Cubs Rumor Thread: Cubs scouting Jays, Nats heavily -- both teams saw Garza's dominant start

I will be late today as I'm going downtown with my wife to celebrate the Blackhawks championship and then meet a friend later.  I thought that maybe this would be a good day to give the rumor thread a test run.  I'll get you guys started with some news I've heard which jives with some news from Carrie Muskat...

UPDATE (3:25)

I just got back home and there's a few more rumors to report.

  • The Rockies are heavily scouting Matt Garza, whom many believe will be traded well before the July 31st deadline.  The Rockies are also interested in Cubs closer Kevin Gregg.
  • Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles, Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Rangers, Red Sox and Blue Jays all have varying degrees of interest in Garza.  Ken Rosenthal confirms that the Rangers have been scouting Garza closely.
  • On a different front, Jim Callis of BA tweets that Kris Bryant will sign, though he may be the last draftee to do so this year.

Earlier Today

  • We've been hearing of late that the Cubs have scouted the Blue Jays and Nationals pretty heavily and that may be due in part to the fact that both teams would like to make a deal quickly.  The Nationals have gone on record saying they'd like to do that while the Jays are in a similar situation in that they have some ground to make up and the sooner they can acquire talent, the sooner they cans start trying to close that gap.  Not coincidentally Carrie Muskat tweeted that both teams scouted Matt Garza's dominant start yesterday.  The Phillies, Orioles, and Dodgers were also on hand, though the Dodgers are thought to be prioritizing Ricky Nolasco.
  • Ken Rosenthal writes that the Diamondbacks are "interested" in Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija.  I don't have to tell you that a) that would require a a package of elite prospects to even get Theo's attention and b) that trade is very unlikely to happen -- but this is the kind of rumor that can be fun to speculate on....so speculate away!
  • For those hoping that the Cubs will trade for international pool money, Sahadev Sharma writes that that does not seem to be a priority according to Theo Epstein. ""Maybe," Epstein said about the possibility of acquiring more space via trade. "It's not a huge priority, but we have a strategy with respect to (international free agency), we'll execute it. It doesn't necessarily require us adding pool space."

Filed under: Rumors/Speculation

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  • I would have really liked to deal with TOR before the NYY/MIA deals last offseason. Sanchez is obviously very interesting but I'm not sure he'd be on the table. You can bet your rear they'd try to get Drabek in the deal as a throw-in-given the TJ fetish of Jedstein.

    With regard to WAS, can we assume that they'd likely hone in on AJ Cole? Their system has been thinned out a bit by trades over the last 18 months( GIO, Span, etc).

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Cole, Giolito, and Rendon all seem like guys Theo would covet.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I follow the Nats pretty closely, and would put the chances of getting Rendon at 0. The Nats offense has been struck in neutral all year, and he's been one of the only consistent contributors. Without him they'd have to go back to Lombardozzi or Espi at 2nd, so that's just a non-starter for me if I'm the Nats.

    Other guys in the Nats system to watch are: Taylor Jordan (for the benefit of those that didn't see our discussion of him in the other thread, he's really good and he'll be making a spot-start/showcase on Haren's next scheduled start), Brian Goodwin (not destroying AA but rated as a B+ prospect coming into the year and holding his own--already 22 though), Nate Karns (mid rotation upside, advanced but working on command to both sides of the plate), Stephen Souza Jr (just destroying AA, but he's already 24 and he's been a bit lucky with BABIP).

    If the Nats wanted to make a move, I'd think Giolito/Taylor/Karns gets the job done. I prefer that over Giolito/Cole/Karns in fact, and I think so highly of Taylor that I'm not even sure the Nats would package him and Giolito in the same deal for Garza.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    They still have a lot of good pitching prospects. Osuna, Nolin, Norris, Stroman and Smoral are all highly thought of.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Love Osuna, he was my favorite of the Jays pitching prospects. He tore his UCL earlier this year though (what %, I don't know) so I'm not sure how to value him now.

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    The conversation with the Blue Jays needs to start with Aaron Sanchez.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I agree, Michael. The conversation should always start with the top prospect when you have a coveted deadline piece.

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    I wonder if Sanchez is in play with the Jays. Under normal circumstances, I'd be reluctant to take a pitcher lower than AA as the primary piece in return for Garza, but Sanchez is an exception to that.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Have you looked at their system lately? A lot of their top prospects are having rough seasons. Andy Burns, just promoted to AA, looks like the light switch might have come on, and Brett Lawrie is blocking him. It'll be interesting to see how EL pitchers treat him versus FSL pitchers.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    If we just want to look at numbers, there's an interesting arm in the Nats system. (Literally all I know about the guy are his numbers.) Taylor Jordan is a bit old for AA ball, but he is dominating. Strikeouts are a tad low, but walks and ERA are very good. (ERA is under 1, FIP suggests he's been a little lucky -- 2.39 -- but pretty good in its own right.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    His FB is low to mid 90s (supposedly touches 96), his change is an out pitch, and his slider is being developed. The development of his slider is supposedly the key to him reaching his ceiling. He was breaking out back in 2011 but tore his UCL and had TJS. Came back late in 2012 and now is picking up where he left off.

