Cubs Notes: Theo on Castro, Baez and Marmol, an offseason report card, and some unusual trade value

Cubs Notes: Theo on Castro, Baez and Marmol, an offseason report card, and some unusual trade value
Starlin Castro

It's been a heavy prospect week and it will continue later today as Keith Law comes out with his top 10.  Always look forward to that list because there always seems to be a surprise name or two.

Until then, here's a few Cubs related odds and ends and a story on a rather unique trade...

  • The presence of Starlin Castro and the recent buzz about Javier Baez getting an invite to spring training has caused some speculation as to what the Cubs should do if they should wind up having two top shortstops in the near future.  Theo Epstein is not concerned.  "There's no need in the foreseeable future at all to move Starlin off of shortstop, and Javier Baez will continue to develop as a shortstop," Epstein said. "If he pushes the timetable, and he's up here sooner than one might expect then sure, before he gets to a position and a point where he's ready to make his major league debut then it's our job to develop him as a versatile player who can make an impact on a Cubs team that has an everyday shortstop."  Sounds like Baez will be the one making the move if he makes it to Wrigley in the near future. What's more, this potential logjam isn't going to deter the Cubs from drafting more shortstops.  "We're going to draft and find as many middle of the field potential impact players as we can and nine times out of 10 it naturally sorts itself out."  I'm on board with that draft philosophy. Shortstops are often athletic and skilled enough that, as long as they can hit, they can pretty much play any other position off the field.  Isn't it nice to have these sort of problems for a change?
  • Carlos Marmol should be ready for the start of spring training despite recent allegations of domestic abuse ."He'll be ready to go [for spring training]," Epstein said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Obviously we take any type of accusation like that seriously. We've done some looking into it. Every bit of information we've received from the Dominican shows that Carlos is going to be cleared, and we'll have this behind him by the time he meets the media the first day of spring training."  Marmol is expected to open the season as the Cubs closer after a strong second half last season.  It's unlikely, however, that he ends the season with the team.  Marmol will be a free agent after the season and is unlikely to receive the qualifying offer, so the Cubs will almost certainly try and recoup some value sometime before the trade deadline.  Epstein has also stated that in the past that they would try and create value from the closer role.  Trading them for long term assets is one way and promoting someone like Kyuji Fujikawa into that role will add to his value as well.
  • ESPN's David Shoenfield gives the Cubs a "C" overall grade and a B for their offseason moves.  He thinks the Cubs came up with a nice group of complimentary players.  A group that I believe the Cubs plan to platooon and rotate to maximize their value.  He also says the rotation can be sneaky good but grades them conservatively overall because the Cubs still have issues with depth and top end talent in the everyday lineup.  Fair enough, but the Cubs were a 100 loss team last season and are trying to build this over the next 2-3 years.  It's hard to envision any scenario in which they wouldn't lack talent and depth in their lineup for the 2013 season.
  • Bruce Levine had a chat that you can read here.  Some of the highlights:  1) He believes the Cubs think of Travis Wood as a starter and have no plans to put him in the bullpen 2) He still thinks Carlos Marmol will get traded by opening day, though not for Rick Porcello. 3) Doesn't rule out the Cubs signing Matt Garza to an extension, 4) The Cubs worked long and hard to obtain a 3B and were especially interested in Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Olt, but neither team was interested in moving their young 3B.
  • Creative? Good with graphics?  The Cubs are holding a contest to design a new Wrigley logo for their 100 year anniversary.
  • Not Cubs related but in 1997, Arizona GM Kevin Towers, then the GM of the San Diego Padres, said he was so strapped for resources that he traded a player for $75,000 and a used treadmill.  The money was spent on more weight room supplies.

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  • I expect Baez will be the 3B of the future. He's already bigger than Starlin despite being nearly 3 years younger, and he's got that cannon arm that needs to stay on the left side of the infield. I also think the F.O. really likes Darwin Barney and wants to keep him and Castro together for several years to come. Couple that with the lack of a clear solution to 3B in the organization, and the table seems set for Baez to make the switch.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Sounds about right and would make really good Winfield.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That is 'infield'

  • In reply to 44slug:

    As long as you mentioned Winfield and John wrote about that goofy trade, I guess I'll mention the time Dave Winfield was traded from the Twins to the Indians in 94. He was traded for the player to be named and before he could report, the season ended with a strike. The only compensation they could agree on was the front office of the Indians buying dinner for the Twin's front office.

