Rambling While Saying Sayonara

Hello, good day, hope you are all doing fantastic. It is Friday, and as well all know, that means it is time for some ramblings. It is time to just throw some thoughts out there, see what sticks, then ask some hopefully intriguing questions and create some debate. That is what we do here at the CCO, so let’s get it on. The trade deadline is Sunday, and a certain third baseman might be changing his tune.

So, without further ado …

  • On March 31st, 2008, Opening Day, he hit a towering 3-run blast off of Eric Gagne to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Oh, the wonderment he had created in three short hours, started by a double of the wall and ending with said homer. There was so much to come.
  • Or not.
  • What started as a tease has ended in a thud. Take care, Kosuke. God bless and good luck.
  • All of a sudden, something made Aramis change, or possibly change, his tune. I am curious as to why this happened. Who talked to him? What did he or she say?
  • Is it me, or is it a foregone conclusion that Welington Castillo will be the starting catcher next year?
  • Why don’t we try to get a low-level prospect from anyone for Soto? Worth a shot, right?
  • No, that is not my thought. I read it on the CCO at some point a few months ago, but it makes a lot of sense today. Soto has now had two bad seasons and one that was so-so after being crowned NL Rookie of the Year.
  • Three seasons is more than a trend. The time has passed. Move on.
  • Sidebar: Zach Morris is now a lawyer in LA living with his best friend in an apartment referred to as “The Cave.” It has a hot tub and many scantily-clad women.
  • That was the most obvious prediction of all-time for “Preppy.” Of course that was going to happen. I mean, what else would you do after scoring a 1502 on your SAT.
  • If you didn’t watch “Saved by the Bell,” I am very sorry to put you through those thoughts.
  • The next two months are critical for Colvin. He posted a .256 average in AAA. Can he really do it in the Bigs? He needs to make something happen for 60 days.
  • Bryan LaHair’s AAA numbers are sick. Absolutely ridiculous. The comparison that comes to mind … Jason DuBois. Just a perfect example of another AAAA player for the Cubs.
  • I mean, 29 homers, 76 RBI and a .335 average. Is it the hitter-friendly PCL or confidence, or lack thereof, when he gets at-bats for any Big Club. But, it is fair to say that his time has passed.
  • Struggling does not even begin to describe what B-Jax and Flaherty are experiencing in Iowa these days.
  • We all need to slow our roles on these guys. There is absolutely NO reason to bring either of them up until they prove they can hit at that level.
  • It’s not like the Cubs are going anywhere anytime soon. If ruining confidence is actually a possibility, let’s not go there.
  • Tangent: These X-Games athletes are absolutely insane. Yes, I will ride a bike down a ramp nine-stories high, hit a ramp at full speed and then do flips and twists while attempting to land on a hard, wooden base.
  • The Cubs need to sign at least one, if not two, legitimate starters this offseason. I mean, it has become more and more obvious that 2009 was the exception, not the rule for Randy Wells.
  • However, when you take a look at who is available, it is rather disconcerting. Especially given the fact that FA pitchers garner ridiculous contracts these days.
  • Are the Cubs prepared to spend $50 million on Edwin Jackson? I know, I know, sounds ridiculous, but I bet he gets something close to that.
  • Your other choices: Scott Kazmir, Brad Penny, Joel Piniero, Javier Vasquez, Kevin Millwood …
  • Do you want me to keep going?
  • Seriously? Okay.
  • John Maine, Hiroki Kuroda, Rich Harden, Livan Hernandez, Jeff Francis, Freddy Garcia …
  • Sorry, I just can’t go any further. It is too depressing.
  • At least Jay Jackson and Casey Coleman are panning out as planned … right?
  • Josh Vitters will be 22 next month. I am still being patient. But, I have visions of Ryan Harvey dancing around in my head.
  • Question to the masses? Is there a pitcher in the Cubs system that you are truly excited about? I mean, really, truly excited about?
  • Nope, me neither.
  • If I am wrong, let me hear it.
  • If I am Ryne Sandberg, I have been breathing a huge sigh of relief the past four months. Let’s be honest, he could not have made a noticeable difference with these players. Nor could basically anyone.

So, on that ridiculously positive note, it is time to end my rambling stream of consciousness. The next two months are not critical for this team in any way, but there are plenty of things to watch, pay attention to and hope to see.

And, of course, until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

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  • Calicub

    Ah rich harden how I miss thee. Sometimes.

    Still Thursday iver here on the west coast

  • Vivid_Reality

    Rami and Byrd to ATL for Arodys Vizcaino and Edward Salcedo. Maybe a bit much but this would be one of my ideal trade scenarios.

    • Aaron

      I actually like that deal. Would never happen….not with ARAM signed for just this year, and the Braves already having Prado and Jones to play 3B.

      Vizcaino would be fair value for ARAM. Salcedo would give the Cubs a 3B of the future too, so I love your thinking.

      Hendry just isn’t that smart enough to make this deal, and I highly doubt the Braves would deal Vizcaino for an impending FA, unless they… 
      a) know Chipper is retiring after the year
      and
      b) know that ARAM would re-sign with them in the offseason

      Making trades like this one just aren’t in the DNA of the Braves…they almost never deal for rent-a-players.

