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Rumor Thread: Arrieta Extension, Baez, JBJ, Simmons, Rasmus Accepts, Zobrist, Chapman, Chen and More

Rumor Thread: Arrieta Extension, Baez, JBJ, Simmons, Rasmus Accepts, Zobrist, Chapman, Chen and More
Javier Baez homering off John Lackey

Publishing later that usual today...actually had to do some work. Hardly seems fair.

The trade market continues to heat up before free agency as we saw a couple trades go down today. The big move was the Braves sending Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons and C Jose Briceno to the Angels in exchange for IF Erick Aybar, LHP Sean Newcomb and RHP Chris Ellis. Simmons is the best defensive shortstop in the league and will replace Aybar in Los Angeles. Newcomb was a first round pick in 2014 and according to John Manuel, becomes the Braves top prospect. Ellis was a third rounder in 2014 and was rated as the Angels #3 prospect.

The Braves had reportedly been shopping Simmons to an NL West team last night and reportedly asked for Matt Harvey in return when discussing a deal with the Mets. Joel Sherman reported that after being rebuffed, the Braves countered with OF Michael Conforto and a young arm (Jacob deGrom or Steven Matz).

  • Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs are more likely to spend on pitching this winter than on positional players, but that the spending could come on an extension for Jake Arrieta. A long-term deal would make sense for Arrieta since he "has transformed from a struggling quadruple-A player to superstar in two short years".
  • Heyman also says that Starlin Castro will be the Cubs second baseman next season and that the team is fielding interest in Javier Baez in an attempt to break my heart.
  • As John reported this morning the Cubs have interest in Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr., but they are not the only team as Jon Morosi Tweets that the Mariners have also expressed interest.
  • Buster Olney Tweeted that the Cardinals are among the teams eyeing a multi-year deal for utlityman Ben Zobrist, with Grant Brisbee adding the Giants to the list of suitors. There are reports of as many as 12 teams interested in Zobrist, including the Cubs.
  • The Diamondbacks continue to look to upgrade their pitching staff and have inquired on a trade for Yankees closer Andrew Miller says Ken Rosenthal.
  • Arizona has also inquired on free agent SP Yovani Gallardo Tweets Heyman.
  • Rich Hill is a popular name so far, with the Padres being among the most interested in the veteran left-hander.
  • The Padres don't believe that current SP Ian Kennedy will accept the Qualifying Offer by tomorrow's deadline, but Buster Olney has been told by rival GMs that he should.
  • Dodgers SP Brett Anderson is another name Olney is hearing could accept the QO which would allow him to be a free agent again next winter in a weaker FA class.
  • The Padres did make one change to their pitching staff today, trading RP Joaquin Benoit to the Mariners in exchange for RHP Enyel De Los Santos and INF Nelson Ward. The deal saves San Diego $7.5M in salary this season, but doesn't explain why they didn't trade Benoit in July.
  • Colby Rasmus became the first player to ever accept a QO and will accept a $15.8M deal from the Astros for 2016. In the previous three seasons, the QO had been extended and rejected 34 times. Rasmus cannot be traded until June after accepting the QO. However, he can still work out an extension with the Astros and would then be eligible to be traded immediately.
  • The Red Sox are doing background work on Reds closer Aroldis Chapman according to Ken Rosenthal. The Red Sox have been rumored to be looking for an upgrade over Koji Uehara at the back end of the bullpen and will likely be connected to multiple closer options.
  • Peter Gammons has heard from multiple sources that Chapman will be moved by the end of the weekend.
  • Detroit is another team looking for bullpen help and is casting a wide net. Jerry Crasnick Tweets that the team has shown interested in Joakim Soria, Darren O'Day, Ryan Madson, Shawn Kelley and former Cub Tommy Hunter.
  • Speaking of former Cubs relievers, the Phillies signed LHP James Russell to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
  • The Yankees are expected to make a serious run at Orioles FA starter Wei-Yin Chen says Mark Feinsend New York Daily News.

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  • So the Braves traded Simmons to get the ammo to go after Soler...interesting.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    That was my first reaction. There's a lot of chatter of the Indians being interested. I'm not saying it's inaccurate, but their top two prospects are OFers, so they may be looking for more of a short term solution than Soler.

    In my mind, the Braves were the more likely trade partner. This deal just makes them more likely. They don't have any OF prospects less than 2 years away and none in MLB's current top 10 list. On the other hand, 8 of those top 10 are pitchers including Newcomb (#1), Toussaint (#3), Allard (#4) and TJS-rehabber and 7th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Max Fried, a guy the Cubs were rumored to be high on. On top of that, their rotation is already filled with talented arms 25-and-under.

    If I were the Cubs and were trading a young, impact bat for pitching, I'd want more than one in return for the same reasons they draft them in volume. Injury. I'm not certain how the two teams value the players involved, but if I were shaping this trade, I'd want it to be Soler or Baez (plus whatever) for Teheran and a high level pitching prospect.

    Their systems match up well in that the Cubs are hitter heavy and the Braves are the opposite. Make it happen, Theo & Jed.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    That's exactly what I was thinking. Soler + villanueva for Teheran and either Toussaint, Jenkins, or Fried. Also, would love to see them add Markakis onto that deal for a couple lower level prospects.

  • In reply to Matt:

    Would hate to see Soler go,.... but if he brings back a solid pitching prospect that's just about ready to go,.... I'll wish him well smacking baseballs for somebody else for a long & healthy career.

    If Soler (and Villaneuva) go - it does suggest that either another trade has to be done to figure out the IF - or that Bryant is slated for RF in the near future IMO. Have always liked Markakis from his time as an Oriole (my DC/Baltimore area local bias here), and as long as he doesn't block somebody like McKinney advancing - he would be a nice addition in RF or LF for a year or two.

