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Winter Meetings Thread: Samardzija, Ellsbury, Feldman and other notes

This is a continuously updated thread.  We'll update on the hour -- unless, of course, major news breaks.  None of that has happened yet, but there has been a lot of interesting talk today...

UPDATE 10:00

  • Bruce Levine lends some clarity to the Javier Baez situation: "Cubs believe in Javier Baez as a shortstop but will let him move around in spring training. Second base could be his by the end of June."  We heard earlier today that the Cubs had no intention of moving Baez off of SS.  As worded it seemed like a strong statement against Starlin Castro, but upon looking at the quotes in context, it became apparent that the statement was more about taking some pressure off of Baez.  It's their way of saying, just play -- don't worry about when you are moving up or where you are going to play in the big leagues.

UPDATES: 9:00 PM

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have agreed on a one year deal with Rafael Furcal.  He will be the everyday second baseman for them.

UPDATES 6:30 PM:

  • One of the first players  Rick Renteria called after he got the  job was to Starlin Castro, according to Carrie Muskat,

    “People ask me about Starlin, and I watched him from the other side and I think, what a tremendously gifted athlete,” Renteria said. “I have to get to know him as a person. I have to figure out what moves him.”

    “He’s willing to do anything we ask him to do,” Renteria said. “I know people talk about him losing focus and having bad at-bats, and I think we have to address those things. Sometimes you don’t have conversations thinking we don’t want to have confrontations or maybe we don’t like the answer we’re going to get, but the reality is you have to have dialogue.”

Yeah, I think I'm going to like this guy.  He gets it.

UPDATES 4:00 PM

  • We've been internally debating Jeff Samardzija's value for a while now.  Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com has written an argument where he claims that Jeff Samardzija is a better acquisition than David Price because they have similar upsides but Samardzija comes cheaper.  I'm hoping GMs around the league are reading MLB.com today.
  • Speaking of Samardzija, Bruce Levine tweets, "Theo Epstein on Samardzija contract talks . " nothing has changed " team has offered deal in the 5 year $55 million area "   If we go very high and expect Jeff to earn $15 million in arbitration the next two years, that's just over $13 million a season for 2016, 2017, 2018.  To me, that seems like a pretty fair offer.  I wonder what Samardzija's people are floating that is so far away from the Cubs offer.

UPDATES 3:00 PM

  • As the buzz dies down about the Yankees' new outfielder, it's starting to heat up regarding their old outfielder.  Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Curtis Granderson is seeking a 4-year, $64 million contract.  This comes a day after reporting that the Mets were optimistic a deal can get done.  Gordon Edes of ESPN suggests that the Red Sox may get involved in Granderson -- which would create a fun story to follow next year.  Given the numbers being thrown around, it seems extremely unlikely that the Cubs will enter the Granderson market, especially as it would cost them a draft pick on top of the dollars.
  • This is becoming a Yankee blog this afternoon.  A story on ESPN Deportes -- translated using Google translate -- claims that the Mariners have told Robinson Cano that they are willing to offer him a 10-year contract for between $230 and $240 million.  There is no evidence the Cubs ever were in on Cano and it is hard to see them getting in at that salary.

UPDATES 2:00 PM 

  • (Mike) Theo held a press conference today.  Tweets give some of the highlights Baez moving to another position "easy transition" if it comes, Theo says. Closer may not be decided till end of winter. (Mark Gonzales) Theo says Hendricks won't break camp with the team. Says he still has some development to complete at Triple-A.  (Sahadev Sharma)  Theo says #Cubs plan is to keep Kris Bryant in the minors all season, but that is obviously subject to change based on development.
  • (John): The Cubs have no intention of moving Javier Baez off of shortstop.  Oh boy...that could mean a lot of things, couldn't it?  But it really just looks like it means that the Cubs aren't going to move Baez until they absolutely need to do so.  After all, he did say "they have no plans to move Baez, as of now."  and he did say it would be an easy transition for Baez, so they don't need to start it early.  My (John's) opinion?  I think they honestly aren't worried about  a potential Baez transition, and reader David L. wisely points out that his means that Baez will spend most of the season in AAA, but part of me thinks (whether intentional or unintentional) it can also lighting a fire under Starlin Castro -- but that is just pure speculation on my part.  I think it's mostly about keeping the pressure off of Baez.
  • Per Bruce Miles, the Cubs have lost their Rule 5 Pick to the Philadelphia Phillies after they filed a grievance against the Cubs for putting Lendy Castillo on the DL for what they felt was an inordinate length of time.  The Rule 5 will not be something to look forward to as the Cubs will lose more than they gain this year.  It comes with the territory when you are an up and coming organization.
  • This isn't Hot Stove related, but it sure is nice to hear.  Mark Gonzales tweets: Vizcaino throwing 98 mph, stuff "electric", Theo epstein says.  Sahadev Sharma adds: Theo says Hendricks won't break camp with the team. Says he still has some development to complete at Triple-A.
  • Housekeeping: the Dodgers have officially re-signed Brian Wilson and the Mariners have added Willie Bloomquist.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Cubs Den Winter Meeting

