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Soriano contemplating potential deal

Soriano contemplating potential deal

Update: 4:55: Alfonso Soriano is not in the starting lineup.  The Cubs are calling it a scheduled day off.  Take that for what it's worth.

UPDATE 4:40:  In non-Soriano news, at least not directly, David DeJesus has been activated and Dave Sappelt has been returned to AAA Iowa.  This means Junior Lake is going to stay for now -- and I can't imagine he's going to stay to sit on the bench.

UPDATE 3:01: We're hearing this has a better than average chance of going down by tonight.  One estimate we heard was 75% that Soriano doesn't play in the game.

Julie DiCaro of ChicagoNow and Aerysports.com is also hearing a trade is close.  DiCaro says,

I was told this morning by a reliable source that the Cubs are waiting for the word to take down Alfonso Soriano’s photo (which is apparently bolted to the wall) in the press room at Wrigley.

There have been some varying reports on the possibility of the Cubs sending Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees.

What I have heard this morning is that he is indeed contemplating a deal, and at the time it stood at 50/50. The information was presented in a way that suggested there is a deal to contemplate. There could be some negotiation still left between the clubs, (money) however it was close enough apparently for them to seek Soriano’s approval.

Soriano had rejected some other team’s overtures in the past. What we know is Theo Epstein among others met with him last night in Arizona to discuss the possibilities. I have heard in the past from Soriano’s camp that the Yankees would be a move they would accept.

Other information says other teams could still be involved; however I feel it will come down to the Yankees and Soriano.

We hear the Cubs have handled Soriano with the utmost respect. I think it’s safe to say Soriano deserves it at this point. Say what you want about the albatross that became his contract. Everything you hear says he was a class act in the clubhouse under this regime.

I think if Soriano does indeed get moved, his legacy with the Cubs will ultimately be looked at under a different, more positive light.  Where once he was known to some for underperforming his contract, it gradually came to light that he is a player with a very strong work ethic as well as an esteemed veteran who is looked upon highly by his teammates.  The Cubs will miss his leadership off the field and his power production on it.

As for the return, the rumors last night included that the Cubs have scouted relief pitchers Chase Whitley (h/t Joel Sherman, NY Post), Joel De La Cruz (h/t Chris Cotillo, MLB Daily Dish), and 2b/3B David Adams.

As John mentioned yesterday, none of the players are considered potential impact prospects, which seems to indicate the Cubs are simply looking to move forward here.  This is more about clearing the decks so that they can add more long term players and field the type of team this front office envisions as the Cubs transition from an also-ran to a contender.

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  • Opens a roster spot, saves a little cash, makes us worse in the short term.....I guess thats good.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Whether or not a trade of Soriano makes the Cubs worse in the short term is debatable.

  • Not really, he's carried this team through July. People hate the contract but the production has been there.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    The problem with the contract was always the number of years. A 4 year contract at that time was more in order.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    By all accounts he was offered 6/$96M from the Braves in 2007

  • In reply to Ken Roucka:

    I have doubts a well run franchise like the Braves would have offered Soriano a 6 year contract.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Makes us better defensively instantly in left field. Hendry should have never signed Soriano at that age for that kind of money to begin with.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Soriano has been fine in left since Sveum got here. Left field is probably the least valuable defensive position anyway.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Doubt Cubs pitchers will agree with you....

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    In reply to Ike03:

    Agreed. This isn't the same as infield.

    If you're not DROPPING fly balls, there's negligible benefit to be granted from a defensive standpoint.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Exactly, and while Soriano might have a good fielding percentage, his range is below average. Full, or almost full, time DH is his best position now and moving forward.

  • John seemed to suggest yesterday that the Cubs may have thrown in the towel on getting any sort of meaningful prospect back for Soriano. Instead, they're just looking to shed some salary.

    Is that just a guess or is that what you guys are hearing from your sources?

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I just added that in for Tom because I figured that would be a topic today as well. I didn't hear that from the Cubs side, but Tom and I have both heard separately that there just isn't a lot of demand out there from the other teams. I think the Cubs and we fans had that hopes Soriano could raise his value, but that just hasn't been matched by what we're hearing out there from the rest of the league.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    MLB trade rumors reporting Soriano agrees to go to Yankees if Cubs make a deal.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Not asking for a package, just one prospect with an upside. Hopefully we will get a prospect that can make the majors someday & contribute.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Whitley is major league ready. I think he will be a very solid reliever and possibly a closer. 6'3", 215 lbs Fastball low 90's, average slider, but he has plus-plus changeup that scouts rave about. It's like 3 different pitches itself because he can get it to move all over.

    Here is an article about him:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1714070-chase-whitley-everything-you-need-to-know-about-intriguing-prospect

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    I'm, frankly, embarrassed that Bob Brenly turned me against him for so long. This guy is all class and deserves to play on a winner. I just wish the Cardinals needed a left fielder.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Soriano does have more class than that piece of shi+ St. Louis has in LF.

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    Why is Allen Craig a POS? Did I miss something?

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Oh, Matt Holliday? Not a fan. Nevermind.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I completely agree with Mike Moody. I have never heard a teammate speak poorly about Soriano. It was almost like Bob Brenly had a personal crusade against Alfonso. I think Alsonso is a class act, good teamate and a professional in the orginization.
    I always enjoy his abbats.

  • In reply to Nick Sixx:

    No one said Soriano wasn't a class act, but he is a terrible left fielder defensively...Cardinals have "players" that play defense and can hit. Maybe we can learn something from an organization that knows how to win every year and win a World Series?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Soriano is a much better left fielder defensively than Holliday.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Indeed, I've never seen Soriano try to catch a line drive with his groin like Holliday...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You aren't the only one -- Brenly turned fans against a lot of players -- Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Carlos Zambrano, and now we hear he's ripping Matt Garza. Frankly, I ignore his personal opinions on players. They don't even enter the equation for me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agree John. Don't miss Brenly as much as I thought I would. Think JD is doing a great job with Len in the booth. Agree with many of the posters here today, Soriano, while not a big fan of the contract, am a big fan of his professionalism and clubhouse leadership. Wish him well.

