but I doubt that. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Luxury taxes will simply be considered the cost of doing business.

    I think if the Dodgers deal is any indication of a new value being put on broadcasting rights to baseball because of the ESPN universe of stations, the MLB network, Fox, NBC and CBS's new sports channels, Comcast and all the rest, you better believe a lot of the old rules are out the door.

    I'm sure that one of Rickett's other companies could loan the Cubs money to fund a prime free agent or two for the next couple of years until the new tv money kicks in. If the Dodgers are looking at a 6 billion dollar contract, then why can't the Cubs expect maybe a third of that?

  • Torres fits the profile and the Cubs coming off a down year type.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That is the Cubs signing players coming off a down year.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He does. He is older and a late bloomer, so some risk there but I'm sure he'll be dirt cheap so it won't hurt if he fails. Would still much rather have Crisp, but will have to see what As want for him.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A good friend who is a huge Giants fan says Torres' one good year there was the abberation. Never looked very good.

  • Feldman is a nice signing, he has big game experience, and pitched really well in the AL championship series in 2011.
    Any coincidence, but the Cubs pitching staff is starting to sound like a law firm. Feldman, Baker and Wood. Shark and Garza don't quite sound like Harvard Law school though.

  • Shark is a great name for a lawyer.

  • As long as it isn't Corey Feldman and Two-Ton Baker.

  • I know people love to talk trades but instead of trading castro because people think all prospects pan out. lets keep castro and baez and then move one of the to another position. I remember theo saying baez could even play second, having castro and baez at the same time could be better than having just one of them. Like john said there are better ways to get players than trading one of your core players.

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    In reply to seankl:

    This exactly

  • In reply to seankl:

    Castro and Baez on the field together....I can't wait! Baez would be one of the top offense second baseman. Now if we can snatch up catellanos from Detroit!

  • That trade values article you reference was entertaining. The write up on Stanton includes a link to some info on the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis for Cameron Maybin/Andrew Miller that one worked out well for the fish.

  • In reply to MIcubsfan:

    Goes to show the danger of trading young established MLB players for prospects, especially pitching prospects is a huge risk. Maybin is an okay CF'er but he was supposed to be much more than that. He was the 6th ranked prospect in all of baseball at the time and Andrew Miller was the 10th ranked ranked prospect and was considered the 3rd best pitcher in the minors that year behind Phil Hughes and Homer Bailey.

  • There was previously some half-witted ad about someone's "best friend's half sister" making a gazillion dollars an hour via the internet.

    I zapped it, but it zapped all the comments that followed and some were pretty funny, so I'm restoring it and editing it so that the ensuing comments stay but the ad itself is gone...

    -- John

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    In reply to llindacardellini:

    Please don't flood this site with that stuff.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I agree Marcel. I hate this crap. Wish it could be banned.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Hubbs16:

    I don't know about you, but I love to read job offers while talking baseball. :)

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I'm sure you're all filling out applications as we speak ;)

    Seriously, I'll zap it. Must have gotten through our spam filter.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I get special notices like that by email. I just found out that I can make a bundle of cash handling money for a Nigerian lawyer.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Haha! I get my share of those too.

  • In reply to llindacardellini:

    My half-sister's best friend loves the Cubs, and we all hate this garbage on any Web sites, but especially on this one.

  • In reply to llindacardellini:

    What motel is she working out of?

  • fb_avatar

    How do you know she's a Cardinals fan?

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Yeah, you can get the redbird special!

  • The Redbird Speshul: Shows up at your door with red feathers and two teeth.
    But the teeth match.

  • "Cubs are still evaluating whether to tender Ian Stewart" is Navajo windtalk for "if we can't land Keppinger."

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Ha! Could be. It's either that or they're trying to negotiate a pay cut and a removal from the 40 man.

  • I bet the latter's a hard sell in this weak 3b market.

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