  • In reply to Matt:

    Oh my, be greaqt to get Tehran and Toussiant or Fried. Make it happen, TheoJed.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    they don't plan on competing for 2 years, so their of prospect proximity to the majors isn't really relevant. oliveria actually will most likely end up in the of anyways as he's a trainwreck at 3rd.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    It's odd though I had thought they were gearing up to compete for the opening of the stadium next season, 2017 that is I'm already in 2016 in my mind, and most of their prospects won't be ready until 2018. That could be one empty Suntrust Park the first year.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    So is everybody on here dismissing the fact that the Cubs could go after Shelby Miller instead?

  • In reply to Illinicub533:

    Not at all. I'd much rather have Miller to be honest. I was just assuming they wouldn't give him up but with their competition window looking to start even later I would think anyone is available.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    If simenton (great defense weak hitter) can net you a replacement level short stop and two top pitching prospects. What could baez bring?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Simmons is one of the best SS in all of baseball. As a hitter he hasn't lived up to expectations but Addison Russell projects to be a similar hitter, maybe .10 points higher in average, with a bit more pop and almost but not quite the defensive player Simmons is. You want a Simmons haul? You'd be looking at Russell, who would actually get you a bit more due to his age, not Baez. Not trading Russell btw, I think it's nuts that Atlanta traded Simmons.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Ozzie Smith didn't hit much either until later in his career. Niether did Omar Vizquel. They both made the clubs they were traded to far better. Simmons will save the Halos 20 runs a year with his glove.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    You don't have to sell me on Simmons. I'm in Braves country somehow down here in Mississippi and I've seen him play a ton. I like John Hart but this move mystifies me.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Same with me. Considering all the young pitchers he has, a top-notch SS goes a long way towards helping there confidence.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Max Fried, anyone? One thing the Bravos do have is lots of young pitching in the minors.Theyve been stiockpiling youmg arms for 2 yrs now. Some of them will have to sink or swim eventually. I mentioned Max Fried as an option, maybe Tehran or Shelby Miller? Bravos don't seem to want to keep there more established arms.

  • Kind of surprised that Russell jumped so quick on a minor league deal to one of the worst teams. Would think he might have had a better opportunity somewhere.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Strange at first glance but it actually makes a lot of sense. He has a better chance of sticking with a terrible team, and if he performs at anything like a decent level he will be on a contender by the trade deadline

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    Those two pitchers the Braves just got from the Angels better turn out to be legit TOR arms for the better part of a decade. Because if they really Turned down Matz / DeGrom ( 1 already a legit TOR arm if not ace ) and Conforto ( whose going to be a stud ) they are smoking some rocks.

    Looks like we should be able to get 2 really good impact players for Baez or Russell ( if we decided to make a trade )

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Mets turned it down not Braves.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Says the Braves asked for them, not the Mets offering I think.

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    In reply to wastrel:

    Okay that makes sense. My eyes got ahead of my brain. Even if you assume the obvious overpay for dealing w in the division, that would still be a tremendously 1 sided deal.

    Who do you think the Cubs are targeting if they are looking at the Braves current starting rotation for a center piece ? Shelby Miller really impressed me this past year. I really didn't think he would pitch this well ESP w such a bad team around him. There is obvious a lot to like about Julio Tehran. Matt Wisler and Wiliams Perez are both intriguing arms as well.

    I think I want Shelby Miller or Tehran along w buying low on Mike Minor and taking a shot on Max Fried. We need to attack w quantity ESP since we have such little pitching and the Braves have nothing but pitching.......

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Mike Minor had a setback and might not even be tendered a contract.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    If they are going to use Soler to go after a Braves pitcher, Newcomb is the one. But I agree with the above comments that too many pitchers fail because of injury. I would expect another pitching prospect, although not one of their top ones.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    It would take more than Soler for the 2nd or 3rd best LHP prospect, depending on who you listen to, in the game.

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    In reply to DaveP:

    I think if we are going to make a deal w the Braves it should be a big one. A couple of guys who are blocked on our roster like Villenueva and Alacantara should be sent over there so they could get some playing time along w other pieces. Either Teheran and Miller need to come back or one of them and a couple of pitching prospects .

    I think if the medicals are solid on Mike Minor, he should be sent over as well and let Bosio Work his magic on him. He comes back healthy, and pitching all of sudden becomes a strength for this team w out breaking the bank.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    actually, Ive read the Mets turned down the proiposed trade. Apparently the think of Conforto and Degrom as you and I do, pretty much untouchables. Alderson will trade his 2nd tier pitchers(Montero, Niese), but his top 4 aren't going anyone.

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    Keep the young 4 (Baez, Bryant, Scwarber, Soler) and Torres and Contreras. Trade anyone else for pitching and CF and a lead off man.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    will just assume you meant russell and not baez and keep it moving.

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    In reply to in theo we trust:

    I meant Baez and Russell. thanks for reminding me.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Rizzo?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Young 5, add Addison. Those 5 are untouchables....

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I'd replace Soler with Contreras. We need a stud catcher and he looks like he could be it. Soler can bring much back in a trade and we can always fill out the OF with other good prospects or Baez/Bryant in RF.

  • Theo knows much better than us the direction we, the Cubs, need to take. Don't overthink things, just enjoy the ride.

    I love our youngsters as much as any one, even just got a Soler jersey, but I trust our front office to make the moves that are needed.

  • In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    Well said. Soler has so much upside. It's amazing how many people on this blog would trade him.

