Cubs Notes: Cuban defectors; Rule 5 Draft; and should Cubs take flyer on Sizemore?

Cubs Notes: Cuban defectors; Rule 5 Draft; and should Cubs take flyer on Sizemore?
Grady Sizemore

Let's take a look around the league at some of the latest news and notes regarding, or possibly regarding, the Cubs...

Cuba Libre

There are a couple of Cuban defectors worthy of the Cubs interest who have just defected.  The first is slick fielding SS Erisbel Barbaro Arruebarruena.   The word I hear on him is outstanding range and arm but a light bat.  The natural comparison is to former Red Sox prospect Jose Iglesias.  The Cubs may already have Starlin Castro and Javier Baez, but shortstops are assets and if Arruebarruena can hit better than Iglesias, he can be a tremendous asset.

The other defector is a pitcher named Raciel Iglesias who is a power arm despite standing just 5'11" and weighing 165 lbs.  He also flashes a good curveball.  He tops out around 95 mph as a starter but his slight build may profile him as a reliever, where I'm told he could add a few ticks to that FB.

The Rule 5 Draft

The deadline to protect players for the Rule 5 draft is tomorrow.  The Cubs currently have 3 open spaces and they'd probably like to leave one open to select a player, though they could always protect 3 now and open up a spot before the draft.  Arismendy Alcantara is a lock and the Cubs may protect another player or two.  One candidate is Dallas Beeler, a pitcher that I like and whom I think can pitch out of the bullpen in the big leagues next year on his FB movement and command alone, though he also adds a slider (some call it a cutter) and split finger.  OF Jae-Hoon Ha is short on upside but close to being big league ready as defensive specialist off the bench.  There is some question as to whether Juan Paniagua will be eligible and, if so, he merits consideration based on his stuff alone.  The Cubs liken Eric Jokisch to Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, both of whom were protected.  Recently acquired Aaron Cunningham is also eligible, as are all the other recent minor league signings.

Sizing up Sizemore

Grady Sizemore is drawing interest from several teams and it's quite possible that one of those teams is the Cubs.  They have shown passing interest in the past, but medical records and Sizemore's desire to play CF cooled their interest.  This year he's said to be healthy and ready to go for spring training and now seems willing to play a corner.

You may remember Sizemore had a micro fracture in his knee, a similar injury that almost derailed Carlos Beltran's career before making back strong in 2011.  The recovery hasn't been nearly as swift for Sizemore, so it's a big question mark.  He's still just 31 but hit just .224/.285/.422 but did put up a solid .198 ISO in his most recent season, which was 2011.

When healthy, he's a star level player, but that hasn't been the case since 2008.  It's one of the kinds of lottery tickets we have talked about.  The thing about Sizemore is there is no projecting his ability.  You know he can play.  The question is will he be healthy enough to play consistently at the level he had in the past.  Probably not -- but even half the player he was in 2008 would be a solid addition.

It seems there are at least a few teams willing to take that chance.  One thing the Cubs an offer is playing time and a chance to rebuild value.  And they could certainly offer him at least a chance to compete for CF.  The Cubs don't have a true CF on the roster right now and while many doubt Sizemore can still play there, there aren't a lot of other teams out there that can say they will give him a legit shot to compete for that spot.

What say you?  Worth a look on an incentive-laden short term deal?

 UPDATE 5:15 PM: Have heard that the Cubs will indeed at least "kick the tires" on Sizemore.  Obviously there is a long gap between kicking tires and buying the car, but there is some interest there.

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  • Yes, to try to sign him to a deal we can live with.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    If healthy, I'd be very intrigued.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    I personally would like to sign Grady, I think it would be very low risk one year with maybe two or one year options, also wouldn't mind kicking tires on Wilson or Nathan as closer, also take a shot on Roberts as 2nd base and lead off on short contract.

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    Micro-fracture surgery, which is most common in basketball players, is about a two year recovery process. When you have that surgery, it's literally because you have no cartilage left on the underneath side of your knee cap(s). Some players make it all the way back. Some never make it back, and some are in between.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Great description. Feel smarter already

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks, Mike. Beltran's "quick" and nearly full recovery is definitely not the norm.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    No, it isn't the norm by any means. The turn around time on Beltran is unheard of. Some people just recover faster than others. Everyone is different. What Sizemore has been through is more of the norm.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Would steroids help?

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    In reply to Nondorf:

    Probably not, since we're talking about a bone issue versus a muscle issue. One reason for the lengthy recovery time is that usually both knee caps get done at the same time. Beltran got lucky. For whatever reason, he only needed to have one knee done as I recall. Hence, his recovery time was cut in half.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Probably not, but HGH might.

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    In reply to Nondorf:

    I'm actually pretty well versed in PED's. Steroids would not help, no. But HGH (Human Growth Hormone) might. MLB will begin testing for HGH next spring.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    There's a good write up of the microfracture procedure on Wikipedia. It even references Sizemore but not Beltran.

