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Trade/IFA Signing Day Wrap: An Update and Thoughts on Cubs Moves Today.

Trade/IFA Signing Day Wrap: An Update and Thoughts on Cubs Moves Today.

The first thing we need to do is take inventory here.

Here's who's in...

  • RHP Jake Arrieta (from Orioles)
  • RHP Pedro Strop (from Orioles)
  • RHP Matt Guerrier (from Dodgers)
  • $963K in international pool money -- which means top IFA prospect OF Eloy Jimenez
  • SS Gleyber Torres (IFA)
  • RHP Jefferson Mejia (IFA)
  • RHP Erling Moreno (IFA)
  • C Johan Matos (IFA)
  • OF Dave Sappelt (from Iowa)
  • LHP Chris Rusin (from Iowa)

Who's out...

  • RHP Scott Feldman
  • C Steve Clevenger
  • RHP Carlos Marmol
  • 2B Prospect Ronald Torreyes
  • OF Ryan Sweeney (60 Day DL)

Analysis

The Major League Players

The Cubs traded 2 1/2 months of Scott Feldman, who is essentially a back end starter playing above his peripherals right now for two power RHPs, SP Jake Arrieta and RP Pedro Strop.

Jake Arrieta is the real prize here as he was once considered one of the game's best SP prospects.  He once threw 92-94 mph but he has stepped that up and now sits in the mid 90s and is capable of reaching the upper 90s.  He also throws a hard curve, a change, and a slider that has 90 mph velo.  He's a power pitcher with an elite arm but poor command.

It's not exactly easy to pick up 27 year old pitchers with front line results so the Cubs did the next best thing -- pick up a guy with that has front line stuff and hope that they can translate that ability to performance.  The key for Arrieta is to command his great stuff and he doesn't need to be ultra-fine with his command.  For him it's more about throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count so that he can use his superior stuff to put hitters away with more regularity.

Pedro Strop has closer type stuff but Marmol like control, but he's cheaper, younger, and perhaps more fixable at this point.  Strop is just one year removed from a 5-2 year with 3 saves and a 2.44 ERA (but 3.59 FIP) and an even better 2010 in which he posted a 2.05 ERA (2.56 FIP) when he held his walks to just over 4 per 9 IP.  His stuff is good enough that he doesn't need to be a strike-throwing machine to succeed -- but there is a fine line, he does need at least adequate control.

Matt Guerrier is going to be 35 years old and isn't really a part of the Cubs long term future.  He essentially saves the Cubs some money and replaces him in the bullpen.  He'll throw more strikes (3.6 Ws/9 IP) but he's not exactly a control artist either.  The hope is he'll give the Cubs the type of steady presence that Shawn Camp gave them last year.

The acquisition of Arrieta and Strop indicates that the Cubs are looking to get help for as soon as next season -- well, this season, really, but nobody expects the Cubs to win.  Arrieta will slide into Feldman's spot and Strop will replace Marmol's role as the guy with scary stuff and scary control.  The Cubs get a good 2 1/2 month look at both pitchers and should get an idea of how they'll fit in next year.

Dave Sappelt gives the Cubs an OF'er who can play all 3 positions and a RH bat to complement LH hitting Bryan Bogusevic in CF.  Sappelt had little success early in the season and did not tear it up in Iowa, though he did hit the ball better toward the end of his stay there.  He's just a 5th OF'er and shouldn't have a huge impact one way or another.   The Cubs likely wanted to keep other roster options like Brett Jackson, Junior Lake, Matt Szczur, and Logan Watkins down in the minors for more seasoning.  No sense taking ABs away from them to be the 25th man on the bench this year.

LHP Chris Rusin will get the start tonight but as of now it's unclear as to whether it's just an emergency start or this will be a full time gig. With both Arrieta and Carlos Villanueva in the mix, it's likely that it's just a one time deal for now.  The Cubs cannot stretch Villanueva out in time.  I expect Jake Arrieta to get a shot at the rotation once everything settles but he is reportedly headed to AAA for now.

