Creating roster space: Could Cubs be trying to move Soriano? Are Indians interested?

Creating roster space: Could Cubs be trying to move Soriano? Are Indians interested?
Alfonso Soriano

Some speculative thoughts on Soriano and creating roster space...

The Cubs still need to make room on their roster for 2 more players (RHP Carlos Villanueva and OF Scott Hairston).  They have too many outfielders on their 40 man roster than they know what to do with right now.  Something has gotta give.  There are some candidates to be removed from the roster, notably OF Tony Campana and perhaps a younger bullpen arm like Lendy Castillo or recent rule 5 pick Hector Rondon.  But I find removing another pitcher, especially young live-armed guys with upside unlikely.  Those are exactly the kind of pitchers the Cubs are trying to get, not lose.  The Cubs seem pretty confident with LHPs Brooks Raley and Chris Rusin, enough to where they let Jeff Beliveau go, who was considered the best prospect of the three to open last season.  I don't think they're eager to rid themelves of young, LHP, cost-controlled pitching.  Another mentioned candidate, Steve Clevenger, isn't likely to pass through as a 26 year old, cost-controlled LH hitting backup.  It's a nice commodity that probably won't sneak through waivers.  In short, the Cubs may be beyond the point where they can waive a guy and expect to get him back.

Which makes a trade an alternative.  The Cubs have certainly been taking their time making space for Carlos Villanueva, indicating they aren't comfortable letting any current 40 man roster players go right now.

As for whom, the Cubs may try to deal, creating space in the OF may make some sense and the Indians have shown off and on interest in Soriano since last season, including just over a month ago.

"...even if the Indians do sign Swisher (they did), that would not rule out a deal for Soriano, depending on how much of his contract the Cubs are willing to pay.

Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years. Chicago would love to unload his salary, and they appear willing to eat the majority of it just to move him as they tear things down before they look to build them back up again.

His salary is still clearly high, especially considering his age and the fact that he is as close to a defensive liability in left field as they come. But if Cleveland acquires him, he could play a lot of games at designated hitter. Travis Hafner is not expected back, so the Indians are looking to fill that position. With some payroll flexibility following the trade of Choo as well as the fact that Hafner and Grady Sizemore have come off the books, expect the Indians to continue to make some noise.

There are some whispers that talks may be rekindling a bit. The first question would be whether Soriano would be willing to go to the Indians but there is an advantage in that the Indians plan to go all out for the next two years as their window closes.  Not being on the west coast helps too.

What would the Cubs get in return?

My own speculation is that one of the players coming back could be Mike Aviles, whom Theo Epstein is familiar with from his days in Boston.  He's capable of playing all 3 IF positions, including 3B, and could serve as the short-side platoon to LHs Ian Stewart or Luis Valbuena.

Now the first thing that will catch people's eye is Aviles low OBP of .282 last season.  A closer look shows that he has hit .295/.339/.458 vs. LHP for his career and .286/.325/.429 last season.  He also showed some pop last season with 13 HRs.  He's also a good defender at SS and will likely adapt well to 3B with more playing time.

Making it even a bit more intriguing is that Aviles has yet to hear from the Indians on his contract status.

Aviles was acquired perhaps in case the Indians would trade Asdrubal Cabrera but that never came to pass and now seems a man without a position behind Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, and Lonnie Chisenhall,   Chisenhall, in particular, is a player in which the Cubs have shown interest in as a possible long term candidate at 3B, so we can't rule his name coming up in any potential trade talk.  Another guy that interests me because he's not a great fit in LF for Cleveland (because of his bat) is  Michael Brantley.  Maybe the Cubs would be interested in getting him to play CF here.  His defense would be better than the current crop and his bat profiles better there.  He has solid OBP skills with some gap power.  The downside is that acquiring someone like Brantley would require the Cubs to compensate the Indians with another ballplayer, so it would complicate matters even further.

If Aviles is indeed on the radar, he would fill a hole as a needed role player (platoon 3B, backup SS), but it would take more than Aviles for the Indians to land Soriano. Perhaps one of the other players mentioned above and it's also known the Cubs are always looking for young. live armed, near MLB ready pitching.

