Quick Hits: Toronto Prospects

The Jeff Samardzija rumors are still swirling around. Toronto was the hot destination for a while before other teams joined in the fray. I decided to take some time and compile a few opinions on some prospects. We’ll start with Toronto first since they seemed to be the most aggressive pursuers of Samardzija.

I’m going to give you a brief biographical outline on 4 prospects that I like from their system. There will also be scouting reports by Chris King (@statsking) of Baseball Prospectus and Kevin Brown (@duyarvish) of World Series Dreaming.

Aaron Sanchez is not included on this list but there will be a write up on him coming soon.

 Alberto Tirado

Spent 2013 in rookie ball, compiled a 21.3-9.7 K%-BB% with a 1.68 ERA in 48.1 innings of work as an 18 year old. Signed as a 17 year old out of the Dominican Republic and he turns 19 in December.

Lanky frame that could use some more maturing; tends to throw from 3/4 slot, but will drop the arm angle at times; has a tough time repeating his delivery and staying consistent with his release point; FB consistently 92-95 while touching 96; FB has some late arm-side run and is explosive when he keeps it down in the zone; SL flashes plus potential; usually sits in the 82-85 range with a sharp break; CH is another possible plus offering; 82-84 range; some depth and good fade action; maintains good arm speed; exciting young arm with a nice 3 pitch arsenal.

Chris King

Some video on Tirado:

I like that Tirado has a 3 pitch arsenal which includes a good changeup. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pitcher repertoires, I have a big changeup fetish. If Tirado is using fastball arm action on a changeup and is still getting good fade on it I think that ups his chances of succeeding. Like everyone on the list he’s still a dream projection but I like him a lot.

Dawel Lugo

18 year old shortstop who earned a promotion to low A Vancouver last season for a brief stint. Posts a career 66-13 K-BB ratio which is concerning and his stat line doesn’t pop out at you but he’s got a lot of projection.

Strong build; very impressive bat; above-average bat speed; approach is a work in progress as he gets too aggressive at times; decent pitch recognition; consistently barrels up the ball and makes loud contact; willing to use all fields; gap to gap power; glove is just ok for SS; not a major concern right now as he plays it competent enough; decent range and actions; footwork is pretty clean; nice hands; strong and accurate arm; throws well on the move; a move to 3B is a real possibility as he grows, but his bat will play at either position.

Chris King

I like the bat speed reports and the gap to gap power. Loud contact is a big draw for me. It seems like the Cubs are stockpiling minor league middle infielders but again, you can never have too many of those guys.

D.J. Davis

19 year old with a high walk rate and a high strikeout rate. Spent all of 2013 in rookie ball where he posted a .240/.323/.418 slash line with a 29.5-10.1 K%-BB% ratio.

Strong and athletic as hell; plus plus speed, but lacks natural base running instincts; swing is much improved from last year; showing the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and over the fence; future average home run power; will chase and help the pitcher as he struggles recognizing off-speed stuff; contact is key for him; frustrating defensively; has the tools to be above-average in CF, but lacks consistency; regularly is out of position before the pitch; top flight speed allows him to make up for this; reads the ball off the bat and his routes are continuing to improve; arm is just average for me; overall he has tools for days, but realizing all of them is still a question.

-Chris King

I like Davis because of his speed and his gap power which is a bias for me. He’s a high risk player with a high probability of flaming out in advanced levels but…gap power and natural speed is very attractive to me.

Sean Nolin

Big frame at 6’5 235 lbs. Got a brief audition at the major league level which went poorly. Had a 26.8-6.5 K%-BB% ratio in 92 AA innings last year.

Nolin measures in at 6-5. The long island kid has been largely effective since being taken as a 6th round pick by the Jays in 2010. When I saw him he sat at 89-91. The fastball was effective and had movement and AA hitters had plenty of issues making contact on it. The changeup was his out pitch and it was consistently getting swings and misses. He throws a curveball and a slider but he favored the curveball when I saw him. I don’t think he had the slider working that day but a scout I was talking to after the game seemed to think that both pitches can be average. He looks like he can be a strong number 4 starter that might have numbers that appear slightly better.

