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Thoughts on late spring decisions: Olt, Bonifacio, Kalish, Vitters, Barney, Schierholtz, and Lake -- and can a spring trade be the solution?

Thoughts on late spring decisions: Olt, Bonifacio, Kalish, Vitters, Barney, Schierholtz, and Lake -- and can a spring trade be the solution?
Nate Schierholtz

Other than the pursuit of Japanese star RHP Masahiro Tanaka, the Cubs didn't make a lot of waves this offseason.  They improved the bullpen, they added some role players, and took a few flyers.

With prospects not yet ready for the big leagues, it doesn't make a lot of sense right now to add expensive 30 year old free agents, but with the emergence of a few of those flyers this spring, the Cubs may be in position to make some last minute improvements to the team and/or the farm system.

The strong spring performance of three players have given the Cubs a little bit of flexibility to make a deal.  Rick Renteria recently said that Emilio Bonifacio has shown well enough to challenge  for the everyday 2B job while also giving the Cubs the top of the order player that they lack.  Ryan Kalish, meanwhile, has seemingly picked up where he left off as a prospect and is looking to make the 25 man roster this year.  Both players add an element of athleticism to a team that has been sorely missing in the past few years.  Mike Olt's potential to open the season at the 3B -- and I've heard today that he's a game or two away from playing there this spring -- will open up options in the infield.

The problem is finding a way to get them into the everyday lineup, but according to Bruce Levine, the Tigers may be able to help out here.  Levine reports that the Tigers are evaluating both Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney to help fill the gaps created by the Andy Dirks and Jose Iglesias injuries.

The Cubs would like pitching in return and while the Tigers aren't considered a top flight organization when it comes to high ceiling prospects, there are some intriguing arms to consider.  The most intriguing may be Endrys Briceno, who is a long, lanky pitcher with lots of physical projection to so with raw arm strength.  Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus thinks he can be a potential #2 starter, though he is far from that right now.  A more low risk prospect is 2012 2nd round pick Jake Thompson, who has the kind of size and stuff to be a mid-rotation innings eater.  The Cubs would probably like to pry the more MLB ready Robbie Ray loose, a pitcher they showed some interest in when he was part of the Rangers system, but getting a solid LHP prospect from the upper levels of a rather shallow farm system is a lot easier said than done -- especially when the Cubs would only be offering short term role players in return.  Still, Ray doesn't have a huge ceiling and is likely more of a bottom of the rotation pitcher, so it's not out of the question

If the Cubs want to take a different sort of chance, they could look into former top LHP prospect Casey Crosby, who has shown better stuff but past TJ surgery and struggles with command make him a greater risk than Ray.  His good height and downward plane could play well at Wrigley if he can throw strikes.  Dealing for Crosby helps grease the wheels a bit too because he's on the Tigers 40 man roster, which makes the deal a little easier from a logistical standpoint.

If the Cubs do make a deal, it will have to be creative -- think Mark DeRosa type deal, which as we remember, was a deal in which the Cubs were able to pick up 3 relatively unknown pitching prospects, one of whom turned out to be Chris Archer.  In other words, the Cubs are going to have to do their homework and hope they dig out a diamond in the rough.

If the Cubs don't make a deal, then they'll have to make some tough decisions internally.  The first is what to do with Ryan Kalish, who has outplayed every Cubs outfielder with the possible exception of Justin Ruggiano.  And if Kalish does make the team, what does that mean for Junior Lake?  He has struggled this spring and is probably the kind of player who needs to get reps everyday rather than platoon or come of the bench early in his career.

Another important decision is what to do in the infield with the emergence of Mike Olt and Emilio Bonifacio.  Would that push Barney to a utility role or do you keep him at 2B and make Bonifacio your supersub who can play 4-5 times a week at various positions?  And if Olt starts at 3B, what happens to versatile sub Donnie Murphy, who was an asset vs. LHP last year, an area in which the Cubs have often struggled in recent seasons?

The decision to keep both Kalish and Bonifacio would also mean creating a couple of 40 man roster spots.  It's possible that both Kyuji Fujikawa and James McDonald will be put on the 60 man DL.  That would be a simple solution.  Another idea that is dancing around in my head is to cut ties with former top prospect Josh Vitters, who dogged it out in LF and let a flyball drop just outside the foul line.  It's one play and we normally wouldn't put too much stock in it, but given Vitters reputation for  being a little laid back, combined with a questionable commitment to winter ball two years ago, then coming back from an injury visibly out of shape last season, you have to wonder how much longer the Cubs can wait for the light bulb to go on for the once highly regarded prospect.  I believe he's better off with a change of scenery and a spot on an AL roster -- maybe they can even include him in a potential deal with the Tigers, though a tight roster situation may complicate that scenario.

