Cubs Continue to Talk Garza … and Check In on Carmona

A day after losing out on Brandon Webb, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Rangers that could end up being worth as much as $10 million, the Cubs turned their attention to other options.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs continue to look at acquiring Matt Garza and have talked to the Indians about Fausto Carmona.

The Cubs “continue to have conversations” with the Rays about Matt Garza, but it is unclear if the Rays are still looking to deal him.

Here is the update, including more on Matt Garza and Fausto Carmona and an updated attendees list for the upcoming Cubs Convention

As of this writing, the Cubs’ 40-man roster still stands at 41 players …

Matt Garza and Fausto Carmona
Bruce Levine reported on Monday “two potential pitchers may still be available via trade” the Rays’ Matt Garza and the Indians’ Fausto Carmona.

According to Levine’s report, “it’s unclear if Tampa will try to move Garza for minor league talent or retain him”; the right-hander “is scheduled to make close to $6 million in 2011, the second year of arbitration.”

One of the reasons the Rays might be willing to part with Garza is their “economic woes” and the possibility Garza could net the Rays “as many as three or four solid prospects.”

Levine indicated if the Rays and Cubs work out a deal Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos would likely be a part of the trade.

Hak-Ju Lee projects as the Cubs’ shortstop of the future. Speculation has been once Lee is ready for the bigs, Starlin Castro would be forced to move to second or third base. In his report, Levine mentioned Castro could move to third if he continues to develop and “gets bigger and stronger as he approaches his mid-20s.”

Levine also reported that the Cubs and Indians had “talks at one time” about Fausto Carmona. The Indians are “said to be asking for teams’ top two prospects just to get started in serious discussions” about the 27-year old right-hander.

The Cubs Convention
Details on the Cubs Convention have begun to surface … and believe it or not, the 26th annual gathering kicks off just two weeks from Friday (January 14 – January 16).

Add Greg Maddux to the short list of this year’s attendees that was released last week. Maddux is scheduled to attend the fan fest according to a blurb in the latest issue of the VineLine.

Scheduled attendees for the 26th Cubs Convention

  • Chris Archer
  • Marlon Byrd
  • Chris Carpenter
  • Starlin Castro
  • Tyler Colvin
  • Jay Jackson
  • D.J. LeMahieu
  • Greg Maddux
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Mike Quade
  • Carlos Pena
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Kerry Wood
  • Carlos Zambrano

Weekend passes are still available on Cubs.com. The weekend passes feature photos of current Cubs including Starlin Castro, Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano.

A tribute to Ron Santo figures to be the most attended session of the weekend.

The CCO will continue to post details, as well as the schedule, for the weekend event as they are made available.

Notes from the CCO
The CCO on the Goa fully mobile version of the CCO is now available and should redirect to your smart phone or any mobile device.

ChicagoCubsOnline is back in IE 7. The problems conflicting with Internet Explorer 7 and below have been fixed and there should not be any more issues.

The CCO’s 40-man roster has been updated with service years, remaining options and known salaries for the 2011 season … the Major League minimum will increase in 2011 to $414,000. Click here for the updated list or on the 40-man roster tab located at the top of the site.

And finally, the last tidbit from the self-promotion department … the CCO welcomed a new writer to the site over the weekend and between Tom and Patrick, the minor league coverage on the CCO will continue to improve.

Follow the CCO on Twitter
Time to Disqus on the CCO

For those keeping score at home, it’s only nine weeks until Spring Training.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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  • Baron_S

    It looks like Bruce Levine writes a lot of hooey to get hits on his ESPN page… just a hunch!

    • Tony_Hall

      He has pressure, from a boss, who answers to a suit, that has to keep the revenue flowing. Daily hits from fans, is much better, than periodic check-ins. That is why you come to the CCO, to get all of the highlights, without having to read all the articles.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs didn’t sign Webb because they couldn’t pay him $3 million plus incentives. So don’t figure on Garza coming over here at all.

    Meanwhile the Brewers added another tough pitcher for their bullpen. I mean to tell you they really stepped up to the plate this offseason. Look at their bullpen now:

    Axford: closer (58 IP) (42 H) (1.19 WHIP) (2.48 ERA) (24 SV) 3 BSV
    Saito: setup. In his 5 ML seasons, he has averaged 11.0 K per 9 IP (that’s better than Kerry Wood’s 10.4 K/9). Highest ERA in 5 seasons: 2.83 last year for Atlanta. Career line: 17-13 2.19ERA with 84 saves and WHIP of 1.02. Last year, 1.07 WHIP, 2.83 ERA and 2-3 record. The guy is good, esp. at age 41 . . . .

