Winter Meetings Rumor Thread, Day 2: Cubs interested in Escobar to play 3B

Winter Meetings Rumor Thread, Day 2: Cubs interested in Escobar to play 3B

Day 2 starts with a rumor right off the bat, and it's one we mentioned as a possibility in our preview.

  • 10:55 PM: Bruce Levine writes that the Cubs continue to look for bullpen help.  Jason Grilli, whom we mentioned earlier is on their list, as is former Cub and defeater of all those who charge the mound, Kyle Farnsworth. Jed Hoyer clarified that Carlos Marmol is still their 9th inning guy (as long as he's here), “Just to clarify, Marmol is our closer,” Hoyer said. “He had a great second half for us and you have to give a lot of credit to him, he made a lot of adjustments. I think Bosio deserves a lot of credit for learning about the player and seeing what he can do to help him make the adjustments"  Hoyer also said, "If Carlos is on the team, he will be our closer, and I anticipate Carlos being here. Anyone can be traded at any time. But as we put together our 2013 team, we’re certainly expecting him to be our closer.”  
  • 9:48 PM: Jeff Passan tweets that the Reds and Ryan Ludwick are closing in on a deal. That is no suprise.  Most expected him to re-sign.
  • 9:22 PM:  Danny Knobler tweets that Yunel Escobar will be dealt very soon, possibly tonight, and he lists the Rays, A's, and Cubs as possible landing spots.  He considers the Rays the favorites. UPDATE: Looks like Escobar is going to the Rays for Derek Dietrich, Tampa's #13 prospect going into the season, though he had something of an injury plagued year.  Not a bad haul for the Marlins.
  • 7:10 PM: Jon Heyman lists the Cubs as a possible suitor for 3B Mark Reynolds.
  • 7:03 PM: Despite having to step away from my laptop for a bit, the Cubs weren't able to make a deal.  There's still time, however.  In the meantime, it appears the Red Sox have signed Shane Victorino to an outrageous deal worth 3yr/39M contract.  Remind me again why they cut salary by trading Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett?  Not to mention cutting ties with Cody Ross. They've  replaced them with Shane Victorino, Johnny Gomes, David Ross, and Mike Napoli.  Hardly seems like a recipe for a championship, but we'll see I guess.
  • 4:20 PM:  According to Dale Sveum via multiple tweets, including CSN's Patrick Mooney,  B. Jackson visited Cubs complex in AZ and Sveum says he's made "huge, huge strides" and "completely overhauled his swing."  He is still in the OF mix.  I'm excited to hear this, but I do think the Cubs still need to cover themselves by obtaining some insurance at least.
  • 3:54 PM: Per Theo Epstein via Phil Rogers, the Cubs still view Michael Bowden as a reliever despite his success as a starter in the winter leagues, though Bowden could provide some depth in case of injuries. Said Epstein: “We’re looking at him as a reliever. It is good that he’s getting stretched out this winter. It gives us some options if we have an injury in the rotation."
  • 3:35 PM: Per Danny Knobler of  CBSSports, the Phillies are looking for a RH hitter to add to the middle of their lineup.  Hey, the Cubs have one of those!  There is talk, however, of a Cliff Lee for Justin Upton deal.
  • 3:15 PM:  Good internal news as Matt Garza will start throwing in the next few days according to Patrick Mooney of CSN and should start "pitching" by the end of the month per Bruce Levine.  I'm assuming the latter is throwing off the mound, using all of his pitches, etc.
  • 2:32 PM:  Ken Rosenthal tweets that the price for Jeff Keppinger is now at 2 years/$8M.  Quite a bit for a part-time player, which goes to show how weak this market is at 3B.  The Yankees are pushing hard now that Alex Rodriguez looks doubtful.  We have heard the Cubs have been aggressive, and short term money is not an object, so I wouldn't rule out them matching that price.  I'd rather have Keppinger at that overpay than Betancourt at $1M or whatever he'll cost.
  • 1:19 PM:  Carrie Muskat writes that the Cubs are considering Yuniesky Betancourt.  Usually I can understand the Cubs thought process, but this is an odd one to me at first glance.  He's hacktastic and hit .228 last year with a .256 OBP. Positives?  He has good defensive skills (good arm, decent hands, though the UZRs aren't pretty) and could be a plus at 3B defensively. Presumably, he also would only start against LHP.  Against LHP, Betancourt is a .272/.302/.417 vs. LHP.  Still no great shakes, but Betancourt can also double as a backup to Starlin Castro.  Have to admit this would be a huge let down from some of the other names we've heard.  And those names aren't even that great.
  • 1:03 PM: The Diamondbacks have signed Eric Hinske and are looking to deal Jason Kubel.  If the Cubs decide to go to with DeJesus in CF, Kubel could be a fit in RF.  He has 30 HR power and would be a signifcant addition to the lineup.  You'll just have to close your eyes anytime a ball is hit into the OF.  When Soriano is the best defender out there, that would make for some interesting adventures in the OF.  I suspect that teams like the Mariners and Orioles would have greater interest.
  • 12:08 PM: The Cubs have "checked in" on OF Shane Victorino, according to Jerry Crasnick via Twitter.  It appears the Cleveland Indians appear to be the primary suitor, however.  A decision is expected in the very near future.
  • 10:50 AM:  The Cub are reportedly showing interest in RHP Brandon McCarthy but the guess here is that there interest is limited to one year.  McCarthy has played in Chicago before and reportedly loves the city.  With multi-year interest in McCarthy lukewarm because of his injury history (even before the brain injury last year), the Cubs could offer him a one year, make-good type of deal to re-establish value heading back into the market next year.
  • 10:15 AM:  LHP Scott Kazmir is throwing 90-94 mph in Puerto Rico, according to Jon Heyman, and he is drawing some interest.  Seems like a guy Theo would be in on as a guy who has a chance to really add value if he can come back.
  • 10:08 AM: Then Nationals have agreed to sign Dan Haren for 1 year, 13M.  Wowza!  Guess they feel pretty confident about that hip and back.  Haren essentially replaces the soon to be officially departed Edwin Jackson in the Nats rotation.
  • 9:42 AM: Don't normally quote Bob Nightengale these days but this is a minor one.  Apparently Ian Stewart has gotten a clean bill of health on his wrist and has begun to draw interest around the league.  In a weak 3B market, it's plausible.  The Cubs were interested in retaining Stewart, but it seems they weren't eager to use up a roster spot for him.   He could probably be had with a pay cut from last season as long as it's a major league deal.
  • 9:34 AM: Rangers say they're open to trading Mike Olt.  One reader mentioned yesterday that MLB Radio speculated on Matt Garza going to Texas in a trade.  Could there be a match there?  Question for me is whether Cubs would be willing to deal top trade chip for one of the few positions in which the Cubs have some organizational depth.
  • 8:49 AM: Yesteray the Cubs mentioned that they may get middle infielder who would be a great defender at 3B.  They also mentioned they may trade for a 3B rather than look at the FA market. Well, the guy who fits both criteria is Yunel Escobar, whom the Marlins have desperately been trying to trade.  Today Jayson Stark mentions that the Cubs are one of 4 teams in on Escobar.  The others are the A's, Rays, and Yankees.  Buster Olney, however, says the Yankees are not in the mix.  The beauty of trading for Escobar is that he's actually a SS, so he can back up Castro and give him an occasional day off.  That could also increase his value when it comes to trading him.  One other positive is the presumption that he wouldn't take up a roster spot because the Cubs would likely trade a player off their 40 man roster to obtain him.   The negative are questions of mental makeup that have dogged him throughout his career and it didn't help when he was caught on camera wearing eye black last year with a homophobic message.

