Trading or Building Block series, part 3: The veterans

Trading or Building Block series, part 3: The veterans

This is the belated 3rd installment of the trade series and today we cover the veterans.  These are the players that will almost certainly be traded at some point this season if the Cubs can recoup any kind of long term value.

There isn't much of a question on these players, though there are reasons to keep them. The primary one being the philosophy of putting your best team on the field to try and win now.  The fact remains that Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus are still productive and give the team the best chance to win day in and day out.  Others might value the veteran presence they bring to a young team.  We've all heard the stories about how Soriano and DeJesus have gone out of their way to mentor the Cubs young core players.  They still hold value to the Cubs if their intention is to win as many games as possible in 2013 and, perhaps, help prepare some of the current players for the years beyond that.

Still, there's no doubt that they aren't a tangible part of the long term plan and the Cubs will have to balance what they bring in the present with what they may be able to bring for the future in terms of trade value.

Jed Hoyer's comments today in an article by Patrick Mooney indicate that the Cubs have no illusions that this is a great team with a misleading record.

“You are what your record says you are.”

“You have to do a good job of staying even-keeled, not getting too emotional about each individual game. But we’ve had a pattern at this point. We’re not winning those close games and (the reasons are) very clear: The bullpen has struggled and the offense hasn’t pulled games away.”

It sounds to me that the Cubs will have no qualms about dismantling the current team to try and get pieces for next season and beyond.   If they believe this team is as good as it's record, then it stands to reason that a fire sale is on it's way.

The sale may start with these three veterans, though it could also include players on short term contracts, which we covered earlier in the series here.  We also discussed the more remote possibility of trading cost-controlled players here.

David DeJesus

DeJesus embodies much of what the Cubs want in a player.  He plays the game with passion and intelligence, he plays solid defense, and he consistently puts up quality ABs.  He has the intangible bonus of being a valuable presence and resource for younger players.  That said, he is 34 and past his prime years.  He'd have great short term value for a team that is in win-now mode, which doesn't describe the Cubs at the moment.  The Cubs have a player in the wings in Ryan Sweeney, who was recently called up but has nowhere to play right now, and AAA outfielder Bryan Bogusevic who could provide many of the same assets on the field.  They also have speedster Julio Borbon on the roster, who would instantly improve team speed and outfield defense if the Cubs were to play him in CF.  While it's likely that the Cubs would experience some drop off, at least initially, the Cubs would almost certainly trade DeJesus by the trade deadline if they were offered value.

Alfonso Soriano

The Cubs would like to trade Soriano because he doesn't figure at all into the long term plans.  However, he is not without present value.  He is the best source of RH power (though he hasn't shown it yet this year) and the Cubs have lauded him for his presence in the clubhouse.  He is well-liked and his work ethic provides a model for many of the young players.  He has also been a more than willing mentor for the young players.  All that means, however, is that the Cubs are not prepared to give Soriano away, but they'll trade him if they can get any kind of long term value.

Carlos Marmol

Marmol is in the same situation as Soriano.  He doesn't figure into the long term picture and the Cubs will trade him if they can get any kind of value.  Right now there's a disconnect with what the Cubs FO is trying to sell and how other teams view Marmol.  The FO sees a healthy, relatively young but experienced closer who misses bats.  Opposing teams see an erratic guy with a lack of  control that negates many of those positives.   Based on Marmol's recent performance, it seems that latter view is winning out.  I'm not going out on a limb when I say most Cubs fans won't shed a tear when and if Marmol is traded. The Cubs will eventually trade Marmol, but may not salvage more than a low level, C grade prospect.  Considering Marmol won't be back, that's still a gain but, unless they find themselves a sleeper,  it may be one that has little to no impact on the organization.

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  • With 6 OF on the big club, I'm expecting a trade any time now.

    John, nice series!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Thanks Toby.

    It seems something has to give and I just added a bit to this article. Patrick Mooney wrote today that the Cubs have no illusions about this 2013 team. That tells me they're ready to start selling.