For those of you interested, the Cubs Den writing crew will be at Piggyback Tavern in Forest Park tomorrow night.  I'm setting the time at 9 p.m, though some of us may get there early to watch the team we all want the Cubs to emulate -- the Chicago Blackhawks.  If you have the time, stop by and say hello, maybe have a drink, and talk some baseball.

Some news Jeff Samardzija this morning.  As we reported yesterday, Theo Epstein was quoted as saying he the team and Jeff Samardzija both want Jeff to be a Cub.  That hasn't slowed down the trade rumors, however.  Yesterday afternoon, a rumor that the Yankees were talking about a deal revolving around center fielder Brett Gardner.  We don't have any more information on this.  However, on the face of it, the Yankees seem a very tough match for the Cubs.  While their minor league system is led by C Gary Sanchez and OF Mason Williams, a left hander, which are both areas of need for the Cubs, they lack top level pitching prospects.

In an interesting sign, Twitter is starting to pick up again this morning.  Among the tweets, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Courier suggests that the Braves like Samardzija and might be in on him at the right price.

Meanwhile, Jon Morosi reported last night that the Orioles are in talks with Shin Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, and Ubaldo Jimenez.  Acquiring Jimenez would seemingly take them out of the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes.  The Orioles do have the $10 million they freed up by trading Jim Johnson to the Athletics so these rumors hold some water.  However, it could also be an attempt by Orioles GM Dan Duquette to gain leverage with Theo and other trading partners.

In other notes:

  • The Royals acquired OF Norichika Aoki from the Brewers for LHP Will Smith.  Aoki is an on-base specialist who fills a position of need for the Royals, whose lead off hitters put up only a .309 OBP last season.  Smith is a young lefty who struggled as a starter in 2012 before becoming a solid part of the Royals outstanding relief staff in 2013.  Ken Rosenthal speculates that this means Billy Butler is on his way out in KC.
  • Baseball Prospectus threw out some trade suggestions for the Winter Meetings, including two involving the Cubs.  First, they suggest sending 1B Dan Vogelbach and two other prospects to the A's for LHP Brett Anderson, an idea that has been toyed with here.  The biggie is a 3-way deal involving the Orioles and the Nationals which would cost the Cubs Samardzija and Vogelbach and net them A.J. Cole and Eduardo Rodriguez.  It's an interesting trade for the Cubs in that it doesn't get them the big pitching prospect they wanted, but nets 2 top 100 prospects.
  • Theo Epstein commented on Jacoby Ellsbury's 7-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees on Sportstalk Live last night, and the comments give some insight into his philosophy as we go forward:“When I see a deal like that, I say: ‘Look, (who) wouldn’t rather have the first seven years of a star player’s career for $30 million versus the second seven years for $130 million or $150 million?’  You want the first seven years for $30 million and hopefully you work out a deal and you can keep him. But if we have drafts like that in Boston – that same draft (produced) Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie – those are the type of drafts that make an organization more healthy."Jacoby Ellsbury debuted with the Red Sox in 2007, they won a World Series. His career with the Red Sox ended in 2013, they won a World Series. Seven years of club control were marked by World Series at either end. That’s the type of impact that good drafts and a good young player can make."More of Theo's comments can be found here.
  • Yankees signed utility man Kelly Johnson for 1 year and roughly $3 million this morning, according to John Heyman.  Johnson spent 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays and is a career .253/.335/.427 hitter in eight major league seasons.
  • Jerry Crasnick reports that our old friend Scott Feldman is looking for a deal in the 3-year, $30 million range.  Yes, the price of starting pitching is high this offseason.
  • Jeff Passan reports that the Red Sox bullpen just got stronger, as they add Edward Mujica to the mix at 2 years, $9.5 million.  Mujica was reportedly on the Cubs radar.
  • It isn't a complete day here at Cubs Den without some Masahiro Tanaka news.  Some had speculated that the new posting rules may lead his club to retain him next season.  The president of the Rakuten Golden Eagles has said that he may, in fact, do just that.“We have an obligation to explain to our stakeholders whether it’s fair,” Golden Eagles President Yozo Tachibana said.  “There’s a possibility we won’t take the next step."  Ben Badler's sources, however give some hope:  Japanese media reports say Rakuten is mulling over the new rules and discussing whether to post Tanaka. My sources think they'll post him.  A decision to hold Tanaka back would have two implications for the Cubs.  First, obviously, he would be off their radar.  But, counter to that, competition for Jeff Samardzija would go up as teams that were in on Tanaka might look to the Cubs instead.