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  • Not sure Escobar has enough bat for 3B.

  • Maybe not, but just noticed he's been better in odd years...

    2007: RC+121
    2009: RC+ 120
    2011: RC+117

    All years above league average on offense. Maybe 2013 will be another good one?

  • Not sure his bat plays there either. Though his glove would play nicely accross the middle infield positions as well. Right now, after Barney & Castro, all we have is Valbuena. So we need a good glove with some versatility.

    Ofrf topic, but who is Rizzo's back-up? Do we even have another 1B on the roster?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    See comment above has actually been above average offensively every odd year. I think if he has a year like 07, 09, and 11 to go with plus defense, then he's a definite upgrade.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    His first few years were great, but two of the last 3 have been paltry in the BA & OBP lines.... minimal power and doesn't draw a lot of walks. his bat is fine @ SS, but doesn't really project well at 3B.

    He could have a down year and still be an upgrade from what we had last year.... That's not my point. I'm just not sure a guy with a career .390 slg% and has never hit more than 14HR's in a season projects at 3B. We can't create any value like that to flip him for prospects when Vitters is ready.... Not that we couldn't flip him for similar to what it'll cost to get him....

    IDK... I just don't see a guy with make-up/work ethic questions/concerns and draws so few walks and VOID of a power potential for 3B being in line with what Theo/Jed have been preaching.... Defensively, he makes a nice addition though.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    He'll absolutely have value if he doesn't do anything dumb and hits anywhere close to what he did in 2011 because he can also play SS and play it pretty well.

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    Really not sure I like the idea of bringing someone with makeup problems into the pressure cooker that is Chicago. That eyeblack stunt would distract the entire team for two weeks here.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Makeup is the question. And it's more than the eye black. Work ethic concerns have dogged him since his sophomore year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Work ethic is a bigger concern.

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    Escobar might not have enough bat, but at least he's competent as a hitter. Think of it this way. Escobar's bad year is much better than we had at 3rd last year.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    I agree that he should hit better than what the Cubs got from 3B last season. And, John, I wanted to clarify, Escobar is capable of producing good numbers, but his career averages are below what I'd expect from an average offensive third baseman.

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    In reply to Demarrer:

    "Escobar's bad year is much better than we had at 3rd last year."

    ---
    That's not true. In 2010, Escobar's worst year, he had a .318 slugging percentage. Valbuena was .340 last year, still not very good, but better than Escobar. Valbuena also had almost as many RBI's as Escobar in just over half the at bats. 35 in 497, 28 in 265.

    Escobar is the second dumbest player in MLB, only behind Ronnie Cedeno, although Cedeno was smart enough to never put gay slurs on his eye black and wear it for an entire game. Plus, what does that tell you about how much Escobar is hated by fellow players that nobody would call him out on that during the game?

    Nobody remembers the Cubs games vs. Atlanta were Escobar stood on the field, in the batters box, at first base, and gave the death stare to Cubs players like he was trying to blow up their heads as if he were a Scanner? The guy is an idiot with no baseball IQ. He's going to be 30, it's not like we're talking about a kid who can learn from his mistakes. He's still making the worst mistakes of his entire career at age 29. PASS.

    Pass on Escobar.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Love the Scanners reference! Cracked me up.

  • Morosi just said a rival executive stated to keep an eye on Mike Olt , Thinks Rangers will deal him .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Just put up brief bullet on that. Would take Matt Garza if TX feels he's healthy.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I would think at least Garza, and maybe another piece....Rangers could use Marmol, as Joe Nathan is 37, and Neftali Feliz coming off injury (plus, they were trying to convert him to starter)

    I would surrender both players for Olt, and send some cash along too. He would help ALOT.

    But that may not be enough. Olt is considered ML-Ready, and many teams have needs

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I believe Texas might be thinking about grooming Soria to take over for Nathan in a couple of years.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    olt isnt proven. this is way too much for him. if we traded garza and marmol, there would probably be a little bit of money because marmol is overpaid but that wouldnt just get us olt. we'd probably get olt and 2 or 3 pitching prospects, i wouldnt accept less if i was theo

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    seems Theo and the Rangers have a good working relationship . I would imagine the Cubs would make Garza available to be poked and prodded by the Rangers before a deal was announced . Garza for Olt would be a good fair trade for both teams.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    And Olt (If I recollect correctly) can cover 1B/3B. Would give a backup at 1B behind Rizzo, and a decent hitter at 3B most days.

    That would leave Valbuena as a relialble backup for Barney, potentially Castro, and for 3B. That would be very cool.

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    Man would I love that Olt trade. Just can't imagine Texas would move their best bargaining chip (assuming Profar goes nowhere) for damaged goods. Seems more unlikely when we know that Shields and Lester are on the market for top prospects. In a vacuum, it really does make sense for both teams, though. Beltre is playing third for another 3 or 4 years, which really coincides with the Rangers window.

  • Lenny Dykstra just signed on to play 6 months for the California Penal System.

