Cubs Notes: Samardzija, Anderson, and could the Marlins present the Cubs with an alternative for some young pitching options?

Sunday afternoon means watching the Bears, but in between all the play stoppage, here are some news and notes to remind you that opening day is less than 4 months away.

One name is off the market, though I never really saw Phil Hughes as a strong option for the Cubs and at 3 years and $24M, that strikes me as a bit of an overpay for a pitcher who has underachieved his entire career and is coming off a poor season.

I’d asked about Hughes earlier in the offseason and a scout told me that he didn’t think his pitching style fit with the Cubs and their ballpark.  His delivery and release point are such that he tends to leave the ball up in the zone — and that may play okay early in the season in Wrigley, but not as much during the summer months.

Anyway, on with some Cubs related news…

Of course, we’ll talk Samardzija, as he continues to dominate the news, but the Cub may have a couple of less costly ways to obtain good young pitching — and they can do it from areas of depth rather than subtracting from the potential core of the team.

The Latest On Jeff Samardzija

Nick Cafardo reiterates that the Cubs prefer to sign Jeff Samardzija and while I don’t doubt him, I think it’s becoming more of a question of whether they can sign him, not whether they want to get a deal done.  Of course, whether they can sign him is loosely framed statement in itself.  Of course they can sign him, it’s a matter of whether they can extend his deal at a length and financial amount which makes sense for them as an organization.  The sticking point between the two sides comes down to agreeing what represents good value.

Bruce Levine reported earlier on the Score (h/t CCO) that the Cubs made another offer but it was once again turned down, though I don’t have anyone else to confirm that.  If that is true, it only confirms what I’m saying about Samardzija above.  The Cubs are obviously still trying but the two sides can’t seem to agree.

At some point in the near future, the Cubs need to decide if signing him is still possible.  If they decide it is not, that changes the equation completely.  While the Cubs may indeed prefer to have Samardzija for the long term (and by that I mean beyond 2015), he is less valuable to them if they think he will only be around for 2 years.  At that point he becomes a short term player on a team with a goal to win and sustain success in the long term.  He is only a core piece if he is going to be around beyond 2015 and in absence of that, they need to make an exchange where they can secure help for the long term.

Brett Anderson’s potential availability may impact Cubs

I think the Brett Anderson situation could well impact the Cubs one way or another.  Anderson is a pitcher that I’ve been quietly monitoring for awhile. I said this about him a couple of weeks back,

Another name that could be interesting is Brett Anderson, LHP of the Oakland A’s.  Anderson had his option picked up, so he is not a free agent, but the As already have 5 solid starters (in addition to Anderson) in Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone, and Sonny Gray.  Its also believed the A’s want to re-sign Bartolo Colon.  That could leave the A’s with a surplus of starting pitching and one of those odd men out could be Anderson.

Anderson has been injury plagued in his career but when healthy, he has shown solid 91-94 mph velocity to go with a good slider and change.  Last year he was just 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA, but an xFIP of 3.26 bodes well for some improvement in his performance next year.  Perhaps the Cubs can buy low here and add a second, in-prime, lefty to their staff — and the fact that he was once considered a top of the rotation type prospect doesn’t hurt either.

Buster Olney is saying now that that is indeed the case (insider required), pretty much echoing my sentiments above as far as Anderson’s potential availability.  This affect the Cubs in two ways: One, the Cubs could certainly take a flyer on a 27 year old with good stuff and a history of success and two, he presents a potentially cheaper alternative to Samardzija as a trade option for other teams.

I asked Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus about whether he thought Brett Anderson could still be a good pitcher.  His response was,

I’ve always been a fan.  The injuries are an obvious concern, and the combination of body/athleticism/delivery doesn’t always make it easy for him to repeat his mechanics.  But he’s a good risk/reward type.

Given his age, talent, low cost, and the fact he throws with his left hand makes him a pretty good fit with the Cubs in my opinion, and it has the fringe benefit of taking some potential competition off the market.

I have no idea what it would take to obtain Anderson, but it’s not hard for me to picture the A’s being interested in some of the Cubs more disciplined minor league bats.

Marlins may offer Cubs less costly LH SP alternative, looking at Cubs 3B depth

The Cubs have a potential surplus at 3B with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and Jeimer Candelario all potential starters at that position.  One scout told me a while back that if the Cubs were to deal young players, it may well come from their depth at 3B. Well it seems the Marlins are looking for a young 3B and, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they like the Cubs prospects at the position…

The Marlins like some of the Cubs’ prospects and look for the teams to talk in the coming weeks, with Miami potentially offering pitching. The Cubs have multiple third base prospects at Double and Triple A, including former first-round picks Javier Baez (who has been playing shortstop) and Mike Olt and emerging Christian Villanueva. Baez would require the most in a trade; he hit .282, with 37 homers and 111 RBI in Single and Double AA.

The Marlins just drafted Colin Moran but you wonder if perhaps they believe he profiles best at 1B defensively in the long term.

As for what the Cubs could get in return, the Marlins do have some interesting young pitching, led by LHPs Andrew Heaney, Bryan Flynn, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino, along with RHP Jose Urena.  Heaney is easily the best of the group but is not obtainable without Baez, so that may rule him out, but the Marlins have depth and some interesting possibilities.

Justin Nicolino

Nicolino had success at advanced A ball before receiving a promotion to AA in the second half.  Despite Nicolino’s poor ERA at the AA level, an unsustainably high BABIP (.386) and low strand rate led to that 4.96 mark, but his FIP at that level was a very respectable 3.33.

He has an 88-92 mph FB which peaks at 94.  He throws with good downward plane, a trait the Cubs seem to prefer, and his fastball has good movement which helps play up that solid velocity.  His calling card is his change-up however, and he also mixes in a big curveball.

Bryan Flynn

Flynn is an enormous LHP at 6’8″, 245 lbs and he reached the bigs last year but got knocked around a bit in his 4 starts.  As you might expect, Flynn can throw pretty hard, reaching 95 mph but more often sitting in the low 90s.  He also has a good slider.    He posted a 2.86 ERA (3.05 FIP) after dominating AA in 4 starts.  He’s big league ready and there is some upside there.

