Final Deadline Thoughts: Playoff chances improved, future intact, as Cubs get more time to evaluate and prepare for another important offseason

It wasn’t a sexy deadline.  The buzzer has sounded and there is no cost-controlled starter, no lights-out closer, and no bat to help bail out a sputtering offense.

The Cubs did get some help, however.  The 5th starter was a sore spot for the Cubs all year and while Dan Haren isn’t the stud he used to be, he can still be effective and give the Cubs quality innings down the stretch.  And with Jason Hammel not 100% and Kyle Hendricks going through his first full MLB season, they needed some depth in the rotation as well.  The Cubs can now have a chance to win every time out.  That alone is big and will take some of the burden off what has been an outstanding performance from their top 4.

Tommy Hunter has some experience in high leverage roles and the Cubs bullpen has shown some vulnerability  of late.  Jason Motte has struggled and Pedro Strop hasn’t been as lights out as he was last year.  Neil Ramirez appears to be out for the season and none of the Cubs AAA arms they were counting on as depth have stepped up and shown themselves to be viable in-house options.

Equally important is that the Cubs essentially gave up nothing with regard to their plans for the next few seasons.  Ivan Pineyro was Rule 5 eligible and there was a good chance he was going to be lost anyway.  Elliot Soto is a fine utility type player, but  middle infield is an area of tremendous depth for the Cubs.  He will likely get a better opportunity in Miami.

The Cubs bought themselves a fighting chance down the stretch without sacrificing their long term plan.

One could argue that other teams, such as the Mets, made better moves on paper and have improved more than the Cubs.  To that I say that we have to be careful about winning trade deadline trophies.  It was just 7  months ago that everyone was saying the Padres won the offseason — and just a year removed from when everyone, myself included, assumed the A’s (or perhaps the Tigers) had cleaned up and were going to run away with the AL pennant.  It turns out that the Royals made the biggest run down the stretch and much of it came through improvements within their current roster.  It is also an argument I made just 2 weeks ago.

When it comes to offense, that is undoubtedly the hope for the Cubs.  They recently added Kyle Schwarber and are finding more ways to get him into the lineup.  Javier Baez is now a phone call away at Iowa and Tommy LaStella is rehabbing in Tennessee.  Miguel Montero is also getting closer to a return.

But even that only tells part of the story.  It isn’t difficult to imagine the Cubs getting better play from Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell and, of course, Stariin Castro down the stretch.  Dexter Fowler has already begun to turn things around and it appears that Anthony Rizzo may be snapping out of his funk as well.

The Cubs will have more time to evaluate long term options like Baez, LaStella, and others as they head into what is now a very important offseason.   The middle infield picture was still fuzzy and the hope is the Cubs will have a more clear picture by the offseason.  Will they trade Castro?  Will he be open to a move to 2B or even the OF?  3B, perhaps?  Where does Baez fit in?  What about La Stella?  Or is there a solution from outside the organization?  What about CF?  Is Dexter Fowler the answer or will it come from outside the organization as well?  Will the Cubs need a big bat to take some of the pressure off the young core?

All of these things are unclear as of right now and as we have said many times, this organization doesn’t make franchise-altering decisions without clear information.  If the answer isn’t there, they won’t force the issue and gamble.  They’ll retreat and gather more information until they can make a more informed decision.

The temptation is to say they should have done more.  Maybe.  Nobody knows for sure. But that is precisely the point I am making.  The Cubs aren’t going to go all-in for a one game playoff where anything can happen.  They aren’t going to overpay the first moment they sniff contention.  As far as that goes, they’re already a year ahead of schedule anyway.  They didn’t expect to have all the answers by now and they don’t — and a shot at a wild card play-in shouldn’t make them pretend that they do.

I am okay with the way they played this.  They took their shot at the bigger goal — the cost-controlled pitchers and the 3 year window ahead of them.  But it just wasn’t there, at least not at a price with which they felt comfortable. They didn’t overextend for 2015 t the expense of the long term.  They kept the bigger plan in place, knowing that 2015 isn’t going to be their best chance and certainly not their only one.  Yet, they still managed to fill some important needs for this season.

It’s going to be a lot of fun down the stretch — and that is only the beginning.

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  • Love what they did without mortgaging the future.

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    Great article as always. San Diego was reportedly asking for the moon in their deals, and they ended up staying pat!?

    Here's hoping that Stella and-or Baez come back soon to beef up our bench!

  • In reply to Bob from Salem:

    Thanks Bob.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Long time reader, decided to finally throw my name into the commenting.

    I am kinda bummed we didn't get to see what Rowen could do. How does the Schlit keep dodging the 40 DFA bullet???

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    This definitely wasn't what I was hoping for but thanks to your sound reasoning and that wonderful way you have of easing our mind john, I think I'll be okay. I still think no way Cubs outbid the Dodgers on price though.

  • In reply to Fahmi Nasser:

    Price will be a tough get. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Cubs revisit the trade route again this offseason instead of FAs. They'll have a better idea of what they have.

  • It would be so interesting to be in on one of those negotiations. Not so much for knowing who the center pieces of the trade are, everybody knows them. But who they are willing to throw into those deals with those other guys. I know everybody is on the table except elite guys but just wonder who those secondary type players are for the Cubs front office.

  • Thanks so much to John, NSI, and all the commenters for helping to guide us through the last couple of weeks!

    I wonder how much other team moves affected the Cubs indirectly. Let's say, hypothetically, the Cubs improved by 1-2 wins through the rest of the season by picking by Haren and Hunter while the Cardinals improved by about 2-3 wins (I'm just making up numbers here but bear with me). But what if we also look at how much the sellers were weakened? My guess is the Brewers are demoralized right now, trading away key pieces just as they're facing the Cubs for a four-game series. If the Cubs take the series, can we attribute a win to this? Did the Tulo trade help the Cubs take the series against the Rockies? Maybe you could pick up a win or two at the trade deadline just by standing still if you're lucky enough to be playing sellers at the right time.

  • In reply to October:

    I hesitate when one expects to pile up victories against 2nd division teams. It never seems to work that way for Cubs. Teams play loose and ambush the leaders in August and September.