  • The Olt trade is easy. Yes, you do it immediately. Trade Garza and Vitters for Olt. Your 3rd base depth is still 2 years away from the majors. Start Olt for the next 2 years. If he flames out, you've got Baez there who can replace him. If he's tearing it up and Baez is still a stud, then you've got 2 valuable chips. If Olt tears it up and Baez flames out, then you're OK. And if both flame out, well, that's so Cubs.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    They don't want Vitters. Olt is blocked, so no point replacing him with a lesser guy who will also be blocked. Might make more sense to include Villanueva who still has a couple of years in the minors. Word is TX wasn't so eager to give him up the first time around. Maybe Cubs get a young pitcher in return too.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Is this all speculation at this point or is there some indication the Cubs and Rangers are seriously talking with one another?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It was on MLB Radio last night apparently but TX really in on Greinke. I'd have to imagine that LAD would have to outbid TX (one of the few teams willing and able to do so) for TX to turn their attention elsewhere. Until that happens, consider this 99% speculation.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks. I wish the Dodgers would just cut to the chase and give Greinke Santa Monica harbor, as they will anyway, so the rest of the dominoes can fall.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Do you think Santa Monica will suffice? ;>)

  • So let me get this straight: the FO let Stew go because of questions about his work ethic and now they want Escobar? This has to be a joke.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Was thinking exactly that same thing Gin.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Questions on both but Escobar more likely to produce based on recent history.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's debatable given Stewart's injury and supposed bill of health. But whatever, the anti-Stewart contingent on Cubs blogs have admittedly driven me to a nearly irrational defense of him. But I digress. There is, at least, no defense for Yunel Escobar except ignorance. Pass.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I understand your point and it's a good one. I look at it this way. If Stewart would have produced, Cubs fans would have been more tolerant. I don't think it's ever a black and white situation with these things. The makeup issue with Escobar tempers any enthusiasm, but knowing he probably won't be here a full year makes it a bit easier to swallow. I think there's a chance to sell high with Escobar if he produces and behaves for 4 months.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't. And why take the chance? Stewarts ceiling is higher if he's healthy anyway, but they let him go for nothing. Now they want to trade something for Escobar?

    Only thing that makes sense to me here is flipping him immediately. D'Backs wanting SS in exchange for Justin Upton? Super long shot, but that's the only kind of excuse I can find for this.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If we are looking at guys who you could buy low on and have some make up questions why not kick the tires on S. Drew? I would take him over Escobar, Valbuena, Stewart, etc. etc. etc. And I seem to be in the minority about the Garza-for-Olt deal. I had always grown up under the assumption that you don't trade quality pitching for a position player, especially when that player is unproven at the ML level. Why not be a little patient and wait for Baez?

  • In reply to Bham Cub Fan:

    I would too, but if I'm Drew I wouldn't sign anywhere where I'm not going to play SS, because that lowers my value.

  • It is probably a baseball decision at this point. Players usually start with a clean slate with a new team. Plus there is not a lot of good options at 3rd. I would rather have Olt.

  • If they Cubs were interested in Olt now than why did we get Villanueva from them last year? Doesn't make sense. Unless you're going to make a series of moves and this is what I would do. Trade Castro and BJax to Miami for Stanton and Escobar. Then trade Garza and Vitters to Texas for Olt and a pitching prospect. You'd have an infield from left to right of Olt, Escobar, Barney, and Rizzo. An outfield of Fonzi, DeJesus, and Stanton. You'd have to sign one more pitcher for the rotation. Why not go after Anibal Sanchez and lock him up to a 4 year deal? Basically a replacement for Garza. That way you don't have to rush Baez at 3B and he can play his natural SS. You'd have a lineup in 2 to 3 years of

    CF Almora
    2B Watkins
    SS Baez
    1B Rizzo
    RF Stanton
    LF Soler
    3B Olt
    C Castillo

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    Olt is the better prospect and closer to the majors. Would start next year.

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    Hate to ruin your party, but if I was Miami, and I am going to trade Stanton to the Cubs, I want Castro, Baez and Almora.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    And the cubs counter with a simple laugh then walk away. As they should.

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    I'd like Olt as much as anyone. But I strongly feel our few trade chips should be used to acquire pitching. Forget that 2 months, Vitters should be able to give you a steady offense and ok defense at 3b for 1 1/2-2 Years which is passable then our 3b prospects start coming through.
    We have enough depth there that if we had to choose between trading assets for pitching or a 3B I'm sure most of us would go pitching. Just makes more sense to me.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I agree 100% with this idea. As much as I'm hoping and wanting the Cubs to add good, young ML ready talent to the fold, I think they should be concentrating more on collecting young pitching. It's tempting to strike when the irons hot with any Garza trade knowing his injury history and the fact that we could lose out on all of his trade value if he has another injury plagued season. I guess I'm just worried that if Garza doesn't net a higher end pitching prospect, the Cubs wont have the trade assets to vastly improve pitching, which seems to be the farm systems largest deficiency.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I agree that our best trade chips should be used to acquire pitching. I don't think Vitters is capable of being an everyday 3B though. I actually don't think he's capable of being an everyday anything in MLB. He has no position and doesn't hit well enough to play any of the corner spots he would have to settle into. At the very least he's going to require more time at AAA before getting another MLB shot, but that starts to become a problem as better prospects start needing playing time at 3B like Junior Lake now and eventually Villanueva, then Baez, etc. If they thought Vitters could play 3B now they wouldn't be scouring around looking for lost 3B who might have fallen under the couch cushions.

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    Also what makes you guys think Texas wants any part of Vitters if they traded 1 3b prospect and willing to deal another in Olt because of Beltre?

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Exactamundo!!

    If they want a 3B back, it'd be Villanueva, whom they like and didn't want to trade. It buys them 2 years. Garza + Villanueva can then get you Olt and a pitching prospect or two since it mitigates their long term risk at 3B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. If the Cubs trade Garza to Texas, they'd have to receive additional player or players in return in addition to Olt.

  • Ok maybe not Vitters in the Olt trade, but someone at that level. Maybe Lake? Can play 2B, SS, 3B, or even outfield eventually.

  • Yankees lost A-Rod for a half season, Jeter is getting older......Cashman need to make a big splash to get a player.

    Enough of this Stanton to the Cubs......not going to happen.....besides, Almora could be better.

    Lets say in three years from now, Rizzo is average 290 hitter, who hits 25 HR's a year.....and Vogelbach can hit you 40-50 HR's and hit at a 270 average.....which one would you like the Cubs to keep at first base?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Agreed that Stanton isn't going anywhere. Neither is Castro for that matter.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree Stanton is not likely to go anywhere, but what makes you think Almora will be better than Giancarlo? I like Albert's potential, but I don't think the two are comparable as he will never likely match Stanton's power potential. One is clearly a CF and the other an obvious RF....

    I think that's pretty optimistic on VogelBOMB, and I love him as much as anyone. There are other things to consider though, like Defense, Leadership, etc... that you get with Rizzo. Vogelbomb is still 3+ years away, so there's plenty of time to see how this will shake out.

  • Per MLBTR, Haren to the Nats for 1 and 13. Overpay.

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    Way to much for Harem but its only on one year so not that bad.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Good signing IF he's healthy. His contract should have been incentive based. The more starts he makes, the more money he makes.

  • Or Villanueva. Whoever. As far as Miami needing more for Stanton why? SS is a more important position than RF. Sure Stanton is going to put up bigger power numbers, but is that so much more valuable than a young SS who is locked up for almost 10 years at a very reasonable price? I think not.

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    Exactly. Castro should have enough value to be traded for Stanton straight up. Anything more than that would be a loss for the cubs.

