Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 11/28/11

As we paused this past Thursday to give thanks, the winter leagues saw many comings and goings.

However, to answer some concerns of the Cubs Faithful, several pitchers stepped up their games. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Marco Carrillo, and Jay Jackson were perfect in their starts, while Blake Parker and Oswaldo Martinez continue to mow them down in relief. Meanwhile, infielder Junior Lake had a memorable season debut in the Dominican Republic.

To see where some of the prospects are now turning up, take a peek inside this week’s Down on the Farm Report.

Dominican Winter League

Leones de Escogido
Tennessee outfielder Nelson Perez, looking for more playing time, has moved to Escogido. On Sunday, in his last game for the Bulls, Perez was 1-for-3with a triple as the Lions defeated Este 3-2. In that game, reliever John Gaub went 1.2 innings with three strikeouts to lower his ERA to 5.63. Gaub pitched only one game over the last week.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Nelson Perez then started back-to-back game for the Lions in a couple of weekend losses. On Friday, he was 1-for-3 with a walk in a 5-0 loss to Licey. Then on Saturday, Perez went 2-for-4 as the Pride lost 3-2 to Oriente.

Toros del Este
Iowa pitcher Alberto Cabrera has seen most of his action as a reliever in the DWL after starting 26 games last season. Cabrera continues to be hit hard this winter, allowing six earned runs in 11 innings. In his last outing on Friday, Cabrera pitched 2.1 innings, allowing an earned run and striking out a batter as the Bulls lost 11-1 to Oriente.

Estrellas de Oriente
Oriente welcomed Tennessee shortstop Junior Lake this week. Lake responded in his first game on Wednesday by going 2-for-5 with two stolen bases in a 6-0 rout over Escogido.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Junior Lake then provided his first RBI on Friday, hitting a solo home run to go along with a walk and another stolen base, as he was 1-for-2 in a crushing 11-1 defeat of Este.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Mexican Pacific League

Naranjeros de Hermosillo
Iowa reliever Blake Parker stayed strong this past week, as he could be in contention for a bullpen spot this spring. Parker started out the week by picking up his seventh hold on Sunday with a scoreless inning, as Hermosillo topped Culiacan 3-2.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Blake Parker was back on the mound on Wednesday, striking out a batter in a shutout inning, as the Orangemen stumbled 3-1 against Navojoa. He was then nicked for two earned runs on Thursday, but still picked up a strikeout and his eighth hold, pitching 1.2 innings as Hermosillo returned the favor to Navojoa, defeating the Mayos 5-3.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Blake Parker then labored a bit on Saturday, giving up a hit and a walk. However, he ended up striking out the side without allowing a run to earn his ninth hold in the Growers’ 3-0 shutout of Guasave

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Yaquis de Obregon
The defending Caribbean Champions flexed their muscles this week, going 5-1. The Yaquis closed out the first half of the season going 20-15 with a 7-5 win over Los Mochis on Sunday. Tennessee reliever Oswaldo Martinez tossed a scoreless inning in the victory.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Obregon then opened the second half of the season with a 12-3 pasting of Mazatlan Tuesday. Oswaldo Martinez struck out a batter while not allowing an earned run.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tennessee starter Marco Carrillo celebrated re-signing with the Cubs organization on Wednesday, striking out five to even his record to 2-2 as the Tribe defeated Mazatlan 5-1. Carrillo lowered his ERA to 2.28 ERA by blanking the Deer for six innings.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Oswaldo Martinez continued to throw up the zeroes on Thursday, earning his third hold in an inning of work as Obregon completed the sweep in a 5-2 victory over Mazatlan.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

On Friday, Oswaldo Martinez remained dominant with another scoreless two-thirds of an inning, picking up his fourth hold as the Yaquis beat Culiacan 3-2.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas
Iowa starter Jay Jackson was the story for the Lions this week, as he tries to impress his new bosses. Jackson fanned five batters in five shut-out innings on Thursday as Caracas blew past Aragua 6-1. In that game, shortstop and Iowa teammate Marwin Gonzalez was 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Marwin Gonzalez made some headlines in his last week in the VWL. He started the week by going 1-for-4 and an RBI as Caracas beat Zulia 6-1.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tuesday saw Marwin Gonzalez and the Lions back in action, as he was 2-for-3 as they would suffer the first of back -to-back losses to Zulia, going down 8-0. Gonzalez was then 1-for-3 on Wednesday in a 3-2 defeat.

Marwin Gonzalez ended his season for the Pride on Friday with an RBI in a 2-for-5 night as the Lions put four on the board in the top of the eleventh inning to pull away from Lara 7-3.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Navegantes del Magallanes
Magallanes tried to keep pace this week, enduring a 2-4 record, including a four-game losing streak, to fall to a game and a half out of first place. New first baseman Rebel Ridling started out slowly, going 0-for- 3 in a 3-1 win over Margarita on Sunday and 0-for-3 with two walks in a 10-9 loss to Lara on Tuesday. In that game, Iowa reliever Robert Coello allowed two earned runs and had a strikeout in an inning of work.

Rebel Ridling would finally get on the board on Wednesday, and the Tennessee first baseman was 1-for-4 as the Navigators lost 8-7 to La Guaira. On Thursday, Ridling ended up 1-for-3 as the Navs lost 4-2 to Margarita. Robert Coello picked up his seventh hold despite giving up three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. Coello struck out two and was tagged with his second loss.