  • Thanks, John. Would you add Schierholtz and Camp to that list, or are they in a different category?
    I like the idea of seeing if Schierholtz can be a valuable regular/successful platoon.
    I fear that Camp is now showing last year's heavy load, plus the fact that the league now knows him better.
    DDJ might feel right back at home in KC, where he was just as dependable as he is now. It would be fun to see him contribute to a contender.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Thanks Hubbs. I had Schierholtz in a previous installment and I just decided to update the article and add those links.

    I did not include Camp in any category because I do not believe he will bring back anything of value.

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    Did you see that Ian Stewart has gone AWOL after his assignment to Iowa?

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/16712/stewart-takes-surprise-break-from-i-cubs

    Exercising his CBA right to take the full 72 hours to report to the team he has been playing with.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    He has a right to do this, so why call him "AWOL"?
    For all we really know, he could have a sick newborn, or was seeking medical treatment, or dozen other things.
    Let's see how he does once / if he's healthy, instead of piling on off-field rumors.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Hoyer said the Cubs talked to Stewart about it before he left and tried to talk him out of taking the 72 hours. That doesn't sound like a family issue, it sounds exactly like the nonsense he pulled last year. I was very strongly against bringing him back in any role last off-season. This is why. Once a guy quits on your team you can never trust him again. Just cut him and move on.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    It's certainly possible. I think the issue is that Stewart always seems to have a reason not to be playing baseball. Even if they're all legitimate, it's going to eventually wear down a team's faith in the player. You have to question how badly he wants it right now and whether it's a priority. Maybe it isn't. Maybe his priority is family -- and while there's nothing wrong with that from a personal standpoint, it's going to create doubt as to his commitment to the team and to baseball in general.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    We actually touched on that yesterday in one of the comment sections because it was noticed that Stewart was nowhere to be found before the game yesterday. Just a matter of time before he's officially gone, in my opinion. He's just not doing himself any favors for two teams that have given him multiple chances.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And at the moment - Valbuena is giving the Cubs quality at bats, some power and RBI production, and decent defense at 3B,...

    Stewart is just working to make himself more irrelevant in the face of dwindling value to begin with.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I'm okay with Valbuena there the rest of the season. The idea of trading him doesn't interest to me because I think he's cheap, useful and has more present value than he could bring in return.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Wrist injury was a tough break for a promising career on both sidesof the ball. He could have handled it better, but I'm not going to pile on.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I don't want to pile on either but I agree he has handled things poorly. The part that I don't like is he is repeatedly making similar mistakes. If that happened with a prospect I'd be worried. If it happens with a veteran, then I'm very concerned. He should know better.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good point.

  • First, I didn't realize DeJesus was 34. A trade for value would make sense but let's look at a different opportunity for him. With all the extra things he gives this team how about we keep him as a mentor type guy and segue him into a coaching role.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    He can still play. I think he deserves to play regularly (or at least in a platoon) whether it's here or somewhere else. A mentor/coaching role may be something down the line for him -- and considering his wife's roots here, he may well want to come back if the Cubs, in fact, do trade him.

  • The reality is that neither Soriano nor Marmol have any trade value until possibly the deadline. DDJ has value I think to a contender.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    They probably have no value other than bringing back a sleeper or flyer type prospect -- or perhaps another Michael Bowden type player who is out of options.

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    Wow John you did write this a while ago. Marmol as a tradeable veteran and actually receive something from another team? Unthinkable!

  • In reply to John from Denmark:

    I did write it will probably bring back a prospect who may have little or no impact on the organization. That's my indirect way of saying he doesn't have much value.

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    I think trading DeJesus is the first piece. He's playing well and as you mentioned, the Cubs have a surplus of alternatives. I'd like to think we could get a young middle relief pitcher for him that would help us both short term and long term. I personally think the Phillies match well given the start that Revere has had.

    Soriano isn't so easy to replace. We need him to hit for power and when he does, it helps Rizzo and the rest of the lineup. If and when the right deal comes, I'm the FO will pull the trigger. Given his no trade and league approval of the dollars, a deal like this will take some time to iron out.

    As for Camp and Marmol, I'm of the opinion that they have no value. Camp had a good year but let's not forget he was a waiver pickup. Guys like that are a dime a dozen.