 

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  • Thanks for the updates. Any chances of signing a non-tendered
    player by Friday. If so, who? Lets hope we can use either Nate
    or Barney in a package

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Bailey, Kalish are two I'd watch. I'd also keep an eye on Belisario and Webb. I'll have more later tonight.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I wouldn't mind seeing any of those players in the Cubs' organization.

  • fb_avatar

    I wouldn't mind the Cubs signing Feldman for 3 and 30 as long as they didn't include a NTC.

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    In reply to Ray:

    agree.

  • In reply to Ray:

    I wouldn't go for this. We gambled once on Feldman and won. Leave it alone.

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    In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    Feldman is way better than you think if you think the Cubs should leave him alone.

  • If Tanaka is posted, does anyone know when this will be?

  • Well my wishlist for Santa is to sign Tanaka & Shark both... unless we can get excess value for Shark, then I'm okay with that too...

    Did Rosenthal explain why he thinks Aoki means the end for Butler? Completely different players/skill sets.

    o/t but I called several of Butler's HS games here in Jax and THAT is who VogelBOMB reminds me of.... A little more restricted defensively and hits from the Left side, but both were legit mashers in FL.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think it has more to do with the fact that they're running out of positions. You could argue that they have a full OF right now with Gordon, Dyson/Cain, and Aoki and they're still looking to add Beltran to the mix. The argument is likely that all of those bats can occupy the DH spot so Butler is expendable.

  • In reply to JasonB:

    Ok, I haven't read the article. Butler is limited defensively, but he hits for decent avg and lots of pop. completely different type of hitter than Aoki. I could him being regulated to a DH role, but isn't this team also looking for power bats? Didn't see the Aoki pushes out Butler connection...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The best idea is probably for them to keep Butler and use Beltran money on pitching, but who knows what Dayton Moore thinks

  • Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney now
    Phillies will get Rule 5 pick from Cubs to resolve dispute over how long Lendy Castillo was stashed on DL.

    Had not heard there was an issue...seemed like the Cubs did what every team does with Rule 5 picks.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I hope this is not true

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    News to me. This is not a big loss.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Sounds like it's been an ongoing issue. I think I'd rather just give them Castillo back.

  • Please leave Vizcaino in the bullpen! Cardinals showed the value of having an electric arm in the bullpen

  • fb_avatar

    Castro's gone if Baez is ever ready.

  • Just did an update: Cubs lose Rule 5 pick, Vizcaino electric, and Theo says Javy Baez not moving off of SS -- what could it mean?

  • fb_avatar

    Spidey senses are tingling. Could Baez and Alcantara be our SS and 2B of the future? Castro used to land that Ace we desperately need? Hmmmmmm

    Are the Cubs much stronger with the addition of Tanaka thru posting process and landing a guy like Bradley and perhaps Eaton for Castro. Then using Baez and Alcantara as our double play combo?

    Getting interesting......

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Looking at it more closely, I think CSN kept their tweet short and vague deliberately to cause this kind of discussion.