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    In reply to Lee Smith HOF:

    I believe in this FO also. They've made very few mistakes (E-Jax comes to mind) and their scouts have done a great job. Whatever happens we'll talk about for a long time and we'll only find out next year and beyond. I just think that with these rookies we have something special--yet I see the Braves just trade their GG SS so how would we feel if that happened to us?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Edwin Jackson got us Bryant and Schwarber. A terrific signing.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Excellent point. E-Jax made us worse and I am thankful we have KB and KS. However that signing was not made to tank but could be a blessing in disguise.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Lol. I've made that point several times. Even in the straight sense though Jackson wasn't a bad signing. Had he performed to what he projected to at that point he would have been the solid innings eater they thought they signed. He simply fell off the map. It happens.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    I've made this point too but actually you're half right. EJax helped us land Schwarber but had nothing to do with Bryant. Bryant was drafted in 2013, so the Cubs draft order was based on their 2012 record. EJax wasn't signed until 2013.

    Still, just helping us land Schwarber is worth it...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I stand corrected. It seemed like Jackson was here for an eternity.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Indeed he did. And in a way, since we're still paying his contract next year, he still is! Nevertheless, the net effect was a huge plus for the Cubs. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Didn't need the #4 pick to get Schwarber.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I still don't buy signing EJax as a mistake,.... if he had been even what he was that last year with the Nationals - he would have been worth that contract. Nobody figured that he would get that bad that fast. Won't hold that signing against the front office in retrospect.

    But point taken - I don't think there has been a single really 'bad' signing or trade made yet by this front office. Maybe signing Jose Veras in as the closer last year was a 'bad' idea, but even that bad idea only cost money and only for one year.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    the ian stewart trade????

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Even the Ian Stewart trade wasn't a bad idea. Colvin never quite gelled and didn't play anywhere last year and (at the time) almost nobody thought that LeMahieu was going to be more than a contact oriented UTIF. LeMahieu obviously panned out better than expected, but

    Stewart had some power (when healthy) and was a solid if not exceptional defensive 3B guy. The hope at the time was that a change of scenery and opportunity to play every day would bring out the best in him. Turned out he was a bit of a whiner & headcase - and in the end - the result stunk.

    Process was sound though,.... just the end result leaves a bad taste.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    It was a bad trade. Stop drinking the Kool Aid. The front office makes mistakes. All do. They also have made a lot of good decisions. Trading for Arrieta and Russell being their best.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    Agreed. LaMehue turned out to be a very solid 2B offensively and defensively. Colvin had some value but Stewart was not only a terrible hitter but a terrible clubhouse guy. No FO wins every trade, let it go.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    Can't stand Kool-Aid,..... never touch the stuff.

    :D

    That trade didn't work out,.... doesn't make it a bad idea,.... not everything works out & that trade didn't hurt the rebuild in the long-run.

    Other things have worked out amazingly well. Strop & Arrieta for a few months of FELDMAN! and a back-up catcher in Clevenger was an amazingly good deal. A few months of Garza for Edwards, Grimm, Ramirez and Olt (even though he didn't pan out) also worked out quite well.

    A few misfires are to be expected even if the process followed is good.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Could have had a much more productive platoon of Baker/Valbuena or anybody else and kept LeMahieu. That one was definitely a bad move. I'm with you though, I trust this FO. That's the one bad and really only move that stands out to me though.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Not sure I buy this. Washington (his previous team) did not even make an attempt to sign him, plus he was already on 7 teams before the Cubs signed him. That's a lot of teams who didn't mind seeing him go out the door.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I said at the time something was amiss. He was cost controlled too. I was concerned about the length of the deal mostly.

  • Regarding the Castro / Baez comments from Heyman it wouldn't surprise me if this is misdirection. Castro's value as a starter has to be more than as a perceived bench player, so the suggestion that he's the starter makes sense to me in that context. I don't want the Cubs to give up on Javy & trade him at this point. He's still so young.

  • I'd guess with the addition of quality arms in Atlanta, the price for Shelby Miller must have dropped considerably. Bad W/L record but very good stats and 200+ innings.

  • In reply to tharr:

    I don't think the Braves are looking to trade Shelby Miller. Julio Teheran seems more likely to be moved.

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    In reply to TD40:

    Depends what they can get for him. I would have never thought they would have traded Simmons a few days ago. They are playing for the future, so everyone on the MLB roster is available at the right price.

    Now the question is, what are we willing to give up to grab Shelby and make him our young cost controlled starter and at the same time torture the Cardinals for the rest of the decade !!!!

  • In reply to TD40:

    Id take Tehran. Be a good #3 type here. Just as llong as he doesn't cost us a bundle.

  • In reply to tharr:

    The price drops even more significantly if you're willing to take on Bourn or Swisher's anchor.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I would be happy to do that, although it would take us totally out of the Price/Grienke market, and probably even the Zimmermann/Cueto market.

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    In reply to tharr:

    shelby miller's value isn't determined by who they have as prospects.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    I disagree here. Most of their prospects won't be ready until 2018, Miller's last year before FA, so his value is tied to that to a degree. If Miller was on a contending club, or one closer to contention, his value would lie in proven MLB assets but for the Braves his value is in prospects or unproven MLB assets with strong upside. Soler is signed for a year longer and their outfield prospects aren't close. I offer Soler, McKinney and Johnson for Miller and see if they bite. If you have to take on Bourn's contract I leave Johnson out and ask for one of their OF prospects.