    The Indians were also involved in another strange trade. In 1962, they sent Harry Chiti to the Mets in exchange for that unnamed player, which after the season turned out to be Harry Chiti and a few bucks.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Former Cub Dickie Noles was loaned to the Tigers in '87 and returned a month later.

  • I'd forgotten about that. Thanks.

    We won't talk about the trade of Medich for Peterson...

  • In reply to SFToby:

    You're welcome. At the time it was announced as Noles for a PTBNL. So, basically, he was traded for himself.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    3B seems like the most likely to me too.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I respectfully disagree Eddie. The Cubs FO have been making every effort to find their 3B of the future outside the organization. If they were set with Baez as their future 3B, why do we continue to hear reports that they are trying to aquire players like Mike Olt and Lonnie Chisenhall? As Cubs fans we are quick to pencil him in at 3B because right now we see that as our biggest hole and Baez profiles very well there. But keep in mind that Baez is still probable 2 years away and the Cubs FO have been clear about their desires to find a long term fit at 3B via trade. In addition, I urge you to pay attention to exactly what Theo is saying. There is no reason to move Baez from SS at this point. Theo understands that Baez holds the most value as a SS. The transition from SS to 2B, 3B or OF is relatively easy as the position of SS is the most athletic on the field. Theo went on to discuss that the Cubs will "continue to draft as many middle of the field potention impact players as we can". I want to point out that he uses the words "middle of the field". While Baez's final position will ultimately be determined by the need of the organization at the time he is ready to debut, I have little doubt Theo values impact players who can play middle of the infield positions like 2B greater than those who play corner spots. I have said this before on here and will continue to say it... Don't rule out Baez at 2B. I know the Cubs FO has not.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I feel certain that the FO has not ruled out moving Baez to second base at some point. I also feel certain that the FO has not ruled out moving Castro to second base at some point. There is absolutely no reason to make a decision on who moves where at this point.

    As far as third base is concerned, why would the FO NOT try to fill what may be a black hole through a trade. If they get one that turns out to be great, then Baez or Castro can move to second base or center field. Or they can trade whoever, and move one of the two to third.

    The purpose of drafting and developing all these athletic "middle infielders" is that it gives you great flexibility in the future, and you do not have to lock yourself into a specific plan today.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I hope that Baez will reconcile himself with that possibility. He prefers being the middle of the infield because he chatters a lot. During the AFL he botched a huge number of plays at third, probably because of his preference. As a pro, he'll have to learn to drive the team bus if that's what management needs him to do.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    He can chatter from 3b and the hot corner is a covetted spot as well. If Candelario proves to be a stud switch hitting 3bman Javy is talented enough to move again. I prefer an in house solution.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree, but he seems to have had a bad case of the yips playing at third in the AFL last fall.

  • ESPN's David Shoenfield gave the Cubs a B for offseason moves and a C for overall grade. But I was really impressed with the offseason moves. Everyone here who read Cubs Den is well aware of the many well thought out complimentary moves the Cubs made. I would give Cubs an A-. They went from a 101 loss team to around a .500 team.

  • In reply to John57:

    Thanks John57. I'm not sure how I did that. The weird thing is that I saw the B and could have sworn I had typed that down! Anyway and I went ahead and edited back in what I originally meant to say.

  • That is an A- for offseason moves. I agree with a C for overall grade.

  • I've ignored Schoenfield's opinions ever since he proclaimed that Bo Jackson was not a great ballplayer. To say that, he must have never seen Bo play.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Bo had some limitations,... for example he struck out a LOT,...

    But before he messed up his hip he could run, he could field, he could hit the ball a mile, and he had personality for decades.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Bo would hit a routine two-hopper to short, shortstop makes the play perfectly and fires to first---and Bo would beat it out. They would have had to make 1st base 95 feet away for him to be "normal".
    And he made two of the greatest jaw-dropping, head-shaking clutch plays I have ever seen in five decades of baseball watching.
    We missed a 5-tool 1st-ballot HOFer when Bo's baseball career went down.
    Shame on Schoenfield.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    What a gifted athlete!