One name that intrigues me in that regard is RHP Danny Salazar.  He's a Tommy John survivor who has come back throwing heat, reaching as high as 100 mph as a starter.  He has a promising, but inconsistent breaking ball and the best changeup in the Indians organization according to BA, who also rates them as their 6th best prospect.    Salazar has shown surprisingly solid control for a hard-throwing pitcher, walking a respectable 2.76 batters per 9 IP last year.  He seems to fit the Cubs profile in a number of ways.

Salazar made it to AA, making 6 starts and going 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA.  The biggest question, of course, is his health and his slight build (6'0", 190lbs).  There's a chance he ends up in the bullpen because of durability concerns.

As you know, it's my custom to mention names of interest rather than creating specific packages, so the problem with that sort of trade so far is that it does nothing to clear roster space. In fact, both players would have to be put on the 40 man roster.  So it would seem more players involved, including a couple of 40 man roster players to the Indians and a non-rostered minor league player or two coming back to the Cubs, to make it work.

Just a thought, speculate away...

Filed under: Rumors/Speculation

Tags: Alfonso Soriano

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  • fb_avatar

    John, i'm all in on moving Soriano..it's not that I haven't gained a respect for him over the past year but like Carlos Marmol, and Dempster, Zambrano, Marshall etc before them, we need a completely younger look at this point and too let go of the past...Is Chisenhall out of the question??

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    It really is about trying to get long term pieces and as much as I do like Soriano, if it helps the team going forward, they have to do it.

    As for Chisenhall, I think that's a player the Cubs would like to get if possible in any deal.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed on both fronts John.

    Aviles is an interesting one - a good hitter with some pop and somewhat versitile, but Chrisenhall would be a better fit even at the cost of blocking Baez or others currently in the minors who might fill in 3B long-term as an alternative to Chrisenhall.

    I don't actually view Soriano as a liability in the same way I might have a season or two ago. Assuming he can manage his creaky knees and legs similarly to what he did last year, he has more positives than negatives on the Cubs roster IMO. When healthy, even when being maligned by many, he has been productive at the plate.

    But if Soriano is moved to Cleveland or another team - I wish him well and a chance at one last run at a pennnt before he retires. Also - being even a part time DH will likely extend his career.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    John, my son happens to live in Akron, where the Indians AA affiliate happens to play at. Hes seen Salazar, says the comp that comes to mind for him is former Brave closer Mark Wohlers. If we can get this kid and Aviles, I say go for it. Aviles would certainly be more worthwhile than Brent Lillibridge.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Cool, thanks for the info.

  • How about Soriano plus $25m to $30m and agreement to give back Hector Rondon for Bauer?

  • In reply to Kinnick:

    Would love to have Bauer but can't see Indians flipping him. That was a coup for them. They shouldn't squander it on two years of Soriano.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, Ive heard Bauer has some mec hanical issues that need to be worked out, and isn't exactly listening to the coaches in the DBacks system. Seems DBacks aren't tolerating guys with character concerns too well.

  • It would help the roster glut if Soriano and/or Marmol were traded for players that wouldn't have to be on the 40-man.

  • It would help but I'm guessing Cubs won't do it strictly for non-roster guys.

  • Between now and the end of July as many veterans as possible
    should be traded only if we could get a least 1 good prospect in
    return. The except is Garza, we need at least 1 top and 1 good
    prospect in return. Pay most of their salary if need be.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The plan is to keep turning short term assets into long ones, so I'm sure we'll see some of that as the season goes on.

  • John, do the fringe guys (Campana, Sappelt) have any trade value? Even a middling Single A guy or something? I also would have to think that if the Cubs make a trade, they would want to get fewer 40-man guys than they give away. Quality over quantity, and they obviously have a 40-man headache right now.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Throw in value mostly. Sappelt has more value as far I'm concerned. I think trading him for a Class A prospect will probably be a loss for the Cubs. Sappelt is at least a useful player, not likely to get that from a Class A guy, at least not the type you'd get for Sappelt to begin with.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I just don't understand the love for either Sappelt or for Campana. Sappelt hit .266 with 7 hr in AAA last year, not exactly tearing it up IMO. I don't see either of them on the roster in 2014/2015.