  • In reply to TC154:

    For point of reference, Kyle Hendricks is VERY statistically similar (2015) to Shelby Miller. KH first: Age--25.11/25.1, IP--180.0/205.1, K/9--8.35/7.50, BB/9--2.15/3.20, HR/9--.85/.57, GB%--51.3/47.7, xFIP--3.25/4.07, WAR--3.4/3.4. Fangraphs doesn't have their contract status.
    So, for various trade proposals, substitute "Hendricks" for "Miller" to see if it makes sense.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    They aren't the same kind of pitchers at all. There's a huge difference between a 94 mph fastball and an 88 mph fastball. Miller has always had TOR potential, more likely as a 2 than a 1 but on his best day Hendricks is unlikely to a 3 simply because he's only effective with pinpoint command. Velocity does matter especially in the playoffs.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Read above--"STATISTICALLY similar".

  • In reply to wthomson:

    I understand. I wasn't disagreeing with the stats but sometimes stats tell us funny things. A stat you didn't mention was pitches/start which tells you who can go deeper in a game and that's by far Miller at 98.4 as opposed to 87.3 which means he's going deeper into games. The biggest problem with Hendricks is that he can't be trusted the third time through the order and that really doesn't look to change. Miller, with a good fastball, can likely get better. There are very few guys in the history of the game who are great starters on command alone. I think Hendricks will always have value to a team, I think Miller is the better pitcher.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Inn the playoffs, with the colder weather et al, a 95pllus FB definitely gets someones attention fast. Look what the mets did to our hitters with pure stuff alone. In July or August , a 95 mph fb inside doesn't bother your hands too much. In mid October, it hurts a lot.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Exactly, mutant beast. So if he gives you the identical fWAR in the regular season and becomes an added asset due to velocity in the playoffs he becomes, by definition, a more valuable pitcher.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Add Teheran (same categories as above): 24.9, 200.2, 7.67, 3.27, 1,21, 39.7, 4.19, 1.1. Fangraphs WAR projection for 2016; KH--2.8, SM--1.7, JT--1.8. Frankly, I'd rather have Hendricks than either Miller or Teheran. It's close, they're all quality pitchers.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    I love thAt gritty work harder than the others guy as much as the next guy. Guess it's a chicago thing where we appreciate these kind of players. Hendricks will always have a spot in the back of my rotation, but I do not want him starting a playoff game ESP in a game 2 or 3 of a series.

    i would find it interesting to poll all the FOs in the MLB and see how many would prefer to have Hendricks over Shelby Miller or Julio Teheran? I think if any would prefer Hendricks, it would be less then a handful and most likely not ours.

    Hendricks is perfect in his role as a number 5 who will keep you in most games over a long season ( thru the order the first couple of times) , At his salary, there is a lot of value in that.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    Miller has a 200 inning season under his belf kyle does not. Miller offers way more upside than kyle as well. Kyle only has 260 innings under his belt total. He is not as valuable as miller.

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    In reply to TC154:

    This is just not the case. Does addison russell have less value to other teams because we have baez and castro? One player on a team doesnt effect the other players value on the open market. His contract isn't ideal to the braves timeline but literally has 0 effect on the package it would take to get him. Like you said hes under control thru 2018, they have no need to trade him.

  • So if Fowler does leave and there is no replacement then I would have to say Starlin has a chance to lead off. No one else currently on the roster has the experience to do it.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Castro lead off? Please tell me you are joking.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I think Russell would be more likely than Starlin. Joe might just have fun and let Schwarber lead off.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Could still be Fowler

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Absolutely could be Fowler...but the scenario here was if he left and the Cubs don't sign a CF who can hit leadoff (which I doubt happens).

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Actually not a bad idea (Schwarber leading off, that is). Bill James pointed out that Williams and Ruth would've been the best leadoff men in baseball historyy, had they batted leadoff.(Of course, they also would've been the best in any lineup spot). Certainly, high OBP is much more important than speed in a leadoff guy, and Schwarber's OBP is insanely high --.428 career average in minors and majors combined. We'd miss having his power a bit lower--but not too much, because we're so loaded with power bats.
    Having said that, re-signing Fowler is still my first preference, and takes care of the problem without having to bat Starlin or Addison leadoff . . .

  • In reply to djbk:

    That is a point that is seldom made. Normally, you have a low power, high OBA hitter as lead off man, so he can be on base when your power hitting 3 and 4 hitters come up. But that is because very few teams have more than a couple of power hitters at best, and no one wants to waste one of their two power hitters as lead off.

    But if everyone develops as we dream, we could have Rizzo, Bryant and Soler at the heart of the order. A Schwarber at leadoff would not be wasted any more than batting second or sixth. His obscenely high OBA would be of extreme value in those circumstances.

    In a perfect world, your leadoff man has speed, especially stolen base speed. But how often do they actually steal a base. Fowler did it in less than 20 games out of 162.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I do not disagree on Russell. He, when mature, is most likely a #2 hitter. Castro is a contact hitter. He has done it before and been OK. I like Castro better lower in the lineup but in terms of having experience, Castro is the really only guy beyond Fowler.

    Rizzo with all of his new found speed and stolen bases, perhaps becomes a better candidate but he is someone you want to have with people on in front of him.

    Leadoff hitter is a once a game occurrence. Maddon stacks his rosters in groups of 4.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Why? No speed, low OBP....I don't see why he would be a candidate. Other than everyone on the team with a high OBP is a power hitter and you want them in the middle to drive in runs. Having said that, PLEASE resign Fowler!!! We have no viable options lol

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    Your best hitters, according to sabermetrics, should be at 1,2 & 4. If you don't get a lead off hitter and keep most of the guys I go Rizzo, Soler, Baez, Bryant, Schwarber..

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    I'll take the comp pick myself and look for other alternatives.