These are some decisions the Cubs probably didn't expect to make this spring, but they are welcome ones to say the least.  After the failures of flyers like Chris Volstad and Ian Stewart early on, it's good to see the Cubs take some chances on players that at least appear to be paying off this spring.  Those payoffs could have a ripple effect down the line as well.  Not only can Bonifacio, Kalish, and Olt add much needed skill and athleticism to the roster, but they could allow the Cubs to move players like Schierholtz and Barney to help bolster the pitching depth in the system.

Lastly, it should also be noted that while the Cubs are in a position to make a deal, they don't need to make one.  Kalish is on a minor league deal and both he and Olt can still start the year in AAA, so this isn't going to be a deal simply to create MLB roster space, they'll have to get something worthwhile in return.

 

 

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  • If we need 40 man roster space, how about dumping Watkins before Vitters?

  • In reply to Craig:

    I'd rather dump Vitters at this point. I don't see what he can really add in the short or long term. especially with a lot of RH hitting prospects who have passed him on the depth chart already. At least Watkins can run and play in the middle of the field, which gives him some use of the bench.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    There is no room in the organization for pouters and that is what Vitters looked like last night. Its a profession and he did not seem to treat it that way last night with not only the lazy effort on the foul ball but also his last at bat. I see development over where he was 2 years ago but I now question his mental makeup. It was one night and albeit a tough night for him given he was demoted prior to the game, but when you are playing a game so few get the opportunity to play, you are not only playing for the Cubs but for every other team out there who might want you down the road so you should play like you give a damn.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sadly I agree. Vitters is as expendable as it gets. Soon the infield and outfield will be so crowded that you better be on your game on offense and defense or you don't have a chance to make the club. Vitters defense at 3rd and the outfield leaves him out unless he can play 1st as a backup and pitch hitter.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't disagree that the play looked awful. Let's not forget that he's tentative and that looks worse than it is. Watkins, on the other hand is a dime a dozen guy. Much easier to give up on him. I wouldn't cut Vitters from the 40 man just yet.

    On another note, I'll be at the game tmrw. If anyone is out there look me up . If I had a Cubs Den tshirt I would wear it!

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    In reply to Craig:

    Wish this would happen from opening day. Think this lineup could actually compete ...

    LF Kalish L/Bonifacio S
    SS Castro R
    1B Rizzo L
    3B Olt R
    2B Baez R
    RF Schierholtz L/RuggianoR
    C Castillo R
    CF Lake R/Bonifacio S

    Bench - Inf Valbuena L Inf Barney/Murphy/Roberts R (pick one) OF Ruggiano R, Util Bonifacio S C Kotteras L

  • I've always been a fan of trading for Crosby. The organization's weak on lefties, and it's always nice to pick up a local guy (Crosby's from Kankakee). Plus he's shown the sort of stuff that would be very intriguing if he can put it all together, and I've got faith in Bosio.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Me too, the arm strength is there and being lefty doesn't hurt. I'd take a chance there.

  • I hope a trade gets made. There is now a small glut of players with some future promise, and I'd hate to either lose them or lose the momentum they've made.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I'd like to see one get done as well. Nothing against Barney/Schierholtz, but the 3 players mentioned could change the makeup of the roster in a positive way.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    We really need bonafacio leading off. There is no one else!

  • I think it makes too much sense not to happen. Barney and Schierholtz for Thompson and maybe Crosby wouldn't be bad. Not sure if we could get both though

  • I think it sends the wrong message to players (not jhust our current players - but future MiLB invites) if Kalish & Bonafacio don't make the team. Kalish can also be a part of the long term future here. I'd be okay with losing Vitters & Watkins both to keep them. Not that neither doesn't have some value, but not as much as Kalish & Bonafacio have to us.