-Kevin Brown (The Blogger)

Some Nolin Video:

I’ve heard that he’s essentially near major league ready. Low risk guy, moderate basement, low ceiling but he’d likely be an insurance piece to go along with some high risk prospects. Again, my bias for a good fastball-change combo is showing with Nolin. If the Cubs were to get Nolin along with other pieces with higher upside I think he can earn a rotation spot with a strong spring in 2014.

Thanks again to Chris King and Kevin Brown for the reports, go follow them on the tweeters and read their stuff.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Dawel Lugo strikes me as a Theo player. I can easily see him as the fourth player in this deal. I get the sense we're going to have to wait, though. AA doesn't want to give Sanchez and there's no reason to make a deal right now without him.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They do like those up the middle athletes. As we mentioned before they can always move to the corners if they have a good bat and it appears Lugo has that potential.

  • Trading Jeff is the only way to get young great pitching prospects
    we are lacking

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    It has to be done, i love Samardzs potential as well but he's 29 next month , wants more money than he deserves and has pitches like crap The last 2 second halves, i thi i he wants some from of a NTC, see ya Jeff

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Remember that the Cubs have been trying to extend him, so I don't think they necessarily look at it that way. You won't find many prospects around baseball with Samardzija's raw stuff, so it's very possible the Cubs will get a lesser pitcher in return.

    The question really is not whether you would rather have Samardzija long term or prospects, I think the Cubs would prefer to have Samardzija long term -- but at value. If they cannot get that kind of deal (and so far it doesn't look like that's happening), then the question may become whether the Cubs want 2 years of Samardzija or prospects. In that case the Cubs will choose the prospects.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks for this comment, John. I've been skeptical about the value of trading Shark (your 1st paragraph) but your explanation clarifies the reason why the Cubs would do it (your 2nd). Before this, it seemed like a "grass is greener" type longing for prospects that we could dream on...

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    the only way...........for you.

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    In reply to felzz:

    But we need to include Nate and Barney :)

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    And who eats up those lost innings in 2014???

  • Good stuff Mauricio. Nice to hear on a few of the lesser known prospects.

    I happened to ask on Nolin too. Here's what i got from a scout,

    "He has above average control, good mix off the fastball, deceptive action on the change up, okay slider.It will be seen if professional hitters lay off the sink, which minor leagues bit."

    I think he can make a nice additional piece considering he's LH and MLB ready.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks man, Nolin is quickly becoming a sort of cult favorite of mine. I know he's probably a four starter but getting him along with some of their top guys would help a lot.

  • I know we should not trade him to soon, but with other good pitcher
    available in the market this will be a problem

  • IDK... Nolan sounds like so many other pitchers in our system with a #4 upside. Tirado & Lugo would be nice throw ins. Can never have enough high upside arms or middle infielders.

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    This is probably just Twitter being Twitter, but there was some excitement yesterday about the deal being expanded to include Castro to fix their second base problem. I'm not sure the Blue Jays have prospects left to pull off that deal.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I still wish Pittsburgh would seriously get involved cause thats one team we could expand a deal with, their system is far superior to The BJs

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    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I would really rather trade Castro to the A.L. If we decide to make him, and definitely not within division.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wow. That would be crazy they would have to include both Sanchez & Stroman, along with secondary pieces like Davis, Tirado etc.

    Interestingly enough on Blue Jays blogs this is the biggest fear of the fan base that A.A. is on the hot seat and he might trade the teams long term future for a chance to win now.

    He has been their 5 years without a playoff appearance, and made trades last year to begin winning. That didn't happen. If he doesn't make the playoffs this year it could mean he's gone. Mind you, this is what I've heard, not what I personally think as I don't know the situation as well as the local fan base in Toronto.

    So if you were AA and the choice was possibly trading away a future ace or 2 in Sanchez or Stroman or be sitting at home next year anyway, I think it makes it a different choice.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    That's definitely their fear, but to this point he seems to be pretty patiently waiting. It could be that he's just waiting to see how the market shakes out before he completely panics, though.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Blue Jays don't have enough quality prospect talent to even trade for Shark. If we are going to be in a large deal, it should be with a team that has real young talent like the Mariners, Pirates, or Cardinals. The Jays, Orioles, and D-backs have little to offer. We absolutely must have a top of the rotation prospect for Shark, period.

