Cubs notes and rumors: Fujikawa, Carpenter, Barney, Marmol, DeJesus

Cubs notes and rumors: Fujikawa, Carpenter, Barney, Marmol, DeJesus

The winter meetings are over but it doesn't mean we won't hear rumors and perhaps even a move or two....

  • The Cubs announced the signing of Kyuji Fujikawa today (follow @csnmooney and @espncubs for updates) and there are some interesting thoughts from the Cubs new RP, who will wear #11 with the Cubs.  He said that he wanted the Cubs all along. "In my head it was Cubs, Cubs, Cubs." said Fujikaway.  The ivy in the stadium reminds him of his own team's stadium in Japan, the Hanshin Tigers, and that the Cubs history played a big role in his decision.  He also said he has set up and closed in Japan, so it's nice to know he's comfortable doing either.   Said it's up to the manager as to when he's going to pitch. It's a good thing that Fujikawa knows not to step on anyone's toes when entering a new organization.  Smart guy.  I like him already. Jed Hoyer emphatically stated that Marmol is the closer and to have the best bullpen possible. That's something we talked about yesterday that is becoming a strength of this team.  Hoyer did say things could change, of course.
  • Noticed a lot of speculation in the comment section on Barney in Tom's most recent article.  While I don't think the Cubs are looking to trade Barney, I think it's worth noting that the red-hot Luis Valbuena has been playing mostly 2B this winter.  That's not necessarily the Cubs decision or recommendation, but it sure makes it convenient for a short term stopgap if there's a team willing to give up something of value for Barney.
  • Jon Morosi speculates that the Mariners could be interested in Cubs OF David DeJesus because they need a leadoff man and DeJesus has the sort of OBP skills you like at the position -- all at a reasonable cost.  Morosi suggests that the Mariners could part with some of their young pitching.  I like DeJesus but that's something the Cubs would have to consider for the long term benefit of the club.
  • The Cubs have signed 27 year old RHP Andrew Carpenter, who was once a prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.  Carpenter isn't going to blow you away.  He's a pitcher that relies on command and mixing things up.  But he is versatile.  He has had varying degrees of success in the minors as both a starter and reliever.  He has some MLB experience as well, but he's been tagged a bit, sporting a 7.50 career ERA in 33.1 IP.  The long ball has played a big role in his struggles.
  • The Tigers are parting ways with Jose Valverde and are looking for a late inning RP who is capable of closing according to Buster Olney.   Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Traderumors mentions Joel Hanrahan and Chris Perez as candidates but perhaps they should consider Carlos Marmol.  It seems plausible but the one hang-up for me is that Marmol may be a little too similar to Valverde in terms of erratic control for Detroit's taste.  There's a big dfference to me, however.  Valverde will be 35 and his stuff has declined while the 30 year old Marmol's arm is in prime shape.  Unlike Valverde, Marmol is still talented enough to get out of the trouble his control lapses sometimes create.

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  • Hello John,
    First time commenting but a long time reader. I gotta say you write nothing but quality stuff and I check most of your articles out.

    My question is: would a Rick porcello for marmol trade be reasonable?

  • In reply to DcCubsFan:

    Thanks DcCubsFan! Appreciate those kind words.

    Your idea is more than reasonable. Would be outstanding if Cubs could pull off such a deal. Cubs get better of it in terms of cost control and value...but Tigers trying to win now so maybe they bite. I suspect that the deal may have to be expanded a bit to make it work, but it's worth a shot.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Couple points on Tigers and relievers.

    First, you make a good point John on Marmol; part of the attraction, other than just a 1-year commitment, is that injury/wear is not a problem with him. There is risk with his command, but the Cubs helped him alot last year by convincing him to rely more on the fastball. That should stick with the next org, if it's the Tigers.