      But, again, I like your thinking

      • Bryan

        Locally, Braves are expecting Chipper to be back next year.  If not, Prado will be moved to 3B.  The Braves are looking for a contact hitting outfield, preferably CF.  They really want Hunter Pence.  Also interesting, Braves media claim that they have 4 more young pitching studs ready to now jump in the majors.  The Cubs NEVER have that level of depth, that’s ongoing. 

        • paulcatanese

          Pence is a good choice for the Braves. Would be for the Cubs also, but he really has trouble playing RF at Wrigley, looks very uncomfortable there.

  • Daniel

    We all know it’s disappointing that Soto never regained his brilliant form of 2008, but by no means he’s a bad catcher or bad player. Not at all. According to fangraphs he has a 1.7 WAR  this year and is paid a reasonable amount for that.

    And for Beef: he is still only a prospect. It’s easy to like prospects when they’re killing it at the minors, but people seem to forget that they are not guaranteed to become valuable everyday players. A lot of the times, they will not. Might be a good idea to see him catch a least one single ball in the majors before making him our starting pitcher.

  • Tony_Hall

    Wasn’t that a magical start to Fukudome’s MLB career!  It’s too bad that that win, cost $48M.  That is life in the FA market, especially the Japanese FA Market.  You just don’t know how their performance will translate to MLB.  Looking back, I wish we hadn’t been the team of choice, as some other teams, outbid us. How is it we lose, even when we win something?

    • Agustinrexach

      We lost that game, if I correctly recall.

      • Tony_Hall

        Don’t spoil the memory…it was the closest thing we have had to a World Series victory…yet like all of our other memories, we lost…

        ah, life as a Cubs fan…

      • cmschube

        We sure did (4-3 in 10).. sad part was I was at that game and I called Fukudome’s homer!!!

        Woody gave up 3 in the top of the 9th.. we got 3 in the bottom on Fuku’s homer, and then (not suprisingly) Bob Howry gave it up in the 10th..

        Most excited I was during a loss that I can remember.

  • Tony_Hall

    The time to trade Soto is almost gone.  He should have been traded in the off season.  As you say, it is turning into who he is, rather than just a bad season at the plate.  I don’t like paying for catchers, for many reasons I have gone over before, and even with this year, he will get a raise in arbitration.  K Hill needs to be released with Castillo (once back from DL) getting the playing time he should have received last year, at the end of the year.  Clevenger should also get some time in September, actually playing.  If these guys show they can do it, then they should be your 2 catchers for next year.  Of course, Q ball will be Qlueless again, and play his aging vets, down the stretch, and not use this valuable time to see play youngsters, that we need to see playing against major league players.  I don’t want to ruin any confidence, but September especially, is the time to do it.

  • Tony_Hall

    I do not agree that a different manager wouldn’t have made a noticeable difference with this group of players.  This was no playoff team, but being close to 500 could of been accomplished, with a manager that the players respected. 

    It is quite obvious that Q gets no respect in the clubhouse, and the calling out of  the young guys, is because, that is the only players he can call out.  He doesn’t have it in him, to call out the vets, as they don’t respect him at all.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Quade lost the team in ST, for crying out loud. He never dealt with Silva the Crybaby. [Z took lessons from Silva]. This guy has cost us many wins. 

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Rip, and throw his “fundementals” at the top of the list, along with the “manufacturing” of runs. Quade knew what the word “bunt ” meant, but threw all of them out the window as blowing wind.

    • J Daniel

      A different manager would have made a difference but still would not be in contention.  The players know Q is overmatched, they see it on a daily basis.  After a poor start it is easy to start the blame game.

      It is clear for the need of a manager that commands respect and holds players accountable.

      Very easy for them at the end of last season to lobby for Q as again their losing last year could not have been their fault.  Their lobbying for Q is the reason he should not have been hired.  Who cares what they really think, it is their job to go out and produce and when they don’t they blame the manager?  

      Tell me what manager will get Soriano to hit the low and away pitch to right rather than trying to pull it and strike out?

      Who is going to get Fuko to drive in more runs?

      What manager will get Aram and Pena to produce in April and May?

      How about Dempster, who is going to get him to be consistent? 

      Who will get Z to harness himself?

      The point is, bad continual evaluations and not enough grinders.

      • Tony_Hall

        I don’t believe I said that a manager would make them contenders, only that a different manager, could have had this team closer to 500.  A different manager, might have benched the vets and played whoever was the hot hand.  Either way, this team wasn’t going anywhere this year, and decisions should have been made, with a long term vision, instead of JH’s, we are always in it, moves.

        • J Daniel

          No, you didn’t.  You said noticeable and what really is the difference if they are 20 under or 10 under.  The object is to win and they are really challenged in that department.  That is why I mentioned I think it would certainly help but it is ultimately up to player production.  The managers job is to put players in best possible position to individually succeed in order to help the team.  When you start putting DeWitt in lf and the 3 hole, you are killing the team, which the players know.

          At least Lou would say . . . “you saw the game” and “what do you want me to do” which throws it back to player performance.  That is why they didn’t like Lou but I think many of them fail to look in the mirror.