  • In reply to cbbiefun2014:

    If you're going to judge Sappelt one (really 1/2) bad AAA season after he's raked his whole career, including two AAA seasons with the Reds, then I think you're selling him short. Over a bigger sample size, he's shown he can hit, especially LHP. He can play good defense at the corners, he can run. He's a solid role player and if you can have that at a minimum salary, why wouldn't you?

  • fb_avatar

    I have to believe that Campana will be one that is waived to create space. At that point, I think you have to look more at prospects such as Vitters or Lake or even Watkins that could be moved for lower level prospects to make room. I think the Cubs will be very creative in how they do open up the spots. I feel a house cleaning of some prospects that perhaps the Cubs don't envision in their long term plans.

  • In reply to Richard Madsen:

    Minor deals may be more likely. They're easier at least. Trading those guys at this point,however, is almost tantamount to dumping them. Just not going to get much in return, you'd probably get guys who won't ever see the majors.

  • In reply to Richard Madsen:

    Right now, Lendy Castillo would top my list of those to get waived. Frankly, Id waive one of Rusin/Raley(likely Raley) , since I don't think there upper tier ML pitc hers, even as Loogys.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    have You seen his minor league #s? He has only pitched a couple years and showed flashes against major league competition and He would be the top of your list to dump after carrying him on the 25 all last year. Frankly I am glad You arent the GM and Theo/Jed are. Campana has far less value than Lendy long term .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Frankly, Campana doesn't have much value either, except he happens to be a CF. Right now, our CF is David Dejesus, whos far better as a corner OF defensively. We already have a couple of Lendy Castillos in our system, does the name Albert Cabrerra come to mind? IF Castillo is in A ball, Id say fine, keep him. Hes on the 40 man-I have no problem with Castillo, but not on the roster.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Even so, wouldn't you want to save money by keeping your middle relievers and LOOGYs in house rather than obtaining them on the open market. Have to think efficiency here. If you can develop minimum salaried guys to do these jobs, that creates value.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Remember what I said John. One or the other of Rusin/Raley Id keep. They to me are almost clones of one another, but I favor Rusin because while inconsistent, he can be tough when he hits his spots. Rusin sort of is a little like Al Nipper back in his Red Sox days, either a spectacular s/o or give up 6 runs in 2 innings. Right now, if Rusin can develop into a Paul Assemacher type, Id be thrilled.

  • I wonder if Vitters might be included in a deal. I suspect the Cubs would like to trade him due to his low walk rate and his failed MLB tryout last year.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I think he'd be available. Getting the feeling the Cubs would like to move some parts around to make the roster fit together better.

  • The competition is not standing still. I see that Baseball America ranks the Cardinals minor league system as number one.
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cards-minor-league-system-ranks-no/article_5c90e4fa-cc69-5b4d-90bd-5b4836de8b3a.html
    Any idea where Baseball America ranks the Cubs minor league system?

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    Callis said he'd rank it around #12. Lack of pitching knocks it down.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cardinal farm system shows that Theo/Jed has a lot of work to do. I think eventually we match their position players, but we need more front line type pitchers in our system

  • In reply to Paris:

    Appel would be nice to draft.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Better than in the mid to high 20s, where Callis has the Cubs ranked last year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Things change so quickly though. Look at the big trades made this offseason. Minor league chips just rearrange around the deck. In theory, it shouldn't take the Cubs long, and they have more resources, but almost every Major League team seems to be going with the same strategy long term.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    got my BA Prospect Handbook earlier today. Cubs come in at #13 and Cardinals #1. I liked seeing most of the writers had 3 Cubs in their top 50s...until I saw Cardinals had 2 in the top 10s.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    This is shocking after what I have been watching in Jupiter, Fl for the last three-five years. Palm Beach Cardinals use to produce good players, but not lately. Rays, Ranges, Jays should be near the top of that list.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Jays would be, except they've traded most of there top prospects for Dickey, Reyes, Johnson, etc. Kind of a shame we couldn t get Snydergaard in a trade last year. That Mets rotation looks awfully good if there prospects pan out-Harvey, Wheeler , Snydergaard.