  • Unless they're including Giolito or Rendon, the Nats prospects are pretty meh for a Garza trade.

    The Jays are another story, they have a whole bunch of interesting pitching prospects.

    As for the Shark deal, it'd almost have to include Archie Bradley or Tyler Skaggs. If they offered both I think you'd have to strongly consider it. How about Archie Bradley, Adam Eaton, David Holmberg and Andrew Chafin?

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Seems as Jedstein doesn't like Sharks asking price or do not think hes worth throwing a large contract at. So If the Diamondbacks off Skaggs, Bradley and 1 of the eaton, holmbery, chafin trio.......Jedstein would be like house of pain JUMP JUMP JUMP, and would be up for executive of the year !

    We should throw in Navarro or even James Russell just to thank them for giving us a real shot to compete NEXT year

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think they're just fine with paying him, but Shark doesn't want to negotiate until he's closer to FA. Makes sense for him. They've talked of him as being a long term fixture, so I suspect they'll pay up when the time comes.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I thought that earlier, but I am starting to think they wouldn't mind trading him if they got what they wanted.

    I hope I'm wrong and they both find some middle ground and lock him up.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    No sense in throwing in Russell, he garner more on his own I think
    unless the D Backs want to add a couple of more top kids...I think Russell will garner attention

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Those guys all need to be hits for an exec of the year. That would be a sweet package though!

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    add Matt Davidson to that list

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    For Shark or Garza? Bradley is the starting point. If the Snakes don't include him, Id say no deal.

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    Rendon and Cole anyone?

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yes, absolutely. Before the Nationals sober up.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hear Mike Rizzo likes Bourbon. Maybe a case of Kentucky's best is in order.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Had to read this a few times because it confused me at first. Bourbon the liquor, NOT the player. Got it haha

  • In reply to Elden14:

    fist i thought we were going to trade Julio Borbon for a case of whiskey. LOL

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I am sure that if you sweetened the deal with a Case of Makers Mark or Knobbs Creek we would be able to get Strasburg and Harper for Garza. (He has to drink said case first of course)

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    For 1/2 season of Garza? Rendon is already starting at 2b for the Nats right now, there is no chance he'd be included in such a trade.

  • In reply to MIcubsfan:

    You might want to think this thru. The Nats probably want to move LaRoche, move Zimmerman over to 1st and move Rendon to 3rd, and put Espinosa back at 2nd. I don't really take what they are offering seriously unless both Rendon and either Cole or Golioto is included.

  • In reply to MIcubsfan:

    The phrase "no chance" gets thrown around way too liberally. Even if the FO and the coaching staff are in love with a guy, if ownership says move him, they move the guy they love or they get fired. There's always a chance, albeit below average.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    If they offer it, Jedstein better jump and better offer to pay Garza's salary to get the deal done before the drugs wear off !

    It's early, but Anthony Rendon looks like a real player. Guys uses all fields, and can play 2b plus they all say as he matures, the power will come. How nice would it be to have a 2nd baseman w a 3rd basemans bat!

  • Whoever gives us the best talented prospects. Position should
    not matter. Making 2 for 1, 3 for 1 will be hard because of the
    40-man roster unless they are very young.

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    So the D'backs want Shark. Well, no one is untouchable, but Skaggs. Bradley, Davidson better start that conversation, and it won't end with them.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It's almost certainly end with then. Remember when the Cubs got Garza they only had to give up 1 top 100 prospect. You're talking about two top 20 prospects and another ranked prospect.

    I'd rather have one of the pitching prospects mentioned above instead of Davidson, but that trade is a done deal if the diamondbacks go that far.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Fine. Any conversation with the Snakes starts with Bradley.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I should clarify that if the Cubs can get more they obviously will, but if that's the diamondbacks final offer I'd be shocked if the Cubs didn't take it.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Exactly!

    Shark is very good, but some people act like hes Clayton Kershaw

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The peripherals suggest they're pretty similar. Remember: Kershaw pitches in Dodger Stadium half the time. That does have an impact on your numbers.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Don't pay attention to those uneducated, Blue Kool-Aid drinking Cubs fans.....they have no clue on how to evaluate players.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Troll, troll, troll your boat...

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I kinda doubt we'd take that. If we're lucky, one of Skaggs and Bradley develop into what Shark is now. Given that we aren't being forced to trade him like the Rays were with Garza and Shields, why roll the dice like that?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Because he may not be a part of the next contending team, whereas Bradley/Skaggs/Davidson could be.

    You're looking at a guy who is going to be paid fair market value in 3 years versus 3 guys that could be playing for the Cubs for dirt cheap. Can the Cubs get more value spending the money they would have allocated to Shark elsewhere and then getting cheap production out of those 3 guys? Granted, not all of them are going to pan out, but I think the answer is yes.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    The goal is not to win a championship for the least money, the goal is to win a championship. I strongly disagree that, in expectation, you're going to get more production out of those 3 and the money you would have spent on shark reallocated than you would with Shark. Pitching prospects are extremely risky. At the same time, Shark is easily one of the 20 best pitchers in baseball. With the mileage on his arm, he's likely to maintain that status for another five plus years. And improve as he gets more experience. It's going to need to be an overwhelming package for him to move.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Your first sentence is correct, but the best way to put together a World Champion team is to be as efficient as possible with payroll.

