Cubs Game Notes and Thread: Potential Cubs offseason targets

Cubs Game Notes and Thread: Potential Cubs offseason targets
Vanderbilt duo Derek Johnson and David Price

So yesterday we talked about the Cubs spending money on free agents and perhaps more realistically, we also talked about the possibility of a trade for a player not yet past his prime years.

Giancarlo Stanton, RF, 23

Stanton is a guy we focused on when we wrote the article linked above but it's going to be tough to outbid teams with better farm systems.  He's an ideal fit in that he's not yet in his prime, hits for lots of power, and takes walks.  You have to figure Texas will be willing to offer Jurickson Profar and a good, young starting pitcher.  The Cardinals have Oscar Tavares and plenty of live arms in their system.  And while they're not a big market team, they've shown the willingness to keep their better players in-house.  The Cubs have top prospects who would be very marketable in Florida:  Albert Almora, Dan Vogelbach, and Javier Baez played high school ball there while Jorge Soler and Almora have appeal to the large Cuban community.

David Price, LHP (27)

Price is probably a more realistic trade target, though Tampa doesn't sell below value.  They can't afford to. Buster Olney speculates that the Cubs will be the top contender for his services.  There are a lot of pieces you can put together here.  Price is a top of the rotation starter, a guy who can help take the pressure of budding ace Jeff Samardzija.  He's a left-handed starter, a commodity that is very scarce in the Cubs organization.  He' s just 27, just beginning his prime years.  And he has his old pitching coach working for the organization.

Chase Headley, 3B (28)

The Cubs have said that the 3B of the future may not come from the current organization, meaning Baez may move to 2B or another position instead -- if he makes it at all, of course.  The Cubs have other good prospects such as Christian Villanueva, Junior Lake, and Jeimer Candelario but none are guarantees to make it to the show as starting 3Bs.  Headley is a little older than the ideal for the Cubs but if they think they can win by 2015, Headley is plenty young enough to still put up big numbers.  He fits the team's philosophy as a good athlete and a plus defender who takes walks and can hit for power.  The small market Padres have a home-grown replacement in Jed Gyorko and may try to cash in on Headley while they still can.  It also helps that the Cubs front office is very familiar with Headly and the Padres organization in general.  If there is a concern, it's the recent injury history.

Jacoby Ellsbury, LF (29)

There is the obvious link with Boston and the Cubs big 3 of Theo, Jed, and Jason, but Ellsbury is a risk in that he will be 30, injury prone, and 3 years removed from the season in which he finished 2nd in the AL MVP voting.  Much of Ellsbury value will come from whether he can regain some of the power he showed that year because his future as he gets into his 30s will be a corner OF position.  He'll be a plus defender there, but he isn't a pure OBP or power guy historically, so he could end up being a tweener.   But you can be sure his agent Scott Boras isn't going to admit that.  He'll try to sell him as the 2011 guy, the rare commodity that can play CF, steal bases, and hit for power.

Shin-Soo Choo, LH (30)

Another Boras client, Choo is an OBP guy with good doubles power and the ability to hit one out on occasion.  He's still a solid defender with a strong, accurate arm in the corners, though he's stretched out in CF.  Choo is the alternative to Ellsbury and is the more natural OBP guy.  He's already 30, however, so you'd be getting him as much for the short-term as the long term, but he should have 4-5 good years left, especially if he's in a corner position.

Josh Johnson, RHP (29)

Johnson had a great spring and there was some hope he'd return to that budding front of the rotation guy that people saw in 2009 and 2010.  Injuries have claimed the life from his fastball now and Johsnon isn't a plus-plus command guy, so some scouts believe he may be more of a #4 type starter going forward.  You can bet Toronto will try and sell high if they don't contend this year but it's hard to see any takers in that scenario.  I see Johnson as more of a flyer type either as a trade candidate or a free agent signing and if you can't get him at a bargain rate, then you should probably pass.