    AND NOW FOR THE SHOCKING NEWS: HE SIGNED FOR KERRY WOOD MONEY! LESS THAN $2 MILLION DOLLARS!

    Jim Clueless ripped off again. Kerry Wood can’t hold a candle to this guy.

    • joejoed

      I think the Cubs passed on Webb because he was throwing 85 mph. But I also think Webb himself decided against Chicago and DC for personal reasons. Saito is definitely an under the radar type of player, but that doesn’t make the Wood deal a bad one.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,I don’t often disagree with you but as I stated above I still like Wood. It looks like Milwakee is going for it all,more power to them. What I really wanted to comment on is Rami. I’ve read articles by Rudy that indicate it will be a tough sell to Rami to change. Rami is a spoiled brat,has all this money coming in whether he plays or not. I will admit that h worked hard to become a good third baseman but that has gone out the door. His refusal to adapt to his hitting style or to move arond the infield speaks volumes about being a team player. I think he’s just playing out the string,collect his money and be on his way. Thats too bad because he realloy could help if he wanted to.

  • paulcatanese

    I can,t get those Ron Santo articles out of my mind,powerful. I do believe Ron brought Kerry Wood back to the Cubs. Kerry is unique,a caring,hard working athlete. Few people realize the hard work in re-hab that he went thru. To get back to a normal life is one thing,but to re-hab back to a competetive athlete is another,it requires three,four timesd the effort. Kerry has paid his dues and I welcome him back no matter what kind of season he has. He is a pure Chicago boy,loves the City and the Cubs and deserves all the support we can give him. Followed him since his rookie year and saw the 20 strikeout game as well as many others did.

  • joejoed

    The Indians are asking way too much for Carmona. I wouldn’t go that route. Why not look at a dude like Freddy Garcia, a stop gap until either the young kids step up or Garza’s price goes down? Is he looking for a multi-year deal? I think most of us would be excited to see 2011 as a setup for 2012, with a serious look at what’s available on the farm.

    • stormyweather

      To tell the truth, why doesnt Hendry kick the tires on Pedro Martinez? A tough competitor he is, and likely reasonably priced at this stage of his career. Just a thought.

      • Tony_Hall

        On second thought, I hope he isn’t reading. Pedro? maybe 5 years ago, but they don’t need more aging vets.

  • StevenF

    “ChicagoCubsOnline is back in IE 7. The problems conflicting with Internet Explorer 7 and below have been fixed and there should not be any more issues.”
    Why then are the CCO page graphics gone when I visit this site?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Steven, they are showing up on my end. As I mentioned, I would recommend upgrading to IE 8. There are so many holes in IE 7 and below, it is unbelievable.

      • Steve

        I do have IE8. Has the CCO site abandoned the old look? It’s quite plain now, and no graphics, logos, ads, etc

        • Ripsnorter1

          StevenF,
          There must be something out of order in your system. I see the graphics and the ads with this new look on the CCO. IN fact I’d say that everything looks the same, except the dialogue box has a slightly different look to it.

          How about trying IE 9? Or Google Chrome? Both can be had for free. Google search IE 9

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Sorry Steven, I stepped away.

          The CCO has the same basic look. Can you do a screen capture and email to me? Please send to neil@chicagocubsonline.com.

          Thanks

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Steven, what type of CPU are you looking at the CCO on? Is it a mobile device of some sort?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Looking over Kerry Wood’s stats . . . .

    He’s walking a lot more batters since he left the Cubs. The last year in Chicago his WHIP was an excellent 1.085, despite an ERA of 3.24.

    But in NY last year he walked 18 batters in just 26 IP. He gave up only 14 hits to keep his WHIP down (1.231), but if he continues to walk batters as he has the last 2 years, he won’t be a good setup man.
    2009 5.7 BB/9 with Cleveland
    2010 5.0 BB/9 with Cleveland
    2010 6.2 BB/9 with NYY

    Now let’s consider his game log in NY with Mario Rivera coming in to snatch his fat out of the fire . . . .
    24 games.
    Game #1
    Left with bases full, two out. Rivera bailed his fat out of the fire after Kerry walked 2 batters and gave up one hit.