Losing Scott Feldman is the big blow as far as how well the Cubs do down the stretch -- but it's obvious the Cubs aren't going to win this season and while they won't try to lose, Epstein has said that there is no glory in eeking out 5-6 more wins at the end of the year to finish with 77 wins instead of 72.  For the Cubs long term plans, it's best they finish with 72, not that I'm going to sit in front of the TV and root for them to lose -- but when the smoke clears and the season ends, and you ask me whether the Cubs have a 77 win non-playoff team or  a 72 win non-playoff team, I'll take the latter.  The record doesn't really matter except that the Cubs will put themselves in better position to get more talent via the MLB Draft and IFA pool in 2014.  A few extra wins this year doesn't help them in 2014.

The Cubs also lost a young, cost-controlled catcher in Steve Clevenger which isn't ideal, but with Welington Castillo all but anointed as the catcher of the future, Clevenger was likely going to be a role player in Chicago.  The loss of Ronald Torreyes hurts the system a little, but the Cubs have all kinds of depth as far as middle infield prospects and Torreyes projected as more of a utility type with one standout tool -- his uncanny ability to put the bat on the ball.

The Cubs also cleared a 40 man roster spot by placing OF Ryan Sweeney on the 60 day DL, which likely shelves him for the rest of the season, or at least until the last couple of weeks.  He probably did enough between Iowa and Chicago to earn a spot on the roster next year, if not the starting lineup.

The International League Free Agents and Pool Money

This is long term but the Cubs picked up one of the top 3 talents, if not the top talent in the draft, SS Gleyber Torres.  Torres is an instinctual player with advanced skills on offense and defense, though he may lack the athletic ability to stay at SS.  The Cubs are betting that he can.  If he does, he has the bat to hit for average and some power.  Scouts compare him to Freddy Sanchez.

The 2nd official signing is pitcher RHP Jefferson Mejia, who has great size at 6'7", 225 lbs and the velocity to go with it.  The 18 year old currently throws a 90-93 mph fastball with obvious room for growth in that area.  He also has an advanced change-up.  In what seems to be a pattern with the Cubs, they've been acquiring younger pitchers with good fastballs and changes, figuring they can teach the breaking ball later with the fringe benefit that it may save early wear and tear on the arm.  Recent draft picks Kevin Gausman (Orioles) and Michael Wacha (RHP), have shown that you can learn that breaking ball in the minors and move quickly.  Because of a paperwork snafu, Mejia is able to sign a 2013 contract, meaning he can start pitching this season.

The Cubs also signed Colombian RHP Erling Moreno for $800,000.  Moreno, 16,  is currently at 87-90 mph.  He has a big frame and projects to be a power pitcher as he fills out and gains strength.  He pitches with good downward plane and has the makings of a good breaking ball and change with most scouts preferring the change right now.

The Cubs also signed C Johan Matos out of the Dominican Republic.

The Cubs haven't officially signed him yet but if Torres isn't the top talent, than it's very likely that OF Eloy Jimenez is.  He's a toolsy player with a fluid swing that lacks some lift right now, but it has good plane and stays in the strike zone a long time, indicating he should hit for a decent average.  The Cubs will likely tinker with that a bit as Jimenez has the potential size and strength to be a power hitting RF'er in the mold of Vladimir Guerrero. Detractors don't like that he doesn't show up much in games yet, but at 16 he's got plenty of time to improve as far as game performance.  He probably won't move as quickly as Torres.  The Cubs have almost $2.5M left to sign Jimenez but there could be more moves to come.  The Rangers loom as a threat, however, as a team that could just sign him and punt next year's class.

None of these players will be top 10 prospects and probably not even top 30 prospects at this point, but they certainly add to the waves of talent the Cubs front office is trying to build.  These guys are a few waves away but the hope is that they keep the talent flowing to Chicago.

Conclusion

The Cubs improved their chances for 2014 with the addition of Arrieta and cleared more room with the subtraction of Marmol.  Overall the Cubs got younger and added a great deal to their overall talent level at the sacrifice of some immediate production.  It's a trade they had to make -- and will continue to make -- given where the team stands right now.

This is the beginning of a process that will likely lead the Cubs to another limping finish down the stretch yet have them well-prepared for next season. There are still deals to come.  Matt Garza should be traded soon as well, perhaps after another couple of starts.  I expect the Cubs to obtain prospect talent in that deal rather than another MLB ready deal, so we'll have plenty more to write about when that time comes.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    I was actually going to say, if you look at all the trades it essentially gave them the money to sign Mejia, so if they where the favorites to end up with Torres, Jimenez, and Moreno heading into today, they probably still are. That was before the Moreno signing. Seems like $2 million to Jimenez and call it a day. Really like the haul.

