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Cubs Rumor Thread: 11/4

Cubs Rumor Thread: 11/4

It's time to fire up the old rumor thread.  For those of you that are new to this site, this is something we tried at the deadline earlier and it was a lot of fun and a good way to keep up with what's going on with the Cubs.  We expect this to be a busy offseason and the Cubs wasted no time getting started Friday, though they came up short.

We'll keep updating this page every time we hear a rumor, so keep checking back.  We'll scour Twitter, the various websites, and hopefully from some of our sources.

  • 10:30 AM: I should probably write a separate article on this idea based on this slightly older piece from Jim Bowden on ESPN Insider.  It's Tigers-centric and he doesn't mention the Cubs specifically but he brings up a name that may interest Cubs fans: Rick Porcello.  We know the Tigers have been linked to Darwin Barney in the past, but Porcello is a groundball pitcher who needs a good infield defense behind him.  So if the Cubs get Porcello, it's probably a good idea to hang on to Barney too. What Bowden says the Tigers may be looking for is bullpen help.  The Cubs very nearly traded Carlos Marmol for Dan Haren.  Should they look into striking up a deal for Porcello?  He's only 24 and is a bad fit on the Tigers.   I think he's a perfect fit for the Cubs on a number of levels.  They have a solid infield defense with Rizzo, Barney, Castro, and Stewart/Valbuena, he's young enough to be a long term fit if he succeeds, and most importantly for the Cubs right now, he throws strikes (2.3 walks/9 IP for his career).  A high BABIP last year and a slight uptick in fly balls leaving the yard may have inflated Porcello's ERA a bit last year.
  • 9:24 AM: Nick Cafardo lists his top 20 free agents and has the Cubs listed as interested in two of them: Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster.  I've long been a fan of Anibal Sanchez and had him pegged both last year as a trade candidate and early this year as a guy who might fly under the radar as a free agent this season.  That is no longer the case as Sanchez pitched well in a high pressure, high profile situations and is likely to draw interest from several teams.  At 28, he's still young, however, and if the Cubs were to sign a player who could still be good when they become competitive in another year or two, Sanchez would be it.
  • 7:00 AM: The Cubs have shown immediate interest in RHP Brandon McCarthy, writes Susan Slusser.  Other teams involved include the White Sox and the Blue Jays.  I expect McCarthy to re-sign with the A's but the Cubs have the advantage of being able to outbid them.  Given their interest on the first day he was available, perhaps the Cubs are more serious about McCarthy than I first thought.  In past signings they've got in early and often to establish a relationship with players they want.  McCarthy has really improved his control the last two years, walking less than two batters per 9 innings both years.  McCarthy missed time with that scary incident late last season when he took a line drive to the head. McCarthy has also  had nagging shoulder issues and has missed time each year, never making than 25 starts in any major league season.

 

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  • Any thoughts on upgrading OF? I realize that there any real appealing options in FA or obvious trade candidates.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I expect the Cubs to add a starting outfielder via free agency.

  • Angel "Crazy Horse" Pagan. Atone for another of Hendry's myriad mistakes.

  • Kind of a lesson not to give up on talented young guys early. Pagan would sometimes player very well, then make a lot of frustrating mistakes when he was with the Cubs. But he was also cost-controlled, young....seemed like no reason to give up on him so soon.

    Could be worse. We could be the Mets, who gave up on him twice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good points!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    To be fair: given the development personnel Hendry had in place, it's quite possible he would have fizzled out if the Cubs had kept him.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think they'd like to get a veteran if they could but I think it's lower on their priority list. Like you said, not much out there. I expect them to go hard after pitching and then see what's available as far as 3B, a backup catcher, and an OF.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Well, how about including Brendan Bosch as part of the acquistion for Porcello? There's your RF!

  • *i wkae up to check cubs den see a rumor thread my reaction* YEEEESSS I ADORE THE WORK JOHN AND TOM DOES ON THESE!!!!!!!

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Haha! Thanks. Might be a little slow for a while, but last year it got so hectic near the deadline that it was constant updates.

  • I read Susan Slusser's report a little differently than it to mean the Cubs have shown immediate interest in McCarthy.

