Rockies interested in Gray for Samardzija? My source say no... but Butler, Dahl may be in play

A bit of a late start for me today but in perusing the internet, I see that there is some clamoring for Jeff Samardzija‘s services in Colorado.  In fact, Denver Post writer Mark Kiszla suggests the Rockies should trade last year’s #3 overall pick, Jon Gray, a pitcher the Cubs strongly considered before deciding on slugging 3B Kris Bryant.

I followed up on this and a source told me that the Rockies indeed would be interested in Samardzija, but that he could not see the team parting with Gray.

He did believe they’d be willing to part with Eddie Butler and/or David Dahl.

Butler burst on the scene as a top 100 prospect and is currently having a solid season in AA (3.45 ERA, 3.58 FIP), though his K rate is down to 5.48 per 9 IP from 8.13 last year, so that is something of a concern.   Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America both rank Butler as the 2nd best prospect in the system after Gray.

Per Jason Parks at BP,

Athletic; long arms; good body with more room to add strength; repeatable delivery; fastball is power offering; works 93-98; huge life to the arm-side; holds velocity; two-seamer with heavy life; bat-smasher; changeup is money pitch; plus-plus potential with mid-upper 80s velo, good deception, and heavy two-seamer action; slider is third plus potential offering; hard and cutter like in mid-upper 80s; longer in the 83-85 range with more tilt; shows low-80s curveball with some bite.

Butler projects as a #2 or #3 starter and is probably about a year or less from the big leagues.

The other player of interest would fill a second hole in the Cubs organization — a LH bat in the OF in David Dahl.  Dahl, 20, is currently in low A ball and is hitting .261/.301/500 with 8 HRs.  Parks had this to say about Dahl,

Athletic and strong; natural hitter; easy, line-drive stroke; plus bat speed and bat control; plus run; strong arm; glove with above-average projection; could be legit five-tool player; strong work ethic and high baseball IQ.

Their is some risk with Dahl as he had injury issues last year and he doesn’t fit the team’s profile as a selective hitter (5.4% walk rate this season).

I think they’yre intriguing players but I’m not sure the front office will surrender their top pitcher. Despite having zero wins, Samardzija is having his best season.  We talked about his maturation here and this season, it’s reflecting in his numbers.  Samardzija has put up an FIP of 2.92, good for 10th in the NL and 19th in all of baseball.  He ranks 17th in terms of WAR among all starting pitchers and 6th in the NL.  Those rankings are higher than any pitcher expected to be available in a trade with the possible exception of David Price — but frankly, it’s difficult to see the Rays parting with Price when they have a shot at the playoffs.  Kiszla reasoning for the Rockies to be willing to part with Gray for Samardzija is that the Rockies are a veteran team that is ready to win now.

Gray got off to a rough start the season but has since righted the ship, posting a 3.22 ERA (2.82 FIP) with 8.42 Ks and just 1.24 walks per 9 IP.

If the Rockies do offer Gray then, as much as I like Samardzija, I am all for pulling the trigger.  But if it’s a package centered around Butler and Dahl, the answer may not be as clear — but there’s still a lot to like with that sort of package.  I’m more concerned with Dahl than Butler so perhaps there are alternatives.

Other players of interest include Raimel Tapia, another LH hitting OF who Parks likes better than Dahl, calling him a potential all-star — but he is not as far along as Dahl, so there is more risk.  Ryan McMahon, a 3B in which the Cubs had shown some interest in prior to last year’s draft.  McMahon is also lefty and has shown the kind of discipline and extra base power the Cubs like in A ball.


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  • I'm also intrigued by Will Swanner, though as a complimentary piece and not a main one. His OBP is up this year, and he's blocked at both catcher and first, so he could be viewed as somewhat expendable by Colorado. Package him with Butler and a couple other prospects and I'd make that trade.

  • Gray really sounds like the only guy in the system that would make the trade worthwhile from the cubs prospective.

  • In reply to billisham:

    Lake,Schierholtz & Samardizja for Gonzalez & Butler

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    or for just gonzalez (they can keep butler)

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I will take an OF of Gonzalez, Bryant and Bonafacio, while wait on Almora or someone to come along in CF.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I don't see Bonifacio being a Cub in 2015. He's probably playing his way into a three year deal.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Dreaming is nice, but if the Rox are trading Cargo, it will be for 6-year-controllable guys, which isn't Shark.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I think you forgot someone, Gray.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I know they probably wouldn't trade Gonzalez if they are trying to make a playoff run. So for me it would have to be for Gray and Dahl and the Cubs have the upper hand and can be very persistent on who they want in return.

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    Interesting stuff. Hadn't heard about the Rockies potential interest either. Gray would make it worth while to me, not sure that the other guys provide enough upside unless there is enough volume in prospects to diversify the risk a bit.

    Something struck me kind of funny as I was reading through this. You can see the dichotomy in old-school metrics vs. the new metrics when you see that Samardzija is 6th in NL pitchers in WAR this year even though he doesn't have a "W" to his credit. A perfect illustration of the "value" of the Win as a measurement of a pitcher's value.

  • In reply to KC3772:

    I actually heard about this yesterday but didn't post anything on it. The Denver Post article motivated me to write on it.

  • gray?!? I just went from 6 to midnight

  • Butler + Dahl and another high-upside piece would be a better package than I am expecting. However; I seem to be more pessimistic than others on Samardzija's trade value. Do you think the cubs would do a one for one swap for Gray? Is there a possibility that the Cubs include Hammel for a more extensive package?
    Thanks for the writeup

  • In reply to Tide23:

    I think you get more trading Hammel separately. Some of the bench and platoon guys on there 25 man would be better to use as extra incentive, not a pitcher who could bring a nice package on his own.