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    In reply to BobMiller146:

    I think after half a season Len and JD have become the best pairing in my lifetime. Absolutely love what they bring to the broadcasts and hope that partnership lasts for a long while.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Jack Brickhouse. Period.

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    I think Harry and Steve were great together. I dislike the W. Sox but llike Harry and Piersal.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Steve and Harry were good, but Steve and Chip not so much.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Just reading "Steve & Chip" sent a cold shiver down my spine, like nails across a chalkboard

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I liked Brenly and sad he's gone. Other than a couple of comments he made in 9 years, I found him honest, astute snd entertaining with his observations. What did he say that you found was inaccurate, or over-the-top about Zambrano, Ramirez or Castro?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    mmmm I see a pattern there John with the names...LOL. Figures as much

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Former(or current) managers are always more critical than fans because they expect a lot more out of players than most...

    If Castro ever reaches his full potential, then you will see him getting many accolades.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    BB had some strong words on the Braun situation too. He mentioned a one and done drug program, death penalty. Did he ever actually meet Luis Gonzalez?

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    In reply to Ken Roucka:

    Easy to talk tough when you know (a) no one is going to listen to you and (b) you don't have to pay any of the price for your proposal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Tha Cardinals are too smart to take Soriano & bring their team down defensively. That's why they always win, they invest in young players with an upside, like Holiday or a guy we signed after his prime, Jim Edmunds.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Right, that's why they just tried to get Alexei Ramirez who is 31 and on the downside defensively.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Not 37 and has no D...

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    I wouldn't mind having a Soriano type player on the team. The contract (not his fault) was for a leadoff type hitter, with 40/40 potential. Yes, we all figured it turn out bad eventually, but he never was that type of player (though arguably a very solid player his first two seasons here). I was there in Atlanta the night he hit 3 home runs in a game, and he just made my jaw drop. Too bad he couldn't show up like that more regularly.

  • I never took issue with Soriano over the contract. That was, in my opinion, management's fault. I would have taken every cent were I to have been in his shoes. What I did not like was his posing to gaze at home runs until the ball fell short and he ended up on first. That being said, I surely have read and heard enough to suggest that he is, over all, a hard worker and a decent guy.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    The Trib ownership frankly deserves there share of the blame. They wanted to raise the value of the franchise for sale, so they told Hendry to spend as much as possible to improve the team on the field, not caring about the long term conseuquences. Cubs have suffered forever from poor ownership.

  • ITA , Brenly poisoned the water for a lot of fans on Soriano. He deserves to be handled with respect at this point

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    Brenly reminds me a lot of when Milo Hamilton left the Cubs and ripped them every chance he had.

    Can we please bring back Steve Stone?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Because Steve Stone never held grudges against players?

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    In reply to Ratmoss:

    At least Steve Stone didn't make baseless opinions. Brenly hangs on that World Championship like he was the second coming of John McGraw. He magnifies inefficiencies just because he doesn't like a particular player or wants to come across as knowing more than anybody else.

    I can live with Stone ripping a player who deserves it.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    He won one!

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Bob Brenly had a 9 year career, managed a team to a world championship, and knows all those guys personally. His opinions were not "baseless". He should have kept them to himself more often in my opinion, but whatever. He hated on the Latin guys who didn't always hustle. Simple as that. But "baseless"? Compared to him, Cubs Den posters' opinions are baseless.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    That would include yours then.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    It would indeed which is why I phrased it like that. I did not have a career in the big leagues, did not manage. and do not personally know all the guys I criticize. I would guess most Cubs Den posters don't fit that criterion. All I was saying.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    That's just not how you came off. From a reasonably knowledgeable contributor, your take was pointed, specific and quite frankly, argumentive. StillMissKennyHubbs said it all.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Calling out certain players but not others for lack of hustle is a legitimate observation. The fact that he once played baseball doesn't qualify him anymore than any other close observer to decide who is hustling and who isn't. He ripped Soriano for his lack of work ethic/hustle for years -- and it was quite baseless. He changed his tune last year but many of us already knew the man was about as hard of a worker as there was in this game. Yet he had many thinking Soriano didn't play or work hard enough.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I was just saying that Brenly's opinions across the board were not baseless. Unfair at times sure, but he had plenty of info to base his opinions on whether we agreed with them or not. I wasn't addressing any comments or opinions on any particular player. Wasn't trying to offend any Cubs Den posters either.
    .

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Thom Brennaman and his daddy take every opportunity to rip the Cubs because they dumped Thom in favor of Chip Carey.

  • You have to like the way he has handled himself the last few years here. I certainly like him as player, but let's not get too carried away. On those occasions when he gazed at his hits that ended up not being HR's he made me irate. He was a good player and classy, but so was D Lee and Lee had none of the histrionics that Soriano brought.
    He also really hurt the Cubs in a couple of those mediocre seasons he had- 2009 and 2010

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    Any ideas as to what the return might be for Soriano? Certainly Theo/Jed will not just dump him & pay salary for no return.

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    In reply to cking6178:

    I meant, no quality return.

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    In reply to cking6178:

    He won't bring much regardless. He opens a 40-man roster spot and a starting position for a younger player like Junior Lake.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    agree with opening a 40-man roster spot...but the purpose of ponying up significant $$$ towards the contract is to increase the quality of prospects, correct?