    Marmol-we all know the other teams will just wait until he's released. His control problems are a pattern not a sudden blip.

    I do think we could get value for Navarro, Valbuena and certainly Schierholtz. I would keep all of them for now, however, because they contribute and don't cost much. I suppose if Bjax starts tearing up AAA, we could promote him and with Sweeney, Borbon, Bogusevic, make Schierholtz expendable.

    Last but not least, it will sure be interesting if Barney starts hitting. I know they say he's a core piece but if he could get his obp to .330, I think he'd make a valuable deadline chip.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Honestly, the only guy that will bring back a potential impact prospect is Matt Garza. With the other guys it's about finding sleepers/flyer types or packaging them as part of a larger deal.

  • The only one I can possibly see being traded right now is DeJesus. Soriano doesn't have much value, and Marmol has zero value

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    I never count anyone as having zero value. The Cubs got Michael Bowden for the shell of Marlon Byrd who was absolutely horrible to start that year.

    They may not get something exciting for Marmol, but I wouldn't rule out getting something for him at some point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's true

  • Tampa Bay's bullpen ERA is 4.80, good for 3rd worst in the majors, better than only Houston (4.85) and St. Louis (5.45). Yeah, the Cubs would have to eat almost all of Marmol's contract, but the Rays have done a good job of fixing broken relievers recently (Fernando Rodey, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth, Adam Russell, Jamey Wright, and so on).

    Plus, their 35th best prospect would probably crack our top 20.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    It would certainly take a team that believes in Marmol's arm and stuff and thinks they can fix him. And they have to have a struggling bullpen. Tampa seems to fit in both those respects.

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    John, I loved this series. The whole thing is a great think piece, but Marmol isn't trade-able. Please pass me that bottle of Scotch now and get some sleep. You've earned it.

    On a wider note, per our private conversations, I'm not sure this trade market could be shaping up any better for the Cubs. It could end up being a perfect storm of sorts.

    Yes, Garza doesn't have the time value he had last summer, and he is no longer eligible to fetch a compensation pick if traded, but when you look at how this playoff race might shape up, who might be sellers, who might be buyers and what teams might match up best with the Cubs, it's hard not to be optimistic about the possibilities.

    If Garza continues to progress in his rehab and pitches well with no ill effects upon his return, it's hard to say that he won't be the best pitcher available before the trade deadline, and Feldman, if he continues to pitch well, has the potential to be this year's Pat Maholm. Then there is the potential to be a one shop stop because of players like Soriano, DeJesus and potentially Shierholtz and Barney.

    I also think the Cubs could mitigate lack of a comp pick issue over Garza by offering to provide a conditional PTBNL if the team acquiring Garza were unable to reach a contract extension with him. Such a willingness probably wouldn't cost the Cubs that much, but it might make a GM a little more willing to part with his top pitching prospects.

    I think there are going to be a lot more buyers than sellers in July, and I think it's going to be really interesting to watch.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Everyone is tradeable. The question is what kind of value you get in return. And I also think we tend to overreact to small samples. In the first half last year, he seemed untradeable. In the second half, he seemed very tradeable. Even two months ago, he seemed pretty tradeable. 5 bad weeks into the season and he is untradeable again. I think teams know who Carlos Marmol is by now and that's not really a good thing. But like I said, everyone is tradeable for something.

    One thing I can agree with is that there is just not going to be much coming back. It could be a fringe, low level prospect, it could be somebody else's overpaid problem, it could be a DFA'd guy -- but one thing it's not going to be is a top prospect of any kind. Trading Marmol isn't going to be the focus of this fire sale. It has become more of an afterthought. But I wouldn't be surprised if by the trade deadline, the Cubs will have salvaged something. They've salvaged something for a struggling Marlon Byrd and Jeff Baker, I don't see it being all that different for Marmol. The key is minimizing the risk to the largest extent possible, which means paying his salary and taking high risk on in return.

    But that's Marmol -- nobody should get excited about trading him as far as the return is concerned.