    The rest of the quote seems to be more about a reluctance to do anything that implies they will bow to pressure and rush Javier Baez. A side effect, however, and this is just my speculation and have no idea if it's even intentional, is that is might light a bit of a fire under Castro.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    The D-Backs have said repeatedly they are not trading Archie Bradley. I am guessing 29 teams have called them about Bradley based on rumors alone. Plus they have Didi Gregorius and they absolutely love him.

  • i really think that the royals need to get in on the samardzija sweepsteaks. they keep making win now moves and want to acquire quality players for low costs (exactly what samardzija is). they are building a win now team, and their gm just got a 2 year contract extension so he is definitely trying to win ASAP.

    as i said before the royals are building a win now team and samardzija is a win now player so a trade makes too much sense to me. i think the royals could also be interested in a guy like darwin barney who could be solid veteran clubhouse presence to help solidify their young team.

    as for a return i think kyle zimmer should be involved and as a throw in piece the cubs could ask for sam selman, a lefty and former vanderbilt guy who is familiar with derek johnson.

  • To me it just means it will play itself out when it's time... cross that bridge when they get there. He doesn't want/have to show his cards. I get it.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Exactly. Couldn't agree more.

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    Another thought or two on the Baez quote: first, if Theo intended to trade Castro, he never would have said that. It implies that Baez is the shortstop of the future and so Castro can be had cheap. It might be true that Baez is the shortstop of the future but, if it is, Castro is moving to second.

    Another thought: the quote may not be about Castro and Baez at all, but about Olt. Theo does plan to move Baez, but doesn't know which position yet, because Baez moves to second if, and only if, Olt fails. Instead of opening him to the question: "Where is Baez moving?" he just side-steps it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good points, Mike.

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    I know people see those comments from Theo and immediately assume Castro is on the hot seat but I'll take it a step further. Any player playing a position that isn't 1b, catcher, or CF should be looking over their shoulders from this point on.

    Baez' bat can play anywhere. So instead of getting rid of a core player to accommodate another one why not bump a Darwin Barney or Luis Valbuena to the bench and put Baez there.

    We don't need a SS. We need to fill 3b, 2b, LF, and RF. Baez would fit nicely at any of those positions and that's exactly what I feel will happen. Kill the "trade Starlin" talk please. He's not going anywhere. I like a Castro/Baez middle infield infinitely more than I do a Baez/Alcantara one (not a knock on Arismendy)

    Why are so many people against the idea of the Cubs keeping Castro and Baez? Mention that anywhere and its blasphemy it seems like.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Not against the idea of keeping both. Just pointing out our need for a TOR pitcher as well as the positions you listed.

    That's why I ask the question. Are the Cubs better with Baez and Alcantara up the middle and trading Castro for that TOR guy we need?

    My point is many folks are leaving Alcantara on the outside looking in. I choose to have this guy as a starter very soon and leading off our lineup. His speed and switch hitting ability are just what the Cubs are looking for.

    Just another way to look at it I guess......

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Good points and if I had to pick I'd say the absolute best case scenario, IMO, is an IF of Baez, Castro, Alcantara, Rizzo (the first three are interchangeable) with an OF of Soler, Almora, and Bryant.

    I feel like somewhere, somehow an ace will develop in house within the next few years. Whether it be someone we already have like an Arrieta, Edwards, Vizcaino or someone we draft like Beede or Holcomb.

    The best teams mostly have aces that are homegrown. I think we will be the same way.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I disagree, our absolute best case scenario (both offensively & defensively) is Olt, Baez, Castro, & Rizzo.

    Olt's defense should be better than Baez @ 3B, but his offense is definitely better than A.A.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I wouldn't put it past Baez being at least on par with Olt defensively. The truth is no one knows how good he can be at 3rd because we havn't seen him there.

    On Alcantara vs Olt offensively, I agree that Olt supplies more slugging-type offense but we figure to have plenty of that.. What we don't have in our future all-cubbies team is a table-setter at the top of the lineup. Alcantara offers that. It's more a situation of need. Considering the way the rest of the hypothetical lineup is constructed, if I have to choose between Olt and Alcantara I choose the latter.