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    In reply to svelocity:

    It's really not a common surgery. Most normal people that have it are getting senior citizen discounts, and the only young and middle aged people that have it are athletes.

  • Sizemore...why not?

  • It would have to be low cost, incentive laden, but if there is ever a time to take a chance on someone like this, this is it.

    I think the offer of playing time, and at CF would interest Sizemore. Knee, back, groin, - at least he's running out of body parts to injure.

  • Josh Johnson has reportedly narrowed his teams down to 3-4 according to his agent. The Giants and Padres (close his hometown), and now the Pirates are a finalist as well.

    Looks like the Cubs odds are like grim. Unless they are the fourth team.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Giants signing Hudson and Johnson after just giving big money to Timmy?

    Wow, dodgers have really pushed there buttons.

    Outside the pads which are on the upswing, there is a lot of baseball talent in the state of Cali.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Heard he signed a one year deal.

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    BTW, I'm perfectly fine with taking a flyer on Sizemore. He's certainly a buy low/sell high candidate. The risk seems very low at this point. He isn't going to cost you anything but money. If he works out, he then becomes a tradeable asset, or he may be someone they want to keep around like the Braves kept Terry Pendleton around. He's a high character guy from everything I hear, and he'll still be just 31 on opening day. He could make a very nice stable pony type of player for the young guys to lean on as they learn.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Also, if he works out and is around for for at least a year, he could become a good mentor for Almora. If there is Comp I would hope for Almora, it would be Sizemore minus the injuries. We can dream can't we?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Any idea how much money would be required?

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    As I mentioned on Twitter, Grady Sizemore only has 435 PA's to his name over the last four seasons combined.

    I say pass and put our resources elsewhere.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    It's been a long road back, but if he's even half the player he was 5 years ago, he'd probably be the Cubs best outfielder.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Yes sir. look at the back of his baseball card. He has put up some nice numbers 2005-2008 his age 22-25 years. The sad thing is 2010-2013 he has played 104 games but has made over 17 million.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    haha! Good point.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    I agree, would rather take a flyer on "Scott" Sizemore.

    An upgrade over Donnie Murphy, who would allow Mike Olt to re-establish himself in AAA without the urge to rush him or possibly provide an offensive upgrade at 2B.

    Also, he should be attainable on a affordable one or at most two year contract with options.

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    In reply to Greg Menke:

    How about Ted Sizemore? He probably has a little left in the tank!

  • In reply to Greg Menke:

    Olt playing at Iowa likely will keep Christian Villanueva from advancing to AAA and there is no sense keeping him at AA in Tennessee. Either advance him or trade him,he could be part of a Pkg. for pitching or maybe a catching prospect.We certainly lack in any stud catching prospects.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    The Cubs could have a log jam at 3B soon. Good point.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Sizemore didn't play at all in 2012 or 2013 as he was recovering from the knee surgery, and in 2010 and 2011, he was playing with literally no cartilage underneath those knee caps. It's amazing he could even stand to get out there at all.

    There is no real risk to signing Sizemore. He isn't going to cost you a draft pick, and because of the injury and the subsequent surgery, he isn't going to command a huge amount of dollars or a lengthy deal. So why not? It's not like he is blocking anyone else right now.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Michael,

    That's a very good point in that he's a low risk, high reward type player, and those are indeed the type of players the Cubs are targeting, at present. But having missed most of 4 total consecutive seasons, I'd have to think it's a stretch that he'll be much of anything in 2014. Wouldn't those resources be better spent on a less risky low-risk investment? He can't be the best/optimal low-risk, high-reward option out there. Unless he's coming to us for half a million, I'd be a bit concerned about the investment. Even in a rebuilding project, I don't want to pay a guy millions of dollars to be injured all year (looking at you, Scott Baker).

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    True that. Scott Baker should come back to the Cubs on a friendly deal w heavy incentives after getting paid millions for almost nothing last yr.

    But that's baseball, not much honor in the game anymore. These owners are making soooooooo much damn money now, so you can't blame the players for wanting their piece !

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    My question is what else is out there with his upside. As John points out, if he is even half the player he was before, he is still better than anyone we have at present. He may be a better risk than you think. All he has had to to do for two years is work out and hit in the cage. His injuries are all related to this one thing. He won't have the wear and tear of a normal 31 yo whose been playing CF everyday since he was 22 or 23.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I vote for Chris Young

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    I think if they are planning on really improving this team for next year which means

    1. TOR arm
    2. Middle of the lineup bat to protect Rizzo
    3. Closer or at least some BP help
    4. Sure there are other areas the brain trust knows we need help in

    If they do those, then why not take a chance on the lottery ticket, because when your going for it, you need multiple tickets to cash. A lottery ticket w 5 tools ( sure he lost a step) and probably a plus plus defender at a corner spot.

    Plus what's wrong w having a professional ( only hear good things about him) in the clubhouse to help mature all the young men we have. One thing we know about Grady, besides being a fan favorite, that guy plays hard and gives you everything he has and IMO, there should always be room for guys like that.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    '2. Middle of the lineup bat to protect Rizzo'

    This is a huge must. Right now, the middle of the order bats are:

    Rizzo
    Olt
    Schierholtz

    Yikes.