  • Would Salazar be enough for Soriano?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Possibly, but it doesn't solve the roster issue.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Looking at several moves coming soon...multi-player trade...three way trade........Campana, Marmol, Vitters, Lake, Soriano, T Wood could all be in the picture for some type of big deal or two.

  • Ranking the Top Position Players on Cubs 40 man roster.....

    1 - Castro...............Franchise Player
    2 - Rizzo.................Will be a Franchise Player
    3 - Soler.................Future Franchise Player
    4 - B Jackson........Needs to produce to be part of the future.
    5 - Castillo.............Best catcher we have
    6 - Barney.............Trade Bait in July?
    7 - Watkins...........Future 2B
    8 - DeJesus.........Trade Bait in July?
    9 - Viillanueva.......Future 3B
    10 - Soriano.........No Trade Clause
    11 - Lake..............Trade Bait...no position for him.
    12 -Stewart...........Now or never for Ian
    13 - Navarro.........Could be a "Key" player for the pitching staff
    14 - Szcur.............a younger "Campana" style of player
    15 - Schhierholtz....Good back-up....trade bait in July?
    16 - Vitters...........Options running out
    17- Clevenger......Iowa call up when a catcher gets hurt
    18 - Valbuena......Bench guy, good glove...needs to hit
    19 - Sappelt........Bench guy....Trade Bait
    20 - Campana....Trade or Waiver at this point

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Szcur is hardly a "Campana" style of player. If Campana could play defense like Szcur and take walks like Szcur, he would be the starting center fielder.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Szcur is also a bit more than a slap hitter. Campana has a tough time hitting a ball 250 ft.

  • Nice fodder for speculation, John. Two "Howevers": I can't see moving Soriano primarily for roster concerns. The guys behind him don't justify it. But I like Brantley.
    And as to Aviles, my recollection of his Royals days is that he is an average defender at best. I don't follow his advanced stats but I think he has a lack of range at SS. Might be ok at 3rd, where range isn't so much of a factor.
    The guy can hit though....

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I cant see Aviles being any worse at 3b than Valbuena, and hes definitely better offensively. Only concern is hed be a below-avg power hitter for a corner IF. Like Hairston, hes not great, but his one true quality is badly needed by the team.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I have no idea how good a third baseman Aviles is, but last year Valbuena was a very good defensive third baseman.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    My thought was restructuring the team (this includes having to get Brantley) into something like this...

    LF: DeJesus/Sappelt
    CF: Brantley
    RF: Schierholtz/Hairston
    3B: Stewart/Aviles

    I think you can maximize production at all 4 of those positions in thta way.

    However, if Cleveland is going to give up Brantley, they may want Sappelt in return to replace him as a 4th OFer type. I'd rather give them Campana, of course.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I like that restructure with Brantley and Aviles ! It would be worth Sappelt to do it. Maybe Bogusevic or Szczur could fill his role until the top kids come up.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Or, of course, if B. Jackson comes through. He may be the surprise solution to the OF puzzle.

  • I think we could definitely work out something with cleveland but it would have to be a 5 or 6 player trade. i think something like soriano (plus whatever cash it takes to get the deal done, reasonably speaking of coarse), vitters, stewart for chisenhall and aviles makes a ton of sense for both teams.

    indians get a 3b for this year and possibly the future if they like vitters, and sorianos bat in the lineup. if they dont like stewart they can get rid of him in spring training.