  • Any comments/thoughts on Gose? He's been an intriguing guy ,for some time. He'd be an interesting supplemental , upside piece in a deal.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    The general consensus at this point seems to be that he is one of the most overrated prospects in baseball. Even Blue jays fans are low on him.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I have mixed feelings on Gose. Good athlete and nice CF, but not sure he'll make enough contact ti make up for what will be a drop in walk rate at the MLB level. I don't see him hitting for average and I'm afraid that he won't supplement the OBP enough with walks, especially since he's going to get more pitchers aggressively going after him with strikes at the big league level. I like the tools, but I'm skeptical.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Why trade for Gose when we have Jackson, Szczur and Almora. We need front of the rotation pitching prospects or a lefty power hitting outfielder. Secondarily, we could use a future catching prospect. We have everything else.

  • Cool stuff. Love the video imbeds.

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    I presume these guys you profile are meant to be throw-ins and not centerpieces. Projecting 18 year old pitchers is like buying into magic beans, you have to get something more substantial for Samardzija.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Yes, these are some of the "other" names being thrown around but no way the Cubs do this without either Stroman or Sanchez headlining the deal.

  • i really like tirado.

    however, i think that at the end of the day if samardzija gets dealt it will be with the diamondbacks in a 3way trade. i think that arizona is willing to make a trade, but because they refuse to trade bradley they know that they don't have enough to get samardzija so they are trying to move a shortstop in order to get more high end pitching sent the cubs way.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    That's one possible situation. 3 way trades are always difficult but AZ has done it recently, so definitely can't rule that out with them. Their problem is that there is a big dropoff after Bradley. I think Bradley is too much for Samardzija and Skaggs is not enough, so it seems to me they would almost certainly have to get a 3rd team involved.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Who are potential suitors though?

    FWIW, I'm not really interested in trading Shark if the main piece is someone with a lower ceiling...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    For the Cubs the gain would be cost control, but I agree. They need to get a potential impact arm. I think they'll hold out for that but Giolito and Bradley are best bets to become that of all the names mentioned, and it doesn't seem as if they'll be available.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If you look at Theo's history though, he's not likely to cave on his demands. I don't blame him. He could have got 'something' for 2 months of K Gregg or Navarro, but he opted to keep them unless he got surplus value.

    I think he'll do the same with Shark. I just don't see him shipping out the local-boy & fan-favorite for less than a haul. This is sorta like his his 1st round draft picks... he can't afford to whif....

  • fb_avatar

    You know who has a great eye for prospects? GM John Arguello, who placed a bet on this kid Mauricio and it's been paying off big time (small sample sizes aside)!

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Haha ;) Thanks. i appreciate that.

    I think the thing that actually helps me spot good baseball writers is that I don't follow other sports nearly as closely as I do baseball. After baseball, one of my other loves is literature (in case you haven't all figured that out by now!). I think it helps me spot good writers quickly. I think my affinity for both baseball and literature is a combo that gives me a unique perspective. They are different but I like both Mauricio and Felzz as writers as well as passionate baseball fans.

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Haha thanks man

  • I agree with your thesis , vis a vis ARI, but I'm left wondering how we're going to get the elite guy, even in a3-way deal. Towers seems to have a serious man crush on Shark, though. I guess it'll come down to how much Mets, or someone else, values Owings.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I was wondering if there was someone we could include to pry Bradley away but, short of Castro or Baez, I don't see it. And it's not like they need another shortstop right now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's one tough thing about current situation: the only pieces we have that other teams truly value are Shark & the Big 4- who we're currently unwilling to deal. I think they're not opposed, at least in theory, to moving Castro but not at his current mkt trade value. We just don't really have the supplemental pieces to move the needle, in terms of acquiring elite young arms. Guys like Alcantara & P Johnson just aren't perceived as real valuable pieces, at this point.We'll see what they can pull off.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Or Gregorius. I think they're more likely to trade him. Either way they created some value with two legit MLB shortstops.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    If the Mets are involved, this might impact things some:

    @ChrisCotillo: Source: #Mets now heavily involved in Arroyo talks. No deal close, sides will meet face-to-face in near future.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That would probably take the Mets out of it. I'm sure they'd rather not give up young players given that they are trying to rebuild as well, though I imagine it must be as hard if not harder to stay patient in NY than it is here.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's funny, I could see it going the other way. If they sign Arroyo, that's a win-now move, and so getting someone like Owings or Gregorius who can step into SS at the major league level might be attractive to them.