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    In reply to irishivy75:

    Frankly, yeah, it is. Fangraphs actually did an article about Stanton's surplus value being virtually impossible to realistically match in a trade. Castro is one of the most valuable trade assets in baseball and he still wouldn't cover much more than half of Stanton's surplus value.

  • Stanton is not going anywhere, the Marlins know that they need some sort of building block . If the Rangers would take Garza/Marmol for Ott and some others, they should do it .

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    In reply to Steve Flores:

    I disagree. Stanton isn't going anywhere because Selig won't let the Marlins move their only remaining draw. Baseball is coming very close to losing Florida altogether.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They're not at risk of losing Florida.... They just don't want the litigation. The new stadium's public-funding plan led to a protracted lawsuit. This largely contributed to the ouster of several local politicians, and triggered an SEC investigation. They were promised a competitive product and spent heavily on FA's and then they shed that payroll immediately to "re-build" AGAIN. Which is what created such reluctance from the public support to begin with.

    They "can" trade Giancarlo, they just need MLB Star power in return.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    On a separate note, I'm planning on going to the WBC in Miami for my birthday in March....

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You're kinda arguing my case, though. Tampa Bay puts a good product on the field, but can't draw and can't get a stadium deal. Meanwhile, Miami gets its deal, and promptly burned and alienated its fan base. It is going to take a very long time for that market to trust them again, and ticket sales will show that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Tampa's issues are totally unrelated to Miami's. Logistically, the Trop sucks... parking, traffic, the stadium itself sucks.... tix are over-priced, etc.... Could say the same about Wrigley, but we've got Nostalgia... lol

    I'm not disagreeing with the spirit of your message, just the verbiage "at risk of losing Florida". They contractually are not at risk of that. But w/o a competitive product or star power in Miami, they are at risk of an almost billion dollar lawsuit - The local & political corruption involved in getting this deal funded could place the entire MLB & Miami city commission under the Fed's RICO authority.....

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The attendance in Florida and Tampa have historically been bad, even in years they win. That's all the proof you need that Florida, for whatever list of reasons, is not a good match for MLB.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    You gotta look at the big picture here... these two are totally different. Miami played at a football stadium and pushed this new stadium deal through using public funds and were promised a competitive product..... tons of litigation surrounded this whole mess - google it

    The Trop in Tampa, is not centrally located. So people have an hour plus drive, add in the game day traffic - piss poor city planning and you can sit in your car for 3+ hours to get to a game and find a place to park. Then you pay $20-$100 to park depending on if you want walk 1 mile +.... and then you have to pay through your nose for a ticket, food/beverage, etc.... Taking your kid to a game shouldn't be a 9 hour and $600 commitment, but it was for me when I took my son to the Trop to see the Cubs & rays play in 07. They need to build a new stadium in Tampa near raymond james stadium (Bucs) and the Ice palace (Lightning) where the infrastructure is already in place and at least make it easy for people to give them their hard earned money.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Nobody was showing up at the new park before the Marlins started trading away players. There were stories early in the year about the Heat games outdrawing the Marlins games the first half of the season. Much like the NFL has abandoned Los Angeles, MLB should abandon Florida. They've been there 20 years and can't make a go of it, with two teams in different cities.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's not like Castro's a scrub.
    He is a two time All-Star at a high value position.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Agreed, but even though he plays a premium position, he is not worth Giancarlo straight up to the Marlins or Miami fans...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Especially since his name is Castro, to which Ozzie will attest.

  • According to TY on PSD...

    Cubs interested in David Murphy of the Rangers, likely as the everyday RF.

    Cubs spoke to Boras today (again). The consensus is Edwin Jackson is the target.

  • In reply to qualityjohn:

    Do you have links to those rumors?

  • In reply to qualityjohn:

    Makes sense, especially if they move Garza before we "know" if Baker is ready

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    In reply to qualityjohn:

    Forgive me for asking, but who is TY?

  • I like Olt he is possible golden glove and a 25+ HR bat. It would be a great move for the Cubs.

  • In reply to WickitCub:

    Does he box as well as play baseball?

  • Steve Olt!!! I mean Mike Olt!!!

  • Carlos Marmol will meet with Cubs president Theo Epstein today to discuss his future in Chicago, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune . Marmol had agreed to waive his no-trade clause when the Cubs reached an agreement to trade him for Dan Haren, but after that deal fell through, it may be more difficult for the right-hander to waive his rights again.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#fpm4igL6g9RvvMEJ.99

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-cubs-marmol-20121204,0,3257334.story

    Why wouldn't he waive it? he needs to build up his save totals heading into his FA year and he's not guaranteed to have or keep his job with the Cubs and with a 100+ loss team, the opportunities will be limited......

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I could see the Marmol situation turning into another Dempster type debacle.

  • That's what I'm afraid of. Though Marmol, doesn't have a lot of leverage. Sure he can void a trade, but he could also become a set-up or 7th inning man which would hurt him. Maybe Bosio stops spending swo much time & effort with the guy and he goes back to Slider out of the zone with every pitch?..... Anyways, I'm sure it would get done. just don't get Sullivan's comment about it being more difficult now.

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    If the Cubs add McCarthy and Kazmir, the starting rotation is suddenly a huge strength. The 6 and 7 starters become Kazmir and Wood which most teams would kill for. Of course, that's assuming Garza sticks around which seems unlikely.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I doubt it would be both, thinking they are after just one more guy that could be a flip candidate or a future piece like McCarthy?

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I'd think they'd want as many as they could get. He talked last year about having a pitching staff that's seven or eight deep. If Iowa's rotation is Kazmir-Wood-Rusin-Raley that's a big benefit to the major league club. (That's assuming Kazmir will have to accept a minor league "prove yourself" deal -- he clearly is the first call you make when Garza is inevitably injured or traded.)

  • Garza and Marmol for Young and Olt. Deal? Then Cubs sign McCarthy.

  • In reply to apalifer:

    The Cubs could get more in separate deals for Garza and Marmol and should only be interested in Young if Texas takes Soriano

  • In reply to apalifer:

    There's something timeless about "Young and Olt"......

  • I have a sneaking suspicion that if Olt were acquired, Vitters might be a Ranger too! That would leave Baez, Lake, Villanueva, and Candelario as 3B prospects in the system I think. I guess he could be used down the road as a trade chip, even by mid-season if he plays well. BUT, I think that isn't near enough for Garza. Throw in Buckel or Font and that would help and an electric arm from A-ball and that my change my mind.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Don't see Texas having any interest in Vitters.

  • Vitters is not going to Texas, makes no sense to trade a better 3rd base prospect for a less one who will be blocked. Christan Vilanueva however is a stud but two years away from the show is,

  • So if the Cubs are still going after some more established starters like Jackson (skeptical anyway) or McCarthy (I could see if he goes for a one-year deal), who gets left out? To me it's one thing to have an 8-man rotation with 8 legit MLB starters vs. 5 starters and 3 fringe/project guys. The latter makes more sense.