  • In reply to Tide23:

    I think the Cubs would probably do that trade, but can't see them adding Hammel, possibly role players like Russell.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    All we can hope for is that tons of teams stay in contention and teams get desperate to add. I don't see Russell as adding much value at all but I do agree that it makes a lot of sense to spin Hammel off to another team desperate for a starter at the deadline

  • If they won't give up Gray I'm thinking no. Someone else will put a better package together than Colorado would without Gray.

  • For Samardzija I'm really not interested in prospects in low-A ball. At that point, they are more like lottery tickets and you should get more for someone pitching like Samardzija is. Maybe you don't get Wil Meyers, but I would hope they could get something approaching that.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I agree with you, in the sense that as we approach years 4 and 5 of the rebuild, I think we should be looking for someone who can make an impact on the 2015 team, like Gray from the Rockies or Pederson from the Dodgers, while at the same time fitting in with the rebuild. Teams that are in win-now mode aren't going to trade an established young veteran like Gonzales.

  • I really like the idea of getting Butler in a trade. His stuff is naaaaasty when it's on (and it often is). If you can find it, you should watch his inning from the 2013 Futures Game, where he was sitting and spotting mid-90s with a hellacious changeup in the upper-80s that looked like a freakin' lefty slider. I know he's not the Brand Name type prospect Stroman/Sanchez are, but if he was a part of a deal I'd be psyched.

  • I would agree with John and most of the posters here so far that only Gray would make this interesting.

    I am still wanting the Royals to get in the mix. A package of Zimmer and another arm for Valbuena and Shark would make a lot of sense for both teams.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Actually I'd probably take Butler and either Dahl or McMahon. Gray is a long shot, more of a writer trying to stir things up...which he did ;)

    Really like Butler's stuff and command. Plus Cubs could use a LH bat. There is a fit there.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    this strikes me like our proposal for carlos gonzalez over the off season. I would do it in a heartbeat for gray but I just dont think he is on the table. (except if we offer bryant and epstein)

  • I think Butler, Dahl and another piece sounds like a fine package. Although it probably wouldn't be as much as they got for Garza. Still have at least a month until trade rumors really start to pick up

  • all these alleged teams getting into it is great for the cubs.. get the bidding war started and a team is likely to go overboard to get him

  • Butler and Dahl is a very good haul. I'd obviously prefer Gray, but Butler and Dahl is the best I've seen by a mile that could actually happen. I would too prefer Tapia though.

  • Samardzija could be for a team what Suttclilffe was for the Cubs. A proactive team will move sooner than later, but it will take an offer that Jed can't refuse to get it done

  • The the AL East stays knotted up like it is, I expect the offers will start heating up sooner than later. Too bad the Jays are the only ones with prospects over there, would love to fleece the Yanks. In any case, GMs are going to start getting nervous that the competition will get to Shark first. Doubt he makes it to the all-star break.

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    From the Rockies perspective, they need Shark, but they also need bullpen help, particularly a lefty. I also would be nervous if I were them about Latroy Hawkins holding up as my closer.

    Rondon would be of interest to them, and may tip the scales to surrendering Gray. Shark alone may not be enough, but I think we can spare Rondon if it nets us a guy like Gray.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Unless Samardzija has told Epstein that he won't sign with the Cubs fro any amount of money, I wouldn't trade him for Gray even up, at this point. And I certainly wouldn't trade him for the other trash that was mentioned.

    Samardzija is vastly more valuable than Garza, and should bring more in return that Garza did. Or he should be kept.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    "trash"? Honestly?

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Really? Good think your not in charge because you would male the cubs broke. It would be 200 years before the cubs win.

  • Even if this is all smoke, it can't hurt, especially when it comes out of Colorado. Shark stands to be top dog on the trade market, especially if he keeps it up. If he pitches like he is now down the stretch for a contender, watch out.

    I have a strong feeling that in a few years when we are putting all of this together that the value from a Shark trade or extension will play a huge part into what we have going.

  • Agreed wholeheartedly... I would've traded Garza for Butler and some throw-ins, but with the numbers Samardzija is putting and the extra year of control, the Cubs should sell with the highest value possible and demand for Gray... If not, Samardzija is better through an extension... Last year Samardzija was not worth someone like Gray... But I'm not sure about this year... A potential ace in the minor leagues can't be worth more than a potential ace already doing it at the MLB level...

    If the Cubs can't get someone like Gray in a trade for Samardzija, then they should try really hard to extend him and save a trade for less than that as a last resort.

    Prospects I think are worth Samardzija... Jon Gray, Noah Snydergard and Andrew Heaney... Samardzija might have even priced himself up to Aaron Sanchez + Marcus Stroman, especially after Stroman moved to the pen and Sanchez hasn't found consistency with his command.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I am hoping for Giolito and some other lower prospects for Smarz and Russell. Giolito is probably my number one choice if I could pick the prospect we get in return for Shark.

  • Shark AND Rondon for Gray , no thanks . They would have to include more Like Gray Dahl to get both MLB arms . but thats just me

  • We need to get considerably more in this deal than we did for two months of Garza. Gray plus another piece would be the minimum. Teams are going to pony up especially if Price isn't on the market. As far as the AL East goes, besides the Jays, I wouldn't mind a few of the Boston prospects, if they would even do a trade with Theo.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Yea it is hard to see Boston having anything to do with Theo trade-wise. As we saw with the manager interview that Boston would not allow last off season there seems to be a simmering dislike for all things Theo emanating from Boston's ownership.