    Either way. It's a good thing that we can even have these kinds of discussions. Great problem to have.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    It's going to be at least two years before Almora is ready to play in the majors. There is no reason why Castro or Alcantara couldn't play center field until then.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I tend to agree with the larger point, but don't think it's at all impossible that Baez pushes Castro to second. It's largely guesswork, but I think the Cubs would be better defensively that way than the opposite.

    Having said that, you're right, Castro is valuable enough with the bat that we shouldn't be this eager to get rid of him at all costs. The day may come when we simply can't get at-bats for Castro in our lineup (in particular, if Olt, Baez, Bryant, Almora, Soler all play at or near their ceilings). When/if that day comes, it means the Cubs are world beaters.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed Mike. I just believe thay No matter who ends up where I think this team will be at its best with Castro and Baez in the same lineup.

  • There has been a lot of chatter about Japanese teams with high profile players may opt to keep them instead of posting for what appears to be a relatively paltry posting fee they'll receive under the new setup. What I wonder, however, is if this could stem some under-the-table negotiations between the player (who will now get a much bigger payday without the exclusivity of negotiating rights) and his Japanese team in way of kickbacks. If I'm Tanaka and I can sign for 100M+ (considering the Red Sox and the Rangers spent roughly $103M and $112M or Matsuzaka and Darvish respectively), perhaps I might kickback another $20M to my Japanese team to lure them into posting me. This way Tanaka would still get significantly more money than either Daisuke or Yu, did while his team would get only $10M less rather than $30M less than their teams got.

  • In reply to Cubbies412:

    Japanese teams can choose to not post guys but is it worth it to keep a guy for 1 year, or get $20 mil? If they don't post Tanaka, he walks for nothing next year.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I thought about that too, but maybe they trade him and get players instead? They can make it someone else's problem.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I could be wrong but my understanding was that players have to have 9 years of service time in the Japanese league to be eligible for FA w/o posting. Per Baseball-Reference, it appears Tanaka has only 7 years. If I'm correct, it'd be 2 years of Tanaka that his team would be forfeiting for 20M. If that's true, it makes more sense to keep him for one more year then post him next year because they'll get 20M no matter what.

  • In reply to Cubbies412:

    2 years left w/ the Golden Eagles is what I read also.

  • In reply to Cubbies412:

    Good point. It doesn't benefit them to do it now unless he gets hurt or regresses badly.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    This is wrong, they can post Tanaka next year and still get the $20 Million - He is a Free Agent in 2016.

  • In reply to Cubbies412:

    I can see them waiting until the last season with position players, no injury risk. But pitchers can blow out their arms at any moment. If I was a NPB team I would take the chance on an elite guy like Tanaka and keep him until the last season. But any lesser pitcher, I would post as soon as I thought they had established enough of a market to fetch the 20M fee.

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    In reply to Cubbies412:

    Not sure why (maybe they did) the Japanese teams didn't push for a percentage off of what the player signs for as part of the posting fee. So the $20 mil cap and maybe 5% of the salary they get, not taken out of the player's salary, but paid by the club that signs him. That sounds like a way to both keep the posting fee down and the salary reasonable since teams know they will have to pay a 5% premium on top to the posting club.

  • Two players from an important position brings back more value in a trade. If Bryant, Soler, and/or Olt/Villanueva hit for power Baez may be the odd one out.

  • Jacoby's first 7 years in the league paid him roughly : $22,202,000. Which on average paid him roughly $ 3 million a year during that span.
    Jacoby's new 7 year contract at the age of 30 will pay him : $153,000,00.
    With an average salary of roughly $22 million a year

    Which seven year span would you rather have ?

    This is what the front office has in mind when the build a deep farm system , and pass up on big name free agents who will be paid based upon past performance .

  • In reply to jska:

    That puts it into perspective pretty well.

  • I like the fact that the FO is keeping their options open pertaining Baez. I think it will be a wait and see on several players. If Olt claims the 3rd base job and does well they may flip him and bring up Baez if he is ready. If Castro has a great first half they could trade him and bring up Baez or if they need help at 2nd they bring up Baez again if they think he is ready. Great to have options and no need to make hasty decisions.

  • I hope Theo has some of the play money teams are using to
    sign these FA's

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    Julie DiCaro ‏@JulieDiCaro 3m

    I wouldn't give Ty Cobb 10 years.