    I'd doubt Baker or Feldman get left out, as they were both signed as starters and Feldman at least was promised a starting role. Bad business to take that back. I suppose it could be Wood again, but I just don't know if I see that as positive development opportunity for him at this point. So... a Garza trade? He still hasn't shown a post-injury form. I'm just skeptical overall...

  • In reply to mosconml:

    I'm skeptical as well, but just reporting what's out there. I think it would necessitate a trade down the line or push Wood to the bullpen. A more realistic signing to me is someone like Kazmir, especially if you get him on a minor league deal. Give him a chance to compete with Travis Wood for the 5th spot and loser becomes a lefty out of the pen the Cubs need.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I definitely wasn't trying to criticize your reporting, John. More, like you said, that I'm not sure I believe what others are saying. Given the Cubs' place right now, I'm with you on a Kazmir-like signing -- I'd prefer to put the money into a position that will take up more time on the field than a potential 6th starter/long reliever.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Oh, I didn't think you were, mosconml. Didn't mean to make it sound that way.

    These threads are a mix of reporting and opinion. I see McCarthy as a long shot right now and some of the "interest" might be residual from a past article. The author wrote about the Cubs interest before the Baker/Feldman signings and could have been recycling that info.

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    This is interesting:
    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121203&content_id=40509680&vkey=news_sd&c_id=sd

    If they extend Headley, that would seem to make Gyorko trade bait. Unfortunately, I still don't think there's a match for the Cubs unless we cut to the bone.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Would be great to get Gyorko. Hard to match with Padres. Last year they took Cashner for Rizzo and that was almost a sell low for them. Cubs have nobody that young, cheap, and good to trade for Gyorko now. Nobody that makes sense anyway.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It would have to be based around someone like Baez or Soler, who is further away from the bigs but with a higher ceiling. I don't see it happening, either.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Probably. Alternative would be to trade an OF like Jackson or Szczur, but that would not be enough. Deal would have to be expanded.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    In general, I think it's fair to say that we don't have young, tradeable, surplus talent right now. The guys we can replace within the system (Vitters, Szczur, Lake) don't have alot of value. The young players we have with real value are exactly the ones we don't want to trade: Baez, Soler, Almora.

    If you want Gyorko, I can't see him costing us less than Baez AT LEAST; Gyorko is much closer to the majors.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Could be right. It may well take Baez, though I think Gyorko's numbers are somewhat inflated. Think he'll have closer to average power and a good batting average. You'd be giving up a lot of upside for MLB readiness.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    PS: Maybe one day we'll have 2 young studs at the same position, and be able to trade surplus impact talent, like the Padres have. Maybe that happens in 3-4 years when Rizzo is a consistent major-leaguer, and Vogelbach destroys AAA pitching. Maybe when Baez sticks at SS, and Castro makes 4 AS games in a row. Maybe one day, we can be the Padres.

    But not today. We aren't there yet.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think that's part of the plan. That kind of depth at key positions is a huge asset. There's some potential for the Cubs to have that, but still a year or two from knowing that.

  • For anyone interested in listening to Jim Deshaies, he'll be on the score with Matt Spiegel at 12:40 central time (which is now, actually)

    Here's link for non-locals...
    http://betaplayer.radio.com/player/670-the-score

  • Victorino is looking for a 3-4 year deal.... No thanks unless the Cubs can sign him on a year deal and then flip him to a contender when B-Jax is ready....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Looking for it.

    It doesn't mean the Cubs are interested in signing him to that kind of deal. IF he were to sign with the Cubs, it won't be for that long.

    Feeling is Indians willing to offer 3 years. They have to because they're a tough sell otherwise.

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    I feel like somebody should come in and say "We just signed Parkman". I hate the waiting game.

  • John, just wanted to say you're doing a great job, as usual. Also, I love this time of year. Between the FAs that earned that status and the non-tenders and players that might be available through trade, I'm like a kid in a candy store with all the rumors.

  • Thanks! This is fun. At the same time, I'll be glad when its over!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I bet you will!

  • Is any team REALLY going to trade one of their top 5 prospects for Garza right now???

  • In reply to Ben20:

    In my opinion he'll only approach that value when he's one of the last pitchers standing...

  • Next year with another season assessment of prospects and the Cubs closer to being competitive will be more exciting.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I sound like a version 'wait tip next year'.

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    Yuniesky Betancourt? Please have the FO read this article before continuing:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/from-tragedy-to-farce-the-meaning-of-betancourt/

    His defense is terrible BTW, at least at SS.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    The hope would be that he could be a plus defender at 3B while backing up Castro, I would guess. Scouts seem to like his D better than the numbers, but yeah those UZRs aren't pretty.

  • John called it - Betancourt is the epitome of hacktastic. Although any fantasy owner will have a horror story or 2 of getting sucked into him on the waiver wire after he runs off one of his 2 week long hot streaks and you've got injured players. I know I have a couple.....

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    He will make Castro and Soriano seem like Barry Bonds at the plate. Don't like this idea at all.

  • Off topic here, but am I missing something with all the RA Dickey trade rumors?.... I mean, I get it he was lights out last year. hat tip to him. Buy he is 38! No way I trade a top prospect or multiple prospects like they are seeking. He's 38! prior to last year, he never won more than 11 games, He's 38! Prior to the 2010 sason, never had an ERA under 4.62, and he's 38! Prior to 2010 he never had a WAR above 0.5, and He's 38!

    What am I missing? and btw, He's 38!

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The last three seasons he has a combined sub 3 era, great peripherals. Forget about the wins. A team like the Cubs shouldn't consider trading top prospects for him but a team in win-now mode with a 2 or 3 year window (Rangers, Dodgers, Angels, Yankees, Reds, Nats, etc.) he makes a ton of sense to "gamble" on. Which is funny to me because prospects can be gambles in their own right. AND those teams wouldn't have to worry about him fronting their staff...he'd slot in as a solid number three. Two maybe three years of R.A. Dickey carries a lot of value to a contender.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Plus its not like he was 27 this year and all of a sudden next year he'll be 38. He was 37 this year....not a whole lot of difference between 37 and 38 to a guy who's been pitching for 20 plus years (including high school, college, team usa's, minors, etc. of course)

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Another consideration is that he's a knuckleballer and those guys can last into their early or mid-40's. (See: Wakefield, Hough, Niekros, etc.)