    Based on the way the negotiations with Shark are going, it doesn't seem like he's willing to take a discount. If he wants a 7 year extension (2 arb years + 5 FA years) for $17+M, can you find a similar guy like that on the open market? Doesn't have to be the exact same. But say you can find an Anibal Sanchez on the open market and then one of Skaggs/Bradley/Holmberg (my preferred package) becomes a #3. If that's the case, for the money you'd pay Shark, you got a #2 and a #3. Not a bad deal at all. And that's assuming only one of those guys gets to that level.

    And there are risks all around when it comes to handing big contracts to pitchers too, especially since Shark will be older towards the end of his (presumed) contract extension.

    To me, if someone offers Bradley, Skaggs and Holmberg/Chafin, I'm helping Shark pack his bags.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Sorry, paragraph breaks didn't take for some reason.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    We're paying Jackson a fortune to stink. If we can't afford $17 million for a top 20 in all of baseball pitcher and still have money left over to fill in holes, something is terribly wrong. Sanchez is a nice piece to have. Verlander and Shark are the guys you rest your hopes on.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sanchez is a top 20 pitcher in baseball. It's not that we can't afford it, it's how can we get the most out of that $17M? Would you rather have a top 20 pitcher in baseball or would you rather have a top 20 pitcher in baseball + 3 big time prospects that could contribute a ton to the big league team on the cheap?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Sanchez is having an incredible, though injury marred, season. His past performance suggests he will struggle to maintain it, though.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can't respond to Mike below, but just as Sanchez's past performance suggests he will struggle to maintain it, so too does Shark's past performance suggest he'll struggle to maintain his current performance.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    There's a difference, though. Shark's raw stuff is substantially better than Sanchez's. He turned a corner and figured out how to use his stuff, and the results have been consistent since that change. Sanchez is still throwing the same pitches as before. His strikeouts have jumped this year. Just looking at his numbers, I can't tell you how he's done that. If he can maintain it, though, he does become elite.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    And your first sentence is also correct. However, in midseason, teams that are sniffing the playoffs do not have the time to be efficient and take the best way. They are is a scramble and doing whatever it take to the degree that their commitment allows them.

    That's why I feel the Cubs have a good change to come out on top when you balance the trade of getting Garza and the eventual trading away of Garza.

    I could elaborate, but that would really get boring ;-)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Exactly! The biggest difference (besides Shark having a much higher ceiling) is leverage. Everybody knew Tampa HAD to trade Garza because the weren't signing him. The Cubs have no reason to move Shark except being BLOWN AWAY by the package!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    We have no motivation to trade shark. Skaggs would certainly need to be in the conversation. If they don't have Skaggs available I have a nice Feldman to offer them.

  • Can someone tell me when's the deadline to sign Bryant?

  • In reply to WillieG1:

    July 12, 5 pm ET

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Thank you.

  • With WAS, I think you might be looking at Cole + an intriguing, lower-level piece or two.

    For TOR, outside of the previously moved Nicolino & Syndergaard, Sanchez was the only other arm who screams upside.

    In any deal for Garza, we need an arm(s) who projects as at least a 3 or higher. We are starting to accumulate 4s & 5s in our system( Hendricks, Cabrera, etc). We should have that type of leverage. That being said, we're not gonna snag Cole AND Rendon.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I don't think the gNATs are a good fit. If they trade Cole and Rendon, they've stripped their system of elite level prospects. You might get Cole or Rendon, but unless they're desperate or they're getting something in addition to Garza, the Cubs shouldn't get both.

    Toronto pretty much stripped the upper levels of their system in the deal with the Marlins. Beyond Sanchez, there isn't much to talk about. Former Arizona Wildcat Andy Burns might be that good athlete whose baseball skills have finally caught up to him. He'd be worth a flyer as a throw in, but beyond Sanchez, I'm not seeing much in the way of elite level pitching talent.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Realistically, we can (and probably will) get 1 top 100 prospect for Garza. If its a high top 100 -- like Sanchez -- the other pieces will be lesser. If it's a low top 100 -- like Cole -- the other pieces will be more interesting.

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    Kevin Towers stays under the radar for awhile but there is no way he isnt looking to upgrade if LA, SanFran and SD reload and he's not afraid of a blockbuster either...It wouldnt hurt to listen and in regards to the 40 man roster, I think if you get better talent back you could always deal guys like Vitters, Jackson, Raley for younger kids

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    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Raley should not be moved unless you get a pitcher that is ready now. We are going to need him second half of this season with all the pitching that is going to be moved.

  • TOR has some nice SP prospects. But they're still a few years away from being MLB ready. Their Catcher (Jiminez) is very intriguing. Kid is lights out defensively and has shown the type of at bats this FO covets. Power starting to develop, which is why they sent Travis d'Arnaud to the Mets. then he had TJS.... which might be a plus for us to snag him cheap?..

  • Also John, hope this is ok, but here's a link to a write up I did on another Cubs blog on the Blue Jays. Other teams are included on the site as well if you do some digging.