          • Tony_Hall

            Q has made so many dumb mistakes, that even a decent manager would have picked up 10 wins, a good one would be able be just under 500 (within a few games).  Dewitt in the 3 hole and playing in the OF, what more do you need to know, that the guy is Qlueless.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you Tony, and Sandberg caught a break not being named manager for the Cubs, while he would have made the diference in the record,being close to .500, the way the Cubs were forecast to be a contender would have come back to bite him with the fans. Fans want a pennant, and wouldnt care who is manageing, he would have felt the heat. Good break for Sandberg.

  • Tony_Hall

    I still think that ARam will be traded before the Sept 1.  He will clear waivers in August, and I think as we get closer to his family going back to home, that he will accept a trade to a contender.  

    It’s just smart business.  He can always resign with the Cubs, but by taking the chance to play in the playoffs, he can increase his value by having a, Beltran like, playoff performance.  You remember Beltran, making everyone believe he could carry a team on his shoulders.  Houston rented him and he produced 23 HR’s in 90 games, then hit them, seemingly every game, in the playoffs.  Not that ARam can get that kind of contract, but by playing in the spotlight, you can increase your value…then again, maybe ARam knows he hasn’t had good success in the playoffs, and feels he can make the most money, by not being traded.  He just told the reporters, he’s not a good player…

    • GaryLeeT

      If Aramis is traded, he can’t be resigned next year, because his
      contract has a player option that automatically vests for 2012 while the team 2 mil buyout option disappears.
       The consensus is that since they have no MLB ready option for 3rd base, the Cubs will keep him, buy out his remaining year for the 2 million, and then resign him to a 2 or 3 year deal. Ramirez owes the Cubs a huge rebate, so his new contract better not be more than 10 million per.
       Or, if Ricketts just wants to save money, they will go with a Baker-DeWitt platoon. They might as well, because I see no reason to believe the Cubs will be any better next year. How about the team just sheds salaries, and they drop those ridiculous ticket prices?

      • Tony_Hall

        Gary – It has been widely reported, that ARam, would want the 2012 option to be not picked up, if he is traded. He would get that in return for waiving his no-trade clause.  The only reason for him to be traded is to increase his FA value in the offsseason. 

        • GaryLeeT

          He doesn’t want an option that pays him 16 million for 2012? Come on.

          • Tony_Hall

            1 year $16M or hitting the FA, 1 year earlier, to go after a 3 or 4 year, guaranteed contract.  I’m betting Aram’s working and paying attention, just a little more right now.  He is that type of player, playing for a contract.

          • paulcatanese

            I agree, Aram has always been about the money, nothing else. No team spirit, or love of the game(so to speak) all he see’s are dollar signs. Whatever it takes. I’m surprised he dosent have the distance of his home runs over so many feet be included in a bonus.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here it is again.  

            RT @Ken_Rosenthal #Cubs do not expect A Ramirez’s position to change. Here’s what his agent told me:http://t.co/feOaMeL #tradedeadline #MLB about an hour ago

            “Ramirez is earning $14.6 million this season, and the Cubs hold a $16 million club option on him for 2012. The option becomes guaranteed if he is traded, but Kinzer has said that Ramirez would want the option dropped as a condition of any trade, enabling him to become a free agent at the end of the season.”

          • GaryLeeT

            I know you are quoting Rosenthal, but that makes no sense. If Ramirez’s 2012 option was a club option, there would be no need for the 2 million team buyout option that’s in place,  they would simply let him walk. Besides that, his agent is just posturing for leverage, as a good agent should. Let’s face it, because they have no other viable alternative at 3rd, the Cubs will buy out his 2012 option, then sign him to a new deal at something like 3 years for 33 million. Personally, because of his prolific slumps, and stints on the DL, I would wish they let him go, rather than tie up that kind of money for team going nowhere next year.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure what doesn’t make sense.  If the Cubs do not exercise the 2012 option, they owe ARam $2M.  They can’t just let him walk, he gets one or the other.  Very common clause for option years.

          • GaryLeeT

            Again, why would a team have to buy out their own option? The contract clearly states “2 million dollar buy out”  That is, buy out his option, and it is common for a team to be able to buy out a player’s option.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is how it works.  I don’t know why you don’t get it.  The team has the option of keeping for $16M or paying him $2M to let him walk.  This is very standard on all team options.

            A team can’t buy out a player option, it is the players option, not the teams. 

          • GaryLeeT

            Although it is more common for a team to buy out a team option, a team can certainly buy out a player’s option, which IS the case with Ramirez. So, we will agree to disagree, and this horse is officially dead.

          • Tony_Hall

            If we must, but if a team buys out a players option, that is a team option on a players option, or a mutual option, in which the team must pay to buyout the player, if the player chooses to exercise their player option.

            Either way, you can write a contract with any clauses, as long as both parties agree.

            Also, I am glad you now understand that a team could buyout a team option, as you were saying that wasn’t possible, at the beginning of this.

          • GaryLeeT

            But you said that a team can’t buy out a player’s option, when they clearly can. So…… just kidding. I knew it was Ramirez’s option all along, It’s just the realization that our favorite team is going to be very bad for a very long time to come annoyed me to the point that it made me feel like arguing with somebody. I hope there’s no hard feelings?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        There is a lot of speculation that there is no vesting if traded. The problem is his 10/5 rights. You have to give him something to waive them.

