Are we in for a trade-happy offseason?

Are we in for a trade-happy offseason?

A common theme running through the industry seems to be that teams are looking to trade rather than pay big money for free agents.  Ken Rosenthal added the White Sox to that mix today.  That is not to imply that the Cubs would trade with the White Sox.  I haven't heard anything of that nature, but it goes along with the kind of overall industry trade-focused mentality I'm talking about.

One source said he believes this could be the most trade happy winter meetings in years.  With young talent and inexpensive productive players  like Nate Schierholtz on the roster, I expect the Cubs to be right in the middle of the frenzy.  Teams will be calling them on a number of players and it may put the Cubs in a good position to acquire multiple pieces.

The most talked about player will undoubtedly be Jeff Samardzija and I've heard at least 1o teams plan to call the Cubs to at least inquire on him.  I think you can pretty much say that any team looking for pitching with a chance to contend in the next two years would be interested.  We've mentioned teams like the Pirates, Nationals, Royals, Diamondbacks and we also told you about the possibility of the Orioles interest a week ago using Matt Wieters as bait, and that rumor resurfaced again today, though there was no new information there.  Meanwhile, the word is that the Diamondbacks may be falling back in this race.

The Cubs will soon reach a tipping point in their negotiations with Samardzija.  While many believe the Cubs prefer to keep Samardzija (and I am among them), they would only want to keep him if he's a long term asset.  There are two years of cost-control left with Samardzija and while that theoretically gives them two years to make a deal. it must also be taken into account that Samardzija's trade value goes down the closer he approaches free agency simply because the team will get less cost-controlled years.  Until he is extended, the Cubs have to treat Samardzija as if he is a short term asset and in that sense he'd be more valuable to a team capable of winning within that two year window.

We can say that Samardzija is about as good a pitcher as Matt Garza -- and I've talked to some scouts who like Samardzija better for a multitude of reasons.  The Cubs were able to get a haul of C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, and Justin Grimm for two months of Garza.  Think about what they could get for 2 years of a potentially better pitcher.  We know that the Rangers were ready to give up both LHP Martin Perez and Olt for 1 year and 2 months of Garza.  At the time both were top 50 prospects and perhaps even top 25.

The Cubs haul for Garza was superb under the circumstances but none of the prospects are without their flaws.  The Cubs took on a good amount of risk with each player -- even the heralded Edwards who draws concerns about his build and stamina.

I think if the Cubs were to make the same kind of trade, there is almost no question the Cubs would like to do it earlier this time rather than wait until nearly all the cost-control value disappears. The feeling I get is that while the Cubs would like to re-sign Samardzija, they have no intention of going down to the wire, but it also means taking on more risk by giving up two years of a productive, talented pitcher.  However, that in turn would would also mean the Cubs would demand getting prospects with less risk.      They have every intention of bringing back a package that starts with at least one top 25 prospect, probably involving MLB ready or near ready young pitching.

The Cubs have plenty of young talent on their active roster and while a team in their position wouldn't normally look to trade young players, we've said repeatedly that nobody is at untouchable status.  The Cubs have unprecedented farm system depth and it gives them the luxury of at least being able to listen.

And we'll be following closely.

 

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  • I'm not saying we should overpay for Samardzija, but I sure wish that the Cubs and Jeff could agree.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I guess I would too. We don't get to see many local boys drafted and then succeed with our team, so there is that sentimental part of it. The other part is "IF" he can learn to better command and control his stuff, he could be that lock down ACE we so desperately need. Even those clamoring to trade him now would chastise Epstoyer 5 years from now if Shark was the new Kershaw....

    From Shark's perspective, he wants to establish himself as that ACE. I love his confidence in doing so, even though he hasn't yet. He knows that's his max payout is getting established as #1 vs a #3. He's also said he wants to win and won't give a home-town discount without some assurances that we will be competitive and they won't trade him..... We'll see, lots of "IF's" from every angle...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    What I can't get past is that every time I think about this from Shark's perspective, signing the kind of deal that Theo will offer him makes no sense.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It might make sense for him after next season, or if he improves it might make sense for Zcub to pay him a lot more. I don't blame Shark for not signing a "value" contract extension now.

    Shark is a terrific low cost,short term asset for the Cubs. And ain't nothing wrong with that. I definitely do not want to trade him now simply because we might get less next winter or because he might not sign next winter. I want to see him kick ass, establish himself as #1 or solid #2, gets the money we wants and deserves and starts game one of three successive playoff series in 2015, 2016 . . .