  • In reply to cking6178:

    Get a finance book and read about "Sunk Costs". The Cubs are not "ponying up" any additional dollars if they trade Sori and absorb some of the contract in the deal. The value in a trade like that for the Cubs is they are getting some other team to "pony up" for the costs the Cubs have already sunk in Soriano's contract. If the Cubs are able to trade Soriano and reduce their overall commitment to him by $10M for example, that's a major victory in my view even with no prospect coming back. Next year instead of paying Sori $19M to play left field, you'll be paying Lake/ Jackson/ Olt $500K to play there, and Sori $9M NOT to play there (which is what they want anyway)

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Great comment!

  • In reply to cking6178:

    Here's a suggestion. Read the article. John answers your question of an idea of what the return might be for Soriano.

  • Wish him well. I like Soriano and always have.

  • "We hear the Cubs have handled Soriano with the utmost respect." It seems to me that this is not only respect but an effort to avoid another Dempster event like last year. Therefore, a face-to-face meeting on the road in Arizona.

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    In reply to cubster:

    agreed...that was a nightmare...though the return on Sori won't be near what the reported deal with Atl was last year for Dempster

  • Any fan who could be led by the nose by a color commentator to think about a player a certain way doesn't deserve a seat in the stands. Unfortunately the reflexive boos that rained down on Soriano for sometimes inexplicable reasons meant there were certainly enough of those idiots in the seats. He was given the Todd Hundley-Delino Deshields-LaTroy Hawkins treatment when it has never really been warranted just because derp, dat big contract, derp no hustle like dat Doug Dascenzo guy!

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    In reply to CoolerbytheLake:

    was delino deshields a cub? boy, the mind's amazing ability to block out painful memories....

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Don't forget Mick Kelleher, who a now-departed poster said he'd take over Starlin Castro.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    look, I've been a a cub fan since 1966, I've seen some dogs out there. Bump Wills. Vic Harris. Matt Alexander, the original Tony Campana. Candy Maldonado. Ray (not Mike) Fontenot. Steve Swisher. Wait, I'm getting nauseous...

  • In reply to SKMD:

    You missed Casey Wise, Bob Will, Jerry Kindall, Bobby Morgan, and many of the other "scrappy" but balsa-bat wielding bruins. Loved 'em when they got that occasional hit, though.
    You also missed some good but unsung guys like Tony Taylor, Dick Bertell, Dick Drott, Moe Drabowsky, Don Elston, Lee Walls, and George Altman.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    The first game I attended, the Cub centerfielder was Ellis Burton. Even at age nine, I could see this was not a portent for success.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Ha ! I remember switch-hitting Ellis Burton homering from each side of the plate in the same game. Two of his 12 HRs for the season. Guy could patrol CF, though. Would be a 5th OF these days.

  • Here's what I don't get: Why would Soriano hesitate on this? I know there's the whole issue of moving his family and I don't want to discount that. But he's said before he'd be OK with an East Coast team AND he's made noises this year about not being happy on a losing club. Plus, this is the Yankees, his original team.

    Seems like a no-brainer.

  • In reply to therealelgato:

    He wants to be assured by the Yankees that he won't be a part time DH and bench player. He wants to play. John and others have said that he wants to be assured that he will play the field more often than not as well... if that's the case, I'm not sure the Yanks can guarantee that.

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    I was a little shocked to hear Soriano say he was surprised by all this. I don't know how he could be. Something about the statement reminded me of the Dempster situation, and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I'm just taking it the wrong way.

    I do think Soriano deserves to be treated with the utmost respect, and I think they have been treating him that way, but I'm not buying the surprised bit. Just like Dempster, he and his agent have been in the loop all along. They have to be.

    Smart FO's don't just walk up to a player with a blanket NTC and tell him he's being traded. They have to have some idea of whether or not there is a real chance that player will accept a trade, or else, there is no point in even have discussions. Along that same line of thought, teams considering acquiring a player with a blanket NTC don't just enter into negotiations for such a player. No one, buyer or seller, likes to waste their time.

    Whatever happens, it's really of no great consequence, unlike the Dempster situation. Soriano and his contract are not in high demand. So it's not like the Cubs are going to miss out on getting a great return. Also, it's not like Soriano was out there doing radio interviews saying he'd do one thing, and then doing the exact opposite.

    I do hope, if he rejects the trade, that the fans don't take it out on him. He doesn't deserve to be booed at Wrigley. However, I don't think the Cubs should go into next season with Sorinao on the roster either. He's going to get his money either way. I'd rather see someone who is going to be part of the future than him in 2014.

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    Cubs historians wanna weigh in on this? The Cubs fired Joe McCarthy after the 1930 season and he never had a losing season. He went on to become one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. He was 121 games over .500 for his career when the Cubs fired him. In 1931 he went to the Yankees and won 8 pennant with 7 WS championships between 1932 and 1943.

    I wonder what Chicago Cubs history would look like today had they kept him? Maybe a topic for a slow off-season day?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I doubt the Cubs would've been much better.

    They won pennants in '32, '35 and '38, although they only won a total of two World Series games in those three years.

    The Cubs went into the doldrums before WWII, excepting a fluke pennant in '45, and stayed there due to poor scouting and a poor farm system.

    Let's not forget too that McCarthy failed to win a pennant with a loaded Red Sox team in the late 40s.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    I agree Jim. Poor scouting and poor farm system killed the Cubs. Same as during hendry's tenure and many others before him.

    Dallas Green did make some efforts with the farm system...

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I wonder how much of the poor scouting and farm system was due to a lack of dedicated resources versus professional incompetence. My speculation leans towards blaming the lack of financial resources and hence team ownership.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    "Dallas Green did make some efforts with the farm system..."

