The All-Star … and a Few Cubs Rumors

Starlin Castro entered the 82nd All-Star Game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Castro pinch ran for Troy Tulowitzki and remained in the game at short.

Starlin Castro stole second and third and became the first player to swipe two bags in an All-Star game since Kenny Lofton in 1996. Castro was thrown out at home on a contact play when Rickie Weeks tapped back to Jordan Walden (Angels).

At the plate, Castro was 0-for-1 in his first All-Star Game (struck out swinging against Brandon League). In the field, Castro committed a throwing error in the ninth.

Starlin Castro threw out Paul Konerko at first base to end the 82nd All-Star Game. The Senior Circuit beat the Junior Circuit 5-1.

Brett Jackson, Ryan Flaherty, Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Szczur and others will be wearing new jerseys when play down on the farm resumes. The Smokies open a six-game series on the road against the Mississippi Braves on Wednesday night … and the new-look I-Cubs kickoff a four-game series against Oklahoma in Des Moines on Thursday.

The Triple-A All-Star Game is Wednesday night. Bryan LaHair, John Gaub and Welington Castillo will represent the I-Cubs at the 24th annual Triple-A All-Star Game. LaHair is the starting first baseman for the Pacific Coast League and the game will be carried live on the MLB Network from Salt Lake City beginning at 8:00pm CDT.

And there is a team that is interested in trading for Koyie Hill … here’s the update.

Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPNChicago, here are the highlights …

  • Levine has not heard about the Pirates possible interest in Carlos Pena but he has heard about the Pirates possible interest in Aramis Ramirez.
  • Levine said Hendry would be willing to move either Pena or Ramirez “if they could get some ready-made players back.”
  • Levine thinks Aramis Ramirez will still be with the Cubs by August 1 despite the fact the Cubs have received a lot of inquiries about him.
  • The Cubs would like to trade Alfonso Soriano. Levine indicated a deal would not have to be done by the deadline to move Soriano … Soriano could be dealt in August like Derrek Lee was a year ago.
  • Levine has heard the Giants are interested in Koyie Hill.
  • Brian Harper thinks Ryan Flaherty could be a starter at the big league level. Flaherty has played every position but pitcher and catcher for Harper this season according to Levine.
  • The Cubs will not trade Matt Garza.
  • According to Levine, there is a good chance Brett Jackson will be the Cubs starting centerfielder by August 1.
  • With the way the team has performed this season, no one’s job is too secure at this point according to Levine … and that includes Mike Quade.
  • Aramis Ramirez may be back next season but there is no chance Kosuke Fukudome returns.

Brett Jackson, Ryan Flaherty and Moves Down on the Farm
The Cubs will formally announce several roster moves down on the farm by Thursday. The most notable are Brett Jackson and Ryan Flaherty to Iowa, Jae-Hoon Ha to Tennessee and Matt Szczur to Daytona.

According to Bruce Miles, “depending on what deals the Cubs make, it’s possible you’ll see Jackson, LeMahieu and/or Flaherty in Chicago this season.”

Well, there’s the update on the slowest sports day of the year … and I’m sticking to it.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • gocubs

    Why not resign Fukudome to play RF next year?  He wants to stay in Chicago and I bet we could sign him for cheap.  His OBP and play in RF will be missed.

    Jackson CF
    Castro SS
    Fielder 1B
    Ramirez 3B
    Fukudome RF
    Soto C
    Soriano LF
    Barney 2B

    If we can trade Soriano, then you play Colvin in LF.  Szczur needs another year.  

      

    • Agustinrexach

      The Cubs managers and their crazy lineups….I would not bring Fuku back, but I can’t think of a guy better fit to bat 8th in the national league. High obp, works the count, walks a lot and good defense. He’s simply out of order since day one.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You might be the only Cubs’ fan wanting Funko back. He might set a record this year for the fewest RBIs by a starting RF in the entire history of MLB. It is almost impossible not to get 50 RBI in 550 PA, but Funko is giving it a run.

      No, I don’t want the $48 million dollar bust to be resigned for any price. He’s blocking a possible winner from our farm system. He’s aging. He won’t get better. He costs too much. 

      • Cheryl

        Rip, Funko does work the count. He has more patience than a lot of the cubs and he fields well but his rbi total is not the best, I agree.

      • gocubs

        RBI is dependent on guys being on base in front of you.  He hits lead-off, and there is rarely guys on base in front of him.  RBI is a deceiving stat.  Guys with lots of RBI generally have those because they hitting in the middle of a lineup with LOTS of opportunities to get hits with guys on base.  

        • Ripsnorter1

          Well, the facts are these (so says Baseball Reference)>

          Funko, batting .275, has been up 58 times in 2011 with RISP and has 1 HR and 10 RBI. His RBI AVERAGE WITH RISP would be 10 for 58, or .172.Funko has been up 89 times with runners on, and has those same 1 HR and 10 RBI. That means he has driven nobody in from 1B all year long. His RBI AVERAGE (total) would be 10 for 89, or about .111.

          Compare that across the ML Right Fielders. . . .
          Jay Bruce, batting .268, in 81 AB with RISP, has 6 HR and 39 RBI.  That’s a .481 average.Jay Bruce, total men on, is 145 AB, 9 HR, 45 RBI, or .310 in total RBI average.

          Francouer, KC’s RF, whom I don’t care much for, is hitting .265 overall. 

          With runners in scoring position, he is 41 for 103, or .398.With runners on, he is 48 for 180, or .267.

          AND I AM NOT SHOWING YOU RFs WHO HIT FOR MORE AVERAGE THAN FUNKO, BUT LESS!

          FACT: FUNKO HAS HALF THE RBI OF THE WORST RF IN THE GAME!
          Ichiro has 23. DeJesus has 24.Funko has 12.

          He’s bad. He does not drive in runs. You cannot win without run producers. He is not a run producer in a run producer position.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I saw a blurb the other day that said that no MLB team ever went an entire year without at least one 50 RBI guy/

          • Baron_S

            Really, are deluded people still wanting Fukudome back?

            Who cares if he gets on base — he CANNOT hit! Not for Average or Power… He is a very poor mans Ichiro… puhleeze!

          • gocubs

            Again, RBIs are just a sample size issue.  Not much more than that.  58 AB with men in scoring position is not a lot.    

    • J Daniel

      Colvin can’t hit.

