First thing is first. If any of you would like to attend the services for Adam Fels, it will be held at Benson Funeral Home in Chicago on July 29th, 7pm. (3224 W. Montrose). I will be there and it is open to all.
I think we will do some news and notes today as it is a big day in the organization. Many top prospects, particularly Jorge Soler (AAA) and Albert Almora (AA), will be making their debut in new leagues. The minor league recaps should be fun.
As for the MLB club, not much is happening but we will round up what we can...
Podcast with Ivy Envy
I talked with Corey and Andy of Ivy Envy yesterday afternoon and if you haven't checked out their podcasts yet, you should. They are very good and very professional. We covered a variety of subjects both on the MLB and prospect level.
You can listen to it here.
As always, I never listen to myself on podcasts or the radio, so whether you tell me I was great or awful, I will believe you.
Theo Speaks on Trades
I have made my thoughts known about trading guys like Luis Valbuena and Justin Ruggiano, both on the podcast above and in a previous article I wrote two weeks ago,
The Cubs should hold on to Luis Valbuena, Justin Ruggiano, and maybe even Chris Coghlan.
No, they are not core players but it's not just core players that have value. There is value in players who can bridge the gap until the first wave arrives. There is value in players who can easily transition to lesser roles (and provide short term insurance) once the young talent is ready. There is value in players who both understand a rebuilding situation and can provide leadership without becoming impatient to win now or earn a big contract.
There is value in continuity.
Does that value outweigh prospects or cost control the Cubs might gain in a trade of Valbuena or Ruggiano?
I believe so.
And if someone wants to offer surplus value for role players, then by all means the Cubs should take them up on it. But after seeing players like Jeff Baker and David DeJesus bring essentially nothing in return and the team receiving similar paltry offers for the productive, cost-controlled player Nate Schierholtz was at this point in 2013, do you honestly believe that will happen?
Here are Theo's thoughts yesterday,
"We certainly made our big move already; that one came on July 4. We’re not in a rush to make moves. Obviously if there’s a chance to acquire talent that could help us in the future, we’re always interested in that. At the same time, especially with the players we control beyond this year, we have to factor into the calculus how well those players fit in going forward. How well they fit into the clubhouse, what they can do for us on the field, how they mesh with the next generation of talent that might be coming up, especially for complimentary-type players. There’s value to keeping players who have roles here for the sake of continuity, leadership and performance on the field. Especially the players we control beyond this year, we’re not in any rush to make trades for the sake of making trades. The guys who are free agents at the end of the year, obviously there’s a lot of talk about those kinds of players this time of year. We’ll see what happens."
I would say we are in complete agreement on that front.
That entire article has some nice tidbits on Soler, Almora, and Theo's now well-known stance that there is something wrong with a system that awards the Cardinals free picks. And I am quite certain the Cardinals secretly feel the same way.
Baez, Soler to arrive soon?
We talked about these two early today and we also talked about the possibility of both getting MLB promotions within the past two weeks. We talked in general about known costs, playing odds and probabilities here. Sahadev Sharma of ESPN adds some meat to our Soler speculation. here,
Epstein did admit Soler’s presence on the 40-man roster would make a decision less complicated.
“The 40-man is always a real consideration when it comes to promotions,” Epstein said. “If a player is already on the 40 or has to be added to the roster this winter to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, it just makes it a lot easier to call him up than if you have to prematurely add a player to the 40-man just for September. Sometimes that makes roster management in the winter very, very difficult.”
The Baez promotion remains more problematic, as we ourselves said here. Again, Sharma seems to confirm much of what we were thinking,
When talking to the media on Tuesday, Hoyer seemed to pour cold water on those rumors, pointing out that a position change didn’t indicate that a promotion was on the horizon. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an option the front office is considering.
In Baez’s case, some would suggest that development may trump the always bothersome service time issues that pop up with top prospects.
If the Cubs were to wait until late April 2015 to call up Baez, they’d be guaranteed an extra year of control. However, there are those within the organization who believe that Baez’s development would be greatly aided by facing major league pitching sooner rather than later.
I have heard whispers on multiple fronts that a promotion has at least been discussed. It doesn't mean it will happen but it also means it isn't out of the realm of options being discussed. Like we and Sharma have both said, the benefits are going to have to outweigh the costs and it may be too early to kn that yet.
Analyzing Stats and Information in the DSL/VSL
Cubs Den reader Todd (History Rat) has a Cubs blog and he asked me for some help in writing a piece on the DSL and VSL. As you know, I am not too big on using statistical information to evaluate those leagues and I wrote my thoughts as to why, using Carlos A. Rodriguez as an illustration.
Todd does a good job of building on that and you can check out his piece here.
A nice story on Anthony Rizzo
As if you needed any more reasons to like Anthony Rizzo. Check out this article.
The Astros debacle explained in detail
I shared my thoughts on the Astros draft debacle but Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus takes a more detailed, more dispassionate view. He articulated my thoughts better than I did. Plus he knows more about law and stuff.
Video on Fake Cubs Prospects
This is a very funny video set up by my friend Paul Banks for RedEye Sports. In short, this is what can happen to you if you don't read our Daily Cubs Minor League Recaps..
Don't let this happen to you!
Filed under: News and Notes