Cubs Notes: De La Rosa hurt in car accident; Samardzija, Bailey, Nava, Portillo

The temperature in Chicago makes spring seem so, so far away but some of the Cubs players are already on their way to AZ.  Pitchers and catcher’s officially report in 38 days.

So hang in there, baseball will be back before we know it.



Until then, here are some news and notes…

  • UPDATE on De La Rosa and the Cubs prospects.  All are OK.  Good news indeed because judging from the picture of the car, things could have been a lot worse.
  • A few Cubs prospects, including 2012 top IFA signing Frandy De La Rosa were injured in a car crash. No details yet but the car apparently burst into flames. No deaths were recorded, but De La Rosa was the most hurt and is currently in the hospital.   The players were in a Toyota 4 Runner.  Other players injured were Anderson Mejia and Jose Zapata.  We’re hoping they’ll all be okay and will update when we hear more.
  • Fangraphs takes a look at Jeff Samardzija‘s bad two months last season but they couldn’t figure out exactly what went wrong.  They see some potential in him, comparing him to A.J. Burnett and calling him a potential top 30 starter for fantasy purposes, but that’s only if he can limit the gopher ball.  Samardzija has been a top 30 pitcher over the past two years in terms of xFIP, so that makes a lot of sense.  I don’t think it has as much to do with mechanics or stuff as it does with his approach.  It’s been my contention that Samardzija needs to learn when to ease off the gas pedal and set more hitters up instead of trying to blow them away — especially when he gets into trouble.
  • Nick Cafardo writes that the Reds may try and deal Homer Bailey.  This might be an interesting way for the Cubs to upgrade.  The Reds are apparently trying to free up some money, perhaps to re-sign Bronson Arroyo, and are looking for some salary relief.   It sounds to me like this could potentially end up being similar to the Doug Fister deal.  If so, the Cubs need to get in on the 27 year old RHP who went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA (3.31 FIP) last season.  A source tells me that in addition to salary relief, the Reds are looking for a young SS for the future.  While Starlin Castro or Javier Baez is far too much to give up for 2 years of Bailey, the Cubs do have some depth at the position, though the better prospects are lower in the minors.
  • Cafardo also mentions Red Sox LF’er Daniel Nava may be available.  He’s at the right age for the Cubs but his poor defense and platoon splits make it questionable how much they would want to give up for the switch-hitter.  Two reasons he could be attractive, however, is that he hits better as a lefty and has the kind of disciplined approach the Cubs prefer.  As a role player he would be a nice fit for the right price.
  • The Padres recently DFA’d RHP Adys Portillo and he is currently in limbo.  Both Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are familiar with the former top prospects (ranked #9 by BA after 2012 season) so the Cubs could take a look here.  Portillo throws 94-96 mph and has touched as high as 99 mph.  Portillo still needs a lot of work, most notably with his command and his change-up, but his breaking ball has improved and it seems that he can at least be a hard-throwing, late inning RP.  He was injured last year so that’s yet another set back to his development.  Still, we’re talking about raw arm strength that you don’t see everyday.

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  • fb_avatar

    What a shame on De La Rosa and the others. So young. You hope it doesn't impact their futures.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hope it isn't too serious. The news is vague so far.

  • How about Alcantara & Alberto Cabrera for Bailey?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Alcantara has potential to contribute when the Cubs are in contention. Homer Bailey is only under contract for the next 2 years. I think the Cubs might take on the salary and then dump him for more prospects at the deadline.

  • In reply to good4you:

    Bailey is only under contract for 2014.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Why would you want to give up young talent for a pitcher who becomes a fa in one year and wants 7 years/120m or so.

  • Here's hoping that De La Rosa and the others are not badly hurt, and have a quick and unventful recovery.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Agreed. Hopefully we hear some encouraging news later.