    the cubs get chisenhall who could possibly be our 3b/lf of the future and at the very least hold down 3b until baez/castro take over. if he pans out baez/castro could move to 2b. aviles is also a very solid utility guy if injuries occur. the cubs also clear one 40man spot and will probably have to clear a seperate one in another trade.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    i also like this because now that the cubs have addressed 3b, they can look for pitching in all other trades.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I would do it just for Chisenhall or add another piece. What does Aviles bring that do not have in Lillibridge?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Offense. Aviles can hit. Lillibridge cant hit a AA pitcher.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Well I don't think that is true. 2011 was a pretty good year offensively for Lillibridge and he plays cf some.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Lillibridge hit .195 last year. His strength is his defensive versatility.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Hits lefties well and is a better defender.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Chisenhall is the starting 3b in Cleveland this year, they got rid of Hannahan to clear the way for Chis to be the starter. The Indians front office regards him highly, puts him in a similar category to Kipnis.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'd almost rather they found a way to get Aviles, Brantley, and a young, non-rostered arm. Platoon Aviles with Stewart to get a good value at 3B. Move Brantley to CF and DeJesus to LF, platoons with Sappelt. Schierholtz in RF, possibly in platoon with Hairston, maybe. Improves OF D all around.

  • fb_avatar

    John, great article, but I keep thinking about the Yankees and Banuelos, and I wonder if a deal is there to be worked out.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks Mike. Banuelos intriguing of course, but haven't heard too much on Yankees. Sometimes I wonder if Cashman doesn't want to tangle horns with Theo.

  • fb_avatar

    If we're running into a full 40-man roster now, as we're one year into the rebuilding process, what's going to happen 2, 3 or 4 years down the road? Are there players on the 40-man that we're holding on to just because we may want to trade them in a few months? Or because they fill a short-term need. I'll be interested to see how we protect the "waves and waves of pitchers" as they develop.

  • In reply to David Johnson:

    40 man roster juggling is an art...got to be one of the most painstaking jobs in baseball!

  • If they can't get good value, just hold onto Soriano. Only cut the salary if really good prospects are coming back. The salary is already a sunk cost one way or the other.

    He actually could still be productive in a Cubs uniform the next couple of years over suggested replacements. If nothing else he would make for a great (yes, we know, expensive) pinch hitter if that's the best his knees can muster.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    I think it depends on what you mean by value. Is it necessarily prospects? I think they can improve this year's team and still pick up a decent prospect for the future if they trade Soriano and maybe a couple of others. Complicated to do and unlikely, but I'm getting the feeling teams not willing to give up prospects for Sori right now.

  • I am all for moving Soriano now for any value, but Aviles does nothing for me. Sorry John... If he is the main piece in any Soriano deal where the Cubs are paying a majority of Sori's contract, no thanks. Also, with all the great teams in the AL I have my doubts that Soriano would actually accept a trade to Cleveland, unless he is being a lot more open to other teams than he was last year.

  • In reply to Justin:

    He wouldn't be the main piece, just a guy to balance out the roster and some of the salary. Main long term piece would be a pitching prospect and if they can somehow get Brantley out of a deal, that would be great too. Would be a nice stop gap CF until Almora was ready.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    OK, my bad. That makes sense. I misunderstood. Do you have an indication that Soriano is open to going to more teams finally? That would be awesome if so. I just feel like he has 2 or 3 teams that he would go to, which kills his value.

  • In reply to Justin:

    No prob. It's one of the reasons I try to stay away from making trade packages. I'll just talk about guys who may fit in a deal somehow but the order I list them really has nothing to do with whether they headline. I should probably make that more clear as I can see why it might look that way.

  • fb_avatar

    John, this is off topic, but what's the latest on the Cubans. I'm hearing some noise about Alexander Guererro.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Looks like he's in the DR, apparently disappointed he wasn't selected for WBC and is defecting. SS-2B type, good bat but power may not translate well to MLB. We'll see. Info sketchy on him right now.

  • I'd be surprised if they're targeting Aviles, who turns 32 in March. He fills a need, sure, but the FO has shown they're more interested in acquiring possible impact talent. I like the idea of some kind of mega deal involving Soriano and Brantley. His defense isn't that great is the only thing though. But he's a good young player controlled through 2016 and really seemed to be figuring things out at the plate last year. No idea what the other pieces would be.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Just read what you said above about Aviles not being the main piece. That makes more sense to me.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Yeah, meant him as a piece to help balance things out. Cubs want to find a taker for Soriano and I'm not sure the Indians expected to keep Cabrera AND give Aviles over $4M to be a utility guy. I think they'd like to get rid of him and the Cubs may find a use for him. It's kind of "I'll scratch your back and you'll scratch mine" sort of thing.