  • The negotiation, should there be one, should be CarGo for Shark, and maybe settle for Gray. Forget the prospects, the Rockies would be getting current value, not the promise of value. Cubs assume all the risk getting prospects. No thanks.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    This isn't fantasy baseball or the show on your playstation. It doesn't work like that. It makes no sense for a club to acquire a piece to help them win with one of the main peices that is currently making them win.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    There is absolutely no way the Rockies are giving up Gonzalez!!!! Everyone stop saying that right now!!! They are in a pennant race and they won't give up their 2nd best hitter!!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Given the current sky-high valuation on prospects, Jon Gray seems like an extreme longshot, at best. I'd happily take him, straight up, as the return though.

    Once again, given the current market, Butler and McMahon may be about as well as we're going to do. A pitcher with a live arm and a hitting prospect with a good approach and some upside. McMahon would be a little frustrating because, while he's a nice return, we may have been able to have him instead of Rob "95 MPH" Zastryzny in the draft last year.

    Rockies probably make as much sense as the Blue Jays, though, for reasons John and Kiszla point out. (Dream scenario is the Rockies decide they have to go Gray to beat the Blue Jays offer -- that's the only way I see it happening.) Royals could get in it since they lose Shields in the winter but their problem really isn't pitching. The Dodgers have had some pitching problems and though Kershaw's return removes the worst offender (our old friend Paul Maholm), Josh Beckett's FIP suggests he's living on borrowed time. The Rangers need pitching badly, but it might be throwing good money after bad to try to compete this year. The Yankees could also use him but any deal there depends on how much the front office likes Banuelos and his surgically repaired left arm.

    I really hope this is the last year we have to talk about who we're trading our guys to. (I also wish Jeff would take a couple million more in lieu of a NTC.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I could see Butler/Dahl for Garza or even Samardzija last year... But if Samardzija is pitching like Kershaw, then his trade value shouldn't be that low... Butler/Dahl is basically a comparable return than what we got for Garza... The Cubs need to do better than that IMO.

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    In reply to Caps:

    Samardzija isn't Kershaw.

  • In reply to Ray:

    There have been some comparisons, Ray, on this blog (or maybe Tom's) about six months back. Periperials, my man!

  • In reply to Ray:

    I didn't say he was Kershaw, I said he was pitching like him... 7 IP per game and a 1.45 era, I would say pitching like Kershaw is an understatement.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "Given the sky-high valuation of prospects" has now clearly resulted in market inequalities which argue to MLB er for MLB er.

  • No way I trade 1 1/2 yrs of Shark for a bunch of spare parts... Gray would be mandatory plus other pieces to move Shark...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Absolutely agree.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Butler and Dahl are far from spare parts. Do some research my friend, learn about players before writing them off just because you've never heard off them

  • Butler, Dahl and a third good piece would definitely be interesting. I've been pretty adamant about waiting for an overpay, but that deal would be very fair and I would certainly have little against it if it went through. If another team were to get seriously interested in Shark, maybe we could leverage it to pry Gray from them. The Giants are another team with intriguing arms in their system that could make a serious run for Shark. With those two teams competing in the West maybe we can get them to bid against each other.

  • I still want to see the Cubs sign Samardzija,.... I want to see the front office make that happen, and he's (Samardzija) clearly demonstrating so far this season, despite the woeful run support he has been recieving, that he's become a pitcher, and not just a hurler.

    BUT - if the front office can't make that happen, and they make the trade for Samardzija to the rockies,..... I want to see Gray coming back as the centerpiece for that trade. He's that TOR guy (potentially anyway) we all see the club and fans claim they need in order to make that next step forward in developing a perennial winner here in Chicago. Samardzija may indeed also be that guy, but IF we are not going to be in contention this year OR next, AND Samardzija won't sign for anything resembling a reasonable pot of money, THEN it's time to move him.

    He'll never be worth more in trade than this season.

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    No Gray, no deal.

    Shark + Russell for Gray and Dahl + spare parts

    It's an admittedly super high asking price but considering we were telling the Dbacks we wanted Bradley and Skaggs for Shark when he wasn't playing anywhere near as well as this season, it's still oddly fitting.

    Butler isn't even striking guys out at AA.
    We can talk Butler for Hammel, but even with Dahl in the deal, Butler doesn't even get you Shark's left arm.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Actually, after looking a little closer at Dahl's numbers, I'm not interested in him at all. LHB or no.

    Gary+Butler+ starts a conversation.

    If not, I hope the Rockies enjoy not being able to win their division despite the best offense in baseball.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Agreed in regards to holding out for Gray.
    If Butler is headlining the package, Colorado had better overpay in quantity with high-upside talent. Even if Dahl is more of a second or third piece, it's still only a "meh" deal.

  • Dodgers have been mentioned in previous posts. Pederson and Urias would be nice.

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    In reply to Bilbo161:

    I think I may prefer that to Butler/Dahl.

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    In reply to Eric Foster:


    I'm not sure the Dodgers would do the deal, though. Honestly I have no idea WHAT the Dodgers strategy is, if any. I've read that they want to get younger/obtain prospects, yet nothing they've done suggests that. And what they have to OFFER in a trade (at least what they're currently trying to move.) is usually not what prospect heavy teams are looking for...or what ANY teams are looking for

  • Roselle Herrera the SS would be a good 3rd piece too if the deal expanded

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    Shark is durable-when I read long arms, etc it makes me want us to keep not trade. I like the idea of getting a mlb contributor right now and that would be Cargo.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Buyers don't trade starters.

    That's the point.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Traders do .

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    In reply to IVYADDICT:

    That's one step forward, two steps back.

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    In reply to IVYADDICT:

    um. kay.

    But the Rockies aren't just trading, they're buying.
    Thanks for playing.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    They may want to buy, but someone else has to want to sell at a price deemed worthy. Happy to play.