    Verducci on SI.Com had an article with 5 points, one if them about Rafael Soriano; he turned down a $14 mil option and qualifying offer, and is finding little interest, because teams that sign him would surrender a 1st round pick (and at least $14 mil, presumably). The Tigers need a closer, but they emphatically said "No-Thanks". I'm keeping an eye on this one, but it looks like Soriano really overplayed his hand (or more precisely, Scott Boras did)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i think that if the cubs could get porcello for marmol that'd be great, but id also be very happy with smyly. he's left handed, 23, club controlled for at least another 5 years and he would be perfect for the situation the cubs are in. he could start the year with the big club until baker/garza are ready and then if hes struggling or not doing as well as t/j hoped then he could be sent down to AAA to work on things. if hes succeeding and travis wood is struggling then the same can be done with wood, and if both are doing well then we have a very good problem on our hands.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Yeah I'd definitely rather have Smyly. Not sure if that would work straight up?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, This type of thinking where you bring in some good quality players for Barney, Marmol and DeJesus is what the cubs need to do to keep interest on for 2013. There will be some good players coming in 2014 and 2015, but why not move on these players now? And thanks to you and the others who are mentioning this.

  • Should still try to trade anybody that can bring value back.
    Like the little moves that the team has been making. It will be
    at least 1 more year before we should start signing big FA's.
    Sign and invite as many non-roster players as we an to ST.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agree that Cubs should bring in many players, especially arms to the mix. If you hit on just one guy, it's worth it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Good idea, Hard part is I think they are running out of slots at AAA.

    Here figure to be starters:
    OF: B-Jax, Bogusevic, that guy they signed, can't remember his name.......plus Campana if he stays, maybe Vitters if Lake plays 3B
    IF: Vitters, Lake, Watkins, Maysonet/someone who can UT...1B probably for anyone to get ABs
    C: Clevenger

    SP: Vizcaino, Cabrera, Rusin, Raley, Struck

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Can't stash them in AAA but you see what they have in the spring. If one guy looks like he has the kind of arm that can help, you keep him.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    A friend told me in the past few weeks that the Cubs were definitely moving Junior Lake to the outfield. I've read that he has started a number of games in the Winter League in the outfield. Is there any truth to this rumor?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agree! Agree! Agree!

  • I would love to deal all 3 of these guys.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Me too. I think we want Barney dealt more than anyone here lol

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    i am right there with ya Marcel on dealing Barney.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    If we deal Barney - it better be for something 'good'. Good attitude. Excellent glove (obviously). Hits passably well. And apparently was useful in helping Castro get a better handle on playing SS later in the season.

    I would rather see the Cubs hold onto him for another season to keep the middle of the IF stable, but if they get a good offer for (especially) a good arm or two for the Farm - Valbuena can cover 2B as a stopgap while we figure out whether one of the youngsters is ready for the day job in Chicago.

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    RE: Mariners and DeJesus, part of the return could be Franklin Gutierrez, who can field CF and has lost his starting job. That's not enough of a return IMO, but it's a start. It would make our OF defense VERY good with him, Schierholz in RF, and Soriano in LF.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    we could deal dejesus and a bullpen arm for gutierrez and a decent pitching prospect. this way we both teams get what they want.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think that'd be a nice piece to get back, particularly because it opens up a hole in CF for the Cubs. Would shore up the only defensive weak spot on the Cubs.

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    DeJesus to the Mariners intrigues me. I'm sure they'd love to up grade leadoff without spending a fortune (Bourne) or hurting their minors too badly (Span), so I could see something there. Of course, until we've heard there's actually been a conversation, we have nothing.

    I actually wonder if the Tigers may not be in for realsies on Fujikawa come July. If he pitches well, there's quite a bit of value in that contract, and the Tigers do have a few pieces to move to win now.

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    I think they hold out on trading dejesus until we get a feel on Bjax progress. If he absolutely rakes in spring training he's my CF and you trade dejesus. If not you have Dejesus or another stopgap cf on the market. You can always find a cheap Cf to plug in for a few months. If somebody will give you value for Dejesus he's good as good. Soriano(or brown maybe?), Jackson, Shierholtz doesn't seem all that bad to me.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    If the Cubs move DeJesus, then they kind of put the lie to the dream of having any chance to be competitive this year. I'm ok with the move if they get back good value, but what I like overall about the outfield is that they're setting themselves up to have a lot of flexibility and some decent platoon. If Soriano goes, there are options. If BJax comes up in June there are trade chips available. But if you trade DeJesus, then your flexibility is really curtailed.