Others

Robinson Cano, 2B, (30) - Will probably re-sign with the Yankees and, despite his productivity, there is some risk signing him at his age and position to a long term, big money contract.  You could conceivably move him to 3B, however.

Brett Gardner, OF, (29): Gardner is a speed player and we read from Tom Tango during the Michael Bourn free agency period that those players are more likely to retain value.  Gardner is a plus-plus defender in LF and can probably play a very good CF as well, where his bat will play better.  He's an OBP guy who is a threat on the bases when he's healthy, which has been his biggest question mark in recent years.

Brett Anderson, LHP (25):  He has a club option for 2015 but as a small market team, the A's may not be able to retain him.  He's been terribly injury prone, however, and while he's young and hasn't pitched a ton of innings, there's been some hard miles on that arm.  Could be an interesting option if there is a discount.

Colby Rasmus, OF (26):  The toolsy, talented Rasmus will be 28 when he hits free agency.  The problem is he really hasn't lived up to expectations.  There's some speculation about his maturity level but hard to say if those are valid.  He can do a lot of things on the baseball field athletically and has the patience to draw walks -- and he'll be in his prime years if he makes it to free agency.

Brian McCann, C (29):  The Cubs catching future pretty much lies in Welington Castillo's hands.  Not only is he their most advanced catcher out of their young players, he is the only one on the active MLB roster -- and he has the highest ceiling.  In other words, if Castillo turns out to be a bust, there's not much behind him in the system as of now.  It's becoming more doubtful the Braves will retain McCann as he he will be in his 30s with a history of injuries, so perhaps he becomes an option if the price goes down and Castillo doesn't become at least an average MLB catcher.

Brandon Morrow, RHP (28) - If Morrow can stay healthy, he has one of the best arms in the game.  That is a big if, but it's that same question that may make him available for a less expensive rate than some of the other arms on this list.

Conclusion:  Of the main guys, I think David Price and Chase Headley seem like the most realistic options and while free agency is thin, the Cubs could find a replacement for Alfonso Soriano in someone like Ellsbury or Choo.  There are some interesting potential bargains in the "other" category as well, including Rasmus, Morrow, and Anderson.

Price alone would make for an interesting rotation, depending on what the Cubs do with Garza.  But I'll leave it up to you to draw up trade scenarios and future lineups based on what may be available.

Also in the news...

  • One guy the Cubs could potential sign is one of their own, Matt Garza.  Garza was scheduled to start at Kane County tomorrow but that has been scratched because of the conditions.  According to Bruce Miles, he'll pitch a simulated game in Milwaukee instead.
  • Former 1st round pick, Hayden Simpson has signed on with the independent league Southern Illinois Miners.

While you contemplate the lineup of 2015, here is the lineup for April 18th, 2013...

  1. DeJesus CF
  2. Castro SS
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Schierholtz RF
  6. Castillo C
  7. Valbuena 3B
  8. Barney 2B
  9. Villanueva SP

What to Watch For:

Felzz: An Umbrella. How the hell are they gonna play this game?

But....if by miracle they do.
Dale Sveum- Look for Dale to turn up the movement. Hit and runs, stolen bases. Look for Uncle Dale to squeeze the empty ketchup bottle that's been the Cubs offense of late.
John: Storm clouds?  I'm looking for Carlos Villanueva and his moustache to get 6 solid innings and bail out with the lead just before the deluge.
Tom: Seeing if Villanueva can keep up the good start.

Comments

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  • John, what do you think the odds are of something like any of these trades happening? At this stage I'm still very torn -- a Price or a Headley would be a huge upgrade, but I still hesitate to gut the system so soon after it's JUST begun to look respectable.

    Also, I think it's funny that we've gotten to the point of discussing the offseason when we're a dozen games in (though I totally get it -- this year's Cubs so far look like a "look at next year" team). Something that might be fun and informative from you and/or Felzz would be a snapshot at the Cubs after every 16 games (1/10th of the season) and some quick analyses -- what's been good, what's been bad, what it means for the rest of the season, and what it means for the offseason.