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Best description of Bo I've heard:
    "He defied the geometry of the game".

    No one else did that.
    It's too bad he didn't just focus on baseball.
    The result could've been epic.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    It was epic but for a short time, alas. One of those plays was against the White Sox at Kauffman. The Sox had a runner on first and no one out. The batter hits a cannon shot to deepest left center. Bo, playing shallow in left, 1) puts head down and beelines to the exact spot where wall and ball are to meet, seeming to outrun the ball, 2) takes one mighty leap from the center of the warning track and climbs the wall, sticking his spikes into the covering, 3) makes an incredible full-speed over-the-shoulder catch while 4) pivoting off the wall even as ball hits glove, taking ONE step and 5) firing a 340-foot one-bounce bullet to first base, doubling the runner (who was near third, knowing that no human could catch that ball).
    As you say, "Defying the geometry of the game."
    The fans were stunned, as were the Sox. We had just seen The Perfect Play. After a minute, the cheers started and lasted through the inning. Bo got a standing ovation from the fans throughout the night, and even the Sox came out of the dugout to shake their heads in amazement and applaud Bo's play.
    If it had been in the WS, it would be up there with Willie Mays in '54.
    Thanks, Bo.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I wouldn't underestimate Bo Jackson doing anything. I wish he would have stuck to baseball, though. Of course, I'm biased.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Bo had a serious K issue.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I saw once where Jim Brown said he never truly respected Bo or Dion Sanders because he thought of them as "part-time players". I disagreed with him in the sense that, as an athlete, Bo Jackson could do anything, personally I think Bo could have been an Olympic decathlon champion if he wanted to.

  • Long time reader, first time comment. Thanks John for outstanding articles. Refreshing to read Cubs news and notes instead of Brewer propaganda. Looking forward to Kane County coming here to Appleton, plan on going to all three games will give you raw amateur scouting report

  • In reply to Scheider:

    Thanks for the kind words Scheider and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that Kane County team. It should be the most prospect laden the team the Cubs have had in a long, long time.

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    In reply to Scheider:

    Looking forward to this as i'm still away at college so won't have to chance to see Kane County much. Even when i'm not I live on the south side so it's a nice trip to get there.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Marcel, study hard. In a few years the next wave of Cubs Front Office experts will be coming in, and with your insight, you could be riding the crest of that wave.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    HA! Thanks Hubbs, that would be a dream come true for me. Honestly I think alot of us here at Cubs Den could work for the Cubs in terms of insight and thought process lol. Very well-informed fans on here.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm a 4 hour drive from Knoxville, and I hope I'll be making the trip a lot by the end of the season. (Soler and Baez could both be Smokies by that point, and if things are going really well, Johnson and Paniagua.) Obviously, I'll share my very raw scouting reports on the team.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    That would be awesome. Honestly, if Soler, Baez, Johnson, and Paniagua are all there I think i'll just have to suck it up and take a few days off to go drive down there this summer. Really wanna see those guys in the flesh.

  • fb_avatar

    Can anyone envision a trade for chase Headley? Say, Baez or Castro straight up? While people were clamoring to trade the farm for upton or Stanton, I would have been much more willing to part with some value to take care of 3b for the long term

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    Not to be come off in a negative way, but your kidding right?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    No, but tell me why you say that.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Castro is by far the more valuable player than Headley. It's not even close.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    You would be trading a core piece and your top prospect for a core piece. Ultimately it could be two core pieces for one core piece. That's a terrible move.

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    He said Castro or Baez, not both. Either way wouldn't trade either player for Headley.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Why? I love Headley, but he will be 29 this year and that might skew to old for the rebuilding plans.

    Why give up a building block that could be here for 10-15 years for a good player that might be here for 5?