  • The SS almost has to be Alcantara, unless they'd prefer Barney. Penalver is probably at least three years away from MLB-ready. Perhaps Villanueva or a pitcher from the Grimm, Ramirez, Rusin group would be enough to balance the trade if they're desperate for salary relief.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    If they could make it Villanueva, Russell, and Schierholtz or some other combination of prospect depth and short term assets for Bailey with a 5 year extension negotiation being the caveat, that would be a great win with or without Tanaka.

  • Is it dreaming for Homer Bailey and their competitive draft pick for Barney,Vitters and B.Jackson?

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:


  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    Thought so.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Bailey has already said he is definitely going to free agency and wants to pitch near his home in Texas.

  • I'm a huge Homer Bailey fan. I think there's a decent chance he takes another step forward this year. If so, he has #2 potential, and at his age, he perfectly plugs a gaping hole for the Cubs.

    I think Bailey only has one year left, so if the Cubs were to trade for him, they should really try to be at least reasonably assured they can get a contract done with him.

    Now, what would be a reasonable package for one year of Homer Bailey? As mentioned by Ben20, I think Alcantara is a good start, though he's likely not enough alone, and I don't think throwing in Alberto Cabrera is going to move the needle at all. Schierholtz might make sense. If not, probably going to have to move to the minor leagues to fill the rest of the gap, as they're pretty set at bullpen. Who then? Maybe someone along the vein of Blackburn. Or Dunston. Or Maples. Or Candalerio. You could perhaps replace a few of those options with some BP power arm types, such as Black and Rivero (there are many more combos, but it would take 2-3 to get it done).

  • Keep on picking up fairly young players with some potential
    for almost nothing

  • And if the Reds want to really get crazy, I would love to get a package of Bailey and Stephenson back. That would completely transform the Cubs future pitching outlook.

  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    Agreed, Stephenson and Bailey would be nice additions, but I don't see the Reds dealing Stephenson. Theo got Wood for Marshall and got the Reds to thrown in a couple lesser pieces. I have to think Theo and Jed are at least checking in with the Reds on Bailey.

  • Samardzija

    ...sign me up for that

  • Agreed - Any rotation with E. Jackson as Starter #5 is a far more than solid rotation.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    A lot of money though for a # 5 starter.

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    As I said in the other thread, Bailey was a lot like Arrieta in that they have great stuff but lack the command neccesary to be a TOR starter but the potential was there for it. Bailey has been on top prospect lists for a long time and the Reds had to be extremely patient with him but it all just clicked for him.

    Hopefully Arrieta can make the same kind of breakthrough this year, just have to have patience. If all the Reds want is salary reliefrelief and a mid-level prospect I see no reason why Homer Bailey wont be a Cubs.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Hard to believe that we would pay less for a year of Bailey than we got for two months of Garza.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    That's true but the circumstances are different. The Reds are looking to save money. I don't know if they'll punt as badly as the Tigers did with Fister, but the pitchers put up similar numbers and the motivations for trading them are similar. From what I've heard it may not take all that much.

  • I hope Theo is working on this. Bailey makes a lot of sense for the Cubs. Either as a long term piece or to flip at the deadline for future pieces.

  • I thought you were going to write about the new Portillo's in AZ.

    Bailey would certainly be a young arm to help build the rotation around.

    Is Cincy willing to trade within the Division?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    There's a Portillo's in AZ? Excellent.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yup. Tempe just opened and one in Scottsdale.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    The one in Tempe is a Mike from the new Cubs facility

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Mile friggin spellcheck

  • Bailey/Phillips for Alcantara/Barney/Villanueva

  • I love Bailey, as well. However, guessing that there wouldn't be any discount on an extension. I'd think a team like ARI would make a good partner, if CIN were to move Bailey. Owings and Didi G are pretty valuable trade chips.

    Cubs system is a bit weird in that it is sort of bifurcated. You have the Big 4 who aren't going anywhere- at least right now. Within the next group, you don't have a killer guy to lead a deal and they've worked hard to build up the quality of depth in that 5-15 range. There is just a big gap between the Big 4 and the rest of the system.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think that speaks more to the high ranking of the big 4 than it does the poor quality of 5-15. According to many ranking experts, the Cubs should have 7 in the top 100. The next three are expected to be Edwards, Alcantara and Johnson with Vogelbach falling just outside the top 100. I'd say there's some pretty quality depth there.