    Keep up the fun!

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Haha! I guess that's what we're reduced to right now. Actually, I do think the Cubs are not as bad as we think right now. They can play a lot better and they've lost 7 games to the Giants, Braves, and Rangers.

    I get the feeling they'll get one of those two guys for some reason, though I have nothing to back that up. Just a hunch.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cubs are largely beating THEMSELVES. Walks, wild pitches, Hitting batters on 2 strike pitches, lousy defense, and cant hit LH pitching. Villanueva right now is the best starter, and Can only pray he good beyond 100 innings, since hes never been a full-time starter. Cubs should be at least 8-7 now, but insist on giving games away.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Villanueva is better than Shark?

  • i really like ellsbury for the cubs if his medicals check out, he could be a lot like jason werth and the nationals, maybe a year too early, but u have him when your ready to contend. i also dont think he'll get anything close to 7 years. a guy like ellsbury in left for 3-5 years seems pretty ideal to me. if jackson works out then u have the option to move one of them and if not then at least we have something of respectability out there.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    If he could be anywhere near the Ellsbury that nearly won the MVP it would be huge, but even if he isn't, he could add a solid veteran to the mix who can help out in a variety of ways --defense, speed, and some power.

  • also john im pretty sure morrow is signed through '14 with a club option for '15

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Yes, he is. I should have noted that. I was thinking of him as someone they could trade for or possibly sign if the option is not exercised

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    The Jays have to rebuild there farm system. If they contend this year, Morrow and maybe even Bautista become possible trade bait.

  • I'd love to see David Price in a Cubs uniform... but it scares me because pitchers have a short shelf-life.. and I'd hate to see the Cubs give up some of their top prospects for a declining David Price (not saying he's in decline.. but realistically could start to).

  • In reply to jh03:

    Age-wise he shouldn't be in decline, but I certainly I understand the injury risk with pitchers. But, assuming there would be a couple of young arms in that package, Tampa would assume some risk too. I wouldn't want to give up too much in terms of position players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What could the Cubs give for Price, if they were't going to trade away position players? I'm assuming you mean they'd trade one of the big 3, but who behind that would be good enough to get a deal done?

    And yeah, I thought he was 29 now, even though you wrote it right there. My bad lol.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It seems to me John that the key signing to move the rebuild forward is David Price; injury risk or not. He fills a huge need and is one of the type of players a Big Market team with a top ten minor league system targets. By the end of this season the FO will have a much better idea of where there strengths and weaknesses are throughout the organization to put together a win win package. Other then that it's also about International signing's while the window is still open. I'd just like to add that elite players, and 30 seems to be the cutoff in general thrown around, but if an elite pitcher makes it that far, to me there's a huge difference production wise and injury wise. I mean it's 2013, athletes are in SO much better shape and elite proven pitchers especially have a much longer shelf life.

  • In reply to jh03:

    That's the risk in any trade of prospects for major league talent. You can mitigate that risk by trading the least of the sure-things of your top talent and from areas in which you have prospect depth and/or prospects are blocked at the major league level.

    Javier Baez has a tremendous ceiling, but he also has the highest risk of not reaching it. Plus, the Cubs already have Castro. True, Baez could move to another position, and would if brought up, but his ability to play SS skyrockets his trade value. The Cubs also have some high risk/high reward arms in their system like Dillon Maples, Pierce Johnson and Duane Underwood. The Cubs could add players like Logan Watkins or Stephen Bruno and create a really enticing package from positions of depth and higher risk and gain a known, high-end major league ace that are incredibly hard to come by.

    If you can add David Price without touching Almora, Soler, Candelario, Vizcaino or this year's first round pick, I'd strongly consider it. You retain a very solid core for your future and add Price who instantly elevates your pitching staff to playoff caliber.

    Price, Samardzija, Garza, Jackson and Wood. You can win some games with that. I agree, there's always a risk in any transaction, but if you can mitigate some of that risk, then you have to strongly consider the possible reward.

