Anarchist's Brunch- Trading season.

Anarchist's Brunch- Trading season.

So, the draft is over and most of the draft picks have signed. The only name anyone remembers hasn't signed yet but everyone has said that it's just a formality and he will be at Arizona, or Boise, or maybe even Daytona in just a matter of days. So now everyone's attention will turn to their second favorite pat of the season, maybe even first, trading season. Things will go even quieter in my little section of Cubs Den as the section spearheaded by the picture of Loxas whispering into Arguello's ear will be a beehive of activity. I'll chime in from time to time but won't be nearly as active as most of the posters on this board. But don't take my inactivity for lack of enthusiasm. Because I love trading season. Especially this years.

There are several reasons. One- trading season is directly responsible for me getting the writing gig here at Cubs Den. And the writing I do on the Cubs is a wonderful gateway from the writing I do for a living ( advertising) to the aspiring writing ( Fiction, screenplays) I do in my spare time. Plus, God knows this current team has me juiced for new faces and a whole bunch of new nicknames, song and movie references, and new levels of expectations to have. But the best reason I have is that trading season means we get to watch our best players play. And that's Jed and Theo.

Epstoyer are 1 and 1a reasons why I still have faith in this rebuild. It sure as all get out isn't Sveum, and if it was Rizzo and Castro, well, my faith level would be somewhere around .240. And while I'm in the minority of being disappointed in how this season is going, and that the disappointment is actually a BAD thing. ( This higher draft pick, more draft money argument is just total nonsense. The Cardinals picked 19th last year and still wound up getting the best pitcher in the draft.....), I think we've all agreed that this "Big plan" has enough room for adjustments that they can have a second big sell off and still hit the completion dates of being a winning franchise.

While Epstoyer didn't have the greatest of off seasons last year, it has brought several "hits" Nate Schierholtz is one of them. FELDMAN is another. Carlos Villavueva has been a nice pickup. And Ryan Sweeney has me more jazzed than I ever thought I'd be. And if the hits don't have you excited about the upcoming moves, think about the "misses"- Annibal Sanchez was a target that the Cubs just missed. he's currently one of the better pitcher's in baseball with a .276 ERA, a .1151 WHIP and 101 K's in 81 innings. The Cubs tried to sign Jason Grilli in the offseason- currently the best closer in baseball with 26 saves an ERA of 1.07. You'll also remember the Alfonso Soriano to the Phillies rumors that went nowhere. Remember the player they wanted? Dominic Brown. Guy only has an OPS of .874 with 19HR and 50 RBI. And there were others- the Dodger pitcher Ryu comes to mind.

Now thinking about a Cubs team with Anibal Sanchez, Jason Grilli, and Dominic Brown on it might make you angrier or more frustrated but the truth is this- these guys can really evaluate talent. They're really really good at it. And that they get to play this month is very very cool.

I don't propose a lot of trades. The ones I do are more in the "hypothetical" or "example" trade. Javier Baez for Jameson Tallion is my pet trade for now. There are reasons why it can't happen- within division, both players probably "untouchable" etc. etc. But I still like the idea of taking a stud hitting prospect and dealing it for a very high pitching prospect. a reverse Rizzo-forCashner deal if you will. And I will still throw out the blasphemous trade proposal to see what people are thinking. (Everyone wants to trade Garza for a haul of prospects. But what if Garza doesn't get you the haul and Travis Wood will? You wouldn't trade Travis Wood? Because I would....). But for the most part I will continue to write my wraps and stay silent. I comment over at a hockey blog where all they do is talk trades and free agents. I'm not kidding, the hawks are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup and these goofballs are talking about next year's #2 center and who gets launched to fit under the salary cap. Plus I don't really know the minor leagues other than to know that just because a prospect is hot this year it don't mean jack for next year. Everyone that drooled over Mike Olt and Jacob Turner are silently nodding their heads, aint they?

But don't confuse my silence for lack of enthusiasm. I'm totally geeked for this next phase of the rebuild. After all, the Cubs best players are playing.


Totally bummed to miss out on Hot Stove Cool music. All reports were it was an amazingly good time. Nice that Loxas did the camera work. If Scotchy Arguello was in charge of holding the camera, probably wouldn't have been as cool a view...