  • Right now, Brett Jackson is blocked! I really believe he is going to have a re-birth from what I saw of his old counter-productive swing.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I hope so. Cubs seem pretty intent on sending him back to AAA to start the season though.

  • If the Cubs trade Soriano to the Indians, I'd have to think with the Cubs roster the way it is, it will be more for minor league prospects than for MLB-ready players. John, who do you see, other than Salazar, that the Indians can offer in this area?

    Also, we know Soriano shot down a trade last year to SF due to weather concerns. Well, Cleveland is no picnic in April and May. So why should we believe that he is even willing to go there? Have you heard anything specific in the rumor mill that he is open to going to Cleveland? Just seems farfetched to me...

  • In reply to HefCA:

    The article where this started was just speculation on that writer's part.

  • But the article isn't merely speculation. It was based on a quote from an old rumor. That quote was followed by "[t]here are some whispers that talks may be rekindling a bit." These "whispers" are new information.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    If you open "over a month" in John's article it will take you to the referenced article. Read that article in it's entirety and you'll find that that writer is just speculating. Nowhere are there rumors that the Cubs and Indians have actually discussed Soriano or that he's been asked if he'd agree to be traded to Cleveland or that names of potential trade pieces have been discussed.

  • Maybe John can clarify, because I would not qualify two writers speculating as "whispers", and I don't see how talks can "rekindle" if said discussions were merely figments of two writers' imaginations.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Here's what I believe. The Cubs would consider trading Soriano and including $25 million or so. Soriano would like to stay with the Cubs and help them win the World Series but would consider being traded to an East Coast "contender". The Cubs are calling potential trade partners but are not receiving calls from them.

  • I don't know man. I just don't see Soriano wanting any part of going to the Indians. Even though they are trying to win more this yr than they have in the past they are still in the bottom half of the AL. And it's not like Cleveland is a great destination for a player in Sori's situation for a lot of reasons. I sure hope the Cubs know exactly where he is willing to go and spend energy with them.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Just speculation based on some things I've read and they aren't substantial or I would have quoted them or quoted a source. It's why I tried to clarify from the very first sentence that it's just speculation.

    It's an idea and a thought exercise. It is not trying to break a story or anything. That wasn't the tone or the intention of the article. The tone was to say, "OK, if this speculation is true. What might a trade look like?"

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    OK, I hear ya. This sounds harsh but I wish Theo would tell Sori that he's going to get platooned if he stays in Chicago, and that they are going young. I think Soriano needs a little pushing to open up the places he would be willing to go. To me by far the biggest problems with dealing him, is the teams that would want/use him he wouldn't go to.

  • In reply to Justin:

    Getting Sori to go to Cleveland would certainly be a big obstacle. No question.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Just speculation. There's been some mentions here and there but nothing substantial or from a credible source. Just thought I'd look into see if it was feasible and how it would look.

    It's one thing to say, I want to trade Soriano and I want a good prospect whom I don't have to put on the roster. It's another thing for that to get done. If the Cubs want to trade Soriano, they're not going to get everything they want. Teams haven't been willing to give good, non roster prospects for him so I think they'll have to get creative to get something done. And that may entail taking on a player like Aviles, whom the Indians don't have as much use for as they thought they would when the offseason began.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Cleveland isn't as consistently windy. They also happen to play in the AL Central, with the White Sox. Tigers and Royals, none of those places are weather picnics in early spring. Frankly, Sori blew his chance for a ring by not going to SF, they won everything w/o him. Who knows, if they had traded for Sori they may n ot have gotten Pence.

  • One thing for sure is that the Tribe has a number players who fit the Cubs future plans. Would they have a need for Marmol as well as Soriano? The Cubs could pay near all of their salaries and Cleveland could extent Alfonso(not serious money) giving him the opportunity for 500 HRers and reason to waive his no trade clause.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Tough to trade both but I think the Indians wouldn't mind some help in the bullpen.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That was exactly what I was going to suggest - Marmol, Soriano, & Sapplet + Cash for Bauer? Would free some roster space allowing us to add Val & Harr plus get another young arm and would help the Indians in the short term. Probably never going to happen but a Cubs fan can dream...