  • I'm against trading Shark, even for Gray. Show him the $ and sign him! That said, if they do in fact trade Shark, I have tremendous faith in this FO's ability to pretty much take the trade partner -- whoever it turns out to be -- to the cleaners.

  • I think catching should always be in the discussion. Tom Murphy should be considered.

    I still think the Blue Jays make more sense than anyone. They have the best pitching in their system, the biggest need for a SP, and in a division up for grabs. Doesn't get much more clean cut than that. Stroman or Sanchez, Tirado, Nolin, book it.

    I don't think anything would ever come of it, but the Reds make just about as much sense as anyone, and they have some interesting pitching prospects and an couple interesting lefty bats. All things starting with Robert Stephenson, of coarse.

  • I live in Boulder.

    O'Dowd has an M.O. He does not make deals like this, ever.

    The Rox lean on draft/dev and low payroll. They are infinitely patient, and do not trade the future for a quick fix in the present. Especially for veteran pitching, which can fail miserably out here.

    I say the rumor lacks credibility.

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    In reply to HackWilson09:

    You're correct, it would be pretty unlike O'Dowd to make this deal.
    But it was also unlike Anthopoulos to deal multiple pieces from what was viewed at the time as the best system in baseball.

    He may really think they have a shot at contending in a division that really only has one real opponent. It would be a gutsy, "win now" move, that's for sure.

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    In reply to HackWilson09:

    Foster has a point.

    The Rockies offense is firing on all cylinders and even the pitching hasn't been as bad as predicted, but they need help.

    And, to be fair, the fact that Shark is not a rental, but still has a full year after 2014 of control (and would, therefore, net them a comp pick) means that it doesn't look nearly as panicky as the Garza trade.

  • Any trade involving Shark has to bring back MLB talent, not another package of prospects, preferably a slugging OF to play LF.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    Any trade involving Shark is going to bring back a package of prospects, not MLB talent.

    Contending teams don't make deals in the middle of the year that trade away valuable players on their current team, unless they have some crazy surplus.

    And I don't see any team with that crazy surplus.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Why would the Cubs have interest in more players to add to their farm system, to move from second to first? Definitely a point of diminishing returns by adding more bodies no more
    Promising than the current crop.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Farm systems are never finished products. Players graduate, sometimes they bust, sometimes they get hurt. Attrition is part of the minor leagues, you can never have enough prospects -- even in the unlikely event you fill your entire roster with prospects and still have prospects left over, you can still trade them for upgrades.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    This years draft and the 2915 draft will supply a good number of prospects 2 more while no Shark puts you farther away from the rebuild, not closer.

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    In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Why would ANY team trading for Shark, move a valuable MLB player when the point is to improve their team?

    You're (understandably) focused on the Cubs' end of it, but spin it around. A "slugging OF to play LF" is not a common commodity in baseball. It's also alot more important than a pitcher that plays every fifth day. Why would any team give up that for Shark?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    The reason would be to improve their team, losing offense while gaining pitching resulting in a
    net gain. This scenario may not be the case for
    The Rockies, given how their ballpark plays, But for the Jays, Dbacks, et al, ....

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    In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Resulting in a net gain? What?

    How does trading your LF slugger help you on the four out of five days when Shark isn't pitching?

    Just, no.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    For arguments sake, say Cargo gets 8 wins attributed to him because if his offense. A very good pitcher has 10 wins attributed to him. Net gain.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Plus. Much easier to find a replacement who is a very good LF than it is to replace a very good pitcher.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    No, just no. Samardzija will not be worth more wins than Cargo as long as he's on the field

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    In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Wow. That's not how it works at all.

    WAR is NOT the same thing as pitcher "Wins"

    In fact, WAR is a stat for pitching, too. Clayton Kershaw led all pitchers with 7.9 last year. The Year before that Verlander led with 7.6.

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    In reply to VaCubFan:

    I absolutely disagree.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Not responding to you Eric but Giff. I wasn't speaking of WAR specifically but however ones FO decides an LF and can be replaced and the difference is is more than offset by the addition of a pitcher. You call it WAR, I call it baseball savvy.

  • Been a reader of this blog for a while and really like reading the trade proposals. Hope I don't embarrass myself with my first post, but maybe the FO should be thinking sign Samardzija (whatever the cost considering our projected payroll) and then go after a TOR prospect like Gray with a deadline package of Hammel, Soler & Alcantara or something similar.

    Does anybody here really care if Shark gets Homer Bailey money or even a little more? If you can keep a solid foundation in the rotation (Shark, Wood, etc...) until some of the hitters arrive from the minors and add that TOR prospect - maybe we can make the progress we all want in 2016. As John often says - progress is not linear. Maybe this is the deadline to use our depth in the minors.

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    In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    Gus, I don't think I'd trade Soler for Gray straight up, let alone as part of a package. You're trading one elite prospect who will play everyday for one who will play every fifth day.

  • In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    Thanks Gus. I don't think that sounds crazy at all as far as signing Samardzija, but I don't think Rockies would trade Gray for that package, though I've heard they like Soler.

  • In reply to Hoosier Gus:

    The only reason the Rockies would be trading prospects is to pick up a player who will help them win this year. They're not going to trade Gray for prospects.

    The only reason the Rockies would trade Gonzales is if they were out of contention and rebuilding. They're not going to want Samardzija over Gray if they're rebuilding.

    Therefore, it might make sense for the Rockies to trade a high-level pitching prospect for a 29-year old established starting pitcher. It would make no sense for them to trade Gonzales for Samardzija unless they had someone just as good ready to step into his spot. They don't.

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    Gray can't be traded until a year after his actual signing date, correct? Or is it a year after the draft date? Either way, it's just speculation at this point. But if the sides were to strike a pre-draft day deal, I would assume it would have to be done as a PTBNL.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Ya Gray cant be traded until June 12th I believe.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Signing date. June 12th

  • Gray a long shot. Gray + is a impossibility.