  • An oversized active roster, and a report that the padres are interested in both arrieta and garza makes me believe this is not over for the day. As i said to mike moody, arrieta seems like too big of a flyer to take on at this point in the rebuilding process. He would have more of a negative effect than volstad if he doesnt turn out. It would make sense that the cubs would try and flip him to a team that is an ideal trade partner.

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    Heyman tweet: #padres tried for arrieta but it sounds like #cubs want to hold onto him. he has a great arm & potential. cant blame em.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I just saw that. Lots of teams were actually interested in Arrieta. Cubs lucky to get him but that was a great deal for the Orioles considering where they are at right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cursed by great "potential". Arrieta is ac tually pretty good on days he actually throws strikes. from what Ive seen of him, he does look like he overthrows at times and muscles up too much, causing him to have problems following thru. Might not be a bad kid for Derek Johnson to work on.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, they get the starter they need for a run this year without giving up any of the big names in their rather top-heavy system. I could be incorrect here, but I don't think the Orioles have a big presence in Latin America, so that money isn't as important to them as it is to other teams. Really like the deal from their perspective.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    truth, or posturing to milk the Pads??

  • the other thing they did in the Feldman deal is take a pitcher who was available that has team control had interest from other teams and make them come to the cubs if they want him. So they still have 3 pitching trade chips and got back a live bullpen arm that is under team control

  • Kiley McDaniel ‏@kileymcd 6m
    Others July 2nd news: Cleveland signs Junior Soto/OF/DR, Atlanta signs Jason Laguna/RHP/Nicaragua, Cubs sign Johan Matos/C/DR.

    Don't know this one...not in BA's Top 30 or "Other Prospects to Watch" lists...

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    It should be noted too that the net effect of the moves was that some payroll was freed up this year; Cubs saved about $1 mil in payroll in the Marmol deal, and around $2.7-ish in the Feldman deal. Not huge amounts, but that's $3.7 mil in real money. Cubs figure to save more in trading Garza.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Use that money to sign someone to the Pen or another feldman type next year.

  • What's not clear to me is how 16 year olds from Escuela de Beisbol de Sammy Sosa are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of bonus money.

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    In reply to jack:

    Most of them aren't but sometimes you hit the jackpot, and it's much cheaper than the MLB draft.

  • Awesome stuff, John! What a day!

  • In reply to fsufrenzy911:

    Thanks. Incredible day -- and there's more to come over the next month!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Wow John, you are earning your accolades now John....wow! All and all a good day for the Cubs. Imagine the craziness the closer this gets to the deadline!

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    The Marmol trade is a little puzzling to me though. We are paying roughly $2 mil of his remaining $5 mil, and all of the $2.3 mil left on Guerrier's deal, plus gave them over $200k in IFA money. So we saved around $700k in real money, got a journeyman DFA'd RP, and lost IFA money we so desperately want. They would have been better off just paying Marmol's entire contract and release him.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    My thoughts exactly, maybe something here I don't understand about that move.

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    It's looking like August and September will be huge audition opportunities. Tells me that phase two is on it's way...

    Never know, we might be better the last two months of the season than the first two months. Our pen could be better and if we could ever figure out a way to manufacture runs, the offense could be better too.

    I for one, I'm happy to get guys that are ready to play now. We've had some decent success with projects.

  • John, you said scouts compare Torres to Freddie Sanchez, a singles hitter who was at best a mediocre 2nd baseman , at least during his tenure with Pittsburgh. Id like to see better than Freddie Sanchez for the $ we are spending on this kid.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I know what you mean, he's not the most glamorous sounding player, but keep in mind that When scouts say those kinds of things, they're always talking about tools/skills and not results. But it's not like the results were bad either. Don't forget that when Sanchez was young and healthy, he averaged 3.4 WAR over 3 seasons (2005-2007) -- that is a well above average MLB starter. One of those years was a 4.5 WAR year, so we're talking about an occasional all-star.

    Add that you get this kind of production at SS and there is potential for even more value.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Freddy Sanchez won a batting title before injuries derailed his career. If Torres could be a singles hitting SS (instead of 2B) capable of winning a batting title, I will take that. As John stated, Sanchez had a few good WAR years as a 2B. They would have been even better had he managed to stay at SS and stay healthy. Sanchez was a one of the top prospects in the game early in his minor league career when people thought he might stick at SS.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Probably the better comparison is to Ozzie Guillen (Venezuelan shortstop) at least in the vocabulary department [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted].