    • diehardcubfan

      I agree with your lineup except for Fukudome.  He will not be back.  Also, DJ might beat out Barny for the 2B job next year.  I think it will look like this:

      Jackson CF
      Castro SS
      ARAM 3B
      Fielder 1B
      Soto C
      Colvin/Byrd RF
      Soriano LF (unless he is traded)
      Barney/DJ 2B

      I personally think the Cubs should keep Byrd one more year especially since Colvin has been inconsistent and not sure yet what we are going to get from him and Szczur is at least a year away still.

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

      I still think it is a little early to get into lineups for next year because we have no idea who we will get back in trades that are ready to go but I will try and get put some idea’s for trade in our line up

      Jackson CF: just because I do not think there is a serious push for a center fielder and we all know how Chicago is with crowning the next big thing.

      Castro SS : our next superstar is in his hole for the next 10 to 15 years hopefully

      Ramirez 3rd: this is a crap shoot but I see him back

      Chris Davis 1st: we were real close to getting him last offseason and I think  he is one of the guys that Hendry still has a crush on. I think that a Fukudome trade with us picking up most of his salary for the stetch could really work here just because of the health of most of the OF’s in Texas is lacking. It won’t be strait up but it will be a starting point. I would really love to get a Lars Anderson as well so we can have them fight for playing time and those 2 as a left/right combination at first would be impressive. Davis can also play 3rd and has gotten time in the corner OF spots. Could really do us some good so we will see.

      Soriano LF: I actually give this a 25% of not happening. It all depends on how much money Ricketts is willing to eat to turn the page.

      Flaherty RF: Yes I think we could have 2 rookies in our outfield next year with Flahtery playing all over the place like DeRosa did.

      Soto C: Don’t see him moving yet. The offseason is a totally different conversation depending how Castillo/Clevanger progress with a September call up or before if by chance Levine is right and we get something for Hill. Wait I still laughing at that last thought.

      Barney/DJ 2nd: I do not see DJ developing any power yet but his bat could keep him in the conversation for 2nd if Barney doesn’t show to be an everyday player

      As you see I did not put any FA’s in the lineup because well I just do not know if the Cubs will be adding or not. They may resign Rammy and use some money to build a better pitching staff and let this team build for a couple years. I just do not know yet.

      If you noticed half of the guys in this lineup can play mutiple positions and allow who ever the manager is to really use the match ups to his advantage.

      • diehardcubfan

        Richard, will have to disagree with that the Rangers would have any intereest in Fukudome.  They have a beast playing RF in Nelson Cruz and the health of their OF is not an issue.  I could see the Rangers possibly going back after Marlon Byrd since they know him and he would fit their needs better than Fukudome.

        I agree with you bringing in Chris Davis would be intriguing and maybe if the Cubs offered Wood and Byrd for him might happen but I do not see the Cubs trading Wood at this point. 

        Now Marmol on the other hand to the Rangers might not be a bad idea. The Rangers middle relief has struggled and I think the right mix of prospects to include Davis in that mix and the Cubs including Byrd might get them a decent catch.

        I think Marmol and Byrd to the Rangers would be the way to get Davis in the trade.  It remains to be seen though whether he can be a everyday player having him watched him in the past.

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

          The reason I mentioed Fukudome to Texas is that everyone of there outfielders have been on the DL this year and he is a plus defender. They do not need more offense. I was actually thinking of Grabow and Fukudome to balance out the trade with needs but the amount of money that would have to switch hands to get Davis would be huge.

          • diehardcubfan

            Personally, I cannot think of one team in the pennat hunt that would want Fukudome.

            I think in the end the Cubs will be stuck with him til the end of the year and then just not resign him. 

            I just to not think Fukudome brings enough to the table to justify and contender making that kind of investment, that includes his defensive skills.  To me there are better options in regards to 4th OFs then Fukudome that are available and that includes Reed Johnson in that club.

          • gocubs

            Why wouldnt a team in the pennant hunt want a guy with huge OBP skills and above average defensive skills in RF?  

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

            Yep that was kind of my take on it. He is exactly what they are not. Glove first Out fielder whose job it is to get on base and can play all three outfield positions well.

          • diehardcubfan

            Personally, I do not recall Fukudome every playing LF and his play in CF was limited due to his range that is one big reason the Cubs moved him back to RF and brought in Byrd to play CF.

          • diehardcubfan

            Agree that his OBP and defensive skills are plus but not his bat.  You would also then be making an argument the Cubs should keep him.  The Cubs have had him for a while now and his stats do not justify the investment nor in my opinion do they warrant the Cubs offering a contract.  Now I could see the Cubs possibly offering a 1 year deal to Fukudome if they feel Colvin is not the solution but just not seeing it. 

            Also, if his OBP and defensive skills were in demand then last year would
            have been better to have traded him since he would still be under contract.  Also remember, Fukudome has a limited no trade clause.

            Also, can’t see a team wanted to take on his salary and knowing he is not locked up next year.  Marlon Byrd though on the other hand a much better option.  Byrd and Reed to me are much easier to trade than Fukudome.

        • John_CC

          I would hope for a helluva lot more than Chris Davis if you are including Marmol.

          • diehardcubfan

            Agree, that is why I stated that the Rangers provides some high level prospects in the trade.  Or, I if the Cubs include Big Z or Dempster would love to get Derek Holland and prospects along with Chris Davis.

  • Demitri

    Jackson the starting center fielder possibly by august 1, means byrd may be out. We clear a little more salary and HOPEFULLY get a decent prospect

    • Ripsnorter1

      If only it could be so!

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Brewers traded for K-Rod. I am somewhat surprised. K-Rod, if he finishes 55 games, has a contract that will vest next year for $17.5 million. Yup, the Brewers have John Axleford as their closer. But what if he gets injured? K-Rod has already finished 34 games. And he just fired his agent and hired Scott Boras. 

    What was Milwaukee thinking? And they also threw in two players to be named later. I am sure there were cheaper options out there.

    • cubtex

      They are all in for this year! They will lose Fielder and others next year. Small market teams need to do it this way. Same when they aquired CC a couple of years ago.

      • cubtex

        I am sure the contract issue was discussed between the 2 teams and money will be exchanged as well.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Levine, unfortunately, doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    Quade ain’t going nowhere. He’s signed for next year, and P.K.Ricketts isn’t going to pay him to stay home. 

    The Giants are interested in Koyie Hill? Why not? The rest of the SF Giants team doesn’t hit either. He’d fit right in. 

    Jackson won’t be up here until September, if then. He’s blocked by Soriano, who won’t be traded, and by Byrd, who won’t be traded, and by Funko, who won’t be traded. That is the news that Levine should have reported.