  • In reply to CubFan Paul:

    I'd feel better about that being 5-6-7 in the order...but as 3-4-5 it's pretty frightening.

  • Is to worth it to keep a Rule V player on the roster all year?
    Young pitchers are harder to acquire

  • Is to worth it to keep a Rule V player on the roster all year?
    Young pitchers are harder to acquire

  • I'm more interested to see who the Cubs remove from the 40 man than I am in who they add. I think Gamel and Murphy could be pulled off pretty easily, but I think the decision on guys like Brett Jackson will be interesting. Could also be the ideal time to remove Bard and try to resign him to a minor league deal with a Spring training invite.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I mostly agree, still want a Rule V player added if has some potential

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    That will be interesting. I expect Bard to be removed any day. With Donnie Murphy, Brooks Raley, and Brett Jackson being removed to accommodate transactions later this winter.

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    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors 33m

    Nationals Sign Chris Young http://dlvr.it/4LtWLg #mlb

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    The pitcher

  • In reply to bocabobby:
  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh, wait. Never mind. It's the pitcher.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    LOL, ya just saw that. Move along nothing to see here.....

  • I wish the Cubs would stop kicking the tires on players coming off surgeries, or Dengue Fever, Smallpox, etc. Last year they signed 3 pitchers all coming off Tommy John Surgery. Maybe Scott Baker will have a spot in the rotation come spring, but I doubt it. Fujikawa was just named to their 40 man roster after only playing in 12 games last year. Where does he fit in? If they do sign Sizemore, they better make sure he's healthy until at least the trade deadline. Then the fire sale will start all over.

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    Ben Badler on Arruebarruena. Sounds like a SS version of Darwin Barney: http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/defensive-wizard-erisbel-arruebarruena-leaves-cuba/

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    a plus defender SS, even with negative offense is still a valuable commodity.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Didn't mean to imply otherwise. I think we should be in on him. We can either trade him or, if the offense comes together as we hope, we can carry his bat at a premium position.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I saw some of him when they played the U.S. College team and he looked like the real deal defensively. Man among boys might be a stretch, but not really. Now everything I've read about the bat is miserable... BUT overall I'm very intrigued.

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    In reply to Theo Einstein:

    If there is one position on the field where you can live with a minus bat, it's shortstop. He might be a better fit in a DH league, but it's still an asset we can trade.

    We should absolutely be involved here. Not Tanaka involved, but involved.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Too a team that can carry a weak bat,certainly not the Cubs at present.Thinking in terms of a full time player that is.

  • Of course, yes on Grady Sizemore!

    What's the worst that can happen? I woke up to the realization that the Cubs aren't going to sign ANYBODY to improve this offense. I'm sitting there penciling in Brian Bogusevic as our opening day leadoff man in left field, with Sweeney in center. So the bottom line is "we could do worse".

    Ellsbury is not coming, and neither is Choo. The FO doesn't want to lose any assets in trade to obtain whoever is out there, and I do think they are looking for this kind of veteran presence, this lefty bat. Sizemore is a team-captain type, like and Ellsbury. Just imagine what a great story it could be. And like Beltran, he'll remain affordable when it comes time to re-sign him, because he's a huge injury risk.

    Sizemore or McLouth? Sizemore.

    Sizemore or Bogusevic? Sizemore.

    Sizemore or ... Sizemore backed by Bogusevic?

    You get my drift.

    Let's do this thing.

  • I think we can easily open another roster spot to make room for four, so we can keep Alcantara, Beeler, Ha and Jokisch.

    Bard would miss if he tried to throw a ball at the ground right now. Bring him back on a minor league deal with incentives, he's wasting space until he proves he has anything left whatsoever. He is broken.

  • I have no idea what the respective money would be, but I would rather have McLouth than Sizemore.

    And if they can be signed to minor league contracts, then both would be fine.

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    I think the majority is in favor of Sizemore on the surface, but what kind of deal should he get?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Needs to be short term (1 year w/option?) with incentives to make it potentially lucrative. For teams like the Cubs, that's doable.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Big benefit I see to guys like Sizemore and Murphy -- aside from the potential to catch lightning in a bottle and help next year -- is that they play well enough to show they're healthy and justify a qualifying offer. Murphy seems quite likely to do just that. Given that no one took the QO this year, I think we'd get a draft pick for him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point

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    BTW, here is what I predict will happen with Sizemore. The Cardinals will sign him to a one year/low base/incentive laden deal with an option, probably a team option, for a second and possibly, probably a mutual option, a third year, and we'll all be having to read about how he averaged .275/.375/.500 in over 600 PA next season.

