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Cubs Notes: More on Jackson, Villanueva; Beliveau, Rosario claimed

Cubs Notes: More on Jackson, Villanueva; Beliveau, Rosario claimed
Cubs front office offseason work is getting some praise from national media

Remember the days where we'd have to read about all the Cubs questionable moves?  Well, unless the writer is from the St. Louis or the south side of Chicago, the Cubs are getting great reviews around baseball.  It's one thing when Cubs fans are optimistic about the offseason, but it's nice to hear it from more impartial voices...

On Edwin Jackson...

  • Keith Law of ESPN (insider only) says that Edwin Jackson fits into the Cubs rebuilding plan and that it allows the Cubs to be flexible with trade possibilities.  Matt Garza becomes an obvious candidate and the Cubs may have the depth to trade another arm if guys like Scott Baker and Scott Feldman make a good showing and provide the Cubs with the depth to deal.  An interesting sidebar is that Jackson got an $8M signing bonus, which drops his annual salary down to $11M/year.  If the Cubs do eventually decide to trade Jackson, that will make things a bit easier, though Law considers Jackson (along with Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood) as a valuable piece for the 2014 team.  He thinks it's a good signing to secure a good arm now with next year's SP market already looking pretty thin.  Something we noted ourselves here at Cubs Den.
  • Ben Rieter of SI writes a nice piece on Jackson being a well-traveled pitcher who has consistently been an above average performer.  The chance for some stability helped the Cubs land a good pitcher who deserves some stability.  Reiter points out that Jackson began to change his approach last season.  He is evolving from thrower to pitcher and it resulted in a higher strikeout rate and less walks.  There is still some room for growth here.  In general, he lauds the Cubs for landing 4 pitchers with upside for $73M, or as he calls it "half a single Greinke" or as Brett from Bleacher Nation noted yesterday on Twitter, less than one whole Anibal Sanchez.  He further notes that the Cubs now have a "real rotation" behind Samardzija and Garza and can begin their march back to relevance.
  • I alluded to this piece yesterday, but Dave Cameron of Fangraphs likes the signing as well.  He likes that the Cubs are trying to improve and not simply sitting back and waiting for the drafts and for prospects to develop --both of which are more unknowns than we care to admit sometimes.  He considers Jackson a valuable pitcher at a reasonable cost.  Cameron notes on the Cubs offseason in general,

"The Cubs are a big market team. They needed to add talent to make any kind of serious playoff run in the future. They might not be ready to make that run in 2013, but they’ve given themselves a better chance to be a surprise team next year, and now they’ve solidified their rotation beyond next year with a quality pitcher at a decent price.

For Jackson, after years of getting traded and changing teams every year, he now has some security. And he has that security with a team that has made some big strides this winter, improving both their present and their future at the same time."

On Carlos Villanueva,

  • Jack Moore of Fangraphs writes that short sample size may have as much to do with Villanueva's short term success as "lack of stamina" but says that Villanueva is a good gamble with some upside.  He does say that reaching that upside is unlikely, but even if he doesn't, the contract still has value even if Villanueva is forced to return to his swingman role at some point.

On the offseason in general,

  • We've noted that both Keith Law and Dave Cameron like what the Cubs have done this offseason.  Buster Olney of ESPN (insider only) notes how that the Cubs were able to add free agent help without sacrificing a draft pick and that it's no coincidence.  It is another unintended side effect of the new CBA. One official said, "You've got to keep your picks, because there aren't as many ways to get better as there used to be."

Waiver News and Roster situation

  • I've noted several times that sneaking young, talented lefties through waivers is very difficult and that proved to be the case once again as Jeff Beliveau was snapped up by the Texas Rangers.  It leaves the Cubs without a lefty reliever after James Russell, though it's possible the Cubs new pitching depth could allow them to try Brooks Raley or Chris Rusin in that role.
  • In other news, Sandy Rosario must be feeling like the ball in a roulette wheel.  He was just claimed by the Giants as the Cubs continue to clear space.  Sooner or later that roulette wheel will stop spinning for him and wherever he lands, he'll provide a team with an intriguing arm for the bullpen.
  • The Cubs roster now stands at 39 but there are 3 names to add in OF Nate Shierholtz and recent RHP signees Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson.  My guess is Shierholtz number gets called next as Cubs figure out how to open up two more spots.  
  • UPDATE:  Shierholtz signing is official.
  • UPDATE #2:  Gerardo Concepcion has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Kane County roster.  Huge risk but that's a gamble that really helps the MLB roster.  The roster now stands at 39.  One more space to clear.