    Now that's funny!!!! LOL

  • Does anyone know how much Arguello is charging for autographs at the Winter Meeting tomorrow night?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to North Side Irish:

    A glass of good scotch. Just a warning though:he's discerning enough to know if you hand him a glass filled with rubbing alcohol and brown food coloring and call it scotch.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think that works :)

    Though I have to say my autographs aren't worth a good scotch!

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    LOL!

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    No one could really understand the Taijuan Walker for David Price deal. What if it's a demand of Robinson Cano? If he leaves the Yankees for the Mariners, he wants to know they're serious about winning and acquiring David Price would certainly prove that. The timing on such a deal would be tricky, though. One party would have to find a way to obligate the other to keep his word.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think being willing to spend 200MM plus is enough of a sign by itself. This will come down to money and money only unless the gulf of a gap closes. As it stands, Yankees offer 175MM, and the Mariners offer 200+MM. I think I know who the most likely to sign him is, regardless of their intent to contend.

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    MLB.com isn't the only one who thinks Shark is more valuable in a trade than Price.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2013-trade-value-45-41/

    Fangraphs article is admittedly a few months old but it says pretty much the same thing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Thanks for the link Giffmo.

  • Geez....thanks for all the notice on the Cubs Den winter meetings tomorrow night. :) Won't be able to make it, sounds like fun.

    Two things that will not happen.

    1 - Cubs trading Starlin Castro
    2 - Javier Baez spending "most" of the season at AAA.

    Theo and Jed are saying lots of things that don't mean anything right now and the press is lopping it all up.

    Everything is going to work itself out. As one poster mentioned, where do you move Baez to?

    2B? Well, Alcantarra is there right now?
    3B? Well, Olt and Villaneuva are there right now.

    Do we really want to deal a set back to those guys at those positions? Of course not. Keep Baez where he is and since he is a good athlete, waiting to see how the other prospects develop (and Castro too) will ultimately decide where he goes.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Sorry about that Irwin. Maybe next time we'll make it a bigger, more planned out event. Summer would be better for that sort of thing too, I think.

  • Complete and total speculation, and I know 3-way trades are difficult to execute BUT....

    The Angels are looking for a Starting Pitcher (they have bats, but were at the bottom of most categories in pitching last year) but they don't have the money to pay for one, they also lost Vargas so it's even worse now - They are offering 1st baseman Mark Trumbo as a trade chip. Unfortunately their farm system is pretty barren as far as pitching goes.

    The Pirates are looking for a 1st baseman. - They also don't want to pay for one, as they said that Mike Napoli was perfect for them but that they can't afford him. - They have a great farm system with plenty of pitching. They also want to get rid of Wandy Rodriguez if somebody would take his salary as they have Tallion ready to go.

    How about this for a 3-way trade:

    Cubs get - Tyler Glasnow, Luis Heredia

    Angels get - Samardzija, W. Rodriguez

    Pirates get - Mark Trumbo, Schierholtz, and a prospect or two from the angels

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    oops should read:

    Cubs get - Glasnow, Heredia, Kingham

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The Angels have no prospects. Pirates get screwed in this scenario. Trumbo and Schierholtz are fringe starting caliber players. And you want them to deal a decent starting pitcher and 3 of their better prospects to get them? No way.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Trumbo had 34 hrs, 30 doubles last year, and the Pirates also get prospects back from the Angels in the scenario

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    He also made about a million outs and can't play defense. And again, the Angels have no prospects that make this worthwhile for the Pirates.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Agreed. Huge overpay by Pittsburgh. The Angels may have the worst system in baseball. Their #1 guy, Taylor Lindsey, might not be a top 5 guy in many organizations.

    Plus I don't think the Pirates would trade Wandy Rodriguez, Glasnow, Kingman and Heredia for Samardzija, Trumbo and Scheirholtz (plus prospects) let alone turn and flip Samardzija to the Angels.

    Not very well thought out.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    That's a very, very bad deal for the Pirates and an amazing deal for the Angels.

  • Theo needs to hang on Vogelbach to see Rizzo responds in 2014.............as I see it, Cubs have three first baseman in their system that could be the anchor of this team for years to come or be used for trade bait for pitching this time next year........Rizzo, Vogelbach & Canderlaio...............at the end, the first baseman with the most power always wins out.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I am really hoping that Rizzo improves against LH Pitchers next year.