  • I dream of the day when we aren't taking flyers on guys anymore and bring in actual quality.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    We have two guys looking to make the major league roster from the minors next year who could be better hitters than anyone on the free agent market other than Cano. Is that enough quality?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    A bit of a stretch but good point. You are talking about at maximized potential, not likely in a rookie season, and even less likely in a mid-season call up.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I'd argue that, in their rookie season, they could do better than anyone but Cano on the market if their results are scaled for their total games played. Bryant is a force -- he just hits wherever he goes. And Baez -- every time someone says "THIS is the league that will expose him" -- he dominates everyone he faces.

    It's a comment both on how good they are and how mediocre the hitting on the free agent market is.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Here's the thing: we are so used to seeing average and good-but-not-great prospects come up, that we're used to okay first years. Rizzo is a good example. He was a 4th round pick and a pretty good prospect, but never an elite prospect. Starlin Castro is kind of an odd one. He was not an elite prospect in the way that guys like Baez, Jose Fernandez, and Buster Posey were, but he had an elite tool, and that tool was on display right away: the .300 average was 10th in the NL. Before that, the last elite prospects we had reach the major league team were Corey Patterson -- who flopped miserably -- and Mark Prior -- who didn't.

    Bryant and Baez are the best prospects we've had in recent memory. Truly elite. To assume they'll come up and have an okay rookie season ignores the performance of other elite prospects. If they're ready, look out.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    My point is that setting those high expectations is bound to result in disappointment. Look at what Castro is going through. Not a comparison of ability and no sense saying that Player A is better than Player B is better than Player C. Development continues at the major league level. Learning to adjust is a big thing and usually separates elite from average. Plenty of "elite" prospects have become average MLB players or worse - the list is long and distinguished.

    To say that other than Cano, Bryant and Baez could be better than anybody else who is a free agent right now is a stretch, though I assume anything is possible, because you are discounting too many factors. Is Bryant going to be better than Ellsbury in 2014 or 2015 (if Bryant is an OF)? I would guess probably not. Not in his rookie season. Is Baez going to be better than Peralta or Drew in 2014 or 2015? In his rookie season, probably not as well.

    It's possible, but it's not probable. Now if you said better value? I agree with you 100%. I do not think the difference in abilities warrants the difference in pay scale. But as we all know, Ellsbury, Cano, Drew and Peralta are all being paid for what they have proven they can do, not what they may yet to accomplish. I'd rather pay Bryant his salary for a 2.5 WAR than Ellsbury his for a 6.0. Same with Peralta and Baez. 100 out of 100 times, especially when you THEN factor in potential future production.

    Over the long haul both players may put up better numbers than their predecessors. But it is a long shot that in their rookie years they will outperform the established free agents.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    In addition, waiting until the prospects are ready to perform to the best of their ability will maximize the value of their contracts.

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    In reply to Greg Menke:

    Agreed there Greg.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Check out Wil Myers -- he had more home runs and a better OPS than Jacoby Ellsbury in half of his rookie season.

    Elite prospects are special, special things. Ellsbury is an excellent center fielder, but Bryant figures to be a good right fielder -- the batting stats will be higher.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Cruz could also finish ahead of them. Impossible to know what he's going to show up with.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's not a critical difference. In your opening statement you indicated tat Bryant and Baez would or could potentially outperform everyone in the current free agent class with the exception of Robinson Cano. So if you are saying they are elite prospects, and we are comparing them to an elite player, are we measuring AA or AAA impact vs. MLB impact? We are not. So they are not elite players and going back to my opening rebuttal ' "that's a stretch, but I see your point."

    Let's not change the discussion, the argument or the facts for the basis of simple disagreement and let's not collide and separate definitions to suit your argument and deny mine.

    Bottom line - it is a stretch to say that Bryant and Baez will or might outperform every single free agent in this year's class except Robinson Cano, not as a rookie and especially not in a mid-season call up. I'd be happy to take Ellsbury 100/100 times in the bet/argument that says Bryant figures to hit better than Ellsbury this year.

    And who is Cruz?

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Cruz is Nelson Cruz.

    It is a critical difference. Wil Myers did not perform as an elite player by any stretch of the imagination last year and, yet, offensively -- and offensively is critical here -- he outperformed Jacoby Ellsbury during the time he was up. In fact, he had more home runs in about half as many plate appearances.

    That's the important part. If you take out Cano and Nelson Cruz, there really aren't any mashers in this free agent class. As I said, it's remarkably mediocre offensively. So we have two elite prospects who, at their ceiling, figure to put up numbers that compare with elite corner outfielders. Wil Myers is the same. He did not put up numbers comparable to an elite player, but he put numbers like a good right fielder. I have faith that Bryant particularly and probably Baez can do the same. Ergo, they will outperform this free agent class. They will not, however, be "elite players" next season. Or it would be a shocker if they were.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Though I agree that elite players are special I still think that Baez and Bryant are not quite there yet. And your statement of proof merely pits one player against another. With Baez and Bryant you are pitting two rookies against "the field" - as I said there are always exceptions but our assumptions are many and your sample size is microscopic. That being said, for every 22 success stories you give me, I can give you 78 failures just based on mean, historical statistics.