        • GaryLeeT

          The something he gets for waiving his rights is an undeserved 16 million for 2012. I guess vesting is the wrong word to use in his case, because it’s his option. According to his contract, only the Cubs can hold a buyout option, which is dropped in any trade.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

             Again I will say that is not going to happen. There was a lot of different takes on it about a month ago and Baseball America said that Cots had this contract wrong. It will Vest if he is named MVP of of the NLCS or World Series but not if he gets traded.

            On a side note you look at the FA avaliable at 3rd and just run producers in general and you are looking at a Jason Werth situation. If Rammy hits FA he will command 13 to 15 for about 3 years.He will be looked at as the cheap option after Fielder and Pujols.

    • Jkuhn

      If they were/are going to trade him, it needs to be done sooner rather than later.  The longer it takes the less in return.  Also, we all need to remember, although Aram has issues, who is replacing him?  That position, on a good team, needs some power numbers and rbi’s.  

      • J Daniel

        Also, he will not resign with the Cubs.  That type of move rarely happens, just like Lilly last year.  That was another bad trade.  You still need players next year.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes they do, and if the Cubs want him back next year, they just need to pick up his option.  

      • Tony_Hall

        Aram controls when he gets traded, and is not going to accept a trade, until he feels like it.  He doesn’t care that his value, decreases every game that goes by.

        • J Daniel

          He really should not care about the value of return on trade if he is concerned.  That is the business side.  If he is going to get trade, and can control it to an extent, then good for him.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe that is what I said.

  • jw

    Very entertaining!!!

  • Ripsnorter1

    My comments about your ramblings–as always, I intended to be both frank and polite. 

    1. Soto is worth much more than a low level prospect. Check out the MLs and see how many catchers are out there. There is a dearth of good catching these days. Soto, imo, will finish hot and the numbers will look good at the end of the season. Here’s what they are right now:9 HR…27 RBI….243 BA…..408 slugging.

    To have a catcher that slugs .400+ is a real benefit. And his power numbers are down because he has no one protecting him in the lineup. Up until fairly recently, Aram was a dog. There is no one in the lineup that scares anybody. 

    Let’s look at qualified catchers in the MLB and check the slugging stats:There are only 5 catchers in all of MLB that outslug Soto:
    McCann ( ATL) .515
    Avila (MN) .475
    Montero (AZ) .472
    Molina (Cards) .438
    Santana (CLE) .413

    That’s it among qualified catchers. 

    How about Batting Average?
    Soto is #7.
    McCann: .306
    Molina .286
    Pierzynski .284
    Montereo .280
    Avila .280
    Wieters .259

    I think Soto will have a strong second half.

    Why throw him away for nothing? 

    If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it is throwing a major league player for minor leaguers who have no chance whatsoever (re: low level prospect) of making it in the bigs.

    Let’s trade Dennis Eckersly–what did we get?
    DeRosa? The Indians got an All-Star closer for him.
    ect.
    ect
    ect

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Keep in mind that Sabean talked about Soto the other day and said the Hendry asked for more than the price for Beltran. I still say good for Jim on this one. Soto has real value. He needs to get a huge return for him.

    • Tony_Hall

      Rip – I know these are fantasy baseball #’s, but fantasy baseball is based on offensive production.  

      In my one league Soto is 16th out of available catchers.

      In the other he is 17th.

      Here are the names:  McCann, Santana, Montero, Martinez, Avila, Wieters, Ianetta, Molina, Arencibia, Martin, Olivo, Buck, Napoli, AJ, Suzuki

      Couple of names not listed, are Posey and Mauer.  

      When I look at Catchers who have enough AB’s, I only see 11 catchers who have qualified:

      McCann, Montero, Avila, Martinez, Molina, Santana, Wieters ,Olivo, Buck, AJ, and Suzuki…no Soto.

      I wouldn’t trade away Soto for nobody, but don’t expect to get alot for this guy…he’s not that great of a bat, and his defense is average at best.

    • GaryLeeT

      Don’t forget that he has the best caught stealing percentage in the NL, in spite of the fact that the Cubs have many pitchers who can’t hold runners close to the bag, and an inexperienced shortstop who has muffed many a throw.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, with two out of three against him, he is catching them.

  • Ripsnorter1

    You know how much they love LaHair by the fact that they brought Colvin up after the Funko trade. I tell you that Cubs’ “management” (I always use that term lightly in regard to the Cubs) hates him. I wonder if he’ll even see the light of day in Wrigley in Sept.

    Colvin’s confidence is shot, and he’s done for life, imo. They should have made him prove himself in AAA before bringing him up again.

    • GaryLeeT

      Not a big believer in the “ruining confidence” as a reason for a player not making it in the Majors. If a player has the ability, and stays healthy, he will make it. Ability creates success, and success creates confidence, not the other way around.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let me say it again–and I’ll take all the heat ya’ll want to throw at me:

    WE AIN’T GOT ANYTHING ML READY IN THE MINOR LEAGUES.