    But, even if that happens, I'd think the other side of the deal would be someone like Montero who, while nice, is not a centerpiece for a Samardzija deal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's another way to look at it. Especially in terms of a 3 way trade. Good point.

  • Should a GM acquire a player for more years and money than he
    is worth or trade 1 or 2 of your top prospects. Lets hope some
    GM's would do the later

  • fb_avatar

    Good write-up. However, I would assume that Theo and Hoyer are looking for a piece or two that are closer to major league ready. Pieces that have a high ceiling. I would love to see a write-up on some of those types of players. But cheers!

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    In reply to Port Pup:

    I think ideally they'd like both, but ceiling is more important than major league ready in the centerpiece. The centerpiece has to have a TOR ceiling and a reasonable chance of making it, hence Sanchez is probably preferable to Stroman.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    RE: The centerpiece has to have a TOR ceiling and a reasonable chance of making it, hence Sanchez is probably preferable to Stroman.

    Again Mike, this has NO basis in reality. Stroman is closer to the Majors, had a better year last year, and MULTIPLE scouts think he is ALSO the better prospect. How many times do we have to go over this?

    The reason Sanchez is more likely in a trade for Shark is not because he has a higher ceiling necessarily but because the Blue Jays would actually be more willing to trade Sanchez then they would Stroman.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    For Example:

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks

    @tlheard12 I wouldn't trade either player to Cubs; I prefer Stroman to Sanchez in that system.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You are free to think what you want, and you could be right, but it appears the Cubs are holding out for Sanchez. So, they disagree.

    Again, that doesn't mean they're right, but that is what they think.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Please show me the source that says the Cubs FO is holding out for Sanchez vs Stroman.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Twitter buzz. I believe it.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Ok, show me the tweet that says the Cubs are holding out for Sanchez vs Stroman.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Here's Tom: http://www.chicagonow.com/loxas-factor/2013/11/cubs-and-jays-could-be-close-on-samardzija-deal/

    Here's a guy who seemed to have -- and blow -- a source: https://twitter.com/CliffyIndiana/status/405787346089422848

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Your source doesn't say tha tthey wanted Sanchez vs Stroman only that talks broke down between Jays & Cubs because Cubs wanted Sanchez in the deal and Jays refused. Those are 2 completely different things.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    And your going to the mat insisting that Christian Villanueva has a higher offensive ceiling than Mike Olt does not exactly build credibility.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Also, you taking a lecturing tone with me when there are legitimate baseball people who think Stroman is destined to be a reliever because of his size is pretty outrageous.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Their are also legit baseball people that think he is a legit potential #1 starter

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Far more think Sanchez is a legit TOR guy.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Another ridiculous statement by you with nothing to back it up.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    There are less health risks or endurance questions with Sanchez. Because of size stuff wise they are pretty equal.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Thanks, Kevin, but I'm done. Just not worth it.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Yeah I know Kevin, but their are also questions on Sanchez's control while some say Stroman is ready for the majors... so really Sanchez could have more risk.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think the census is either can be a TOR guy, but Stroman's ceiling is slightly higher...but given his less than ideal build for a SP, they view his floor as much lower (i.e., BP).

    We know the Cubs prefer those big SP's built to throw hard and eat innings. But as their acquisition of CJ Edwards proves, they'll deviate from their ideal physical size in certain situations.

    I think it'll all come down to how this FO grades the two and they aren't likely to let the real grades out for us....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Great post Hoosier

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I don't know that either of you are right or wrong so what is the point? The Cubs have allegedly made their demands they're reportedly substantial.