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    The statement that he's drawn immediate interest does not necessarily relate to the next one that lists the Cubs, White Sox and Blue Jays as the teams who have shown that immediate interest. I read it to mean that these are teams that are in need of starting pitching. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

  • In reply to Seanhopper:

    You could be right, there. At any rate, I think the Cubs will have interest but I don't see McCarthy leaving the A's as long as their offer is competitive.

  • In reply to Seanhopper:

    It is an unclear sentence. That the two statements are linked by a semicolon suggests that she is naming clubs that have shown immediate interest, but that is not exactly what it says.

  • What a treat to find the Cubs Rumor Thread up and running for the 2012-13 off-season. I think many of us at this site realize it is probably unrealistic to expect much from the 2013 version of the Cubs. However, I was very excited when it was first reported that they had acquired Harden from the Angels. For some reason, I am concerned that the Cubs are going to find some difficult sledding with respect to signing free agent pitching this winter. For starters, you yourself alluded the other day that there will be other shrewd front offices out there looking for the same SP attributes as the Cubs(throwing strikes, missing bats, bounce-back candidates coming off a tough year and/or returning from injury). Here is where our FO may differ: I don't see Threeo deviating from their philosophy of shorter deals/no no trade contracts-not so sure some of these other front offices will stick to their gameplan if they either believe they are on the cusp of being successful; or if when it comes right down to it-they realize they can get their SP if they compromise their corporate plan a bit and go a year or two longer on a deal. I may be wrong, but I see our crew as maintaining their discipline and not following down that path. Also, with so much competition among teams looking for SP, why would a free agent SP want to sign a shorter deal with the Cubs knowing going in they may very well be flipped at the trade deadline? That leaves us with the Malholm approach; but that stroke of genius on the part of the Cubs will not occur every year; and more teams are going to follow the Cubs model after the success they had with it last year. What does that leave? In my opinion, the leftovers from the FO market who may not have been on the Cubs radar in the first place; or looking at traditional trading; or a more outside the box type of approach. That's what I loved so much about the Harden almost acquisition-it was a way to get a jump start on acquiring quality SP prior to the free agent frenzy. With that deal falling through; and with the competition among front offices, I believe what we are more likely to see now are prospects like Lake, Vitters, McNutt or even Jackson or Szczur being dealt to add to our pitching depth. I love what Barney brings to the table; but I would not be surprised if we end up shipping him out if that is ultimately what it is going to take to get SP or SP prospects in here. I hope I am wrong; and that a McCarthy level SP or two come on board on a shorter deal(I have no issue adding money if that's what it takes. Thanks John!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    It is going to be hard to get a good pitcher without overbidding because of the Cubs rebuilding situation right now. Money always talks, of course, but you want to make sure that the deal works for the future too and that he fits what you want on your team. I see that changing very much by next offseason and certainly by 2014.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You're right on about the Cubs having to overbid for pitching, John. That might apply to position players, too. I'd prefer to see them value younger players over older ones.

  • Sorry John, I'm getting my Haren's and Harden's mixed up today!!

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Hah! I keep wanting to call Dan Haren, "Daren Haren".

  • The Cubs are at a disadvantage in that free agents can get longer contracts or no-trade clauses from other teams, but that is balanced by their ability to offer more money than the others due to a low payroll and high budget. And once signed, they can trade more easily than other teams because they can swallow most, if not all of the money remaining on the contract, as they did with Dempster.

    With strict limits on signing draft choices and foreign free agents, signing vets for biger money and then trading them for prospects is one of the few ways left to acquire young talent. I expect all of the big market teams will ultimately realize this, but I hope the Cubs get in there first, big time. Edwin Jackson might be a good candidate, in that he has had several short contracts already, and there is usually a good market for him at the trade deadline. Give him 15 million, or whatever it takes, and trade him in July, eading the rest of his contract, for a decent prospect

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Jackson will be looking for a multi year deal and will probably get one. That makes eating his contract problematic. When I think of Sanchez and Jackson, I think of guys you plan to keep for at least 2-3 years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We don't have to eat multi-year contracts to trade a sp to add worth - a half season's worth might be enough if we're not overpaying.