  • Question. GIven the young ages of these INTL players, how does their education work? I am not at all familiar with INTL school systems. Are they out of HS at 16?

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    Great question. The answer is no, they aren't able to get a HS degree but one of the new things that has the Cubs at the top when it comes to international game is that they have an academy that instructs them on much more than just baseball -- and one of them is completing their HS educatioin.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Was this a joke? and one of them is completing their HS educatioin.

  • In reply to irish0625:

    Not at all. The Cubs have a GED program at their Dominican academy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You spelled education wrong haha..

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That is really cool. As much as the thought of getting a lot of money, I hate to see them not get a full education. Sounds like the Cubs are on top of that. All teams do this or just a few? I would think that is a great selling point to the young men and their families.

  • In reply to Wild Bill:

    But than again I am not sure if some countries put as much importance on education as USA.

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    And my crystal ball works again. I'd mentioned Arrieta a while back as the kind of pitcher this FO would acquire and try to fix. I know people wanted more for Feldman but when you think about it this deal is a coup for us. Here's why.

    1. Arrieta is 3yrs younger than Feldman with 3 extra years of cost control. That alone puts the deal in the Cubs favor what with Scott only pitching on a one-year deal.

    2. Arrieta has much, much better stuff and has TOR potential and is 27. People say that's too old for a project but lets not forget about another pitcher who struggled with command but had frontline stuff and put it all together at age 27.....yep that's right....our own Jeff Samardzija.

    So basically, you got a 27 year old starter with frontline stuff and under control for 3 more seasons for little over a half-season of a 30yr old #4-5 starter having a career year that you gave up nothing but cash?

    Are you kidding me???? Then add a hard-throwing late-inning reliever on top?

    Coup................I could see people being angry if this is what Garza brought back, but we're talking about Scott Feldman here. Come on. This was an amazing deal.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Okay, Marcel, you've convinced me. Wouldn't go so far as to call it amazing, but the reward is FAR greater than the risk.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I did think of Jeff Samardzija as a similar project, but I feel like Jeff's turnaround was also because he didn't have a ton of baseball experience.

  • Nice write-up, John.

    Two questions:

    1. Do you LIKE the Feldman trade? I'd guess yes based on what you've written, but this was one of the harder reads for me. The biggest question is whether you think they could have gotten more. Obviously we could have gotten those players for Garza instead, but we'd be disappointed there. So relatively speaking, how was the trade?

    2. Why do you expect to see prospects rather than MLB-ready players for Garza? I wouldn't doubt that they'd be young, but all things considered I'd prefer people closer to the majors.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I like it -- don't love it, but I know why they did what they did and I think its a worthwhile gamble. I'd rather have Arrieta than a Class A arm and you aren't going to get an upper level guy with that kind of stuff if he's successful, so you take the best talent you can and see what you can get out of it.

    I think they'll be prospects for Garza, but they could indeed be upper level guys -- maybe even a guy with some MLB experience (i.e, Kyle Drabek), but I don't think it'll be a deal like the one they made with the O's.

  • 2 additional comments:

    1) The Cubs can go up to 5% over their pool and only have to pay a tax. So, their pool $$$ is $5,520,300. A 5% overage to that is $5,796,315. The Cubs signed Torres for $1.7M and Mejia and Moreno for $800K each. That leaves them with about $2,496,000 to sign Jimenez.

    2. The Rangers could be a problem. They blew through their international money and are taking the Rays strategy last year, completely disregarding their pool. If they want to, they can outspend the Cubs for Jimenez now. That being said, I find it hard to believe they make the Torreyes trade before knowing that Jimenez would sign.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I thought about this, and it seems like there has to be another limit there somewhere, because, if not, the Dodgers could simply outspend the other teams and get all 30 of the top 30 prospects. Then next year they're limited to $250k per contract -- no big deal since they have everyone from this year -- and in 2015 buy the top 30 again.

    Not saying that this will necessarily stop the Rangers -- they aren't coming close to going that hog wild -- but that something has to be in place to keep the biggest spenders at bay.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Great points and yeah, the Rangers seem to be taking that strategy, which makes things a little dicey.