For all these people that give Dale Sveum a pass because the team is no good.... He is responsible for some part of this rebuild isn't he? It's not all Jed and Theo, Sveum has some part in it right? What is it? And do you think he's doing it? I like Dale and want him to succeed. But I'm seeing a lot of Ned Yost in him. And that's not a good thing.

Friend of the Blog and Jivewire CEO Michael Canter pointed out last night that "Exile in Guyville" is 20 years old today. I can't tell you how old that makes me feel. But that album still holds up. I think it always will. So today I'm standing 6'1" and spinning Liz Phair's debut album. Especially since each album got progressively Night Shyamalan worse.

But I have Rubber Soul ready in the pen because Sundays require some Beatles.

Speaking of bullpen, I'm dreaming of a Trey McNutt-Zach Rosscup September.

While I haven't been the biggest proponent of trading Darwin Barney, the Cubs are stockpiling infield prospects. And Arguello heart throb Asmirandy Alcantara has to be put on the 40. And Lake, Villanueva, Valbuena, and Bryant can't all play third base...

The Hawks are one win away from the Stanley Cup!!!!!!! Can't write that enough.

By the way, if you're a fan of Doc Emerick, the guy calling the Stanley Cup finals and one of the best announcers in sports ( for my money). Check this out. It's all of Doc Emerick's passing synonyms mashed up with Daft Punk. Pretty cool.

And because I'm an old softee, here's Doc calling a 12 year old girls hockey game

Speaking of hockey, congrats to my brother Sam, whose was voted ( yet again.) as the best sports blog by the Chicago reader. This time without the SB Nation backing and half the season washed away to lockout. Pretty impressive.

I spend a lot of time drinking with and ridiculing the bald schmuck that I don't tell him how proud I am nearly enough. The kid rocks.

Next year it's Cubs Den's turn. If that slacker Jordan Bernfield will pick up the pace.


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  • fb_avatar

    Felzz, awesome brunch as usual...I never thought of the success rate of the guys the Cubs FO just fell short of getting this offseason, we'd have been a helluva lot better with Sanchez, Brown and Grilli no doubt...I can't wait till july 31st, talking to Caldwell we both agree were gona be happy with what we get by then these guys in our front office are shrewd and the real difference makers....I know Liz Phairs work has fallen off and gotten worse but her album covers are HOT!! Love her and it's always good to have the Fab Four in the wings anytime and you can't go wrong with Rubber Soul..

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    I'll give you that the last couple Liz Phair albums have been pretty bad, but I enjoyed the first three a lot. Polyester Bride is one of her best songs off WhiteChoclateSpaceEgg.

  • Thanks Luigi.

    And yeah, she's Gorgous.

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    I could care less about the music, she's smoking hot!!! Always had a thing for her

  • I liked Whip Smart. WCSE too. But they weren't the "oh My God, what is THIS?!!?" That Exile was...

  • Catch us if you can.....

  • How can anyone say this Cubs team is improving if ...

    - we are losing at home to the Astros...
    - if our players are getting picked off base...
    - we are blowing saves....
    - if Dale is refusing to bench Castro...
    - we are far below 500 against teams in our division.....
    - we are near another sell-off time with players...
    - Marmol will still be here after the trading deadline ends...
    - and if Soriano will be in LF again in 2014.

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    Great job Felzzy, and congrats to Sam.

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    BTW Felzzy, I had the strangest dream last night. You and Arguello were opposing coaches in a little league All Star game. Tom and Jordan were umpiring. It was just like Bad News Bears with beer on ice in both dugouts. Gallo was trying to pimp you both a ringer by the name of Bryant, who was way to big for his little league uniform.

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    Way too early to declare Michael Wacha the best pitcher chosen in the draft. He made the majors quickly, but struggled and was sent back down. The same can be said of Kevin Gausman, who has been equally impressive in the minors. And, in terms of pure stuff, Kyle Zimmer still has a chance to race past both of them.

    And if we want to talk the best *player* taken in 2012 draft, it was #2 pick Byron Buxton and no one else is particularly close.