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    The problem I have with Sanchez: he's a good to very good pitcher, but certainly not elite. All things considered, I would love to have him on my team. But, given that Peavy is gone and Greinke probably goes back to the Angels, Sanchez emerges as the best pitcher on the market. A team who is a piece or two away is going to big high for him. Beating that offer is going to be very expensive -- especially since the other offer may come with a NTC that Theo will then have to compensate Sanchez for.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think there's a good chance Sanchez gets paid well and you lose part of what makes him so appealing in the first place -- his value. There was a point where you could possibly get him on the cheap and get production above and beyond. That may no longer be the case. With Sanchez, the guess here is he'll be good but you'll probably get what you pay for rather than great value.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    My fear is that a contender will overpay for him -- it's not a terrible plan if you're the Tigers or the Rangers, since what you're really doing is spending money not just on Anibal Sanchez, but to keep Nick Castellanos and Mike Olt in your system come August.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think if you go over 4/60M you're probably overpaying and it's not hard to see that happening in this weak market.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed

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    If we signed Brandon McCarthy it would give Starlin increased practice in dealing with the routine grounder...

  • In reply to James Knott:

    McCarthy will re-sign with Oakland.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Is this fact or opinion? There were rumblings that Oakland might deal McCarthy last year after he returned from his shoulder injury.

    I believe that McCarthy could quickly price out of Oakland's budget, which I think Oakland could survive given the bevy of young arms that saw major league action along with the resigning of Colon.

    Given McCarthy's age, I also don't believe he will necessarily give a home town discount. He has yet to sign a contract in his career of any substantial worth, so he may be seeking something that will pay him closer to top of the rotation money -- more than what the A's will spend.

    So, while there may be mutual interest between the two sides, I don't believe it is a slam dunk. With the immediate interest shown from multiple teams the A's may not be able to stay competitive with their bid. At the end of the day, money talks.

  • In reply to DGP10:

    It is all opinion. McCarthy may very well resign with Oakland, but it more likely that some other team will be willing to pay more in this market where demand will outpace supply and force contracts to be much higher than what most teams will be comfortable giving out. It only takes 1 team.

  • Brandon Inge could be a valuable pickup. Plays 3rd and catches.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    He's an excellent defensive 3B too. Average will always be problem but he does some other things well and has the kind of makeup the Cubs like.

  • Interesting story from Orange County Register....Angels GM DiPoto claims that Marmol "flapped his gums down" too much and can't control it like he cannot control his pitches.......forget about any future Marmol deals to the Angels.

    Haren has physical issues on throwing......I believe Theo did not want to throw Haren under the bus and ruin any chance of Haren hooking on another team.....

    Grady Sizemore....look for Theo to offer Grady a one year with a second year option........

    Can we forget about these higher level pitching free agents coming here......Cubs will go after Feldman, Villanueva, Baker, Hockevar & Braden......

    Now that Theo showed his hand that he will trade Mamol, look for a Winter Meeting deal to happen....maybe adding a Junior Lake or a Tony Campana to get two pitching prospects....

    Now for the "Crazy Rumor of the Day".......Alfonso Soriano will tell the Cubs he is willing to be their hitting coach when he retires.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    That was the reporter, not DiPoto, making snarky comments on Marmol. DiPoto refused to comment -- which is exactly what he should be doing.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Don't let the facts get in the way of CubsTalk thoughts...he doesn't.

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    Don't feed peanuts to "C n A" Troll.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    okay....you should get the job on that ESPN sports show where the producer guy tells the sports guys where they made their mistakes...........

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    The comment about Marmol talking too much was the reporter's own theory, pointing to reporter Pujol's own tweet. Maybe there's still interest in Marmol in Anaheim, but probably no more worth than a damaged pitcher.

    However, show me a pitcher with as many pitches thrown than Haren with no medical problems... I'd certainly bring him in for a look-see and a doctor visit.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Haren does have arm problems which was reported......any contract will have a medical check-up.

  • I wanted to save this for an article and maybe I still will, but I added a bullet on a pitcher I think the Cubs should be pursuing -- Rick Porcello. We talked about him here last year as part of a possible return on a Matt Garza deal, but now it seems the Tigers are looking for bullpen help. The Cubs happen to have a ready made closer readily available.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Maybe I missed it but have you done a run down of SP's that could be available in trade. That would be interesting to see where our surplus in our system and our major league parts may be a match.

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    I haven't done something like that other than the non-tender market, where the choices are pretty slim. Porcello leaps to mind as a great fit but I'll find time to research some more.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Looked back at your articles. Ah, the glory days when we were going to trade Garza for a huge return...