  • Why don't teams ever trade players for cash, straight up? Or maybe they do and I'm just ignorant of it?

  • In reply to StalinCastro:

    It's done but it's usually part of a package or just for minor deals. As to why, it's just that teams value players as assets more than just cash -- especially since no team is going to give the amount needed to sign good players anyway, not that the commissioner's office would even approve of that much cash changing hands.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John. I was just thinking of how the Cubs might be able to nab Stanton without a Taveres or Profar to offer. If there's a team that might accept cash for their best young player, it's the Marlins!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't believe a team can outright sell a player for cash because of Charlie Finley, other than the Rule 5 stuff. They always include some prospect even if he's just a dressed up bag of peanuts.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I think you're right but the question then becomes if you can trade Hayden Simpson (who just signed with an indy league, btw), for example, and $$$$ for a good MLB ballplayer.

  • Stanton is definitely a player you pony up for. If it costs you 3 of your best 7 prospects, you have to do it. The Cubs will still have a high pick in June's draft and a high pick in next years draft plus whatever they add in prospects at the trad deadline this year. Stanton has rare power and the Cubs could lock him up for the next 7-10 years. He basically already is what we all hope Soler's ceiling might be.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Sure, but other teams can give up 3 of their top 7 too and in the case of the Rangers and Cards, they can offer a much better prospect to headline the deal (Profar, Tavares) than the Cubs can. The Cubs could put in a bold offer and still get beat here by teams that have better, deeper systems right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Clearly other teams can make similar offers as well, but my point is you put an offer on the table.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I agree there. But I wouldn't use the word similar when it comes to offers. I'd use the word "better". When it comes to making an offer for Stanton, I worry less about the Cubs making a legit effort than I do of a few teams being able to beat their best effort if they so choose.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    True , John, the Cards can certainly offer say, Taveras and Rosenthal, amongst others, thing is, theyve never done it. Even for Holliday what they gave up was trash, and theyve never been a team thats inclined to trade there top prospects.

  • With Vizcaino and Apple/Gray coming, I see OF as our biggest need, especially if BJax doesn't come around. Maybe a guy like CarGo or Fowler from the Rox?

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Those are two options but may not be that easy either, especially with Rockies off to a good start. Hearing Fowler's price was pretty high. It'd have to come down. CarGo maybe, but I always worry about how those Colorado stats translate.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, Cargos stats outside of Coors leave a lot to be desired. HIs OPS last year was 120 points higher at Coors then on the road, for instance. Car Go is a LH version of Dante Bichette right now. Id rather have Fowler than him.

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    Would love to have Price, but if we can't score he's going to lose a lot of games. Getting some offense should be the priority then add to our starting staff.

  • In reply to Nick Johnson:

    I see Headley as much more obtainable as far as prospects and maybe you get another bat through free agency. Maybe that's the route to go and hope the pitching develops from within or the Cubs keep finding Maholms and Villanueva's in the bargain bin.

  • I see Baez and Vogelbach as our best trading chips. Baez is a SS and he will be a pretty good one, but not better than Castro. Vogelbach can only play 1st and assuming that Rizzo is only slumping the Cubs are covered there. Indications point toward both prospects being impact major leaguers. The question is can the Cubs fill either of their biggest need(pitching & 3b)?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I've got to agree there. Baez has shown he can play a premium position. and he's their consensus top prospect. He probably has the most value should they go in that direction.

    Not that I necessarily want to trade Baez, of course. Just that he has the most value and if someone is going to give you a good, young MLB player, you have to listen.

  • The Cubs are a last place team despite great starting pitching and despite Schierholtz and Castillo, two of their major offensive question marks, hitting well. Schierholtz is third in the NL in OPS, 1.092, and Castillo is belting a surprising .895 OPS.