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Tribe has Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano. Actually, there bullpen is likely there team strength. Tribe needs offense, particulary RH hitting, sorta like the Cubs. Frankly, Im wondering why they nev er considered Hairston.

  • Good piece, John. I really like Brantley a lot. He's going to have a nice career. What do you think it would take compensation wise for Soriano to waive the NTC? Especially in light of his recent comments about wanting to stay in Chicago for the duration of his current deal. Maybe I'm missing something but I didn't realize Cleveland's "window" was open in the first place. When I think of window teams I think of recent playoff teams like the Phillies and Rangers. To me, the Tribe has aspirations of a window and even with the additions of Swisher and Bauer the Cubs' roster is solidly better. Since Soriano's not looking for an extension I'm thinking that it would probably take a little under-the-table million dollar bill or two to get him to consider it. The Indians are weak. What do you think about the compensation?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Thanks. They have some veterans and the AL Central is never a slam dunk, so I think they at least believe they have a window.

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    I just cant see trading soriano right now...If we're in it to win every year why would we trade 30 hrs. and 100 rbi and eat most of his salary? also who would produce the way he does in LF this year or next year? Why not at least get our money's worth from the contract and have a good left fielder.I'd only trade him at the deadline if we were out of the playoff hunt and we get a proven player in return, but to eat the salary and get 1 or 2 maybe's doesn't make any sense to me.....plus I like yelling at him when I'm having a few cold ones in LF bleachers!

  • In reply to freeagent24:

    The Cubs may feel they can get equivalent production in other ways. Maybe you pick up some value on defense or OBP and you incrementally pick up value to make up for the loss of Soriano's absence. It's a balancing act and I think the Cubs FO is pretty good at it. I think if they do trade Soriano, they'll find a way to replace some of the present value while also getting a piece for the long term.

    If they can't, then I totally agree there is no sense in trading him.

  • Hi John, all this activity by the D-backs got me wondering. With all these trades and potential trades of theirs do you think this increases the chances they will eventually be unable to keep one Starling Peralta on the 40 man roster when it is all said and done?

  • In reply to NGWheelz:

    I think it's a long shot that the D'Backs can hold on to Peralta. If he's not back with the Cubs I'll be both surprised and disappointed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    another tidbit from the prospect handbook worth thinking about. Peralta is #26 for AZ and they mention Arizona has a tendency to swing deals to keep their rule V guys. With the roster crunch being what it is, could always be a possibility for the Cubs to mine for someone not yet on the 40 man and make a swap. just a thought.

  • Good piece as usual, John. I like Brantley a lot. He's going to have a nice career. I'm wondering what you think it would take compensation-wise to get Soriano to waive his NTC? Especially in light of his recent comments about wanting to remain a Cub for the duration of his current contract. Maybe I'm missing something but I didn't realize the Indians had a "window" in the first place. When I think of window teams I think of recent playoff teams with a little bit of age on them like the Phillies or the Yankees. To me, even with the additions of Swisher and Bauer the Cubs' roster is solidly better and their future is solidly brighter. Not to mention if we surveyed the major leaguers on where they'd rather live/play, Cleveland or Chicago, good chance Chicago receives 100% of the vote. Since Sori isn't in the market for an extension I'm thinking that it would take at least an under-the-table million dollar bill or three to get him to agree to that. What do you think?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Sorry man....didn't think my first one went through so I typed it again. Maybe I can trade my laptop and five grand to the tribe for michael brantley.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    There may be some compensatory gifts coming Soriano's way :) We know the Rangers did it to help get Young to Philadelphia.

  • John did you get my DM?

  • A big Cubs fan who does Twitter, just told me that Sappelt turned off his Cubs twitter account.

    I wonder if he was traded or waived tonight?

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    His account is up: https://twitter.com/SappySappelt6

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I don't do twitter.....but did ask someone else to check on any news.

  • Looks like we may be doing something with or to Clevenger. We signed C Jair Fernandez to a minor league deal earlier today.

  • MLB is investigating the age of Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz.....he might not be 23, which has all kinds of signing/$$ implications.

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