    It is far too easy to speak in superlatives. At least Baez has a larger sample size. look, Bryant and Baez are very good players with elite upside. I think we can all agree on that. They are not elite players until they prove it consistently against elite competition.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Elite prospects, not elite players. A critical difference.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with taking flyers on guys. They're usually players who the market undervalues. I think this front office will always look at those types of players and see if there is a good fit regardless of what the record is the previous season.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed!

  • In reply to Ike03:

    The Cubs are bringing in actual quality. It's just at the minor league level. I know what you meant though...

  • What I'm wondering is with the deadline to protect players for the rule 5 draft tomorrow, why haven't the Cubs cut loose Daniel Bard yet? He has quite literally gone Ankiel on them.

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    I am not on board with a Grady Sizemore signing. I really feel we have to open spots this year. I think you have to give legit opportunities to Vitters, Watkins, Kyle Hendricks, Cabrerra, etc...They may be "b" level prospects but I think grabbing off the scrap heap is less important now that we've stocked the farm a bit.

    I really want to see Olt, Vitters, Lake and Watkins get a shot to earn a starting spot and want Hendricks to make the rotation. It's even more crucial than ever because behind them is the wave of talent.

    We need to maximize the investment in the pieces we have. The players we accumulated the past two years in trades and the prospects from the previous administration need to be developed at the major league level. I think it's time to promote some talent and see what Mr. Renteria can do.

    Another thought on Sizemore-I say if you get him, you have to move Schierholtz. Having Sweeney, Schierholtz, Bogusevic and Sizemore is a bit redundant. I'd really rather figure out a way to use Lake and Vitters. Would you give Sizemore a roster spot? Would you bump a borderline guy for Sizemore? Would you make it the first signing of the winter before listening on offers for Schierholtz?

    Aside from an impact signing like Ellsbury-which I would do by the way-I say we put some money toward the bullpen. Another veteran piece at the end of the pen. No more roster spots for reclamation projects in my opinion.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    My thoughts exactly! Enough of the reclamation projects. Besides, we're still paying Soriano's salary, aren't we? Use the money wisely.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    You can always sign Sizemore and keep those guys in AAA. The young OF'ers have options and none of them are really considered impact players. Lake has the highest upside and he probably needs time in AAA. For me, it's no risk, no block. If he struggles or goes on the DL, then you give the ABs to Lake or Vitters.

    Sizemore isn't really redundant because he gives them a potential RH OF power bat, something that went out the door when Soriano went to NY. He's also a better player than any of them if he's healthy.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Sizemore is a lefty.

    His #'s from '05-09 are top notch. I'd be all for giving him a shot. See what he's got.

    tons of walks, good power (if he can get even part of the way back). That's just what we're looking for.

  • In reply to brober34:

    Egads. I said righty? Thanks, not sure where that came from. And I agree with what you say there.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Sign him to a minor league deal.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Great idea but will he take it?

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    In reply to KGallo:

    What are the reports of what he wants? Regardless it should be highly based on incentives which I believe someone already mentioned above.

    Will a 1 year ML contract w invitation to spring training for 2 million work? If he believes hes healthy, he has to assume he can beat out a bunch of the guys the cubs have in the OF to guarantee his contract and roster spot come spring training? Or is that too much money for a guy w so many question marks?

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    The Cubs drafted a lot of great arms in the middle rounds last year and you will see some of those guys in the bullpen over the next few seasons. Could be downright nasty. But we do need a closer.

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I agree with most of what you say but if they choose to give the minor league position players a chance to prove themselves why not give the bullpen projected pitchers a chance as well. There are quite a few who would fit in nicely and should be protected from plan B.

  • Don't forget, if we add prospects like Ha, Loosen and Beeler to the roster, we'll have to expose them to waivers later when we acquire a backup catcher, another starter, another reliever and another outfielder. If they're taken in the Rule 5 draft, they have to stay on a team's 25-man roster all year or we can take them back. If we waive them and another team claims them, they'll only need a 40-man roster spot.
    ,
    I say protect Alcantara, waive Bard and Geren? (the former Brewers 1B), and call it a day.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    That is a good point and very likely a factor in their decision.

  • Geren? s/b Gamel.

  • I'm in. It's the perfect time to be doing this sort of thing, and what are your other options? The guy was a stud when he had all his body parts. I think that if there are a few teams in on Sizemore, the best way to get him to Chicago would be to give him guaranteed money for one year with vesting options for two more. That would be more attractive than incentive increments and team options IMO.

  • Well, whether you are a fan of Sizemore or not, I've just heard the Cubs will at least kick the tires here. Obviously a lot of questions regarding health.

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    The last couple of days there were some real personal and offensive attacks in the comments section. I don't want to point any fingers and I hate the word troll, but sometimes there are people who will fight or argue just for the attention it brings in return and we should do our best to just ignore what they post.