  • In reply to October:

    We were never demoralized last year after trading away pieces... In fact, we played some of our best and most exciting baseball after Shark, etc were gone.

    At the end of the day, whether it's ST, May, or Sept., every MLB is still built with MLB players. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. When proven vets are moved away, young aspiring players try to step in and make a name for themselves. They're not demoralized. One could argue that they become more energized and focused after such an event.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Did you forget the tailspin the cubs hit right after the shark trade for 10 games or so? Many commenters were blaming the funk on the clubhouse mood after the trade. Maybe it had some impact maybe not but it might be a temporary distraction for those trading players away.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    With all due respect I think there was a period of "demoralization" when Samardzija and Hammel were traded. We went 4-15 over the next 3 weeks or so. After that when we got back on our feet again things changed and we did play some pretty good baseball. But immediately after the trade things were pretty ugly. Including a 13-0 loss on July 5, the day of the trade.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Shark is a SP. Can't blame the 13-0 loss on the loss of Shark. No one was shell-shocked, except for maybe the timing as Theo jumped the market a few weeks early. But everyone knew Shark & Hamel w/b traded. They weren't demoralized. Their professionals. The reality is, they just weren't that good.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I see your point about Shark being a starting pitcher and I don't think he was scheduled to go that day. But I do believe it is hard for a team when their stars are traded. Even though everyone saw it coming it can still wreak havoc with team chemistry. If nothing else it is hard not to feel like, "How are we supposed to win games without some of our best guys, why bother to try?"

    And yes, they are professionals, which is why the did well down the stretch last year. But they are human as well. They are professional because of their skills on the baseball field. That doesn't necessarily equate to being exceptional at handling the interpersonal side of the game.

    It is possible that their 4 wins in 19 games just happened to occur in conjunction with the trade, but I believe it was demoralizing. However, we are already reaping the benefits of the trade with Russell at the MLB level and McKinney tearing up AA.

  • We had hoped for a .500 year, and we've accomplished that and more. Maybe sign Leake in the offseason to a less pricier contract; the guy can field too.

  • John, I think your paragraph re looking towards the off season may be the key to what went down today. They've kept a lot of options open.

  • In reply to markw:

    I think so. I felt like I probably should have expanded on that but I am glad that still stood out a little.

  • I've always thought 3rd would be e better for Castro defensively. Less time to think might do him good. I'm also hoping that he'll just relax and play the game now that the deadline has passed. Him returning to form would be huge, as well as Baez and LaStella contribiting.

  • In reply to vegascubsfan:

    Is that who you really want to push kb off third with? We really have a lot of more viable options at that base. We will really be just fine with Starlin at short until any combination of mycolt, jb, TLS and aa prove us any better.

  • In reply to vegascubsfan:

    It's the same question I ask every week. Where oh where are you going to play all these guys? By not getting rid of Castro he is still your everyday SS and your best SS is playing 2B. You want to bring in LaStella and Baez as backups? Surely you understand that Baez could never be a backup. A free swinger like that needs to play every day. LaStella as a backup will not do much more than Herrera. You guys think that the backups are going to be .300/15 HR guys. If they were they wouldn't be backups. Now you want to move Castro and his <.240/5HR numbers to 3B or LF. Would you sooner replace Coughlin or Bryant? In short the only way to get these guys on the field is to trade Castro. In this matter the FO failed miserably. Two Captain Marvel comics and a Snickers would have been better than keeping him. He's plugging up the system. But we still got all the minor leaguers for what ever that's worth. Not much I'm afraid.

  • In reply to veteran:

    The future is bright, veteran. I'm trying to figure out some of your posts. I'll ask you an honest question, how long you been a Cubs fan? We are definitely moving in the right direction, but you don't seem to see it. Hoping you will come along for a fun ride with the rest of us Denizens!

  • In reply to veteran:

    I think it's still a good problem to have right now. Is Castro having a horrendous year...yes, obviously. Is Russell a better defensive shortstop...probably. Can you just have them swap positions...probably not.

    All of that being said, jb has not proven he can hit major league pitching, and TLS is far more likely a utility guy than a quality major league starter. In my mind, navy has the best chance to stick at a middle infield spot, and if he does, only then do you have a logjam that is still fixable.

    You have a couple options at that point. Castro/Baez to third and Bryant to the outfield is an option, although you do likely displace coghlan at that point.

    Alternatively, you move one of your three middle infielders, or perhaps even the surprisingly quick kris Bryant to cf, don't resign fowler and you're still in business.

    AAA is full of guys who have the ceiling of every day big leaguers, but more likely floors of bench guys/AAAA players,,.olt, szczur, Villanueva, alcantara etc.

    If one of those guys proves themselves then maybe your hand is forced by trade, but to this point I think catcher is the only position you have a real jam in 2016.

  • In reply to Mjtharp2:

    Javy not navy....that's what I get for posting on a cell phone

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    We're going to be so goooood very soon! While "next year" is so cliché it's becoming a fact right in front of our eyes! The FO is handling all this very well.

  • Good stuff. This is tangential, but what big-name rentals got traded and no longer have draft pick compensation tied to them in the offseason? Price, Cueto -- did I miss anyone? That will be big to monitor this winter.

    Interesting to see what the Astros did. They're in a different place, if I'm not mistaken, in the sense that the division is up for grabs for them, but it reminded me of the compare-and-contrast piece you did about the Astros a while back, John. Would be interesting to revisit that idea at some point.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Thanks. Price and Cueto were the big names. I kind of feel like the Cubs may seek to still trade for cost control, however.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, isn't Kazmir a rental also? His numbers so far this July are otherworldly. Might we consider him this offseason instead of Price,JZimm or Cueto?

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Matos interests me as well and may not be as expensive.

  • I still think we swing one trade in August for someone that's cleared waivers. We have a ton of Rule 5 guys down in the minors and if they can package some of them together in August then so be it.

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    I'm not disappointed that they didn't make a bad trade.

    I am disappointed:
    (1) that they spent a week getting their chain yanked by Preller and didn't look for outside options early on. They narrowed in on that too quickly, I believe.
    (2) that they tried so hard -- and unsuccessfully -- to trade Castro that it got out in the media and now they have a starting shortstop who knows they don't want him.
    (3) That they seem to be developing a habit of holding onto players too long. That's as much of a problem as trading prospects too freely. For example, Almora is clearly not in their long-term plans and is rapidly losing value. Trying to get the best you can for a stretch run would have been a pretty good idea. There's a chance he recovers some when you do want to trade him but more likely not.