    Ricketts needs to add some talent to this team. Rebuilding for a top earning team like the Cubs should mean we get to watch .500 baseball while we wait for Theo and Jed to impregnate the farm system with their genius.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The Cubs have also played poorly, particularly their bullpen, against some of the teams in baseball. As I've said 7 of their 9 losses have come against the Braves, Giants, and Rangers. If they weren't so sloppy and their bullpen so awful, they could easily be a .500 team even with Rizzo's poor start and the tough schedule.

    Yes, they lack talent, but I'm not ready to give up on them after 13 games. Let's see how they look by the end of May.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The only problem with your statement is under the current CBA, a lot of a team's most effective rebuilding is done through the draft. Even if you want to add players via trade, you have to have something to trade away and often, that's prospects. So in a rebuild, it's very helpful to have high draft picks as well as extra compensatory picks. That means letting your top free agent talent walk. You can't get high draft position and be a .500 ballclub.

    So you choose, be a midling, mediocre team and have your rebuild happen slower with a lesser chance of acquiring impact talent or suffer for 2-3 years and increase your chances of a truly successful rebuild.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I don't think that major market teams need to bottom out for three or more years. Because they can afford to take on a few free agents while they reload and not break the budget.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    But the point is that with the new CBA, teams are locking up their good young players before they hit the market. Would you prefer the Cubs spend their money on declining players?

    Also, if you are ever going to be a perennial contender, you are going to need impact players. With the new CBA, it is far more difficult to get impact players via free agency which makes getting them thru the draft very important. If you stay .500, you're not going to have a high draft pick making it a lot harder to get an impact player in the draft. Being a .500 team just makes it harder and take longer to become a perennial contender.

    I don't want to wait longer than I have to to see the Cubs win a world series. Do you?

  • I think Theo can, and will, trade any prospect(s) for the right
    fairly young player to build around. Not to many fairly young
    players are going to be FA anymore soon.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. If it makes sense long term, nothing is out of bounds.

  • This situation is the reason you keep stockpiling arms in your system. When you feel close then the trades and free agency comes up. But the funny thing with baseball is when you win the offseason you could still lose when the season starts,and your selling at the trade dead line.

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    Looking at Rasmus' numbers, they are about what I expect from Brett Jackson; low average, high strikeouts and some power. The only advantage BJax would have is a higher OBP and better attitude. Pass on Rasmus. Don' think Bjax is the answer either though. They should trade use BJax as a trade chip while he still has the prospect label.

  • In reply to Nick Johnson:

    Similar players but Rasmus has had some success in the majors and was more highly regarded as a prospect. It'd be a flyer type and I'd only do it if it were at a discount, but the talent is there.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I just see him as a guy that would strike out with the bases loaded and no outs....we have enough of those guys already. Now if he was the 4th OF I'd take him. To me he's just like Valbuena a valuable bench player but not a starter on a good team.

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    Another guy to keep on radars is James Shields, who will almost certainly explore free agency in two years. The Cubs will have their new TV deal lining their pockets for that off-season. He'll be leaving his prime, so that's a concern.

  • Two questions, one serious:
    1) Money- and talent-wise, is Gyorko a better option for the Cubs to explore over Headley? I'm not sold on Headley--he's had 1/2 of one great season in his career.
    2) If we get Stanton, can we bat him twice? 3rd up as Gian Stanton and 7th up as Carlo Stanton.
    If he's on base when he comes up again, we can put in an Invisible Runner like we did as kids.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I'd rather have Gyorko, but the Padres really have no reason to trade him for anything other than a quality cost-controlled bat.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think Headley is the better athlete, better player. So I'd rather have him. Gyorko has some bat potential but at any rate, Padres would rather keep him because of cost. The idea is to use money to get established players that small market teams can't afford to keep.

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    You can't really think about Price until at least August. If you can trade Garza for a good young pitcher, and draft Appel or Gray, I think it would then be a huge mistake to trade half the quality players in the minors for 1 pitcher - it would mean you didn't learn anything from Hendry's Garza trade. Plus by the end of thd season you'll have a little better idea where you stand with Johnson, underwood, mcnutt, etc. also if this season has shown us anything it's that good starting pitching will be wasted if you don't have a closer and some RBI guys behind them.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    There is the danger of making that type of trade, which is basically what Tampa would demand. So it may not end up being an option when all is said and done. We'll have to see.