  • You guys want to get crazy?
    Soler + Baez + McKinney to ATL for Miller + Teheran. Cubs could then save the $200M from Price and spend it on Heyward. At that point, you can also use the money from Soler and put it toward resigning Fowler.

    Arietta/Lester/Miller/Teheran/Hammels or Hendricks. That's a very nice, relatively young rotation that I'd stack up against the Mets.

    CF Fowler
    LF Schwarber
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    RF Heyward
    2B Castro
    C Montero/Ross
    Pitcher
    SS Russell

    Looks like a balanced lineup. Plenty of LH hitters, most of them get on base at a good clip, plenty of power and more importantly.....the OF defense is much improved. IF defense is solid as well.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    Makes sense. Actually not crazy at all.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    Not poorly devised. This is assuming the Cubs are going to spend $200,000,000.00 on anyone, though, if they did, I'd prefer it to be on the guy who has more WAR at the age of 26 than all but 31 other players in history.

  • In reply to Christopher Wolff:

    Do you think the Braves give up both for that? Or do we need to take on the dead money from Bourne or Swisher?

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    braves would want more, thats most likely in line with what they ask for miller. we as cubs fans tend to value soler more than we probably should. he really hasn't proven anything in the majors. hes only been worth .8 bwar and fwar. obviously huge potential but i'd assume they would want another piece like edwards. they seem to like high risk high reward arms. especially if they deplete their best 2 remaining trade chips (freemans not going anywhere)

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    That would be a gross overpay for Miller alone. Soler came on in his 1st full season and got stronger as the season went on and killed it in the playoffs. Soler is as much of a sure thing offensively as Bryant in my book. With his patient approach, uncanny eye and power to all fields, Soler looks like an incredibly special bat at such a bargain.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    he hit .217 in september. the playoffs probably clouding your judgement on that. and he's nowhere bryant, bryant's walk rate is elite. and soler was hurt again. durability has been a pretty significant issue for him. definitely not an uncanny eye, he swings at a ton of sliders in the dirt.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    This is where we as Cubs fan go skidding off the rails. Soler is not as sure a thing as Bryant. Yes, both have high floors but Bryant's is a little higher than Soler's and Bryant's ceiling is much higher.

    Soler is likely a very solid ballplayer for many years eventually becoming a DH in AL. His achilles heal is his history of soft tissue injury. He has a great throwing arm but his ability to cut and take correct routes to balls is hindered by it. He is either likely to be injured, if he were take the "grinder" approach, or simply not make the plays. The latter looks like who he is going to be. Ideally he is a LF and most of baseball knows it. Bryant is much more athletic, not prone to those types of injuries and has a higher ceiling in terms of slugging and certainly OBP where the projections aren't close. Steamer projects Soler in 2016 at .260/.324/.440 with a 1.2 fWAR. Bryant is projected at .271/.359/.504 with a 5.5 fWAR.

    When you're talking trade teams know not to even ask about Bryant and yet they will ask on Soler. Bryant would get you Shelby Miller, for example, straight up and assuming the Cubs would entertain it (they wouldn't we're in fantasy land here) they'd have had one of their high level pitching prospects. I suggested above that a good offer for Miller would be Soler, McKinney and Pierce Johnson or if they wanted a salary dump send Michael Bourn to chicago and leave out Johnson. Bourn would make me cringe but that's what you're talking in terms of value. Soler has a lot of risk involved and you really have to accept that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    IMO Miller for Soler, McKinney, and Pierce Johnson is a very good trade for Atl. I think it is an overpay for us. I think Theo would hang up pretty fast.

  • In reply to John57:

    How about Soler and Gleyber Torres for Miller? Proven pitcher with solid numbers and higher potential for a lot of uncertainty in Soler and an 18 year old who looks great but difficult to project at 21?

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think I would do a one for one Soler and Miller. And I think Soler has the higher potential, but Miller is definitely producing more value right now. Just my 2 cents. I also would do a Soler for a Danny Salazar one for one trade too, same reasoning.

  • In reply to John57:

    Atalanta and Cleveland would both turn you down. Your talking about 2 proven MOR starters who could project as TOR starters for an unproven OF with a soft tissue injury history. That history cancels out any advantage you'd have with a position player going for a pitcher, who of course always carry injury risk.

  • In reply to John57:

    TC154
    Soler did have some muscle imbalance problem a while ago but he didn't have leg problems this year. He did have a spained ankle though. I think he is still adjusting into his body. He was only 23 this year. I think his injury history is overblown.

  • In reply to TC154:

    No thanks. For three years of Miller before free agency?. He is already Arb eligible so will not be dirt cheap either.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Not Torres. Maybe Soler and Alcantara, who has a realistic chance at playing time in Atl in 2016.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    I'd do it, even if the $avings wasn't used for Heyward. That would be a heck of a pitching staff.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    I like it!

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    actually makes pretty good sense. Only thing is Heyward is likely going to end up as costly as Price.

  • Would anyone consider a fair trade of Addison Rusell back to Oakland for Sonny Gray or would that not be enough for Oakland? Then we have Baez at short and Castro at second and add a 26 year old TOR pitcher.

  • In reply to Ironman129:

    Russell isn't going anywhere.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I hope not!

  • In reply to TD40:

    I agree. We need Russell. Fill holes in other ways.

  • In reply to TD40:

    I love Russell and don't want to trade him (or any other kids), but never understand why he is untouchable and Baez, Castro, Soler, etc can be traded. I know this was discussed before but I must stress that Russell shouldn't be more untouchable than Soler or Baez. Really, Rizzo, Bryant and Schwarber (as a lefty and possible catcher) should be the only untouchables.