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/6/25/4459826/chicago-cubs-trade-rumors-trade-partners-toronto-blue-jays

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I think this should be aloud. BCB routinely links back to CubsDen (it's actually how I found this site) and Al Yellon has a lot of respect for the writers here.

    I would classify BCB and CubsDen as the top two blog + knowledgeable commenter combos in cubdom.

  • In reply to Elden14:

    Agreed, that's how I spend much of my work day is on those two sites.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Same, although I don't comment much.

    I'd also like to note that the string of articles written by Tulane over at BCB are well put together and very good reads. I recommend anyone who enjoys trade speculation here to go over and read them.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Thanks for this. I do wish they would make the links clickable here, to help other blog owners out, but I do understand the spam issue. However, it seems like when a link is posted, it's usually held back anyway, so I see no reason not to make them clickable. (IMHO).

    Would love to see more articles on possible Garza deals. I have no clue what his value is right now or what teams would be willing to give up.

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    Another intriguing prospect for the Nats as a third type prospect would be RHP Taylor Hill. He is a Vandy guy so Derek Johnson knows him well. Hes already in AA and in his one start there he went 7inn 4h 1er 1bb 4k. Before getting the call to AA he was in the Carolina league where he was 6-2 2.99 era, 2 CG SHO, 84inn, 73h, 28er, 6hr, 11bb 54k. Hes got a lot of movement on his low to mid 90's fast ball, a plus Slider and nice splitter. Also a big kid at 6'4 225

  • In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    That is intriguing. I'm not familiar with him. I still maintain that anything less than a near MLB TOR SP prospect for Garza would be a disappointment to me.

  • I'd like to keep Samardzija but getting a couple of top 100 pitchers and other prospects would have to be considered. When Garza is traded I think it's going to be impossible to get Shark extended, & the Cubs would be foolish not to sell high on him. If we get three top 100 pitching prospects out of Garza & Shark this staff will be solid for years to come. And it's not like we won't be getting other prospects either- Gregg, Schierholtz, Feldman, & Navarro will probably net decent players too.

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    In reply to Paulson:

    I think it will be easy to extend Shark. The conversation will go something like this:
    "Jeff, would you like to make $150 million over the next six years?"
    "Where do I sign?"

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think you can tell which player the Cubs wish to extend based on which player they are actually shopping, and I think, if they really thought Shark wasn't interested in remaining a Cub, they'd be shopping him too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    No wonder why we're on different pages. You're playing with monopoly money. ;)

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Also known as the going rate for top pitchers -- Verlander and Hernandez signed deals for slightly more. All told, the Rangers spent about 2/3 of that on Darvish, which was (a) before the new CBA made player salaries insane and (b) for a guy who had never thrown a pitch in the major leagues.

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    $150M for 6yrs???? Id say something like 5yrs $70M will be plenty...thats $14M per year and while Shark has pitched well hes not been an elite pitcher which isnt a knock on him. There are very few in the game today.

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    In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    Finally someone whose watching the same game I am.

    If shark won't take something like 6 yrs 100 million, then I don't see Jedstein pulling the trigger. Only if Jim Hendry was still here........

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Two points.

    First, FIP calculations suggest that Shark is indeed a top pitcher. You may disagree with that, but the inventor of FIP -- Tom Tango -- just signed an exclusive consulting agreement with the Cubs. So, clearly, they value the metric. That will determine how they decide to spend money.

    Second, in terms of what you're seeing, look for something next time Shark pitches. When he tends to get in trouble and get hit is when he's getting too cute. He throws off-speed stuff that batters can catch up with to batters that probably couldn't hit his fastball if they knew it was coming. (I noticed this in his second start of the season when the Braves announcers pointed it out.) The good news is: that's fixable. The raw stuff puts him elite territory.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    6 years for $150M is crazy numbers for 2 reasons:

    1) If you're talking 6 years as in 2 arb years and 4 FA years, then you're WAY overpaying for his arb years.

    2) If you're talking about after this season giving him a contract that gives him 6 years extension on top of his arb years, you're talking about an 8 year contract for a pitcher. There's no way in hell this front office does that.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I'm talking about it going into his last arb year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's 1.5 years down the road. So much can change between now and then that talking about $s and years is almost pointless.

    Personally, I'd be surprised if he's still a Cub then if he hasn't worked out an extension by that point. If the Cubs can't get a deal done with him by next year's trade deadline, I expect him to be shopped fairly aggressively.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    And, find, cut it to $140 million/5. The point is to make an offer big enough that he has no incentive to go on the FA market. Because, in this market, if he gets there, it might be $30 million+ a season.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    140/5 = 140/6

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Is he a top pitcher? im ok with saying that, but hes not elite. There are every few who are. Is he the ace of this team? Yes, but that doesnt mean Im ready to call him an actual ace. You really think hes that much better than Anibal Sanchez? Shark has had 1 full season as a starter and it was right in line with what Sanchez did. Theyre both similar in age. You could argue Shark has less mileage on his arm, but $80M for 5yrs should get it done.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Only time will tell whose right. If he gets the anywhere close to the 150 milllion for 6 years from this front office.......we will all know that your in the wrong business and she be consulting for a MLB team

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    In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    You think Shark will sign for Edwin Jackson money + 1 year?

