Just a few mid-afternoon notes to catch you up on some of the minor Cubs related news around MLB. It appears that both players and free agents are starting to get a feel for the market and we're starting to see a bit more steady activity.
Hopefully that translates to a Cubs move soon...
- The Cubs also offered Alfonso Soriano to the Astros as a DH, according to Danny Knobler of CBS. That deal doesn't make sense to me on any level. 1) Why would Soriano leave Chicago to go to a team that's even further behind in its rebuilding process? 2) Why would a rebuilding team like the Astros give up what the Cubs want, which is long term assets for a 2 year DH? 3) the Astros would need the Cubs to pick up the entire salary to make it work financially for them and 4) The Astros are not building for the present and are certainly not going to bend over backwards to take on a win-now player.
- As we've known for some time now, teams have shown interest in Tigers starter Rick Porcello but he's going to be the Tigers 4th starter and they need him. The Tigers are not making him available at this point. That means one of two things. Either they are being forthright here or they are telling everyone they have no intention on selling low. My guess is the latter. In either case, that makes it a problematic situation for the Cubs. They'd have to off the win-now Tigers an upgrade over Porcello and the only person they can do that with is Matt Garza, but only if there is certainty about his health --which there is, of course. Carlos Marmol is not enough to pry Porcello loose. If he were, the Cubs would have gladly done it a long time ago. The situation could clear up once Anibal Sanchez signs somewhere.
- The Cubs have made some minor league coaching changes. It's interesting that the Cubs continue to move development types into coaching positions. The latest is to move minor league catching coordinator Marty Pevey into the AAA managerial position. After seeing how ill-prepared both Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters were to play in the bigs, it's a smart move to put an instructor at that level that can prepare prospects better for that last jump. Pevey will also get a chance to work with Steve Clevenger, who had some struggles at the big league level, causing the Cubs to acquire Dioner Navarro as a backup. Another interesting move is that Mark Johnson will accompany his talented Boise squad to Kane County. Makes for some nice continuity and emphasizes how much the Cubs value that group of prospects. The Cubs also made multilple changes to their player development team. See all the changes here.
- Two other 3Bs are off the market. Kevin Youkilis has signed with the Yankees and Jack Hannahan has signed with the Reds. The Cubs didn't appear to have much, if any, interest in either player.
- It's a good thing the Cubs went for their preferred low risk, high reward pitchers (Scott Baker, Scott Feldman) early because it appears two big market teams, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are now trying the same strategy.
- David Kaplan said the Cubs have had interest in 3B Mike Olt and may have already dealt Matt Garza for him if he hadn't gotten hurt. Any rekindling of that type of deal won't happen until Garza proves he is healthy. It's a good piece by Kaplan if you're interested in potentiall offseason activity. It seems to me that this is going to be a long offseason for Cubs fans, one in which we'll have to be patient until the market dries up and their top trade chip, Matt Garza, proves himself to be healthy. Kaplan also talks about adding a pitcher this offseason though they won't pay big for one unless he is a significant upgrade.
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