  • Takahashi not claimed off waivers. What a relief.

  • Cool flashback interview by Jack Brickhouse and Branch Rickey.

  • Really enjoyed that as well.

  • Make a play for Stanton as long as the asking price isn't too sky-high - that's a no-brainer.

    Price - again if the price isn't too horrific - is somebody you have to make a play for even if it is likely you get outbid.

    I view Headley as a big may-be at best. I just don't think he adds much over the potential of a Beaz at 3B, or Christian Villanueva, Junior Lake, or Jeimer Candelario playing their 'natural' positions. He's essentially had one supub year offensively, but underachieved the previous years (given - his home ballpark makes many hitters kinda sad). Can't see the merits of making that play.

    Everybody else big name who is likely to hit the FA market in the next year is either marginal, has been consistently underachieving, is/will be past their prime, or has a chronic injury history.

    The injury history bugaboo has haunted our pitching staffs' consistently for a decade or more (Wood, Clement, Prior, Harden, & currently Garza to name a few of the bigger names). Baker remains to be seen, and here's hoping that Vizciano is healthy. Just don't want to see them go after more pitchers with injury histories even if that means they are more affordable.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Headley may not add much in terms of potential/ceiling, but he adds a ton in certainty. That's the only reason you make that deal. Baez can move to 2B, maybe you get the best of both worlds?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    May-be John - that Baez move after getting the likes of Headley would be sufficient reason to ether move Barney somewhere else, or try and see if he can be a 'supersub' along the lines of what DeRosa used to be.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, one thing on Headley is outside of Petco his numbers have always been fairly good, even before last year. Wrigley tends to be a nice park for line drive hitters with decent power(Bill Madlock, anyone?). Providing hes healthy and wont cost you an arm and a leg, hes a player who should fit well here. I can see Headley as a 300/20-25HR/100 rbi type playing half his games at Wrigley.

  • Why good free-agents are disappearing :

    "Not considering local deals, from 2014-2021 each MLB team will get $52 million per season stemming from league-wide broadcasting deals with TBS, FOX, and ESPN."

    ---------------------------

    Yasiel Puig hasn't played in a year, and aside from a light series of workouts last weekend that were more notable for a circus atmosphere than anything else, he hasn't been seen (legally) by American scouts since June 2011.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2012/2613621.html

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    Link is almost a year old.

    Puig dominated the Cactus League. Pretty sure some scouts got a look at him.

  • I think they are easily as bad as we think. I hope they at least get neaer .500 by fall but that's asking a lot.

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    This is the kind of game I was hoping for from the bottom of the order from day 1. Work counts. String some hits together.

  • Are there any big international free agents this year? Another Soler or Cespedes? Would imagine a team with the Cubs profile and the 2nd highest amount to spend would be able to land the top guys.

  • So far this game has had Valbuena swinging at a pitch that hit him in the knee -- but then having it work out when he drives in a run a few pitches later.

    Starlin Castro walks twice. And Alfonso Soriano hits his first HR.

    Maybe luck and the law of averages are starting to turn our way?

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    Now that they have a decent lead, do you tell them to pretty much make outs in the bottom of the 4th quickly to get to the fifth?

  • In reply to Zachary Myers:

    Oh yes. Shouldn't be hard for the Cubs, who love to swing early and often anyway.

  • The Cubs have had their chances in most the games they have lost this season. Things should get better when Rizzo, Sori, and the bottom of the order start to have better at bats. Rizzo and Soriano are looking good today.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Yeah you need middle of order to do this. Would really lift SP they need it.

  • Would love Price but I just don't know if I go for ace until we are decent. However Price is special.