    You have to think long term, not this season...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I didn't realize he was 29, I was thinking 26-27 so I agree with that part. But as for trading a core piece for a core piece, cubs seem to have 2 solid shortstops. The whole point of drafting the BPA is to have depth to use for trades.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I don't envision the Cubs trading either player. If they did I'm pretty sure the Padres would be all over that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Padres are cheap, John . They will get rid of Headley sometime within the next 1-2 years, they don't want to pay him big $ and they have Goyko in the minors. Headley doesn't fit here, the Padres will ask for the same Jake Peavy like demands they made 2 years ago.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mutant beast:

    I tend to agree but the Padres have said they would like to keep both Headley and Gyorko to build around. I think it all depends on what Headley is asking for. Does he want Martin Prado money or David Wright money? That will be the determining factor.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Bottom line is Headley put up career numbers last year... Far exceeding any year he has ever had. Headley wants to get paid based on the numbers he put up last year. Any team who would trade for him would be doing so when his stock is at an all time high. Then Headley is going to want a contract in which he is getting top dollar. There is no way I give up a core player like Castro or Baez for that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    This pretty much sums up everything in a nutshell.

  • fb_avatar

    More interesting than the article are the comments down below. It really irks me to see so many uninformed Cubs fans. So many "THIS TEAM SHOULD GET AN F THEY LOST A 100 GAMES LAST YEAR AND DIDNT SIGN ANY BIG NAMES DERP" Type comments and some who think we stand absolutely no chance of winning even 70 games. I see so many fans of other teams optimistic about the coming year for their teams when they might have been just as bad record wise as we were but our fans are already defeated before the season has even started.

    Most of our fans cannot see the bigger picture or look past W/L records. For them there's no difference in the player development, drafting, good investments, installing a culture, had a great offseason, nothing.....just that we lost 100 games last year and didn't sign Grienke, Hamilton, Bourn, etc.

    I might get flacked for saying this but aside from the "informed cubs fans" like us here and other places our fans for the most part are terrible and it really starts to show on national Tv and internet spots like ESPN and MLBTV(I think they are partly to blame because they cover the team in a negative way they like sexy signings from big market teams and we havn't done that so in turn we get bashed) where the overall perspective of the Cubs fan can be heard. And it's not good.

    I wish people like us were the majority and not the minority. It's gotten better over the last year but still not where it needs to be.

    /rant

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    The F.O. is in control and they won't be swayed by the legions of impatient jackasses. So take a deep breathe and relax.

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    In reply to Eddie:

    Your right mate *takes deep breath* stuff like this just gets to me sometimes as other Dennisons will tell you.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Sometimes the best 'revenge' on one's critics is to go out and excel despite the criticism.

    I'm still guessing that the team is ~70-75 wins at best. In part I see this because sometime come June/July some of the veteran pieces are going to be moved, some team instability will result, and youngsters brought up to fill the former veteran-filled positions will go through the usual growing pains.

    BUT - this is a team with many subtle positives that could very well surprise the league. The biggest IF is the offense. Barring unexpected results from Stewart/Valbuena, power increase from Castro, and more than expected production from the OF platoons,... this is a team that will regularly scrabble for runs.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Have to consider the site too. ESPN is the ultimate hype machine and I'm sure it's not a coincidence that they get a lot of commenters who value marquee names above all else.

  • fb_avatar

    A day later, I'm still depressed by the Olt story.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Why? He isn't a Cub and a .270/350/450 that plays great defense is a pretty good player. That what I see when I see Olt.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Olt looks like Vitters with better plate discipline.

    I think Olt has been talked about so much that some believe he is the next coming of Mike Schmidt. The slash line that Kevin put up here isn't all that impressive, especially if it means we are trading a front of the rotation starter (Garza)...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    While I agree he has been overhyped and shouldn't be the main piece in a Garza deal I can't say I wouldn't like to have him. He's pretty much trying to be what Ian Stewart was expected to be so if Ian returns to form i'd rather have him for nothing than trade assets for Olt even if he is younger and cost controlled.