    This deadline troubled me a bit. I haven't lost faith in the front office by any stretch but I also don't think it was one of their finest hours.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Castro's trade value couldn't go down too much more and might go up.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Castro is a different problem. I thought they should have traded him in 2012 when his value was through the ceiling because he was never going to be a part of a Theo team. The defense wasn't there and Theo loves strong defensive shorstops. He's actually a good example of the outcome of waiting too long. If you'd made the trade then, the prospects you get in return -- who would have been elite -- would be joining this team right about now.

    I think they'll move him this winter and I don't think there's really anything over the last two months that can move the needle on him. He is what he is: a talented but inconsistent shortstop. Perhaps made more so by attempts to fix him.

    My issue with Castro was if you're going to shop him to everyone so that the media reports you're trying to dump him, you need to trade him for his benefit and for the team's benefit.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The media here has reported that he was shipped in the past. Should we worry about Baez too. His name was in the media all week too.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    I think Baez is a different story. The reports on Castro were that they were trying to dump him but no team wanted him. For Baez teams wanted him & Cubs didn't really want to part with him. So Baez is viewed as many people wanting him whereas Castro is viewed as unwanted. I have no idea if any of the reports are true however

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    I overdid that a bit but I don't think it is that big of an issue. Castro has take it as another step to maturity.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I tend to agree with what you wrote. In hindsight, they kept Castro for too long. His value was high after last season. The rationale was sound - they needed him to win this season - but if you believe WAR, he has actually been a drag on the team's performance. And it is a bit hard to consider the lack of a bigger move a success, because if the rumors are true, they wanted to trade Castro, and no one was interested. My hope now is that he does really well over the next two months.

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    In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    I don't think they had any choice but to keep Castro going into this season and I wrote it at the time. They were all in and going after Maddon and Lester. How do those pitches look if you've just traded away your starting shortstop?

    The issue with Castro is they've now made it clear they don't want him. That's just not a fair position to put the kid in.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree. But you know what, let's see how Castro responds. Bill Walsh brought in Steve Young to replace Joe Montana, and instead of pouting, Joe went out and had the best years of his career, was league MVP twice, helped win two more Super Bowls. Castro can choose to respond in a positive way.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    he responds with a hit and an RBI

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    and another RBI

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "The issue with Castro is they've now made it clear they don't want him. That's just not a fair position to put the kid in."

    Who really cares what is fair or not fair regarding Castro. If he was performing it would be a moot point. All players are on the hot seat when they don't perform.

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    In reply to MoneyBall:

    I do because he's clearly a sensitive kid and putting him in a terrible situation is further increasing the odds his performance drops even further.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Or it could motivate him to get better. I tend to not to feel sorry for 25 year olds making $7 million a year.

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    In reply to MoneyBall:

    You can be right and insist we punish that little b*stard for having the gall to accept a contract for $7 million. I'd rather deal with what we have and win a World Series. Maybe that's just me, though.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    How are the Cubs punishing him by shopping him to other teams? This also happened to Cole Hamels, David Price, etc. Were they punished too? Not all players shopped are having great years. Players move all the time. The Cubs need to do what is in the organizations best interest which is to field the best team now and into the future.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    My point, from the beginning of this, is that if you're going to shop him to every team in the league, you need to trade him. I want the team to win and taking a sensitive kid who is beating himself up over poor performance -- and also happens to be your starting shortstop -- and telling him, in essence, "We don't want you," doesn't help the matter. If he was going to respond well to more pressure, he would have pulled out of this by now because the pressure has been intense.

    I care about him personally because he's a human being. But if doing something that hurt him helped the Cubs I'd be all for it. (In reason, of course.) But this is a lousy thing to do to him AND it lowers our chances of being in the playoffs. As such, it was not an ideal outcome.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Punish him!!!!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's always, 'what have you done for me lately' to an extent. Lake increased his value. If Starlin is consistent and helps the team to the post season, other teams will take notice.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Let's see about Almora. I know he's young and we just have to give him a chance. Even if he spent another year in AA he still will be only 22. Szczur is playing well this year, Hannemann just turned 24 and Fowler has begun to take pitches. I don't know if he's the answer in CF but he's looking much better now than 2 months ago.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    But the issue is he isn't in their plans. They want someone left-handed with better speed in that spot. I've heard it privately and they made it clear with their draft (Dewees, Wilson). Almora is going to be traded. The question now is what we get for him.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I want better speed from that spot too. It can be both disruptive on offensive and a plus in defense. I think the team needs more overall speed as well.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Regarding Almora, that may be true, but doesn't it just come down to performance as well? If Almora was hitting .315 in the minors with a .400 OBP, they probably would have a better opinion. His talent has just not translated to this point and it looks like a bad draft pick at the moment. Hopefully he can turn it around.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I love your 3rd point! Been saying the same for over a year now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    "(1) that they spent a week getting their chain yanked by Preller and didn't look for outside options early on. They narrowed in on that too quickly, I believe."

    Unless you were there, or bugged Epstoyers office/phones, you have no idea who all they discussed options with. None of us do. So how can you be upset about them having their chain yanked, when it's just as possible they may have been the ones yanking?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    So you know the front office wasn't considering multiple options? Please - you have no clue regarding the options they were considering.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Red Sox hold onto their guys too. They've had several high prospects over the last few years they've refused to trade. Maybe it's not a mistake. Maybe its just a philosophy to err on the side of youth and control.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I've noticed the same thing, as far as letting player value drop. Of course we're all perfect in hindsight, should have dealt Castro in 2012, held on to Donaldson and Archer. Im confident in this front office, and I believe we will get much more aggresive as our team comes of age. But again, if there is a flaw, it seems to be not quick enough with the trigger.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Here is the way the deal went down with the Padres. They wanted a big return and we called their bluff and waited until the last minute and said it's Castro or nothing. I believe that Theo did the bait and switch with Baez thinking he could catch them with their paints down. Here is the thing. I think we backed them into a corner and they looked bad today but didn't settle for a bad trade. We should have come in with stronger offers if we really wanted Corrasco or Ross. I believe Baez was the key piece in either deal and that is a card the Cubs were not willing to play...yet. So, if the market says Baez = Corrasco or Ross, then the Castro market = ? (I would like a AA, 1st round pitching prospect for him) That way it's still a gamble, but one that would be better then settling for a 4th or 5th starter under control which looks to be his current worth.