    I read BP every day. I can assure you that their rate if success is no greater than any major league GM. Also, If Stroman is the better prospect, why does BP rank Sanchez as #1? The ceiling on Stroman is not as high as you think and in fact, Sanchez has a higher ceiling. But the floor on Stroman is dangerously low -- middle relief. Do you really think a GM is willing to assume that risk? Do you really think Theo Epstein will assume that risk?

    Here's how it plays out. If the floor is lower, the package will include more prospects no matter how high the ceiling. The Cubs will emphasize Stromans low floor and demand that Toronto include Sanchez and someone else, maybe DJ Davis. AA knows this too, so no way he leads with Stroman either because it forces his hand, knowing the Cubs don't trade a sure thing like Samardzija for a low floor/high ceiling prospect like Stroman without hedging that risk with multiple pieces. That's why the assumption is that Sanchez has to be included. It also explains why most analysts rank Sanchez just above Stroman. Sanchez is a 9/10 ceiling with an 8/10 chance of reaching that level. Stroman is an 8/10 ceiling with a 7/10 chance of reaching that level.

    But it's all moot. The Cubs are looking for way more than Toronto can possibly pay and the teams allegedly in on Samardzija all have significantly better systems.

  • Mike, I'm just happy we're not talking to Arroyo! I'm growing concerned that we're not going to get that elite guy back in a Shark deal. We may get close but I don't see a Bradley,Bundy, Taillon , or Sanchez. At that point, you just go for best overall value. Beginning to think our "ace" shopping may happen in next yr's FA mkt-Bailey, Scherzer,etc.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I think worst case we keep him and roll the dice on the draft pick. I'd rather have quality over quantity on this one.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I also think it's way early to panic. There seems to be significant interest. Just let it play out -- Theo has shown a remarkable ability to extract value in these deals. Edwards and Hendricks both look like steals.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    way too early indeed... Epstoyer's persistence on surplus value (possibly even ridiculously surplus) is probably why this hasn't happened yet...

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I disagree. The window for winning is Normally short so someone maybe willing to pay the price.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Bailey isn't really that much different than Shark. He had 11 bad starts this year (4 ER+), and 12 great starts (2 ER or less in 7+ IP).
    Shark had 13 bad ones with 10 great starts.

    Overall, Bailey is a step up, but maybe not as much as we'd think.

    Scherzer, yes.

  • Shark looks like he should be in a Captain Morgan commercial or the next pirates of the carribean movie. So let's go ahead and get taillon and call it a day.

  • I hope I'm wrong ; it just seems like Shark & Price will be viewed in two different tiers. Price is someone who will warrant, in the view of "win now" clubs,a top-20-25 prospect as PART of the deal. I think teams are becoming increasingly stingy with their "elite" guys. Ironically, I wonder if AA's disastrous Dickey trade has helped accelerate that trend.

  • No trade will happen without a ready MLB impact pitcher is in on any Samardzija trade.

    Time to start building a MLB team and not a farm system with our Blue Chip players.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree that would be ideal and I'd really like to see the Cubs start competing, but that will be tough to do. They may have to settle for a guy who is a couple years away and a lesser talented more MLB ready guy in the meantime.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Why? Given the way they are setup they are pushing 2015 or more likely 2016 to be ready to contend and I think 2017 would be a safer bet. If they can get a Pitcher in high A or AA that would fit the time line.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    It's probably not going to happen -- if someone had an MLB ready TOR starter, they'd prefer to use that pitcher instead of Samardzija.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    As of this post Mr "Moody" has commented on 17 of the 83 posts while attacking at least one other poster with an opinion that differs than his own. That's a batting avg of a mere .205.

    You're gonna have to step it up son if you wanna move up the ladder to Wrigley. I'm afraid that batting near the Mendoza Line just won't get you the call up.

    Just an observation.......

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Hey Bobby, I know you guys had a big debate the other day, but let's keep it about baseball and not other commenters. Thanks.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    No prob

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Thanks, Bobby. I appreciate that.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Nice contribution. You must be bored as hell to take the time to add that all up and then whip out your abacus just to calculate that stat.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Thank you for being logical. It's clear that Jeff wants to be a Cub long term but not if it means 2-4 more years or rebuilding, non tenure and or wavier claim players along with struggling rookies (when Ricketts wants to start their arbitration clock). With a less than attractive FA market (quite an understatement) brace for another tough year for the parent club. When they do trade Jeff it better be for pitching, pitching and more pitching.

