Cubs deal Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell to Braves for catching prospect Victor Caratini

Photo by Todd (@TheHistoryRat)

Photo by Todd (@TheHistoryRat)

That Emiio Bonifacio was going to be traded was not exactly the best kept secret.  It also wasn’t surprising that the Cubs would also trade one of their LH relievers, who turned out to be James Russell.

Lately it seems that rather than make separate deals, the Cubs prefer to consolidate and get one good prospect rather than two average ones.  The Cubs acquired a pretty good one today in Braves catcher Victor Caratini, who already rates as the Cubs #13 prospect per MLB.com, slotting right after Dan Vogelbach.

One NL scout who has seen him play thinks he will be able to stick at catcher and the switch-hitting aspect makes him an exciting prospect if he does.  If the power comes than it could end up being a great deal for the Cubs.

Caratini was expendable to the Braves because of the emergence of their top young catching prospect in Christian Bethancourt.  The Cubs were able to benefit from their depth and picked up a player who immediately ranks as their best catching prospect.  What was once a weakness now has plenty of depth, though it as all at the lower levels.  Caratini, Will Remillard, Mark Zagunis,  Mark Malave, and Yohan Matos make a nice quintet.  Hopefully one will emerge.

As for Caratini, he was a ranked prospect with the Braves. He is a 20 year old barrel-chested, switch-hitting catcher with a good approach and some raw power, though the latter is up for some debate.  He is currently in low A ball where he is hitting .279/.352/.406 with 5 HRs.  Few question he will hit, especially for a catcher.  The question seems to be more about whether he will be able to stick at catcher.

We can take a look at what others are saying here and if I get any other information, I will add that. Fangraphs had him at #7.  Mark Hulet had this to say,

The key to Caratini’s value as a prospect is tied to his ability to continue developing at his new defensive home behind the plate. Converted to full-time catcher after his first pro season, the young prospect has picked up the basic skills quite quickly. He also has experience at third base but is considered below-average defensively and lacks the power profile to become an elite prospect there. Caratini shows a good swing at the plate as a switch-hitter and isn’t afraid the go the other way from either side of the plate. He also has a solid eye and some patience.

A switch-hitting catcher with average defensive skills, strong on-base abilities and gap power carries a ton of value so you can understand why Atlanta would attempt this experiment.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball slotted him at #10,

Borderline B-. Solid line drive hitter with good strike zone judgment, hit just one homer in the Appy League but some scouts believe that the homers will come in time. Others aren’t sure, but at least he has a good eye. Will be interesting to see how he adapts defensively.

MLB.com, as mentioned, have him at #13 in a very deep Cubs system….

Caratini is a switch-hitter and has a good approach from both sides of the plate. Because his swing doesn’t create much loft, opinion varies on how much power he will ultimately have. But he makes hard contact and drives the ball well from gap to gap.

Caratini has the tools to be a capable defender at either position, but it’s his offensive ability that makes him stand out most.

Baseball Prospectus has a free Eyewitness Report from Ethan Purser, it isn’t quite as optimistic,

All in all, Caratini projects to be a utility player who can play some third, some catcher, and possibly even some first base at the highest level. His bat will be his carrying tool through the minors, but his lack of a true defensive home will limit his impact at the highest level. If a team is willing to punt defense behind the plate (i.e. the running game), he has the ceiling of a second-division regular as his bat would profile well at the position.

All in all, this is a good gamble for the Cubs.  They got themselves a pretty good catching prospect with an interesting set of skills.  In some ways he reminds me a bit of Mark Malave in that he is a big-bodied catcher who may not stick at the position, has a good appproach, switch-hits, and has raw strength but does not yet hit for power.

gave up a utility player and a LH specialist,  Bonifacio’s spark and energy will be missed but with the Cubs moving toward using Arismendy Alcantara and then possibly Javier Baez down the road, they could use the space and the playing time.

The trade opens up two roster spots and it will be interesting to see how the Cubs fill those spots.  Stay tuned.