    No matter how much junk (Schierholtz, Barney, Lake, Olt, Russell) you want to give them back.

  • I don't really understand how people are dumping all over Butler + Dahl + others as a package and saying,"Gray or bust". Jonathan Gray is great and all, but Eddie Butler and Dahl are no slouches. The Rockies can absolutely build a package around Butler and Dahl that the Cubs would jump on and that they'd prefer over a trade with just Gray.

    Regardless, hope the Rockies stay involved, they definitely have pieces (plural, not just Gray) that I think will interest the Cubs.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I'd take a deal headlined by those two. Both talented and fill big needs in the org.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Profesor Parks seems to think that neither Butler or Gray are realistic.

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 57m
    Neither seems realistic. RT @Puma0821: @ProfessorParks @naterbachhh Who would you rather give up Butler or Gray for Shark? Either realistic?

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 15m
    @MSimotes23 They won't. Nobody is going to give up a player with a #1 ceiling for a more expensive, rental type w/ declining production

  • In reply to Rudy:

    I have much respect for Jason but I've heard differently on this. And, separately a rival executive once told me recently that he'd trade a top 25 prospect in all of baseball for Samardzija -- and Butler isn't even at that level. So, even if Parks wouldn't do it, there are at least a couple of industry people who would -- or at least would consider it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    BP has him at 26 and BA at 24, so if he's not top 25, he's pretty darn close.

  • In reply to Rudy:

    Fairly certain he also previously said that he wouldn't give up Stroman or Sanchez for Samardzija earlier.

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    In reply to Rudy:

    How is Samardzija a "rental type with declining production"?!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Everyone knows he's headed for FA, and that he'd be a fool not to, having waited this long already, and given his somewhat unique situation as a guy completing his arb years at a relatively "old" age.

  • In reply to salty:

    I think Matt was talking about the "declining production" part. Jeff's production is on the upward trend, definitely not declining.

  • In reply to Rudy:

    I really respect Parks prospect opinions but he seriously overvalues prospects, much more so than even MLB teams.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I understand. The point to wanting to demand the best prospects though is we expect the team that wins the bidding war is overpaying. I don't want an equitable deadline trade, I want to be the overwhelming winner in any trade for our best pitcher. Heck, we can get a 1st round pick by just holding on to him and giving him a qualifying offer

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    The Rockies can still overpay without including Gray. Holding a hard line on the return makes sense. Restricting yourself to 1 player on a team when a great deal can be made without that player doesn't make sense.

  • This trade should not happen. Shark is an ace and it has the type of guy you want pitching in the playoffs and world series.

  • In reply to sringh5:

    Unless the Cubs make the World Series in 2014/15 then it doesn't matter.

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    In reply to sringh5:

    True, but his value is at an all time high, with a full year and a half of team control.
    I'd like to sign him to an extension, too. But if the FO sees it as a lost cause, this would be the time to sell high and recoup some value.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    How many times does he have to say that he's not interested in any "crummy extensions" before we believe him? He has an idea of how much he could get if he elects free agency that we would think was delusional if it weren't probably true.

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    In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    The "crummy extension" remark was towards the EXTREMELY below market, team-friendly deals signed by Castro and Rizzo.
    (7 years/60 million and 7 years/41 million respectively.)

    The market has changed. Either one of those contracts could arguably be doubled in terms of dollar amount.
    If Samardzija wants a deal like Bailey's and the Cubs are balking at it, that's squarely on the FO. It's fair market comparison.

    If he's disgruntled to the point of no longer negotiating? You've got to trade him before that becomes public. But we shouldn't be fooled into believing there's only one avenue.

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    In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Once. If he actually said that once, I would believe him.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Given the way teams keep locking up young players with long-term extensions, do you feel a responsibility inside the union?

    “Without a doubt,” Samardzija said. “I’ve said it before: Personally, numbers and money don’t really drive me. What does drive me is protecting and setting up the players behind me, the future generations, so that I’m not signing any of these crummy early deals for seven or eight years.”

    Samardzija has taken crash courses in baseball economics. He thinks the Northwestern football team is onto something, targeting the NCAA and fighting for the right to collectively bargain. His dad, Sam, has been a union guy for 30-something years, working at Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

    “When you’re hitting your prime and you’re hitting free agency — like it’s supposed to be done — then that’s the way it sets up for guys behind you,” Samardzija said. “I definitely have a responsibility to the players that are younger than me and approaching arbitration or approaching free agency to keep the numbers where they should be.

    “And rising as they should be, in accordance to the economy and the state of the game. That’s more important than anything else — what you owe the players that did it for you and then the players behind you.”

  • In reply to sringh5:

    The problem is that Shark is an ace this year (so far, through 1.5 months). He has had dominating stretches before where he was great. Those stretches didn't last the whole year. He also has had stretches like the second half of last season where he had a 5.00+ ERA.

    Personally I think signing Shark longterm is at least as risky as trading for prospects -- this dominant first 45 days might be evidence that he has turned a corner (as it appears) or could be just another short term stint that will be followed by further inconsistency.

    My biggest hope is continues this strong run and we trade him. For a team like the Cubs, who will be (at best) turning the corner toward respectability next year, I'd much rather have young propsects with potential upside and (as with every prospect) a chance at total non-production than a similar chance of an 6 year $100+mm contract tied up in the #3 starter that Shark has been until this season.

  • In reply to springs:

    Last year he had a great first half. People were calling him an ace, much like now, and rightfully so, he was pitching like it.

    Then he played an awful the final few months.

    Trade him before that happens again.