    • Redlarczykg

      I’ll give you one.  Jeffrey Beliveau, a lefty reliever, stuck all season, in AA Tenn.

      W-L  5 – 1  – 1.77 ERA  – 41 in.  only 23 hits –  52 SO against 9 walks and a 0.79 WHIP

      And another would be Welington Castillo.

      • GaryLeeT

        Those are sick numbers, but hey, when you have the talents of a John Grabow or James Russell on your big league team, promotion is hopeless.

        • Calicub

          Nothing wrong with russel in relief as a loogy. Crazy good numbers in relief

        • Redlarczykg

          Jeffrey Beliveau not being promoted to AAA, earlier this year, is an example of the disfunction of the Cubs Farm directors and the GM.

    • Aaron

      Rip,

      I would say that the following guys are ready:
      Castillo
      Clevenger
      Beliveau
      Carpenter
      M. Gonzalez
      LaHair (hell, he even proved while with the Mariners that he could handle big league pitching)
      Maine
      Gaub
      Parker
      Rhoderick
      Dolis
      LeMahieu (he proved in limited duty he could get it done, and has continued hitting in AAA)

      I would say that if Flaherty and Jackson can turn it on in the coming weeks, they’re ready too, based on what they accomplished in AA. I still think Jackson’s hand issues have hampered him nearly all year, so hopefully the offseason will give him time to heal, and prove he belongs. 

      • J Daniel

        Carpenter is ready, just needs experience.  He showed to have the stuff and is much better than the “Bergs, Stevens, . . .” that they have been bringing up.

        Would love to see LeHair get a chance to prove he can’t do it.  Why not at this point, what is there to lose?  Maybe you can prove that you are smarter than everyone thinks, LeHair comes up and fails, and you are/were right.  Otherwise, why still have the guy?

        Any of the catchers has to be a better option than Hill – I really don’t understand this one?

        And Rip, I do agree Soto has value.  It just comes down to one bad out of position guy leading to another and so on.  He should be a #8 hitter and then his value would be tremendous.  But due to all of the other mistakes  everything is out of whack.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        DJ is ready to what? Be a singles hitter in a power spot? He has a good bat but until he gets more power and gets better OBA he needs to be looked at as a backup. He now has 3 extra base hits and 3 walks in 100 PA’s at AAA. Lets be realistic. There is a reason Potential gets GM’s fired.

        Flaherty I thought was almost ready but he needs to get on the stick in AAA.

        Jackson I still think of as DeJesus lite.

         Marwin Gonzalez who I really like is just another version of Darwin Barney. A little better drive off his bat and can play the outfield but not as polished defensively.

         Carpenter, Maine and Graub I agree are ready but we need to move some relief pitching to get them a spot.

         Castillo is hurt. Clevenger is interesting lets see if he was just hot when he was at AAA earlier or if he “gets it”.

        I agree that LaHair deserves a shot and I think he will prove out to be a 4A player. But he does deserve a shot. I assume that LaHair and Colvin at the end of the year will prove to not be everyday players and move on.

        • cubtex

          DJ actually has 4 extra base hits. 3 2B and 1 HR. I agree he doesn’t currently hit with enough thump to play 3rd. He has a middle infielders bat and that is where he should be playing in AAA.

  • J Daniel

    From LA newspaper

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0729-angels-aramis-ramirez-20110729,0,2539810.story

    Says if Angels pick up the remaining 5 million they would not have to part with a top prospect.

    In this case I would be really ticked.  At least 1 top prospect should be returned, if not 2 – and pick up the remaining salary.  If not, no deal!

    • Aaron

      This is a writer simply speculating, kind of like we do on here:

      “What could make Ramirez even more attractive to the Angels is that if they were willing to pay the remainder of his 2011 contract — about $5 million — they probably wouldn’t have to part with a top-tier prospect to acquire him.”

      The operative words here are “could” and “probably”. Now, if they said “according to…” and “reportedly”, then you should be worried.

      I wouldn’t trade ARAM for anything less than 2 Top 10 prospects. After all, the Giants gave up one of the premier pitching prospects in the game in Wheeler for a rental in Beltran, and ARAM has been better than Beltran the past few seasons. I’d ask for Trout straight up (who is starting to look like Brandon Wood, part 2 to them…even though he’s younger), and if they balk at that, I’m asking for Garrett Richards and David Carpenter. 

      • GrantJones7

        Im asking for Richards and Segura

        • cubtex

          No way Angels will part with Trout but Cubs need to insist on Richards and another mid level prospect.

          • GrantJones7

            Im hoping for Richards and Segura as i said, i think if we have to even toss something little in there we have to do it.

          • cubtex

            How about Richards and Fabio Martinez? Have you seen his K numbers? He has terrible command right now but in 103 innings in A ball he has struck out 141 and only given up 80 hits. The downside is he has also walked 76. Cubs need pitching badly and I would hope they can add a couple of quality arms like these 2.

          • cubtex

            Fabio Martinez Mesa.