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    In reply to cub since 89′:

    So I heard a very different story -- that the Cubs negotiated in good faith for a week -- as did the Astros and other teams -- and at the last minute Preller decided he could still make the WC and raised the price through the ceiling.

  • I'm optimistic the cubs have at least a chance to sign price but realistically do you think paying 300+ mil to 2 over 30 pitchers is what they'll do? I'm sure theo and co hopes baez or castro can up their value these last 2 months and potentially in the playoffs then trade for that cost controlled starter during hot stove season.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think they will most likely sign or trade for a J Hamel or solid #3/4 type. Lester/Arietta/Hamel/New Dude/Hendricks is very respectable SP Rotation for 2016.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Scott Kazmir/Doug Fister? I was an advocate for Fister until he came up with forearm soreness. Not now. Best 2nd tier option looks to be Kazmir, whos ERA for July is under 1.

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    Is Hunter a free agent at the end of the year?

  • In reply to mblum876:

    yup

  • Thanks to you, Dan, Gunther, and Moody for round the clock coverage.

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    In reply to Cincycub:

    I wasn't part of this. All Dan who is amazing.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    No, but I appreciate you jumping into the comments section more frequently this week.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hey John...I think someone hacked Moody's account...

  • Whats most important is that we did not trade Baez or any other
    good prospects until we have more time to evaluate them. Who is
    going to be part of our future or trade bait.

  • Good take John, as usual. I'm not at all disappointed. Can't expect other teams to give you great stuff for nothing.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    great article John , I am ecstatic the Baez's, Almora's, Mckinney's and Edwards of the world are still Cubs, Whats that sound in the west, More kids coming up to help down the stretch and get some battle scars for the years to come.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Thanks, Bryan. It's on the kids now. Will be fun to see how they respond.

  • I imagine that proposed trades involving major pieces (Kimbrel, Ross, Hamels, etc) all started with Baez and went from there. The FO obviously not willing to part with him based on recent improvement reported here (diminished leg kick and 2 strike approach, etc) because they value him as a major contributor to the future either here, or as a better future return than what was being offered at this deadline.
    Haren is not a bad get, imo. I wish Lake well and hope he can find some regular AB's in the future but he didn't fit here.
    Perhaps this is just the kick in the pants that Castro needed. One last chance to shape up or ship out. If he continues to flounder, bring Baez up. I think Joe is pissed that he hasn't responded to the personal instruction he gave the other day.

  • In reply to Tnighter88:

    Have I ever(!) mentioned how much I love Baez and his baseball talent? The big rumor today was a blockbuster, possibly three teams, that never went down. I don't know, but my Baez-loving guess is he was a deal-breaker. Could be totally wrong. Here's an early toast to Baez's 2018 World-Seires-Winning 460 foot bomb

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    Any chance the FO try to extend Hunter let Basio work with him and make a starter out of him in the spring

  • In reply to Rick Funkhouser:

    Hunters arm issues with the Braves started when he was a SP. Hes a reliever because he keeps getting hurt starting, doesn't appear to have the ability to stay healthy when starting.

  • So many comments that they waited too long to trade Castro. Did anyone see this coming, after his 2014?

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    In reply to wastrel:

    No but -- and John will confirm this -- I wanted to trade him in 2012 when his value was sky high.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    the book is never closed

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Would have been wise. Castro's an enigma.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    i thought he was gone when we got la stella, saw alcantara as stop gap for baez at short.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Baez will never be a shortstop, too many errors.

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    In reply to wastrel:

    I didn't see this coming but last Winter said that Castro's value was so high that we should move him then. Was told that no one was ready to replace him. That may have been true but Baez was wanted on the team by Maddon and could have worked his things out in Chicago just as Russell is doing right now and just like......um..... Castro was allowed to when he was pulled up too early.

    Now we need to hope Castro has a big two months of baseball so he rebuilds value. Of course then folks will turn a blind eye to what happened the first half and remind us again how he is an All Star.

    SMDH

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    The Cubs were going nowhere when Castro came up. Now they are trying to win. As John pointed out coming into this year, the MLB roster is no longer a player development program.

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    In reply to John Winter:

    Then why was Russell brought up? Schwarber? They really should have been left at Iowa this year. If your idea is that we are not going to develop players at the major league level, then leave them down. You can't have it both ways.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    They were brought up due to injuries and the need for a DH. If LaStella and Montero are playing they're still in the minors. This may not account for everything, and John probably can give a better answer.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Because winning trumps development. That's why those guys are here and not in AAA.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    This discussion started on another thread, but just to pass on some information.

    Concerning the roster rules for post season, I was unable to find the rule you referenced, so I contacted ArizonaPhil. He says that the rule you mentioned was changed for 2015, and not post season rosters are not restricted in the way they were in the past. He passed on the following link.

    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/more-players-to-choose-from-for-postseason-roster-090114

    Obviously, this is not the actual rule book. If you can find a link that supports your contention, I would be interested in seeing it.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Wow, seriously? I really wasn't that interested in the subject to begin with and I'm even less interested now. I was answering another poster's question. You seem fixated on this for some reason so if that link makes you happy, that's great. Or we could just leave it at the original, simple answer of midnight on August 31. Either way, time to move along now...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Sorry to have bothered you. I mistakenly thought you were interested in accuracy since you went out of your way to correct me on the subject.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Great comment spot on!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    His value wasn't that high over the winter. Most potential suitors see him as a third baseman where his value isn't as high.

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    In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    I must have missed that part. The only folks I've heard saying Castro should be moved off of SS are Cubs fans that want to manipulate the lineup so we can get 15 prospects to man 9 positions. But maybe you are on to something. Castro's 2010-2012 and 2014 seasons must have been an aberration and his performance this year is more indicative of his true value.