    Just don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

    • J Daniel

      Agreed that Soriano won’t be traded, can’t see anyone taking on the rest of the salary and would be SHOCKED to see the Cubs eat a large portion of the remaining.  Could possibly see Byrd or Fuko being traded as they are cheap rentals but would only be used by a team as an extra guy.  No team trying to win a world series would have either of them as a starter.

    • Aaron

      Levine, also happens to be morphing into Phil Rogers right before our very eyes. The guy is a complete homer for Hendry and the Ricketts….I can’t think of the last “rumor” he broke in the news that actually came true.

      If Buster Olney starts saying something, then I might start believing….but even Olney hasn’t been on top of things recently. He’s still more reliable in my opinion than Miles, Levine, Rogers, etc.

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

        I know that you have a legit beef with Levine. He seems to be the new Ricketts/Hendry talking head for ESPN but Buster Olney is seriously horrible dude. I keep going back to last year when he stated there was no way the Rangers were going to get Cliff Lee a day before they traded for him. On the East Coast teams he has a 50% chance of being close but you get out of his comfort zone and he is a joke. I would rather listen top Tim Kurtjyn ( I can never spell his name right) because he doesn’t ever get into this rumor stuff and just spends his time analyzing what is actually happening.

        • Aaron

          I totally forgot about that…you’re absolutely right about him saying Lee to Texas wasn’t going to happen. You’re also right about Timmy K. He’s a good one. If he does happen to talk about rumors, usually they’re substantiated, and he references sources, etc., then analyzes it.

          I totally agree with you on that…my bad….I also said in my post that Olney hasn’t been on top of things recently :) 

           

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

            I remember that Olney kept saying the Yankee deal was done and they were working on an extention with Lee. Then when the Rangers got him he was totally fooled it was classic.

    • The Maven

      This doesn’t surprise me, Levine has been putting out this dreck for years and no one has called him on it. I’ve been saying it for a long time that Levine is nothing more than a shill for the house.

  • J Daniel

    Best comment from Bruce LeVine, the fact is the Cub players are not very good.  That is almost always the answer, get better players.  There is always so much talk about who is going to be traded but I don’t see to much action.  I believe that there is not much value in most of the players either due to money left on a contract (Soriano) or they are just not that good (Baker, Johnson, Fuko, . . .).  If they were any good the Cubs would not have the second worst record and be so low in every statistical category pointed out here yesterday.

    The players they have that have high value (Garza, Marmol, Dempster) won’t be moved.

    Here is to hoping that all of these prospects they have, and we have heard how good their prospects were going to be repeatedly, can play!

  • wrigleyhawkeye

    No way does Chicago bring Ramirez back next year, not for the amount of money on his contract.  They would have to renegotiate to something less than $10M– should anyway.  As for Fukudome, they could get him cheaper than he is now, but other teams may be willing to pay more (Giants).  He is a great fielder and decent hitter.  That being said, Chicago is pretty deep in the OF so they may choose to go younger there.

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

    I think that someone should be keeping a log at this point on all the stuff Levine talks about. I would love to see how accurate his predictions are. I think if the truth were known his rate of being right would be horrible.

    • cubtex

      Throw enough sh## against the wall….something might stick

  • cubtex

    Let the trades begin! Hopefully they can make some deals to get back some minor league starting pitching prosoects. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is the biggest area of concern. Last in the league says it all. I heard Gene Michael from the Yanks interviewed and he basically said they are always open to trade prospects to help the team win. He also said Banuelos and Betances are not ready yet. Nova is another name that I can see the Yanks try to dangle. The Cubs need to add arms to compete for next year. The free agent market is light and demand for starting pitching could be worse than last year.

  • John_CC

    All speculation, opinion and hearsay…but thanks for the update on the slowest sports day of the year, Neil.  Honestly, this must be one of the most productive work days of the year in America! 

  • cc002600

    Bring Fuk back ?

    3 HR, 11 RBI’s – That’s all I need to say.

    NO WAY

    No F’ ing way.

    • gocubs

      If he would sign for a few mil…why not?  He has the highest OBP on the team and plays a great RF.  At the very least, as a bench guy he would be extremely valuable.  

      • cc002600

        because he’s not worth a “few mil”
        He’s a good RF, not great…and he’s not fast enough to play CF. His arm is  average at best. 

        I would much rather have Campana or Reed Johnson for a fraction of the cost.
         
        I don’t understand the fascination with this guy.  His skill set is so limited.

        • John_CC

          Reed Johnson is so much better than Fukudome. 

          Gocubs, why the obsession with OBP? .370 is good, yes, but his OPS is .750, that is not good for RF.  His SB success rate is just over 50%. His average RBI per season is just about 50, though this year he is shooting for 30! 

          On my team, a 4th OF/bench player needs to be able to pinch hit, not pinch walk. He has to be a productive hitter that can drive in runs. A .370 OBP isn’t so good that it weighs out the other facts.

          Fukudome has to be one of the biggest busts ever. Look at his  four year’s stats and imagine paying almost $50 million for that, pathetic. 

          • cc002600

            I Could not agree more.

            TOTAL BUST

          • gocubs

            Reed Johnson is statistically NOT a more valuable player than Fukudome.

            In 9 seasons Johnsons WAR is a 6.0.  In 4 seasons Fukudome’s is 8.3. 

            Sorry guys, but Fukudome has been a superior player and more productive in just 4 years than Johnson has been in 9.

            Johnson’s dWAR is -1.22  Fukudome’s is 2.8.

            Johnson had a productive year in 2006, but other than that Fukudome is a superior player.    

            Take a look…
            http://www.baseball-reference.com/compare.cgi?top=/players/f/fukudko01.shtml
             

          • Jmill76

            Let me ask you a question.
            Can you explain to me in lay man’s terms how WAR is calculated ? I have been reading the definition on baseball reference, and quite frankly, I partially understand it, but I really don’t understand how you or anyone else can use this stat as the be-all end-all for dermining a player’s worth. It seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors to me.

            My point is this, while I like some of the new stats that are out there, I think that many people get carried away with them.  I’ve heard Bill James say that anyone who relies ONLY on stats to determine a player’s value is a moron. You have to rely on the eye test as well, since stats do not pick up everything. And he invented some of these stats.

            And yes, I get that Fuk has been batting leadoff and therefore has not had the same amount of RBI opportunities as guys batting 3rd or 4th, but do you understand how incredibly pathetic it is to have only 11 RBI’s at this point in the season ?  That would be bad for a part-time utility infielder. Come on.  That’s beyond pathetic.