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    In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    Anibal Sanchez got $80m/5yrs!

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    In reply to Matt McNear:

    And the cubs offered Sanchez reportedly $75M over 5yrs.

  • In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    Ejax got 4/52M and frankly pitches like crap. Shark is a power pitcher approaching an age where the velocity starts to drop(i.e., the aforementioned Mr Verlander, avg FB this year is down 4-5 MPH) I agree , at the going rate, 4/60 is the very top end of the scale for Shark.

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    I'm sure the Nats are interested, but there is no way a team struggling on offense is going to give up a Rendon. The guy is young but has shown a .900+ ops in the minors, while being very young and very cost controlled. If the Cubs and Nats hook up, it will be for one of their top arms, plus one or two additional prospects. If they want Schierholtz thrown in, it may cost them BOTH of their top arms, plus a solid prospect.

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    Boise Hawks Radio ‏@BoiseHawksRadio 20m

    Roster Move 6/28 - OF Kevin Encarnacion has been promoted to Class A Kane County...no corresponding move

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'm hearing Rademacher to Daytona and Andreoli to Tennessee.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Interesting that Boise doesn't have replacement, yet. Bryant would make sense, but he seems nowhere near signing.

  • The problem I have with the idea of trading Shark is that I'm almost positive what Theo & Co would get would be under my "expectations" of what the haul should be.... Skaggs, Bradley, and Eaton make me say "OK....and?" but If Theo winds up trading for Bradley + 4 others that aren't Skaggs, I'll be pissed.

    Don't you have to start building the major league with some known knowns? Isn't Samardzija the closest thing to a known known? To me, trading Samardzija is kind of a copout. This management team is suppose to be awesome. They shouldn't need to "take all the time they need."....

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    In reply to felzz:

    Relax a bit -- the story is that the Diamondbacks want him but haven't negotiated with the Cubs yet. Even Rosenthal in his report said the return would have to be "overwhelming." Marcel said the MLBTR boards -- and I agree with him -- that Skaggs and Bradley get Theo to listen, but certainly don't close the deal. John's right, there's almost no chance this happens, and exactly for the reason you mention. Losing that kind of production is going to be difficult to replace.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I don't know Felzz, but everything Ive seen so far on B radley screams TOR pitcher.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I don't think Epstein is very dynamic. Don't forget he hired Sveum.

  • I would really prefer that they acquire MLB ready players. I think we have a ton of guys that will be making their way up, but most are still 2 or even 3 yrs out. We need MLB ready pitchers. If teams want to package a few position players in their offers, make it worth their time to consider, but MLB ready pitchers should be TOP priority.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    MLB ready pitchers can be found in free agency. We need talented guys that have #1 ceiling with high floors; those guys aren't hitting free agency

  • if dealing Shark makes you better, you would be crazy not to trade him.

    However, I think our farm is getting close enough to protect the major league club from a rash of injuries (meaning we are just looking for depth). I think you can get 2 more reliable starters to full fill this rotation. I see Shark as a valuable #1 in the next years

    Another thing I like is Chris Owings has to be in the deal and that to me shows that Theo is out for talent, he isn't ranking position needs. We can always trade talent.

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    What I would do is tell Shark that he has walked the walk of a number 1 and the offers are going to come in. If he wants to stay, here is 5 years 75 million. Sign it or be playing elsewhere because the offers are going to be piling up now.

    That would buy out his last 2 years of Arb and his 3 years of FA so he would still be 33 when he hit the market and could still have some value. If he hedges even a little bit then he is telling you that he is more interested in money than winning and ship his butt for a huge return.

    It may not be Arizona though because they would be in the middle of a all out bidding war.

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    For all this talk of WAS, TOR, ARI, etc, I still think the best deals out there for the Cubs are with other teams, namely Boston. They have the prospects, which our FO is already familiar with, and they've already been brought up in The Cubs Way. They can afford to extend Garza, and they have more than one need the Cubs could fill for them.

    I love the Pirates system, and like Boston, they have more than one need the Cubs could fill, but I think Huntington will be hesitant because he can't resign Garza. Feldman might be a better fit for Pittsburgh.

    San Diego is like Boston in terms of familiarity. They're like Pittsburgh in that they can't afford to overpay for someone they won't be able to resign. Like Pittsburgh, Feldman might be a better fit. Unlike either, I'm not seeing them being interested in more than pitching from the Cubs.

    Texas is like Boston. They can afford to resign Garza. They have the prospects to get it done. They might also have an interest in other Cubs players, namely Schierholtz.

    The Yankees can afford to resign Garza, but they're trying to get below the cap so they don't get hit. They have multiple needs the Cubs could fill for them, but they lack much in the way of pitching prospects. I do love their hitting prospects though, but their only pitching prospect that does anything for me is De Paula.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    DePaula is a very very good prospect.

  • Arizona knows that Shark will be expensive. So for them to still have interest says they may be willing to give up a lot.

  • Samardzija contract asking price will be between $175 -225 million......

    for weeks I have been saying that the Cubs will trade Samardzija.....this time next year, that trade will happen.