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    How can 4 out of 5 and a half seasons be an aberration?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Winter:

    BTW Bobby, I don't want it to seem like I'm picking on you. You're one of the best posters on here.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Because the people on here say so! :)

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    In reply to John Winter:

    2 out of 3 with a new approach have been bad. and the reason for all the hype was he was supposed to get better. the 3 years to start his career he was only a league average hitter, slightly above. it's not like he was this dominant hitter, it was just valuable because there was hope he could improve on d and be an average ss that is a plus bat for the position, neither has really came to fruition.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    So why did the coaches want him to have a new approach? He was having 200 hits a year?

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    You did miss it. It isn't that hard to imagine that some baseball people don't see him as a high level defensive shortstop especially as the range goes. The value goes down with the position change. I wasn't ignoring the prior good offensive seasons at all. Even here, it was mentioned several times over the offseason that Castro's trade value wasn't as high as we wished. KG wrote a piece touching on his value to the Cubs versus the market.

  • We made a little splash and I am ok with it. Looking back at last 3-4 days of rumors from the "experts" just shows how little any of us know.

    I hope this isn't a insurance for hamels. Hope he is healthy and this is a replacement for Dallas or Richards.
    These were treading water moves to help some. These moves signal that Theo is ok with what happens instead of being aggressive. If we make playoff that is a bonus. I do agree if Soler and Bryant can perform and Russell get better that will help. Next year puts a lot of pressure for Baez, Bryant, Soler, and Russell to hit consistently.
    I disagree with john about Mets, Pirates and Giants. Those team made moves to get into this wild card spot. Example of Padres doesn't hold, you can say that about all moves including your Cubs.
    Wonder which pitcher gets dumped???

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It was funny watching MLB Network with one expert talking about a possible deal in the works while another expert's Tweet saying that the deal was dead was scrolling at the bottom of the screen. At least it kept Harold Reynolds off my tv for a minute.

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    In many ways, the Pirates and Cubs did the exact same thing; improved a couple spots at the edges, without giving up any long-term future at all. IMO, the Pirates are a well-run organization, and they are going to be in our way for some time....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Pirates picked up a bat in Ramierz. Who knows if it helps???

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Dominican version of Gary Gaetti at this point in his career

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Pirates are 17 games above, they didn't have to do as much.

  • I think/hope Castro will relax now and show some improvement. I don't think he is a long term core piece anymore, but he can improve and help this year. If Javy has indeed fixed some of his problems, he could be like a late season new acquisition. Fun times ahead!

  • So since LA already sent the money to pay Haren's salary to Miami, does that mean the Cubs don't have to pay him anything? Wishful thinking I'm sure.

  • Would've loved for the Cubs to land Ross & Kimbrel, and am very glad that by most accounts, the Cubs were willing to sacrifice good prospects to get it done (really curious what they're final offer was). Shows that the Cubs are serious about their 2015 chances but they're not blinded by those chances either. Which is what we've come to expect from our FO. In the end, it appears discretion was the better part of valor.

    On the other side, you really have to feel for AJ Preller! The poor guy must've been worried about doing something smart and ruining his reputation...

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    Maybe Castro can build up some value in the last few months then he might look more attractive in the offseason. It's hard to not think how much Kimbrel and Ross would of helped this team now and in the future if this was even on the table.

  • John I like to look at team's big picture and then drill down from impact players, contributors and role players. MLB is far more complex than all sports where only hockey rivals the roster development and interplay between all the moving parts.

    Watching Epstein/Hoyer they are about winning the day for the organization at each transaction and understanding that this organization still does not possess desired deep value, but I see the logic and focus. Controlling the strike zone is critical as we now see Fowler getting better calls and his run and hit production has increased.

    To me they have acquired quality IP in both players, Haren at the top and the mob will fall in love with Hunter coming in to hold close games. Hunter seems to also offer the option to go with 13 position players (Rondon, Motte, Hunter, Grimm, Russell, Wood, Soriano(?) Medina on the shuttle), could they go with with these seven down the stretch if Harden can go 6 IP per start (along with Hendricks and Hammel).

    Here is the deal, Cubs have used 5 pitchers in the 5th spot, and averaged 4.2 IP per start, Wada and Wood represent 2/3's of those starts, (14) with 68.1 or 4.2 IP so, Richard has averaged 6 in 2 starts so the rest (Beeler, Roach less) therefore Haren at 5.2 IP is an increase of 1 IP and less pressure on the bullpen. It is that simple of math.

    BTW comparison is Hendricks who Maddon will split from being next to each other on the rotation, averages the same IP (5.2) while Hammel has the same average (though that injury game of 1 IP and Hammel is 6.1 ave), and Lester at 6.1 & Arrieta 6.2. This is very important since there are 11 starts left for Haren and that means 11 IP at marginally better result.

    Thus Cubs could recall either La Stella when healthy or Baez or both depending on progress and health. BTW Baez stays 11 games more and his one year clock does not begin until next April. How much is this all worth?

    At the start of the season the stat heads had the Cubs at 85-86 wins, if Haren and Hunter get us to .8 or so WAR than Schwarber who has played just 20 games represents .8 WAR already, there are 61 games remaining, is Schwarber worth 1.2 WAR more than this takes us to 88 wins and the contender range.

    This begins to get really interesting, esp if Castro does rebound with a new found life emotionally, with new batting approach and with Baez/La Stella adding to the bench sometime down the stretch.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    All solid points, RW.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Great post. The discussions on cubs den are top notch, and you sir are one of the top contributors. Its always a pleasure to read what you type.

  • In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    too much compliments, my wife would not approve the encouragement, but seriously as I have to attend the remaining morning chores, Cubs appear to be in position of challenging the establishment of WAS, LAD, SF, STL and PITT, if they do someone is on the outs, my emotion is for the LAD to fall one short of the Cubs in the WC.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Love the effort! I said 89 wins at the beginning of the year. I guess I was counting on more from Schwarber. What a slacker. :)

  • I'm satisfied with their picking up a mid-tier starter and mid-tier reliever without giving up any significant pieces. It will help them contend now but leave the core intact for the future.

    I always liked Lake so I hope he can find some significant playing time in Baltimore.