    Definitely a big hole in the system.

  • After seeing what our organization has done with Samardzija and Travis Wood over the past couple years, it's no surprise to me that we decided to take on another "project" pitcher close to or in the majors just before their prime years. This is one area that the new FO has definitely gained my trust in.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Good point.

  • Be interesting to see if Cubs start cleaning out their jumble mess on the 40 man

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    Wonder if the moves are Rusin gets sent back to Iowa after tonights start and Camp gets DFA ?

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    that would be 25 man roster

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    40 man roster we are fine.

    Out: Feldman, Clevenger, and Sweeney to 60 DL

    IN: Arrieta, Strop, and Guerrier

    Marmol was already removed from it.

  • John (or anyone else) , out of the IFA signings if they were in this past year's MLB draft, about where in the draft would you think that they would have been taken? It woudl be a nice gauge for me to see what type of prospects these are. Thanks

  • fb_avatar

    One of the nice things about the Torreyes deal is that it lets us get a handle on the value of IFA money and, as a corollary, the prospects themselves. Turns out, it really isn't that high.

    Torreyes was worth about $800,000 in IFA money, which is (conveniently) what Moreno got. That means one of the 20 top international free agents this year was worth a AA second baseman with one plus tool, who had been pushed fairly hard and hasn't reacted all that great to the pushing.

    So, in that sense, the $200k we sent to the Dodgers was virtually nothing (1/4 of a Torreyes). Still, would rather have the money than not have it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "So, in that sense, the $200k we sent to the Dodgers was virtually nothing (1/4 of a Torreyes)."

    In theory only, Mike. In reality, the ability to spend $200,000 more on a top international free agent might be the difference between getting him or losing him to someone else.

    The value in obtaining IFA spending limit amounts is that while it may come in chunks valued like draft slots, you can spend it in one lump sum if need be...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I still like don't like giving up an up the middle player who is only 20 years and is holding his own in AA for a much risker player in the draft.

    Torreyes had a .267 babip and was due for a hot streak. He also walked more than he struck out.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    I generally agree as I also liked Torreyes. However, getting about $800,000 in pool money for him was unbelivable and the reality is we have about 3 -4 better or equal 2B prospects than him. I can't understand why Houston would give up the money to get him when they already Altuve.

  • In reply to cubman:

    I found that curious as well, but Torreyes fits the Goldstein profile: young for his level, decent amount of walks, low Ks...seems like a fit for them and he may give them the flexibility to deal Altuve down the road.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    It's worth it to me if they get Jimenez, who is a big time impact player. Torreyes is a nice player, but maybe an average starter at best and probably a reserve.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point Mike - certainly helps temper some of the excitement for today's signings.

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    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I'm lov'n it.

    How can you not love it? They added long term assets. All of which have a ton of upside, and two of which are Major League ready. The only thing I didn't understand is why it was necessary to give the Dodgers some of our IFA pool money.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think the Dodgers trade was Ricketts trying to recoup some of the $ he has been spending on the IFA pool signings by not having to eat all of Marmol's contract.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    16 year olds are very long term assets
    maybe they play in 2020 ?

    not sure if I hold my season tix that long

  • All the moves today looked good exept the mrmol deal which looks like the Ricketts wanted to save a little $ there and gave up some IFA pool money in the process. Would have just preferred releasing Marmol myself but all the other moves look great.

  • ok....so what does this all mean to a 63 yr old cub fan who doesn't wanna go the way of some of those poor old geezer cubfans who croak before the cubs ever got into a world series (let alone WIN one!!!!).
    new players, new owner, new mgt, new bla-bla-bla.....can't you guys just do what you're paid to do.....play ball at a major league level?
    i don't care if you win or not....but if i'm gonna pay to go to wrigley field, pay the exorbitant prices for everything....can't you guys just play ball like you mean it? show some friggen heart!!!!
    otherwise...i'll go to any 16" game & watch guys play like their life depended on it.

  • In reply to aktionman:

    Rome was not built in a day. Only players off major league player Id be concerned about losing are Castro, Shark, & Rizzo (& to a lesser extent Russell). I do wish they would have went the extra step for the big $ international free agents in Cespedes, Puig, & Darvish, but other than that I have no problems with how they are going about things. It dies take a bit of patience and degree of trust those as there are no ghuarantees this is not Felix Pie, brooks Kieschnick chapter Two but so far the porospec tpool is looking pretty good.