  • In reply to springs:

    Do you remember when he moved to SS full-time during the season, how the team immediately took off like a rocket? Yes, he wasn't the only catalyst, Schwarber emerged at this time, and Fowler did, too, but also it was no coincidence that this move resulted in the huge run the Cubs made late in the season.

    Russell is a special, possibly once-in-a-lifetime SS for the Cubs. He could end up being the best of all the Cubs young stars. Why would you consider trading him?

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I don't get this over the top love for Russell. What has he done for a "once in a lifetime SS" tag? He is a nice player with some upside. But he isn't Ozzie Smith on D. He is not A Rod at the plate, he is not Jeter as a leader/face of the franchise, he is not Rickey Henderson on the base paths. So I am not sure of this position of a generational talent. Heck, his numbers from his minor league days do not scream "future batting champ, silver slugger, gold glove winner", etc. He's a good player with potential to be very good. But it is not clear he is superior to Baez by any stretch. He OPS'd less than .700 last year.

    If a TOR arm -- Harvey, DeGrom, Syndegaard, Gray were offered in a deal for him, you take it and put Baez at SS and move on.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm on you side on this one rbrucato. I don't see what apparently many others see in Russell. I think he has a chance to be good, maybe even very good, but I don't see "great". If we could get a young TOR arm for him, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

  • In reply to springs:

    Russell gives you consistent and close to Gold-Glove defense at the most important position on the field besides pitcher and catcher. He will more than likely win a Gold-Glove, maybe a few. This is why he is untouchable compared to Baez, Castro and Soler. Perhaps Baez can win a Gold-Glove, but I don't see him being nearly as consistent as Russell on defense.

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    In reply to Ironman129:

    not enough. baez is a fine chip and we don't need an ace, just a 2 or a 3. someone on the gio gonzalez level. javy baez, vogelbach, pierce johnson for verlander and the tigers eat 37 mil. verlander basically on a 4 year 75 mil dollar deal with a vesting option. :D

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Verlander is not who he was. He is older, lost velo, not worth much in terms of prospects at this point. When you say we don't need an ace. The Mets have 4 and potentially 5 depending on how Wheeler comes back from TJ. If I have an opportunity to get an ace, I'll take it.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    how many aces did the royals have? the cardinals had a bunch of 2's. the blue jays only had price for half a year. theres only 10 true aces in the majors. so its not a knock calling someone a 2 or a 3. and he was pretty damn good last year, 2.8 war in 133 innings is roughly 4.4 war prorated over the whole year. not too mention that was with him coming back from injury. i think you will be surprised by him next year.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Royals don't strike out in record numbers either. No team is the same but some match up better than others.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    Im confused what us striking out a lot has to do with pitching. My point is the mets have the best staff in the majors and still couldnt win. And matz and wheeler arent aces nor have the potential for it.

  • In reply to mcoley32:

    Verlander makes sense if the deal includes Kate Upton!

  • In reply to Ironman129:

    Sorry, Russell is an everyday SS whos likely to be a solid big leaguer for a long while. Sonny Gray is excellent, but he pitches once every 5 days. I trade mmy depth for Gray, not my stars.

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    Except to the Hall of Fame. Baby.

  • Russel will not be moved.Baez is the most likely to go. He can bring a lot in return and he's from the previous FO.

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    Wow. I cannot believe the Mets didn't trade for Simmons.

    That is beyond baffling.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    same division. teams don't like to do that with players on long term deals. maybe aybar since the mets would only have him in a year the braves don't plan on competing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Bravoos asked for 2 untouchables in DeGrom or Harvey and Conforto. Since Cespedes and Murphy are likely gonne, Mets need Confortos bat more than Simmons glove.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    They're going to trade Harvey. They may have made a serious mistake there not taking Simmons in trade. I wouldn't guarantee they get a better offer.

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    In reply to mutant beast:

    Harvey only has 3 years left and they'll likely trade him in 2. SS is a massive hole for them and the rest of their young guns would only benefit from Simmons behind them.

    They can go and buy a bat or two. You can't just buy the best shortstop of a generation.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Im in agreement with you and TC, Mets were dumb not to trade for Simmons. The Ozzie Smith/Omar Vizquel of his generation was there for the taking, and starting pitching depth is the one thing the Mets have. Harvey is a TOR, yes, but Simmons is an everyday player whose glove is once in a decade.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Best shortstop of a generation? He is good defensively but c'mon.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I think he is the best of this generation. Some good ones out there, but nobody makes the plays Simmons does.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We all agree he is very good defensively at a premium position. But in no shape or form would I trade Matt Harvey for him (with 3 more years of control). I like our guy (Addison Russell) just as much if not more. A SS to get excited about is someone like Carlos Correa. There you also get elite batting at a premium position.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I didn't say I would do that. But as far as defense goes, Simmons is the best hands down -- and he's the best we've seen in a long time.

  • Angels are going to be a fun team to watch.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    we start 2016 with them in Anahiem. Still need a LF tho. My guess is they'll be players for Heyward.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I think with Anaheim it's going to be tough to push in the astronomical amounts of cash it'll take for Heyward. I do see the fit and I'm perhaps wrong but they are still paying Hamilton almost all of that salary for 2 more years even though he's with Texas now. Something like $25 mil a year.

    I can see a player like Gordon landing in Anaheim.