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    In the trading from depth to add to a weakness I am all for trying to pry some of the Mariners or Padres young pitching from them for one of the big 3. I could see a trade of Soler or Baez as the center of a deal for Hultzen or Walker. If the Cubs could pull it off maybe get a 3rd team involved and ship them some major league talent so both systems end up more balanced afterwards.

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    I would not like to trade Soler or Baez period. We drafted them and are developing them. No other team can have them. Not yet anyway!

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    In reply to 44slug:

    If you can get a return of almost ready TOR pitching you would not trade one of your top prospects to get them? Prospects are tools for 3 things. Acquiring talent. Keeping cost control. And creating a market. Those are the only things that they are for.

    If you want to acquire almost ready pitching talent you have to be willing to deal from strength to get it. No matter what the ceiling is of Soler it is not as high as an Ace and that is what the guys I mentioned ceilings are and they are already in AAA.

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    I'm ok trading from a position with depth, but the Cubs can develop their own pitching and sign free agent pitchers when needed.

  • I agree w/ your point on Sveum. Like you, I've not been biased against the manager and in fact have applauded his stated focus on baseball fundamentals. Like many posters here, I've scratched my head at some of his tactical game day decisions, but in my own mind, the biggest question marks far and away are the Teams' apparent inability to regularly execute on the very fundamentals that the coaches have allegedly focused the Team on.

    I assume the staff has attempted to convey and teach the "basics" but something's apparently lost in the translation. I don't know if this is a fair indictment or not, but in the cruel real world, delivery of "the goods" is ultimately the only test that matters and I don't see the level of progress I expect to see. I'm no baseball expert and I may be guilty of impatience but as of now, I think Sveum and his staff staff's jobs require some meaningful progress or else.

    What say you?

  • Felzz, next time you're close to the Rainbo Club, stop in an get your picture taken in their photo booth. That's where Phair took her picture for the cover of Guyville. You might also run into Vince Vaughn there if he's in town.

  • I was an Olt fan and I still am! In fact I would argue that he's an excellent buy-low guy. He's the same guy as last year, except now you could get him plus a lot more in a trade. Your pet trade, Baez for Taillon, is interesting. If I was the Pirates you'd have yourself a trade partner because TINSTAAPP. And I think Taillon looks like a stud. But if I'm trading hitting prospects for pitching, I'd rather trade for a MLB established stud even at a greater Price. And yes, Price is right for me.

  • The Rainbo club used to be my pre-game drinking hole with my brother for Hawks games before he started doing the Committed Indian. Usually just him, me, the Bartender and some rare Steve Earle music... Last time i was there was the big snowstorm last year when The hawks played the Panthers.... Fun place. I don't really need to see Vince Vaughn.

  • The Cubs are NOT trading away ANY of their top talent until they know what they have. That means trades involving Baez, Bryant, Soler, & Almora are absolutely not going to happen.

    I also completely disagree that it's nonsense for the Cubs to get a higher draft pick, more draft money, and more international money.

    In the grand scheme of things, I would much rather have the cubs lose this season more often than not. We are going nowhere this year. I think we can all agree on that.

    If it were just a higher draft pick then it might not be worth it... but that spending cash is significant, it means that you can get top rated talent later in the draft as well. That's big when an organization is trying to acquire as many valuable assets as possible. Not to mention the talent it gives you a chance at in the international market. Especially if you believe that the Front Office are excellent talent evaluators.

    What are we really talking about anyway? The best case scenario is that our "core" young players, i.e. Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Samardzija, T.Wood, W.Castillo etc. play well, learn, keep improving, & refining their game so that they are ready when we are ready to contend in a couple of years or so that they build value if we decide to trade them for other needs.

    Also we want the interim guys, Dejesus, Garza, Barney,Sweeney, Gregg, Feldman to do well so that Theo can trade them for as much as possibe....

    But I have absolutely no problem with Marmol coming in and blowing t

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    What I wanted to say at the end before I accidentaly pressed something was:

    But I have absolutely no problem with Marmol coming in and blowing the game in the 9th this year if it means that our future will be that much brighter, and arrive that much sooner.

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