  • I don't know if this question has been asked yet... But are Guerrier and Strop going to join the Cubs bullpen? Then how do they open spots for them? I'm guessing Camp gets DFA'd, but they will need 1 more spot... Maybe Gregg gets traded soon?

  • In reply to Caps:

    Please DFA Camp, I hope we have seen the last of him.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Agreed... I think we're witnessing the end of the road for Camp, whether he gets another opportunity or not, I think that's it for him as an MLB pitcher.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Yes, they will -- not sure the logistics yet. Cubs still probably figuring that out themselves.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, will keep an eye on the updates.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Here is what I dont get about the Feldman trade

    You have a solid starter - whos having success here
    why not ink a 3 yr - 25 Million dollar deal
    win - win for every one.

    Same situation last year with Maholm
    Offer him $25 - for 3 yrs make him turn it down.

    You guys can sit here all day long and tell me Arrieta (might) blossom into some thing and same thing with Vizcaino who hasnt thrown a pitch yet - but I think you could have had 2 solid starters cost controlled for 3 years - vs guys that may or may not pan out.

    For all we know Arrieta IS - Ian stewart - once highly regarded - now done.

    I just hate thinking like a small market club.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    I have no problems losing Feldman as a starter. I could see the argument for keeping maholm though. I really liked him.

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    In reply to deport soriano com:

    Scott Feldman is on the wrong side of 30 and is at best a back of the rotation type of Pitcher. This is the type of player you want to keep?

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    hes 30
    and yes he is the type of player I want to keep
    i would do a 3 yr deal in a heart beat
    he would be 33-34 at the ens of it.

    hes out pitched most of the other cubs pitchers

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    1) Its not thinking like a small market team, its thinking like a rebuilding team.
    2) You are assuming both of those guys would accept those deals. Though I do believe both players would have accepted those particular offers.
    3) You are essentially locking in a #4 and #5 starter for the next 3 years at 8.333 million a year each. Very risky with very little upside. Both are more likely to revert to the form they showed prior to coming to the Cubs than they would be of improving.
    4) Pitchers get hurt. Pitchers stuff declines. Very rarely do pitchers maintain their abilities for long periods of time. The ones that maintain effectiveness over long periods of time are ones that had plus stuff to begin with, so that once their arms start to deteriorate they still have a margin for error because a 90% capacity Felix Hernandez is still better than a 100% Paul Maholm. Giving good money on multiyear contracts to marginal pitchers like these are almost always bad contracts before they end.
    4) The next three years of Arrieta, while admittedly the chances he is as effective as Feldman was this year are less, he won't hurt the team if he gets hurt or doesn't pan out. And then they can use that 8 million to find a replacement, or fill a different hole if Arrieta does make it.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    why do think those guys are a # 4 or # 5 ?
    Maholm has pitched like a 1 or 2
    and Feldman has at times as well.

    edwin Jackson is the # 5 at $13 million per year

    pitchers do get hurt or decline - but a 3 yr deal to a 30 year old
    is about as solid as you can get

    you basically proved my point with your # 4 comment - why trade for a guy whos not going to produce - keep the guy who is producing.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    Maholm and Feldman have not pitched like a 1 or 2 for more than a few starts at a time. Feldman was terrible the past couple of years for the Rangers. And has never performed better than he has right now than at any point in his career. The chances of him maintaining his pace for even the rest of this season are not great, let alone over the next 3 seasons.

    I never said Edwin Jackson was a good investment.

    Because the guy who is producing, while more likely to continue producing, has a lower ceiling. And is also replaceable. The team replaced Maholm with Feldman. They will try to find a similar guy next year. So potentially the Cubs could have Vizcaino/Arrieta/Strop and another 4-6 million dollar veteran for the same price. Even if only one of those big arms turns out to be what they project, then you have still have come out ahead.

  • In reply to deport soriano com:

    How do you know that the Cubs didn't make such an offer, and only trade them after they turned it down?

  • In reply to Caps:

    Id guess Vill goes to rotation as the other open spot. Thou Gregg or Garza could be moved soon as well

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    There is one more upside to today that no one seems to have mentioned. The players that we've all talked about packaging with Garza in order to maximize his, both in the quality and quantity of prospects, are still in the fold. The front office didn't have to send those trade chips out with Feldman to get what they got.