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I would love to know what is keeping the 2 sides apart?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Guys, it's long been rumored that Arguello has Epstoyers phones bugged. I followed him recently, and tapped his surveillance vehicle parked just off of Clark st. (Ironically - it looks eerily similar to Scooby Doo's "Mystery Machine"). Anyways, below is the transcript I captured before I had to evade Chicago's finest....

    Epstoyer: Jeff we think the world of you and view you as part of our core. We want to buyout the last two years of arbitration and offer you and your family financial security for the rest of your life. We're offering you 6 years for $75MM plus a 1yr option for $15MM with a $2M buyout. Of course you know we DO NOT offer a no trade clause.

    Shark: Gee, I'm flattered and everything but I don't think I've realized my full potential yet. I know I can be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball and those guys are signing $200MM contracts. I am so confident in my ability to establish myself as such that I am willing to risk the financial security you offer for the much larger financial windfall in 2 years if I am successful. Plus, when will I know how aggressive you'll be in FA so that we can win? I want to win a championship in my lifetime, I'd prefer that to be with the Cubs. But what assurances do I have that you wont trade me like any other asset as soon it's apparent our time line is extending?....

    Epstoyer: Hey Mike, it's Theo & Jed. Hey listen, if Giolito is still on the table, we can talk... Want to grab some lunch? I know this quaint little spot in Orlando..........

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Isn't Sharks request for a no trade clause a hang up?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    He doesn't have it any more. New deal with this FO.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, good to know. Never saw that posted anywhere.

  • This is starting to wear on me much like the manager search did...lol

    I really don't care if they trade him or not, but I think this team (and me) need this issue resolved soon.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think this will be resolved around the Winter Meetings.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I hear you. I'm waiting for the Rule 5 roster announcements :)

  • I would LOVE to see the FO deal Samardzija and Bryant . IMO the Shark does not control the strike zone and probably never will. Ask yourself if you believe the Cubs will get a tick mark under the "W" column when the Shark starts. You're rolling the dice. NOT what you want from an ace. Bryant is going to be a strikeout/pop up specialist at the MLB level. My god just look at his swing. My 2 cents.

  • In reply to jdale:

    Bryant won't be traded.

  • In reply to jdale:

    I believe current draft picks have to be with the team for a year before you can trade them, even if you wanted to.

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    In reply to jdale:

    His swing is almost a dead ringer for strikeout/pop up specialist Paul Goldschmidt.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    ha. And it'd sure suck to have a strikeout/pop up specialist like Paul Goldschmidt on our team...

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Last I looked, wasnt Goldschmidtt(1) a gold glove winner(2) an MVP finalist.

  • In reply to jdale:

    Trading Bryant? Now that is a first :)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Ahead of the curve.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    must be a Cardinals troll, scared because the Cubs actually have someone with real talent. Doesnt want Bryant ruining the careers of Miller, Rosenthal; and Martinez.

  • In reply to jdale:

    One of the most remarkable posts so far re: Bryant. It stands alone, atop a mountain of negative opinions.

    One, they cannot trade him. Just drafted him, you see.
    Two, please read a few of the overwhelmingly positive reviews and scouting reports on Bryant.
    Three, please inform us on your scouting background.

    ("And that Trout kid will be a bust, and Kershaw is overrated…")

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    You got some sarcasm on your chin m'pal. :>)

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    No need for sarcasm.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    That's why it's used only when merited.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Juss kiddin round

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Almost everything I say is derivative....think I stole that line from Mel Brooks .....maybe I should have said you have some irony on your chin but it doesn't sound as good

  • In reply to jdale:

    Lol! I love when fans base things off like 3 games that they have seen on TV.

  • In reply to jdale:

    I dont know what your seeing. Bryant isnt Dave Kingman by any stretch. At worse, I see a Troy Glaus-type hitter. In some respects, Bryants swing reminds me of a young Ron Santo.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Let's hope he is a young Ron Santo! One thing for sure, the kid can run, hit, and field...guess that is why he was MVP.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    In fairness I did read one scouting report last spring before the draft that compared Bryant to Kingman. But, obviously the dissenter was way off because nothing remotely comparable has been written about Bryant. So maybe jdate read that and he is basing his assessment on that one report.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    jdale. Sorry, typo.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I am neither Jewish nor single, and yet I get emails from jdate. Go figure.

  • In reply to jdale:

    I see Bryant on the same timeline as Evan Longoria, becoming an All Star 3B for the Cubs.

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    In reply to jdale:

    So you want to draft players to trade them less than a year after you acquire them?