    With such a deep roster in AAA/AA, we're going to be experiencing more and more of these types of decisions. I expect this winter to be very active. We'll also have more & more minor pieces to package and trade away. I'd be okay with just about anything in return for Barney. With Schierholtz, gotta believe if he duplicates last years #'s we cn get something at the deadline though.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't think the front office can be too concerned over what kind of message they're sending. If anything, it probably sends a worse message to take a guy like Barney who worked hard to become an everyday starter, gold glove winner, and one of the most tenured veterans on the team (which is weird/depressing), and trade him for the sake of clearing room on the roster, like he's just a waste of space.

    I'm just playing devil's advocate here, I wouldn't mind trading Barney at all, I'm just saying that management has to be ruthless in running a baseball team in order for it to be successful. MiLB invites know exactly what they're getting themselves into, I don't think their feelings are taken into account whatsoever when tough calls are made, nor should they be.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Maybe I didn't communicate it clearly. I can pretty much guarantee you that they do not care about the players personal "feelings" about how they run the organization. Just ask Ian Stewart. What I meant by sending the wrong message is that lots of players raved about how Theo & Jed are so open and honest with them. They preach accountability, performance, etc... The better MiLB w/ST invites have their choice of clubs to sign with under those terms. They're going to go where they feel they'll be given an honest shake and have a chance to "make" the team out of ST.

    So if you're a MiLB with a ST invite and you clearly out play others, but you still don't make the roster... what kind of message does that send? You think Bonafacio chose the Cubs over a number of other teams because he didn't trust them when they said "you can win a job in ST"?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I just don't believe that it's Theo & Jed that make the Cubs an appealing choice for MiLB w/ST invites as much as it is the fact that the Cubs have a terrible MLB team. So when the Cubs say "you can win a job in ST" it's definitely true - but it's not so much because Epstoyer is a stand-up guy, but more because you're competing for a spot amongst other fringe players instead of going into spring training in direct competition with a perennial all-star type player on a 10 year contract.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    So you basically just supported the argument for Bonafacio & Kalish making the team... which was my point. Their is no fully entrenched MLB talent ahead of them, they've clearly out played any competition there could be. So if they don't make the team, how would that make them feel towards the FO? You think they'd feel like they were given an honest chance?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Players shoudn't "win" jobs based on their numbers in spring training. They are meaningless games and players play accordingly. You decide who makes the team based on prior meaningful stats as well as some immeasurable scouting type basis. Terrible players can have amazing springs. If they have amazing regular seasons in the minors or majors, they will get their shot to play for real.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    That's absolutely ridiculous. The whole point of a ST 'invite" is to have a chance to "make the team". I agree the games are meaningless for established veterans. Established veterans don't sign minor league contracts with an invitation to St to prove they are worthy of a roster spot.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's the mentality that makes guys like Joe Mather make the team. Spring training stats basically have no correlation with the likelihood of success in real games.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    Mather had some value up to a point. I agree his value was limited... but the real issue was he was horribly over used by Sveum.

  • Olt's not at 3B tonight either, dang-it

  • I know there are advantages to wait until July 30, but if Detroit
    really wants one or both players now then make the best deal

  • (Somewhat reposted from the other thread. Damn you, John, for being so prolific and publishing new articles while I'm not looking!) I think Casey Crosby could be interesting. Once a highly touted prospect, he's struggled for quite a while now. Maybe too long for the Cubs to be interested. But if he's healthy and throwing well now...

    Don't know anything about what he throws, but 24-year-old Jose Alvarez put up good numbers in AAA last season and was originally signed by the Red Sox while Theo & Co. were there. He's on the Tigers 40-man roster and started 6 games for them last season with mixed results. As a 2006 IFA signing, he's likely out of options so that lowers his value to the Cubs.

    If they could get Robbie Ray or Jake Thompson that would be a steal. The best possible get I see in exchange for Barney would be 23-year-old, 2012 4th round righty Drew VerHagen. He's not a big strikeout guy but started to come on in AA last season and is a groundball machine with a sinker in the low-to-mid 90s. Perhaps if both Schierholtz and Barney are packaged and the Tigers are desperate enough (and feel they have enough pitching coming from the 2013 draft in which they took 7 pitchers in the 1st 6 rounds) Theo and Jed might work their magic, pull off a miracle and get one of Ray or Thompson, but that feels like a pipe dream to me. Am I undervaluing what Barney and Schierholtz might mean to a team like the Tigers?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Haha! Just trying to keep you on your toes.