  • Stanton would cost Baez / Amora for sure. And likely 1 or 2 other top-ten prospects. He, along with Trout and to some degree Harper are the most valuable commodities in baseball. I assume either the Rangers / Cardinals / Red Sox will trade for Stanton before the start of the 2014 season. If the Cardinals, they will sign him to a ridiculously team friendly extension because, well, thats what they do. Then they will draft some no-name in the 5th round of the draft who will become a top-10 prospect. Its uncanny how they do it. OK, rant over.

    Price is the guy I both want and that wont completely deplete our system. I think the Cubs let Garza walk, offer him a qualifying offer and work hard to sign Ellsbury - thereby getting a pick for Garza and giving one up for Ellsbury. The good thing is that Garza will likely get us a first rounder - while Ellsbury will cost us a second rounder.

    2014 lineup would start off with Ellsbury, Castro, Rizzo -- likely include Castillo and Barney -- and could include Sori. 2015 would have Soler and maybe Almora.

    2014 Rotation would be Price, Shark, Jackson and likely Appel / Wood or Vizcaino.

    Not bad.

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    If Baez and Almora get you Stanton you do that without thinking. If Soler is what a lot of people think he can be, you have a line up that goes Castro, Stanton,Rizzo, Soler 2-3-4-5 with all of them being under 25 and all of them being under 25. Thats one hell of a cost controlled middle of the order.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Id do Baez/Almora or Stanton yesterday. Do you seroiusly think the Marlins would?

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    I'd be reticent. Stanton is incredible, but you're giving up a lot of value and with one bad step in Wrigley Stanton could blow out his knee and is worthless. Maybe neither Baez or Almora makes it, but they could both be the centerpieces of big deals. I'd be much more comfortable if it was Baez/Vogelbach/Johnson, or the like.

    But so far it appears the Marlins answer is "No" to all offers. We'll see how long that holds. Eventually he's going to be worth more to them traded than on the team.

  • Sorry, don't have time to read all the remarks. This might be the
    last time in a long time that any great/good players will be on the
    market. Should Theo go for it and trade away 2-3 top prospects?
    We need another young great/good player on the team.

  • Is Price really a cheaper trade than Stanton? I can never figure out how to value pitchers against position players. Is an elite power hitting right fielder always more valuable than a number one starter?

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Price is 28, Stanton is 23

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Thats a fair question, considering Stanton hasn't won and MVP and Price has already won a CY. That said, Stanton is only 23 and has been on a terrible team with limited protection AND has played 2/3 of his career in a huge, huge park. In almost any other park and in a few years, he could be a 40 HR / 120 RBI solid RF that will take a walk. He, in theory, has only scratch the surface of his potential. And to think he was a 2nd round pick...

    I think Price costs you less, but I'm no expert. Would I trade both Baez and Almora for Stanton? Difficult question, considering Almora hasn't yet played a full year. Baez could be A-rod light, but could also be Mark Reynolds (hit 35 bombs, but also strike out 200X and hit .200). If Baez / Almora straight up for Stanton right now - I'd say yes and sign Stanton to a 10 year / $200M contract.

  • Should we be more excited about Castro's 2 walks or Sori's home run?

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The walks are very meaningful if it continues. But the same could be said for the homers. I vote the walks.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Walks are big because it signals a greater trend, which is the Cubs grinding out more ABs.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Now that Castro has walked twice, does that mean we can't trade him for three no-name Jays' prospects? (cf. recent silly posts re: trading Castro.)

  • I think Price and Headley are very do able. I would like them to get Gardner or Ellsbury too but I don't it would be a big deal if they don't.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I still think Price will likely cost too much, TB will want at least 4 of our topline prospects, and since SS is not a position of strength for them, maybe they might ask for Castro also. Headley, OTOH, I agree , is quite doable, providing that last year wasnt a total mirage.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    In regards to Price's price, heh, that all depends on what you mean by "topline". I don't think he would cost 4 top ten prospects. I could be totally be wrong, but my sense is the Rays would accept one of the top 3 (Baez, Almora, Soler) one or two high risk/high reward arms (Maples, Johnson, Underwood) and some solid prospects after that like Logan Watkins, Stephen Bruno or Arismendy Alcantara.