  • In reply to jdale:

    I saw his swing live in the AFL...I don't agree with that assesment at all. He looks to have a hole inside, but that is something a lot of tall players with long arms have. His swing looked fast, compact, and had little movement before the load. Very impressive speed through the zone, and man, no matter where the ball is, he makes solid contact. I was at the two (three) HR game in Mesa...never seen someone hit a ball as far as he did on the first (second) HR. And that was on an inside fb. He will get his Ks, but he has power to all fields, and makes solid contact every time. Don't see him at all as a pop up specialist.

  • In reply to Pappy:

    I have heard they may back him off the plate a little to close up that hole inside.

  • In reply to Pappy:

    I'm no expert, but Bryant is really quick to the ball. He gets a longer look than most. Not quick at 3b though.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I dunno about being quick, but he made some pretty solid plays at third when I was there. I know small sample, but he looked to be very comfortable there, and has a very strong arm. In my less than learned opinion, his length and positioning makes up for quickness. He looked better than most of the other 3bs in mesa over that week, I do know that. Of course, the start of his show is his bat...I just can't say enough how that ball explodes off his bat all the time. I was actually praying he didn't swing late ever the night we were sitting down the first base line...

  • In reply to Pappy:

    Agree Bryant has good hands and a strong arm. Maybe it just looks like his first step is slow, because he is so long. If he keeps hitting, Kris can play wherever he wishes.

  • I want Jeff traded with either Nate or Barney in a package deal
    for the best top pitching prospects they can get. Except for our
    top 4 prospects trade anybody in a package if possible.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I wouldn't want to hurt our return on the trade by forcing Barney into the deal. Otherwise I agree.

    For me, if Giolito is offered, the deal is done (regardless of anyone else). Perhaps same for Bradley (though Dbacks faded, as reported by John). Otherwise, the best pitching prospects they can get.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    emart, I just can't see anyone accepting Barney in a deal when they would most likely non-tender him anyway.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I don't really see Barney being non-tendered (by anybody). He's due to make about $2M in arbitration. The Yankees just gave Brendan Ryan $2M to be Old Darwin Barney. The A's just gave Nick Punto $3M to be Slightly Better Darwin Barney. $2M is a reasonable amount for an all-glove reserve middle infielder, and if the Cubs wanted to trade him at that price they would probably find a few takers.

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    If this does come to pass, I love that this is a gift from the baseball gods for doing things with a modicum of integrity. The Astros have only Altuve to deal if the trade market goes crazy. Whereas the Cubs have a bunch of cost-controlled major league pieces we can flip to bolster the farm system.

    Yes, the Marlins have the best piece on the market (IF Bud Selig lets them dump him for prospects) but then they're pretty dry, too.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I've heard FA have no interest going to Houston right now because everyone knows they have no intention of winning. Everything has a hidden cost.

  • Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi now
    Cardinals have called a "baseball operations press conference" for 2 p.m. local time today.

    Cardinals announcing the Kozma for Tulo trade...

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Given that this is the Cardinals, they also got the Rockies to chip in Jonathan Gray and Money for Kozma.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You got it. And "Money" meaning Don Money in his prime.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Don't you know what a great fielder Kozma is? It's the Cardinal Way.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Matheney Extension.

  • http://ht.ly/r0WVz

    I think Addison Russell is a consensus top-10 prospect - so having Bryant rated above him here is interesting. I wonder how that plays out with the other lists that will be coming out in the coming months....

  • fb_avatar

    Good article, John!

    Potential Returns on Samardzija -

    Pittsburgh:
    Jameson Taillon
    Tyler Glasnow
    Josh Bell

    Washington:
    Lucas Giolito
    AJ Cole
    Sammy Solis

    Toronto:
    Aaron Sanchez
    Daniel Norris
    Sean Nolin

    Kansas City:
    Kyle Zimmer
    Miguel Almonte
    Chris Dwyer

    Not including Arizona and Baltimore for now...

    Preferences? Thoughts?

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I would trade Samardzija straight up for Giolito...but I'm not sure Washington would.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Of all the teams on this list, Washington makes the most sense. They plan to be right in the middle of World Series contention the next two years, could use another arm, and Rizzo is reportedly enamored of Samardzija. Those three things may just combine to deliver Giolito into our laps. (I'm more hoping than predicting here.)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Can we net both Giolito and Cole for Samardzija?

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I'd think not, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    thanks. I think I'd take any deal with Giolito in it -- especially if it includes Cole and Solis. Otheriwse that Pittsburgh package looks nice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree...Giolito and anything (I mean anything...including a good restaurant recommendation, bad tickets for a Nats game, a one week free subscription to the Washington Post) would be a great deal, IMO.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Nice list.