    Game #2– 0.2 IP 1 HR
    Game #3–1.2 IP, taken out after 2 hits and Rivera bailed him out.
    Game #4–1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 HBP (so he left 2 runners on)
    Game #5–2.0 IP, 0 runs, 2 h, 1 BB, GOOD OUTING
    Game #6–.2 IP good outing
    Games #7–1.1 IP good outing
    Games #8–.1 came on with two on and two out, gave up a hit to load bases and got out of the jam.
    Game #9–1.2 IP came in bases empty, left with 2 on, 2 out, and Rivera saved his fat.
    Game #10–came in bottom 6 with 2 on, 2 out, and no one scored. Left in bottom 7 with 2 out, and 2 on (again . . . .Rivera . . . .)
    Game #11–came in bottom 8, 1 out, bases empty, gave up a hit and a walk, and left without giving up a run. (heart attack performance)
    Game #12–good performance. came in with 2 on, one out and shut the door.
    Game #13–pitched a scoreless 8th. good outing
    Game #14–good outing. came in 8th, 2 on, 1 out, and struck out both batters.
    Game #15–good outing. pitched scoreless 7th.
    Game #16–good outing. pitched scoreless 8th.
    Game #17–good outing. Pitched scoreless 9th with game tied.
    Game #18–good outing. PItched scoreless 8th.
    Game #19–came in 8th, runner on 1st, gave up 2 hits and 1 BB to allow runner to score.
    Game #20–good outing 1.1 IP of scoreless ball.
    Game #21–Rivera saves his fat as Kerry gave up runners with one out
    Game #22–Rivera saves his fat as Kerry gave up 2 runners with 2 out
    Game #23–entered 0 out, 0 runners on, gave up a hit and a walk, and Rivera saves his fat . . . .
    Game #24–came in with NYY ahead one run, gave up a run to leave the game with score tied.

    My conclusion: Kerry didn’t pitch all that well for the Yanks. Rivera made a difference for him. Marmol will have to make a difference for Kerry this year.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, I never said all Cub fans were smart. You have made some great points about Wood. However, think of all the excitment that Wood and Marmol will create trying to close out a game,and remember, we have to be ahead in the score first. I still like Wood but thats just me. I hope you are proven wrong as I am sure as a fan you would like to be wrong also.

    • Dorasaga

      rip, I hope you can see that I clicked “Like”. Like Wood or not, these gamelogs is telling… in his regular Yankee games:

      7 Games, Rivera came in to clean up the mess Wood left.
      8 Games, clean inning(s), without letting runners-on, no giving up a hit or a walk.

      And if we count those 7 postseason games (I’m using fangraphs here):
      1 Game, Rivera came in with man on base from Wood.
      2 Games, clean inning.

      That’s 8 bad games from Wood, with another 10 good games, out of 31 games. I have the feeling that Quade will need Marshall to bail out those 25% bad games, since Marmol is a “walking machine as well.

  • Cloycub13

    Come on Rip, Saito at 41 is better than Wood? I can’t argue with the stats but seriously? Not in my book!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Stats are stats, aren’t they? If I had said he was 31, I doubt you would have disagreed with me. And of course, stats are reporting the past. But Kerry has a torn something in his shoulder . . . .

  • john

    Happy Holidays, Faithful!

    This new system has thrown me for a loop. When I chose to sign in using my yahoo account they ask to authorize all kinds of things that I do not want to authorize. Is this the only way to sign in now?

    thanks, John (formerly known as jc.3-6-)

    • Ripsnorter1

      John,
      I sign in using “Disqus.” When you sign in, you’ll have that option on the left side of the login in box. Click on “Disqus” and all you’ll have to type in is your name “John” and your password, and you are posting on this board!

      BTW, have a great new year, too.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Hey John, send me an email and I will send back instructions.

      neil@chicagocubsonline.com

      Rip, thank you for all of your help! I owe you one …

  • stormyweather

    Frankly, I dont want a MOR pitcher like Garza for any of out top 5 prospects. Niether would I want Carmona, who has major control issues and cant hold baserunners well.

    • Tony_Hall

      Lets hope JH is reading. But I doubt his ego, could take the critism.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim

    Hendry needs to make some deals. Period.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim

    I have a request for this site. If possible, place an avatar of Ron Santo’s number 10 jersey.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Jim, I have that in the works and it will be up soon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTMAIGK4MF65LJQK54NZL62JI Jim

    Thanks.I miss the guy more than ever. RIP #10