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I understand he's a "knuckleballer". But that's no guarantee he pitches another 3-4 years. Besides, he's a FA after 2013 season. I just don't see how this is worth a top prospect or package of top prospects. Not saying he doesn't have some value... but no way I'd trade one of my top prospects for him.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Think Phil Niekro here, knuckleball pitcher, easy on the arm.
    "Phil Niekro had 121 career victories after the age of 40 which is a major league record, and his longevity is attributed to the knuckleball."
    "At the age of 43, Niekro led the Braves' pitching staff with a 17–4 season."
    And he pitched a total of 5,404⅓ innings in his MLB career. Makes Dickey almost look like a youngster doesn't it.

  • The thought of Betancourt ust made me throw up in my mouth. Seriously this would be the first time in Theos run I would give a loud BOO!!!!!! Seriously I would rather take 2 guys in Rule 5 first than have Him taking a spot on the 40 man.

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I'm with you. I hope the report is not true -- because I have no clue why they would do this. (Now watch Betancourt hit .300/30/120 for the Cubs next season.)

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Keppinger price up to $4M/yr. I'd rather pay that than have Betancourt for free.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Fun meme: what would you rather have than Betancourt for free?

    1) Random Fan Plays Third Fridays.
    2) Mike Schmidt
    3) Sign Carlos Zambrano to play 3rd.
    4) Junior Lake (this is actually only half a joke)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    LOL!!

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Z would probably be a defensive 3B than Mark Reynolds. :)

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    In reply to Just Win:

    We really need to be able to edit our posts. "Better defensive 3B than Mark Reynolds"

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Keppinger is supposedly asking for a 3 year deal at $12 mil total. For the Cubs that's still not a bad match if he would sign here. It's not like he's locked into only playing one position, he has versatility and that contract isn't untradeable if need be. He could start at 3B this year, who knows what our needs are in 2014, maybe he moves to 2B or stays at 3B for half a year or the whole year. In 2015 he could either start, be a supersub, or be traded. $4 mil per year for a good infielder, even if it's a supersub like Keppinger in 2015 is likely to be a good value with the way contracts are going up and projected to rise even more with the TV revenues coming in. I think I might jump on that if the report is accurate and Keppinger is willing to come here.

  • NO please no to Yuni Betancourt. My Royals friends would mourn for me if the Cubs took him. He has NO range and a poor glove even when he finds a ball in it, and a mediocre bat with big holes in his swing.
    There must be better alternatives. Please let the Brewers or Cardinals sign Yuni...or even the Nippon Ham Fighters or the Sioux City Redbirds.
    Not the Cubs !!!

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Amen! Amen! Amen Brother StillMissKennyHubs. Saw wayyyy too much Yuni at the K and on the tube over the last several years. I was so pleased when he was a Brewer!

  • Seriously this better be some Jedi mind trick by Theo to give another guy a push , really . On a side note Badger fans You are now on an equal footing with my Hawkeyes , niether of our teams have a football coach!!

  • Keppinger has an offer from the Yankees for $8 million for two years.......Ian Stewart price just went up.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I believe Stewart will have to sign a minor league contract with a Spring Training invitation.

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    I would take Stewart over Keppinger and it will cost less.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Ugh, going to be tough for Theo to beat that.

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    While I agree matching 2/8 won't be that tough, we'll have to beat it by a pretty substantial amount. Keppinger is being asked to choose between playing on Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter's last run with the Yankees or quite possibly lose 90 games with the Cubs.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's true. I think that Yanks are looking for fill-in/part time guy/utility guy. Cubs may have to offer him the 3B job outright too.

    Wondering why Yanks just don't turn to Chavez.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Too much money for a player who would best be used in a platoon at 3B.

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    seems like Boston is leading for Victorino at 3yr 38mil. I think it's insane he could get that much but hey, who would have ever thought Angel Pagan would be a 10mil a year player.

    Also it looks like the Span trade has had some impact around the league. Span had 3yrs cost control and twins only got an A-ball pitcher(albeit a great one) so that makes you look at Choo and others who will be FA this year and it drives them down.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Looks like a great deal by Nats in that light. When you see what Span will make over 3 years and you're giving up just one very good, but risky SP prospect, they're looking a lot smarter right now.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The Nats have made alot of good moves....Gio Gonzalez seemed like an overpay last offseason, but clearly that worked out. Being bad for so long certainly helped in the draft department.

  • Two days bomarded on tv and internet with rumors, kind of funny, there has not even been one trade made at that meetings, has there?
    Baseball is run now by young corporate guys. They are smart, but not exactly bold. Paralysis by over analysis, and fear of making a mistake. Looking bad is to be avoided at all costs.
    They should read about the old days with guys like Bill Veeck, Buzzie Bavasi, Whitey Herzog. They were not afraid to shake things up and take calculated risks.

  • Very true. Lots of talk so far but not much action.

  • According to Jesse Rogers twitter feed, Sveum, in his press gaggle, said Brett Jackson did a complete overhaul of his swing this fall. Says his swing is totally different and hopes the results will be too.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    I saw that too. And Carrie Muskat even hinted that the team is impressed enough with the early results that they might consider keeping him in the bigs to start next season after all. That would be swell.

  • I don't know anything about Escobar, so worry he might influence the young kids after hours kind of thing. If that's not an issue, I think Sveum will control that clubhouse with or without Escobar in it, and can see him being the sort of edgy player the FO says it looks for. I'm a little biased too because I trust this FO so much, I pretty much assume that if they're interested in him, they don't think he'll be a problem. His numbers definitely wouldn't be. With a couple of teams looking for starting shortstops though, I worry it's going to be hard to convince him or Nakajima to come play for us when they'll have to switch to third.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Though Escobar's a trade so doesn't really apply. I am worried about that with Nakajima though.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Always harder to switch FAs to 3B. Good point.

    If the Cubs do acquire Escobar, that will be a big show of faith in Sveum on controlling the clubhouse.

  • I'm excited about the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. (As excited as one can get about such things.)

    Wondering who the Cubs could get by taking someone on behalf of another team and trading him for someone further away with a higher upside that won't take up a spot on the 40 man roster.

    If they don't trade their pick, I'm hoping for someone useful like Josh Fields or a higher upside lefty that they can stash like the Braves' Carlos Perez or Braulio Lara from the Rays.

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    John, I keep reading all these Rangers names that the Cubs supposedly have interest in. If the Cubs do put together a blockbuster, I'm beginning to think it could be with Texas. Olt would be a great pick-up, and for those who aren't that familiar with David Murphy, the guy can flat out play, and he'll run through a wall to catch a ball. That would fill to major holes very quickly. It would cost Garza, but it would be a good long-term deal. Do you see this as a possibility?

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    I keep feeling that as soon as Greinke goes things will start happening -- but maybe that's overly optimistic.

  • Anybody catch Dale last night on intentional talk with Kevin Millar and Chris Rose? What a neat guy. Can really see why guys would want to play for him. Not a big ego either, just a regular guy.
    Among interesting tidbits, he went to the prom with his now wife of 29 years. He and the team thought the lineups with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis was hilarious, he was dissapointed they didn't do him.
    He runs his own fantasy football league(he is a huge Raiders fan). On a hunting trip last month with Robin Yount, he was shot in the ear with a shotgun pellet by Yount(who he now calls Cheney).
    Really great sense of humor, class guy.