    VerHagen is decent. If I were to take a chance on a guy it would be Briceno. I also think getting at least one 40 man roster player in return is going to be necessary to complete a deal, which is why Crosby makes some sense.

  • Guess we all have our opinions....but I would like to see the Cubs trade Schierholtz and Murphy before coming north. Both of these players had good seasons last year. They might be at peak value right now, and contending teams with a need could be interested. If either of these guys get off to a slow start, any value they have could decline.
    What's the latest on A. Cabrera? If he is not going to play a role on the Cubs this year, could he be traded for a lower level prospect?

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    I would keep Cabrera. I think he's pitched well enough, he's young, he has a good arm, and of course, he's out of options.

    Trading Murphy would be another option, though I think he probably has less value than Barney even considering Murphy had the better season.

  • Fujikawa, MacDonald, Watkins, Vitters, Murphy, Cabrera all have tentative holds on 40 man spots to me either through 60 Day DL or just simple better internal options being available under certain scenarios. And that doesn't even count additional spots potentially being open via a trade involving Schierholtz and/or Barney. I don't see much of an issue for roster spots right now.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Cabrera has actually posted dominant stats in 7 IP, (0.71 WHIP). His only mistake is a solo HR. His velocity and K-rate are down so IDK what to make of him.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    you make nothing of it because those are meaningless spring training stats.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    There not meaningless to a guy fighting to hold on to or earn a roster spot. Sure they're meaningless to established players like Castro, Rizzo, etc... but not the fringe guys. Their performance now dictates whether or not they're given a roster spot by their current team or another looking to grab a player off waivers. Much like we did with Valbuena 2 ST's ago.

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    I think a trade makes sense. Like you said, nothing against Barney or Schierholtz, but they are expendable and really not in the teams long term plans. I feel like Bonifacio, Kalish, and Olt have played well enough to earn a spot on the team, even if it's just spring training. I suppose you could start Kalish in AAA, but if he keeps hitting how do you justify keeping him down there? As far as Lake, I agree he needs the at bats now. He has been in a funk this spring, but he needs to work his way out of it by getting more experience. Vitters, however, can be cut or traded for all I care. I'd fish the package of Barney, Schierholtz, and Vitters to Detroit and see if they're interested and what the return could be.

  • It's odd that Barney is at 2nd and Boni at SS tonight. Didn't the Cubs get the showcase memo?

    How did Candelario look last night vs Rangers? I imagine facing MLB folks was a thrill for him.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Candelario looked over matched in his first AB. He started to lose the "deer in headlights" look, but was clearly not ready. Defensively he was fundamentally solid. Though he did make what I consider a mental error to end the game. Tie game, bottom of the 10th and he fields the ground ball; but rather than just throw to 1B for the final out, he tries to tag the runner going from 2B to 3B and missed him. Then his throw to 1B wasn't in time, so the batter was safe. That allowed the winning run to score. Situational awareness...

  • If a trade like this would bring back a prospect with any potential could you think of a scenario this spring that would play itself out so well for the Cubs? Am I just drinking the Kool Aid too much or is this the best case scenario that could have happened going into spring training? a couple of our Fliers turned out to be great minor league deals, our bullpen has looked pretty productive, Olt is seeing and hitting the ball like he used to and Baez looks a couple months away in AAA from being a superstar! pour me another glass!

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    Haha! It's that time of year to be optimistic. I think big changes start with little things and we can see a couple of smaller pieces falling into place. Hopefully it continues into the season as the prospects start filtering in.

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    RE: 40-man spots, James McDonald's contract is non-guaranteed. If he has shoulder issues, I would think that's an easy DFA decision, even if you offer to bring him back on minor league deal.

    Fujikawa is probably headed to 60-day DL

    In addition to Vitters, I can't see really missing Donnie Murphy (also non-guaranteed deal, BTW), B-Jax, Watkins, or a couple of the fringy pitchers

    We have 40-man options for sure

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree with most of this, but I see no reason to cut BJax or Watkins loose. I think Jackson in particular has shown some progress and you have to like the effort. I don't see Watkins as a long term guy but also see no reason to cut him loose, he can be an emergency utility type in the short term. For me I think that McDonald, Fujikawa, and Vitters should be the guys they use to create room, though if they start Olt and keep Barney starting at 2B, there's really not much room for Murphy unless they'd rather send Lake down to play everyday and keep Bonifacio as an extra outfielder -- which is probably the right move now that I think about it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    IMO they need to be very patient with young LH hitters like Jackson, and the guys who clearly struggled under Sveum's tutelage (Jackson, Barney, Castro, etc.) should probably be given a mulligan since it seems that Sveum and crew were pretty heavy handed in changing these guys' approaches.