    Washington and Giolito is a huge prize there -- but a long shot to come to pass. I'd put Kingham over Bell in the Pirates list. If Pittsburgh offered a trade headlined by Glasnow and Kingham, the Cubs may listen.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like Glasnow and Kingham a lot. If they headline it I would take it.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    It's a fascinating trade. You don't get the huge, close to the majors prospect you want in this deal, but you make up for it with two excellent A-ball pitchers. I can easily see both of them having better careers than Taillon.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Me too. I think there will both take big steps next year.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I like the Kingham/Glasnow package a lot.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    TOR a bit of a sleeper there. Giolito far away and a tough get. Pit keeps their prospects as much as TB. Not enamored with the KC guys.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I feel similarly.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    My favorite deal would be Samardzija to WAS for Giolito and Storen.

    I'd hate to trade him without getting at least one guy who's already a major leaguer or major league ready.

    I think they should be hunting Storen anyway in a separate deal.

  • Jim Callis posted his list of Top 20 prospects from the AFL...Cubs Big 3 all appear in the top 13, but the comment about Soler and how "the day-to-day focus isn't there" was a little disconcerting.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/pit/minnesota-twins-byron-buxton-chicago-cubs-kris-bryant-head-arizona-fall-league-top-20-prospects?ymd=20131120&content_id=64054236&vkey=news_mlb

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Amusing that 1-2 are the guys who got picked #2 the last two years. Who passed over them???

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Very good observation, Mike. It wouldn't surprise me at all that when it's all said and done, Buxton and Bryant are the far superior talents to Correa and Appel

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Passing Bryant is somewhat understandable -- the Cubs likely would have taken Appel had they had their pick. (We got lucky -- how nice is it to say that?) But Correa over Buxton? Head scratcher then, head scratcher now.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point. Appel was at the top of most boards in 2013, including mine. But Buxton was definitely #1 for me in 2012 followed by Appel

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It was a strategic decision by the 'Stros because they saved money. Money they used to draft that high-end pitcher with their second pick. McCullers.

    Also, Buxton played in the middle of nowhere and hadn't faced high-end competition (I don't think he played for team USA, etc.). Still a top-5 pre-draft pick. But its not like he was Bryce Harper coming out of HS. I think a lot of people were more surprised they didn't take Appel in their #1 pick...

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    In reply to Roscoe Village:

    I would disagree with "middle of nowhere." He was a Georgia high school product, which tends to be very good competition.

    Also, while I agree with you on what they were doing, everyone knew at the time they were taking a lesser talent to save money for later picks. It's why they passed both Appel and Buxton. It has turned out to be a terrible mistake.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Did Appel even sign? I haven't heard anything on him...

    Speaking of Washington, what are your thoughts on Matt Purke, LHP? I saw him pitch when I was in Mesa, and in 4 innings, I think he struck out like 20 guys...ok, a bit of exaggeration, but it was at least 8 guys...might have been ten. Had a lot of life on a FB that seemed to be low to mid 90s, and to what my somewhat untrained eye looked to be either a power curve or a slider that was a hammer. He was the most impressive pitcher I saw all that week.

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    In reply to Pappy:

    He signed. Signed for below slot.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well he is from Baxley, GA population 4,400. Which is basically in the middle of nowhere regardless of where you live. Just because its GA, doesn't mean every baseball player gets some sort of special attention. His HS does have 1,000 students which is more than I would expect..

    I could be wrong, but I thought the one knock on him was that he didn't consistently face elite or even above average talent. And that he only had like 3 bombs his senior year. Obviously, he's proved any critics wrong.

    I'm happy with Bryant though:)

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    In reply to Roscoe Village:

    I believe there was some fear, but this also wasn't like Mike Trout coming out of New Jersey. I might be wrong but I always got the feeling that fear was a little overplayed.

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    And the knock on Bryant was that he played lower-level competition at USD.
    As to small towns, there was that Mantle kid from Nowhere, Oklahoma…..

