Cubs Game Notes: Fire up the trade rumor mills

So the Cubs are mixing things up again against a LHP pitcher as they take on Ross Detwiler and the Nationals.  The Nats are a team often used as a model for the Cubs as they try to rebuild a team into a winner with a combination of a strong farm system and the ability to spend on veterans.   Of course, the Cubs haven't worked much on the second part of that equation yet.

But on to the news and notes, which is especially rumor-heavy today as it's becoming clearer who the buyers and sellers are.  I don't need to tell you which category the Cubs fall under.

News and Notes...

  • The Cubs made a trade!  Okay, it's just a very minor one.  They shipped utilty infielder Alberto Gonzalez, who had been playing at Iowa for a player to be named later or cash.  Don't hold your breath on the return.  When cash is stated as an alternative, it means the return isn't going to knock your socks off.  No doubt the Cubs will try and get a sleeper they like, but if the Yanks don't cooperate, we might get a little cash instead.  Ian Stewart could be the next minor deal, according to Gordon Wittenmeyer, though that is likely to be for nothing but the priviledge of not having to pay Stewart for sitting on the AAA bench.
  • It's only May but the national media is already starting to drum up the trade rumors.  Jon Heyman names the Cubs entire  rotation outside of Jeff Samardzija.   Scott Feldman is number 3 on his list, Matt Garza #4, Travis Wood is #5, and Carlos Villanueva is #8.  According to Heyman, Edwin Jackson is the least likely at #20.  I'd take both Wood and Jackson off the list, personally but the other 3 are fair game right now.
  • Meanwhile, MLBTR names Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, and James Russell as possible bullpen trade candidates.  Marmol has little value and neither does Gregg unless he continues to perform as he has.  Russell on the other hand is  a low cost LHRP with a track record of success, so there's some value there.  The Cubs also have similar style LHPs in the minors in Chris Rusin, Brooks Raley, and Eric Jokisch.  Rusin or Raley would be the logical candidates to take over if Russell is traded.
  • Speaking of Kevin Gregg, it's become a routine now that once a player performs well, he is immediately deemed as "flippable".  Such is the case with newly annointed Cubs closer.  Frankly, this is fair game because Gregg is a low cost, but short term guy with closer experience, which will make him appealing to teams if he continues to succeed.  The Cubs have also stated that they intend to create value with the closer role.  It hasn't worked out so far for Carlos Marmol or Kyuji Fujikawa, but maybe it'll be different with Gregg. Patrick Mooney gives his thoughts here.
  • MLBTR also has an interesting piece on trade candidate David DeJesus.

And a couple of Cubs Den originals on the rumor front..

Today's Lineup:

  1. Castro SS
  2. Ransom 3B
  3. Rizzo 1B
  4. Soriano LF
  5. Hairston RF
  6. Castillo C
  7. Sweeney CF
  8. Barney 2B
  9. Samardzija P

What to Watch For:

FelzzStarlin Castro......OK. I'm interested. I'm not sure why Dale has decided to move him to leadoff. My guess is to  challenge Castro to get on base more and maybe try and work the count. Perhaps he thinks Castro will get more fastballs. Whatever, it's an interesting choice, and I'm interested to see how it plays out....

John: With Dave Sappelt farmed out, the Cubs no longer have a RH bat to spell David DeJesus, so the task today falls on LH hitting Ryan Sweeney, who is also playing CF -- though he's a better corner OF'er.  I'm watching the Cubs newest addition on both offense and defense today.

Tom: Jeff Samardzija has pitched pretty well but is still looking for his first win since Opening Day.  It won't be easy today against the Nats, so let's see if he rises up to the challenge.



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  • I'd love to see a deal made with Kansas City. They have some real talent in their system even after the trade with Tampa Bay.

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    It's actually Detwiler who pitches today for the Nats. Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to start Sunday.

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Yikes. That's what I get for trying to go with memory when I have a horrific headache. Thanks. I went ahead and fixed it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Could be worse, John. At least the Cubs are missing J Zimmerman, who is probably the Nats best starter right now. Strausburg cant seem to avoid crooked numbers in the 1st inning, so maybe hes not quite himself yet.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Good point but even a partially effective Strasburg scares the heck out of me.

  • Yeah, this lineup has one of those Billy Martin picked-the-names-out-of-a-hat type feelings.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    It is an odd one. Cubs haven't scored runs vs. LHP so I guess he's trying to mix things up.

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    We should have another Matt Garza rehab start to get all excited about in another day or two.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hopefully he's as good in that start -- particularly in terms of stuff and holding velo

  • Is this franchise going to be a bazzare or a re-buildable contender for the future? All of this trade speculation is as useless as listening to Mel Kuyper.