Adam Conley

Conley has an average fastball (88-92) though he has shown more velocity in the past.  He had great success at the AA level, finishing at 11-7 with a 3.25 ERA (2.95 FIP).  He sows some inconsistency with his delivery, command, and breaking stuff but has the makings of a #4 starter with the possibility of being a #3 if it all comes together.

The Marlins also have some solid RHP prospects to consider

Jose Urena

Outside of Andrew Heaney, Urena may have the highest upside in the bunch.  He shows a live arm and can reach 97 and throws strikes (1.74 walks per 9 IP, 4.7% walk rate) and he has an advanced change-up to go with it, but the lack of a good breaking ball and questions about stamina may relegate him to the bullpen.

Anthony DeSclafani

An aggressive pitcher who uses his 6’2″, 195 lbs frame well, creating good downward plane and pounding the lower part of the zone, another pitcher who fits the Cubs profile.  Sclafani throws strikes (1.68 BB/9IP, 4.6% walk rate)with a low 90s fastball that can reach 96 and an above average slider.  Change-up is an average pitch but good enough to profile him as high as a #3 starter.

A trade with the Marlins could be a less painful way to bolster the minor league pitching depth.  Personally I like Nicolino the best of the group, as does Kevin Gallo, but there are some intriguing arms here that the Cubs could pick up as the two teams exchange areas of organizational depth for need.

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  • I just read that the 40-man roster is full is that true? Who could be
    non-tendered to create some room. Trading one of our 3rd base
    prospects is ok for equal talent in return

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Bard and Gamel are the easy ones. Maybe Donnie Murphy. Could also see a trade involving a former prospect like Jackson or Vitters.

  • Good stuff John.

    I'd pass on Hughes. He'd be number 99 on my top ten wish list.

    Anderson is intriguing. Not sure he's a TOR type any longer, but he might be another Wood if he can stay healthy. What would it cost to get him though?

    IDK enough about the Marlins pitching prospects to have a strong opinion. But it may be too early to start dealing from our minor league depth. We still don't know who WILL be an everyday MLB player.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Thanks. Hughes signed with the Twins. I think trading the depth at 3B should be a consideration. It's either going to be Bryant or Baez...maybe Olt if he's healthy. Other than that, the other guys are depth for now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it's inevitable, but IMO a tad early. Candelerio is still a long ways away and what if Olt falters and Villeueva is gone?

  • I'd love to see the Cubs acquire Anderson, but his potential probably prices him out of my comfort range. He's either a potential #2 or 3 starter or a spot on the 60 day DL. A's will want value for potential and I don't see the Cubs giving up someone like Vogelbach for him, which is about the level of prospect I see Oakland asking for.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I could see them asking for Vogelbach.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Would you give up Vogelbach for Anderson? Not sure I would. I know the Cubs would need to surrender value to get Anderson but for an asset like Vogelbach I would want a return with fewer question marks. Even if it was one with a lower ceiling.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Not sure either, especially given Anderson's injury history, but that's who I would ask for if I'm Oakland.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I would rather keep Vogelbach. What happens to us if Rizzo falters again, which we all hope won't happen, but if? I like Chris Rusin for our rotation.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd do it if I knew with 100% certainty that Anderson was healthy going into 2014. It's still a risk given his history but if he gets injured again at least you can see he was good to go when you acquired him.

  • John , as you may remember , I've been on the B Anderson bandwagon since late last season. I think Dr G's evaluation might weigh as heavily as any scout's when it comes to him.

    As I like to point out, we may have to get a bit creative and a bit lucky to get/develop those guys who end up in the 1-2 slots in our next competitive rotation. Remember, STL signed Carpenter at age 27 under similar circumstances. He was a highly touted arm who appeared as if he'd never get over the injury hump. Same argument could possibly apply to Drabek.

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    Alot depends on Mike Olt winning the 3B job out of spring training, but there are doubts that he will. If he doesn't, the Cubs have a real crowding problem at 3B in the minors, and a trade may be in order to get ahead of it.

    Villanueva needs to be the Iowa 3B, but if Olt fails, then what? Olt needs to stay at 3B from a value perspective

    Not sure what we could get for Villanueva, but he strikes me as organizational surplus right now. Problem is he won't bring back a TOR-type starting pitching prospect by himself.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    You can't have surplus until at least 1 of the pack proves himself to be the 3B of the future. It's still up for grabs until then, and for that you want as many candidates as possible. Trading away 3rd basemen to other teams before you even find your own doesn't seem smart to me.

    I'd hold out to see if one of Olt, Baez, or Bryant, become a mainstay at 3rd in the bigs before I start dealing any of them.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think both Villanueva & Baez wil be up by September.

    Villanueva at 3rd base & Baez at 2nd base.

    I have my doubts about Olt and I have a feeling the FO wants Alcantara to have a full year at AAA.

    So 2nd is open for Baez and 3rd is open for CV (unless Olt wins the job in ST and then holds his own until then)

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    My guess is Baez and Olt come up mid season, June/July. Baez seems pretty quick to adapting to a new level so half a year at AAA should be all the time he needs. If he is still struggling just give him more time. Olt had problems with his eyes for most of the 2013 year. He thinks they have it figured out and he did pretty well the last couple weeks of last year but I would give him another couple months to get his confidence back.

    In September I see Bryant, Alcantara and possibly Szczur getting the call. I see Bryant raking at AA and/or AAA. After 500 ABs in AA/AAA I would guess he would be ready. Alcantara probably will need the whole year at AAA to get used to 2B. So when the AAA season is done they will call him up to the ML club. I see the same for Szczur being ready. It will be nice to have speed in Alcantara and Szczur. If Olt struggles then CV will take his spot but come up in Sept.