  • Wouldn't it be something for Castro to go Jeffrey Baez in Aug and get us a couple of games ahead in the WC heading into Sept. Then he will get some value back and more bargaining power for Theo and Jed in the off-season. I hope Hendricks finishes strong too. He may be a nice piece in a larger deal too.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Why trade a quality young starter?

  • In reply to wastrel:

    If there is a deal out there for a TOR guy and the other team wants a young MLB starter with cost control as part of the package back, he would be an option. But that is about the only scenario I see where he is traded.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    What he said.

    If Sonny Gray is on the table, then it would be nice for Hendricks to have some real value if a starter was needed to backfill a traded player.

  • What a letdown. Major disappointment.

  • I am disappointed we did not add a bat. I would have loved getting Cespedes as a rental if the cost were not prohibitive. I heard rumors about them shipping in various deals Almora, Alcatara Olt etc, was hoping with second tier guys we could get him or another bat. Ive pretty much given up on Almora at this point. Oh well. Nice but not exciting additions and gave up nothing.

  • We have to give Theo credit for not making a deal just to make one.
    By the WM we see the kind of deal we really need

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Yes..succinct and to the point. Agreed.

  • I'm shocked the Pads ended up doing nothing. They have been the most talked about team all week and Preller couldn't get anything. I have no complaints about the deals the Cubs made. The FO is putting a lot of faith in these guys. Now we will see which ones respond. Hopefully they all do!

  • In reply to criggilyk:

    I am a little surprised as well. I think they wanted to dump salaries (Shields, Gyorko, Upton) and still get prospects back. Think they just learned that they can't fix their mistakes quite so easily.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    i agree, they could have dumped some if they took castro and a smaller prospect package. i think the cubs have way more resources than they are using now.

  • In reply to criggilyk:

    apparentgly Preller was doing his RFuben Jr 2.0 impression, andasking for everyones firstborn for Kimbrel and Ross. Good players, fine, but Hamels is worth more by himself then Kimbrel and Ross are combined. Hamels just wasn't worth the 3 top 25 propsects RAJ was asking for last year, and he ended up not getting them.

  • With regards to people writing off (in not so many words) Almora, he had that major collision in the outfield. His offensive play suffered after that. He finally is showing some improvement. So we don't know if he had a subconcussive hit or a full on concussion. He is still very young for AA. So there is a good possibility that he could finish strong and hit the offseason hard.

    John pointed out Jeimer Candelerio the other day as an example of fighting off the funk and improving. There are redemption opportunities out there.

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    In reply to Gator:

    hes not a high end prospect regardless. he was always glove first with good bat control.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    Obviously USA baseball thinks differently. He has been on 7 national teams. He was one of the youngest guys on the Pan Am team. There is talent and potential there.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    At the time of the collision on 05/20 Almora was .276/.315/.353. He was doing well for a 21 year old in an advanced league. Whereas his slugging has increased his a average have fallen .033 points. I don't think its a coincidence that the collision has contributed to his performance.

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    In reply to Gator:

    its not that advanced for a high schooler, note mckinney is a year younger at the same level. you can't just look at the age next to the level on baseball and say he's young for that level. players like elliot soto raise the average age even if they are just filler.

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    In reply to in theo we trust:

    Alnora is the 8th youngest player in the Southern League. How young do you want? McKinney has just progressed incredibly fast.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    hence why he is a high end prospect. the better prospects get promoted quicker. it is also almora's second time through... and he hasn't shown improvement, again hurts prospect status. the reason he was a hyped prospect to begin with was because he was going to be a fast mover due to his contact and defensive abilities...

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    In reply to in theo we trust:

    You're still talking about the 4th and 8th youngest. Not exactly a massive difference.

  • Once the cubs signed lester, I was worried the front office was going to try to open the window of opportunity a little too soon and stunt the growth of some young players. Once the cubs had a better than expected first 100 games, I was even a little more worried about the trade deadline.. After today I have decided that theo and company are doing this exactly how I think it should be done, and I have no need to worry. With that being said, I think this front office is licking their chops for the 2016 off season. that is their time to shine, and they probably feel like they have the pieces to make any deal happen at that time. Winter meetings this off season is when this team is really to take shape and some big changes will be made

  • In reply to kb60187:

    Indeed. We will have money to spend and a ton of young talent to deal from. I get giddy just thinking about all of the options that will be available to us.

  • Yes, this deadline turned out to be pretty dull. Not nearly as exciting as 11 years ago today when the Cubs pulled a 4-team blockbuster to snag Nomar Garciaparra. Now that was thrilling. I still remember how pumped I was. Turns out the Red Sox GM at the time actually had an idea of what he was doing. So now what's my point? I guess it's that I understand when fans want fireworks at the deadline, because, well, I am one and I feel the same way. But it's not going to play out that way every year, and usually it's better when it doesn't. This year we weren't clear sellers for once (thank goodness), and let's face it - we're not clear buyers either - not when a chance at a coinflip playoff game is what's on the line. I'm fine with cooler heads sitting tight in the end. I hope Haren and Hunter can contribute some while these guys continue to learn how to win together.

  • Nothing to help the offense.

    Haren replaces the revolving door, great 4/5 option. Best not put him back to back with Hendricks. Wada back to 6th man. No mo Beeler!

    Hunter? I don't really understand too much. Feels like the new Bobby Howry? 7th inning... More reliable than Strop maybe?

    I guess we get a tad better in total.

    Lake? Pinyero? They were already gone.

    But this offense.... No help. Still have Castro. We'll struggle to make the playoffs without SOME kind of help. Lotta low-scoring games ahead.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I think the offense will be better in the second half. The chances of Fowler and Castro being as bad as they were in the 1st half and Coghlan being as unlucky are pretty slim. And its not like any of the rookies were amazing either. I think there is a decent chance every starter, with the exception of Rizzo, could have a better 2nd than 1st half.

  • I TOTALLY get not giving up the future for the present. But we should remember this, the Cardinals will only be better next year when they get healthy and Pittsburgh will likely be better as well. In other words, I can't see where the Cubs are simply just going to win the division next year, or maybe even the next. Then, if I'm not mistaken, Arrieta is only signed for 2 more years. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm afraid of having to read similar articles this time next year. At what point will it be allowable for fans to want to win "now" ?