Miscellaneous link: This has nothing to do with the Cubs but it's fun to watch

  • Here's what R.A. Dickeys knuckleball looks like once you're able to break it down into GIF format.  Watch how the hitter freezes and catcher Josh Thole flinches at the last minute.  The pitch, which Dickey throws with more velocity than most have historically, is nearly unhittable when it dances like that.

 

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  • Rosario claimed by SF.

  • Thanks Ray! No surprise there.

  • Sad to see Beliveau go. Was definitely one of my favorites out of the bullpen last season and throughout the minors. Would've liked to keep him, but we we still need to clear space on the 40man. I guess the FO thinks more highly of Rusin/Raley as they do Beliveau who doesn't seem to have the command that those two have. As far as Rosario, seemed like he had good stuff, but as you know "Last In First Out."

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Rosario was pretty much bumped from a job once they acquired Villanueva. One SP may have to start in the bullpen if Garza ready to go on opening day -- and that will certainly happen once Baker is back.

    Will miss Beliveau as well. Guess is that Rusin/Raley have more value as guys who can start -- and/or replace Beliveau in bullpen if necessary

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought Beliveau might sneak through, but oh well...he always got results in the minors, struggled with command a bit

    They must be waiting on Campana to sign Schierholz, because I have to imagine Tony is next when we need a spot

    We are now LOSING pitchers for a change via DFA, shows you we have some depth now. Nobody was lining up to claim Germano or Chapman, were they?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I would have been very pleasantly surprised if he snuck through. Shierholtz just added. Concepcion waived and cleared and is assigned to Kane County.

    One spot left. Campana at risk -- especially if Cubs acquire CF.

  • How many on the 40-man roster now? When is the deadline?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    39 but 3 more to add. There is no strict deadline, but my guess is that Shierholtz gets the call to the roster for now. They'll have time to add Jackson, Villanueva. Guess is there is something in the works already.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Deadline is today according to the Mayan Calendar.

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    Maybe Beliveau comes back in the Garza deal. :-)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    oh yeah...they can also throw in Soto.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sad to lose them but to me it says a lot about how much they like Raley.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The bullpen thing worked out pretty well with Marshall -- hopefully Raley or Rusin can repeat his success.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They must think those guys can be as good or better than Beliveau. Raley and Rusin both managed to stay in rotation all the way to the bigs. Indicates more upside/flexibility.

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    Wow, Concepcion cleared waivers. That pretty much says where his stock is.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks Mike and North Side Irish...just added those notes myself. As for Concepcion that is absolutely huge. He was really holding up a 40 man spot he never deserved but great time to sneak him through. No way teams want to add that kind of question mark to tie up their own roster at this point.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Just read that....do we still need to clear a spot after Beliveau, Rosario, and Concepcion are DFA'ed? If so, I posted Campana must be next

  • In reply to Zonk:

    One more spot. Campana in jeopardy, especially since Cubs have desire to add true CF. Leaves him as odd man out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm ecstatic to get that anchor off the roster. That name looked drastically out of place on the 40 man. I'm happy he opened the doors for Soler or whatever, but Concepcion never had any business on a major league roster.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    I'm happy too. It's not to say I've given up on Concepcion but totally agree that a 40 man roster spot makes no sense for him at all.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It says where is contract is at with guaranteed money. His ability to clear waivers was financially driven, not player evaluation driven.