    I wanted to thank all of the regulars here because though we don't always agree, things stay civil. Some guys are on here quite a bit, BocaBobby, Mike Moody, KGallo, Giffmo, Ghost Dawg, Mike Caldwell, that Kyle dude, I know I am missing others but I'm older and not good with names --- I just want to say, I come back here for what you guys post for just as much as what John posts. There is tremendous insight, some of it valid, some of it a stretch, but always well spoken, articulate, intelligent and genuine. That's what makes Cubs Den such a great community. We all make sure to commend John for all his tireless work, and for his knowledge and insight, but I think you all should give yourselves a hand too because it is the spirit of debate and congenial discussion that makes this forum so much, much better. John, and minions, in true sincerity, take a bow.

    I work in a fast paced environment that can be stressful. Cubs Den is my oasis and my way of sheltering myself when I need a break. I cannot thank the lot of you enough for that.

    Now I will go back to being my normal, irritating self. :)

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Haha :) Thanks.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Big ups for that post!

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Thanks Michael and I agree, that besides the great articles and insights that John provides, the posters here at Cubs Den are what makes this place exceptional.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Well said.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Extremely well said, Michael. That kind of thing is what makes this the best blog around.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Run Along Troll

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Thanks Marcel.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Agreed. Well said and the feeling is mutual.

  • Sign Grady. The pack of females that follows him I believe they are called Grady's Girls would be a good replacement for Kim.

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    In reply to Nick Nesler:

    Somebody give this guy $25 for comment of the day.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Post of the day award!

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    I second that emotion.

  • In reply to Nick Nesler:

    New market inefficiency?

  • never hurts to kick the tires on a guy as talented as Grady was, now to see if there is any is left to the talent. Very interested to see who they protect from the rule 5 , Alcantara , Jockich , Beeler ? Good stuff when the ole hot stove starts getting fed some coal .

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    Off topic-

    Addison Russell really impressed me at afl. I bet a's would look to deal Pennington, especially since they signed punto

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    What about Jed Lowrie? They still have him too.

    I heard they might wait another year on Addison or at least 1/2 a year otherwise they probably wouldn't have signed Punto, but I bet Pennington is still available.

    I agree though, hes quite a talent, smooth on defense, power, speed, ect. All the things you want in a player. I hope Castro bounces back, because all the things they were saying about Russell at the AFL, they used to say about Castro.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Sorry-I meant Lowrie-confused him w Pennington.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Pennington was traded to AZ last year. If Russell comes up, they'll move Lowrie to 2nd base. They don't really have a very good one now.

  • I can't believe that they would not protect Alcantara. But of all the rest, who is most likely to be drafted if left unprotected.

    My opinion in descending order:

    1. Beeler
    2. Cervenka
    3. Jokich

    That isn't to say that they should be protected. But if left unprotected, I would expect two of the three to be taken. Perhaps one or both would be returned, but perhaps not.

    And if Paniagua turns out to be draft eligible, they would be crazy not to protect him.

  • When is the deadline to tender or non-tender contracts?

  • By the way for those that were arguing the other day that the posting process for Tanaka was a done deal, the MLB - NPB negotiations are still ongoing. Just as I said, that NY Daily News article was incorrect, MLB did pull their offer from NPB (Yes, NPB tried to accept it AFTER the fact).

    Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi 7h

    Primary sticking point in MLB-NPB talks remains amount of money NPB club receives from MLB club in posting process, sources say.

    https://twitter.com/jonmorosi

    Also from Fox Sports today...

    The problem: The process hasn’t even started because the last posting agreement between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball expired. Despite renewed talks in recent days, the leagues haven’t been able to agree on a new deal. So Tanaka is in limbo — along with the Yankees, Dodgers and other potential suitors.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/masahiro-tanaka-japan-posting-agreement-snag-puts-star-in-limbo-new-york-yankees-los-angeles-dodgers-free-agency-111913

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Also from MLB.com at 2pm today...

    Officials from Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball will meet on Tuesday to discuss the state of the posting system that is used to bring Japanese players who are not free agents to Major League baseball.

    The current system is broken, at least in the minds of Japanese players and MLB teams. For the third party involved, the NPB owners, the system is just fine and they are not very motivated to negotiate change. Posting fees, which are paid by MLB teams that win "blind bids" to secure negotiating rights with players, have at times topped $50 million for players like Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka. That money goes directly to the Japanese player's team once he agrees to a contract with the MLB club that won his rights.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20131119&content_id=64037032&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  • I have heard that it is within the next three days, but only ArizonaPhil knows for sure.

    I think the Cubs front office check with him on these things.

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    I guess I feel like McLouth would be a safer gamble.
    Sizemore may still have some in the tank- But I don't see him returning to form. I hope he does though. I always liked the way Grady played the game.
    To be fair, I can't see Sizemore putting up numbers THAT superior to McLouth.

    If we only get one or the other, I might lean towards McLouth.
    Although, Sizemore is certainly more exciting.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Safer but there's really no upside there. He's a solid all around player but probably not going to make an impact. Sizemore less safe, but potentially higher reward. I guess it depends on where you stand on risk/reward continuum.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You're 100% correct about upside.
    Can you imagine if Sizemore actually gets back? Huge bridge piece! Decent asset that could be traded, too.