    With only being guaranteed one year of Bailey, I don't see why Alacantara couldn't be the main piece in a deal. The question remains why would the Cubs want one year of Homer Bailey. Perhaps if they sign Tanaka and want to try to compete this season they could trade for him with the hopes of working out an extension, but I don't see a likely match with the Cubs here.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    AZ would be the team I'd bet on landing him. They have an MLB SS ready to deal in Gregorius, especially since they like the Owings kid a lot.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Why would the Reds want Gregorius when they already have a better one in Zack Cozart? They have already been down the road in choosing between the two.

  • In reply to krn99:

    and didnt they trade gregorius last offseason? I doubt they would trade back for him, maybe they go after Owings tho.

  • Long time reader, 1st blog comment ever. Long time Cubs fan(been crying since '69). Off subject planning to see I-Cubs play Memorial weekend. Where is good place to stay w/family and friends. On subject Bailey is another power arm. Keep adding to the inventory if the price is reasonable.

  • In reply to finish84:

    Thanks for commenting. I'm not sure about the best place to stay. I'll leave that to the readers here who travel to Chicago.

  • In reply to finish84:

    Downtown DSM if you want to stay close to the stadium. I've stayed at the Marriott Renissance and the Hilton Embassy Suites, both are very nice. The Embassy Suites may be the best option with kids because they have two bedroom suites and complimentary breakfast. They have put in a lot of restaurants near Court Ave and I think there is a Science Center right near the stadium.

  • In reply to finish84:

    Downtown DSM if you want to stay close to the stadium. I've stayed at the Marriott Renaissance and the Hilton Embassy Suites, both are very nice. The Embassy Suites may be the best option with kids because they have two bedroom suites and complimentary breakfast. They have put in a lot of restaurants near Court Ave and I think there is a Science Center right near the stadium.

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    In reply to finish84:

    quite honestly, how big could DesMoines be - any place you stay is probably 10 minutes from the stadium. I don't travel anywhere without going through Hotwire for hotels - beats any other deal on the web by far.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    KC fan is right. Staying downtown is the way to go. Several hotels, walking distance Principal and centrally located in DM so you can get anywhere in 10 minutes. Don't know how old your kids are but Adventureland is an amusement park in Altoona (suburb) also hotels out there that are nice.

  • In reply to finish84:

    I missed the "I" on this. I can tell you that I stayed at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, in part because my wife likes older, more historical hotels. It also has a nice "casual" French Restaurant downstairs and a restaurant/brewery down the street. It was pretty convenient for us.

  • John, he's asking where to stay in Des Moines, not Chicago.

  • Carrie Muskat has blurb on the accident. Sounds like no major injuries. Picture of car looks like all 3 should be dead. Looks real bad.

  • I highly doubt that this is going to end up in a Fister-like salary dump. Fans are going to point to the Fister trade whenever they hear a guy associated with a salary dump and hope they can fleece the team as the Nationals did with Fister. Fleecing like that doesn't happen too often. And even if they were going to give Bailey away, it makes no sense for them to do so within the division.

    Bailey doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the Cubs considering his contract (free agent after next year) and that the Cubs will have to give up valuable prospects to get him. Those valuable prospects probably aren't worth 1) the ability to flip him midseason or 2) the ability to negotiate with him on an extension during the 2014 season. Especially if they're looking for a shortstop, because Baez is off the table and a guy like Marco Hernandez isn't going to be enough of a carrot.

  • Trading for Bailey would improve our chances of signing Tanaka and re-signing both Samardzija and Bailey. It would also boost attendance next year and improve our negotiating position on the TV and radio contracts. Worst case, we'd get a supplemental pick if we failed to re-sign Bailey.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    Just my opinion, but I think trading for Bailey would have minimal impact on most of the things you listed. I don't think it'll change Tanaka or Shark's decision at all. It will likely have minimal impact on attendance and the TV/Radio negotiations.