    So did McPhail and Hendry. In fact, Hendry success is partially rebuilding the minors was a big factor in his promotion.

    But neither Green or any of those guys ever did the job that I've seen from this front office and ownership.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Just a few years removed from the creation of "Murderer's Row", the Yankees were already an incredible team in '31 when McCarthy took over. Ruth left after '34, and it was just a year later that DiMaggio joined the team. McCarthy was a good manager, no doubt, but he likely wasn't responsible for their run of championships from '32-'43. They Yankees were stacked during the years McCarthy managed them. I mean, stacked.

  • Sori isn't gone yet! He is actually a pretty good left fielder who has stopped the opposition from taking that extra base. He revolutionized the position by using strong accurate throws without a crow hop.(like an infielder). No other left fielders that I know of were blessed with that ability. He did reinvent himself as a hussler and leader under Scrum.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Sveum

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I like Scrum instead, the skipper's new nickname!

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    In reply to Just Win:

    Love it.

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    I could see the cubs asking him back after he retires, in some capacity in their latin scouting and development system. We heard Eloy Jimenez signed with the cubs over a higher offer because of the cubs' connection with Sosa; I'm sure there are a lot of latino kids/scouts/advisors who grew up watching Soriano in his prime, who would feel more favorable to the organization because of him.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Agree!

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree, SKMD. That would be a good way for Soriano to continue to contribute to the Cubs, and to baseball.
    He is a good teammate; a respected player and man; and he represents the game very well.

  • If the trade with the Yankees works out, expect to see less salary covered by NY in exchange for valuable IFA $$$ coming ot the Cubs. AZ Phil recently posted how much the Yankees still possess.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Can you trade for more pool dollars afer you're in the red? I think I read somewhere you can't.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Once you're in the red, you can't trade for more.

  • In reply to Hack Attack:

    that's why some of cubs IFA signings haven't been finalized yet

  • In reply to SFToby:

    That's exactly why Eloy Jimenez isn't signing his contract until Aug. 1st or 2nd

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    In a whole bunch of nothing return, David Adams is by far the most intriguing to me. He could provide some replacement level pop from second next year while we're waiting for Alcantara and -- much further down the road -- Baez and Gioskar to be ready.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Does the Cubs' FO see any future for Watkins at the MLB level?

  • I think he could be mlb and certainly a utility type.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Thank you, Tom.

  • Anyone else annoyed we aren't all in on the Gonzalez? Out of our price range? We just shed garza, fledman and possibly saving some money on soriano. To me if the FO believes he has impact stuff you get him. It only costs you money. If your idea is to be competitive in 15 then he fits the bill. He's only 26. Impact pitchers that are MLB ready aren't growing on trees. Maybe they don't feel his stuff is that of a 1 or 2? Or they like someone else better? We have been so aggressive in the international market in surprises me. Anyone have any insight they could add to this.

  • In reply to Naf023:

    I looked at his profile on BA today and was underwhelmed. Based on that, I hope we give Gonzalez a miss.
    Take a look and see for yourself.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Thanks for the update

  • Yep said it on Twitter yesterday, Brenly pretty transparent and predictable in his usual targets.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    How long did you dislike Brenly for? Sort of surprising all of the negative comments posted today on BB. God bless the guy for stating the obvious and actual being critical when critical was warranted. I can see where he went overboard criticizing Soriano and the "dart comment" - but boy was Soriano awful in the field for that week in particular. Otherwise - I didn't see a guy taking unwarranted shots at people regularly. What examples am I forgetting?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    See John's comment above for specific examples. He retracted a bit on Sori though:
    "I think looking back some of the comments I made were a little glib," Brenly said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "The 'throw a dart in the dugout and you'd hit a better defender than Alfonso Soriano ...' obviously that was quite a few years ago, but after I said that I felt like that was maybe a little too harsh, making fun of a guy's shortcomings in the outfield. I regretted that one a little bit.

    "But other than that, no, I really don't regret anything I said. I got no feedback in a positive or negative way from the players."

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I did not dislike him, good analyst. However he had his targets.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Hey Tom - What were the "predicable" aspect of his targets? I know he commented a few times (far from every time though) when Ramirez and Soriano would not running hard on live balls. Zambrano - when he was breaking bats over his head, or ripping his own teammates while on the field?

    The players John listed in his prior post were all Latino - are you writing John that Brenly has historically targeted Latino players? I just want to understand what you are saying here. Thanks

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    He had his targets based on perceptions. I always felt that once he got a perception about a guy, he stuck with it. It took a while for him to come around on Sori, which was what made his comments so bad as it was a complete 360 from a year ago.

    There were plenty of Latino players he praised, so definitely not targeting them.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Thanks Breaks the Curse - I was writing to Tom since he was the one who wrote that Brenly's targets were predictable. I honestly in 9 years of watching the guy could not predict his targets (other than guys who didn't always run hard) as well as Tom apparently was able - so was curious what that comment meant. An earlier post in the chain seemed to hint that perhaps it was the ethnicity issue - that's why i was curious if that was where Tom was going.

    I still don't recall Brenly targeting any player for criticism repeatedly - unless there was a very clear reason for the criticism that was obvious to anyone watching the games. Just my take but I'm certainly open to being wrong if someone on here could actually provide more specifics.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    The problem I have with Brenly was that the criticism was never balanced and certain players were singled out consistently. Honesty to me is when every player gets the same treatment -- and when all players get good and bad. I thought it was too focused on the negative and in particular on certain players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey John - thank you for responding back and I won't draw this conversation out any further. I will just state my opinion having watched Brenly for 9 years (like the rest of us) - you can write that he was "never balanced" that he "singled our certain players consistently", but you don't back that up at all. You wrote in an earlier post that he turned fans against Zambrano, Soriano, Ramirez, Castro - but give no actual examples of what he did to turn the fans against those players.