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    I did catch that. He seemed like a very level headed, easy going guy. I already like Sveum but I like him more after seeing that.

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    Like we really killed it offensively last year with Valbuena and Stewart. Any production has to be better than that dynamic duo..

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    In reply to Loren Ronzheimer:

    I overheard Jed and Theo are working on a secret Manhattan project to physically mold Reynolds and Stewart into one person and then pay them $5 million a year. It just might work. And a switch hitter to boot.

  • I they can get Escobar for a good deal I would do it. First Theo
    has to talk to this manager and get an idea of what type of
    person (not player) he is

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    Did I call the Brett Jackson situation or what? Lol I still stand by my feeling to rather have Bjax out there over the current options and that's no knock on those guys,, I really feel Jackson will give you more than them even if he is still working on things and I think the cubs are starting to feel the same way.

    I do agree with John in that if Bjax does get consideration we should have some insurance in case he struggles in spring training. For me, Jackson is my CF choice and has been all off-season.

  • At this point I would have to agree, The options remaining out there including playing DeJesus in CF are not that appealing, Jackson can run, catch and throw as well or better than them , but will He hit? I give Him a level playing field in ST and see if He grabs the job by the throat .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Its funny how you're capitalizing 'he' and 'him' like they do in the bible...

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Dont have a clue , I needed a tutor to get my Lang credits to stay elgible in college , I thought You cap when talking about a person. Oh well.

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    I doubt Jackson will ever hit for a high average but even in his short callup he did hit for power, steal bases and draw walks so he is valuable offensively as well. I doubt he strikes out at the same level he did last year.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Not at triple A hopefully, no. :) I'm all for giving Jackson a shot midseason if he proves at Iowa he's made the adjustments. I remember Rizzo had a great spring training and some people were clamoring to have him up now, but we sent him down anyway to get his reps in on the new swing and that worked out pretty damn well.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    I agree. I think Jackson would have to go crazy in spring training and probably an injury would have to happen for him to start the season with the big club. I suspect he's going in knowing that he's headed to AAA for at least a couple of months.

  • This year, the Cubs finally got the last stench of the cheaters, whiners, and me-first personalities out of the clubhouse (eg, Sosa, Silva, Bradley, Big Z, Ramirez,...). I can't believe they'd let Escobar stink it back up again!

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Ramirez?.... No way. I've met him and he is as down to earth as anyone. He gave the team a substantial home-team discount vs. what he would've fetched in FA back in 07. The guy knows he only has a few productive years left, so he wanted to sign with a potential contender. Not that Theo/Jed wanted to retain him vs the supplemental pick anyways... But can't see any justification for calling him a cancer.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Wish he had him to play 3b next year

  • It's official, Red Sox give Victorino a 3yr deal....

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121204&content_id=40522480&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Victorino isn't worth $13M per year, and you have to wonder what Scott Boras, who is Michael Bourne's agent, thinks of it.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I agree, Victorino looked so bad last year. A 3 year $39 mil contract is a huge gamble he returns to form.

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    In reply to Just Win:

    Jed and Theo's develop from within plan looks better and better with each passing contract.

    And Mike Rizzo is executive of the year.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. The FA market just doesn't present much value anymore in acquiring impact players at a reasonable price. The only way to get them is to develop them yourself.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I gotta believe some of these increases are due to future revenue expected from new TV deals. I even wondered if that's why we signed Baker and Feldman so early before they could figure out there'd been a paradigm shift.

  • Yuniesky Betancourt? Say it ain't so. That man is stalking me I say. Two trips through Kansas City (my "AL team") and being considered by my all-time favorite team? I thought only Dayton Moore had a fetish for that slug.

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    Amen back at ya. Please Jedstein, pass on Yuni by a wiiiiiiide margin. He would be Mather 2.0 in the "why are we playing this guy?...and why is he even on our team?" category.

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    Does anyone see this FO going after Jacoby Ellsbury next winter?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Would Marmol for Ellsbury interest Boston?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Could be their first big FA.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    He'd be on the wrong side of 30, but Ellsbury also seems like the kind of guy you'd want around kids like Brett Jackson and Rizzo. You know me. I'm big on having a good stable pony or two around, especially if they can play.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I agree with you. I don't like his age, and don't think he should be an option unless it is a short deal. Ideally, Brett Jackson and his new swing mean he can be a 250/350 hitter that bangs out 20 home runs a year and plays good defense.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It depends on the money and length, but i think at some point you do have to start bringing in veterans. Maybe Ellsbury is the guy.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Do you want that guy to be a guy on the wrong side of 30 who recently hasn't been able to stay on the field? I just don't think Ellsbury fits. I definitely understand what you are saying though, the Cubs can't field a team with 25 kids under 25.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yes , After doing some digging , (ie google search Jacoby Ellsbury contract ) I came across a Boston article stating the reason they signed Victorino was to play CF and deal Ellsbury , In fact they list a few pitchers the sox would take and lo and behold there is Matt Garza. I wouldnt be shocked to see a trade before the season starts and Ellsbury is 29 . Sept 11 1983 .

  • That Heyman list comes across to me as "Here are teams that need a third baseman," not "Here are teams that are interested in Mark Reynolds."

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Was thinking the same thing, which is why I didn't go into it too much. I don't buy it. Cubs looking for defense first.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Some reports now have Keppinger asking for 3 years $12m. :\

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    John, I read your comments on the Red Sox, and I felt the same way. Meanwhile, teams like the Dodgers and Jays are taking on existing contracts with nary a blink, and in fact trading good prospects for the priveledge.

    It seems, though, we are heading to entirely new levels of spending in baseball. Starting 2014, every team will get $78 mil from national TV and MLB.com; that's before the season even starts, and doesnt' include local TV and gate. The Dodgers are getting $240 to $280 mil PER YEAR from Fox; add to that the $78 mil, and they are clearing over $300 mil per year, before selling a single ticket! No wonder they are spending; they have loads of money.

    This will be us, and everyone, and for that reason, the spending is going to get super-nuts soon. $100 mil for a pitcher? Why not $200 mil? What would you pay Mike Trout; how about $400 mil over 15 years?

    I could be wrong, but years from now, I think we'll look back at Shane Victorino and that $39 mil as nothing. It wasn't that long ago that the Cubs signed Ryne Sandberg to the largest contract in baseball.....at $6 mil per year.

    So, I agree with you when I see the numbers, but then again, I am preparing to be blown away by every single contract we see from here on out.