    As for positions, Baez - LF
    Alcantara - 2B
    Bryant - RF
    Olt/CV - 3B
    Szczur - CF

    The picture is getting clearer.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree that could happen as well

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Except for I don't think they move Baez to LF, that's a waste of his positional value. I think it's more likely that they take it slow with Alcantara this year, and when he comes up they either, try him in CF until Almora gets here, use him as a Super Utility player, trade him, or if somehow Castro gets traded then Baez is SS and AA is 2nd base.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It would just be for the last month of 2014. I would guess Castro will revert to his normal form in 2014 and Theo will trade him for pitching after the year. Then Baez moves to SS. This is all just a bunch of wild guesses. I am sure a number of my guesses will not happen but I am just trying to picture how the team could come together.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I see Baez staying at SS. Castro has caused a lot of question marks this last couple years. For that matter, we have question marks at every infield position except cátcher. What happens to us if Castro and Rizzo have off years again? What if Baez and Vogelbach continue to thrive?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I don't have the concerns with Rizzo that I do with Castro. Rizzo I see making a comeback because he just had a horrid BAbip the likelyhood of that continuing is very slim. However the rest of his stats were very respectable. There was a differential of .090 between his Avg and OBP. His Slugging was over .400. To me a 750 OPS is respectable and his was pretty close.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agree, we don't have a strength at 3B until we have success at the major leagues.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I believe the Cubs feel Olt will win the 3B job. Otherwise why even include him in the trade? His time is now and the Cubs time is now for an everyday third baseman...perfect match. Don't see us trading anyone that plays 3B, especially for a left handed pitcher when we have Rusin. Plus Cabrera needs a full shot at a spot in rotation. We would have Arrieta, Cabrera, Rusin, Wood, and Shark in rotation, if EJ moved to bullpen as the stopper. Add Scott Baker and another FA or two for the rotation or more prospects via trade for Shark. Young, very inexpensive rotation would allow EJ to asume the closer role, Strop and Russell as set up men. Solid rotation with great bullpen would take us toward a winning season.

  • Jeff, with either Nate or Barney, should be traded for the best top
    pitching prospects we can get. This all our farm system is lacking
    to make it one of the best.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Dude, we get it. You don't need to repeat it every post. You're not going to get a very good prospect from either one of those two, even together.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Barney especially has no trade value. The reality is that we now have a plethora of fringy guys who have no/little throw in value; but will surely be claimed if we waive them.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Who cares if he posts it every day? He's not bothering anybody. Chill a little. I'd miss his daily Shark/Nate/Barney post.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Thank you, Mike!

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    My OCD is what it is

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Nate will bring a very good pitching prospect, but only one. Barney will not.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    barney is useless. Even if someone agreed to take him off your hands in a trade, they'd likely turn around and non-tender him. He won't bring you anything at all in trade.

  • I think you can throw out getting Anderson cheap, as I have no doubt that the Athletics would ride the surplus into the season.

    So the question becomes, if they want on base guys, and "if" that would do it, or even if not, who do you give up to get Anderson?

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Well, I just came from the Cub's Zoo fan pages & they are all clamoring for Luis Valbuena & his high OBP/OPS over there. So there's an on base guy for you. Now if we could just convince Oakland of that. (Chuckling under my breath & yes regulars, I am joking)

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Haha :) I actually think the A's would like to have Valbuena. I don't think they'd be willing to give up much, but I can see him fitting in well with that team.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    LOL don't bring that 10 pages debate here... That said, I don't think the debate was about "clamoring" for him... But about who is the better package between Valbuena, DJ LeMahieu and Barney... To me, none of them is an everyday player, but if I would have it my way, a Barney/Valbuena platoon works, unless they trade/sign someone... Valbuena had the better 2013 season, but Barney has the better track record.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Barney is so good defensively, but he will only help a team that has all the pieces in place and a strong offensive lineup to cover for his weak bat. If he were a situational hitter, his value could go up a bit...back to when Detroit actually wanted him couple years back. I hope Valbuena is gone next season. Unfortunately for us, we don't have anyone ready to come up at 2B, but would Logan Watkins be worse for a year while we wait for AA?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Watkins had a down year in AAA and it didn't help that Dale barely gave him a chance to play, but he can still win a job out of ST... Let them fight it out, IMO... At the very least you can find a platoon that works at 2B.

  • John, I've been on Anderson bandwagon for some time. In his case, Dr G's evaluation is probably as important as any scout's.

    I've said before we may need to get creative & take chances to fill out the 1-2 slots in our next competitive rotation. Rememeber, STL picked up Carp as a once-promising, oft-injured reclamation project at age 27. Drabek might be another guy to fall in that category. Medical staff looms large in these cases.

    Can't see Villanueva or Olt having much trade value right now. Baez would be a much different story.....

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I'd take a long look and would be willing to give up something of value. I think he's a good gamble.

  • Think I'm being victimized by comment delay, as well.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I'll see what I can do to tweak it a bit.

  • Another name off the market seems to be Andrew Bailey, apparently he will be tendered.

  • In reply to Caps:

    BOS probably only did this so they could trade him vs letting him walk.

    Isn't he expected to miss the first half while recovering from shoulder surgery? We know Epstoyer knows him well, depends on his medicals and their evaluation of him; they may be able to trade for him.

  • In reply to Caps:


  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Guessing they wouldn't ask much for Bailey at this point. I'd be interested....

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Part of announcing they will tender him is to keep some trade leverage, though I don't think he'd cost much.

  • I've been a big advocate of going after Anderson. Given the difficulty of developing/acquiring impact SP, you have to take some injury risks, from time to time.Outside of TJ- which is obviously major- he hadn't had any additional arm problems, if I'm not mistaken. I think we need to broaden the range of ideas , in terms of acquiring SPs. I don't think Shark trade is gonna deliver any silver bullet & signing Tanaka will be difficult.

  • Bailey might indeed be worth a flier deal/trade - depending on the asking price and a thorough physical assessment.

  • Pardon duplicate/similar posts. Needless to say, this is a risk worth taking, IMO.