    He has a .194 avg vs. LHP for his career.

    He had a .185 avg vs. LHP last year.

    Even in 2012 when he was looking good, he had a .208 avg vs. LHP

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    This is going to e Olt's niche with this team. He is going to provide a platoon partner for Rizzo and also be a big bat off the bench and top backup at 3B/LF/RF.

    I'm not a big believer in Rizzo figuring it out. I think he could improve his average while sacrificing power, but that doesn't help much. He really struggles with off speed stuff from LHP.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    You also have 20 Interleague games that he could play DH

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    not that their is a DH in all those games

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    It is a position where you want to have power if at all possible. Rizzo has it, Vogelbach has raw power but not consistent in-game power yet -- those are the best bets. If it's going to be close, though, you go with Rizzo because he adds value with his defense.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Vogs will be worth much more next year after he mashes high A pitching and establishes himself as a top 50 prospect and best 1B prospect in baseball.

  • In reply to JasonB:

    This

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    In reply to JasonB:

    Considering you could MAYBE rank CJ Cron and Jonathan Singleton ahead of Vogelbach (I wouldn't, but some do) that isn't much of a stretch. But the fact that he is a hit/power tool only and most likely suited for DH means you have a limited market and his trade value is likewise not as significant as you may think.

  • My first reaction was that Castrovince's position was ludicrous. Then I thought it over and mellowed. Here's my perspective: A G.M. looking to trade for Price is looking to acquire a slam dunk ace SP, probably someone who will put an upper level middle team into the playoffs, or an existing favorite over the top. That isn't the market for Samardzija because, as Castrovinces notes, he isn't as good. Jeff's been worth at least 1.5 wins less than Price each of the last two years since he joined the rotation. He's the pitcher a G.M. targets when he needs a lieutenant: Not the top dog, but a strong and capable performer in his own right. Naturally, the price of acquisition for a guy like that isn't going to be as high. I guess I don't even know that teams who are hot and heavy for Price would look to Samardzija unless they miss on Price. Seems to me they fit two different roles entirely.

  • Phillies GM might feel too cocky on getting the Cubs Rule 5 Draft pick........next, Ruben Amaro might ask Bud Selig to force the Cubs to give up a Major Prospect in the Dejesus - Bowa / Sandberg trade....claiming that Dallas Green took Sandberg scouting reports from his ex-employer.

  • Read on SBNATION DAILY DISH that the new posting deal has been agreed to, with the 20 mil. cap. and all teams tied with that bid , each have 30 days to negotiate a deal.

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    Belisario to Chicago White Sox.

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    This is the first time i've heard Renteria speak and i'm already impressed. He's already complemented Starlin Castro more than Dale Sveum did in two whole years lol

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    Salivating over Vizcaino. The velocity is staggering and if he's commanding it well too. That is scary.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Really hope he gets some nice work out of the bullpen this year so next year we can get him stretched out for the rotation (Yes iI am one of the few left who thinks he could still be a good #2, borderline 1)

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    That was the best news of the day for me. If it's all working, I'm hoping he has the chance to win a bullpen role in spring training. Maybe not the closer per se but a back end, high leverage guy for sure. It really would be huge for him to step up for us.

    Now about Josh Conway...

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Conway was looking like a future stud before his freak accident. Hope he comes back as strong as Vizcaino.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree Mike. I have always felt that the Cubs had Vizcaino targeted as a starter. They have so many power arms now coming up through the system that they will have many options for the closer spot.

    Get him up around Memorial Day and let him pitch in the bullpen for the rest of the year. LEt him go to the AFL and start stretching him out and come 2015, he is in the rotation.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I've been on record since the deal occurred: I have always been ecstatic the Dempster deal fell through. Even with the injury Vizcaino was a way better pitcher than Delgado. I loved what I saw from Vizcaino when he came up with Atlanta.

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    This isn't meant as a backhand swipe at Castro, but in terms of process, I am curious what happens if Renteria has a conversation with a player and *does* get an answer he doesn't want to hear.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He kicks them out of the bunt contest?

  • Good to hear some positive news on Vizciano. Been a tough 2 years waiitng for him to return to health. Would absolutely love to see him sometime this year in a big league uniform.

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