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    In reply to historyrat:

    Then why not waive Soler, too? We could use his roster spot, as well.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I see Soler coming to the big league club in 2014 - maybe in the summer. He is much more advanced than Concepion. When the club signs foreign born players to millions of dollars, they use that roster spot to protect them from the eventual rule 5 draft (if a player hasn't made it to the pros after 5 years, then they eligible to be swiped by other teams unless they are on the 40 man - that is its sole purpose)

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    In reply to historyrat:

    I know that. (Actually, it's birthday and not country of birth that determine years. 18 and under, 5 years; 19 and older, 4 years) But Soler and Concepcion were added substantially before that because of rules regarding the contracts they signed. They are both taking up 40-man slots well before they needed to for protection -- and Soler being on the roster, for example, is why we had to lose Beliveau.

  • MLB ‏@MLB
    OFFICIAL: @Cubs, OF Nate Schierholtz agree to 1-year contract.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    No surprise there, he was next in line. Thanks!

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    Great write up John.

    Looks like some of the baseball writers agree w what some of us have been preaching for. Build the major league team and the minor league team at the same time. Only took a year, but looks like Jedstein figured out that the Cubs are a 1. a big market team and 2, the majority of the fan base wasn't going to keep purchasing outrageous tickets for a garbage product.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The key is that it's not just blind spending to win now -- it's the methodology that's being praised. It only works if you can do it without sacrificing the future. In fact, these signings all have an eye to the future. Wouldn't have been praised if they were spending tons on multi-year deals for guys like Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, and Kyle Lohse, for example.

    The one guy on more than a 2 year deal, Edwin Jackson, is a potential long term guy and replacement for a guy they may trade in Matt Garza. It allows them to possibly pick up a couple of long term pieces.

    I think all their signings make sense. Only two other impact guys on market would have made sense to sign long term: Anibal Sanchez and, to a lesser extent, BJ Upton. Unfortunately, both had better offers and situations/fits elsewhere.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well this ownership and mgmt group wouldn't have ever signed Hamilton or Grienke anyway, so thats a moot obvious point.

    They have stressed that since they came aboard.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I'm not sure the point you are trying to make then. Was there anybody against signing reasonably priced FAs that didn't hurt the team long term?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Did the fan base really give the front office a chance to do some things ? They are not here just to fix the MLB roster there is also things that we the fans don't see. The great org's are great in all area's, not just on the top levels but on all levels.

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    In reply to seankl:

    No way? Really? That's the point. Build the whole organization not completely neglect one part to build up another. That's the basic premise that they are following now and that's why people are starting to notice.

    Merry Xmas and happy holidays !!

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    And thanks Jim

  • Campana might go next.

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    If not Campana, only one I can come up with is Chris Rusin or Lendy Castillo

    Cubs must still really like Lendy Castillo

  • Here's an idea: A bullpen arm and Campana for Coco Crisp. That would pretty much wrap up the offseason except for possible trades of guys like Soriano, Marmol, and Garza.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I LIKE IT, hope Oakland considers trading Crisp.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    They def consider trading Coco if the deal is right or the right amount of cash is thrown in.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, please no to Coco Crisp....I'd have too many bad Bake McBride flashbacks with that funky do....Plus he isn't that good of a hitter and we need offense!!!!

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Bake McBride! Now there's a blast from the past! Don't fret about Crisp, Oakland supposedly isn't looking to trade him.

  • Our FA cookie jar has had too many Bakers Bake'd to a Crisp.

  • So we need two more guys to go......if it was a DFA, we would have heard about it by now......so a trade has to be in the works......Vitters, Campana, Clevenger are a few that comes to mind......most likely it could be Marmol in a multi-player trade for non-40 positions......maybe several teams involved ?........we do need another bullpen arm and an OF........time will tell.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    One more guy now. News was coming in fast and furious. Concepcion waived and cleared. Leaves spot open for either Villanueva or EJax. I expect we'll hear about the next move shortly.

  • 40 - 39 = 1.

  • Free Agent Tracker (N.L. Central Division)....

    Cubs................10 players signed
    Cardinals...........3
    Pirates...............3
    Reds...................2
    Brewers..............2

    No doubt that Theo/Jed wants this division in 2013

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Well those teams are all better than us, so it stands to reason they would sign less.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Good point :)

    Looking forward to the offseason where the Cubs don't need to overhaul their team.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Right now, I say the Cubs are #2 in their division behind the Reds....Pirates, below 500 club, manager on the hot seat...............Brewers have problems in pitching, no Greinke, no Marcum..........Cardinals, are you impress with their infield?.....Jay is the star of that club.....Garcia, arm problems.....Holiday & Beltran are two old guys now.........Lohse is gone.....