    Nonetheless, he really isn't as good as people around the league peg him out to be. At the very least he's Vitters with better plate discipline and defense with lower contact skills.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    Because I would like him to be a Cub, and if the Rangers really aren't interested in moving him, that's unlikely to happen. But, on the positive side, we don't entirely know what those discussions consisted of - or even where Bruce got that report, as it certainly wasn't the Cubs front office.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike, with Bruce, you have to keep your expectations low. Lots of deadend rumors come from him.
    I think that Olt is overrated too.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Would Olt be overrated at this point if he were a Cub? He's still a top prospect. If he didn't have any concerns, he already be a major leaguer. He ranks #22 on mlb.com just below Baez and above both Almora and Solar. I didn't check the other rankings but am confident they offer similar results. Don't get me wrong, I have my concerns about Olt, but I'm asking if anyone could explain why we've all of a sudden soured on him. Is is because we did not trade for him or is there another reason?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    It's not so much that we've soured on him as a player. He's moreso overrated in that people feel he's not a level of player to warrant big names deals being made with him as the centerpiece prospect which has been speculated often. Would we like to have him? sure. Would you trade Matt Garza with him as the main piece? No. If you were Arizona trying to trade Upton would you want Olt back as the main piece? Not likely.

    Currently there are no means to acquire him without using your best trade chip or trading core players. In that respect, yes, he is overrated.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    That's just what I would have replied. His skills as a prospect may not be overrated, but his value as a trade acquisition have been off the charts. As someone here said, he's not the next Mike Schmidt.
    I'd rather see if Stewart can come back before selling the farm for a 3b...and then there's Baez in the wings.
    Besides, if the Rangers are looking at the possible loss of Nelson Cruz for 1/3 of the season or more, they are more likely to try Olt in the OF or IB rather than deal him.

  • This could be a problem if Schilling is referring to current members of the Cubs organization:

    http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/02/07/curt-schilling-members-of-the-red-sox-organization-encouraged-me-to-use-peds/

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsML:

    I tend to take everything Schilling says with a few grains of salt these days because he has a huge incentive to stay relevant and in the news. The specificity of his story gives it credence, though. It's hard to believe he isn't talking about guys on the Cubs now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He does seem to like attention.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He might also be talking about Lucchino, who seems to have issues with almost everyone who ever worked there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed on the first statement. Schilling finds any way possible to get in the headlines. On the second, It wouldn't surprise me if Theo and Co. weren't in on it. There was a story that Theo didn't want to sign guys like Crawford, Lackey, or trade for Gonzalez but Lucchino and CO wanted a "sexier" ball clubs that attracts people and brings in more attention/revenue.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "Member of the organization" is a pretty broad term. I doubt any member of this front office would have such a discussion out in the open the way Schilling describes it. They strike me as too smart to have witnesses to a conversation like that.

  • Law’s Top 10 Cubs prospects is out…he’s definitely higher on the Cubs SP prospects than most. I like seeing Underwood and Alcantara so high up.

    1. Javier Baez, SS (31)
    2. Albert Almora, CF (33)
    3. Jorge Soler, RF (42)
    4. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP (64)
    5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
    6. Duane Underwood, RHP
    7. Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP
    8. Pierce Johnson, RHP
    9. Paul Blackburn, RHP
    10. Arismendy Alcantara, SS

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Underwood over Johnson? Wow. Must have really liked something.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He talks about Underwood as one of his sleeper candidates who could jump into the Top 11 next year, so he's obviously really high on him. Also mentioned Paniagua and Alcantara as guys who could end up on that list.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    sorry...should've been Top 100 prospects list, not Top 11...

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Here's hoping. I'm excited by that ranking. I'd love to see Underwood prove him right.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Makes sense when you think about it. Underwood might be the only SP prospect in our system with true #1 written all over him. If his floor wasn't so astronomically low he might be in our top 3. How he turns out will determine how far our Player Dev. system has come.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm not sure I'm willing to put the progress of our player development system on his development. The raw tools are there, but he still needs to put it all together. If he fails, and Ryan McNeil and Anthony Prieto -- pulling 2 names out of the air -- become big league pitchers, middle of the rotation or better, it speaks highly of the system. If all the new young pitching fails to develop, though, you have to start asking questions.

    Fortunately, everything I hear about Derek Johnson is that we are extraordinarily lucky to have him.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I'll have something up on that later. Thanks.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I'd say my biggest surprise is Brett Jackson not even making the list.