          • gocubs

            WAR is about as far from “smoke and mirrors” as you can get and as close to actual player player as you can get.  

            In laymans terms…

            from: http://www.quora.com/How-valuable-a-baseball-stat-is-WAR-Wins-Above-Replacement

             WAR is a general term used to describe the framework of comparing every player to a theoretical “replacement level” player. It consists of:- A measure of components of a players’ skill. For position players it is at minimum batting prowess and defense, for pitchers it is pitching skill (although some implementations try to incorporate as much as possible, including pitcher defense, pitcher batting, position player baserunning, etc).- A positional adjustment based on difficulty of fielding that position- A baseline “replacement level” (I’ll go into this a little more in a second)- Is expressed in terms of winsReplacement level is defined as, depending on the implementation of the framework, something like “freely available talent.” Players that are hanging around AAA, the last bench guy on a NL team, etc that could be acquired for a couple of farmhands or a C- prospect. The general consensus is that a team of replacement level players would win approximately 45-50 out of 162 games, and a replacement level player is very close to 2 wins below average.The framework is important because it’s how baseball players are valued. Right now, the average value for a win above replacement on the free agent market is around $4 million. So if a league average (2 WAR) player suddenly came onto the market, teams would ostensibly offer a contract worth something around $8 million per annum. The framework is also applied in valuing contract extensions and contracts for players that are still under team control (not free agents), although the math gets a little more tricky.For more in depth reading, this article on Fangraphs is fantastic:http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/

          • Brp921

            I did look at baseball reference. I looked at the career 162 game average of both players. Reed Johnson is hands down more valuable than Fukudome in my opinion. I don’t pay much attention to all the new stats that people have come up with in the fantasy baseball age. When you compare the career stats of both players I don’t see how you can believe there isn’t a big separation between the two. Fukudome is not terrible he just isn’t worth what JH thought he was. The only advantage I can see for Fukudome is at this stage in both of their careers he is more durable and can play a full season, Johnson however on a part time basis has out produced him

    • gocubs

      RBI is dependent on guys being on base in front of you.  He hits
      lead-off, and there is rarely guys on base in front of him.  RBI is a
      deceiving stat.  Guys with lots of RBI generally have those because they are
      hitting in the middle of a lineup with LOTS of opportunities to get
      hits with guys on base.  His value is in his great OBP skills and his defense. 

  • K57vince

    Does anyone know if the cubs would have enough money to sign albert pujols and prince fielder maybe put albert at 3b

    • John_CC

      60 MILLION Dollars – per year – for 2 positions?  With Soriano, Demp and Z that would put the payroll over $100M! — for 5 players! 

  • cc002600

    Question: is there something wrong with Joe Buck ?

    I always thought he was one of the worst announcers I’ve ever heard, but now he sounds even worse, if that’s possible. 

    He has to be the dullest play-by-play announcer I’ve ever heard. It’s like listening to paint dry. I thought Kaspar was boring, but Buck is worse.

    When something exciting happens on the field, gee, would it be a crime if the play-by-play guy got excited too ?    This is sports for crying out loud, not a mass.  I don’t get it.   They have ZERO passion.

    • John G

      This should answer your question.

      http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/feed/2011-07/mlb-allstar-game/story/joe-buck-says-voice-getting-stronger

      Yes, he is boring. But he has an excuse for being even more boring.

      • cc002600

        Thanks.

        Are you and I the only people out there that find this guy boring ?

        I can’t stand to listen to the guy.  It just amazes me that he is their “marquee” announcer.  Well, I guess he has the right last name. what a joke.

        • John_CC

          I can’t stand him either.  Boring and strange at the same time…not easy to achieve.

    • Reggie

      I just switch the sound off when Buck comes on.  Truly awful.  One of the jobs of a play by play announcer is to be entertaining and draw in viewers who maybe flicking through channels, Buck couldn’t draw flies with a mouthful of dog dirt.

    • roseyc

      Nobody is as boring as Kaspar. But Buck sounds as if he isn’t interested in what he’s doing. By the way how can an organization hit a homerun with the hiring of Keith Moreland with Pat Hughes on radio they are a delight. Then hit a loud foul with 5 more years of Kaspar

      • Mike1040

        I respectfully disagree. I find the Kaspar/Brenly combo to be vastly interesting, maybe the best in baseball. I have always found Pat Hughes to be a little boring, but thankfully Ronnie and Keith were able to liven things up a bit. I’m hoping for more than 5 more years. Go Len and Bob.

  • roseyc

    How about Soriano for Adam Dunn? If the White Sox  would take on Zambrano the better. The logic on Dunn is that Dunn hits better in the NL and they won’t to rid themselves of that contract and Soriano at DH and new start might hit better with Ozzie…It’s a win – win situation in a loose-loose situation….just a thought but both teams at this point are stuck with the contracts

    • cubtex

      Rosey….I didn’t think it could be possible…but that would make the Cubs defense even worse :)

      • roseyc

        Well the only way we can get rid of Soriano is to take on another bad contract. Considering the Bradley/Silva deal Dunn is least we can do..Dunn can play first base as well. Dunn has always hit good at Wrigley. I’m just so tired of watching Soriano swinging and missing those outside sliders

        • cubtex

          I agree to try and move Soriano to the AL. I just would hate to add a high strikeout….defensive liability like Dunn.

      • Mike1040

        Dunn is really struggling, and I don’t think the league he is in has anything to do with it. The LAST thing we need is a defensive brick at first base with all the questionable throws coming from mr. no hustle Aram, and Castro. We are so spoiled with Lee and Pena in that department.

        • cubtex

          Agreed!

    • John_CC

      I think the White Sox might actually bite on deal for Aramis and Zambrano.  Ozzie and Z are best buddies. The need a 3B so bad.  Kenny might just go for broke, it’s his last chance with this sqaud and Ozzie. 

  • cubtex

    Jim Bowden was discussing ARam yesterday saying that he would be surprised if he didn’t waive the clause in his contract where he would be paid 16 mil if he is traded. Bowden basically said if the Cubs said….Listen, there is no way we will pick up that option, but we can trade you to a contender where you have a chance to play in a WS…he would be foolish not to want to do that. He could increase his value as well if he plays well for the contender and make more money on his next contract. That makes sense to me!

    • cc002600

      Yea, but that assumes you can find a team willing to pay him $16M for next year. BIG assumption.

