Feliz Javidad, everyone! We are just hours away from game time. Let's whittle away the time with some news and notes around the league...
UPDATE: 3:30 PM: Blake Parker has been optioned to Iowa to make room on the 25 man roster for Javier Baez. Interestingly, Kyuji Fujikawa is in Denver put will not be activated today, but it means he is traveling with the team and we should expect another move shortly. As we have said, Nate Schierholtz appears to be on the bubble, especially now that the Cubs need a 40 man roster spot.
Jacob Turner a surprise DFA
Trading after August 1st isn't easy. Players have to clear waivers, so while normally a Jacob Turner DFA would put Cubs in the cat bird seat, they now have to hope the Rockies don't claim him to have a shot.
It's possible the Marlins have already explored a deal and have made it known exactly what it would take to acquire Turner, so the hope here is that the Marlins have something arranged with the Cubs and that the Rockies
I know from past conversations with some industry contacts that the Marlins are fond of many of the Cubs prospects -- and not just the guys at the top. If the Rockies pass, the Cubs could make a deal from depth here.
Turner was once a highly regarded pitching prospect, the top overall prospect in the Tigers system, but he has fallen on hard times of late. The Cubs had shown interest in acquiring him in the past, specifically when they and the Tigers engaged in Matt Garza trade talks two years ago.
Despite the ghastly numbers (4-7 with 5.97 ERA), Turner has shown some progress, He has regained the zip on his fastball, averaging about 93 mph this year and he has cut down on the walks to 2.6 per 9 IP. He has been hurt by a .368 BABIP and a low strand rate of 64%. The FIP is a much more respectable 4.01.
This sounds like a perfect project for Chris Bosio, doesn't it?
Law chimes in on Baez promotion and it's implications
In case you want to hear a different, but very similar perspective to mine on the Baez call up and what it means going forward, Keith Law writes one up for ESPN (insider only). I can't share all this thoughts, but this one is nice to hear from an objective voice,
That same urgency, combined with a lack of major financial commitments on the current roster, should lead the Cubs to be more aggressive in free agency, too. Most of the best starters on the market this winter -- and there aren't many premium ones available -- will receive a qualifying offer, so signing them as free agents would mean the loss of a pick, which for the Cubs would mean their second-rounder, a small disincentive at most. There is one premium pitcher heading for the market who can't receive a qualifying offer, however, and the Cubs' brass are already very familiar with him: Jon Lester.
Hmmm...yes. I like the sound of that.
The Javier Baez swing
Baseball Prospectus (Free!) breaks down Javier Baez's swing, comparing it to...who else? Gary Sheffield. He also compares/contrasts his torso rotation, something we talked about here in the past -- with that of Mike Trout. It is different with Baez's rotation being so full that you can see the numbers on the back of his jersey, but Parker thinks each style can be effective at the MLB level.
Dodgers pass veteran OF'ers through waivers
The Dodgers have put almost their entire non-Puig outfield (Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier) on waivers and all 3 have cleared. RHP Josh Beckett also cleared.
The Cubs, of course, are not in contention so they are not the typical team that will try to deal for one of these players, but as we mentioned earlier today, it seems that the rebuilding plan has entered the next phase and there is some thought that the Cubs would like to add some veterans to the mix. The three outfielders are all signed for the next few years so they will be costly from a financial standpoint, but if we are correct and the Cubs want to start building momentum and add to the veteran portion of their foundation, it may be worth looking into if the prospect cost is reasonable and comes from the immense depth in their system.
It could help establish to free agents such as Lester that the Cubs are serious about competing as soon as next season.
Javy Baez's uniform number and the Cubs lineup...
Baez will wear #9. Get your jerseys now!
Here's the lineup...
- Alcantara, CF
- Baez, 2B
- Rizzo, 1B
- Castro, SS
- Ruggiano, RF
- Valbuena, 3B
- Castillo, C
- Lake, LF
- Wood, SP
I hope I don't spontaneously combust before the game starts.
Filed under: Preview and Game Thread