  • He also refers to Vogelbach as "a brutal athlete with no position"...doesn't sound like a fan.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Maybe when he says brutal he meant a total beast. :)

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Then I guess the NL needs to adopt the DH, because Vogelboom can bash. Wrigley will love this kid if he makes it and plays according to form.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    I agree with Keith here. Why is everyone so jacked up on Vogelbach? Is it just because he potentially could have a monster bat? I mean, he can crush the ball.. but that is it. He also hit in low A, which is not really known for its pitching. I think we should start tempering our expectations of this guy.

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    In reply to Demarrer:

    His bat is more than power. The swing is a thing of beauty, and he's one of the rare guys that may well be able to hit for both power and average. He also shows great patience -- he'll wait for his pitch and take a walk if it's being offered to him. The position is a huge issue, but if the bat develops as expected, they'll find a place for him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Couldn't have said it better, Mike. Vogelbach is a true hitter, not a homerun chaser. He could have a Billy Butler-like career if he continues his current trend. Big if though.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Right. It is easy to get caught up in his ceiling -- I know I do -- but we won't really know if he has a serious chance of making the big leagues for a couple years yet.

    Still, that ceiling...

  • One last thing-I don't know where anyone got the idea the Injuns were trading Chisenhall, or he was even available. The Indians specifically released Hannahan just to let Chisenhall know 3b was his and his alone, and there front office sees Chisenhall as similar to Kipnis.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Chisenhall's name was only mentioned as someone who might have been able to step in at 3B before Stewart re-signed.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    The Cubs have been rumored to be interested in Chisenhall. This does not mean the Indians have intentions of trading him.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    I doubt we were even really talking about Chisenhall in the first place. Most of these "rumors" are planted by the reporters themselves. The thought process is usually "hmmm, he fits the Cubs needs....so the Cubs HAVE to be going after him. It only makes sense...got my story for the day" lol

  • I predict that Vogalbach will mash MLB pitchers. He may not be doing it for the Cubs, but in the AL. While I am making predictions, I predict Baez will be the Cubs regular 3bman around July of 2014.

  • Great stuff from everyone on Vogelbach -- we must all be on the same wavelength today because just did a write-up on my thoughts on three players from Law's piece. The first is the exclusion of Vogelbach, which as you know from my own rankings (I had him at #5) is something I disagree with for a number of reasons.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't understand how so many people can be so low on VogelBomb. His ceiling, as a hitter, could be Billy Butler, Prince Fielder, or even David Ortiz; his plate discipline almost assures that he won't be Mark Reynolds.

    Now that his ceiling his established, we can mention someone who is regarded as a top 20 prospect: Miguel Sano. This is a guy that is more raw than Vogelbach and not fat. However, he has 80 power, good hitting, plate discipline is iffy but he's done well so far with BBs; on the other hand, he can't field for his life and he can't run. All of that is 100% comparable to Vogelbach. Basically, what I am saying is that there is an extreme bias against Vogelbach simply because he is fat.

  • In reply to ejramir2:

    The answer to that question is athleticism and positional value. Sano is a much better athlete with a good arm and at the very least should be able to play a solid RF.

    I do think Vogelbach is the better pure hitter but Sano is less bat dependent because of his athleticism and secondary skills.

  • Instead of Olt the Cubs should target the Rangers Luis Sardinas.
    You move him from short to second and you could have a switch hitting leadoff hitter who can steal 30+ bases.

    If you put Baez at second, then you become a very right handed hitting team. You would have to find a SS/left handed 3rd baseman like the Angles Kaleb Cowart. However, you still have the issue of stolen bases because Almora doesn't have that type of speed.

    The wildcard is Brett Jackson. He can fix leadoff, left handed bat, and stolen base issues.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    I am a big fan of Sardinas and would love to see the cubs get him. But I would take Olt over Sardinas because of his power potential.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Obviously I agree with this. But wouldn't it be something if, after all the Olt hand-wringing, Ian Stewart finally is healthy again and hits like the guy who was the #4 prospect in all of baseball? That takes care of a lot of issues.

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