      • cubtex

        Sorry for not making that clear…but Aram would have to waive that clause so the team who aquires him would not be on the hook. Aram will still be a free agent next year.

      • John_CC

        You missed the first sentence…Bowden speculating that Aramis would waive the option clause for the very reason of being traded to a contender.

        But that is pure speculation and more talking head blather to feed the rumor mill.  No way in hell will Aramis’ agents waive that clause! They know that Hendry will pick it up. 

      • guest

        I believe cubtex was trying to say IF he would waive the clause that promised him 16 million next year…but i could be mistaken either way I think it’d be best for the cubs to try to move ARam for whatever pitching prospects they can get in return as that would help us the most going forward…key words going forward

        • cubtex

          Yes. That is what I was trying to say.

  • Rbmercer

    Great to read on ESPNChicago.com that Ryno would be open to come back to manage the Cubs. He says he is surprised at their struggles and not surprised Castro and Barney are excelling. He also said there are other youngsters on their way.

    The most telling indictment was him saying how interesting it is to see how a different organization operates. He basically says by reading between the lines that he can see why the Phillies are successful and the Cubs are not because of the how their organization is run.

    • paulcatanese

      It may be great reading, but read between the lines at what he said in your’e first paragraph. “surprised at their struggles” I would question his level of intellegence. Is he saying that he cannot understand why? Number one, if he were to come back to the Cubs with the same management in force, he would be a fool. Their is no way that anything would change at all.

      It’s true that it is interesting how other orginizations are successful and the Cubs are not. Any high school program is run better than the Cubs. He would not change things any time soon, if at all.

      I just do not understand where fans make statements that Sandberg would be the saving grace of the Cub orginization. Anyone and I mean anyone that comes in to this idiotic pretense of a major league franchise and thinks they are going to make a difference are blowing bubbles in the wind.

      Not until Ricketts or whoever buys the team and makes a clean sweep up and down of management will their be a chance of any improvement of the franchise. It will just not happen until then. Sandberg would sell some tickets for a while and then it would be back to square one. Sorry but Sandberg would not make the difference right now.

      • Rbmercer

        Sorry, I do NOT question the level of his intelligence. Ryno is a Cub and not an outsider. He knows the ins and out of what it is to be affiliated with the Cubs. No surprises for him, he has dealt with everything that comes with it.

        Where I think he would make a difference is game mgmt, talent evaluation, and holding guys accountable.

        I do think if we got a fresh start and a new direction in the front office along with Ryno managing that would be best case scenario.

        However, with his input on talent and moves to make and his leadership even with the same upper mgmt, he would make an immediate difference.

        There might also be a chance that Maddux would join his staff as pitching coach.

        Also, I always think it makes a difference when trying to recruit free agents to have someone that draws them in that is valid and guys respect and want to play for.

        Questioning his intelligence???? C’mon man!

        • paulcatanese

          Thats my point, he knows the Cubs.I’m sorry, but anyone who would want to be associated with the present situation of management and who would willingly come in to manage with JH and the rest of them, I would question their sanity.

          A fresh start and a new direction?  With this front office, I don’t think so. You have an owner who really does not know what he is doing, and JH still there?
          I think you mis understood what I was trying to point out. Everything you say about Sandberg is true, just not with the Cubs and present Manaagement.

          And trying to recruit free agents, maybe, but they have agents, say Boras,
          do you really think they care about Sandberg? They don’t even care about the players they represent, let alone Sandberg.

          I think Sandberg is a nice guy,always have, but I didn’t want to see him take the job last year either, why put him in a position like that? Until it’s a clean sweep with management I would not like to see him there.

      • Brp921

        I agree Paul, except I would say that if Sandberg was the manager he would be his own man , where I think Quade follows orders from the GM.

        • paulcatanese

          No doubt, Sandberg would be his own man, but why would he fight that BS day in and day out? Thats what I was trying to convey. Unless JH is gone he(Sandberg) should stay where he’s at. Given the present circumstance it would only be a matter of time with JH that Sandberg would be in a position to be looked down on. I would not like to see that happen. The internal strife that would take place is just not worth it at this point.

          • Brp921

            I won’t disagree with you, and Sandberg is in a good place now. I only hope that somehow The Ricketts come to the conclusion that JH and this front office is not the team they should have making the decisions for this organization. Maybe if that happens the next front office could bring him back. Ryno has been successful everywhere he’s been, so he, for me, is not just a sentimental choice.

  • Aaron

    Another reason to tank the season, retool, and start over next year?

    http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/is_kayden_porter_the_next_bryce_harper/5501542

    The Cubs are currently 7 games back of Houston for the 1st pick in next year’s draft. They are currently tied for 3rd pick with the Royals, as the Orioles 1 game ahead for the 2nd pick. (in terms of wins) However, the Cubs ranks 2nd with their .402 winning percentage.

    Go Cubs GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get that 1st pick in the draft!!!!!!!!!!!

    With the “retooling” in mind…I was starting to think ahead to 2012 and what that roster might look like, obviously not being able to take into account injuries to prospects, trades, etc., but I am including a couple FA I’d like to see them take a chance on.

    The only major injuries of note thus far for the Cubs are Andrew Cashner (shoulder…might be back in 2011) and Whitenack (underwent TJ beginning of June…usually 9-12 months…it used to be 10-18 months with old techniques). So, taking that into consideration, here would be my 2012 roster in April 2011:

    ROTATION:
    Garza
    CJ Wilson
    Demspter (unless we can trade him to the Yankees for Betances or Banuelos)
    McNutt
    Cashner

    BULLPEN:
    Carpenter
    Marshall
    Dolis
    Samardzija
    Cabrera (long man)
    Russell (LOOGY)
    Beliveau

    C-W. Castillo, Clevenger (also plays 3B, 1B)
    1B-Fielder, Ridling (also an OF)
    2B-Barney, M. Gonzalez (also plays SS, 3B, OF)
    SS-Castro
    3B-LeMahieu (also plays, SS, 2B, and 1B), M. Smith (buys time for Vitters)
    LF-Flaherty (also plays all IF positions but catcher)
    CF-B. Jackson, Campana
    RF-Colvin

    Wild cards in all of this would be: Mateo (if his forearm inury doesn’t get worse or doesn’t develop into another injury), Whitenack (if he recovers quickly from TJ), Jay Jackson (if he turns his season around right now at Iowa, and comes on strong in ST next year), Kirk, Struck, Guzman (if he can start pitching back-to-back days on rehab), Suarez, Antigua, Batista, Rhoderick, Szczur, Ha, Bour, Vitters, Lake, Spencer, and even recent draftees Hoilman and Klafczynski (though both of them would have to REALLY turn it on to be on the radar for next year…but both of them are 22 years old, which is why I had them listed. In order to be considered “prospects” in my estimation, they’d need to start next year at Daytona. Given the lack of depth not only with power prospects (Hoilman), but also outfielders (Flaherty was moved to OF due to this, as his best positions by far are 3B and 2B). The Cubs just flat out do NOT have any power hitting outfielders in their system, and Jackson, while having decent power, does not project to hit more than 15 hr at the MLB level according to scouts. That reason is also why Ridling has seen plenty of time in the OF this year.