Filed under: Analysis, trades

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  • fb_avatar

    And as we go to August tomorrow, Cubs do not have rotation of 2012 to run out there: Arietta is a piece. Hendricks can solidify his rotation spot for next year. Wood and EJAX have to work hard to maintain their spaces and Doubront is another project who brings competition. Wada has performed well, and who knows if another team claims EJaX to block him, whether or not Theo and Jed just let the team have him ala Randy Myers or Alex Rios.

    If Baez and Soler come up in a month.....

  • In reply to Louie101:

    They are going to have to add pitching this offseason. There is no doubt in my mind.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm more excited about the possibility of adding Lester, especially now that he will not cost them a pick. Here's hoping the relationship with Theo combines with Ricketts agreeing to write a large check (which he seemed willing to do with Tanaka).

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I agree. That makes that possibility so much more realistic

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    The Tanaka money they saved + Sori's contract coming off the books should make that very possible.

    Price pipe dreams, however, may be over because Ilitch seems to be running on the "you can't take it with you" theory.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I'm really hoping we can get creative and heavily frontload a contract for Lester.

    not sure what, precisely, he is looking for but we have a ton of flexibility coming up.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I hope Tanaka's injury doesn't scare Ricketts away from writing large checks. Will Ricketts see Lester or Scherzer and not be afraid to gamble? No one knows the future. Here's hoping our docs are worth their salary when evaluating these arms.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Absolutely. But this is a stronger base from which to build in the past. Lester, Masterson and NPB Maeda do not have draft pick comps attached. Shields is someone I am interested in as well.

  • I am really interested to see where the Cubs slot him, even at KC. We have so much depth down there with catching prospects, we are going to have to make some decisions soon! Thank God we resigned Jason McLeod to a longer contract because that's a lot of talent to wade through.

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    In reply to RonJohn85:

    Agreed. I've been impressed with Zagunis here recently.

  • In reply to RonJohn85:

    Lot of decisions. Cubs have a lot of depth now at catching at the lower levels. Like I said, though, hopefully one stands out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Obviously this question is very premature but I am loving the fact I can even ask it, but who, all around, has the best tools to be a catcher? Obviously, right now K Scwarb looks like the best offensive tooled player outside of Tennessee, and we have questioned whether he sticks at C since the day we signed him. However, I heard a lot of scouts say some positive things about his athleticism. So does he get first shot? Or is there another prospect that looks better all around so far? Maybe it's even Caratini? I am just wondering

  • In reply to RonJohn85:

    If we are talking strictly defensive tools, I would say Willson Contereras has the best raw tools to be a catcher but Will Remillard has the most polished tools and the best chance to stick there. If we add offesne it gets a little more complicated.

  • A buddy of mine is a scout with the LAD and his take is more in line with Ethan's than the other, more optimistic views. He also said he played catcher in HS but moved to 3B at Miami-Dade.

    One has to think if he can't be the best option at Catcher for his JuCo team, then the defensive upside is limited here. But ATL saw enough to move him there full time so... Still for 2 months of BonaBABIPio and everyday Jimmy, not a bad get.

    P.S. I don't think I can ever refer to either of those players without attaching Felzzy's nicknames to them.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. Everyday Jimmy, Everyday Grimmy, Regular Ramirez, SaveBot 6300 - they are all a part of my lexicon.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    LOL... You're very right about that!! Forgot about SaveBot!! Thanks for reminding me. Just reading the nicknames made me laugh... and, miss Adam Fels!! Onwards.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    The SaveBot 2000 was one of my favorites.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Don't forget about duck dynasty and the mustache!

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I believe you meant the "Moosetache"....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You are correct sir!

  • Arm can't be that bad...30% CS rate

  • In reply to AZBobbop:

    Good point, AZBobhop!

  • In reply to AZBobbop:

    He's received some praise for his framing and blocking ability, and his arm, while not a cannon, is strong enough, it's his pop times and receiving skills that need work. Apparently, he is slow out of his crouch and setting his feet. He lacks the true arm strength to successfully throw out a runner w/o setting his feet. He is not going to be making snap throws to 1B, for example.