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    Have you seen what Justin Bour's been doing? Do you think he is a legit prospect now?

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    Not really. He's 26 and in AAA, bat only guy, good, not great power. Kind of guy who might be ok, maybe a good year or two -- but also may just wind up being a 4A guy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He gets big hits. I'd like to see him get a shot with somebody. Probably won't be the Cubs.

  • No Gray, no deal. Am I missing something? Shark is producing now. He's been pitching like a #1 starter this year. As far as getting a future #1 starter as unrealistic I say why? Shark could put a team over the top. Young arm and still over a year of control. Plus if he leaves they would get a first round pick. If I'm an opposing GM, I'm looking into Shark.. Teams have made trades with there #1 prospect involved before. And it will happen again. I trust Jed and Theo. they have done well with Garza and others....

  • yeah colorado.. keep Gray and have tulo and Gonzo at the end of their careers when you come up.. good luck with that.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Gray could be up by next season. FAR from the end of Tulo/Cargo's careers.

  • Not one of these Shark trades have interested me at all. Why give up a durable TOR pitcher in Shark for a pitching prospect or two who probably will never be as good as Shark. Lets also not forget that Jeff played football at least half of the year his entire life until he was drafted by the Cubs. Compare this to most prospects who spend nearly their whole lives pitching. With all the recent TJS pointing to an over use of youth pitching, Jeff is one of the rare players that doesn't have this problem. Considering Jeff's pitching ability and durability, I would lock him up for 6yrs, 135mil with a NTC. I really think he is worth it.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    If we couldn't lock him up in the off season, now that he's feeling his oates, it will be darn near impossible. John thinks it's the NTC and I tend to think John knows of what he speaks, but I'm pretty sure there is an ego component in that Shark wants to do the FA thing and have everyone falling over themselves to sign him. I doubt we could get him for Homer Bailey money right now. If we can trade him for a big return, I'm for it.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Free agency is a very attractive option. Have teams whine and dine you. Then the bidding starts and your price gets to go higher and higher.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    bcuz we aren't resigning him

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    He also played baseball too. Just because he played football didn't mean he didn't play baseball just as much as another guy.

    He had more college innings than guys like recent 1st picks Matt Harvey, Chris Sale, Marcus Stroman, Braden Shipley, Alex Meyer, Kyle Zimmer, etc. Only 2 innings less than Strasburg/Loux (arm problems), 10 less than Heaney.

    I understand he started in the bullpen in the minors but lets not pretend that he didn't pick up a baseball before the Cubs drafted him.

  • In reply to Don Juan:

    I am more interested on the amount of time he pitched before he was drafted by the Cubs. Many think that the resewn why there has been such an increase in TJS is because of the way youth baseball is set up. A typical prospect, starting at a very young age, will play spring ball, then play on a traveling summer team, then an additional fall league. At this rate of pitching 9 months a year, by the time they are drafted a pitching prospect will already have an elbow of a 35 year old. The fact that Jeff was a two sport athlete caused him to limit the number of pitches he through as a teenager. IMO this alone makes Jeff very valuable and worthy of a new contract even if we have to over pay. And if he says that he wants to play for a winner, then keep him for another year and show him that this team is headed in the right direction.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    Not everyone goes through spring ball, a traveling team and a fall league. It's far from "typical". And how do you know that Jeff didn't go through that?

    How do you know he didn't start playing football in high school and when he was at that "very young age" he didn't play baseball?

    What if he says he's interested in testing free agency? Like he already hinted at.

  • In reply to Peter Chicago:

    6 years, $135M with a NTC is effing crazy, sorry. He doesn't even deserve Homer Bailey money at this point. Hell, Homer Bailey doesn't even deserve Homer Bailey money, that was a terrible contract.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I thought the Bailey deal was dumb as hell.

    In no way would I give a pitcher $100+ million who hasn't put together a full season like an ace.

    People are prisoners of the moment because he has started hot.

  • John, I read yesterday on mlbtraderumors that the Marlins could be a suitor for Samardjiza since they lost Fernandez for the year. They threw Heaney's name out there, what do you think the chances are that trade could happen and would it be a good deal? I'm sure more than just Heaney would have to be involved.

  • In reply to Joshnk24:

    Not going to happen. Marlins won't want to give up prospects to get a "rental" player, because they certainly wouldn't be able to re-sign him. There are still questions but how they would cover Stanton and Fernandez long-term deals, and even with the decent record, they still aren't drawing very well at their new park, so money is always going to be the biggest issue with them.

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    In reply to Joshnk24:

    I would love a Heaney/Samardzija rumor to start.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    A rumor is as far as it's going to go.

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    In reply to Fire Flame:

    True. But it sets a very high standard on any potential return.

  • I think this whole story is for selling papers in Colorado. Very unlikely to happen.

  • Jeff Wilson ‏@JeffWilson_FWST 10m
    Partially torn UCL for Martin Perez. Tommy John possible. Matt Harrison with a vertebrae issue. Fusion surgery possible. #Rangers

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    In reply to Rudy:

    At what point do the Tennessee Smokies officially absorb the Frisco Rough Riders?

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    Is it sad that I am still hoping that a Tulo injury happens and the Rckies tank before trading for Shark?

  • I think a good idea for a column would be, "How much would you give Shark?"

  • John great job as ALWAYS! Sorry if this has been brought up already, BUT, if shark keeps up this run, could you see a possibility of a team (A) trading their top position prospect to another team (B) for their top pitching prospect, & then team A trading A & B's top pitching prospects for shark?

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    Honestly, I still hope we can negotiate a contract similar to Homer Bailey for Samardzija.
    But if Jeff has laid out a series of demands that the FO can't meet, then it's absolutely the right time to trade him. Peak value. With over a year and a half control.