  • When you have a smart organization with a clear objective, executing ruthlessly, well it's a blast to watch it happen. It will be interesting to see if flipping modest free agent acquisitions (like Feldman) for quality prospects will be a viable strategy. In any case, this is a numbers game and they are doing their best to put together as much young talent as possible. Today was a great day. Let's just hope Garza stays healthy thru July.

  • At the major League level are there any impact free agents that are worht the Cubs pursuing next year. be nice if they couldand a bat.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Not really -- not at a good price. We'll probably write an article and unearth some sleepers at end of the season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. Not at a good price.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    The talk is mostly of Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Elsbury. The Cubs have been mentioned to be interested in either one.

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    What's the latest on Kris Bryant? Do we see him in AZ this week? Sure hope so

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    There was a story the other day (can't find it now) that he's going to the deadline. So another week and a half.

  • Big thumbs up that the Cubs kick started the trading early (Nolasco went 1st ? No) with one of their several useful pitching assets. Removes Feldman and Garza being shopped against each other and even more importantly ignites a trade war in the American League East. Hopefully this drives an itch on the sox, jays, rays, and yanks to maybe over pay for Garza or Gregg.

  • John, excellent work covering everything on what was definitely a crazy busy day!.... I'm just now getting to tune in to and process all of this after a wicke day of meetings for work.

    I kind of like the Feldman deal. Guys like Arrieta are boom/bust but even if we bust, it costs us maybe 2-3 wins this year? Who cares about that? The upside could be huge! Where we going to find a TOR potential SP at the MLB level? Bosio definitely has some new toys to play with.

    Looks like we cleaned up in the IFA signings (assuming we get Jiminez).

    Kind of surprised to see Clev go as I figured he'd slot in to our b/u after we traded dioner.

  • Heres a link to Baseball America's list of Top 10 Intl Prospects in case anyone wants to read it.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/ten-international-prospects-to-watch-for-july-2/

  • Looking over the list, and reading the Trib's webpage, I see the White Sox signed one of the Top 10 prospects also, 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Micker Zapata to a $1.6 million bonus

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I saw that. Nice signing for them. System works for them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "System works for them."

    I wonder why...

  • Moreno sure looks like a power arm waiting to blossom. He's got that intimidating frame and looks to already have good mound presence. Hopefully in 5 years he'll still be as intriguing.

  • Thoughts on trades:

    I LOVE the trade with Houston of Ronald Torreyes for $800K in IFA Money, which became Erling Moreno. Honestly out off all the IFA's, Moreno is the one that excites me the most. This kid is a horse. In 2 years I think he will be a Top 5 prospect in Cub's organization.

    I LIKE the trade with the O's. I personally would have preferred a prospect like Eduardo Rodriguez for Feldman, but that might have been asking too much for a 2 month rental of a 4/5 Starter who is having a good season.

    I HATE the trade of Marmol & 200K IFA Money for Gurrier. I agree with most everyone else that the Cubs should have released Marmol instead of penny pinching a Million dollars. If we miss out on Jimenez, I will be PISSED.

    As far as Clevenger, it seems he pulled a Ian Stewart and talked smack to the front office. Although privately handled, it seems the FO will not stand for players bad mouthing the Organization. That's fine with me. You can't have the inmates running the Asylum.

  • Wasn't Jiminez supposed to have a press announcement this evening?

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    That's the rumor.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "That's the rumor."

    -Said like Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Exactly what I was thinking...

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, tell him to get his ass in gear.

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    In reply to Eldrad:

    Can't help but feel a delay is not particularly good news.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed.

  • I read this morning that he was planning to sign "later this week."

  • In reply to cubsin:

    That was speculation put forward by Brett over at BleacherNation. That's not to say I disagree with it.

    So long as Eloy signs with the Cubs, all this wheeling and dealing was worth it. If he signs with the Dodgers, or anyone else really, I will be very disappointed, maybe needlessly, but nonetheless disappointed.

  • Good day for baseball fans! Milton Bradley has just been sentenced to 3 years in prison for abusing his wife.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Make that over 2 1/2 years...

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Larry Sorenson.....Mel Hall.....Mark Grace.....and now Milton Bradley.