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    I don't consider 3rd base to be a position of depth just yet. That would imply that a young player has already established himself as the future 3B on the big league club. That has yet to happen.

    It's not like SS or 1B where you have someone nailed down at those spots for years so you can afford to trade a Vogelbach or a Baez. 3B has yet to find it's long term owner. Until it does, I think it's unwise to trade away any of the candidates because you have no idea who the future is. Now lets say Baez, Olt, or Bryant lock it down next year.

    NOW you have depth because you have an asset at the major league level who is now blocking the guys below him. As of today, we don't know who is going to be the 3B come August 2014. You can't trade away 3B prospects when you don't even know who your 3B is going to be. That's not smart IMO.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I see it similarly Marcel. Our 3B of the future is in our system. But until one of them locks it down, trading away anyone now might be too soon.

    Until Olt or C.V. one is raking at AAA, they can't headline a deal for TOR pitching themselves. Still if Olt isn't MLB ready, we've got a bit of a log jam. Otherwise it lines up perfectly to start 2014

    Olt - MLB
    C.V. - AAA
    Bryant - AA
    J.C. - A

    But Bryant could fly through the system and either create a new logjam or likely get moved to OF.

    Good problems to have though...

  • I think that of our 3b prospects Villanueva has to be the one to go. Candelario could blossom into a top 25 guy in a few years and of the others Villanueva is the farthest away from the bigs. I'd also throw vitters in and try and get nicolino. Although I wouldn't do that if I'm Miami they might value Villanueva higher than I do

  • If Samardzija refuses to meet a reasonable offer AND the Cubs get a good offer it makes sense to move him. I wouldn't be as inclined to deal from 3rd base depth until midseason to see more clearly what they have in Olt, Villanueva, if Bryant can stick at 3rd, if Castro can rebound, etc. Otherwise it seems they are selling low to make a trade right now without being blown away.

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    In reply to Abe Froman:

    I smile every time I come across your name as I scroll through comments. thanks, Abe

  • In reply to Abe Froman:

    Agree 100%. And if Castro can't rebound, keeping Baez at SS remains critical for his continued development.

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    as much as I hate to quote Jesse Rogers, I read in passing somewhere that his source said the Cubs offered Shark 5yr/30 mil. If this is true, I don't blame Samardzija for holding out, especially considering the current price of even mediocre pitching (exhibit A: Edwin Jackson).

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree, that doesn't sound right and if it is then I don't blame Samardzija either.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And I think that give an idea of how much the Cubs value him.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I have to think the report is false. It doesn't make any sense. They value him that lowly yet are willing to give Jackson twice that? No chance, in my opinion. Considering Samardzija will make about 15M over the next two years through arb alone. That would make his last 3 years at 5M each, which would be like a 1 WAR pitcher. No way they value him as a 1 WAR guy. He's already been 3X more valuable than that the past two years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It seemed low.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    That's what I thought too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it makes some sense.

    The only way it makes sense to extend Jeff is if you can get him at a substantial discount. Otherwise, there's likely significantly more value in trading him and then using the money they would have spent on Shark to sign another player.

    The equation I've been throwing around is re-signing Shark for the money he's asking for is likely <<<<<<<<<<<< Value of the prospects that Shark can bring in a trade + a pitcher that can be acquired at that same salary.

    If the Cubs are really offering 5 years at $30M, then I think they think the prospects they can acquire for Shark are very valuable, because that amount of money on the open market isn't going to buy you anything more than a 5th starter or rehab project. Personally, I thought it'd be more like 5 years at $40M that'd make more sense in order to flip the above equation, but I'm not privy to the deals they've received so far.

    I don't think there's any chance Shark is willing to accept a deal that makes it more valuable to the Cubs to re-sign him than it is for the Cubs to trade him.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Sorry, but it has to be incorrect. He'll make more than that in his AAV next year (2015) after arbitration and almost as much this year. It's not even a remotely fair offer and while the Cubs seek value, that isn't close to giving Samardzija fair value -- even at the low end of market value. it'd be tantamount to bad faith negotiations. The logical explanation is that Rogers or his source goofed on the numbers.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it's probably incorrect, but I think people would probably be surprised by the max the Cubs will offer. Like I said, I think the 5 year, $40M seems like a logical spot for them to draw the line. If the 3 years the Cubs would buy out in FA are market priced at, say, $16M and you assume $5M in arbitration this year and $9M next year, that's a $22M discount to market. I could see the prospects the Cubs would get back being valued at $22M by the FO when taking into account the projected value for those players.

    And I think Shark definitely walks away from that 5 year, $40M deal.

  • I still think the Orioles are the team to watch for Samardzija.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    I am in agreement with you there. If anything, they will at least force the market.

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    Cubs sound like they're going to try converting Armando Rivero to a starter.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Interesting... John's write-up of Rivero last March alluded to the fact some teams looked at him as a possible starter and now the Cubs are doing just that. If he's successful that would be a big shot in the arm for our pitching depth. Hopefully he's over the issues he had in the AFL...

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    In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    Been saying they would do this since day 1. I see a mid-rotation starter in trere. AZPhil said in Arizona that at times he saw TOR type pitchers in .Rivero and Conway. Rivero does have the stuff.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    He does have 3 pitches, so that's a start. Command really started to improve as the year went on. He has a real tall, lanky build so not sure on stamina. But they have nothing to lose. At worst, he'll get more innings and it will speed up his development.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He is a slimmer version of Cabrera.

    btw, I read reports last year when they drafted Rondon in the rule 5 that they viewed him as potential TOR ceiling and back of the BP power arm as his floor. So they may target him after he gets some innings under his belt.

  • That 5yr/30mil number is not only wrong it's first mention was on March 16th, 2013.

    Cubs made offer “well above” five years, $30 million to Jeff Samardzija

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    That makes more sense.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is Cabrera ready for the starting rotation? How about Chris Rusin? That would fill two spots in our rotation.