    Unless they feel they can sign Bailey to a cheap extension if they trade for him (unlikely) or they can trade him at the deadline for more than they give up this offseason (also unlikely), I just don't think this deal makes any sense for the Cubs.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    Slight suggested correction to your post:

    IF, trading for Bailey would improve our chances of signing Tanaka and, then re-signing Samardzija and Bailey AT DISCOUNTS. Then, it is worth the signing. I seriously doubt it will affect the Tanaka deal or the Samardzija extension. There is just too much money out there on the free agent market.

  • fb_avatar

    According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs prospects involved in the car crash are going to be okay. Thank God for that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thank goodness.

  • I really hope Muskat's report is correct and that everyone in the crash is alright. The crash really doesn't look good.

    On Bailey, if we can somehow get Tanaka, then maybe we turn in a surprising year on starting pitching strength and get a first round compensation draft pick at the end of the year. I just don't see that as a strong move (Alacantara for 1st draft pick). Only way I would do this is if we feel that we can flip him at the deadline for a better package than we give up to rent him for a half year. It would be a sad way to go into 2014 (expecting to be sellers at the deadline).

    I find it sound advice to just agree with the most knowledgeable person in the room, so I am with John on AZ. They are way more willing to deal top prospects than the Cubs.

  • fb_avatar

    2 questions on Bailey:
    1) his numbers are pretty similar to Samardzija's; Bailey's 2 years younger but they both have 2 years of control left. Why would they want to trade for Bailey unless they were assured they could work out an extension with him? I mean otherwise they're in the same boat with Bailey as they already are with Shark
    2) You say Reds are looking for a SS - Barney came up as a SS. Would a package of Barney/Alcantara/Watkins get that deal done? Or Barney/Lake/Schierholtz?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Bailey only has 1 year of control left. He's a free agent after 2014.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Barney's range and arm don't play nearly as well at SS as they do at 2B. Unfortunately his bat hasn't played at all since May of 2011.

  • "Alcantara"

    The Cubs have two voids. Young impact pitching, and left-handed bats other than 1B. Better yet, a switch hitter with some real talent, and he is the first guy thrown at the pitching dearth!

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Don't worry, Theo is in charge of trades. I don't think Alcantara is going anywhere.

  • John, do you think it's realistic for the Cubs to get Bailey in a package involving Arismendy Alcantara? With maybe Barney as the MLB stopgap?

  • In reply to Caps:

    I don't want to trade Alacantara unless/until we know who is going to be our 3rd baseman of the future. If one of Olt, Bryant, or Villanueva rises to the challenge, then we can have Baez at 2nd, but we don't know if any of those 3 will settle at 3rd.

  • Love me some Homer. Get him. Sign him. Five years would be nice.

  • This isn't going to happen, especially if he wants to play closer to Texas. (his home) Let's forget about it and move on. If I were the Reds, I'd call Toronto, Arizona, and LA Angels. It would be great, but I see no way this is going to happen.

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    If they are throwing in Alcantara and Villanueva, then the Cubs should get permission from the reds to negotiate an extension on Bailey's contract before completing the deal. The way I see it, Alcantara and Villanueva are worth more than one year of Homer and a supplemental pick. If homer agrees to an extension, then complete the deal.

  • If the Cubs are looking to trade Jeff S. This will be another pitcher on the market that will tweak the market. I like the idea of getting Bailey but for a Package low level prospects. Nobody in our top 15. If that won't get him, pass. If it does we can either flip at deadline, extend or get a comp Draft pick next year. Any of those 3 are great options. I wouldn't mind the extend option but doesn't sound like he is willing.

  • I like the idea of Bailey, if the price is right. You'd have two ways to go if you landed him; extend him or flip him at the deadline. I'd think he'd bring probably a better return than anybody they've flipped, so far.

  • Where is good place to stay w/family and friends. On subject Bailey is another power arm. Keep adding to the inventory if the price is reasonable.

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