  • Just read comments from other sites on these Cubs moves today.....many O's fans were glad they got rid of their pitchers......but from what most said, the Cubs gained major signing money......

    Feldman was good for us, but in the long run, these new guys might be better for the club.........Clevenger had no future with us..........if we got something for Marmol, there will be a way someone will pay us something for Camp......

    the age of most of these international signings is a sign that this Cubs "Committed" program will be here for awhile.....if these players make it to the majors by 22 yrs old, we are talking 6 years away.....but more like 8 years.......I doubt we are seeing Puig or D. Gooden players in this group.......but anything can happen......and if these guys hit stride together, this Cubs team can be a Dynasty for many years.........similar to the Blackhawks with their young star players.....

    And the good news is that the Cubs will have a top 5 draft choice next year...with more money to spend on international players.......

    and then there the other trades the Cubs will make.....Garza.....and more likely Samardzija next year.........

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    If they trade Samardzija, I doubt they'd wait until next year if it was up to them. Doubt they would though.

  • Well, I am cautiously optimistic. This FO has put in steps to teach "The Cubs Way." They went out and got Derek Johnson, who has a good track record with pitchers. There is great scouting throughout the organization.

    Today, we got two young power arms. One could be a potential starter if he harnesses his control. Either way, the two guys from Baltimore could help us produce a bullpen organically, as Theo puts it. Maybe Johnson helps these guys.

    The 16 year old kids should benefit from the structured teaching of the organization and Johnson. We have to build through the draft and international ranks under this CBA as there is not much hope on the FA front the next few years.

    My hope is we get Jimenez to make me excited. Otherwise, I am enjoying the consistent approach of the FO to stick with a set plan.

  • Bailey throws a nono against the Giants. What a FB that dude ha.

  • I read somewhere that Eloy, for some reason, was not eligible to sign until the first week of August. Does anyone know if there is any truth to that?

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Getting the "truth" from anyone here would be a long shot......

    The "truth" is that this 16 yr old kid that will be a millionaire........he is not ranked in the Top 20 with the Cubs when he signs......and it might take 8 years before he roams the grounds in the majors......

    Never get too over hype on these kids....because they are just kids.....we heard about past kids who were drafted and signed by the Cubs, who were never heard from again.......

    And if that isn't the God's Honest Truth.

  • Sigh. I'm already ready for the Chris Rusin era to end.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    An 88 mph FB over the middle of the plate is gonna end up in the seats more often than not.

  • In reply to JB55:

    2 of 'em. Of course, one start does not a career make, but for a guy that relies on deception and location, looks like he doesn't have much of either tonight (so far... trying to stay optimistic).

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Yeah, that was a rough patch. Looked better after tho.

  • Where are all those Rusin fans now ???????

    2nd Half is going to get real ugly.

    We will be chanting "We're Number One" in next years draft!

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    A finesse pitcher is getting hit hard in his season debut after flying cross country on a crazy day? Stop the presses.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Oh....poor baby....life must be tough for this boys .....part of major league life........Excuses are not acceptable any longer!

    There are plenty of players down on the Farm ready to take over when Rusin fails.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    He is also pitching on 3 days rest. This was expected.

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    I just realized Dionner Navarro has Matt Stair's swing and physique. :)

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I realize earlier this year that Camp throws like a little girl !

  • I cannot believe not one A.L. club (Yankees, Indians, Rays, Rangers, Orioles) would not want Soriano at this point........he is the best N.L. DH hitter in the league.

  • Hey John,

    Thanks for all the hard work today. Your reporting and analysis really made today's events clear and timely.

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    In reply to SFToby:

    Best source of information!

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Yeah, I can honestly say I don't even really bother anymore with much Cubs analysis on the more "regular" sites like the Tribune and ESPNChicago. I'll still read them, at least somewhat, but this is really my one-stop shop for all things Cubs.

  • Whoa, here's a tweet from MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez:
    "Source: OF prospect Eloy Jimenez & fam decide on #Cubs but another team was in mix & offered more $$. Expect announcement in next few days."

    I'd bet you a dollar that team was the Rangers.

  • When I watched the video of Meijas it took me back to 1984. Reminded me of a young Dwight Gooden. Long, lean and straight over the top with good downward movement. Not saying that he will be that good. Doc was a unbelieveable when he came up.

  • Cubs to sign the #1 prospect of Jimnez. Turned down a higher offer.

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