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Why will the Cardinals only be better? I don't see them being better than their record is this year. They have a 90 year old catcher that can't run to first base now. Wainright will not be any younger. Johnny Peralta will be one more year removed from the juice that got him to this point. Their minor league player positions are all gone. Is Lackey and Lynn going to be older or better? Carpenter might weigh less than 80 pounds by then......

    Yes, they will be competitive because they always are, but I can see where they won't keep up this pace. Their pace this year is unreal. To say they will only be better is crazy talk.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    I don't doubt that the Cardinals record won't be better but they will be good again next year and healthier. And for the record, Lester will age as well and is not as good as Wainwright. I think it's "crazy talk" to assume the Cubs will just take over the Central next year.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Has anyone made that proclamation? We will always have to beat the Cardinals. Just don't give in to the fact that they will automatically be better next year.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    they also likely lose Heyward. And Hollidays injury issues aren't likely to improve. Hes getting to an age where those type injuries can occur with increasing frequemcy. I wouldn't be too surprised if the Yardbirds became a sub.500 team within the next 2 years. They are aging rapidly.

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    In reply to INSaluki:

    Who said 2016 was "it?"
    We have a lot of rookies now and it certainly isn't like they will suddenly be wily vets next year.

    They won't stop developing just cause they made it to the show.

    This is a long term thing. Theo has said many times that they key will be to make the playoffs every year.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    To be the man, you gotta beat the man.
    When we beat the Cardinals, we will beat everyone.

    And that is the goal... to beat everyone.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    nobody disagrees with that.

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    In reply to INSaluki:

    heywards a free agent for them, holliday will be 36. but piscotty and grichuck look like promising replacements. will be interesting who develops better between those rookies and kolten wong and all our guys.

  • Moving forward after today's roster tweaks I believe Castro, Montero, and some other duplicative position players in the Cub system become the trade chips which are used to improve the 2016 team. I think controlled cost starting pitching will be the # 1 asset they will target along with a speedy, high OBP, CF.
    I do not believe a high priced FA pitcher is in their plans. I also think they believe the closer will be developed from within and at a lower cost than someone like Kimbrel. Edwards, Rondon, Black, & Rivero are all possible candidates.

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    While I'm disappointed we didn't move Baez, I think this deadline went about as well as can be expected.

    Several starting pitchers that will becomes free agents got traded, hence negating a QO. So we can pursue several pitchers in FA without surrendering a draft pick. That's about as much as you can ask for in a season like this, IMO.

  • Count me as another that is perfectly content with what the Cubs did this deadline. They're 10.5 games back with 61 games to go so didn't want to see them trade their big assets for a rental for a one game playoff. There will be a time and place to make the bigger moves, which I as well as many others believe will start with this offseason. If rumors were correct, they were in talks for Ross, Kimbrel, and Carrasco.

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    Castro has been up with runners on and he made contact both times and what happened--RBIs! Soler has looked strong and Rizzo is Rizzo.
    Between the TV going out every minute or so and the umps "strike zone" it's really hard to watch tonight.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Probably why even though he is having a bad year, he is still third on the team behind Bryant and Rizzo in RBI's and alot of them have been game winners.

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    the fact that he's only 3rd shows how bad he's been this season. He was hitting behind Rizzo & Bryant while the were both on fire. He seems to have RISP a lot of times he's up & he's only 3rd on the team. I'm not trying to pick on him bc he isn't the only one struggling but he should be #1 in RBI with as many chances as he's had

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    In reply to KJRyno:

    Castro was also robbed of a hit (and probably RBI) by Ginnett's snag. What do you know. He went the other way.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'm really ready for "robo ump". The poor strike/ball calls are playing havoc with both sides. Imagine what would happen if first base calls were +- 6 inches. Would players be expected to adjust to that?

  • Man, Tank has had some pitches to hit tonight and just missed. Get one

  • Bryant with the big at bat!

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    In reply to KJRyno:

    ?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I put that up when ball one intentionally was given to Rizzo.

    OH, and by the way, we play too shallow on pitchers. Almost got burned last night with the bases loaded, and got burned tonight. I agree you play shallow but we ar taking it to the extreme.

  • Sure wish I could watch this game without the interruptions.

  • Wgn seriously needs to fix whatever technical difficulties they are having this is freaking annoying.

  • In reply to bolla:

    yeah, got to see Rizzo catch the double play ball at least...

  • In reply to bolla:

    Two nights in a row. At least tonight I didn't get up and check the HDMI connections. When I did that last night, they switched to the Brewers feed. Had me confused for a second.

  • Atta boy Bolla, I think they listened to you!

  • ah, that sux

  • Great AB from Russell, but the biggest thing I saw on that hit was Soler actually running hard. Totally healthy? Hope so.

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    Cubs need at least 1more run and they've had chances, and just as I'm writing Russell comes though. I agree with JD, he is trending up. He's such a quiet player both in the field and at bat. I think he's finally adjusting and he's one to watch the rest if the season.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah but JD also thinks he saw a lion cross the road last night.

  • Many thanks to bolla for getting the feed corrected!

  • The best part about today's transaction? Wada can move into a setup position, where I believe he can really thrive.

  • In reply to cubsdude74:

    lefties only hit .188 off him last year. His game screams LOOGY or maybe a 1-2 inning pitcher. Question is, c an he do it? Carlos Zambrano couldn't because Carlos apparently needed time to get warmed up, Hopefully Wada doesn't need that.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    good question - he has been a starter his entire career. But his splits the first few innings vs later innings has been well-documented in favor of the earlier innings. And half his magic seems to be his delivery which won't need warming up. Hopefully he becomes an option. Maddon seems to go with the hot hand so there's a chance Wada gets a shot.