    Garza is the key if the Cubs expect to get back a potential core player. That's who Cubs fans looking for a deal should focus on

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, if Arizona continues to stay close, could you see Kevin Towers moving Davidson and either Skaggs or Bradley for Garza and Barney or Garza and a conditional PTBNL?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Have you seen Callis' latest article?

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/turning-down-pirates-will-likely-pay-off-for-mark-appel/

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I did say that. I've been thinking that way for a while. Leverage or not, Appel is getting paid -- and it may well be by the Cubs.

  • Really enjoyed these pieces. I agree you can still get something in return for Marmol. Look at the return we received from Campana. Likely, the two arms in return won't amount to anything, but if we keep throwing things against the wall, something is bound to stick.

    This probably belongs in the Price/Stanton potential trade column, but a player I'd like for us to target would be Max Scherzer. Still relatively young, and his contract runs out in 2015, I believe. Roughly around the same time we (hoping) start contending. He seems to have really come in to his own this season, and it'll be extremely tough for DET to bring him back considering the huge contracts they have on their payroll.

  • In reply to HowlinWolf:

    Thanks. Campana is a nice example. He didn't even have the track record that Marmol did and the Cubs still got some projectable arms for him. Probably nothing comes out of it, but it's a good gamble for Campana. Hopefully we get a player or two with talent --even if it's high risk like the guys we got for Campana.

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    I think we should keep Garza. He shouldn't cost any more than Sanchez would have.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Ideally, though it rarely happens, you could trade Garza and then resign him this winter, and I agree with you about his contract. What Sanchez got from Detroit sounds about right.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I think there are some good arguments to be made for keeping Garza and extending him. Frankly, I'm not opposed to it if they can get good value in that extension.

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    Luis Valbuena may be a classic late bloomer. It seems he was rushed to the bigs and upon being sent down developed some power. Now it seems like he's still improving.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Dale, I've wondered about that myself. If nothing else, he seems like a stand up guy, and he is still young enough to be part of this team when it is ready to compete again. Having a left-handed hitting veteran who can play multiple positions, get on base, has pop and is a good example for younger players is always a good thing.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I agree. I like him and can see why Sveum likes him.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Me too! He got a 2nd chance and made it work.

  • when realistically do you think Cubs can pull of some trades? Are you guys thinking within days, weeks, or months?

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    In reply to Nik0522:

    I'm not John, but realistically speaking, it probably won't be before mid-June at the earliest. The sellers don't want to jump to soon, because better offers might come along, and the buyers tend to want to wait until closer to the halfway point to see how they stack up. Some of the teams that look like buyers now might not be in July, and some of the teams that look like sellers right now might suddenly become buyers.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks Mike for the response, yes I agree, we won't see any trades till probably the last few days till the trade deadline.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Minor disagreement here: the Royals are already all in on these next two seasons. Every day they wait is another potential loss that could be averted. I think they'd like to buy sooner rather than later.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Royals may be wanting to buy sooner rather than later, but are the sellers wanting to sell sooner rather than later. Unless the Royals make the Cubs an offer to good to refuse, there is no reason to hurry. The flip side of that is the Cubs might be asking a price the Royals don't want to pay. Either team might choose to wait and see what develops.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Remember the Royals have a CB pick they can trade. Draft is early June, so that may factor into some earlier-than-usual trades this year.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed, but the Royals may be wary of trading that pick given how dependent they are upon the draft.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Fair enough, but considering how they've conducted themselves thus fr this year, it seems they've gained a willingness to sacrifice ninor league development for a chance to get better now.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Another thing one has to consider is the date of the draft. June 6th is less than a month away. How many starts will Garza have under his belt before then? It's a huge risk for the Royals.

    It's also a huge risk for the Cubs. Garza is lights out in June, and talk starts to filter out that he is a candidate Comeback Player of the Year.

    All of the sudden, it's July 1 and Peter Angelos starts to put the squeeze on Duquette to make a move. Gausman is suddenly available because of an insane owner who can't control himself, but you have no chance to make that trade because you've already dealt Garza to the Royals for a supplemental draft pick that may never turn out and a Johnny Cueto wanna be.back in June.