          • GrantJones7

            I wouldnt be against that trade either

  • Baron_S

    Lol… Roy Williams… Hendry and Jerry Angelo might be brothers 

  • Aaron

    Again, I just wanted to remind you all that some of my suggested acquisitions would have been VERY attractive trade chips at the deadline:
    Melky Cabrera: .297/.333/.453, 66 runs, 130 hits (Castro, our team leader has 131 hits, with ARAM a distant 2nd at 112 hits), 26 doubles, 3 triples, 12 hr, 57 RBIn (…would be 2nd on team to ARAM’s 63 RBI. Pena next closest with 51 RBI), 14 SB (would rank 1st on Cubs to Campana’s 12 and Castro’s 11)

    Franceour: .269/.320/.455, 48 runs, 105 hits, 28 doubles, 3 triples, 13 hr, 61 RBI, 17 SB

    Those guys could command quite a bit on the market right now compared to Baker and Johnson, who, HILARIOUSLY are deemed “untouchable”.

    Cabrera and Franceour are 26 and 27 yrs old respectively. Did you know the Royals are seeking a #3 starter for either of them? That means they’d be seeking a Matt Garza….LOL….what a joke Jim Hendry is….absolute joke.

    I said at the time with regards to signing guys like Cabrera, Franceour, Josh Fields (now in Japan, but was hitting .365/.429/.674 in 50 games with 11 hr, 45 RBI prior to leaving), Milledge, etc., was that you pick up these younger players for pennies on the dollar compared to “seasoned veterans”, and you give them another shot to prove themselves. In most cases, they don’t cost as much as the older veterans, and so the risk is low. You then determine at the deadline if you foresee them being a part of your future. If so, you extend them at a reasonable rate, or you trade them at the deadline if you’re out of the race, and think you need to re-tool. If they end up sucking for you at the MLB level, then you simply cut them, and you don’t lose much at all.

    I’ve never understood why Hendry doesn’t get this concept:
    Buy low, sell HIGH

    Instead, he always buys high, and sells low….ALWAYS….even with DeRosa. Yes, Archer ended up turning into Garza, so you can’t complain there, but he was NOT considered a good prospect at the time of the trade, and as much as Hendry and his scouting department would have you believe that he was key to the trade…he was NOT. In fact, it was Gaub that was key, as they loved his strikeout totals. But Gaub, Stevens (marginal talent), and Archer (horrible control issues at time of trade, and poor results in A-ball) were NOT a good return for a 20+hr, 80+RBI guy that could play anywhere in the IF and OF. Then, the Indians turn around and trade him to the Cardinals for a future closer (All-Star at that) and another Top 10 prospect. NONE of the 3 pitchers the Cubs received were even in the Indians Top 30……..now think about that for a second….oh, and Stevens and Gaub at the time of the trade were old for their respective leagues.

    If Abner Abreu ends up being a solid prospect, then it might go down as Hendry’s 4th solid deal in 10 years:
    ARAM 
    Lee
    Harden
    …being the others. 

    I would’ve included Ceda for Walker, but then moronic Hendry traded him for Kevin freaking Gregg, making that deal a net loss….and I would include Garza in that as well, but Guyer, Archer, Lee, and Chirinos might prove that deal to be a bad trade later on down the line…and Garza going on the DL earlier this year certainly is a bad omen.

  • Aaron

    So….Kinzer now says ARAM willing to accept trade if team is blown up. What the hell is Hendry and the Ricketts waiting for?!?!?

    Hill, Soto, Pena, Baker, Johnson, Soriano, Byrd, Zambrano, Marmol, Grabow, Wells, and possibly even Dempster and Marshall, should be on the block IMMEDIATELY.

    Considering the value that Soto, Marmol, Byrd, Marshall, and ARAM could bring back, I mean….this is as close to a no-brainer as it gets, as you could EASILY re-tool, and if you’re not confident in your prospects’ abilities, then you can try to re-sign ARAM in the offseason, go after Molina (if Castillo and Clevenger aren’t sufficient), and go very hard after Fielder or Pujols.

    It’s a NO-BRAINER. 

    Outside of Marshall, and maybe Marmol….who out of that group can you peg performance numbers on, and be like, “that guy will give us…..” and feel very confident saying it. Soto is all over the board. Byrd, while he has a great average, hasn’t come close to his run production at Texas. ARAM and Pena will be older, and less reliant, and the same can be said for Zambrano and Dempster.

    If the Yankees want Dempster over Zambrano, I’d offer to pay 100% of his remaining salary to get Betances or Banuelos, and just make it a straight-up trade…or offer ARAM along with, and make it one of those pitchers, plus Montero and Venditte….and throw in Soto to make it a no-brainer for them

    • daverj

      Those would be great deals for the Cubs, but the Yanks wouldn’t deal Montero and either Betances or Banuelos for Dempster, ARam, and Soto (even if we ate all the dollars left on the contracts).  Maybe we could get Montero in exchange for all three of them, but that’s about it.

      I just emailed one of my friends whose a huge Yanks fan and he laughed and said he wouldn’t even consider that deal from the Yanks side if the Yanks had to give up Betances or Banuelos.  Teams are very reluctant to give up top prospects this year.

  • Mike1040

    Ryne Sandberg may not have made much of a difference with these players (although I personally don’t believe that) BUT, he would have made a heck of a difference in most of the ridiculous, terrible managing decisions that we have seen Quadsie make.

