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."
- Some interesting stuff on TV contracts for every team in baseball from Wendy Thurm at Fangraphs. It's a great resource and source of comparison.
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