    Now if you still have Garza, you are suddenly in a position to go back to KC and ask for Zimmer and Ventura or Zimmer and Selman, which is a package the Orioles couldn't match.

    Of course, there is risk for the Cubs in waiting. Garza might get hurt again, or he might just suck so bad upon his return that he scares teams away, but unless KC makes an offer just to good to refuse, the Cubs might end up wishing they'd waited.

  • John, great article(s) here. Did I miss Baker and Feldman? Were they in the "maybe core" article?

    I gotta say, I don't know if I'm super inclined to trade any players who are doing well if we can't get anything of real value back. Between keeping DeJesus on the team and getting, say, a C level prospect for him, at this point I'd probably rather keep him. It'd be nice to see the team remain competitive for a little while, he could help mentor the youngsters, and unless we view someone like Sweeney or Bogusevic as a potential long-term player, he's not blocking anyone. Same sort of goes with most of the players we're talking about.

    Don't get me wrong, if the Cubs can get real value for someone, they should do it. But I don't feel they have any impact players in the wing that merit trading guys off just for the sake of not having their payroll on the team anymore.

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    In reply to mosconml:

    I agree mosconmi. I'm of the belief that we need to use our surplus to fill holes. The major league team has played well with the exception of the bullpen. If we could get replacement level value by using Sweeney or Borbon and trade DeJesus for relief pitching that is young and could be utilized now, we should improve our ball club.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    This biggest hole this organization has isn't to be seen at the major league level. There is a dearth of front and middle of the rotation starting pitching prospects in the organization. Believe it or not, as frustrating as it is to watch night in and night out, the bullpen will be the easiest thing to fix. Historically, that has always been the case.

    DeJesus by himself won't buy you much, but DeJesus as part of a package might buy you more. It really could be a case of where the sum is greater than it's individual parts, much like Maholm and Johnson were for the Braves last season.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I couldn't agree more with this statement. Really. Seriously. Totally dead-on.

    Get enough valuable arms in the farm system and the bullpen will fix itself.
    Teams that have farm systems stocked with talented arms rarely have bullpen issues. There's bound to be pitchers who struggle with pitching well for 6-8 innings but can really bring it over just one frame.

    The organization is so thin on pitching, that Pierce Johnson is essentially our only pitching prospects.
    Vizcaino is still not healthy. And names nike Maples, Blackburn, Underwood, etc are all far enough back that they will still be in either short-season or rookie league ball.

    The rebuild is coming along nicely but you'd be hard pressed to find 3 systems with worse organizational weakness in pitching.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Thanks. I just chose 3 guys for each category but Feldman definitely fits in the first part of the series. A fairly young guy who still has some good years left -- but are on just a short term contract.

    Trading Baker is going to be difficult. He's not going to be able to give a contending team the kind of innings they need late in the season. I think they should see if he'll come back on another one year deal.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was at the game last night, and Feldman is suddenly very impressive. He can help someone, and doesn't cost much; could bring some value

    I see Baker as more of a guy we use in the rotation after trading a couple guys. We just need innings, and we don't need another repeat of Justin Germano, Jason Berken et al.

  • John great article.

    What are the chances of a multi player trade (example Garza & DDJ ) for a young MLB ready player or do you expect the trade pieces to be dealt seperately and the returns to be AA type prospects.

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    Thank you. I like the idea of packaging a couple of these guys together with Garza. I think it can add value to the deal because there will be some uncertainty with Garza and his health. DDJ has an option for another year and gives a team a second player that they can count on this year and, if they want, in 2014.

  • I personally would like to see DD traded for the mere prospect of giving Ryan Sweeney a more extensive look. As a superb defender with a somewhat serviceable bat and entering his prime years I would think he'd hold some value if he plays anything like how he did at Iowa (.337/.396/.618).

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    In reply to Denim Dan:

    Sweeney is considered an adequate RF/LF, but a poor CF. DeJesus is better than Sweeney pretty much across the board (contact, patience, power, defense).