    I get it though. I don't like certain people either, and sometimes I just can't explain it or don't want to try and explain. That seems to be your issue with BB based on what you've written today.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    How is he supposed to provide you with concrete examples. Go back and sift through years of Cubs broadcasts and edited together a package for you? I remember these comments. Others do, too.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I remember the comments as well. I like Bob B. It was good to get an analyst who didn't just praise the players constantly but also pointed out the shortcomings. I was very happy every time he got on Aramis for dogging it to 1st base or missing a popup at 3rd. Same with Soriano in left or running out hit balls. Sori and Ramirez were terrible at putting in effort at times. Sori has changed for the better and I am very glad to see it happen. He is getting more respect-----but it is because he now is earning it. Brenly is your typical coach----pushing the players to be better. Did it grate on us after awhile when he rode these guys---sure it did. If the guy in the broadcast booth was able to help change these guys---then the Cubs organization was better for it. Bob Brenly was a face of the Cubs.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    If there's so many examples - you must remember one or two and can put them in writing if you are going to call someone out as unfair and biased in writing.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Charlieboy---now your just being stupid about this. I remember getting married----but I do not remember the words the judge spoke that day. Enough people have spoken up to validate John's claims. Accept them for what they are or begin viewing thousands of hours of tape to see for yourself.

  • In reply to bobb:

    You must be from Missouri?????

  • In reply to bobb:

    Hi Bobb - sorry for being stupid, it's what we Illinoisans do. I was just surprised to hear that Brenly "turned fans against players". I sort of thought it was the players themselves that turned the fans against them - but John and others disagree .

    John finally commented on a post above and said Brenly questioned Soriano's work ethic as one example. Again - I don't remeber BB ever saying that Soriano did not work hard or prepare hard for games, he would just comment when he would not run hard at times or when he looked absolutely clueless in the outfield, which I wish more announcers would do. End of story. Wonderful blog by the way.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    He's never going to say those words directly, but the implication was clear. And he fueled that perception for years when it just wasn't true. I didn't like that but I liked a lot of what Brenly did, I just wish he would have been more even-handed in his criticism. There have been a group of 4-5 players who have been his main targets.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Well, here's a long diatribe against Aramis Ramirez, but I think you're willfully ignoring everything he's said about players over the years. It really makes me feel like you haven't been paying attention.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/6711/brenly-wont-miss-numbers-gatherer-ramirez

    He didn't use the word but even when a player consistently produced like Ramirez, he calls him selfish.

    He didn't mince words about Alfonso Soriano.

    "On the Danny Mac Show, Brenly responded to Soriano's comment by calling him "selfish" and saying that he would have pulled the Cubs left fielder from the game. In fact, Brenly said that he would have done so a long time ago."

    And I assume you still remember the constant nitpicking about Starlin Castro last year. That wasn't that long ago.

    My favorite part is that if he were managing he would have done so a long time ago. Well, there's a reason nobody has come close to hiring Brenly as a manager. He's never going to get that chance -- and if he does, he'll last about as long as Bobby Valentine did.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Here's another one from a Jesse Rogers' column,

    "Soriano was a frequent target of Brenly's, from his baserunning to his defense to his perceived lack of hustle." Rogers words, not ours.

    And even Brenly himself,

    "I think looking back some of the comments I made were a little glib," Brenly said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. He was being kind to himself. They were more than glib. They were biased toward players he chose not to like -- and some of it was wrong.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Even at the time, I hated the jabs at Aramis. That guy was the best Cub third baseman since Santo. Everything you want at the plate from a corner infielder, he provided. (Career OBP 60 points above his BA, career slugging percentage over .500, a guy who didn't go homer crazy and took what the pitcher gave him to get the run in.) Aramis wasn't the problem with those teams -- he was the single best player on them.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It really bothered me too. Not everyone is a grinder -- not everyone has to grind out everything. Talent is what wins you ballgames and Ramirez was about the most talented hitter they had for years.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Charlieboy, this is what you wrote before your latest rebuttal:
    "Hey John, thank you for responding back and I won't draw this conversation out any further."...

    Please.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Fair point Kenny - I did want to actually get some examples and John has been kind enough to share them now. I was surprised to hear the catcalling on Brenly and just wanted someone to explain why.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    It is -- and I didn't keep a log of what Brenly said but he was quite vocal against all those players consistently.

    I'm sure most people remember the way he harped on Soriano, Ramirez, and Castro.

    And he just ripped Matt Garza recently too.

    I bit my tongue about it for a long time but it never sat well with me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's fair John. We can disagree on this stuff. I just wanted some background for the comment you made earlier in the day and you've provided a number of examples now. Is it fair to say BB was more vocal in his criticism's 1) outside the game broadcasts (on the Score or other media channels, and 2) when players were on their way out the door? Or do you think he was unfair to these guys in public throughout his time with the Cubs?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    He was saying this stuff during Cubs broadcasts as the color guy...

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I thought he was overly critical of Soriano more toward the middle of his tenure, Ramirez throughout, and Castro much of last season. He did slam Garza on his way out, saying he was "a waste of talent" but in general he has done it while they were still Cubs.

    At any rate, like I said, that was the one thing I didn't like. I thought he was likeable and intelligent most of the time. I just thought he took out the brunt of his frustrations on a few players.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Charlieboy:

    This article talks about his worst -- which he said he regretted. But as the article points out, "Soriano was a frequent target of [his]."

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/14109/brenly-soriano-remark-only-regret-with-cubs

  • The Cubs wouldn't have won the division in 07 without Soriano, and maybe not in 08. I think fans were booing the contract, not the man.