  • Just some interesting Off-Topic stuff about our new "Set-up" man. Kyuji in Japanese apparently means baseball kid. The name was given to him by his father after he threw a no-hitter in a sandlot game the day before he was born.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

  • I was told to not be surprised in Cubs and Ellsburry interest and I think he fits even long term.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Tom, what kind of price would be needed to pry Ellsbury?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Ellsbury for Garza as soon as Sox are comfortable He is healthy .

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Garza for Ellsbury or Ot would suit me and prob the rest of us just fine

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Olt would be great but they'd want more than 1 year of Garza.

  • Also Tom Gorzelanny wants to come back here but doesnt know if the interest is mutual.

  • I am very interested in seeing what Jackson's swing now looks like. Maybe the biggest factor driving Me to ST right now.

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    Mark Reynolds. Apparently we've decided defense is overrated.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I doubt that is the case.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Somewhat tongue in cheek, but I really don't understand what he brings to the table other than a bat. Essentially the anti-Valbuena. Great bat, no D.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Platoon them. One plays offense, one plays defense.

  • Yuni is a Ray!!!!! Also, hearing we are looking into Farnsworth...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Farnsworth? Fantastic, I always liked him. Never a bad thing to have a player who is willing to punch a bad fan.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Wow, Captain Tightpants again?

    I met Kyle Farnsworth once....he was dating a cousin of a co-worker, went to the same party. He came off as dumb as a bag of hammers.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    "Don't think, just throw."

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    I have to say, just reading through the comments above: every one is intelligent (well, excepting my comments) and on point. This site is awesome. John, Tom, and felzzy are a big part of that, but this is also the best community of Cubs fans on the Internet.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks. I think the reader/contributor knowledge of the game (yours included Mike!) really add to the site. Haven't commented as much today but have enjoyed reading everyone's opinions and ideas.

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    What would it take to get Ellsbury? Shouldn't be overly costly. He has had injury issues recently and has a WAR of 2+ in only 1 of the last 3 years. Plus BoSox have shown they have other priorities with their signings. What about Ellsbury and Bard? So, the Sox need a SS (really, Iglesias is the starter?) and could use closer insurance for Andrew Bailey. What about Barney (gold glove & SS capable), Marmol (set up for Bailey & insurance) and maybe DeJesus (4th OF and insurance for J. Gomes/R. Kalish)? Frees up a roster slot, gives an OF of Sori, Ellsbury and, eventually, BJax. OK, so maybe I'm a crazy homer GM wannabe trade maker but this fills holes and offers value for both teams.

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    I'd be happy with these 2 deals but good luck getting either to go thru..

    1. Garza for Olt, with other pieces involved

    2. Soriano to the Atl for Randall DelGado.....

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Would like that too. Not going to hold my breath, though :)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Me neither John, but you never know....

  • Please bring back Farnsy!!! If we're out of it he could at least drill someone and bring some excitement lol.

    Now seriously though, adding Grilli or Farnsy is a huge addition, even if they trade Marmol... Because then the team would have Camp, Russell and Grilli/Farnsy as experienced pen arms to fall back in case Fuji is not all that and also takes some pressure off youngsters like Beliveau, Bowden, Dolis and Cabrera (if the latter ends up in the pen).

  • In reply to Caps:

    Stable bullpen might go a long way toward making this team competitive. Remember how many leads the Cub blew (especially for Dempster) early in the season. Normally I'm not big on adding RPs, but they could buy this team some time and even gain value by trade deadline

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Very true... A strong bullpen might help the rotation as well, especially when it comes to guys that need build up value (Feldman, Baker and Garza).

    There's also the inherited runners that the pen allowed to score, which resulted in a higher era for the pitcher that allowed them to get on.

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    "If Carlos is on the team, he will be our closer, and I anticipate Carlos being here. Anyone can be traded at any time. But as we put together our 2013 team, we’re certainly expecting him to be our closer.”

    I'm trying to figure out if this is the usual footsie they do with the media, or damage control with Marmol's camp.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    A little from category A and a little from category B.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Reminds me of the comment Theo made about Zambrano the morning he was dealt for Volstad

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Think about it like this... Carlos is somewhat insecure in his role. He knows this, but he has to be mentally right to produce.... "What if" the Cubs can't trade him? they're not just going to give him away... They need him to be able to produce if he's here.

    They'll maintain this dance, until they have a deal in place for him...

  • Matt garza ‏@Gdeuceswild
    @CSNMooney hell I'm planning on a strong return! #GoCubsGo

    LMAO..... gotta love garza

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The man has energy to spare.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Seems like the kinda guy you want for a teammate though.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Seems like the kind of guy you'd wanna deal for substantial future pieces

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Nice Luigi. As long as we aren't going to make a move in this or next year I agree.

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I'd be totally okay with that. But I'd also be okay with them signing him to a multi year contract if they cant move him

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'd have no problem with Garza here long term, just think we could fill some need areas with him...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Definitely.

  • I wonder if we will get back something better than what Hendry gave up? Definitely not quantity but maybe a key piece?

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    With this front office Tom, i'd expect at least one "can't miss" piece and ther guys who'd be nice contributors but not studs

  • Two full days into the Winter Meeting, and the only addition the Cubs have made is a new TV color man??

  • John, as always, great job! Thanks for keeping track of the rumor mill and updating us on all the moves. OK, across the globe here, I think I'm just about caught up on the first two days. So, basically nothing has happened yet! But it is still a pleasure to read this blog and all the terrific thread contributors.

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    I'd say by this time tomorrow we have a 3rd baseman.. I'm hoping its not bentancourt.. I think A Marmol deal will be getting close.. Or I atleast hope.. And hopefully we will have brandon McCarthy with I doubt but.. You can always dream big!

  • John,

    How about a new name for third/outfield/leadoff/backup SS that I hear could be avaliable, Emilio Bonafasio.Right side of 30, tons of speed, fielding at third might need a little work, but should not cost a whole lot from the Blue Jays.

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    Did anyone see that Sveum was shot by Robin Yount? (by the way I am not joking he seriously shot him).

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    Bonifacio would be a great addition to this team, as always depending on the cost. I don't think I would send Garza for him, maybe Marmol since Jansenn is coming off of (minor) shoulder surgery and doesn't have any track record and Santos isn't exactly a pedigreed closer either. When/if Baez or Villaneuva are ready, he slides to 2B. With Castro's bat at short you can sacrifice power at the corner especially if you pick up that kind of speed. Is there a link to this rumor?

  • Emilio Bonafasio would be a nice, relatively inexpensive pickup. he could be the 3rd baseman for now and not cost the Cubs too much. Garza would be too much for him but i'm sure there could be a fair trade there.

  • Vogelbach, Vogelbach man. Rizzo is good, but is nice ,like Williams and Banks, will never win a championship. Dan 'Babe' Volgelbach will be the man.

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