  • WAS and ARI seem like Giolito/Bradley or hang up. Toronto and Pittsburgh have deeper systems that Theo could mix and match with guys he likes. If Arizona or Washington wanna give in and go all in with shark, then good news for us

  • I agree on Arizona (other than the possible threeway trade discussed above). Question for everyone....if Washington is solely offering Cole and others, is that enough? Does Cole project as a TOR or #2 (or less)? Does Washington have enough prospects in their system otherwise to make the trade viable without Giolito?

    Obviously "viable" and "enough" is subjective, but use your assumption of Jeff S's value for a team that is on the cusp of winning in this current market without many good pitching options.

  • Just please no Skaggs, I have a real aversion to that guy.

  • So far your stuff is flashing plus, Mauricio! Thanks for all the work, Man.

    I share your affinity for the cambio. Never anything wrong with a little 91 with life, a solid breaking ball or two, and a plus change up. Guys that feature that kind of repetoire almost always feature guts and pitchability as well. I've liked Nolin for a while now. Kind of a little Hendricks from the other side type of situation. I feel like he'll always be a guy with a chance to surprise you a little bit a la Travis Wood in 2013.

    My top package choice from TOR would be Sanchez/Norris/Nolin. My first choice overall is Jeff Samardzija @ 5yrs 88M with options for years 6 and or 7 to push the value over 100. That's looking more and more like what it is going to take and I'm fine with that.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    My ideal pitcher is 6'5 with some beef, sits 94-96, has a plus change, a plus curve and good command. Whenever I run across guys who possess any combo of those abilities I tend to like them a lot.

    I like Sancez a lot too, has something to do with Stroman's size.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    OK Hendry.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Best comment of the day lol.

  • Is there some sort of Hold on my comments John? The last few days it's taking between 45 minutes to Multiple Hours for my comments to post. It makes discourse pretty much impossible because people move onto the next article by the time my comments post. Anyway, just thought I'd ask.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Not at all. Not sure why your comments keep getting caught in spam filter more than others. Michael Canter's too for some reason. I'll try to keep a better eye on it but let me know if it doesn't post right away and I'll free it from the filter right away.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks!!

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    Unless Toronto uses Sanchez as the centerpiece and overpays with one more potential impact arm AND an excess in quantity- Not interested.
    As reported, I'd rather let some free agent signings happen, and pounce on the market in a more opportune time. If Skaggs or Stroman are the centerpiece, we're better off extending Shark.
    Or waiting for Tanaka/Price to situate themselves.
    Sidenote: Castro as a throw-in is a waste of value. Give him until the ASB before you give up on the guy.
    The benefit of a fluid, increasingly top heavy position prospect system still needs to play itself out. Then, we use a surplus and make a play for sone TOR arms.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Stroman is legit, but he comes with risks. Skaggs doesn't have the upside. But I think because of their time table for winning Samardzija is looking less and less like an option.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    If Stroman is a second piece in a trade with the Jays, I'm ecstatic.
    However, if Stroman is the centerpiece, I'm infuriated.
    I like the high floor, and the stuff. Worst case scenario, he's a late inning reliever. Which is great! But worth giving up our best starter.
    We have a nice lottery ticket in that mold with Edwards.

    And I agree entirely about Skaggs. The stuff is decent. Command decent. But it's become pretty clear he was an overhyped all along. He's a #4-5 on a decent team, in my opinion.

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    Just found all the errors in that statement!
    My apologies for typing like an inbred Cardinals fan.

  • Good post, Eric. I agree that moving Castro at this juncture is a huge mistake. Two developments that would greatly increase our flexibility to move prime pieces would be rebound for Castro & Olt rounding into form. Still get the sense that Castro is the guy who ultimately gets moved.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Thank you!
    Castro and Olt are both potentially huge pieces to this team.
    For some reason if we start 2014, and Alcantara's knocking the cover off the ball and still walking at a greatly improved rate- It's nice to have a top-line trade chip for some big arms.
    Trading Castro now, means he's only a throw-in towards a bigger deal.
    Wait until July, and he could be the biggest talent on the market! The difference in return would be crazy.