  • "We can say that Samardzija is about as good a pitcher as Matt Garza." Huh? This is quite the head scratcher. Let's just call him Sanguine-ja. I hardly over-valued Garza when he was a Cub, but when healthy, Garza remains the better pitcher by a fair distance. But let's keep this simple. If tomorrow you had to play a one-game playoff game, who would you want to start for you: a healthy Garza or a healthy Shark? Garza by a landslide. Now if you are saying Garza's questionable health history makes him less attractive for a whole season, I can buy that, or that Shark still has a higher ceiling of unproven potential, okay sure... but not that Shark has proven himself to be the better pitcher. He was the Cubs fourth best starter last year behind Garza, Feldman and Wood. And despite fans desire to crown him as a proven ace, the Cubs would be lucky to get for Samardzija a package comparable to what they received from the Rangers for Garza. I hope they do. But note that would be for two years of Shark versus two months of Garza.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    No. Samardzija is better, younger, and has more years of cost control, which adds even more value. Things work differently in the real world than they do in fantasy baseball. You can have your opinion, but I don't see it backed up objectively, nor do I assume you've surveyed anyone in the industry. Until you have something better than a subjective opinion, I don't see your counterpoint as even remotely compelling.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh, now he's better than Garza? "Boy, that escalated quickly." So how exactly does years of control make anyone a better bet to win a ball game? But yes, he's one year younger, no history of injuries, and cost-controlled which increases his attractiveness for trades (which I'm all for), but that doesn't make him a better pitcher... just a better trade asset. Again, if I had a one game playoff to pitch tomorrow, I would take Garza over Shark easily... although personally I'd wish I had other options from which to choose. But then again if the Cubs were in a one-game playoff, I'm sure they would.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Samardzija has never had an arm issues, that is way he is more valuable. I wouldn't say better but more valuable yes.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Your argument is very light on reasons why you'd choose Garza over Samardzija in this theoretical one game playoff. What are they?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Interestingly, your argument is equally light. But what's the point of noting stats such as WHIP, ERA, average innings per start, experience, ERC -- to say nothing of Garza having experience pitching in high pressure games. For this reason, I'd had Garza the ball over Travis Wood, who had by the best season of this trio. Samardzija is a pitcher who proved last year he can throw 200 innings, strike out a lot of hitters, and avoid injuries. No mean feats, but neither that nor his number of controllable years makes him a better "pitcher." In his 200-plus innings, he also proved a durable pitchers who lacks command and consistency, and when he didn't strike the hitter out, they hit .302 against him -- or 9th worst among the 67 NL starters with at least 100 IP. (Compare this to Garza's .283 BABIP average last year.) Shark also sometimes had a wandering mind more concerned with what was going on in the stands and how coaches aligned his defense than focusing on his job to economically get hitters out. Until he corrects these areas, his trade value banks more on his "potential" than his achievements, which isn't a Scarlet Letter. It just doesn't change facts. Garza is the proven better pitcher at the moment.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    You may notice, I didn't take a side in this one. Ergo, I didn't have an argument. But thank you for that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Too funny. My apologies. Your reflexively antithetical reputation and the loaded nature of your adjectives suggested otherwise.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Nah, I was just giving you rope and you helpfully said, "OH! What a pretty necklace! Thank you!"

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I'm telling you there is some opinion that way from people I've talked to who know a lot more about baseball than any of us here. it's not a unanimous opinion, but it's out there.

    Cost control = value. That's how teams operate. Winning one ball game is far too narrow a scope.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Trade value is a different argument than talent or ceiling. The initial comment was that, right now, Shark is considered almost as good a pitcher as Garza. I've seen no evidence of that in actual games or the stats. In terms of trade value, I sure hope Shark attracts more than Garza. I unfortunately don't see that happening (despite Shark's other non-pitching trade positives), but that's what makes the off-season fun to watch.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    1. I value the opinion of people I talk to in the industry and objective measurements of value more than your off the cuff, subjective opinions.
    2. This is what you originally stated in your first post...

    "The Cubs would be lucky to get for Samardzija a package comparable to what they received from the Rangers for Garza." -Skit Sketch Jeff

    You have to appeal to me with reason, objectivity and consistency of point. Otherwise it just sounds like the ravings of a talk show caller and you have zero chance of making me re-consider.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Very bizarre. You apparently confuse general discussion as an attempt to change your opinion specifically. Your reference to unnamed "others say" is hardly persuasive, but if that's all the supporting evidence you have for your position, no worries. But as for this tendency toward name calling and churlishness rather than friendly give and take, that is even less persuasive. I thought this was a board of higher caliber.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Here is what I'm saying: Your argumentative approach, err um, "general discussion", won't work if you want to engage me in a meaningful exchange. I presume that's your intention since you addressed me in your comments. Come back with something well-reasoned, objective and show consistency with your points and I'll be happy to engage. The matter of who is better, Garza or Samardzija can be up for debate. I've heard opinions on both sides. What I'm talking about is general worth and value between Garza last summer and Shark now. Anything else is superfluous.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    You are hung up on "win a ball game today". I would take Garza.

    But if I needed a player to win a ball game two years from now, I would take Samardzija.