    Cubs got players to replace "Dogs" that were being brought into games in 2012.....no doubt we improved 25 games plus with the pitching we added.........and I still say something major could happen by Spring Training.for outfield help.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I like your optimism..,but 25 game improvent is A REACH..

  • John, do you think we owe Scott Boras a hat tip for Edwin Jackson? Seems likely to me that he got a handshake agreement from the Nats not to extend a qualifying offer to EJax. If they had, he probably wouldn't be a Cub.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Looking at it that way, they do. EJax really owes him a hat tip because without it, he may still be with the Nats on yet another one year deal. Finally got the multi-year contract he deserved.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yea, either that or perhaps Edwin agreed to a 1 yr deal last yr with a wink wink if he had a good year and they didn't want to sign him to a multi year deal, then they would let him get his 4 or more year contract somewhere else !

  • I am thinking Vitters might be next. He did poorly with the major league team last year and in the winter league. Somehow he just isn't a Theo type guy.

  • In reply to John57:

    He may not be a Theo guy but I think he still has too much value to waive.

    Would really like to see a deal made somewhere. Possibly with Vitters, but I don't want to see them just let him go.

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    I hope Garza is healthy and they sign him long term. I remember you said Olt might be the return from the Rangers, and to me, the Cubs need Garza more than they need Olt. Next year there are some FA corner outfielders with pop that might fill the void of having Stewart/Valbuena/Lake at third until Baez is ready. Garza/Jackson/Shark seems like such a good core to work with for a few years. Am I overvaluing Garza - assuming he's healthy?

  • In reply to Mike Mayberry:

    It's really divided on Garza and I can see the argument for keeping him or trading him. They definitely could use Garza more than Olt next year, after that it gets more debatable.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yea. Personally I like Garza and would love for him to be a Cub, but I get the reasons for trading him.

    I think if they believe Javier Baez is a future 3B at this level, then they may not need to trade for Mike Olt. It's not like Olt is going to push this team to the playoffs this year.

    If they don't think Baez can cover 3B and is going to have to move to a Corner OF position, then I could really see them exploring that trade, but before they can start any talk, Matt Garza has to show he's healthy and can pitch okay.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Feel the same way, Jim.

    Baez lessens that 3B need but he's so athletic and instinctual that he could probably play any position on the field. He's even been tried at catcher. That bat has the potential to fit at any position.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll go out on a bit of a limb: if Baez does not start taking walks this year, he'll be playing any position on the field for a different organization in the 2014 season.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It'd have to be for somebody pretty, pretty good.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    No doubt. I don't think they're going to give him away, but I think they'll make calls about top guys (Price, Hernandez, possibly even Wil Myers) and then, "Oh, God, you want Baez? Man, we hate to lose him. His swing is so nice. Okay, okay, we'll do it. Boy, are we going to miss him."

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    A deal involving David Price is prob the only way Baez gets traded in the next yr.

    They won't give up on him that quick, in a year+, it opens up more trading options

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd rather get Olt and move Baez to 2nd so he can be in the middle of everything, which he prefers over 3B. We'd have one of the top infields in mlb.

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    And, so the Cubs can have an actual CF, can I have Michael Bourn on a two year deal for christmas?

  • In reply to Mike Mayberry:

    If he signs for two years, I'd consider that. Not worth more than that. Also have to consider loss of long term asset (draft pick) in exchange for short term fix.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Ehh, who needs a CF, I will believe BJax fixed his swing.

  • In reply to Mike Mayberry:

    I hope it translates to more contact. Too talented and too early to give up on him.

  • Not if Boras is his agent

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. He does make one year deals difficult to pull off. Especially must be tough because Boras knows this may be Bourn's last chance to get a multi-year deal. Its certainly his best chance. He isn't going to play any better than he did last season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I could live with 3 years for Bourn.