    30% CS in low A ball is nothing to be excited about. Buster Posey was mid to high 40%+ CS rate in A+ ball and upper 30% in AA/AAA but in MLB can only throw a career 32% base runners.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Reading the reviews of the top catchers in minor league ball, there are only 1 or 2 who don't need more work

  • In reply to AZBobbop:

    True, but you seemed to be under the impression that his 30% CS rate was a positive. It's not.

  • I am really liking this month's theme of trading 2 guys together for a better return.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    Trendsetters?

  • Caratini is a nice pickup. But given that he and the other main catching prospects are years away, will the Cubs target a free agent catcher this offseason like Russell Martin? Or will they stick with Castillo, even though he seems to have taken a step back this year? Martin's plate discipline is awesome -- what a great example he could be as the prospects are called up.

  • In reply to October:

    It may be a good split time situation and Russell could help in Castillo's development. Castillo has had a down year, but he's still got a lot of upside to his game. He hasn't been bad enough to demote or trade, so bringing in Russell to split time would be a great option.

  • In reply to October:

    I think its a possibility. It would make Castillo expendable but I think a veteran catcher can help an emerging team.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good point on the veteran catcher, not only for his presence in the clubhouse but also leading a young pitching staff and bullpen. I feel like Catcher is an obvious place for the Cubs to upgrade with a veteran, short to medium term, for precisely those reasons.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I could see the cubs going for a defensive specialist at catcher at least for the next couple of years. If Baez, Bryant and Soler are ANYTHING like advertised offense won't be a problem and if there is ANY position I will pay a premium for defense over offense it is catcher.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Agreed. WIth a catcher people talk about the bat and the defensive throwing/blocking/framing skills. We should talk about the brain too. The catcher is the mind of a baseball team. A great mind behind the plate changes everything. This is why the Cardinals kept Molina and let Pujols go. This is why I hope Schwarber stays back behind the dish. He says he's ADD and it's a position that requires you to think all the time. That's a humble way of saying he's got the mind for it - out-thinking hitters, reading pitchers' body language and so on.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Huh?

  • In reply to October:

    I would be willing to see a Martin/Baker tandem next season.

  • fb_avatar

    I thought this was a good value pick up because the minors are weak with catching prospects. If he develops into a better power hitter hes a good back-up or bargaining chip down the line. I agree we need to concentrate on getting pitching in free agency would have loved to have gotten some pitching in return for 2 decent major league players but I trust Theo and Jed. The most encouraging thing I heard from Jed's interview is Schwarber is staying at catcher. John do you agree with keeping Kyle at catcher? I know his bat is valuable but Bryant and Soler are looking like RF and LF. I really want Kyle to develop there. With Castillo catching for the next few years Kyle has time to develop that tool. This line-up in 2015-2016 or 2017 with him at catcher should be ridiculous.

  • Is athletic fringe catchers who have good plate discipline a market inefficiency? We seem to be cornering the market on those

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Ha! The hope is if you have enough of them that one actually takes that big step forward.

  • So I'm curious to hear what corresponding moves we'll make to fill out the roster: Watkins and Fujikawa?

  • In reply to Taft:

    Makes sense. I would go with that.

  • David O'Brien ‏@DOBrienAJC 18m

    #Braves Wren said deal for Bonifacio and Russell didn't come up till last 45 min before deadline. Had previously discussed them separately

  • fb_avatar

    Guys! You are so right that we should save as many of Felzy's nicknames as possible! LOLOL!

  • In reply to Bob from Salem:

    Agreed. We have a big nickname hole to fill, but I think if everyone can all recommend new nicknames for players through comments, we may be able to come up with a few half as good as Felzys'

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    I heard one of the Cubs brass today referring to Strop as "Stropy." This is getting out of hand.

  • Does this mean zagunis is stuck at Boise for the year? I was hoping he would be at KC soon. Also, this has got to mean Fuji and Watkins are heading to Chi. Get the super sub and bp arm back with no 40 man roster move. Can't wait to hear how caratini does in your right ups john!