  • John , with regard to B Anderson, what do you think we have of interest to them?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    The Cubs have many players that would interest the A's. I did mention I'd ask for Vogelbach if I were the A's, but I think that's too much for a risk reward type like Anderson. It's really hard to say until we see how the market shapes up.

  • Kevin, do you think Bundy is legitimately in play for Shark. They need the help & Angelos is not going to want to pay full sticker in FA for the SP help they need.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think the Orioles feel they window to win is the next 2 years. Bundy will not be ready most of next year because of TJ. They also are not fans of depending on unproven young arms. So I think its possible.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I'll be bouncing off the walls if the Cubs can figure out a way to get him.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I would love Bundy as the centerpiece in a Shark deal. TJ doesn't really scare me in this day and age with modern sports medicine. A talent like Bundy who has a chance to be a true #1 i worth taking a bit of a risk on. Also a story the other day suggested that he was going to begin throwing again starting in end of November.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Throwing and pitching are two very different things

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Oh I know I know it's going to take him a while, I'm sure they will start him off on flat ground throwing soft toss at first and very slowly work him up. I was just saying I read he would begin throwing in end of Nov.

  • Many scouts say that Kris Bryant profiles best defensively at a corner OF spot. I agree, especially long term as I think he has a bit more bulking up to do. I think he will move to RF with the Cubs and start mastering his craft instead of starting at 3rd only to move later. I think he could handle 3rd no problem but why do that when he can be really good in the OF.

    I have doubts on Mike Olt at 3rd. I think Villanueva & Baez come up in September and take over the 3rd base and 2nd base respectively.

    Just yesterday Levine had this to say...

    "Cubs still think Javier Baez is a future big league shortstop . That said they will consider moving him to second base if Castro stays."

    That to me is the plan. Barring a Castro trade which I think is extremely unlikely especially after a down year.

    Christian Villanueva - 3B
    Javier Baez - 2B
    Starlin Castro - SS
    Kris Bryant - RF

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Do you post the "I have my doubts about Olt at 3B" and then start your campaign for Villanueva and his MLB projection .231 BA every hour? Are you trying to convince everybody else or just yourself?

    Also, what "craft" is Kris Bryant going to be mastering? Perhaps it is how to deal with a scrub like Villanueva taking his 3B job and forcing him to LF?

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Why don't you just not address me Canter considering the vulgar diatribe you posted last night and then you running away without even answering after you said that Villanueva was never going to play in the majors and that anybody who thought he could be apotential gold glover was an idiot, I pointed out to you about 5-6 scouting reports that said just that, since you ran away I'll post them again...

    Fangraphs, Mike Newman:

    "On defense, Villanueva is in the top three of third baseman I’ve had the opportunity to scout along with Marlins Matt Dominguez and Phillies Travis Mattair. He possesses lightning quick feet, soft hands and a strong throwing arm leaving little doubt as to whether Villanueva can stick at third base long term. In fact, Villanueva’s defensive skills and body control are so strong, second base seems like a viable option..."

    Beyond The Boxscore, Ari Berkowitz:

    "The centerpiece of the deal was Christian Villanueva. Signed as an international free agent in 2008 out of Mexico, Villanueva has a nice line drive stroke that'll lead to occasional power. His third base defense is tremendous and coupled with a strong throwing arm makes him look like a potential future gold glove award winner. Since joining the Cubs Villanueva has doubled his BB%, an area of weakness for him. He projects to be a very good ballplayer for a long time."

    John Sickels:

    "Villanueva was signed by the Rangers out of Mexico in 2008. Listed at 5-11, 180, he is a right-handed hitter and thrower born June 19, 1991. Originally a shortstop, he moved to third base in 2009 following a knee injury. His middle infield background shows up at the hot corner: he is very impressive defensively, featuring above-average range, soft hands, good reliability on routine plays, plus unusually and consistently high double-play rates, generally a sign of quick reactions in a third baseman. He has Gold Glove potential as a third baseman if he hits enough to play regularly."

    "Although he has some issues to address, overall I think Villanueva is a solid prospect. He's at least a year away, but if no one seizes the third base job by 2014, he will certainly be in the picture for the Cubs. His defensive ability could give him an edge while he works the offensive kinks out."

    Baseball America

    Rated Best Defensive 3B in the South Atlantic League in 2011
    Rated Best Defensive 3B in the Carolina League in 2012

    and a scouting report from BA:

    "Blocked by Adrian Beltre and Mike Olt in Texas, Villanueva's chances for future playing time improved dramatically when the Rangers dealt him and strike-throwing righthander Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs for Ryan Dempster. He still has to worry about Jeimer Candelario and perhaps Javier Baez (if he moves to third base), but Villanueva suddenly has a lot more upward mobility. On the 20-80 scouting scale, one Cubs official described him as having 80 makeup, 70 defense and questionable power. Villanueva's short stroke is conducive to line drives more than longballs, and he tends to inside-out quality fastballs and serve them to the opposite field. He has the potential for average power, but he'll have to get stronger and turn on more pitches to get there. He can hit for solid average and provide some doubles. He has fringy speed but has the instincts to steal bases if the defense doesn't pay attention to him. Defense is where Villanueva really shines. He has the first-step quickness, hands, arm strength and savvy to make tough plays look routine. Chicago added him to its 40-man roster and will send him to Double-A in 2013. He could get a big league audition sometime the following year."


    "CV, who was a malnourished-looking 150lbs when he signed, has been bulking up as hoped, adding strength while still smashing baseballs with quick, easy power. Even his smooth defensive play hasn't suffered: he still looks pretty capable of covering shortstop if necessary.

    At A-level Hickory in 2011 he was overshadowed by Jurickson Profar, but Villanueva quietly put up a very impressive offensive line of his own, with 17 homers and 32 steals (in 38 attempts). His base-stealing fell off a cliff last season, but he still produced offensive numbers. He still has a lot to prove, especially once he sees some quality breaking stuff at higher levels, but if that power/speed combination holds up as his body blossoms, he could soon become a high-impact contributor in the new-look Cubs offense we're all waiting to see come 2014 or so."