    What John and others were saying was that Samardzija would bring more on the trade market this year than Garza did last summer, or would have brought last winter. That is hard to dispute.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I agree Samja has more upside over the next two years, but again, the point that Samja is as good a pitcher or better than Garza right now was the head scratcher. But a quibble... you say it is "hard to dispute" Samja will attract more in a trade. We Cubs fans hope he attracts more, but no one knows for sure. All we know is that the Cubs tried to get more last year but failed. (In fact were laughed at, by some reports.) All observers I've read have said that asking price will need to come down. Will it come down below what we got for Garza? No one will know until it happens. My previous prediction was the FO doesn't get what they want in the off season for Samja. So he breaks camp with the Cubs, and the FO rolls the dice on Samja having a good first half so his market value increases to where they think it should be. Recent reports of "a crazy business winter trade season" has me re-evaluating a little, but I still don't see anyone breaking the bank prospect wise to trade for Shark's potential to be something other than a No. 3 pitcher he was last year. But we'll see.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I could certainly be persuaded that Garza is the better pitcher with a well-reasoned argument. I've heard opinions on both sides. But value, yeah, not much to argue on that one.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Well put. Future value Vs. Single 'crunch day' now value.

  • I'm all for a prospect haul for the Shark if the Cubs think they have to trade him, but I'm also wondering why they have to settle for prospects. Hypothetically, why can't they start with asking for players like Jay Bruce from the Reds for example, or other similar players, who have had MLB success, are in their prime years and are locked up to team-friendly deals. Is it still too early to assume the foundation is in place and that the FO can't start framing the house?

  • In reply to Cleme:

    They may get players with MLB experience, but I'd expect they'd be up and coming re-prime players and not guys in their prime on contending teams.

  • @eyewitnessnyc: #BreakingNews #Arod walks out of own grievance hearing and says he's done participating

    Maybe he's available in a trade? (yes I am kidding)

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    Because the idea is to acquire young pitching.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Pitching is gonna come back but if we can get a young position player back as well, hell Yeah... Gotta maximize the return

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    I wonder if there's a deal to be made with the Pirates that gives Shark and Soler and the return starts with Polanco, Taillon, and Kingham.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    yes please, sign me up for that one! Polanco-Almora-Bryant could be one hell of an outfield!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    like that a lot. But I don't know if it happens.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Yeah, it's easy to see potential matches with the Pirates, but they never move their prospects.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think it would be easier to get candy away from a 2yr old then getting polanco away from the pirates.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    The thing is, they really could use a Bryant/Soler type masher in the middle of that lineup. 30 HR seems to be an insanely optimistic goal for Polanco. But, they probably have their own ideas on how to get that.

  • BA released their Top 20 prospects from the AFL today too and they've got Bryant #3 behind Buxton and Addison Russell. Almora was #11 and Soler was #20, largely due to inconsistent effort and contact issues.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Russell is looking like a steal for the A's. Nice work by Billy Beane.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisMLB 54s
    Too harsh. More about whether he reaches huge upside. @mqmoody: do Soler's focus issues keep him out of the majors if not corrected? #Cubs

    This guy has the same name as Mike...weird...

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    I had 140 characters and wanted to know how serious the focus issues were. :-)

  • Has Shark waved his desire for a no trade clause in his contract?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Roe, are you from central IL?

  • Realistically, how much would Shark be worth on the open market?

  • With the price of .500 pitchers being over 12 million a yr it is
    best to trade Jeff, in a package if possible, for the best
    pitching prospect(s) we can get

  • At some point the Cubs should be just as interested in shorter term assets with a high probability of success as they are with long term assets

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    In reply to Cuyler:

    They will. But not yet.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    On your time machine's control panel, turn the Year dial to 2016 and press the green button.

  • John, first time poster, long time reader. Love your page. The good thing about the Cubs now is that with the current farm system, that aura of hope that Cubs fans generally have in April.....you know the one that dimishes in June....is here year round! I like that. Having said that, lets say that 30% of our prospects work out, which I think is a fairly good, historical estimate. We still have a few years before we are relevant in a division that also has two of the other top 10 farm systems in all of baseball (Buccos and Cards). I love having faith, but at the same time, I keep my jubilation to a minimum. The Cubs are ran as a business (see their treatment of Santo swag), so they won't be successful until their debt is paid off, Wrigley is renovated and a Cubs TV channel is created. All of these prospects just keeps hope alive until that happens. And you know what? I am okay with that. I have lived through a lot of misery. I think I like the Cubs because being a fan of a winning team seems almost too easy!