  • This from BA may add some perspective as to what they think of Caratini.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/ranking-trade-deadline-prospects/

    They rank all of the prospects that got traded this July season. Russell and McKinney rank 1st and 2nd. Caratini comes in 8th behind James Ramsey and ahead of Taylor Lindsey and Edwin Escobar.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Very nice. I expected Ozzy Russell to be the top prospect traded but if you would have told me that Lester & Price would get traded at the deadline but that McKinney would still be the #2 prospect...I would have never believed it.

    The Top 10: Addison Russell (#1), Billy McKinney (#2), Colin Moran (#3), Willy Adames (#4), Eduardo Rodriguez (#5), Jake Thompson (#6), James Ramsey (#7), Victor Caratini (#8), Taylor Lindsey (#9), Edwin Escobar (#10)

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Thanks for the find.

  • What happened to that Catcher the Cubs signed last year, Charlie Cutler? Is he still with the organization? I'd still like to get a Cutler Jersey with his number on it, since my last name is Cutler too

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    He's hitting well in AA, but he just turned 28 two days ago, so he's little more than organizational filler and emergency back-up, back-up, back-up catcher.

  • Look what the A's got, a 5th outfielder and a rental in Lester for Cespedes and Milone.

    Look what the Rays got for Price: Drew Smyly and class A shortstop Willy Adames.

    Look what Cleveland got for A. Cabrera: a #14 prospect.

    I wouldn't jump for joy over Lackey for 2 years over Kelly and Craig!

    I think all the FO bashers from 4 or 5 months ago should do a little rethinking about the 3 headed monster in Chicago.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    I think the Cubs were easily one of the winners of this deadline.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Cubs were different in this deadline. Most teams traded for established player for established player. Besides the Oakland duo. Does anyone have a chance to be a mlb player?? Fact you got a live person for Barney is remarkable.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    if you're looking for FO bashers, look on the Trib or CSNChicago comment sections, not around here. There are a couple of things I still don't agree with and didn't from the start, but I can't see any thinking person actually bashing this FO. But what about all the folks who, contemplating a Price to the Cubs deal, were convinced it would start with Baez and Bryant and 2 or three others? And those who said they were fine with that?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    It's extremely hard to read that Price deal. I don't think it's fair to say the Cubs could have easily beat the offer the Rays accepted any more than it would have been fair to say teams could have beat the Orioles offer of Arrieta for Feldman.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm not addressing whether the cubs should have or could have beat the Price trade, but the fact that so many people were so easily willing to give up a huge and (what I think) unreasonable price for him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    Bear in mind the Rays dismissed Addison Russell out of hand. They may well have rejected Baez as well.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Yes!

  • Wow. So much for the Phillies trading Cliff Lee (and his huge salary) through the waiver wire, as he just blew out his elbow in the 3rd inning of his start tonight... Per Jim Salisbury...

    "Lee threw pitch, said F-word, waved arms that he was done, gestured toward his elbow, left game."

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I bet the GM said worse. You can't write that script.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I was just thinking the phillies moved nobody. Unless I missed one. I thought they could be big sellers. That is too bad for cliff lee if that is true.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    This is why our FO is so hesitant to give out massive contracts.

    I was listening a Buster Olney podcast the other day where he discussed how massive the cotracts on that team are.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree but you count Ejax as one?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Will the cubs have to give big contracts to get a Lester or Price?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    E-Jax's contract isn't really that bad. 2 more years, $22 mil left....that's not a ton in baseball money.

    The Phillies situation is abysmal; they have dead money, and all their best players are on the wrong side of 30. Amaro's inactivity is inexcusable.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    11 million is not a massive amount. If he wasn't having one of his worst years, it would be very reasonable.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    the more I read about Ruben Amaro, the more incompetent he sounds

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    There was significant criticism of Amaro on Twitter after he failed to move anyone. It was inexcusable. His reasoning is that prospects fail so he didn't want them.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wow. No prospects and old players. Not good.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think it would be interesting to take the Cubs top 7 prospects and see how much money is directly invested in them now, not including facilities and development coaches etc. Just the money paid to them including bonuses and compare that to a Cliff Lee contract, or what a Lester will bring. I wonder how much value difference we would see?