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    RE: then start your campaign for Villanueva and his MLB projection .231 BA every hour?

    Even John A. had this to say about your ridiculous projection...

    "Projections aren't that literal. They are based on past statistical trends. To argue statistical projections as if they are certainties is a misuse.

    Opinion differs on players all the time. Most feel that Villanueva can field the position extremely well. Whether he hits enough to play everyday is a different story. The odds are against him as they are with most prospects, but it doesn't mean he can't hit. And if he can hit enough to play everyday, there's nothing to say Villanueva can't win a Gold Glove. He has the skills and athleticism to be an asset defensively."

    I have another post that's stuck right now which is an answer to you.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I don't want to be dragged into this. I am just making a statement on statistical projections in general, but I don't know if it's necessarily ridiculous. It's one person's statistical projection for Villanueva that may or may not come to fruition - he may be that or he may be better. Or he may be worse. All it is saying is that statistical projections based on similar players trend toward those kind of numbers. What's more, projections vary by the person who makes them. As an example, I have seen very different projections for Mike Olt from 3 different projection models.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Honestly John, I don't even want to be dragged into this!

    I just want to talk Cubs and baseball, not have to constantly be defending myself. It's sad I've told numerous friends about this blog because it's such a good place for cubs info and discussion.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    and I don't mean defending my points, I mean defending myself when people say I'm basically a moron for having a certain point of view.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Understood. From this point on, However, I'm just asking you both to agree to disagree on this.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    "Projections aren't that literal. They are based on past statistical trends. To argue statistical projections as if they are certainties is a misuse."

    But that's all you do. Why are you ripping into me for something you are doing yet accusing me of? My projections are nowhere near yours or your "sources." You are taking his current stats as a major league equivalent FLOOR and then projecting upward. I say that based on his peripherals, his eye, his contact rates, his OBP/OPS, HIS ABILITY TO HIT (OR LACK OF ABILITY) he is a .231 hitter with limited power and a slim chance to be productive at the major league level. From a physical standpoint, he doesn't even have the size to be a starting 3B, which is where the argument should end anyway.

    You can shove that sh*t down your own throat all you want. Just stop trying to shove it down mine.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    RE: You can shove that sh*t down your own throat all you want. Just stop trying to shove it down mine.

    Nice. Remember you just attacked my post for no reason again, NOT the other way around. I was giving my opinion on who I thought would play 3rd for the Cubs like so many other posters have done and you rip into me because it doesn't fit into what you think.

    Not to mention your vulgar attacks yesterday. By the way you still haven't addressed the fact that you jumped all over me for saying that CV could be a "potential" gold glover like it was completely crazy, even though multiple scouts, and knowledgable baseball people feel the same way.

    Let's remember you are the one attacking my posts not the other way around. I am talking cubs and you suck all the enjoyment right out of it. This isn't your blog canter.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    But it is apparently yours, nameless poster.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Is it really relevant to post 28 short scouting reports written before he played double-A?

    We all have our prospects crushes, so it's finefine to me if you like Villanueva, but it's disingenuous, IMO, to fail to address his 2012 struggles. A poor BA (despite a good babip), a straight BAD walk rate, an unimpressive OBP, and pedestrian SLG.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    C'mon that's a straw man argument. I posted 5 scouting reports not 28 and they were from either 2012 or 2013.

    RE: it's finefine to me if you like Villanueva, but it's disingenuous, IMO, to fail to address his 2012 struggles.

    I'm assuming you meant 2013 in AA-Tennessee, and his struggles as you call them resulted in a mid-season and postseason All-Star for Villanueva. He also improved in many areas just as he's done every year.

    Not to mention that all I said was that I had my doubts about Olt and that I thought Villanueva would get called up in Sept. and play 3rd. Not that he was the next great all-star or something. In fact I am very much still hoping that Olt wins the job in ST and has a great year. I've said before that Olt is like a Lotto ticket for the organization in my opinion.

  • Cubs undecided on Barney with Tender Deadline near according to Carrie Muskat..

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    According to salaries projected by, if the Cubs tender contracts to Samardzija, Schierholtz, Wood, Barney, Bard, Russell, Valbuena, Strop and Murphy, they'll be adding $21.5 million to the payroll. The Cubs have committed $49 million to six players for 2014 and will be paying $19 million to the Yankees to cover the last year of Alfonso Soriano's contract.

  • Sorry for the barrage of posts, last one for a while I promise but I thought this was interesting with the talk of the Blue Jays and Shark trades, and Mauricio's article yesterday...

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 3h
    The #Jays will have seven arms in their top 10 (excluding Osuna), and six of the seven have role 6 grades (no. 3 starter) or higher. #rig

  • In the FWIW department, ABTY @ PSD mentions the Rays inquired about Rizzo and the Cubs redirected the conversation toward Vogelbach instead.

    Anderson carries a bit of control at some considerable risk since he hasn't been right in about three years... definitely worth a top 20 prospect + toss-ins but not a top ten IMO. What I'd do is see if Darwin Barney interests them since he'd be a defensive upgrade over Eric Sogard and they have similar batting stats. Sogard isn't arby eligible until next year so the Cubs might have to toss in a million dollars or so to make it worth their while, but it presents a platoon oppo for the A's since Sogard is LH.

    If the Marlins aren't so intent on hosing teams they deal with trading some of our second tier surplus @ 3B for their pitching stash could be a win-win situation. In addition to Nicolino, Conley, DeSclafani, and Flynn, some lesser known or RP that could be targeted in a deal are Nick Wittgren, Michael Brady, or Grant Dayton

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    From Ron Shandler:

    Brad Fullmer List
    Players whose leading indicators indicate upside potential, year after year, but consistently fail to reach that full potential. Players like Phil Hughes, Bud Norris, Carlos Quentin and Jeff Samardzija are on the list right now.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Um, I'm not sure who Shandler or Fullmer are to judge their analysis- but how can Shark be on a "consistently fail to reach that full potential" list when he's been a starter for two years, has put up 5.8 WAR during that time, and was a 200/200 IP/K pitcher this season? Must be some guys trying to talk down his trade value...