    That said, a trade now allows him to leave the Cubs with dignity, and have a decent shot at another post season. It allows the Cubs to try out successors in left field. (Junior Lake looks like a young Soriano so far.) It's not like we have any expectations for this season. A win for all concerned.

  • fb_avatar

    I finally got to see Lake in a game (the telecasts in Afghanistan suck). I was surprised to see him wearing "21", I don't think that was his number on the occasions I have seen him in the minors. I wonder if Eloy Jimenez believes the number will be his someday?

  • In reply to Ray A:

    His number was 22 I believe and Garza had that when Lake got called up.

  • In reply to Ray A:

    Why would Jimenez want Jason Marquis' number?
    :)

  • In reply to Ray A:

    In my opinion they should retire Sosa's number. He was never actually caught doing anything & never tested positive for anything. The fact is Sammy & McGwire saved baseball after the lockout. I know they brought me back, I couldn't take my eyes off that race.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I don't disagree with your point about Sosa and McGwire in '98, but Sosa shouldn't have his number retired. Great players don't walk out on their team or get caught "corking". Sosa was the epitome of selfishness and attention seeking behavior. I think the Cubs should retire only the "greats" who spent the vast majority of their career in a Cubs uniform. I don't think even Maddux qualified, he just happened to share the same number as Fergie.

  • I would hope that the Cubs would be able to at least get a high ceiling low-A ball player for Soriano. I'd rather have a powerball ticket than a guaranteed $1 scratch off winner....

  • Theo: "I will align his options, from exercising his no-trade right to the various teams that have interest in him, and we will go from there. He has served a great purpose here, mentoring a lot of our young players. At the same time, there comes a time when you can go into a pennant race toward the end of your career that is appealing. There also comes a time when it can afford other young players an opportunity to play here. There is a natural time of transition that arises."

    He also seemed to imply that someone in NY leaked the info (The Yankees "are not the first team to call, but they are the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away.").

    I would love to see the Cubs put the money to good use. Pearl Jam shows create revenue for the club. So does another team taking on some of a salary. Ricketts has said that all the money is poured back into the team. That for me is the reason to do this. I will miss Fonzi. He is fun to watch. But it's about the future, and even if the Yanks (or someone else) takes on even six million of this, that is enough money to bring in any player on the cubs outside of Sori and Edwin Jackson.

  • #hugwatch MT @tepidp: Neil Ramirez is no longer listed as tonight's starter for Frisco.— Turkleton Luna (@twbbg) July 24, 2013

    Cubs chose Ramirez as PTBNL?

  • In reply to Burnsie25:

    Tepid Participation‏@TepidP22m
    I'm not 100% sure, but I think Ramirez was scratched because of his shoulder.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    That'd make sense, too. Thanks.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Burnsie25:

    If think if it's Ramirez, it's going to be a while until they are 100% on his shoulder. Not a week or two.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like Ramirez but with is continued shoulder troubles I think the Cubs will end up taking the B&C player package.

    How long do you think they have to make a decision? 30 days, end of regular season, etc?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    PTBNL's are named within 6 months.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    ChicagoCubsOnline ‏@TheCCO 1m
    RT @JeffWilson_FWST #Rangers announce that Neil Ramirez has gone on the disabled list at Double A Frisco with a biceps strain.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought I read Cubs had till September 1st to decide who they wanted on the PTBNL... I could be wrong, i'll try to double check...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Nik0522:

    I believe I read that the Cubs cant call anyone up to the major leagues until they select the PTBNL(s).

  • In reply to Teddy Robinson:

    Really? If that's true it makes the timing of their decision interesting.

  • I am hoping if those are the players (or player???), that the Cubs aren't going to be eating most of his salary. Lets face it, there is veteran production there...there is value. As much as Cub fans rant about Sori, he plays hard, is a terrific teammate, and when he get's hot, he's a pretty tough out.

    So if we are taking on a stack of the cash, then at least one impact prospect would be in order. I understand the moving on part, but no need to give the guy away.

  • In reply to SalukiHawk:

    Because the Yanks want to get under the tax in order to reset their penalties next year, I think its likely that the Yanks pay the 7.3 million left on Sori's contract this year, and the Cubs pay the 18 Million for next year. Because Sori's contract averages out to 17 Million per year ($136M/8yrs), that would mean that the Yanks would actually save 1 million next year for Salary Cap purposes.

    In return the Cubs free a roster spot, save the $7.3M, and receive Whitley who is a good, young, major league ready reliever, in my opinion.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    "...and receive Whitley who is a good, young, major league ready reliever, in my opinion."

    I hesitate in calling Whitley good and certainly not good at the major league level.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I'd go with average and unproven, even untested, at the major league level.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I said good, young, and major league READY, there is a difference

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Ready to do what though? His numbers in AAA don't lead one to think that he'll be "good" in the majors.

    Whitley's numbers do not compare favorably to those of Michael Bowden and Blake Parker. The reports on his stuff aren't all that inspiring either (88-91 FB, deceptive delivery, solid control). Bowden and Parker can at least bring slightly above average heat.

    Numbers below are in order of Whitley - Bowden - Parker

    H/9 in AAA this year: 8.5 - 6.8 - 4.1
    K/9 in AAA this year: 8.7 - 13.5 - 13.2
    WHIP in AAA this year: 1.28 - 0.91 - 1.02

    These are guys in AAA doing this to him.

    The Cubs have added Strop and have the money to go out and sign whoever they want to join the bullpen next year. Throw in Parker, Bowden who he doesn't seem better than, Villanueva and Russell who we know he's not better than, figure in that he's 24 and not likely to change who he is, and I don't know what he could bring to the team besides AAA reliever depth and the Cubs have a lot of that coming up the system already.