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    the final nail in the coffin for Amaro if true, He is toast .

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    One would think, though he has consistently had ownership support. Maybe that will change

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The Phillies had alot of tradeable pieces and big holes, and once again frittered away the trading deadline. The Phillies organization is in terrible shape; they have alot of dead money contracts, probably the $37.5 mil they owe to Cliff Lee among them after tonight

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Ouch,.... at several levels. Am glad I am not a Phillies fan.

  • I know some wanted to make supplementary players like Russell, Bonifacio and Ruggiano untouchable and not trade them. Others predicted this front office wouldn't trade them, but that never seemed strong strategic thinking. As hoped and expected, this FO packaged to get a quality prospect. Very smart. Now we just watch the young guys develop and look forward to the winter meetings.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I never saw anyone on this board indicate that Russell, Bonifacio or Ruggiano should be untouchable. I DID see several that said that we shouldn't trade any of them unless we got something worthwhile in return. Getting rid of them just to free up 40 man roster space would be silly. Trading two of them for a prospect that rates 13 in a loaded farm system is smart.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    I think that the FO learned something last year. When you have caught lightning in a bottle trade it while the value is high. We are not going to be a play-off team this year with Bonibabipio and Russell. They would not make ANY difference in us making the playoffs next year and would likely cost a lot of money to keep. I think last year they valued Schierholz too much (I am worried about Coghlan this year too) and should have traded him. If we could get something for him it would have been better than what we have now.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I disagree. If we trade Coghlan we will not get a player better than he is.

  • Cubs save more salary money this season. Lets hope they put
    all the salary money they saved to good use. Which veterans
    who are FA after this season will not be back.

  • It is getting harder and harder to crack the cubs top 20 list

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to less disappointed:

    Must've been a typo, but you probably meant "30"

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think he just forgot a 0.

    The Cubs Top-200 is indeed very hard to crack nowadays.

  • I have seen where John Henry has been quoted as saying that a long term contract for 30 yr, old pitchers, is the worse contract in baseball. I wonder if he obtained this view from Theo, or came about it independently.

    What teams do you think will be involved in the Lester, Max sweepstakes next year.Detroit took themselves out of the running. Yankees with CC and Tanaka back should spend their money elsewhere and if Boston feels that way they should be out. That leaves two LA teams, Cubs maybe Toronto as serious players.

  • In reply to ejs1:

    If the player is good, Yankees will be in on them. They may not win but they will try.

  • just saw ur vid their John.. good stuff

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Thanks!

  • *there.. derp

  • Another nice trade for the Cubs, freeing up two roster spots while getting back a legit prospect. As the system deepens, more promising Cub prospects will be exposed to the rule V draft. Then will we see the phase of the plan where they start trading two B prospects for one A prospect?

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    No, there will not be a phase where they trade two B prospects for one A prospect. In fact, that type of trade rarely if ever happens. A level prospects are not moved unless a proven MLB player is the return. 2 B level prospects do not make an A level prospect. Three B level prospects do not make one A level prospect.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    There is an old saying concerning trades: whoever gets the best player wins the trade. I know that is not perfect reasoning, but there is some truth to it for me.

  • fb_avatar

    Baez 3-4 with 2-run homer! 21 hr 78 RBI
    How can they give 2B to Watkins over Javy?

  • In reply to AdolphoPhillips67:

    Watkins over Baez - at this stage as much because you have to figure out what it is you really have in Watkins as anything else.

    Watkins also can fill at least some of the roles on the current Cubs roster as did Bonifacio. Some speed. Some defensive versitility. Decent On Base skills. Watkins didn't get a fair trial run last season under Sveum's coaching.