    I'm looking strictly based on what production I feel like we'd get from either one-
    And I'm really questioning if Sizemore will ever be much of a factor again. I'd rather have McLouth on the field than Sizemore on the DL.
    But like I said- I hope I'm wrong. And I sure wouldn't be upset if the Cubs gambled on Sizemore, based on potential impact alone.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    It's a valid question. You could end up getting nothing. You're almost certainly going to get something with McLouth.

    It depends on how risk averse you are. Personally, I'd go Sizemore because there isn't much to lose, but I can see the argument for McLouth and I spoke to one industry source who likes that potential signing for the Cubs.

  • In the spirit of the Grady debate, some of us were going back & forth on Twitter over who is going to be our " value" FA SP play this season- ala Feldman, Maholm.

    I think there is a growing sense that it won't be Josh Johnson. Some of the names bandied about included Kazmir and the hurler formerly known as Fausto Carmona. With the possibility of a Shark deal & distinct chance we don't nab Tanaka, there is a high probability we'll be swimming in that sea again. What do you guys think?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I like Fausto as a potential Feldman type signing. Similar velo, command. Neither miss a ton of bats. Biggest difference is Fausto needs to keep the ball down.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Why not Scott Feldman?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I have asked the same question twice, with no response.

    If they can sign him to a contract similar to last year, he would be a good pickup. He has no fear of pitching in Wrigley Field, and has the stuff to be a decent 3/4 starter.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    FELDMAN! isn't going to sign another 1yr "make good" deal. His value/worth is clearly established as a decent #4 starter and he will be looking to paid as such on a multi-year deal. He may not get exactly what we wants, but a 3yr $25MM+ is probably easily attainable for him. This doesn't fit what the Cubs are looking for. That's why there's been no mention of him.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Feldman probably won'y get 3/25 but he will get a three year deal most likely. But why wouldn't he fit with what the Cubs are trying to do over the course of that contract? It is not a negative in terms of length or dollar value and he won't get a NTC.

    This is again an example of the over-30 bias. Feldman brings plenty of value to the Cubs in a contract like that and further, the Cubs don't even have to flip him again because his numbers warrant keeping him.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    You can't trust anyone over 30.

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    MLB and the NBL are still working on a new posting agreement, but it's believed that whatever they eventually come up with won't go into effect until after the new year. So in essences, Tanaka is still likely to get posted. However, it may come so late that most teams will have already shot their wad on other players. To me, this can only benefit the Cubs. They're certainly in a position to wait.

  • I put Sizemore in the same category as Gamel, although I'm sure Sizemore will get a good incentive-laden deal somewhere. I would bring him in to get a look at him in spring training but then release him if he's not ready to go. The Cubs don't need another Ian Stewart rehab at Iowa situation. Not to be redundant, but I would rather see them take a flyer on Furcal or Youklis. The intangibles and experience the Cubs would get from these two players who come from winning organizations, outweighs the talent we would hope for from a Sizemore reclamation.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    Maybe in terms of injury issues but Sizemore was much more accomplished as an MLB player before he got hurt than Gamel. I think Youkilis may be dpne and I'm not sure he can even play the field anymore, especially 3B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Looking at Youklis as a mentor to Rizzo, RH hitter off the bench and an occasional fill-in at first. Furcal could be a mentor to Castro and an upgrade over Murphy who could platoon with Valbuena if Olt isn't ready, as well as give Castro and Barney the occasional breather.

  • In reply to Cleme:

    Ahh. I see you're talking as role players. Interesting idea if they're willing to come over at a low price. Biggest qualm I'd have is that it's tough to carry Youkilis type player on NL roster.

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    Murphy to the Indians. 2/10. This offseason is going to be nuts.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    After this offseason .....E. Jackson contract will look better and better.

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    It's already looking pretty good. Some pretty hefty prices out there for pitching.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Excellent signing if you ask me.

    He had a down season but makes for a terrific platoon mate if not an everyday player.

    I wonder if Michael Brantley can be had? He's only 26, hits for a good AVG, gets on base, and he has a little bit of speed as well.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm a little bummed. I thought he might have been a nice flyer for the Cubs.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I wanted him, too.

  • I wouldn't be surprised if we try to get a young OFer back in a Shark trade. When I say young, I mean a guy who's had a taste of the majors & possesses some upside. I think this FA mkt is going to be pretty crazy; it might even be slim pickings on some of the value guys. Trades, big and small, will loom large for us this winter, IMO.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think trades are very likely. Not sure if they can get a big one done, but I think they'll be talking om a lot of guys.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    If the Pirates are willing to play, Polanco and their horde of young pitching would be an excellent landing spot for Samardzija.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think the Pirates would more likely trade Marte before trading Polanco but I think their plan is an OF of McCutchen - Marte - Polanco as early as this season and I don't see them deviating from that.

    From what I've heard from my friends and on here is that the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates are the teams that are in contact with the Cubs about Samardzjia.