    Besides Arizona, count on the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves, Giants, etc to go after Samardzija.

  • Anyone who freely and frequently belittles other people's opinions shouldn't be on record with "88 Cubs Wins and a Playoff Berth in 2013"...... Takes the wind out of any credibility.....

  • In reply to Cubfucius:

    I bet you spend your entire useless life on nagging people who have an higher I.Q. than you have...which would be the majority of the rest of the people on this earth.

    Before this season started, I truly believe this Cubs team had a chance to win 88 games....but Marmol & E. Jackson sucked.....and Castro is not having a good season.....now the sell off begins.

    ...you can go back to your shine box and mumble to yourself for the rest of the day.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Just so I'm clear here: your 88 win prediction was counting on a good year from Marmol?

    Really?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Sir (or madam), your postings are an outlier on this site. We exchange information, opinions and views. Why do you feel the need to respond with nastygrams? Surely you can do better. Please consider same.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Did Your Mom come downstairs to tell you to clean up your room and confiscate your National Geograghic magazines today or what, a little testy today I see.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    In all fairness to Cubs if they were playing as good as their numbers they would be a .500 team right now without a good year from Marmol or an average year from Jackson. So he might not have been far off.

  • regarding this shark to arizona speculation. the cubs would have to get bradley and skaggs for sure in this type of deal, but if thats on the table, then im strongly consdiering it. it is very possible that both of these guys are #2 pitchers and getting two of those for the price of one would be great. they are not garunteed to do that, but both are pitchers at AA or higher and if we got the right secondary guys in the deal it has to be considered.

    im very intrigued by skaggs being a lefty and bradleys upside. although i do love shark and will absolutely need to be blown away to deal him, skaggs bradley another top 10 guy in their system and probably 2 more high upside low minors secondary guys probably gets it done for me.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Skaggs/ Bradley/ Eaton or Davidson and I send Shark down the road, anything less and I extend Him

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I agree. When it comes time for Shark to really get paid, it will also be the time we are looking to fill any remaining holes through the FA market. It could prevent us from getting what we need.

  • I know I may get blasted. Hoyer should be in talent acquisition mode and anyone should be trade able. If you can get some good talent for Shark. You do it!

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    In reply to Paris:

    You're not going to get blasted. No one disagrees. The debate is over what constitutes "good talent" for him.

  • In reply to Paris:

    Agree. Assets can later be repackaged in trades when time is right. Depth is huge at this point in a rebuild, in my opinion.

  • In reply to Paris:

    anyone is available it just depends what could you get in return. That stands for everyone on all teams. So people say we should extend him(Which im with that side) but also if you have skaggs Bradley and davidson on the table for him you have to listen. But you also have to remember we want to compete in a couple of years so you have to find that happy balance between the two of trades and who to keep. So that said i honestly think that Theo and Jed wont make the trade but who knows were talking about dealing with kevin towers so who knows

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Skaggs and Davidson are ML ready now, have to make that deal

  • The article says that the rockies have some interest with Gregg and Garza. I wouldn't want garza to go there but i wouldn't mind Gregg going there. You would almost have to say their system sort of looks like the cubs pitching wise right now

    http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_23556907/trade-winds-swirl-colorado-rockies-monitor-other-teams

  • What could we hope for from Colorado for Garza+Gregg? Apparently there is interest there.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I live out in Colorado and i have gone to their MLB games and some AAA and really AAA the only person has stood out to me was Arenado and now he's in the majors. I am no baseball guru but you could see something different in him but there is it seems like from what have i have heard that they would not trade him. But let me remind you that is what i've heard and that could be totally different what Tom or people know

  • The Diamondbacks reported interest in Samardzija should help drive the price up for Garza. Gotta figure they'd have to get Bradley or Skaggs, or both somehow in a wild scenario, or something huge for Samardzija. That would be a terribly risky move. Either way its starting look like Theo & Jed have a good chance of ending up with someone's best pitching prospect.

  • Wow guys. Thanks for keeping the thread going. Just got back. Wife wanted to see the Blackhawks parade/rally. And I'm exhausted. Too much time in the sun today, too many people.

    It's about time on Andreoli, predicted it in the recaps! Knew about Rademacher and wrote about that too.

    Encarnacion is the intriguing one. He's basically coming up from the DSL to Kane. That's a huge leap, but he is 21, so got to get him moving.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I think I saw you in the photos. Weren't you the guy wearing red?

    (And as I viewed the pictures of the parade and the hundreds of thousands in Grant Park, I was visited with a vision of ecstatic blue-clad fans lining Chicago's streets and parks to cheer on the World Series Champion Cubs of 201x.)

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Haha! I was wearing a green Irish hat that my neighbor gave me, actually. Maybe I stood out.

    I'm 0% Irish, by the way.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You could just lie about it, John.

  • In reply to tommy:

    And I think I will tell those lies with my best Irish brogue.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If lie ye must, tis a fine way.

  • In reply to tommy:

    Haha! Nicely done.

  • The good thing is Hoyer( may notice I am saying Hoyer rather than Theo since he is the GM lol) has a lot of trade chips this year and should get some good talent. But lets not get too greedy waiting and risk injuries or poor performance

  • Wow I am impressed with the knowledge of many posters here. To know prospect not just in the Cubs system, but other systems is really quite impressive.