  • In reply to AdolphoPhillips67:

    Alcantara is going to play 2B until Javy comes up, not Watkins. Watkins wasn't even an everyday starter at AAA. He is not going to be handed a starting job in the majors. He's a utility guy. The Cubs have 5 OF only players on the roster right now and only 4 IFs (including Alcantara).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to AdolphoPhillips67:

    Because, unfortunate though it may be, this is not a competitive season.

    Today was the trade deadline and we were getting RID of assets.

    Javy might help us win a couple completely meaningless games, and in the process we could conceivably lose a year of control that would likely come right as he was reaching his prime.

    The upshot is than if Watkins plays well, maybe we could package him with something else in the winter to get back something we lack. (Since Valbuena is probably the starting 2B to start '15.)
    Watkins is already on the 40 man roster and he's put togther a pretty nice year. Javy is still very young and not missing out on much.

  • Ok, I have to admit, when I came back to this article to check the comments, John's voice sounds so much like my buddies voice I thought someone was in my house and about to prank me! Kudos John on an unplanned joke... you got me!

  • I hope this is the last trade deadline where we are having to get rid of vet players. I miss the days of getting some help at the deadline. I remember a few years back when we got Nomar. I was so pumped for him.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Interesting piece in BP on Nomar's post-trade career. Since 1950, 40 players had 5+ 5-WAR seasons before the age of 30. None had a worse career post-30 years old than Nomar--3.5 total WARP from age 30 on. Incredible. The aftermath of that trade of a popular Boston icon helped make Theo's reputation there as a GM who could be given the beneifit of the doubt and trusted to make tough decisions.

    BTW: anyone able to give a summary of BP's observations on Schwarber's catching skills. That piece requires a paid subscription.

  • And he didn't put us over the top.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    No but the point is a lot of ppl were excited and thought he might. It was better then always selling at deadline.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    And its not like we gave up anything in that deal. Cubs certainly won the trade even if Nomar wasn't the player we hoped he would be.

    The Ramirez and Lofton trade was the most exciting one for me though. Like the Nomar trade, we got a declining former star, but we also picked up an ascending future star who happened to play a position that the organization had not managed to adequately fill for almost three decades since Ron Santo retired.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    It's reaching to say the Cubs certainly won the Nomar trade.

  • I am going to announce it later but I saw you all talking about Adam's nicknames. Very excited to say that his brother Sam is going to continue the Anarchist's Brunch feature on Sundays.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great news!

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Thanks We are very excited.

  • I am wrong to feel that the Rays' return was very underwhelming?

    John, given what the Rays got, what would a hypothetical Cubs trade for Price have looked like in the way of equivalent value?

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    It was underwhelming. Kept expecting there to be more.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Oh I missed the second part. The Cubs don't really match up that way because they don't have the MLB talent to trade. Maybe Wood last year could compare to Smyly. They really don't have a Franklin type player either. If Rays were looking for young MLB talent, the Cubs couldn't match it, They could probably beat it but it would be an overpay.

  • I worry about signing a guy like Lester in the offseason. He already has quite a few innings under his belt, and if his contract demands are similar to most first tier FAs then he will still be under contract for about 5 years after he becomes ineffective. Look at Verlander. He is losing what made him such a superstar, and he still is under contract until about 2065.

  • Sorry to stray from the thread , Since Felzzys passing I quite honestly havnt chimed in in my normally opinionated and sometimes abrasive edgy way. I can tell you , for never in person meeting someone Him going to the other side really affected me. We had both agreed that we were adding a night out together with sheer debouchery added to both our bucket lists. I was Hawkeye Pierce and He was Honeycutt , or vice a versa and not catching a game in the bleachers together someday really burns.

    My best and love to Fellzy and his whole family and I am so HAPPY his Brother will feed us Brunch, means alot to me. Thanks Sam.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Me too.

  • Looks like Valaika gets the earned nod.

  • I like the trade the Cubs made, but will miss Every Day Jimmy. He's been a rock in the BP for years, and never made a peep when he was obviously overused in 2012-13 and saw his effectiveness decrease.

    I hope there is still some gas in his tank and he becomes a huge asset for the Braves.

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