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    Slightly OT, but Baseball America says that Obispo Aybar, that international prospect who took on the identity of his 16 year old little brother (and is actually 19), is being punished by not being eligible until 2014. He was expected to get over $1 mil, and even with the revelation was considered a good prospect. (His real name is Cecilio, BTW, and they went so far as to change hospital records and create a new, false identity for the actual younger brother!)

    IMO, Baseball needs to punish these shenanigans with consequences that are greater than the rewards of getting away with it. Making him ineligible for an entire year is a good start.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Which reminds me....what is the latest on Juan Carlos Paniagua? Last I heard he is still stuck in visa limbo, and might be for awhile.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Pretty much the same. No update.

  • Man do I love sports transactions. Can't wait for trade season to heat up.

    Am I counting right? We dealt 5 guys last year? Soto, Johnson, Baker, Dempster and Maholm? Did I miss anyone?

    This year, the prime candidates to bring back value seem to be: Russell, Garza, Feldman, Villanueva, Barney, Schierholtz, DeJesus and Soriano.

    Other less likely (or less valuable) candidates: Valbuena, Gregg, Marmol, Navarro & Camp.

    Did I miss anyone? I'll throw a guess out there and say 6 of the guys listed get dealt. Feldman, Marmol, Garza and DeJesus are pretty much locks, in my opinion. And then 2 more of the rest.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Agree on that quartet as the most likely to be dealt, though I don't expect much for Marmol. The other 3 might bring back some notable prospects, though.

  • Castro's at 3.90 P/PA, he's taking some pitches but swinging at a 50% clip. Not counting the RHP platoon hitters, Rizzo(3.91) and Barney(4.18) are the only one's who see more pitches then Castro, and given the way Barney's been swinging the bat guessing you don't want him leading off.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    That is interesting, isn't it? Walks are down but he's seeing significantly more pitches. Tells me he's working counts but still looking to hit as soon as something is close -- or sometimes, not that close.

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    That CF start for Sweeney is interesting....are the Cubs prepping for life without DeJesus?

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    In reply to Zonk:

    More likely with Sappelt gone the option is Borbon or Sweeney, and they want to see what Sweeney can do against lefties.

  • If any extra motivation is needed, I will point out that Ross Detwiler grew up in St. Louis and was a huge Cardinal fan.
    They really don't want Dejesus facing lefties this year it seems.
    Why would the Cubs trade Travis Wood? He is exactly the kind of player they should be looking to aquire from teams.

  • Agree on Wood. And DDJ has really struggled against LHP the last few years. Last year was the worst yet. He just looks lost against them.

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    i doubt if travis wood or james russell get moved unless they're wowed by the returns for them.

  • In reply to dman022:

    Agreed. It would take a great return -- an overpay, really. Cubs have no real incentive to deal them otherwise.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    How about in a deal for chase headley?

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    Fujikawa has been activated and Dolis has been sent to Iowa.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks. No surprise there. That was more of a matter of when than if.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    True, but any help for our bullpen should be celebrated.

  • Cubs catching a break with Harper and Werth out of the lineup today.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    This week is getting better all the time. I forget my card, and as I was pumping gas, I realized all I had was a twenty dollar bill. I looked up, and the pump was already at nineteen and change. I stopped it real quick. I landed on exactly $20.00. I felt so lucky. I scraped up the change out of the console to buy a Hoosier Lottery ticket, and I won forty dollars, and now you are telling me this. I just know we're going to win tonight.


  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That is an excellent week. We need it to rub off on the Cubs.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, it looks like I jinxed them.

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    What happened to Chang-Yong Lim, the Korean pitcher we signed last winter?

    I've heard nothing about him.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    I think he's out at least until mid-season. May not be ready until last couple of months.

  • Thanks for another well written and thought out article.

    Do you have any updates on Junior Lake? Before he was injured, I was hoping his Spring Training would force the Cubs to take him North and improve our performance against LHPs.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Thanks. Lake's still out. Injury appears to have been more serious than at first thought.

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    I think Castro will stay in the lead off spot

  • Castro 2-for-2 with 2 2Bs. Guessing he doesn't like hitting with people on base lol.

  • I have to say so far Felzz has got this what to watch for hands down.

  • June to end of July are very important months for Theo
    June draft
    July interntional signing period
    July trading period

    Let the force be with him

  • Can I just say the Cubs just really SUCK seems this team is taking three steps back in every move they make......can we have one third base coach who knows what they are doing?.....would be nice we have a hitting coach also on this team.....saw Pujols out in Anaheim, and he is not the same Pujols we use to know.....if you think the Cubs - Sox series gets nasty, you should see how the Giants and Dodgers fans go at each other.....i have to say we might not see a playoff team until 2016 now......I have to say the Dale experiment needs to end.....time to get a real manager for this Cubs team.....If Theo F**ks up this draft, not even a new stadium will be able bring back Cubs fans to watch this team...there would be not one player I would not miss on this Cubs team if they go traded.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    So you're saying that you'll not be standing by your 90-win season prediction?

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