  • Thanks Clark. I appreciate the kind words and I agree with everything you say here. What I'm hoping is that the Cubs are good enough to compete year in and year out -- to give themselves a shot every season. When that happens, they will beat these good teams from time to time (and they will beat the Cubs), but the more chances you get to compete with them, the better. I'd rather they were terrible, but we can't control that. The Cubs can control the quality they put on the field and let the rest take care of itself, sooner or later, they'll have the right combo of talent, luck, and timing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. The best teams have a roster made up of anywhere from 17-21 homegrown players with high impact fill-ins. When the Cubs get to that point, they will challenge for World Series. Fortunately, that 17-21 players is generally made up of 5-10 heavy impact guys and fill-ins that create a team. Not everyone in your system is a Petitte, Jeter or Williams. You have to have those players, but you also need low priced dependable bench players and relievers that avail you the ability to go out and sign the Clemens, Wells, and Cones you need to put you over the top. And YES, I really hate too that I just used a Yankee reference to make a point. Last time! I swear!

  • i would love to do a samardzija trade with pittsburgh for taillon, glasnow or kingham (whichever the FO is higher on) and bell. Adding Bell to Soler, Bryant and Baez is just like...WOW, i also love that bell switch hits. Taillon is near major league ready with a high ceiling which is something the front office is definitely seeking and glasnow/kingham represent guys with middle of the rotation ceiling (i think glasnows might be a little higher). This trade not only beefs up the pitching side of our farm, but also gives us another power hitter to add to already the most impressive group in the minors.

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    Good article.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/watch-list-for-rule-5-protection/

    Cheslor Cuthbert and Mike O'Neil just out as guys the Cubs may be interested in if available.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    um, not sure where "just out as" came from. I meant are guys the Cubs may be interested in if available. Clearly going senile early...

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    jose campos from the yankees who i thought was guaranteed to be protected is an interesting guy to track as BA has him listed as "possible protections"

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    I'd be very surprised if Campos makes it past the Astros.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Nice flyer. History of injuries but kind of arm I wouldn't mind gambling on.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You know what's funny is we followed this with a magnifying glass last year. Then when we actually picked Rondon, everybody here (and pretty much anywhere other the scouts in Venezuela, etc) were like... "WHO?".

    IDK if we can carry a rule 5 guy this year. Possible, but I think he's got to be better than Rondon and IDK if anyone like that will be available.

  • I have been all for trading shark, but I would like any trade to start with a top prospect. Someone like Bradley, Giolito, Taillon, or Sanchez. If a package doesnt include on of those guys I hang up the phone.

  • There are other packages that work. I like Glasnow and Kingham. I believe both will make big strides this year.

  • Will there be talks about bringing the DH to the National League during the winter meetings?

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    For the love of God, let's hope not.

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    Agreed - I am no fan of the DH.

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    If we have something the White Sox want, I'd love to buy low on Courtney Hawkins.

  • The rumor mill down here says that the Braves are in the market for a starting pitcher, for whatever that's worth.

  • In reply to GAHillbilly:

    Do they have a package the Cubs would take for Shark or maybe Jackson. Love to get Lucas Sims in Our system

  • Very interesting article John.. I like the trade comparison of what we got for Garza as to what we could get Shark. I know a lot of teams make a trade at the deadline and then never resign the guy. That seems silly. You give up several prospects to bring in a guy that can help you win but then the season is over and it seems rare that they sign with that team. I wonder what the % of impact players that are FA after that season, who get traded at the deadline resign with that team? This wasn't a good move for the rangers. But on the flip side who are we to say that cubs FO is smarter then the rangers FO? In their mind there has to be a reason why they let Olt go.

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    Are any of you guys watching "Baseball" on the MLB Network? It's really interesting how the sport has evolved over the years. I bring this up because of our many discussion about a DH in the National League.

    It's just funny how the folks screaming that it takes away from the traditions or the purity of the game are the same exact things folks were screaming about when owners decided to pay players on the team.

    Things that seem so outlandish at the moment are sometimes not even a passing thought over time. Baseball just keeps evolving and moving forward.

    Gambling in baseball
    Negro Leagues
    Steroids
    ETC

    We will always have something to debate yet the sport seems to overcome this issues. I just love this game!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    The players have been getting paid at least since 1869. I wasn't born then.

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    In reply to GAHillbilly:

    Way to miss the point.

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    The Pirates imo wont trade Polanco as it seems theyre expecing him to come up at some point next season. Taillon is very close to coming up next year but the real gems are Kingham and Glasnow. Id love to see those 2 plus another prospect. But theyd get Shark with 2 years of control. Burnett is year to year and will likely be retired in the next 2 years. I think theyd be willing to pay him. Question is how much and would he stay in Pittsburgh?