    • paulcatanese

      I think you are right that he would have made a difference(Sandberg) but as I had said earlier, it was a break that he did not get the job. I would not want to see his reputatioun suffer as it would have coming over as manager of the Cubs. His managerial skills would have indeed have the Cubs with a better record on one hand, but with a better record no one would be entertainig the real purpose, new blood for 2012 and keep most of what should be gone.

  • paulcatanese

    One more thought here, what makes Baker and Jonson untouchables? Really, they are on the brink of not being on any other team, as I have not heard that either one was being that sought after. Both are protecting their status with the DL. If they are on if, no one would pick them up, and they would be beyond the deadline. Thats why JH dosent want to put at least Johnson on the DL and I think Johnson will complain about his back till after the deadline, keeping his spot.

    • jey518

      I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s just convenient that he doesn’t want to go anywhere, and as the deadline approaches, he gets hurt.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let’s see…
      Johnson was released by the Dodgers and Jim Qlueless brought him to ST as a non-roster invitee.Baker was acquired from the Rockies on 2 July 2009 for Al Albuquerque.
      At the time, Mr. Albuquerque was a Single A pitcher with a 2.08 ERA and 23 years on his odometer. Right now he is 5-1 ….2.43 ERA for Detroit Tigers in this his freshman year.

  • Albert

    Baseball America reports that the Cubs have signed Cuban defector RHP Yoanner Negrin — he has the same agent as Boise C Yaniel Cabezas. The Cubs also released C Jose Guevara.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/2011/07/minor-league-transactions-july-21-26/

    • Albert

      Looks like this has already been posted.

      There have been a few mentions of Onelki Garcia Speck on here an elsewhere. Was MLB’s ruling on his case official or is his eligibility still up for review? Jim Callis tweeted a little while back that Speck is a free agent.

       

      • GrantJones7

        Iv heard he is banned/suspended or whatever for a year to sign or anything for his agents showing false documents to make him a FA and not eligble for the draft

  • Skeldor

    What about signing David Wright next year to play 3rd, isn’t he younger than Ramirez?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      there is still questions on his health

      • daverj

        Wright isn’t a free agent after this season.  And, yes, health is a big question mark with him.

    • Ryan7

      yes he is younger and has more time on the DL than Ramirez and also i believe he is owed more money than Ramirez. Also he just had back surgary. Remember the White Sox 3B a few years back u know Creedy, well after his back surgary look at where he is. NOWHERE. Ramirez is the best 3B out there right now and i know he is what 32 now. he might not be in the cubs long term furter but he can be for at last a year or two more untill other 3B come FA or someone sparks in our farm. I dont know just my thoughts on ARAM

  • J Daniel

    Anyone catch the comment made by Byrd yesterday?  It was reported that, when Fuko was talking about being traded, that Byrd yelled across the room “take me with you”.

    Well, most of us would like to see you go with as well.

    • Reggie

      Doesn’t that say everything you need to know about the underlying spirit in the club and the “players favorite” Mike Quade.

  • GrantJones7

     
    Another few draft picks have signed, coupled with the fact we have spent big this year in international signings and supposedly have deals set in place with Dan V, Dunston Jr and Maples, im very happy with all of this. On top of everyone else we signed and Baez will sign. Maybe we can sign Jaquez too!
    I’m very happy with the way the Ricketts are spending right now. If we can start to infuse out farm with serious talent we are set. Here’s some guys in low minors that are going to help, that i can think of off the top of my head, all signed while Ricketts is here
    Jeimer Candelario
    Carlos Penalver  
    Our other Baez in DSL
    Oliver Zapata  
    Marco Hernandez  
    Gioskar Amaya  
    Frank DelValle
    Luis Acosta
    Mark Malave
    Willengton Cruz  
    Yao-Lin Wang  
    Ben Wells  
    Charles Thomas  
    Austin Reed  
    Yaniel Cabezas     
    Reggie Golden  
     
    Now our 2011 Draft, who we have signed or reportedly signed, that has good potential
    Javier Baez, going to sign
    Dan Vogelbach, reportedly has a deal in place
    Zeke DeVoss, signed
    Tony Zych, haven’t heard much lately, but should get done.
    Tayler Scott, heard he just signed.
    Neftali Rosario, signed
    Trevor Gretzky, signed
    Danny Lockhart, signed
    Shawon Dunston Jr, I have heard we have a deal in place with him
    Dillon Maples, also heard we have a deal in place with him
    Paul Hoilman, signed and doing very well
    Ben Klafczynski, signed
    Michael Jensen, signed, overslot deal, did not think e would get him
    Taiwan Easterling, signed, has shown some great promise also, Szczur 2.0?
    Arturo Maltos-Garcia, signed, was told he wasn’t going to sign but he did, I don’t know much about him admittedly though
     
    Ricketts is working on the farm and has put out some serious cash to infuse our low minors, which will eventually lead to them coming up, and trading for proven stars.
    I like where were heading as of right now, but the MLB club is still a MESS.

    • cubtex

      100 % agree. Very excited to see the money used to sign international players and mlb draft. They are doing a nice job signing alot of these picks. I still have my doubts Maples will sign….but even without him….very impressive.