  • I'd like to hear thoughts on this:

    I know it goes against what everyone's been talking about. It's unlikely. Highly. I get that too.

    To me, the 2013 Cubs seem like a solid candidate to ADD (yep) right now. Here's why I think that...

    The definition of contention in the baseball sense to me is not "To be the best team in baseball." Rather it's "To be within 7 or so games of a wild card spot by the middle of august." That's two weeks of a team being hot and catching breaks (i.e. scheduling breaks, losing streaks by other teams, injuries to other teams' key players, etc...). Just two weeks, that's it. Those things happen in baseball every season.

    As for what the Cubs have: 3 starters that are having really nice years with no real signs of them going into the tank as of yet. Garza is in healthy ace'ish form. Jackson, who flashes it but is struggling and unfortunately can't be moved to the bullpen but he can certainly rebound and finish strong. His stuff hasn't completely deserted him. A closer who is pitching above his head a little bit right now but looks strong. I've seen every outing of his this year and he always looks poised and he works down in the zone with the fastball and he gets called strikes with his breaking ball. He's been great. A set up man who had a really nice year last year and is having a better year this year. Villanueva, who I think we'd all agree is a solid utility pitcher. Five athletic OF's plus Hairston, & Soriano (who may get hot and hit 14 HR's in a month, he may not.). A budding star at First. The best defensive second baseman you can get. An EXCELLENT (so far) platoon at third. Really good production from the Catching position. And Starlin.

    Think what another bullpen piece or two would do for that roster. That's the only spot that I've overall been unhappy with (other than EJAX). The "other 4 guys" in the bullpen.

    The farm system is deep and getting deeper. A mid to high level prospect or two could easily be spared (i.e. Alcantara, Vogelbach, Candelario, Szczur, Johnson, etc.). I'm NOT SAYING I don't like those guys. Just that they could be spared and perhaps never even missed. I'm glad we have them.

    The Cubs are 33-44. Last year the Cards were 88-74. The Cubs would have to go 55-30 the rest of the way to have that record. Am I crazy for thinking this roster plus a nice piece or two could go 55-30?

    This roster is underachieving somehow. We're about to go into Oakland who's 46-34 in the next week. Somebody prove to me that their roster is 13 wins better than the Cubs!! I'm not ready to put this season and this roster in the tank. Even if they went 50-35 instead of 55-30, they'd at least be in the hunt down the stretch!

    The Cubs are killing me this year. I love Cubs Den though and I'm sorry for the length of this post. If you read it, I appreciate it. Being that I'm a 30 year old who spends as long as it takes every day to read all the posts and comments. Kinda sad, huh. Go Cubs.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    I'm not a fan of the idea. Here's why:

    1) We're missing the opportunity to trade Matt Garza. Right now, he's the subject of a bidding war and the best player on the market. Those two facts suggest that the return could be Jean Segura level huge. That is to say, it could be a major event in the attempt to put together a World Series winner. By waiting, all we get is a sandwich pick. Good, to be sure, but nowhere close to what we could get at the deadline.

    2) In addition, it also means not moving: Gregg, DeJesus, Schierholtz, Feldman, or Villaneuva. In the cases of Gregg, DeJesus, and Feldman, that means we get nothing from them when they walk at the end of the year. Schierholtz and Villaneuva would lose value next season because they are rentals instead of 1 1/2 year pickups.

    3) The extra wins the good players would give us would only further hurt our draft and international slots next year, which will (hopefully) be our lost chance at an early pick.

    Obviously, all of those concerns are meaningless if the Cubs win a World Series. But it's an extreme longshot because:

    4) The Cubs are 14 games behind the division leaders in the best division in baseball. To win the division, they have to overcome 3 teams that are quite good. The odds of all 3 folding are quite small.

    5) They are behind 7 teams, 11 games out of the wild-card. That's also quite a few teams to try to leapfrog for the wildcard -- and the wild card is essentially a 50-50 shot at the playoffs.

    So, for a relatively faint glimmer of hope, we're passing up on a pretty significant opportunity to improve ourselves long term. I just don't think the benefit trumps the cost.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You're right about all that, Mike. The benefit does probably trump the cost. I wonder if it would if the Cubs won 8 of their next 10 without moving anyone. Such a tough division, no doubt. We've played a lot of close games against those teams. They all have deeper bullpens...

  • I have mixed feelings on trading Garza, let alone Shark. Here we have two proven starters. Both still young enough to be able to produce four to five more years. I am having trouble with the logic of trading them for unproven pitchers. I understand who they might get comes with high expectations. But how many rookie pitchers make an impact the first year let alone their first couple years.

    If the agrument is about money, I am sure the Cubs would have the resources to pony up for both of them. As of now we have a pretty decent rotation. Wood is continuing his climb towards being a well rounded pitcher. History tells us Jackson will not continue to pitch at the level he has shown this year. FELDMAN is about the only one I would let go. I think he has been pitching above his ability this year.

    Anyhow just one Cubs fan thoughts.