  • Not a fan of Bourn at the kind of money he'll get. I have to admit that if the Cubs sign him, it will be the first move that I won't feel good about.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    With each passing day, the length and average annual salary of Bourn's next contract continue to decrease from what he was hoping for when he became a free agent. Here's hoping the Cubs have at least talked with his agent.

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    The problem is that 2nd round pick is very valuable to the Cubs. Signing Bourne is a massive risk. What if he gets injured and becomes untradeable? What if he plays bad and his value is worth less than the 2nd round pick would have been. What if other teams know Bourne will want a big payday after signing a pillow contract and will be hesitant to give up value for him?

    These are all questions that come with Bourne, and that doesn't even mention Bourne's inevitable decline in performance and speed. He just has too many question marks, and isn't worth the risk of losing that 2nd pick.

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    In reply to Demarrer:

    And I am sorry I spelled Bourn as if he was Matt Damon. Those movies are just awesome. Ignore!

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Signing any player to a contract, large or small, is a risk. The 2nd round pick the Cubs would lose if they sign Bourn is certainly a factor they should consider. It will be interesting to see what team signs him.

  • My thought is that there is a reason that that's happening. Consider that other teams have paid a heavy price in prospects to get average CFs (Nats, Phillies) rather than pay Bourn -- and those are win-now teams who are better able to justify losing a draft pick.

    If Bourn becomes such a bargain that it compensates you for your draft pick, then you think about it, but even then you are losing a draft pick for a short term fix in a year or two where you don't expect to compete anyway.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Plus we lose the draft pick. If we're going to do that -- which I don't want to do, that money might come in useful with Boras negotiations -- I'd rather have Swisher in right and have DDJ keep center warm for Brett Jackson.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    LOL .

    On to Bourn, he just doesn't seem the kind of player to push this team over + Wrigley isn't the best place to build a team on speed as we know Jedstein does appreciate HR's and walks over singles and stolen bases

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    Ok John long post here for me answer as many as you can. First i dislike the Rosario deal, i really liked him and thought he could have been a very nice bullpen guy. 1.) what are the odds by your best guess of the rosters in the nl central that the cubs can leak into a wildcard slot. 2.) i think we need to dump campana all he has is speed and can't get on base your thought? 3.) what do you think about Garza and marmol to Texas for Olt and and a couple of minor throw in pieces. 4.) With us getting Edwin Jackson do you think the pick in the draft is more likely to be Appel or Manea. Now i would just like to throw in that i really like Austin Meadows, but think there is slim to no chance that we draft him. I would like to apologize for the typo's dealing with the flu and pnamona. As always John great article

  • In reply to Larry:

    I like Rosario but he's a borderline guy. Good as a flyer but once he starts costing roster spots you want to save for younger guys, then it makes less sense.

    As for other questions..

    1) Odds aren't my thing but I'll call it 50 to 1 they make it to the playoffs.
    2) I like Campana's speed and the weapon it is late in games, but it's a luxury for a team that needs to add more talent.
    3) I don't think they need to throw in Marmol to get Olt and a couple of minor pieces. If Garza is healthy, they should be able to get that for him alone.
    4) I don't the Jackson signing has an effect on the draft pick one way or the other. They'll pick the BPA and right now it looks like that will either be Appel, Manaea or Stanek.

    And thanks!

  • In reply to Larry:

    Given Rosario's recent history and the pulls and demands of a team through a season, I wouldn't be at all surprised if an older contending team like the Giants finds it necessary to waive Rosario later in the season if he isn't able to contribute to the major league team. We may find him back on our roster later in the year again.

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    I have a gut feeling (these are always wrong) that the Cubs are working on a trade involving Soriano and Tampa. If that doesn't happen, I hope Campana is the next to go. We need talent, and he just doesn't have enough outside of speed.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    I'll find it somewhere, but I did say that if the Cubs ate all but about $5 million a year on Soriano that he'd be a good fit for the Rays.