    But as John was the first to report the Cubs are trying to extend Samardzjia and it may be a smokescreen, but there is still three weeks to the Winter Meetings so you can't rule an extension out. I still think the Nats are the favorite to trade with the Cubs.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    I think they want to extend him, I just don't think they're going to.

    Diamondbacks are fading quickly, and it makes sense. If they won't trade Bradley, they can't hang with the others. I also think the Pirates are a long shot, because they rarely trade top young talent. The deadline last year is a good example. If the Nats are willing to move Giolito, they'll get Shark. Otherwise it's a Sanchez led deal with the Jays.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I believe I am leaning in agreement with you here Mike. I am not as high on Sanchez as everybody else because of CMD/CTRL issues but Gallo likes him and I am loathe to dispute his expertise as it has blown up in my face on more than one occasion.

    I read on another blog that there is a mystery AL team and that you had indicated it may be KC. Let me ask you this. In thinking of terms of pitching, who needs it, and what they have to offer, as well as what teams need a difference maker - what about Oakland? It seems they would be inclined to trade for Samardzjia, give him a QO that he will undoubtedly refuse, and take the draft pick compensation. We talk about trading short term assets for long term assets, but Oakland is never afraid to trade long term assets for longer term assets. Assuming Gray and Russell are off the table, what about players like Dan Strailly, Billy McKinney (as a PTBNL), Michael Ynoa and Raul Alcantara. Those players scream "THEO GUYS" to me. To get all 4, the Cubs may have to include a RP like James Russell and maybe Barney. Thoughts?

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Meant shorter term assets tied to a draft pick. Need Pepsi.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    The Cubs will try and extend Samardzija again. They will sit down and talk. Whether something will get done, I have no idea :)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You will be the leading indicator as far as which way that scenario goes, I'm quite positive. It's almost like having our very own "insider" to use a word that has been too watered down. Now a friend of a friend of a friend who wrote a blog based on a twitter post that was originally posted by one of three or four talking heads is considered an insider.

    John, you have earned that label through hard work, diligence and truth in reporting. As Cubs fans, we thank you for being our insider.

  • Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick 2m
    Pitcher Josh Johnson signs one-year, guaranteed $8M deal with #padres. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10003949/josh-johnson-san-diego-padres-agree-one-year-8m-deal …

    I would have loved to see the Cubs give him that deal…he wanted West Coast

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Great move for him. Great pitchers park. Gets to go close to home and re-establish value. This was just not in the cards for the Cubs.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    This actually could impact the Cubs and the Samardzija market. He was a realistic option for the Royals who is now off the table.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Royals won't trade for Samardzjia. They need a starter, yes, unless they sign Santana, which seems unlikely. But that team needs offense badly. They need at least an OF and a 2B and maybe a 3B if they've given up on Mike Moustakas.

    I know you are going to go back to things like they have a short window, they overpaid for Shields, Moore is on a short leash, yada yada yada but all that is irrelevant when it comes to Samardzjia.

    They need more than just a starting pitcher and even Moore is smart enough to know that he can't drain the farm for a guy on a two-year contract that will probably elect free agency, especially when they need to resign Shields and when options like Kazmir, Feldman and Colon still exist.

    In reality, it will be cheaper to re-sign Santana now, whom the fans adore, than to sign Samardzjia in two years.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    That is a great deal for both. If I were a free agent pitcher with recent performance problems, I would want to sign with San Diego. Best park in the MLB to pitch in and build a track record.

    Wish the Cubs could have gotten him for that price.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    If you are a free agent starting pitcher would you want to come to the cubs? If you know the cubs only want to sign you to a 2 or 3 year deal and you want another good contract after that why would you sign with the cubs? A pitcher will not have any run support, not sure how solid a defense we will have with the platoon system in the outfield, and if castro can make improvements??? I think pitchers might be more willing to come to Chicago once they have established a productive line up? Not trying to sound negative, just curious if a major leaguer might think that way?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    One Edwin Jackson thought just that way, last year.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    True... Unless you severely over pay for one. Edwin Jackson, last year

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    I would like to see the cubs sign Wilson for their closer, he seems to have made it back and was getting stronger as the year ended, maybe take a flier on Grady, if he pans out it would relly help their line-up.
    Also speaking on the trade talks with the d-backs for the shark, I spoke to a pitching coach of the club and he said they were really not interested in the shark at all if entailed anything at all to do with
    parting with Bradley, also there was no interest on their part for Nate, they have plety of outfielders...

  • Happy Hot Stove start up day , 40 man roster deadline for Rule 5 , good glimps of Theo/Jeds plan for offseason , my bet roster at 38 at end of day .

  • I'm not excited about any flyers this year or free agents.(except Tanaka). The Cubs have bunch of guys where it is time to see what they can do. Most are not high upside, but some could be. Plus, Bryant and Baez are so gifted that both might push their way. I'd like to see Cabrera as the 5th starter and Schlitter in the pen. Enough with the has been, never were, and overpriced.

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