    The return in a Soriano trade is likely to be inconsequential no matter who he is. I'm just not seeing Whitley being good at the major league level. And if you're not, then what use is it to be major league ready?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Whitley is major league ready. I think he will be a very solid reliever and possibly a closer. 6'3", 215 lbs Fastball low 90's, average slider, but he has plus-plus changeup that scouts rave about. It's like 3 different pitches itself because he can get it to move all over.

    Here is an article about him:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1714070-chase-whitley-everything-you-need-to-know-about-intriguing-prospect

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I don't see it from the numbers or scouting report, but I certainly hope you're right if they get him.

  • fb_avatar

    IMO, I think they are looking for a minor leaguer in return....that way they can slot Lake in LF and not have to make any roster moves.

  • Travis Hafner the Yankees DH is batting .151 in his last 31 games.

    The Yanks need Sori's bat. I think the only way this deal doesn't happen is if Soriano uses his NTC.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    By the way, who else is excited for Garza going up against Pettite and the Yankees tonight? I'm kind of glad that Sori's not there yet cuz I want Garza to throw a complete game shutout tonight. Not only cuz I like Garza and want him to do well, but also to shut up all the Texas fans who have been talking smack about this deal.

  • Its interesting to note that the Cubs can still add $1,315,500 in IFA slot allotments and the Yankees have $1,163,900 available to trade away. I'd love IFA $ coming back as part of deal. The Cubs are clearly pursuing it in trades as they are holding off making the Jimenez signing official until just after the trade deadline. It's doubtful the Yankees would trade all of their remaining slots, but even if they did. they'd still be able to sign someone for up to $735,000 without incurring any penalty.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quedub:

    I also read the Cubs need something like $463K or so in order to sign Jimenez, and escape any signing limit penalties next year (they would pay some tax still, but that's it).

    I bet if Soriano is traded, that figures in somehow.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I hope so, too. Even if it's not from Soriano, the Cubs will definitely be working to acquire IFA slots before the deadline.

  • Tommy Birch ‏@TommyBirch 2m
    Grimm, who had been nursing a sore elbow, said he's fine now. Added he'll be on a pitch count for his #IowaCubs debut Friday. #Cubs #PCL

    I'd read it was a forearm issue...but it's a sore elbow...not exactly comforting.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Neither are good. Forearm issues are often precursors to TJS...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Damaged goods....red flag. Send Grimm back to the Rangers. Supposedly the Cubs had to accept Grimm instead of Odor because Texas was questioning Garza's health right? So if Garza proves he's healthy the rest of the way, then demand Odor instead of Grimm.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    The injury was known to the Cubs before the trade.

  • Schierholtz and Gregg to the Pirates with Cubs paying the remainder of their salaries, in return for Glasnow, their CB selection, and enough IFA slot money to get the Cubs out of arrears?

  • Media needs to stop saying 99% chance Garza is traded. 75% chance Soriano doesn't play tonight. 1. There's a reason baseball players are superstitious and the media keeps jinxing it and b. Only Soriano knows what his chances of playing tonight are. Unless he has already approved it, his chances of playing tonight are somewhere between 0 and 100%. Didn't Dempster teach us anything last year?

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Cubs just optioned David Sappelt to Iowa. Would they do this if Soriano is traded?

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    David DeJesus is coming back. And it's hard to know if we should read much into it. You would expect that the Cubs would want Junior Lake to get his ABs, so it could mean another move is coming.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Dale, please, pretty please don't bench Junior until he cools off.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    "The media keeps jinxing it" ... !?
    Two questions:
    1) Why are you here if you don't want to read about prospective trades and such?
    2) Do you really think what anyone writes or says affects the superstitious nature of ballplayers?

  • DDJ is batting leadoff tonight and Soriano has a day off.... I'm guessing deal is real close

  • Lake, DDJ, and Gillespie left to right?

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    Yep.

    No Soriano in the lineup tonight.

  • Why does Dale insist on moving Lake up and down the line up card. Why not leave him in lead off spot where he has been hitting?

  • In reply to The Show:

    I agree---he has been doing that with Castro also. Let Lake have his possible 5 at bats from leadoff. He makes things happen. This is a learning process, he has felt comfortable leading off and his OBP has been good so far. Different spots in the lineup require different thinking. No need to make the rookie over think at this time. Its time to help him feel comfortable and to be successful.
    Sveum screwed with Castro so much earlier this season that I suspect that is why he went into the extended slump. Sveum seems like a nice guy and is probably very talented. I do not feel he is manager material for any team right now. Maybe he learns and gets better and gets a job sometime in the future where everything works out better. Consistency builds winners.

  • In reply to bobb:

    Yea, I could understand if he wasn't productive in the leadoff but he showed his worth there with those bunt hits alone.

  • Interesting no Schierholtz

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    I think he's more banged up than they're letting on.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cubs.com has Schierholtz batting clean-up.

  • fb_avatar

    Well, I've seen a few articles mentioning the fact that the Cubs may be willing to move Samardzjia. Yes, I am still crazy. Yes, it is a very contrarian opinion. No I am not Cubs Talk. I just think he is a defacto ace with a favorable contract/control for a contending team. I could seriously see Pittsburgh overpaying for him. I could see Arizona and Boston kicking the tires. I don't think it takes 3 internal Top 10 prospects to get Samardzjia.

    I mean I would not turn down a pkg of Gerritt Cole, Tyer Glasnow and a lower level minor league player.

    If the Cubs can turn him into a real top of the rotation pitching prospect or two I think they would have to seriously consider it. Samardzija is 28 with two years of control on a cheap contract which is very appealing to other clubs, while he also has not shown any sign of willingness to take a hometown discount when that contract expires. One could argue that his value is at its peak right now and I for one believe his talent has peaked as well.