  • CAN ANYONE LOOK INTO THESE DODGER DEALS. Holy Crap. How much of a luxury can one team have over another, only to buy a guys contract out from another team only to dump them. Two stats that were more telling regarding their payroll advantage over every club was 1. They will be paying about 1/4 of the Marlins payroll this year, 2. they will probably reach 300 MILLION in payroll by the end of the year 3. they are in the discussion on EVERY high priced international free agent deal. The ONLY way the Cubs will be able to combat this going forward is to hang on to every plus bat they have and make smarter and faster assessments of their players in the minors and work deals for longer term quality arms. Whoever scouts pitching for the Tampa Rays should probably be on our payroll buy the end of the year. Archer, Odorizzi, and Karns all where brought in on trades. The Cubs need to be making those kinds of deals soon if they want to pay to keep the likes of Bryant, Schwarber, and Russell. Some scouts currently have a lawsuit in place about the collusion of owners. What better way to show good faith other than to outbid some other teams for the services of some talented individuals.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    One of the guys on MLB today said they are spending $85 million on guys that didn't spend a day on their 25 man this year.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    I agree. The commissioner should institute a loss of draft pick rule & international spending limits for teams that go way over the salary cap. I'm not in favor of a hard cap like the NFL, but what the Dodgers are doing is on another level. Although I'd probably think it was fine if I was a Dodger fan or if they were to help the Cubs by taking on their bad contracts

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    They are actually stingy with some of the major rookies they have coming up in their system too. That is also what is irritating more than the money. Even if they make one bad move they have 5 other players they could readily afford to take off some other teams books at a moments notice. It was interesting to see that they were a potential trade partner at the end of the day. I would have stayed far away from their boat on the choppy waters today. I wouldn't give them any more ammunition then they already have and give them a list of every available prospect we have, so they can beat us in a deal at the next turn. I think that about a lot of the talk that came out today was about information gathering for next year and also forcing the Padres to make a bad deal.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    Maddon used to work for them. He might need to convince Ricketts to hire some of there guys. BTW Bixberger and McGee also came in trades. Id take McGee as a closer/setup guy anytime, providing hies healthy.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    when organizations go this far beyond the industry norm either they become a monopoly or collapse because of an unsustainable weight and a change in the market place dynamics.

  • I can say I am happy with this trade deadline, i can honestly say they did try to make some big trades but they were just smart about the future and did give up anything they weren't willing to give up like other teams sometimes get pressured into doing..but they made last minute deals to a dress our needs.. and same time saving payroll for the big David price to the north side off season signing. . Schwarber up, bryant rizzo getting there stroke back, soler castro and addison with even a slight increase in productivity will ultimately get us to the promised land.. and if baez puts up some solid numbers he could be better then a trade..

  • Does anyone know what the Padres were asking for Ross & Kimbrel from the Cubs. DBacks GM Stewart said they were asking for Goldscmidt for Kimbrel. If that's the case they were probably wanting Rizzo, Bryant, & Theo's first born

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    I don't believe anything from the Stewart and LaRussa camp. They talk too much to the media to be respected by other organizations. That said, I think our goal was Ross all along and they wanted Baez or nothing else. We tried with Castro and maybe some other guys but they didn't flinch. Gotta respect them for hanging with their guy.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    I get that you want to get the best deal & Stewart has made some questionable moves. Preller might of not wanted anyone in their system so he just said Goldy to end it. I can't imagine Theo & Hoyer trying to keep working on a deal for several days if they were asking for a crazy return.

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    Yeah, I believe he just didn't want to here from Stewart ever again. I still believe that Theo might have screwed up a little bit and tried to put a package together centered around Castro and Almora, but Pad's wouldn't bite. If anything we can hope for the two to turn it around in the second half and get the deal done in the offseason. Castro and Almora both had days off closest to the dead line, that is why I am figuring it consisted of them.

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    My understanding is 2 top 10 prospects and a 3rd in the top 30 at a minimum. They asked the Stankees for Severino and Mateo along with 2 others, just as an example.

  • Preller makes Amaro look sane.

  • I'm content with the trades made, but wondering how everyone views our moves in comparison to the Giants. Both picked up rentals for the rotation, but I think most of us would prefer Leake to Haren, right? Can anyone give me a comp from our system to who the Giants gave up in the Mike Leake trade?

  • In reply to good4you:

    Johnson?

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    Funny how last year around this time when the team was struggling everyone was hoping Baez would come up and be the savior. He came up and stunk up the joint and everyone wanted him sent down or traded. A year later and it's deja vu. The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    I admittedly haven't SEEN Baez this year but even when his stats looked good last year in AAA, I watched almost every game and I saw a kid who wouldn't be able to handle major league pitching. I think both the numbers and eye test proved that was indeed the case. The fans are being told that Baez is doing better this season but I still can't see this kid being able to handle a savy major leaguer. I had really hoped he would be moved in a deal for Ross, but alas it seems the team may have to continue to work with him and hope he develops some plate acumen. The good news is that if he does turn out to hit .250 (which I feel is his ceiling), the rest of his game is ready now.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    i didnt see it in Rizzo his first year up with the Cubs either

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    Yes. I'd hoped the cubs would do more at the trade deadline. Now it's just wait until the end of the season. They at least got a new starting pitcher who may help them get to the wildcard but beyond that and the new relief pitcher it is deja vu. I have no idea what the FO's strategy from here but if they approach the off season in the same manner as the trade deadline they will be outbid a lot.

  • So reading about what the Padres were asking for for Kimbrel, I can't even imagine how different the Cubs would look if a mega deal involving him had been completed. Asking for Paul Goldschmidt?! Really?!?! I'm speechless.

    And the Yankees were willing to send them Mateo and take back Gyorko.

  • I'm still a little bummed we couldn't pull off some form of a Castro for Sheilds swap....I know both sides preffered different options but With castro playing soooo badly and San Diego looking to drop salary and find a new young option at ss....I thought it was a good compromise

  • John, great job ALL YEAR.

    Time for a few feelings about our up-coming stretch drive.

    1--Seems like since our good start in Month1, we are hovering at .500 for a long time. I PREDICT we will need a run of 6-7 in a row., maybe 9 out of 12 to make the playoffs. SF had theirs and passed us.

    2--Castro's performance, along with Baez will determine what trade (non-pitching) will be made in the off-season. I PREDICT, one of those 2 guys will go, barring injury.

    3--Outfield defense Ok, Cogs better than expected, Fowler OK for a smaller park, but Soler disappointing. I predict some late inning subs for Soler.

    4--Schwarber coming down to earth.,or shall I say learning the ML is pretty tough. I PREDICT major struggles for him too. That's ok, I expect them.

    Comments??

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