      • GrantJones7

        I wouldnt be surprised if he didnt sign, but everything a couple trusted people have said it that the cubs are very close with him

    • Brentcarmona

      you sir are mr optimism. maples, zych and tayler scott have been rumored to be difficult signings. all ive heard from baez, dan v and dunston were rumors they signed from bloggers only. i hope wherever uve heard these rumors are legit sources.

      • GrantJones7

        Maples is supposedly close, Zych i havnt seen anything against him signing and I swear i saw that Scott signed today..but i cant find it. Hm.

        And on Baez, he hasnt signed yet but i have 0 doubts he wont sign, Dan V iv heard at several places hes signed and Dunston has been going to more then a couple I Cubs and other Cubs games, and has said he wants to sign.

        I hope what iv heard is right, we could have some elite players coming up in a few years..

        • Brentcarmona

          i really hope we get maples or scott. maples probably will be ready earlier than scott since he seems kinda raw right now. but i do share your hopes that ricketts will step his game up. if i had to take a wild guess id say both scott and maples will sign, off of a hunch.

          • GrantJones7

            If we can sign all those guys, we would have the best draft in the league this year, maybe behind the Rays.

            Im hopefully that they sign

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ya’ll can say I don’t know what I’m talking about, but Mr. Bowden, former Reds GM,  agrees with me: Jim Qlueless got robbed in the trade.

    Here’s what he said: (And I quote)
    “The Indians’ interest in Fukudome increased due to injuries to outfielders Grady Sizemoreand Shin-Soo Choo. However, they were not willing to part with the prospects that it was going to take to acquire players like Josh Willingham from Oakland or Ryan Ludwick from San Diego, so they settled for Fukudome when they found out they could get him for a couple of non-prospects.”

    Note the words: “Non-prospects.” 

    He also wrote: “The key to the trade for the Cubs was Abreu. They like his size, tools and power potential. He has the ability to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases but his bat tools are a huge question. Many scouts don’t think he’s going to hit enough to play in the major leagues. The 21-year-old hit .244 for high Class A Kinston this year and has a career minor league OBP in more than 1,500 plate appearances. 
    Smith, who’s 25, was the Indians’ 21st round pick in the 2004 draft. Pitching for Triple-A Columbus this year, he has a 4.50 ERA in 46 innings with a WHIP of 1.413.”

    So the Cubs saved $700,000. Okay, that’s the real reason they made the trade.

    Here’s his grade of the trade:
    “GRADES

    INDIANS: C
    Fukodome is actually an upgrade offensively and is a better defender than most of the other trade targets they were chasing.

    CUBS: D+
    At least they finally moved Fukudome and saved some money in the deal while opening up right field to give Colvin a legitimate chance for the rest of the season and find out if he’s a regular player or a fourth outfielder. The return of Abreu and Smith was disappointing. The Cubs would have been better off trying to get a low-A arm who at least had a chance to pitch in the majors.”

    • cubtex

      Rip…….The way you were bashing FUNKO everyday… you would think you would be thrilled anybody would even take FUNKO. Now you are complaining on not getting back enough???

      • Ripsnorter1

        I wanted more money back.

        He stinks, its true. I think he’ll set the record for fewest RBIs per year.

      • cubtex

        He give the Tribe a C as a grade. Looks pretty even according to his grades.

      • John_CC

        Rip’s cynicism is so deep that I have given trying to decipher whether he is being sarcastic or serious anymore.  And I like it, Rip, don’t take offense, I do thoroughly enjoy your cynicism! 

  • Dorasaga

    “Struggling [..] B-Jax and Flaherty… There is absolutely
    NO reason to bring either of them up until they prove they can hit at
    that level.”

    No, they don’t. Castro was never in Iowa.

    “Bryan LaHair’s… Just a perfect example
    of another AAAA player for the Cubs.”

    This sounds ambiguous.

    Flaherty, Lemahieu, LaHair… The Ricketts need to fulfill his promise: The Cubs need to play young, and give them at-bats everyday.

    We don’t need to care how they are performomg down at AAA. Give them playing time at the Major League level. We need to see what they CAN DO, not what they DID. There’s really little challenge for a pro who succeeded in AA, advanced to AAA, and been there with the Big league boys in either spring training or a week or a month of call-ups.

    We also need to realize that ALL players have cold streaks and hot streaks. Even the best player of the best can get unlucky and stay cold for almost a month, before he turns hot (again). Mark Teixeira comes to mind as one example; who cares how he hits in April? or even June?

    If called up Brett Jackson in September (with the expanded roster), he might be cold and struggle. Or he might get hot and hit. Doesn’t matter. He needs to come to Spring Training 2012 MENTALLY PREPARED. If he’s prepared, his talent should make him stay. The rest is up to the Cubs management.

    Find them at-bats. Don’t stall the youth movement.

  • Cheryl

    The cubs probably didn’t get as much as they could for Fuku but one thing for sure he’s better off with his new team than with the cubs. For Byrd to say what he did “take me with you” tells you what the other vets wish. It would have been much better to have put a leash on what Hendry could do. One thing we don’t know – was J.H. told to get rid of players no matter what it costs? If he was, then that might explain the rumors of cash to ayone who takes Soriano or Zambano.