    Having said that, Watkins is the first guy I would cut loose. I don't think he has much of a chance of ever being more than a bench guy. And his defense is a problem. He seemed to take a step forward defensively in '12, but now it looks more like a blip. Cardenas was probably as good a defender as Watkins, and he also had a LH bat and was performing at Iowa, but the Cubs wouldn't give him a shot at a starting job due to the defense. If that was the case for Cardenas, how is Watkins ever going to get a shot, anyway?

    The Cubs have been pretty decisive in moving Lake and Vitters to the OF when it was clear they couldn't cut it defensively as infielders, and I wonder if Watkins may be next. You would think that, by now, he would have shown more progress defensively. He could be a longshot to end up as a platoon CFer or something like that, but he's a year or two away from really being able to compete at the MLB level in that way, and it's going to be hard to find him playing time at Iowa with so many more talented people around him.

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    OT, but check out the Positional Power Rankings series on Fangraphs. It's a interesting look at projected WAR by position, ranked across the league. 2 came out today, 1B and C.

    We are ranked #17 at Catcher, and #10 at 1B

  • In reply to Zonk:

    As a follow up, Rizzo is better than the #10 projected starting 1B - these articles take into account his backups and their projected time at 1B as well. Think Anthony was #7 or #8 overall.

    Jeff Sullivan does not think highly of Beef's defense or pitch framing ability.

  • Dump Vitters and trade Barney or Murphy for sure but I have a harder time dealing Schierholtz. The organization still lacks LH power and while Nate isn't a pure power hitter, he should project to low 20's for HR this year. We just don't have enough assets up and down the organization for LH power

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    I believe Nate is on the last year of his contract so they either have to trade him or lose him for nothing. I don't see them resigning him unless it is for a bargain. I don't think that is happening.

  • Good work as always John. I am intrigued by the possibilities of such a deal with Detroit. I am also quite disappointed in Vitters. It is one thing to fall short on talent but I have never been able to tolerate "pouters", as Gator put it.

  • ST stats don't mean much of course, but with that said, Kalish leads the team in walks and is only 1 of 2 players with more walks that K's.
    Kalish is still only 26 and if he is healed, could turn out to be a real steal for this club.

    One thing that worries me about Olt is that he has 12K's already. That is as many as Jackson (BJax has 28 PA's Olt has 31). Olt only has 1 walk. The power is great and if he is healthy and can play 3B, then you might have to live with the K's. Not convinced he is ready just yet.

  • There's no chance the Cubs get Robbie Ray for Schierholtz and Barney. Dave Dombrowski supposedly thinks Ray is a TOR guy, which is why he was willing to give up Fister in order to get him. Which is weird, because the rest of the industry seems to agree with you that he's a bottom of the rotation starter.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/tigers-might-get-short-end-of-fister-trade-but-they-thought-it-through-022014

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Dombrowski has been lambasted by the media for the Fister deal and needs something to save face... especially since he didn't bother to pick up a veteran position player in the trade (something the Detroit organization sorely needs in reserve).

    Filling the holes created by the Iglesias and Dirks injuries would go a long way to boosting the Tigers chances, but they don't really have a bunch of money to spend (or a draft pick to lose) on an option like Stephen Drew. The Cubs would make a perfect trading partner in a sense because they have position players and prospects the Tigers lack right now and Detroit can offer some pitching. If Dombrowski isn't attached to any prospect pitcher not named Ray or Thompson, I think Theo can make something happen. Guys like Crosby, Briceno, or VerHagen must be available or no deal. And if we throw in position prospects like Vitters or Geiger, maybe we can land Ray or Thompson.

    Now if Dombrowski really wants to think outside the box for a permanent SS, how about seeing what adding Castro could fetch? Doesn't hurt to toss it out there and maybe we could land one of those TOR starters that the Tigers have been hogging.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Vitters and Geiger won't be enough for Ray.

    If you put together all the parts that went in and out for Fister, you'd end up with this:

    Fister for Lomardozzi, Ian Krol, Darwin Barney, Dustin Geiger and 1 year of Nate Schierholtz?