    Look at the market! Front line starters are going down left and right. And David Price probably isn't going anywhere. Someone will meet the demand. No use to settle for a package of spare parts.
    I like Butler and I like Gray. Not much else in that system interests me. And can we just end the CarGo for Shark talk? Why would O'Dowd trade someone from the middle of his lineup during a pennant race?! I think Gonzalez may be a Cub one day. Maybe even this winter. But not now. No way...

    The needs: 1. Front-line starting pitching. 2.Left handed hitting outfielder with patience and power potential.
    If we strike while the iron is hot, we may score both.
    This deal should absolutely net a top 30 prospect, a very nice, high floor secondary piece and a couple of high-value lottery tickets.
    Aim for 2016 as the first year of contention.
    Dealing Jeff also basically guarantees having to sign one of Shields/Scherzer/Masterson/Lester.
    Any one of those contracts will be 5+ years 120+ million.

    The value of any trade needs to surpass that of relenting to Sharks demands regarding a long term deal.
    Unless Jeff starts talking about wanting out of Chicago. Then, our leverage is gone.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    If that's what your looking for, then the Rockies are a perfect fit. Besides Butler, who would absolutely have to be in this deal, they have a glut of left-handed hitters with loads of potential: David Dahl, Ryan McMahon (playing 3rd, but is athletic enough to play the outfield well), and Raimel Tapia all fit the left-handed power/patience combo you (hell, and I) seek. They even have a guy in the majors that could help immediately in Corey Dickerson who may not be a great defensive outfielder, but certainly can provide power from the left side.

    For me, this system would only be behind the Orioles, Red Sox, and probably the Rangers as far as trade partners for Samardzija go.

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    I think/hope he's been advised that his best chance to get the trade he wants is to shut up.

    If he ruins leverage the Cubs might just hold onto him for the comp pick.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    True story.
    If we play our cards right, we may very well get an absolute haul.

  • Butler and Dahl is a nice start to a package if not a good enough package already. Dahl = Yelich, who I really like. That skill set that those guys feature usually produces 10+ year careers.

    I'm not down on pitching prospects by any means but all you have to do is look at Kevin Gausman to see the performance risks involved. Guy's all over prospect lists and has done nothing but get shelled (including today...nice fantasy pick up, Ben!) in the show. Let's just say that I'm a 'believe it when I see it' guy with pitchers. It takes more than stuff. Everyone in every rotation has stuff, at least to a certain degree.

    Still in favor of a big offer to keep Shark. 6 years 115 is fine with me. The kicker there is that no other high profile starters are going to want to sign here in the next couple of years. They go to winning teams.

    Speaking of winning teams, our pythagorean w/l is 18-20, yet the record is yet we're 13-25. I saw a lot of posters (maybe myself included...) use that against Dale. Small sample size, yada, yada, yada...but its really discouraging to see that, isn't it?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    We will get high profile starters if we offer the most money. Money trumps everything else most of the time.

    But I am with you on keeping Jeff if possible.

  • In reply to John57:

    Money trumps in cases where there are one or two offers and one is 30 or 40 million than the other one. Its a different deal when you have three ace pitchers that all of the playoff teams are fighting over and willing to bid against each other. Do you see Theo and Jed besting an offer to Scherzer, Lester, or Shields made by LAD/NYY/DET/WAS/STL/LAA/BOS/TEX by 30 or 40 million? They're seemingly balky on going past 100 with Samardzija (unless they're playing negotiational possum, of course). Where is the selling point for the Cubs if the money is similar?

    If Cano had an offer from three other teams who were perennial contenders that were in the same 10 million dollar neighborhood as Seattle's, do you think he'd be a Mariner? If the Dodgers or the Angels went to 225 or 230??

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Bleacher Report did an interesting analysis of top free agent destinations during the off-season, and they ranked the Cubs as #8 in MLB notwithstanding their current roster, which is the only variable that dragged them down. All the other variables were at or near the highest in MLB. As our top prospects get closer to promotion, our "ranking" should improve. It's not as bad as you think. Believe it or not, players like the idea of playing for the Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    The Masterson's and the Liriano's of the world are the guys we may be able to overpay a little for but those aren't the high profile guys I was referring to.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    The difference is that our best players were struggling under Dale, and he alienated most of the team.

    The FO never expected winning, but they did expect the young players to develop and grow. Which is what we're getting now.

    And seriously can we quit the whole "Free agents aren't going to want to sign here" thing?
    Cano just went to Seattle. Baseball's version of Cleveland. Players go for checks, not feelings.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    The Cubs aren't going to cut Cano-like money for a player.

    They couldn't even pony up enough to sign Tanaka.

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    In reply to Don Juan:

    I don't think the money was the issue as much as the opt out clause.

  • In reply to Don Juan:

    yeah, they ponied up plenty of money, they just didn't give him the absolutely ridiculous opt out clause the yanks did

  • In reply to briney212:

    They did offer a lot of money but but was reportedly $30 million or so short. The opt out clause helped but they weren't even close in terms of money.

    A lot of money and the top bid are two very different things. The Yankees offered a lot of money for Cano, but it was far off of what Seattle gave him. That's a good comparison.

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    In reply to Don Juan:

    We don't know if the money would've gone up if no opt-out had ever been involved, though.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I like Renteria and he's good for the team. Dale sucked. I was on;y saying how it was disappointing.

    As far as the FA thing, Giffmo, you misquoted me. I didn't say "FA's aren't going to want to sign here." I said that the high profile FA pitchers aren't going to sign here. Pitchers. Scherzer, Shields, Lester...the aces. With other teams like LAD, LAA, DET, NYY, BOS, maybe STL making big offers to them, we are unlikely to land them. That is a fact.