    The Cubs expected Burgess to supply some OF power for them, but he can’t even make consistent contact. (if you asked me, I would’ve rather started him at Iowa with Von Joshua to work on his swing, then move him down if necessary if he couldn’t make the adjustments)

    • Aaron

      Also, just wanted to expand on the lack of OF depth….in terms of potential everyday players.

      The Cubs seem to have a great amount of CF prospects with Jackson, Ha, Szczur, Crawford, Chen, etc., but almost no corner OF depth. That’s a HUGE problem, and one of the reasons the Cubs might move the 6’4″ LeMahieu to a corner OF spot if he can develop some power….or even Vitters.

      The Cubs have good depth at catcher, middle IF, and CF, and if they follow through with their big talk on the draft and sign Vogelbach, Baez (who projects as a 3B), and possibly Shoulders, then they would have good depth at 1B and 3B as well.

      The main areas the system needs improvement with, includes: rotation, pen, and corner OF…..and with the pitching, they need power arms in particular.

      Right now, the only power arms in the system or MLB level are:
      Garza
      Cashner (DL shoulder)
      Carpenter
      Wood
      Samardzija
      Suarez
      Kurcz
      Cabrera
      McNutt
      Whitenack (TJ surgery)
      Jay Jackson (though after his shoulder injury, he’s not hitting mid-90’s much anymore from what I’ve read)
      Peralta
      Robinson Lopez

      *normally I’d include Marmol, but he barely touches 94 mph now

      The sad thing is, ONLY Garza, Cashner (prior to injury), Carpenter, and Samardzija can rush it up their in the high 90’s…the others sit in the mid-90’s. So if you ever want a reason why the Cubs are suffering big-time with their pitching this year, consider all the soft tossers they have on the team with Z (barely hits low 90’s now), Wells, Rodrigo Lopez, Russell (when he was in rotation….I’m not saying he’s a bad pitcher, just NOT a starter…he’s a LOOGY, and I have no problem if LOOGY guys throw low 90’s, high 80’s), Marshall, Marmol, Grabow, and prior to his release, Doug Davis.

      Garza, Dempster, and Ortiz are the only starters I’ve seen touch 95 mph this year (and in Ortiz’s last start, I believe he only hit 93 mph tops). I think Zambrano might’ve touched 95 mph once in the White Sox series, but otherwise he’s low 90’s, high 80’s, and Dempster sits low 90’s most of the time, but at least touches 95 mph several times in most of his starts.

      And if you’re hitting your spots, pitching low 90’s isn’t all that bad, but the Cubs have a bunch of former fireballers still pitching up in the zone, and getting absolutely hammered. Even the recently promoted Ortiz admitted he’s had to learn to pitch without his high 90’s fastball that he had when he was much younger. But if you look at Zambrano, Marmol, Ortiz, etc….when they miss their spots with the fastball (and they’ve missed often up in the zone), they get absolutely pounded.

      And just FYI, Maples, Pugliese, Jensen, Jacquez, Maxwell, and Urban were the only pitchers selected in the Cubs’ draft that can hit at least 95 mph on the gun.

      That fact, combined with injuries to Cashner and Whitenack, should push the Cubs to deal just about anyone not named Castro, Cashner, Carpenter, Samardzija, and Garza (at the MLB level…not including their power arms like Dolis, etc. in the minors) for power arms and corner OF power bats

      If I were the Cubs, I’d look to trade almost anyone to the Yankees for Banuelos and Betances, and I’d try to pry away Wheeler from the Giants.

      Despite not having All-Star players available for trade, the Cubs have solid regulars such as Soto, Byrd, Barney, and ARAM that could land them players like that….

      and if they found a way to satisfy most of a teams needs in one trade, I see no reason why they couldn’t ask for top talent, especially if they pay most of their salaries.

      For instance, the Yankees have a hole at 3B, catcher (somewhat, though Martin is adequate), OF, starting pitching, and bullpen.

      The Cubs could offer one of Zambrano/Dempster, ARAM, Soto, Soriano, and Grabow to the Yankees, offering to send $30 million to cover most of Soriano and Z/Dempster’s remaining contracts for Banuelos, Betances, Venditte, and Montero. It’s quite possible MLB would strike that deal down with so much money exchanging hands, but it’s also possible they’d allow it to happen.

      Such as blockbuster deal is unlikely, but given the holes they’d be plugging with ARAM essentially replacing AROD without missing a beat, Soto providing offense and his familiarity with Rothschild and they way they want to attack hitters could prove valuable down the stretch for the Yankees to give Martin a breather, then split time with Soriano at DH when he’s not catching….it also allows the Yankees to prepare for Posada’s inevitable departure after this season with Soto still under team control for 2 years. The Yankees have also grown tired of waiting for Montero to put it together, so this is probably their last season to capitalize on his trade value. Soriano would give the Yankees a much needed power bat at the DH slot. The only problem they’d have is once AROD comes back, the logical move would be ARAM to DH. But where does Soriano go? Girardi wouldn’t put up with his defense in LF, so that’d be a very expensive bench bat for them, and they’d have Soriano for 3 more years….

      As for other possible moves, I would think Barney, Soto, and Pena to the Giants makes sense for Belt and Wheeler. The Giants meed MAJOR help at SS where Barney could fill in. And do NOT underestimate Barney’s trade value. Shortstops that can hit are ALWAYS in demand, and Barney has certainly proven that. Soto obviously replaces Posey for the season, and the Giants can make the decision to move him or Soto to 1B after the season, or flip Soto to another team. As for Pena, he’s just a one year rental.

      That, to me, is a fair deal, especially with Wheeler being blocked at the MLB rotation, and while Belt was decent in his 19 game stint with the Giants, he needs more seasoning, and had a recent wrist injury, so they might decide to sell high on him at this point.