    The Cubs have a deep enough system right now, that they could do a trade like that and still have Almora, Soler, Vizcaino, Vogelbach, Candelario, Villanueva along with the 2nd pick in this year's draft and one or two Pierce Johnson, Duane Underwood or Dillon Maples. That is still a lot of minor league talent. Way more than most teams. And often, when discuss the cost of a trade, we forget to look at the benefit of it. Imagine this rotation, all under 30:

    David Price
    Jeff Samardzija
    Edwin Jackson
    Travis Wood
    Arodys Vizcaino
    Mark Appel/Jonathan Gray

  • In reply to Quedub:

    If you use the Shields trade as an example - it would cost 4 top-10 prospects and he is a lesser pitcher. Myers was a consensus top-5 prospect - Baez ins't there yet. Also, Maples has only pitched like 5 actual innings. He is so far off the top-10 his name probably wouldn't even be in the discussion. The problem with trading any one of Baez, Vogelbach, Almora, Candelario - is that they really haven't established their values yet. Which could be good or bad depending on how they pan out. You could argue that Baez is established, but there is a lot of projection there as well...

  • Looks like Luis wants to keep that 3rd base job finally. Having a great day on offense and defense.

  • Speaking Free Agent signings,.... that didn't break the bank but that make it look like the GM is a fargin' genuis,...

    How about the ~$2 MM spent on Villanueva this Winter? Nice to see him get the win today for a change.

  • This scene kind of reminds me of Marmol's performance today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euHfP6X_axY

    Wonder if Castillo said something similar to Elvis Andrus during his AB.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm betting Andrus left the park and immediately went to pick up a new pair of underpants after that AB.

  • My thought is Headley and Morrow are the most realistic options out there. Price is going to cost you the farm, Choo is an OBP type w/o much power(15-20HR type at best), Ellsbury is too injury-prone. Morrow interests me because hes a young power arm who needs consistency, and m,ight make a big jump if he gets out of the AL East, and hes still young enough to have 4-5 good years left in him. I also think hes signable for EJax-type $.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I like those two choices as well.

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    Given what the Diamondbacks got for Upton, I have a hard time seeing two top 50 prospects for Stanton from any team.

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    I have a tough time seeing the Cubs get Price. If we had to send Lee and Archer for Garza, I'd imagine we'd have to include two of our "big 3" prospects + maybe a lower prospect. It just doesn't seem like a great fit with all the holes we currently have on our MLB roster. That said Price is Price, and our rotation would almost instantly become very good. Another thing to consider - does Ricketts have the money to dish 180 million out to Price on an extension?

  • What do you guys feel the cubs would have to give up to get headley?

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    Headley is a nice player, but I personally have zero interest in giving up anyone for a close-to-30 third-baseman. I've never been particularly impressed. Again, he's not bad but he certainly isn't young right now and we're still a few years away. I'd rather trade for a 3B prospect the FO really likes than less than spectacular 3B who will be 31 or 32 when we are ready to start to really compete for a title.

    Price is the only veteran I have real interest in. We can only afford to trade so many prospects and Price I think is the only guy offering sufficient return on the investment.

    Stanton is good, but, IMO, people get a little too enthralled by raw power and home runs. He has more questions than people mention while they're getting themselves all hot and bothered by his power.

    People repeatedly question Price because pitching carries high injury risk. But Price has been durable and Stanton, despite being young and built like a truck has not repeatedly missed time, including THIS season already.
    If he doesn't miss anymore time this season, and hits over 300, and improves his OBP, AND hits 50 HRs, maybe I'll change my tone. But currently I'd prefer to hold onto our own prospects.

    If we could get Stanton without losing valuable prospects, I'd obviously LOVE to see him on the team. But dropping prospects for a guy with more questions than his admirers will acknowledge isn't worth it, to me.

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    Also, If McCarthy isn't optioned, I'm totally on board.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    ugh. Anderson, I meant.

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