    Again, I'm good with the move, but I don't think the front office is looking to move DeJesus, which means they'd have to be surprised by the offer to do it, in my opinion.

  • John, enjoy reading all of the articles. Keep up the good work. By far the best resource for all things Cubs especially on the minor league front. How does a trade of Garza, Marmol, and Barney to the Tigers for Porcello and Castellanos work for both sides? Tigers still unwilling to part with Castellanos?

  • In reply to cubsfan:

    Thanks cubsfan!

    Tigers don't need Barney since they picked up Infante last summer, but they may end up needing the other two. If Barney could play SS, maybe. But I don't think he can. It's worth looking into for the Cubs there are some pieces that match up pretty well. It helps that the teams have different goals and are going in different directions in terms of short term vs. long term.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The Tigers might not need Barney but they sure can use him. He's much better defensively than Infante. They can always trade Infante or make him their super-sub.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Can you think of a team off the top of your head that does? The Tigers made a lot of sense last summer. Not so much any more.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I wonder this as well. Whomever it is needs to have a decent offense already and a less-than-inspiring 2B incumbent option. I would be looking to sell high on Barney. Valbuena looks a lot less awful offensively here than at 3B. And Watkins is presumably close. The only downside is that you might be losing flexibility at 3B if Stewart doesn't get it together or stay healthy.

  • The presence of Valbuena, Fujikawa, and Schierholtz makes Barney, Marmol, and Dejesus look like trade chips for sure. The Cubs should be getting lots of calls from several teams. I like Dejesus and Barney, but Marmol can cause me to change channels.

  • Hopefully, a year from now the Cubs aren't in the same situation with Barney as they were with LaHair, wishing they had traded him while his value was high rather than evaluating him for what he is, an excellent defensive second baseman with a below average offensive skill set for the position.

  • I think we overestimate LaHair's value to other teams even when he was hitting. No team was convinced it was going to last. The peripherals weren't there.

    Likewise, I don't think a team is fooled by the fact that Barney won a Gold Glove. Everyone knows his limitations offensively and that it will it be very, very tough to repeat that defensive performance.

  • Interesting...
    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2012/12/05/will-the-chicago-cubs-eventually-move-anthony-rizzo-to-the-outfield/

  • In reply to apalifer:

    I can answer that question in one word: No.

    The author had no evidence, statistics, scouting...nothing to support his ideas other than he thinks that Rizzo would make a better LF than Vogelbach. Sure, that's probably true, but you could say that about most players in baseball.

  • Love your work, John. I turn to this page regularly for Cubs updates and good debate.

    It's clear to me that Hoyer is so emphatic about saying Marmol is the closer because it anoints Marmol as having more value, which is desirable when your clearly trying to trade him. We want closer quality in return, no set-up quality.

  • In reply to Ronthesandwich:

    Thanks Ron!

    And totally agree on Hoyer's stance on Marmol. The old regime often telegraphed when a player no longer had value to them. This FO looks to try and at least give the perception that they still value their players.

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    I'm amazed that everyone poo poos DeJesus' ability to play CF . Fact is he has played more CF than RF & LF combined. As far as I know he hasn't suffered a debilitating injury that would cut down on his ability to play there. Is he a burner out there,no,but neither was Reed Johnson.It seems to me he would get a better jump out there than in any corner spot. A comment John on this possibility wold be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    That makes sense but he just hasn't played it all that well. He may get better jumps but he never was very fast and he's lost speed as most players do when they age, so his range is limited out there.

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    This is thinking way to far ahead, but isn't what we are doing here. Before the 2014 season David Price will be a free agent. The Cubs will be the Team that grabs him. No other Team will be able to give the sort of future every pitcher desires.

    Now I realize people are going to balk at signing any player to those huge contracts. In the Show these days it's very clear big contracts are the norm. If you have to do that you have to be sure that player will be worth the contract. Price will no doubt help this team when they begin to pull it together.

    In 2014,if you are paying attention and this sight has some of the best knowledge I've come across. They won't be a World Series team but they will put fear into the teams they play.

    They have 3 maybe 4 cannot miss young boys in the system and whatever else needs to be fixed Theo & Co. are going to put this together for us to enjoy.

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