      But the Cubs need to think “blockbuster”….They need to think about the White Sox “White Flag” trade where they filled all the Giants’ pitching needs in one trade.

      That’s why I’m suggesting the Yankees and Giants as trade partners. In fact, take Soto out of the Yankees deal, and you could potentially have 2 blockbuster trades with the Yankees and Giants.

      But if the Cubs refuse to admit this season is over, they will set the team back for at least 5 years if not more. Keep in mind, Soriano, Dempster, Zambrano, and Byrd are signed for next year as well, with Soriano being signed for 2 additional years beyond next season. That means 4 guys will be blocked next year by big money deals.

      NOW is the time to trade, when teams are flat out desperate to fill holes, and are more willing to take on big contracts prior to the deadline than they would be if the Cubs approached them in the offseason.

      And if the Cubs can pull off a blockbuster that includes guys like Belt, Montero, Smoak, Alonso, etc., and they don’t have to overspend to get the likes of Pujols or Fielder at 1B next year, then I think any money they’d be required to eat as part of  those trades, Ricketts would sign off on in a heartbeat….maybe they can even find a way to pry Singleton away from the Phillies?

       

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

        Would I love to see what you are talking about? Yes. Will it happen? Probably not. You have got see that unless Ricketts has already taken the negotiations on trades away from Hendry that Big Jim will not admit he was wrong. It will send him out of town quickly. He is in job saving mode. I see him moving almost done contracts and maybe Soriano if Ricketts pushes him to get rid of that contract at all costs. That is it.

      • cubtex

        Jim Callis mentioned today that there are whispers that the Cubs already have a deal in place for Vogelbach. You will start to see their early picks start to sign shortly.

        • Aaron

          Based on what? One rumor? Baez was rumored to be on the verge of signing nearly a month ago. They even said he had a deal in place with the Brewers prior to being selected by the Cubs. DeVoss was rumored to be signing almost 2 weeks ago. Scott was rumored to be ready to sign almost immediately after the draft. Right after the draft, there was a rumor that Lockhart would sign right away, because his dad, Keith, is a scout for the Cubs. Schlecht was also supposed to be signed right now, and he even said in an interview, he was ready to sign.

          Again, I said it was a great draft for the Cubs, but I was pessimistic about them signing even 40% (20 of 50) of their picks. You came back, saying players routinely sign late. Is that why a majority of MLB has over 50% of their picks signed right now. Meanwhile, the Cubs are at 30%.

          I have teammates that were drafted as underclassmen as well as seniors. I have even coached “draft and follows” in summer league play, and I can tell you that it is NOT common for a majority of someone’s draft to be signing middle of July or later. League play usually ends the last week of July, with the playoffs thereafter along with the World Series in Wichita (unless you’re Cape Cod)….the team I coached last year played in the semifinals in Wichita. But a lot of kids routinely skip out on the World Series, and teams end up having to borrow players from teams that didn’t make it, because they’re trying to get set-up for college.

          While I realize it’s a bit different for HS seniors, who normally arrive on campus mid-August (sometimes earlier if teammates are getting together for informal practices), these guys are looking to have everything squared away by then, so I simply don’t buy the whole, “The Cubs are set to sign a bunch of their early picks soon” argument.

          I’ll eat a healthy helping of crow if I’m wrong, but I’m just saying, don’t get your hopes up…. Again, I think it’s a safe bet to say Baez will get signed, and so will Zych and DeVoss, as they both worked out at Wrigley….The rest of the Top 10?….not so much

          • cubtex

            I was just sharing some info that I read. Many teams are slow to sign their top draft choices. Callis mentioned it appears Vogelbach will sign and I will bet Baez,DeVoss and Zych will sign too.

    • Cheryl

      Cashner in the rotation? Don’t thin so. The cubs will probably put him back in the bullpen and not ake a chance on him being injured again.

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

        Short term? Yes they will. Long term I think he will be a starter. If he comes back strong the second half of this year and pitches well out of the pen he will be given another shot to start next spring. Just my opinion.

        • diehardcubfan

          Agree

        • cubtex

          I agree as well. Cashner is much more valuable as a starter! If healthy, he can be a top of the rotation starter.

  • BosephHeyden

    Wait…a team is interested in Koyie Hill?  MAKE THAT TRADE NOW!  I don’t care if you have to pay three times his salary to make that trade, you make it.  It doesn’t even matter if you get a player back.  You don’t even need cash consideration.  Make that trade now.

    • paulcatanese

      Agreed, but if they don’t bring Castillo or Clevenger up with a fair shot it’s a moot point. The smart move would be to trade Hill AND Soto and go with the youth behind the plate. And make sure they get legitimate pitching in return.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From ESPN Los Angeles Mark Saxson: Angels have a deal in place for Aramis Ramirez from the Cubs. Ramirez said to be deciding whether to waive No-Trade-Clause or not.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      This may be fake … gotta love twitter. I’m checking

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

        Not seeing anything about it on credible sources yet. Having any luck Neil?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More from ESPN LA – Source: #Angels moving 2 prospects, one of them pitcher Chris Scholl, to #Cubs for Aramis Ramirez. #MLB

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    More from ESPN LA: Unsure on the 2nd prospect, however I am hearing it’s a top 15 prospect for Angels. Cubs

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

      Well that is that as far as our run producers are concerned.

      You mean to tell me that we are going to trade ARAM for a reliever from double A and another prospect?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        I apologize, I have passed on bad info. Please disregard all info concerning Aramis Ramirez.

        • diehardcubfan

          Neil, you got our hopes up the Cubs may have done something actually intelligent.

          Not your fault.

      • cubtex

        Richard. Who cares about this year. Let’s move him now…get some prospects and clear more payroll for next year.

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

          I actually agree with that but am thinking about next year. With out Ramirez we have no shot of getting an any FA’s to be in our lineup

          • cubtex

            Too bad that was false. I am in the minority here but I don’t want the Cubs to sign either Pujols or Fielder. They will both cost too much and first base is an easy position to field. They need to focus on starting pitching and getting more athletic in the field. They are last in pitching and defense. Prince Fielder won’t get them to the playoffs next year with him and Aram with the same rotation. Trade Aram now and foeget about Fielder.

    • diehardcubfan

      Neil, for ARAM at least one of the prospects better be a top 15 and preferrably a top 5.  Even with ARAM slow out of the gate he is worth more than JH seems to be getting.  But again it is Jim,”I can’t make a trade and get fair value”, Hendry we are talking about here. 