    That's just a terrible return for Fister. At least now, Dombrowski can say he just has a different evaluation on Ray than everyone else. If he immediately flips the guy he thinks is TOR in AAA for Darwin Barney, Nate Schierholtz and Dustin Geiger? Yikes.

  • Volstad looked like good pick up in the spring too if i recall correctly. He certainly looked like a better pitcher than wood did. Not saying Kalish, Bonafacio, and Olt won't be swell pickups, but the spring means nothing to me.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    It's easy to get caught up in this, "well, spring means nothing", but at some point it becomes an over correction to those who value it way too highly. It's one thing when a guy like Joe Mather plays out of his mind for 3 weeks despite a career that says otherwise, but when you're looking at guys who are recovering from injuries and you see Kalish swinging the bat and running the bases well after a serious back injury, and then you see Olt seeing the ball as well as he has, it matters a great deal. When a guy like Bonifacio is playing well after a poor half season after 2 1/2 solid ones, it helps confirm that maybe that bad 1/2 season with Toronto was more likely the outlier. We have to be careful not to counter one extreme by taking another. If a player is doing something that contradicts the rest of his career, that's one thing, but if a player's spring performance helps confirm he's the player we thought he might be before an injury or an untimely slump, then it has relevance.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    One of the best explanations of the importance of ST performance I've seen.

    And at the same time, perhaps a player struggling in spring training is a sign of a longer term issues. If I recall correctly Castro or Barney weren't all that great last spring and Rizzo's time was curtailed due to the WBC... none of them had a great season. EJax had a rotten spring and that carried over too. With that in mind, I'm much more optimistic about the abilities of Boni or Kalish to carry into the season and am a bit concerned about Lake and Parker. I also think Jackson puts up another 4.5+ ERA in 2014.

  • Vitters really looked dazed on that play. No excuse for a lack of hustle particularly when you are fighting for a career. We saw too much of that last year with Castro's lack of focus and with Rizzo moaning about his position in the batting order. Hopefully Renteria will be able to put an end to that type of nonsense.

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    As far as the tigers go, I think 2 minor league arms and a catcher would be a nice haul for Schierholtz and Barney. We need another catcher-preferably AA.

  • Agreed on Vitters, it's time to let it go. He was a colossal bust as a #3 overall pick, yeah, that sucks. But he wasn't the first such bust (Lou Montanez!) and he won't be the last. Free up the 40 man spot and let someone else play the Ian Stewart Game with Vitters.

  • I would settle for some prospecty pitchers from Detroit. We have a ton of average or slightly above average pitchers now that we are eventually going to have to do something with.

  • Oh my Javier! He is getting to be must see TV.

  • In reply to Naf023:

    I have a hard time believing that we won't be seeing him in Wrigley by June,.....

    It's 'Only Spring Training' but man,..... it's quite a show that young man has been putting on this March.

  • In reply to Naf023:

    The call by the Rockies announcer is hilarious.

    "Oh my, that ball went really, really far." Take a listen on mlb.com highlights. It's worth a good chuckle.

  • CRUSHED!!! the bleachers are going to be fun again.

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    Amen.

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    Javy went down after colliding with Anthony Giansatti in left. Left wrist injury(!!!!) Appears okay and stayed in the game.

    Cross your fingers, folks.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Boy, if Giansanti wants to take over for Jonathan Mota as the utility org guy in the future he needs to learn to not take out the team's top prospect.

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    Amazing!

    http://giant.gfycat.com/EducatedVerifiableIaerismetalmark.gif

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    Here's hoping Chapman is not injured too seriously.

  • In reply to Ray:

    Definitely.

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    It sounds like a deal sending Barney and Schierholtz to DET would be a 2 for 3 or a 2 for 4 sort of deal, with at least one of the players coming back to the Cubs being someone from DET's 40 man roster, likely Crosby. VerHagen and Briceno are arms I would think the Cubs would have interest in and I would think DET would be willing to part with, and though it would have to be as a PTBNL, I would think Ziomek would be possible. If Team Theo managed to get Robbie Ray in a deal for Schierholtz and Barney, I'd orgasm like a teenage boy having a wet dream about a SI Swimsuit Model.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks, Mike.

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    In reply to Ray:

    I know, not a pretty picture.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Jake Thompson. To me, Robbie Ray is the guy you ask for as the headliner, but Thompson is the guy you settle on.

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