    Sweeney doesn't really have long-term value for us IMO. He's basically nice filler material.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I thought he played quite well for the Red Sox last year

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I think he's better than that defensively. In 209 CF innings last season DD had a -1.2 UZR (currently -2.2 in 2013), while Sweeney had a 2.9 UZR over 126 CF innings. Obviously a smaller sample, but Sweeney still had an ok -0.9 UZR over 245 CF innings in Oakland in 2011. I do think DD's bat is currently better, but he's also 34 years old compared to 28.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    I'd like to see Sweeney get a shot and he could be a nice stopgap. But I don't see him having much value unless he totally breaks out and has a career season.

    I'm ambivalent about trading low cost, high value major leaguers for what will probably be mid-level prospects at best. Sweeney is on his 4th team at 27 years old -- I'd be surprised if teams were going to offer up anything worthwhile for him. Some of these guys have more value as Cubs then as trade bait.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree his value is clearly low. He possessed decent enough value in Oakland in the Reddick deal (though Boston obviously didn't know what they had). I see some comps between Schierholtz and Sweeney though: great fielding lefties that have had their numbers suppressed by hitter-hating ballparks and are now entering their "prime" years. That being said, Boston didn't go well, offensively, for Sweeney. Still, I could see a month of solid hitting as a competent CF boosting his value a bit.

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    John, I saw where the Blue Jays released Trystan Magnuson today. Any chance the Cubs take a flyer on him. He had some very good minor league seasons, and he is still only 28.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Sure, why not? Not sure he's much more than a middle relief guy --at best. But he'd be a cheap one and he has a good arm.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's kind of what I was thinking. Bring him in, try to fix him in Iowa, and if he works out, great. If not, what have you really lost?

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    It's being kicked around that Reuben Amaro might be willing to trade top prospect LHSP Jesse Biddle to shore up the Phillies starting rotation.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Phillies are a team in the worst position; core pieces are expensive and aging, and improving means mortgaging the future even more than they have. They're an 80-85 win team; not bad, but not good enough.

    It would be a mistake for them to part with prospects for our vets IMO, but whatever....their funeral

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    In reply to Zonk:

    "It would be a mistake for them to part with prospects for our vets IMO, but whatever....their funeral"

    If Sun Tzu had written a book about baseball, instead of a book about war, he might have said the same thing.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    The Phils are one of the prime examples of what happens when you do what an entire sub-forum of Cubs fans want.

    Destroy the future for a small chance at today. Phils have butchered their farm system while at the same time stubbornly trying to win with past-their-prime pieces. They knew their time was coming to an end 2 seasons ago and have not prepared for it. When Utley, Holladay, etc are done that team is going to be bad for a while.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm not entirely sure I agree here. What the Phillies are trying to do is win with a rapidly aging core. When Utley and Halladay retire, they were going to be rebuilding anyway. So, it was worth it for them to strip the farm system to try and win with this team.

    I think the Blue Jays are a better example of what you're talking about. Try to skip over the rebuild part and compete with expensive free agents and by moving prospects for established players. That team really is stuck and has nowhere to go but down from here.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    This is going to sound crazy, but I'd want more than one pitching prospect for Matt Garza. Pitchers get injured far too easily.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    It doesn't sound crazy to me. I'm just saying I could see them asking about Garza, and if I'm Esptein and Hoyer, the conversation starts with Biddle. Biddle would be a deal breaker for sure, given their lack of overall quality.

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    DeJesus to the Royals continues to be one of the more obvious trades out there. Although, I'm not sure Schierholtz doesn't make more sense if they think this start is for real. You lose the "veteran presence" part that DDJ brings you, but you get a younger guy that could stick around longer with a young team that will -- hopefully -- still compete after James Shields has gone his way after next season. One way or another, though, the combination of healthy Garza + corner outfielder just makes far too much sense for them. I really would be surprised if they don't make a serious offer to acquire them. I could even see Valbuena being added to that because Moustakas is really struggling offensively, and Valbuena would be an upgrade for them. (Though they would have to pay well for that trio -- Valbuena is useful to the Cubs for the same reason he's useful to the Royals.)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Just curious, why would the Royals want DeJesus? Unless they are ready to bench Francoeur. Frankly, they shouldn't have signed Francouer in the first place, but that money is spent.