    I know I am in the minority here but Soriano and Samardzjia are the remaining impact signings of the last regime (though I know the current FO extended Samardzjia in 2012 - just not sure if that was before or after Epstein).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Theo came in in November, 2011.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    We do not have ANY untouchables for the right price.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I'll concede the point that if the Cubs get overwhelmed with an offer they would trade Smardy but again I don't see it happening and if it does happen you'll get a great big attaboy. Right now it/s beating a dead horse.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    This is pretty much how I feel. The Cubs will listen on anybody but the price on cost-controlled pitchers with a decent track record, low miles, and front line stuff is not cheap. The cost is nearly prohibitive.

    It also appears teams are starting to back off from trading cost-controlled players in general. It guarantees them losing productive seasons to gamble on prospects. We can say Tampa made a great deal on Garza but they've already forfeited a few years of a productive pitcher and 3 years later, all they have is a few good starts by Chris Archer to show for it. Could end up being a win for them down the road, but it hasn't done much for them yet -- and Tampa is a team that could have used current talent since they've been contending.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Eventually, the Cubs will have to start actually KEEPING some of their good young players. I think they feel that way about Samardzija.

    When the team is good in two years, the FO may see JS as the anchor and veteran to lead the staff and still have low miles on his arm. The other option would be to have a bunch of 25 year old pitchers and Edwin Jackson. Not all that appealing.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    EJ has no trade clause...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I don't think he has a NTC. I just searched all over and do not see any mention of a NTC. Do you have a link to verify your claim that "EJ has no trade clause..."???

    Thanks

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    The Cubs have officially signed Edwin Jackson, the team announced. It's a four-year contract worth $52MM, and it does not include a no-trade clause. Jackson is a Legacy Sports Group client.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/01/cubs-to-sign-edwin-jackson.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    I thought I was right....

  • In reply to kansascub:

    I would like to keep Samardjiza. I don't think he's the ace that some people do but I think he is a solid #2. Someone you can go to war with in the playoffs. I don't know first hand but he seems like a great team guy too. Sure you could trade for someone with higher upside but at some point you have to start keeping people and the Cubs aren't that far away from contention.

    We have him under control for 2 more years if I'm not mistaken, I'd offer him a 5 year/62.5 million deal. That would lock him up through the 2018 season and his 33 year old season.

    If he doesn't bite I'd consider trading him. Not now though, in the off-season.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    The irony there is that Samardzija's not a better pitcher than Garza right now. I like Samardzija a lot but the reality is that there aren't that many Aces out there with 3.90 ERA's. He'd be a number three on a good team, which is nothing to sneeze at. I do think he'll take it up another notch or two but its also reasonable that his ceiling could be a solid #3 with an ERA between 3.50 and 4.50 for the rest of his career. He is nasty and you have to love that.

  • Beside the facts that he is controlled for 2 years and eats innings
    what has he done to get a long term contract?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    What do you suggest they do? Let him walk or trade him for someone less proven?

  • In reply to GoCubsGo:

    I forgot...the do nothing approach.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I agree. He's going to need to bring it up two notches if he ever wants to approach 100M. Guys are getting paid nowadays though and its a lot easier to find a 75 million plus contract. Still a long way to go and hopefully he can get that ERA south of 3.75 for the year and maybe into the low threes next year.

  • A deeply flawed player who Hendry gave Pujols type money to help anchor the Cub offense.

    A mistake from day one.

    No one had to tell me what I against from the beginnning. He was never going to part of hte core solution to further the mission of winning, and I am more than ready to turn the page on his being a Chicago Cub.

    When he is gone, then maybe I will wax poetic - but for now, he is a reminder of what we should never have to endure again.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    You're talking about George Mitterwald, right?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Or is it Jeromy Burnitz?

  • fb_avatar

    MLBTR/Paul Sullivan say Soriano just told reporters he will accept a trade to Yanks, now team has to finalize it.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Is Sori's photo still in the press room?

  • fb_avatar

    Cotillo just tweeted that he expects Garza to bring in less than Santana and Peavy. That would annoy me.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Garza is rolling along through 3.

    0R 0ER 3K 0BB

    A shut out should shut up critics.... lol

  • I like Soriano. I would like to see a good prospect coming back in return if the team is paying the bulk of his salary. It would be nice to see him get a chance to win a WS.

    As for Shark, I am torn on him. If he could bring back a package headlined by a Taillon or Bundy type prospect, I say so long. If the Cubs can get Miguel Gonzalez, would he be capable of making up for the loss of Samardijza?

    In the end, we need pitching. Shark is in kind of a limbo. If the positional prospects come along quickly, then Shark is a big asset. If they are two years away, then he is expendable right now.

    The FA market is uninspiring next year. Suk-Min Yoon is listed--what is his story? Then younger guys --30 or under--are Lincecum, Phil Hughes, Volquez, Garza, and Jimenez. Any of these worthy of a pick up? Maybe a veteran like Tim Hudson to mentor young guys and provide a veteran presence.

    The year after you have Brett Anderson, Homer Bailey, Billingsley, Cueto, Gallardo, Kershaw, Masteron and Scherzer who are set to be FA possibly.

    I am enjoying this organization more than any other time. However, I am very interested on how they will build a strong rotation. Shark may be very vital to that.

  • Baez goes yard in back to back games. Gotta love it.

  • fb_avatar

    Garza looking real good tonight. Shutout going thru 5.

    3H 0R 0ER 5K 0BB

    48 Strikes / 21 Balls

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    And 2 of those hits were against the first 2 batters he faced. Probably a bit too pumped up, imo....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Really like it. Want to see him do well.

  • fb_avatar

    Baez has 16 games in double-A.

    13 hits. 6 for homers. who does that?

    Ridiculous.

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