    In 2011.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    That idea was mentioned by Larry Bowa on MLB Network. Not sure if it has real legs to it. It seemed more like speculation. Could make some sense but Cubs want a good prospect and Rays don't give those up easily.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John. Opening day of the regular season, which one of these 3 players is still a Cub in your opinion? Soriano, Marmol, Garza

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Geez...none of those three will be easy to deal :) I'll guess that Soriano is still a Cub if only because he's suddenly the guy they need the most of those 3.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And the new Cubs don't give away players anymore:)

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Not if they can help it.

  • A couple of interesting flyer signings...

    Mariners sign Jeremy Bonderman
    Indians sign Scott Kazmir

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was hoping Kazmir could be signed to a minor league deal by the Cubs

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I wish the Cubs would have invited Kazmir to spring training. I think if Bosio can channel his inner Dave Duncan, Kazmir could be quite the find. According to reports he can still hit the mid 90's

    Didn't Bonderman pitch well in Japan last year or was that another former Tigers pitcher?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    History Rat and Jim...

    I thought the same thing but then I thought about it from Scott Kazmir's point of view. If I'm going to try and make a comeback, do I sign a minor league deal with the Cubs, who are 7 deep in their rotation, or the Indians, where I have a legit shot at cracking the top 5 out of spring training?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I have to believe Theo was in on this, and lost him for exactly the reason you state. The money wasn't going to be a lot different, the opportunity a LOT different.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Cubs lost out on their own sales pitch!

    I guess in some ways it's a measure of the progress they've made with that pitching staff.

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    Indians sign Scott Kazmir... Nice signing.. Nothing to lose..

  • Anyone claiming Concepcion would have to pay his 3 million dollar salary. It was a pretty safe move.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    $3M for a 20 year old Cuban prospect, one year removed from rookie of the year at highest league in his country? Won't ever get that on the open market.

    If it was safe, the Cubs would have done it long ago, and certainly before losing Beliveau,who could have been useful this year. The key to sneaking him through right now is timing. Rosters and payrolls are getting tight right now and I'm sure the Cubs scoured the list for teams that had room on both payroll and roster and cross-referenced that with teams who showed interest in Concepcion. Probably wouldn't have gotten away with this earlier in the year.

  • Unless the Phillies agree to a Domonic Brown for Soriano deal, I think all three are on the roster on Opening Day. Garza's value will be too low to justify a trade until he's made several starts, and all three will be more valuable at the trading deadline than they'd be earlier in the season.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    Agreed. There's a good chance all 3 are on the opening day roster -- but I'll be surprised if any of them are with the Cub in 2014, especially Soriano and Marmol.

  • Bummed to lose both of them, especially Beliveau. With him getting some more time at AAA, I can see us living to regret that. At least it came as the result of an improved pitching staff and not just the Rule V or something.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Didn't want to lose Beliveau. That one really disappoints me but command/control is big with this FO and I'm guessing that was his downfall last year.

  • John, Tom and gang,Just want to let you know how much my family loves going to Cubs Den every day for our updates. It brings a family spread all around the country together. Have a great holiday season.

    All I want for xmas is Coco Crisp!!

  • In reply to cbbiefun2014:

    Thank you! Happy holidays to you and your family as well!

    Sounds like a good xmas gift to me!

  • Just wanted to wish everyone at Cubs Den a Happy Holidays! I am off to Fla for 5 days and my wife is hiding my phone and laptop. So Have a good Holiday everyone!

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Haha! Happy Holidays to you as well Kevin! I'll probably be off on the 24th and 25th as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John will be off on the 24th and 25th, hmmmmm.......Therefore I predict that a big deal will take place on those days.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Holiday trades are rare.

  • Just a joke. Deals seem to happen when John steps away from the computer.
    But Santa has already given us a revamped pitching staff, so why should he stop now?

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    And we have Rob Deer!

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Stop, you're sleighing me......

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes, happy holidays to everyone here. This is a friendly and intelligent group of lads and ladies.

    I believe Alec Baldwin had the perfect holiday wishes in an old SNL sketch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3vaXwH4KlU

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    Hey john, i am seeing a lot of people who want Coco Crisp. Here is my solution. Take and trade Carlos Marmol pus like 5 mill, and Tony Campana. To me this answers the OF problem for Chicago and Oakland gets there cap relief and a sometimes a dominitate closer or even a 8TH Inning guy. your thoughts.

