An interesting day yesterday with the trade of speedster and fan favorite Tony Campana to the Diamondbacks for two young, projectable pitchers. There were a few items that were overshadowed.
- UPDATE #2 (12:30 PM). Last but certainly not least, BA has come up with their top 100 and includes 4 Cubs: Javier Baez (16), Albert Almora (33), Jorge Soler (34), and Arodys Vizcaino (83). They also had a best tools category. That includes Soler in the power and arm category (both rated 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale). Almora is the best defensive prospect in baseball according to BA (75 rating). Vizcaino's curveball rates as a 70. Surprisingly, Baez didn't make any of the best tool categories. Some have rated both his hitting and power as 70s on the scouting scale.
- UPDATE (10:30 AM): The CSN duo of Dave Kaplan and Patrick Mooney bring us good news on Matt Garza's MRI. Kap tweets, "Hoyer announcement on Garza: MRI says he has a mild lat strain. He will rest for a week. This will push his first Cactus League start back." Similarly, Mooney tweets, "Cubs say MRI reveals mild lat strain - Garza will rest for one week. Cactus League start pushed back; too early to tell re: Opening Day." The fact that his start is pushed back and he may miss Opening Day isn't great news but it could have been much worse, all things considered. There's no long term damage and, as expected, his arm is fine. Now all we can do is wait and see how quickly Garza recovers.
- Alfonso Soriano said he'd be open to a trade if the Cubs struggle this season. His preference right now is to stay, saying earlier today that he wants to win a WS with the Cubs, but it seems like he'd be willing to be moved if that didn't look like it was going to happen here. Soriano did say there were about 5-7 teams he'd okay, all of them in the east or center (midwest). "[The Cubs] know what teams," Soriano said of a trade this season. "We talked, my agent talked with those guys." It looks like the Cubs will open the season with Soriano in LF and that may be the best for everyone involved. He's not blocking any prospects, he's well-liked and respected in the clubhouse, and he is their main source of RH power. Furthermore, the Cubs haven't been able to get a suitable offer for Soriano and with teams wanting the Cubs to pay his salary, they are in no rush to give him away when he still provides value to the team. If Soriano continues to hit as he did last season, then perhaps a team will be convinced to deal for him down the stretch.
- Want to also note that, despite persistent rumors that he rejected a trade to San Francisco, it never got that far -- something Tom Loxas noted at the time -- it didn't really happen. GM Brian Sabean said they never came close to making an offer. However, if an agreement had been reached, Soriano would have rejected it anyway. Maybe that's splitting hairs, but we can't say that the Cubs could have traded Soriano by now if only he'd approved the deal. It never came close from the Giants side.
- Matt Garza is scheduled to have an MRI because it's really difficult to know the degree of the injury. "It's probably difficult for the doctors and trainers to get a sense of the degree just by feeling it," general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday. "There's really no accurate news today, we have to wait and see. The good news is his arm feels good." Hoyer admits that the injury, even it's not serious, will set Garza back a little, "He was throwing well. It was unfortunate, for sure, it's going to set him back a little bit." He also said it's better these injuries happen now then in mid-March. We can take that to mean a lot of things. The most likely is that its easier to plan around when it happens early, but it could also mean he holds out some hope of trading Garza before the season starts.
- Today marked the 15th anniversary of Cubs broadcasting legend Harry Caray's passing and CSN Chicago has his top quotes to help us remember him.
- Another top 100 list and this one has 6 Cubs on it. It's from Bradley Ankrom of twentyeighty, who also contributes to Baseball Prospectus on occasion. You have the usual suspects -- Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, and Arodys Vizcaino -- and Ankrom adds Jeimer Candelario (who just missed Keith Law's list) and Dan Vogelbach. This is the first list of any kind I've seen with Vogelbach on it, so good to see the big guy getting a little love.
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