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Love this article, in particular, where you say some nice things about Arodys Vizcaino before we had any idea how big that name would seem to us:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/02/trading-garza-is-far-from-a-guarantee-to-bring-back-top-mlb-talent/

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks. It was one of those things where you set out to find something, but then wind up finding out something completely different -- and a lot more interesting.

    I forgot about Vizcaino in there. I've always liked him. Was thrilled when we got him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sad...looks like an opportunity lost. Cubs were asking for a big return, doesn't seem like anyone was cooperating. Tigers got Justin Turner for Sanchez, for example, but rumor was Cubs wanted Castellanos too. They may have good reason because Turner no longer looks like a front line guy and may be more like a 4.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You know, you'd have to say the Cubs are happy they didn't trade for a package built around Turner and the Tigers are happy they didn't trade Castellanos for a guy who broke down in August. Everyone is happy with the non deal, which is I suppose a good thing for getting a Marmol deal done this offseason.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Frankly, I'll be very surprised if Marmol is still here this offseason. Source told me shortly after the deadline that Marmol next most likely to go, but that it would probably happen in the offseason. Hope he's right.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Clearly I don't have anything close to your sources (or "a source" for that matter), but as best I can intuit the plan Theo and Co. are following, Marmol is a piece they simply don't value very highly right now, and so an obvious candidate to be moved. Long way of saying I agree with you, getting there by a completely different road.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This would be something more for December when teams start to do more trading than November when it mostly free agent talk. It would be interesting to see what is out there.

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    Yes, I agree. Usually a bigger market in December after some of the FA smoke clears and we know team needs better.

  • How about trading Marmol for Alfredo Aceves? Like Shark, he's always wanted to start. He's got good stuff, 4 pitches, and could easily get stretched out before spring.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Word is he's a bit of a prima donna, if such a thing can be said of set-up relievers. Good stuff, though, as long as the Cubs don't think that will be a problem.

  • I would be shocked if Garza is traded in the off season..........right now, teams would want to see him pitch in games.........Look for a July trade......more teams will be in the hunt by then.........the players we gave up for Garza, have not paned out yet for the Rays........Archer is projected as a long reliever.....maybe the Cubs can get Delgado from the Braves?

    15 minutes until kick-off.

  • Plenty of pitcher will be available between now and the end of the
    Winter meetings. Just don't trade any promising prospects,
    We need one more year to determine which ones will be part
    of our future.

  • john what kind of prospects would we get for marmol if we traded him to the angles. Are they other teams that are interested in him besides tigers and angles?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Have heard there's some interest around the league. I think they can get something useful, but I wouldn't expect a top 100 prospect. May also try to fill a need as they almost did with Haren.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What is rick porcellos ceiling?

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    3rd starter, but probably a 4.

  • That's what I see the Cubs doing with Marmol as well, looking for need rather than a prospect. Somebody will come to the Cubs for Marmol , bullpen help is always needed .

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    John, if Marmol is traded this winter, who will close for the Cubs? Marmol did a good job recovering from his poor year, the year before.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    Since this is a rumor mill...Why not Brian Wilson??? Funny guy and we could trade him and the deadline.

  • In reply to WillieG1:

    Wilson has medical issues that go beyond their 2010 series win.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    What they've said is they'd either promote somebody from within, like Russell or pick up a non-closer from the trade or FA market then convert him into a closer. It creates value if it works.

  • Going back to the original rumor...Do we want to sign a 29 years old, 6'-7" hard throwing RH pitcher? Um, heck yeah. Okay, yeah he has a long injury history. Not too concerned about the concussion. But his limited stats look great. Seems like his control is pretty good.

    John, pretty please with a cherry on top write an article about SP's that the Cubs good trade for. You're the best.

  • In reply to WillieG1:

    Thanks Willie. I'll definitely do that. I may wait a bit to see how the FA market shakes out, but I'll do it soon.

  • I thought about Porcello during the season involving other potential trades like Zambrano. So I like it! And at 24 he is the right age, and he needs a change of scenery. All for it! But keep Barney. Trade Marmol and a minor leaguer if need be.

  • Seems silly to trade Marmol for bullpen help. Marmol IS bullpen help.

  • John
    Heard any rumors about how the Cubs are going to address their awful record against LHPs last year?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I don't know if they're going to specifically target that. Probably more concerned with increasing the overall talent level. Hopefully that improves their performance no matter who they play and where. They also need to get much better on the road.

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