  • Chris Carpenter retires and Matheny given a 3 year extension.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    I won't miss Carpenter :)

  • Chris Carpenter retires and Matheny given a 3 year extension.

  • BTW, Congratulations to Mr. Cub upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. Well deserved, Ernie, my first boyhood hero !

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/cubs-hall-of-famer-ernie-banks-receives-presidential-medal-of-freedom?ymd=20131120&content_id=64064774&vkey=news_mlb

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Congrats Ernie!

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Someone said 'Let's give him two'

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Absolutely!!!! Class act!!!

  • John, it doesn't matter to me if you respond or not to my comments. I actually didn't mean my initial comment as directed at "you" specifically, but more generally. But whatever. My advice to you: If you consider any comments by anyone on your board as argumentative, unreasoned, non-objective, inconsistent (did I cover the perjoratives you used?), just don't reply to them. Let the sound of crickets be the final arbiter. It seldom reflects well to descend to name-calling, let alone initiate it. Now back to Cubs talk, which is what this site does best, and for which I'm going to continue to recommend it highly and widely.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Thank you for enjoying and recommending the site but I want to make it clear that I've never called anyone any names. I may not have thought highly of your response, but you can re-read them if you are still uncertain. I appreciate your kind words for the blog and we'll agree to disagree on opinions, but please don't accuse me of something that I did not do.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think the name calling he is talking about is somewhere in this part of your reply. "You have to appeal to me with reason, objectivity and consistency of point. Otherwise it just sounds like the ravings of a talk show caller and you have zero chance of making me re-consider."

    You called him a talk show caller.

    Now, allow me to disappear only to return a MINIMUM of three to five times, two to three hours total each day for only the finest Cub updates any Cub fan could ever ask for!

  • In reply to rickmonday:

    Thanks :)

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    SSJeff I've been a regular reader and occasional poster for awhile I've never seen John call anyone names. He may challenge you on comments you make and want clarification or GASP actual facts but he is always engaging . He has questioned more than one comment from me and when I looked back I realized he was right and didn't present any real argument just frustrated opinions.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Thanks. But I will add that I've also been wrong many times :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hopefully you read that as I didn't present any real argument ...
    That's what makes this such a great site you can be wrong but we're all pulling for the same thing Go Cubs.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    I did, it made me laugh. And I appreciate the kind words, kansas.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    But if you were wrong, name-calling wasn't, and hasn't ever been in the mix. Simply no need for that accusation - seems like a desperate attempt to be right.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    "To put words in another's mouth makes for bad taste."

  • Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney now
    Cubs adding INF Arismendy Alcantara and RHP Dallas Beeler to 40-man roster.

  • IMO, the smart thing to do with Samardzija is not deal him in the off-season but deal him at the deadline if they still want to at that point. They need to see if he be more consistently dominant and pitch the way he did in the 2nd half of 2012 before they sell too low on him.

    He looks like a guy capable of putting things together and being one of the best pitchers in baseball. If they trade him now and he does that in 2014, they're going to regret the deal.

    You can usually get more for a guy at the deadline, anyway. And part of the problem the Cubs and him can't get a deal done is because he believes he's more than a league average pitcher and doesn't want to get paid like one. The Cubs are understandably reluctant to give him a ton of money coming off a season like his 2013.

    The thing that makes sense is to give him another 3 months or so to establish his value, see if they can come to a closer agreement on his $$$ value, and see what a team might give for him at the deadline, then weigh all the factors and make the best decision.

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    Being that we are discussing all trades and not just Cubs trades, just saw on Bleacher Report talking about Texas and Detroit possibly discussing a Fielder for Kinsler trade. you are exactly right John, this could be a big trade offseason.

  • In reply to Ryan Kalasz:

    Heyman is reporting that the Fielder/ Kinsler deal has been agreed upon pending physicals !!

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Crazy trade. Any money exchanged?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Heyman not sure , possible another player involved it says. Your turn Theo lol

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Ha! I don't think we'll see anything THAT big. But that's a good deal to break the ice on the offseason. Going to be some trades!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    the question is who is going to play first base for the Tigers? Do you think maybe Mitch Moreland will be included?

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    In reply to Ryan Kalasz:

    Cabrera will probably move back to 1B.

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    In reply to João Lucas:

    And Castellanos to 3rd

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Kinslers high fly balls are gonna die for sure in Comerica. I just read the Tigers are throwing some money to the Rangers. The speculation on hardball talk was this was move to free up money for Scherzer.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/20/tigers-rangers-agree-to-trade-involving-prince-fielder-and-ian-kinsler/

  • Cross Josh Johnson off my wish list...Padres 1yr/$8M

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