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    In reply to Wild Bill:

    Garza has refused an extension and is walking at the end of the year either way. We are 11 games under .500 with him. Why would you not trade him?

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    Oh man, I read this site everyday along with the papers and other Cubs site and totally missed that he has refused an extention. Well in that case, see ya.

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    In reply to Wild Bill:

    Here is a link to a story by John Heyman. From what I have heard other places it kind of matches up.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/22560534/os-rangers-giants-padres-dodgers-bosox-jays-more-may-play-on-garza

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    That seals the deal.

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    The Cubs are in a rebuild, and everyone knows that. That means that the Cubs try to get the most out of what they have from what is currently on their roster. If the FO thinks that they could possibly get a better return for a player than what he is going to give the Cubs on the field, then they are going to trade that player. That is why Wood hasn't really been brought up in any trade talks this year. The Cubs think for the next 3 years they are going to get a solid pitcher, so why trade him, and take on the risk of a prospect that doesn't pan out. The Cubs can afford to trade Garza away because he only has a few months left on his contract, and isn't going to be a long term asset, and could possibly get a prospect that helps turn this organization around. That's why over the next year and half the Cubs are going to squeeze whatever they can out of players like Soriano, Feldman, Garza, DeJesus, Sheirholtz, etc.Their short-term assets, with no real upside of keeping. The Cubs aren't worried about this year, and probably not even next year so they are going to acquire young cheap talent that can make a difference 2-6 years from now.

    I'm also going to say that recently rookies and young players have made a huge impact on the game, and some are arguably the best players in the game. Harper, Strasburg, Harvey, Trout, Puig, Segura, are just a few that have made a huge impact on their teams, and that's what the Cubs are looking for.

  • In reply to rlh21:

    Baez might be surest thing we have as impact Rookie ....

    I believe Garza will be gone before his next start.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Not going to disagree with you on either point there. However, most scouts thought Soler was a better prospect than Puig and looks what he's doing right now in the bigs. I'm also not going to sell Almora short, because he is the most polished out of the three and I personally believe he has the best chance just to make it to Wrigley. But, Baez is the type of player who could blow you away with what he brings to the table, if/when he makes it to the Cubs.

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    The funniest part of this who Shark discussion is the team that started it. Remember when Towers said that Theo doesn't loose trades and you better come in to discussions expecting to loose? Now why knowing that would you talk to a reporter about a guy on Theo's team?

  • In reply to Rich Hood:

    I believe you mean lose not loose.

  • Mark Prior got released by the Reds......any room for him at Kane County?.......would be fun to see if he can still pitch with all his faithful fans nearby.....even if it is Single A ball.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    You actually have a legit idea here except for one small omission. The idea that we bring Pryor back is a good one but lets do it as a roving pitching instructor. There has never been a problem with his mind as far as pitching is concerned. His body just let him down so why not bring him back home in some capacity?

  • Not that it really matters, but the Cubs' system is about to vault from top 5 to No. 1, given the imminent signing of Bryant, plus the prospects we add from trading DeJesus, Feldman, Garza, Gregg and / or Schierholtz, plus the fact that none of our elite prospects is due to lose his prospect status in the next year or so.

    Superfans like us may make too much of having the league's best farm system, but at the very least, it allows your team to hedge its bets so that even when some can't-miss prospects get injured or go bust, there are others who can pounce on the opportunity. With the depth we've accumulated, we not only have a number of "cornerstone" players coming up, we have others that will be valuable in making trades for vets when we finally become a title contender.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I actually asked Jason Parks about this on a chat on BP the other day. Parks said it would be very hard to leapfrog the Twins (Sano + Buxton, etc). However, he said they will probably stand solidly in the top 3 (my assumption is still behind S.L.).

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    But don't both those systems have guys who are going to graduate, thus thinning out their top 20 lists? I don't dispute the elite-ness of Buxton and Sano, but it seems to me that the Cubs will gain ground based on some elite prospects PLUS depth.

  • In reply to Taft:

    The Twins will be sellers too, but they probably don't have as many assets as the Cubs do. It seems to me that this FO built this team to sell (if they didn't compete). I think the Cubs system will have everyone's attention, but without the high level prospects to make a case for that top spot.

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    Not that it's been discussed very much but what can we take from the Tribe if a trade can be formulated? Just wondering....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Bauer? Salazar?

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Paulino fits well with Theo's M.O.: athletic, projectable kid at an up the middle position.

  • Anyone know/think anything about RHP Joan Gregorio and another guy from the Giants for Feldman? Anyone else like him?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I hope that another guy is Gustavo Cabrerra from SF

  • maybe they can add Chisenhall as a minor piece, not the lead part of deal though

  • I would put the chances of Large Mardj getting traded at essentially zero. Before acquiring Gregorious did it not get reported that Towers inquired on Castro too? I will say,this being the team that just ran Justin Upton out of town, I'd really love to hear what names in the Arizona farm are being discussed internally. I have a feeling that the list would be either intriguing or downright offensive to the Cubs brass. Overall, not surprised that old Kirk Gibson would love Samardzija, I saw on baseball reference that his "grit index" is at a career high...

  • So what would be a logical return if the Cubs dealt Feldman and a OF to WSH?

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