  • In reply to Larry:

    I think that would be a good trade for both sides. Oakland saves 3 million by paying Marmol 5 million instead of paying Crisp 8 million plus they get a speedy back up to replace Crisps speed. The Cubs get a CF with almost the numbers of Bourne at a smaller cost and they keep their 2nd round draft pick. A win for both teams!

  • In reply to Larry:

    Could be interesting. Cubs give up short term for short term and give up a long term guy who gets forced out of the OF situation anyway. Hmmm...not bad.

  • In reply to Larry:

    I think you are undervaluing Marmol. And if Theo/Jed do trade him, they will want something that will be more of a future asset, not someone who will fill an OF spot for a year or two.

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    JESUS CRIST!!!!! I go away on a four day cruise to the bahamas(amazing by the way) with no access to phone or internet and come back to all these moves!!!!!!!!! Christmas came early. Guess I need to go on vacation more often

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Welcome back. That had to be quite a shock. Best Cubs off season in a while.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    We still need cf and righrhanded hitting utility guy and there is s lot winter left for a cruise.

  • There is a lot of talk about Garza going to the Rangers for Olt and I am all for that. But the question of what to do with Baez? I believe he will end up on LF or maybe RF. They are going to have to trade something to try for Price. I think a combo of Vogelbach and Soler might almost get it done. I also believe Brett Jackson will break out this year and cut hid Ks by 30 to 40%. If they get Olt this year and Price next year they contend in 2015 maybe 2014.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I think if Baez can play an acceptable defense in the infield he's too valuable to move to the OF.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    If the Cubs get Mike Olt the only IF position left would be 2B which would make his plus arm less valuable. His athleticism would allow him to become a plus defender in the OF specially in RF.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I would prefer to trade Castro one for one for Price. In a year, after Castro improves some more, tampa bay will like getting a cost controlled SS just when Price will get very expensive. I think the value of Castro, a 23 year old SS, will be very high as will Price's value. Then when Baez comes up he can stay playing SS. Olt for Garza i am OK with. So the infield can be Rizzo, Watkins, Baez and Olt.

  • In reply to John57:

    I am thinking trading Castro would be trading from our surplus. John Arguello says we have 5 true SS that are 22 or younger. As for 1B all we have is Rizzo and Danny Vbomb. I would like to keep them both in case of injury or whatever. Same as for OFs we don't have a glut of them.

  • In reply to John57:

    There are 5 true SS but only one has shown the ability to hit at a higher level than A ball yet -- and that's Castro. Can't count on those other guys yet by any means.

  • In reply to John57:

    Sorry, but that gives me the Brock-for-Broglio Shivers.
    (Although Castro has had 10 times the success that Brock ever did as a Cub.)
    One arm injury, (cf. Prior; K. Wood) and you've given away a star, if not potential HOFer, for nothing in return.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    There is always risk in any trade. Who knows Castro might have a devastating injury/disease too and Price goes on to win 5 Cy Youngs. I am just saying I would rather trade Castro than Vogelbach and Soler for Price.

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    John, we discussed in another thread how this roster was beginning to slightly resemble the 2001 team, which was all pitching and defense and no offense besides Sosa. That team was 3 games up in 1st place on July 15th. If everything fell just so and this team found itself sniffing a playoff spot, how do you think the FO would play it?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I don't know what John will think, but that is an interesting question. The front office may deal with it as they have with this off season. That is doing what they can without distrubing the core of the future.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That's something I've been tossing around for an article. We have to remember that they have said that opportunities to win are precious. I think if they get close, they'll take a shot. They'll keep the long term core in tact, but I wouldn't rule them trading out some prospects for a guy who is still young enough to be part of team in future.

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    I for one have concerns about Castillo's ability to make enough contact to start. He has a 30% ML K-Rate so far, which is consistent with his minor league record, whichi is on the edge of being able to stay in the lineup. The fact that he plays catcher and has some pop helps.

    Despite my doubts, I would start him too; he deserves a shot

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