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    In reply to Paulson:

    Brad Fullmer was a first baseman who put up outstanding peripherals that never translated to traditional counting stats (AVG-HR-RBI) over the course of his eight year major league career.

    Ron Shandler is a Sabermetric Analyst. What he is saying in the case of those players is that the results don't match the abilities, much like with Brad Fullmer. He is not saying Samardzija is a failure. He is saying he doesn't pitch to the level that those indicators say he should. That's all.

    He has nothing to do with determining Samardzija's trade value and trust me, there isn't a single GM or scout who believes anything different than what Shandler is saying.

  • If I were to look into the crystal ball for 2014. As to the infield situation, I think opening day we look like this:
    2B-Barney / Valbuena
    3B-Olt / Murphy

    Now Castro and Rizzo are set for the entire season, and I think they will bounce back. Now umless he is doing brett jackson bad, I see them giving olt at least three months to claim thrid. Right around when baez will be up. So second half it will look like this depending on olt:

    Then september we will see alcantara / villanueva. I think Bryant will start I AA / and then jump to iowa or chicago and move to OF.

    So 2015 infield is a pretty fluid situation but I think after 2014 we will know which direction they will go.

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    It took me an hour, but I found Jesse Rogers' quote that I mentioned:

    "It's not unreasonable for them to offer a deal to Samardzija like the one that was rumored last offseason -- $30 million for five years."

    So on the one hand I misquoted Rogers, for which I apologize to him and y'all (and ucandoit was right on the mark). But on the other hand, is it really "not unreasonable" to lowball him to that extent? 5/30, seriously, Jesse?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I think Jesse is a bit unreasonable.

    If you consider that Shark could get 5.5 million this year in Arbitration and say 7.5 million next year, that's $13 Million pretty much guaranteed to him already without a contract.

    That leaves $17 Million total divided by 3 for the remaining 3 years and that's about $5.67 Million per year.

    So yeah, $5.6 million per year is a bit unreasonable for Shark's age 30-33 seasons (prime years). from that perspective.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Considering the figures I posted above a "fair" offer to Shark for both parties involved seems to me to be around 6 yrs @ $60 Million

    1st yr - $6 M (arb. year)
    2nd yr - $7 M (arb. year)
    3rd yr - $11 M
    4th yr - $11 M
    5th yr - $12 M
    6th yr - $13 M

    6 yrs @ $60 M would have value for both sides I believe, but I think Shark wants more, and their is still the No Trade Clause he is asking for which is a deal breaker for this Front Office.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I think something along these lines is reasonable.

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    just wanted to throw out another topic that a friend and I were talking about at thanksgiving: Do fans of every team appreciate the same kinds of players, or does each team have its own specific character that persists over the years, which its fans look for in a prospective player? for example, it seems Yankee fans only want star power, they will accept nothing less. White Sox fans want grit - they like players that are tough as nails, ready to put up a fight, would be considered blue collar if they didn't make millions: Pierzinski, Ozzie, Thome; Ditka and McMahon would have been White Sox fans. Cub fans seem to gravitate toward underdogs - littl guys that keep their head down and play hard and try and make it against the odds, even if they don't make an impact - we made folk heros out of guys like Doug Dascenzo, Sam Fuld, Darwin Barney, Brian LaHair, and that little outfielder we traded away last year - name escapes me. I have no point to any of this, I just think it's odd that each team should develop a different personality like this.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    alot of that relates to the type of market and city the team is in. Using your examples; new york is a city of bright lights, just like its stars. The white sox are "good guys" in the A.L. against the giants of the East and West, and thus a grind-it-out team. And the cubs are the biggest underdogs of all, so it would make sense that we would root for other underdogs.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    It does seem that way. Cubs fans do seem to like the underdogs. I'm sure you were referring to Campana, by the way.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Excellent points. I think you need a little of everything, but constantly rooting for the underdogs means lack of faith in the guys that are supposed to be better, which means you probably have a bad team.

    I hate using other sports as an example, but right now I don't see anybody pinning their hopes on the guys in the Blackhawks minor league system to take the places of the guys wearing the Indian Heads on their sweaters every night.

    The Cardinals are baseball's closest comparison. There is a mix of everything in there - grit, star power, underdog mentality. Win.

  • fb_avatar

    Cubs fans only like underdogs because we rarely have good players and they're comforted by believing fallacies like Barney being a MLB caliber player.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    but up until 2005 the Sox were just as pathetic as the cubs, yet their personality was totally differerent. And I've lived in NYC, Mets fans are totally different from Yankee fans.

  • Let's cool it on the debate, guys. Agree to disagree and move on.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sorry I didn't see this. No problem

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    No problem. Thanks for understanding.

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    I like Anderson, but not for prospects.

    Marlins can offer us something for Villanueva, otherwise I'm not interested. Olt Baez and Bryant can all conceivably make the team by September without blocking each other, but one of those three will definitely block Villanueva and all have higher ceilings.

    Candelario is too far away to trade. He's super young and could develop some serious value if he has a lot of progress. So unless Miami is in love with him and has to have him (doubtful) he's off limits to me.

  • I'm the bully? In fact Mike was doing the same thing you are, which dismissing my posts out of hand because it didn't support his view , I never attacked him personally but once when I said he talked out of his butt (not a$$) and I did apologize to him the very next day.

    You troll this board like you are the mother hen.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I have no idea why this posted down here this was a response to MC

  • Giving up prospects for Brett Anderson makes no sense to me, unless the idea is to buy low, rebuild his value and then trade him.

    He's only under contract for 2 more years and 2015s option isn't the cheapest at $12M.

    It seems highly unlikely that Anderson is going to play for the next Cubs contender, so I don't want to give up potential long term assets for a guy that's going to be a bridge to the Cubs' contending years.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    He's 27. I think he can be more than a bridge. When healthy he's a talented pitcher. I wouldn't pay a lot for a risk/reward type but he's worth looking into.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He is, but the biggest thing is that he's under contract for only 2 years (and those years are not super cheap either).