    Cano went to Seattle for 10 & 240 because there were no other bids in that range. Its not a fair comp because the pitching trio I mentioned are going to get way more offers that are all in the same neighborhood than Robbie did. He had two legit offers, man. Two. One was 60 million more than the other. Overpaying definitely works in spots like that but there are going to be so many heavy hitters in there with legitimate playoff windows that are going to be offering huge money too (Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox...) that the Cubs are going to be a really, really tough sell. Those three guys are probably going to get 6 or seven escalating offers each! Max Scherzer may have ten teams make him an offer.

    Theo and Jed aren't the kind of guys that are going to say, "What's that, Max? Colleti offered you 6 & 157?? Okay, we'll go 7 & 189 with a club option or two!!" If they don't want to go to even 100 with Samardzija, do you see them going that big for Scherzer or Lester? I don't think so.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    I don't think you know what "fact" means. Honestly.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    That's what you have for me? No counter point? Disappointing.

  • I'd like to see Villanueva, Russel, Wright, Veras, Barney, Sheirholtz, Ruggiano and Sweeney included in or traded by themselves. I don't think next year any of them should be awarded playing time other than pitch hit, late inning defense or pitching in games that are blowouts. I know we won't get much for most of them but if throwing some of them in helps to sweeten the pie?

  • Looks like Texas might be calling again. Two more SP down. Maybe a Hammel deal?

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Gallo, Gallo, Gallo...we want ALL the power in baseball.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    For Hammel? No.

  • In reply to Fire Flame:

    First of all I was kidding smart guy. Secondly, you probably also said that their was no way in hell that the Cubs would get Olt, C.J. Edwards, Neil Ramirez, and Justin Grimm for 2 months of Matt Garza. Yet they did.

    At the time Garza was traded he was 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 71 IP
    6'4", 215 lb - 30 yr old - Matt Garza has a Career FIP of 3.97

    Jason Hammel is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 47.2 IP right now and is on track for pretty much the same stats as Garza at the time of trade.
    6'6", 225 lb - 31 yr old - Jason Hammel has a career FIP of 4.29

    So tell me again why their is no chance that the Cubs can get a player in A ball, who is their 4th best prospect, when they got more than that just last year. Not to mention the Cubs could always sweeten the pot from their end if they really wanted Gallo, not that I think they do, or that the Rangers will trade him but it's not as far fetched as you make it sound.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You shouldn't assume what I thought.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    What does their height and weight have to do with anything? lol

    Garza was a much better pitcher with a much longer track record than Hammel.

    A better example would be Feldman, which netted the Cubs two failing prospects.

  • In reply to Don Juan:

    No, Feldman wouldn't work, he's 6'7, his height doesn't stack up with Hammel. ;)

  • In reply to Don Juan:

    Garza was NOT a much better pitcher with a much longer track record as you say, that's the point! They both have pitched 9 years and as I said Garza has a career FIP of 3.97 vs Hammel at 4.29, so they are not that far apart. So you are wrong. Have a nice day.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You're not going to find anyone out there that agrees with you that Hammel is on the level of Garza.

    Hello, anyone out there? This guy needs help.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    A LOT of Garza's value stemmed from wistful memories of the 2008 playoffs by AL GM's. Daniels knows he goofed big-time, and other guys will be more careful. That trade should not be extrapolated to determine the value of other guys, imo.

  • I wonder if the Rangers would be willing to part with Alfaro, maybe if Russell or someone is included too. Doesn't Hammel have a team option for 2015?

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    In reply to David Davidon:

    They can't really take anyone off the table. Not much left in the system.

  • I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that the Rockies have the #35 pick in this years draft which is the first pick in the Competitive Balance picks which CAN be traded. Colorado doesn't have quality pitching prospects besides Gray & Butler, and while I would love Gray even straight up, I don't think the Rockies would do it, but they very well could do Butler and the #35 pick, and in this draft that could be a very good pitcher/as this draft is deep...perhaps even a Jeff Hoffman if he fell that far, if not the draft is stacked with power prep pitchers.
    Butler & the 35th pick, is that enough? Butler, 35, and one of Dahl, Herreram, McMahon? I think that would be a solid deal for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Good point on the pick, completely forgot to look at those. Considering how deep this draft is in pitching, I guarantee you the Cubs will be asking about that.

  • 1. The goal is to win the World Series, right? To do that we need two TORs and a 2+. Who are they and where do they come from (the draft, the current system/development, trades, free agency), especially when you consider TINSTAAPP? Is this something we can address with quantity, especially with what appears to be non-TOR medium-level quality?

    2. WALKS, WALKS, WALKS!!! I'm aware of much of the research on walks WITHIN innings, but what do we know about the cumulative effects WITHIN games, and from game to game? Arrieta's 5 walks clearly contributed to his early exit and the use of 6 relievers -- what impact did this have on the game and will this have over the next few days? Plus, speaking as a clinical psychologist with some pitching experience long ago, I'm aware of the potential impact of walks on a pitcher's psyche. I'm slowly convincing myself (without much data) that in the long run, walks are more valuable than singles, perhaps much more valuable.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    I don't know. Men on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, I take a solid single over a walk any day.

  • In reply to John57:

    Sure, it's easy to pick examples one way or the other....what about leading off the game, a one pitch single vs. a four or nine (5 fouls, 4 balls) pitch walk? I'll take the walks. I guarantee you that the pitcher will experience these three events quite differently.

    I'm looking for more long term consequences of singles vs. walks, both on the offense and defense.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    You may be right but you are going to have to come up with data to sway me. Right now it seems you only have a gut feeling. Right now my gut feeling is a single is better than a walk in general. A walk is a good thing but a single is better.

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