    Or maybe they want to send us Francoeur as part of the trade

    Tough call

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    In reply to Zonk:

    DDJ would make an excellent platoon partner with Francoeur. Francouer is okay against lefties, but righties kill him. Exact opposite of DDJ.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Would DeJesus, by himself, be worth the Royals supplemental pick? Because I could see that happening before June 6th a lot easier than I could see Garza going to the Royals before June 6th.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd like to see a package. DDJ+Feldman would be a nice combo.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    I would think DDJ and Feldman would get you a lot more than just their supplemental pick. Justin Adam (RHSP - AA) and Sam Selman (LHSP - Hi-A) are struggling right now, but I like their stuff and their upside, and they'd still be an improvement over the bunch of back of the rotation prospects we have now. If the could get Adam, Selman and the draft pick for DDJ and Feldman, I'd be pleased.

    Selman is someone I'd think would be on the Cubs radar. He's a Vanderbilt alum. So the Cubs would have special insight on him that other teams wouldn't.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm surprised at Moustakas slow start, but I wouldn't replace him at this point. No signs that he's lost it. The K rate is down, the BABIP is way, way down, walk rate is up, LD% is still constant. I think he'll be fine.

    Definitely think they need an SP and a LH hitting OF'er though

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good ideas there, Mike. It's interesting to watch the Royals as a precursor to what we may be seeing here.
    KC could use a veteran OF like DDJ to supplement Gordon, Cain, Dyson, and Frenchy. Maybe they'll send Francoeur back to Atlanta, where he's still popular. DDJ was well-respected in KC and would help the clubhouse.
    If the Royals continue to compete, with Shields as the ace, I think that even penny-pinching owner David Glass will have to part with some Wal-mart cash and keep him. I know Mr. K would have spent on Shields or his like.
    It would take guts for them to part with Moustakas, and I don't think would take the risk. Moose might need a change of scene, and it would be cool to see him in Wrigley, but I don't see them breaking up the young core that way.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I absolutely don't thihk they're parting with Moustakas. Especially with his slow start, it would be nearly impossible to get value for him. Worst case is I see him in Omaha to work out whatever is wrong with his swing. Though I hadn't looked into it as deeply as John did -- he may be just fantastically unlucky.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree. I don't see the Royals trading Moustakas. I see the Royals as feeling they have their core and need veteran pieces to put them over the top. I see the Phillies as a much better fit. The clock is ticking and they need to win now. They could definetely use DeJesus and they could definetely use Garza. Given the rumored Soriano talks from last winter, this could be a big trade. The Cubs could provide plenty of "financing" to grease the deal in order to get the pieces they want.

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    John, just your best guess, what is the earliest we're looking at Garza being back with the team, and how many starts might he realistically be able to get in before June 6th?

    The reason I ask is that a lot of hay is being made about KC's supplemental draft pick. It would be a lot of risk not to wait a few starts and see how Garza looked against Major League hitters.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    He's going to make two minor league outings in which I assume he'll make 65 and then 75 pitches.

    Scouts aren't gong to worry how he looks against MLB hitters. They're going to worry about his stuff -- does his velo hold? Does he still have his solid command? Can he bounce back after a start? They know the 94 mph FB, 85 mph hard slider, and good change is going to get MLB hitters out. It's a matter of him being healthy and durable. I would think 2-3 MLB starts would be enough for teams to get a feel.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, if he is literally sucking, then it's probably because he has none of the things you mentioned going for him.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Probably. But it's possible he could throw 89 mph and pitch a shutout -- and if I'm a scout, I'm not sure I want to get excited about that. I'me excited about the way he threw in Iowa, though, and if he does that consistently they should be able to get some value.

  • I'm predicting the 21st, at Pittsburgh.

  • Hey John, could you help me with something? I wanted to comment on Felzz's recap of the Cardinals game and it showed that I needed to log in, but it just went to "checking account" and wouldn't allow a log in. In this thread, I was logged in without doing anything. This has happened a few times now. Is there something I need to do to solve this?

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    It's happened to me as well. Sometimes it just fixes itself but you may need to log in and log out again.

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