  • In reply to drockttu:

    either of the above iis a fit. Gordon likely wont cost as much, hes also 6 yrs older, so a long-term deal could potentially blow up on them, as Hami;ton did, Pujols will (out until June , and slipping everywhere except his power numbers) and CJ Wilson also never truly panned out there. But Arte Moreno has never been afraid to spend, so I wont underestimate there willingness to take another risk.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Good point...I suppose if you're going to drop 9 figures, spend it for the 26 year old. The Angels will spend it as we've seen in the past.

    I would think this deal for Heyward is going to be around the 7 year range for duration. I do think it'll be north of 190. Whereas I would think Gordon makes more sense as a 4-5 year deal around 100.

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    In reply to drockttu:

    Tough choice, but would I rather pay Jason Heyward 6- 7 years 150-190 million or alex Gordon 4-5 years 90-110 million ?

    I am paying the younger, more versatile Heyward 99 times out of 100

    Personally I think Heyward bets on himself like Grienke and signs a deal that he can opt out in 4-5 years and sign another monster deal at a time where almost every MLB team will be flush w Benjamin's

  • Rizzo, Bryant, Soler, Schwarber and Addison Russell are the nucleus of our team...please keep these guys together. The chemistry they have as a unit showed this season.

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    Imo, Baez is more of a keeper than Soler. Baez can play multiple positions, most notably an awesome 3B. Soler only plays RF. If Jorge gets traded then Bryant will probably platoon RF/OF/3B. Baez can platoon at 3B, 2B, SS. In the bigger picture Baez brings more value & flexibility than Soler.

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    In reply to Antman:

    Is there such a thing as too much flexibility fitting on the 25 man? There's so many interchangeable parts already. But the FO said they would still like flexible players & it's something they're looking for in FA or trade.

  • In reply to Antman:

    You left out that with his issues on routes to the ball he really should be playing LF where he will never play with the Cubs. I'd listen to trades on both guys but be more willing to move Soler.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I should add though that I do like Soler and his professional approach at the plate. I would rather not move either guy but it would be Soler over Baez if I had to move one.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I've thought about Schwarber being traded. The main pieces being him & Betts. Schwarber would be a beast @ Fenway, he could DH, etc. Betts would fill a lot of needs for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Antman:

    See he's the absolute last guy I would trade (ok tied with Bryant). I think as a hitter his upside is literally too insane to discuss. Plus the thought of having two left handed hitters of the caliber of Rizzo and Schwarber in that lineup makes one drool. That is an advantage you do not give up. I do love Betts though, Boston is my second favorite team, just not for Schwarber.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Schwarber's LH/power bat is the whole reason I'd keep him right now. It's his D & position that are questionable. He's passable in LF, but his catching abilities will determine if he'll be an elite player or good.

  • In reply to Antman:

    His potential is not just as a very good hitter, it's as a historic one. Nobody knows if he'll reach that but we're nowhere near the point where you would give up that ghost. If three years in he's just a good power hitter you can trade him to the AL as a DH for value. People have made room for below average fielders in LF for lesser hitters than Schwarber looks to be. I don't think he's a starting catcher, although he could play their 3 times a week maybe in a platoon with Contreras, but I do think he's more athletic than people think and he'll get better in LF.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Actually, Schwarber is athletic, though his athleticism is better geared for football. Kyle's weakness at both of defensive positions is, that he is not blessed with soft hands. The alleged misplays against the Mets were not because of bad routes, but that he boxed the catches even though he got to ball in both tough plays. Behind the plate pitches pop out of his glove that he then must scramble for. This is most likely why he could not and has not played first. He will need to be cognizant and always concentrate.

  • In reply to Antman:

    In basketball, you always take a great big man over a great point guard, simply because there aren't as many great big men. Schwarbers power bat is difficult to replace(just like the Mets wont trade Conforto). Betts is a nice player whod certainly be a fine CF in Wrigley, but there are players who can be Mookie Betts. There aren't too many Kyle Schwarbers to go around.

  • In reply to Antman:

    I agree. That plus Soler's injury history makes me also value Baez more.

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    In reply to wthomson:

    And if Soler goes they can fix the problem internally or inexpensively. Depending on CF defense.

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    the thing about Heyward is so much of his value is tied do
    his defense ( and statistically defensive WAR)
    but he prob would not put up those same numbers in center.

  • Why are so many folks trying to trade huge bats for not-so-huge pitching? I would not trade any of Soler/Baez let alone Bryant/Schwarber/Russell for a single pitcher. Some of these suggestions would do it for something as measly as Shelby Miller. Not a TOR even maybe a potential number 2 likely a 3. A trade for Baez/Soler may start with Miller but there should be much more coming with a guy like Miller.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Miller is a very good pitcher with TOR potential. He's likely never an ace of a staff but a solid number 2. For a team that's going to have some aging pitchers that's valuable. I would prefer Miller to anyone of the Cubs likely FA targets except for Zimmermann (I'm leaving out the big 3 of Price, Greinke and Cueto because I don't think they're real targets) and Miller is 4 years younger and has potential to be a better pitcher than Zimmermann. It's a small sample size but Miller was a 3.4 fWAR in 2014 while Zimmermann was a 3.0. Miller would be much cheaper as well but you do have to factor in the cost of losing a player. I would be happy with either a trade led by Soler for Miller or a FA deal for Zimmermann at 6/$120 mil.

  • Would be sad to see Baez traded, but between him and Castro, I think I'd rather keep Starlin.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    I just wouldn't trade Javy yet. He is so gifted and progressed so much after the terrible first call up. He did it in year that he was injured in the middle and missed time in the beginning for a close family death. I don't know his value, but it should take a big haul to find out.

  • In reply to Jared Wyllys:

    I tend to agree with you but all it would take is for Baez to have two months like Castro had last Aug/Sept and I'm guessing you'd find many more people favoring retaining Baez over Castro.