      ARAM has been a consistent run producer and still has something left. 

      Also, if true this definitely is a signal JH is throwing in the towel.

      Interesting to see if ARAM decides to waive his no trade clause.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Attention all: I was fooled and I promise it will not happen again. The info I passed on concerning Aramis Ramirez was from a fake twitter account. Please disregard.

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

      Actually it looks like there may be some legs to this and man is it a horrible trade.

      http://twitter.com/#!/MarkSaxon1

      If this guy is right we just gave away Ramirez away for a double A reliever and another small, not fast, no power hitting. outfielder/2nd baseman. Don’t we have a couple of those already?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Richard, that is the fake account. Mark Saxon twitter account is @markasaxon 

      • Aaron

        Richard,

        Did you see that Olney tweet? LOL….weren’t we just talking about him earlier. Man, you were right. He’s an idiot.

        It seems reporters are getting VERY lazy lately, and relying on random Twitter accounts.

        Normally, I’m not an advocate for tom-foolery like this, but I suggest we, at the CCO, all get together, and start randomly tweeting BS about Cubs trade rumors, and see how many journalists start picking up on it. I think it’d be hilarious.

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

          Not gonna be to hard on him. It got me too. I am too new and trusting to the Twitter stuff it seems. But he should at least try to verify before responding.

    • Skeldor

      Maybe this will get the Cubs and Angels talking LOL

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      “Don’t get fooled again.”  -The Who

      It was probably some jerk-off in his parents basement

    • Vivid_Reality

      The ESPN Fantasy team was fooled as well so I wouldn’t sweat it.

      “The Angels have a
      deal in place to acquire Ramirez from the Cubs for two prospects.
      Ramirez said to be deciding whether to waive No-Trade-Clause, Mark Saxon
      of ESPN LA reports.
      Spin: The
      Angels need an infusion of offense, which Ramirez, who has been on fire
      lately, would help provide along with the recently promoted Mike Trout.
      One player is rumored to be Chris Schnoll while the other might be a
      top-15 prospect. Ramirez would replace Alberto Callaspo at third base
      while the Cubs could use Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker at the hot corner.”

    • MikeT_2008

      It’s all good Neil, you know how much we all love your info and you were just trying to keep us updated.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney on the Rumors: Rumors swirling about possible Aramis Ramirez/Angels deal, but a high-ranking source says there hasn’t been any discussions.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Neil, if the Cubs trade Pena and Fukudome, who do you think will play 1b the rest of the year? LaHair? Colvin would most likely play RF.
      Granted LaHair is 28 but he is on fire this year he already has 25 HR 26 doubles, and is hitting .349 I think he atleast deserves a look, what do you think?

      • cubtex

        I know you asked Neil, but I would hope that they would put Flaherty at 3rd and move ARam to 1st for the rest of the year(provided ARam is not dealt)

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Patrick, hey man good to hear from you. You are probably not going to like this answer but if both are traded I think they will stick Jeff Baker at first and they will call up Colvin for right field. If they give LaHair a look I would be a little surprised.

        As for Ramirez at first as Tex mentioned, I really do not think he would allow that to happen. If Ramirez hits free agency he will make his money as a third baseman.

        • cubtex

          You are probably right Neil. It wouldn’t happen but I would like Flaherty to play everyday at 3rd to give him a shot.

  • paulcatanese

    Aram will not be gone. As long as Ricketts has anything to say about it, and he does. Think about it, why would Ricketts trade away one of the few guys that are bringing people into the park? And, I do believe that JH does not have the final say in this one, and if JH does do it, without Ricketts ok, JH will follow Aram out the door. If it is done, look for a real firesale and the Cubs to start over from scratch with a total house cleaning, because there would not be anyone to provide interest.And I don’t think that would be a bad idea, as I have been for everyone out for a while now and go with the kids.

  • Tom U

    Tonight’s Minor League starters:

    Tennessee – Matt Loosen (0-1, 6.00)
    Daytona – Angel Guzman (0-0, 2.00)
    Peoria – Frank Del Valle (0-1, 6.00)
    Boise – Ben Wells (2-1, 4.84)

    Iowa remains on All-Star break.

  • Tom U

    Daytona’s pitchers are really going to enjoy an outfield of Crawford, Szczur, and Burgess behind them.

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

      Lets just assume that Burgess is finally going to start showing up to play everyday so they can enjoy it. His stats so far have been brutal.

      • Tom U

        Although defensively, Burgess has been gunning them down with his cannon of an arm.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good overview of the Garza trade.  It will take years to truly know if one team, “wins” this trade.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-garza-deal-hasnt-paid-off-yet-for-cubs-20110713,0,4909021.story

    Short term, trades of this type are judged by immediate success for the team acquiring the veteran player…Cubs – FAIL!  

    For the team acquiring the prospects it takes years, but I guarantee you the Rays wouldn’t want to trade back the prospects for Garza.

  • Tom U

    Some information on Taiwan Easterling:

    Easterling, who is hitting .565 with 2 doubles and 2 triples for the AZL Cubs, is rated the 42nd best senior wide receiver by Mel Kiper Jr. in his 2011 draft report.

    This is about as high as Matt Szczur, who was left off the top receiver list in the 2010 report, which rated only 35 players. Easterling’s 40 time was reported as 4.50, the same a Szczur’s prior to his senior season. 

    The big difference is that Easterling is attending a Division I college in Florida State, while Szczur attended Division I-A Villanova. However, with juniors eligible for the NFL draft, Easterling will have to have a lights-out season in order to improve on Szczur’s 47th best ranking last year. 

    Look for a similar scenario with Easterling as Szczur, especially if he keeps hitting the way he has.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Baseball America: Cubs announce signing of 3rd-rounder Zeke DeVoss. Speedy U of Miami product is
    first Cubs pick to sign in first 15 rounds

    • JW

      woohoo another speedy centerfielder… the savior of the system

    • Aaron

      he was actually in tonight’s AZL Cubs lineup and went 1-5 with the game-winning double and RBI, and had 2 K’s in the game as well.

      I’m surprised as hell that they finally signed him after 2 weeks of speculation. Glad they did it…hopefully they’ll sign more top picks, but again, count me as being skeptical that would actually happen. After all, close to 99% of MLB teams have signed multiple Top 10 picks, with over half of MLB signing 50%+ of their Top 10 picks. This is the Cubs first pick signed above the 16th round, which is absolutely pathetic.