    I think you're implying that the Cubs could possibly extend him once he gets there. I just don't want to give up prospects in hopes that Anderson 1) rebounds with the Cubs and then 2) signs a below market extension (or becomes a trade candidate).

    Just doesn't seem like a good use for our prospects.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Depends on the prospects. Nobody is saying they have to give away their top guys. If A's insist on that, then you can always walk away.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Agreed on all points.

    Especially considering the theoretical trade is with the A's and Beans isn't known for letting guys go without getting good value.

    I think its a bad fit. We're both teams that are trying to get other teams to give up more than we should.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Do you think Theo and Jed share your fear of making a deal with Beane? They might be cautious, but if they can get a buy low 27 year old talented LHP, it seems like a huge missed opportunity not to look into it and see what it would take to acquire him. If Beane makes an offer they don't feel comfortable with, they can always move on. But to dismiss it because you are afraid to deal with Beane doesn't strike me as part of the equation. The A's are in win-now mode and have a surplus in he rotation, maybe the Cubs can deal them a value player that can help them in the short term in exchange for a potential long term LH SP.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Now you're talking. I'm perfectly fine with giving up a guy on the existing roster that may be on a short term contract in order to get Anderson. But, again, I think the end game there is just another trade of Anderson if/when he repairs his value.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I'd rather give roster guys up but not sure who they'd want, so I'd be open to giving away certain prospects as well. Not top guys, but I'd consider dealing from depth.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Would they have any interest in Schierholtz?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I was thinking about that. Possibly. They seem pretty set in the OF, though.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Its not so much a fear of Beane, I just think the result would be like you said. They ask too much and we walk away.

    But you're absolutely right that there's no harm in floating a riskless offer. I think Amaya is the highest I'd go. Vogelbach isn't even a consideration for me.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think we're pretty much on the same page then.

  • Ellsbury >>> CF
    Castro >>> SS
    Rizzo >>> 1B
    Lake >>> LF
    Scheirholtz >>> RF
    Olt >>> 3B
    Watkins >>> 2B
    Castillo >>> C

    Can swap Castro/Watkins & Olt/Castillo ... Let's not trade young players for Anderson etc...

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    I wouldn't mind seeing the Cubs take a flyer on lefthander Clayton Richard. From what I understand, he had no structural damage, just needed the bone shaved. He is expected to be healthy and ready to go from day one.

    John, what do you think of Richard? When healthy, he's has some solid seasons. Would he be a candidate for a minor league deal with an invite, or is his stock higher than that? What would it take?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Minor league deal, maybe. I think he benefited from pitching in that big park. He's a 5th starter to me and I don't see much upside.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    mike sorry if I'm repeating myself, I can't remember if I asked this but I meant to - are you related to Mari partipilo?

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    In reply to SKMD:

    I don't know her by name, but I'm told all Partipilos originate from Bari, so the odds are we're cousins, although probably quite removed.

    Surprisingly, the name isn't all that uncommon throughout the Chicago area. In fact, my daughter once dated a guy who's stepfather has the same exact name as one of my brothers. I kept hoping they wouldn't get married because I didn't want to send out invitations that said Mrs and Mrs partipilo blah blah blah daughter to So and so, son of Mr and Mrs partipilo. We'd look like Italian hillbillies. lol

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I just thought it was spooky, I've never heard the name before and now in the space of a month I've come across it twice.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    As a Michigan alum, I would be even more excited to get Richard. When he was a Michigan, his career almost took a completely different turn. He was a top QB recruit who also was a top baseball recruit. During his redshirt freshman or sophomore year, the starting QB got hurt right before the opening game. Everyone expected Richard to get the call, but he was passed up at the last minute (he may have had an injury himself) for true freshman QB, Chad Henne.

    Not saying Richard would have done as well as Henne at Michigan or that it was a bad decision by the coaches, but if Richard starts and performs anywhere near his potential, he likely would have made the NFL. As it turned out, Henne became a 4 year starter and Richard focused more on baseball.

  • Tom Loxas reporting interest in Vogelbach from Yanks, Marlins, Rays, Rockies, and Brewers. The best obvious fit here is with the Rays, who have the pitching prospects to deal and the future need for a solid DH. Enny Romero or Blake Snell straight up might work but I'd like to see if Theo could dangle another border-line top 100 prospect like Christian Villanueva and see if we couldn't end up with Taylor Guerrieri or Jake Odorizzi out of the deal. Maybe the Rays could even give us Jeff Beliveau back.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I think in general, the Cubs are willing to deal anyone and Vogelbach is included, especially since there is a significant roadblock ahead of him. Obviously it takes a lot more to pry someone like Javier Baez loose than it does a lesser prospect further down the depth chart. I'm not sure how much Vogelbach is worth at this point, though. He's a 1B/DH type at the A ball level. His value is all in his bat. If he doesn't hit, then he can't help in any other way. Perhaps as part of a larger trade package.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I think it's too early to deal VogelBOMB. If he rakes at A=/AA next year, his value goes up. If he rakes at AAA and then is blocked by Rizzo, then we deal him when his value is maxed and he could headline a package of prospects or TOR starter by himself.

    Good thing Theo/Jed are smarter at this than me

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It all depends if it gets them that next level player.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    True and I realize they aren't necessarily actively "shopping" him. Still, it's hard to imagine someone targeting him and given up excess value now.

  • Never like the idea of trading an everyday bat like Vogelbach for a questionable arm that pitches every 5 days. Look at all the signings of huge contracts for starting pitchers that failed? Here is one example, I would rather see Feldman pitching last year than Edwin Jackson, and Feldman never cost us a top prospect or a lot of money, but every 5th day I felt we had a chance to win when Feldman or Woodie were pitching. Never felt good when EJ took the mound.

  • Wondering whether the idea of a time limited NTC, say two years, has been discussed w/ Shark. Would the FO be adverse to that? Would that interest Shark?

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