    Only problem is that Baez has that potential but hasn't delivered it and Castro has done it a few times in his career and now has a ctt for that which impacts his trade value.

    I like Baez baseball instincts over Castro' apparent instincts but he hasn't yet delivered at the ML level.

  • I would advocate not trading any of our young players and only sign FAs. I would give the kids one more year to develop

  • Too bizarre/funny not to share: http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/most-bizarre-sports-story-year-involves-600-chris-denorfia-bobbleheads

  • castro hitting 7th seems good, esp if Baez is hitting somewhere lower.

  • "However, [Rasmus] can still work out an extension with the Astros and would then be eligible to be traded immediately."

    He could also say that he is not signing an extension unless it has some form of no trade clause.

    Again, it is somehow forgotten that both sides have to agree to a deal.

    Speigs and Goff just discussed how the strategy of "nobody takes the QO" might have just taken a hit.

  • Soler+ for Tehran and Maybin?!?
    Possibly give Maybin a QO next off-season for another sandwich pick?!!

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Gamble with Maybin. Not sure teams value him enough for a QO unless he has a eyebrow raising type season though..

  • I'm assuming most people on here haven't seen Soler play in person. He is a freak. Rocket-cannon arm, power potential is oozing, and he has a surprisingly great eye at the plate. So in my opinion this talk of trading him needs to stop unless it's for a mighty haul.

  • In reply to JCubby:

    I agree JCubby.

  • In reply to JCubby:

    Why would you assume that? He isn't a prospect in rookie ball. I would assume most have in fact seen him play live.

    And I don't think anyone wants to trade him for less than a great haul.

    A rocket arm only does so much if you have trouble fielding the ball. And power and plate discipline are only good if the guy can stay healthy. His question marks about his game may be different than Baez or Castro, but there are questions none the less. If Schwarber ends up a full time OF then serious considerations need to be made about the type of defense the team can field with those two guys in the corners. I don't want to trade the guy, but they have to be willing to listen.

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    In reply to JCubby:

    Power POTENTIAL. Avisail garcia was called mini miggy coming up. Hes still terrible. Soler needs to add loft to his swing, its not a sure thing he is capable of doing this. And even with his plus arm hes not even an average rf.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Jorge Soler has put up better numbers than Avisail García so not really a fair comparison. OBP is a huge indicator of future success and Soler has been quite a bit better there than Garcia.

  • If we do deal with the Braves can we get Arodys Vizcaino back?

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    I couldn't agree more! Everytime that guy steps in the batters box, I wonder how hard he is going to hit it. Yes, he had some struggles this year. I thinkle we can all agree however that he got some really crappy calls on pitches outside the zone that altered his natural approach. I want his bat in the lineup and his cannon arm in right.

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    This was supposed to be a response to JCubby

  • Why do you feel that way about Soler? I like him. I think he's going to be a good, but not great, MLB player for ten years but the unbridled love mystifies me. Now I feel some of that for Bryant and Schwarber but I feel that there are elements of their games that could possibly hit the truly special category.Both of those guys have almost unheard of OBP potential for power hitters overcoming some issues with K rate both should his 35 plus HR/year. Schwarber actually has the potential to strike out a lot less and get his K rate under 20%. Bryant's probably a 25% guy for his career but again the OBP makes up for that. Both look to have OPS in the .900 range in teh meat of their careers. I don't think Soler will be there but admittedly has a chance to. I guess I'm missing something in the supreme Soler love, and I really, really like him. If he plays her for 10 year I'll be happy, but if he brings in a pitcher than helps the Cubs a World Series well I'll be pretty happy then too.

  • In reply to TC154:

    What you are missing is the huge potential Soler has as a 23 year old player. Remember his coming out party against the Cardinals a couple of years back when he mashed two homeruns? He shows signs of patience at the plate and huge power. He is also cost controlled. We don't know what his true potential is yet but we will forever lose out on it if he is traded.

    I think the bottom line is if we do trade Soler, we have to get a strong haul of players back.

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    In reply to MoneyBall:

    Andrelton simmons hit more homers at the same age for reference.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I guess my question is this; how many of those cost controlled guys with huge potential can you keep when you have other needs and some fit issues? I think Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber & Russell are as close to untouchables as they have on the team given the theory that no one is truly untouchable if the right offer comes. So that leaves you three major league, or close to major league, assets to trade with Soler, Baez and Castro and the value is likely in that order. None of them are enough to get you a young cost controlled pitcher on their own but Soler and Baez can probably lead a package for one. Sadly, Castro probably can't at this point. I'm just occasionally mystified at the unwillingness to think about moving players. This team needs more contact, a CF and 2 starting pitchers and that's not even talking about the bullpen or bench depth. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelette.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Ultimately it depends on how the front office wants to construct this team but yes, I do think you can keep the position players and fill needs. Free agency can get you at least one premium pitcher. Then you have Arrieta, Lester, free agent signing, Hendricks, Hammel. Not a bad starting 5. I am not convinced that we need to get a stud CF.

    So there are a lot of ways to go. We don't have to trade Soler for pitching.

  • Miller has changed his offerings this past season. Obviously he isn't satisfied with his repertoire. He has a history of using four-seamers, curves, changeups, and sinkers. This sinker heavy approach has improved his GB/FB rate from .97 last year to 1.40 in 2015. Given the trade to Atlanta, the W/L results must be frustrating. In summary he appears to be a perfect example of a very high level pitcher available at a cheap price and and cheap controlled salary. Add in Bosio's history with his roster along with the mentoring of Lester and Arrieta and we seem to have a perfect solution to our SP needs.

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