    The flexibility we've built is pretty amazing. I feel like by the trade deadline, we'll be in another position to clean up. Whether it's Castro, Olt or Samardzija. We can easily balance out this deep system with some quality arms.

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    Thinking about my own actions here and apologize to all the Denziens that visit here each day. The attacks will stop on my end as it's better I probably just read and keep my opinions to myself. The "debates" offered nothing of value here and realize my actions were wrong.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Please don't keep your baseball opinions to yourself. We appreciate what you add.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    Stick around. I'm clearly the problem.

  • My modest/realistic wish list for the next couple weeks:
    1. Trade or non-tender signing of Drew Stubbs.
    2. FA signing of Roberto Hernandez. John & Dave Cameron have both advocated for it-has to be a good idea. Interesting peripherals. The price should be right.
    3. Non-tender pickup of Andrew Bailey.

    Anyone else have any other good nickel-n-dime suggestions?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    id like the cubs to pickup stubbs as well. i think he'd be the perfect platoon partner for schierholtz.

    an outfield that includes lake, sweeney, schierholtz and stubbs leaves the cubs plenty of money to spend at other positions.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I think Stubbs would be a nice fit as a platoon player or role player.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i think stubbs would be greatly influenced by working with mueller, he already walks a decent rate, he just needs to strike out less.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Better contact would go a long way, but that's one of the hardest things to fix. I hope he can at least be a solid role player.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I do really like John's suggestion of taking a chance on Sizemore. If he came around, he could be a catalyst for the team (or, if we still struggled, enormous trade bait).

  • Very nice article. I had been thinking that Stroman+Nolin+a toolsy A ball type would be the likely return for Samardzija if they deal him to the Jays.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    I like Stroman and have heard good things about Tirado and others, but I'm still hoping they can get more than that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John can you free me from the spam filter please :-)
    (I understand u got rid of the other posts from MC & me but I have a new one)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John have any of your sources mentioned KC at all as a possible destination for Shark?

    I'd love Zimmer & Ventura from KC if they were interested and willing to deal. Well, I can dream anyway.

    Kaplan and others have reported their are 8 teams in talks with the Cubs Reportedly the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Pirates, Orioles and Rockies are six of those teams, the other two teams are unknown at this point -

    Any leads on who those 2 unknown teams might be?

  • Here's a completely speculative teaser. What if Jimenez, Santana and Garza stay on the free agent market into January. Could the Cubs get one of them with a higher than normal one-year contract and smaller player's option for year 2 (as injury insurance for the player)? The pitchers get an extra year to prove their value without losing their free agent window with next off-season expected to be thin for SP. And the Cubs get a flippable pitcher come trade deadline. Jimenez and Santana would cost the Cubs their 2nd round pick, but could net more prospects in return at the trade deadline. The possibility that none find a home is probably unlikely, but teams have become very skittish about big long-term contracts lately and giving up that first round pick as compensation.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    It would be worthy of consideration if it were a team other than the Cubs. This FO values its draft picks and that will be a high second round one in 2014. If it's me Scott Kazmir for 6 or 7 mil per year is better value and worth the risk if they want to add a starter without draft pick compensation attached.

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    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I don't think the Cubs are ready to buy pitching unless it is Tanaka, a relief pitcher or two, and/or a high risk/high upside guy on the cheap. I also don't think they are willing to give up draft choices just yet because that would represent trading long term assets for potentially short term assets, and when you combine the contract dollars + risk of injury or regression of skills + losing draft picks to keeping draft picks + signing guys not tied to compensation, the latter scenario wins every single time.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    I tend to agree with this. There may be a couple of exceptions, but I think it's mostly Tanaka at this point.

  • Any word on what Kazmir is looking for? I don't know what to make of him. Looked like he git his velo back last yr but he's been a complete train wreck, healthwise, for several seasons prior to that. I never trust shoulders.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    The risk is high, but the payoff potentially quite good. He also seems like a guy that could be good for the team...he has played on winners and had to overcome adversity (though I admit I have no idea on his personality or whether he is a good teammate).

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