The streak continued on Friday even though Rebel Ridling was 2-for-4 as Magallanes bowed 11-5 to Margarita. However, Ridling went 1-for-5 as the Pathfinders edged Lara 2-1 on Saturday.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Aguilas del Zulia
Austin Bibens-Dirkx continues to try and make an impression, as he limited Caracas to two hits over 6.2 innings as the Eagles whitewashed the Lions 8-0 on Tuesday. Bibens-Dirkx picked up a strikeout and improved his record to 4-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.92.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

News and Notes
Former Cubs’ pitcher Ramon Ortiz is now pitching for Tigres de Licey in the DWL. Tennessee shortstop Junior Lake is now a member of Estrellas de Oriente of the DWL. Tennessee outfielder Nelson Perez has moved from Toros del Este to Estrellas de Oriente of the DWL.

While there has not been an official word, Tennessee catcher Steve Clevenger is no longer on the roster of Leones de Escogido of the DWL; Iowa pitcher Scott Maine is also no longer on the roster of Estrellas de Oriente, also of the DWL. Bryan LaHair has finished his season in the VWL. LaHair batted .264 with seven home runs, six doubles, and 14 RBIs in 24 games. Tennessee first baseman Rebel Ridling has replaced LaHair for Navagentes del Magallenes of the VWL. Marwin Gonzalez ended his winter season for Leones de Caracas of the VWL, and will now work out of the Cubs complex in Mesa, Arizona.

Pitchers Justin Berg and Marco Carrillo, Rule 55 Minor League Free Agents, have re-signed with the Cubs organization. The two pitchers join outfielder James Adduci and infielder Jonathan Mota, who signed earlier this month. Berg is continuing his rehabilitation form Tommy John surgery. Former Cubs catcher Jake Fox has signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Outfielder Luis Montanez, who was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa and off the 40-man roster on November 18, has elected for free agency and is no longer in the Cubs’ system.

As for the other minor league free agents that spent last season in the Cubs’ organization, Brad Snyder and Scott Moore signed minor league deals with the Houston Astros. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Robert Coello, Angel Guzman, Dylan Johnston, Mario Mercedes, Chris Robinson, Carlton Smith, Alvaro Sosa, Jeff Stevens and John Urick remain unsigned.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

Share on Fancred
  • Tony_Hall

    We shall see if Friedman was waiting to go to Houston.  New owner takes over and cleans house immediately, so they can not delay the rebuilding.  

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/astros-expected-to-dismiss-gm-wade-.html

    • Calicub

      That’d be such a bummer. I wanted him the whole time…

      Not that I’m complaining with theo but still.

      Both organizations are a mess it’d be interesting to see who turned it around first. See if TR made the right choice….

      • Tony_Hall

        My guess is Friedman stays in Tampa. I believe Houston will go with a current assistant gm.

        • Calicub

          Your probably right he seems pretty closely tied to the Rays. Although that would be an interesting experiment

  • paulcatanese

    What kind of compensation are the Cubs asking for letting the A’s move into their Spring training facility? After all that seems to be the trend these days.

    • Calicub

      no dice:

      (@ScottMCBSSports)
      RT @JohnSheaHey: #SFGiants
      just announced #Athletics can’t move spring home to Mesa. Giants own
      territorial rights. about an
      hour ago
       

  • paulcatanese

    I thought the Cubs were hurting for pitching and yet Garza is on the block. What do they expect to get for him, a pitcher that is twice as good?
    I dont clearly understand the thought here by the Cubs. They wont get what they had in Garza, and would have to “test drive” any new pitching they get in return, if thats what they are looking for.
    Not against a trade, just confused with the thinking of getting rid of a number 2-3 starter.

    • cubtex

      You obviously know how much I value Garza. I love his competiveness and how he is all about the team. The only way I move Garza is for 2 top pitching prospects(projected top of the rotation guys) and another projected starting position player. The example I gave from the Yankees was..Betances,Banuelos and Montero. If they don’t get that type of return….forget it. With the lack of starting pitching in the Cubs system if they cannot get back at least 2 potential starting pitchers for Garza….hold him!

      • Chadaudio

        I’d trade Garza for Chris Archer and Hak Ju Lee ;)

        • cubtex

          Hahaha. Not a chance!

          • J Daniel

            Exactly!  Not a bad trade by JH, just a bad team right now.  I agree with you in that I only move Garza if the return is a couple of can’t miss guys – for me they could even be position players.  I would take a 3rd or 1st baseman and an outfielder.  I know it is not pitching, which is a HUGE need but if they could fill 3rd – unless they move Castro there (lol) and a stud outfileder – then they have 3 main everyday players.  Then they would need to sign a couple top pitchers.

        • daverj

          That’s poses an interesting question … would Cub fans be willing to deal Garza back for Archer, Lee, Chirinos and Guyer?  Many were unhappy with the deal at the time.

          I wouldn’t take those prospects back for Garza, but I would make Garza available and see what teams were willing to trade for him.  If I was overwhelmed with a package of prospects, I’d make the deal.

          • cubtex

            Not a chance would I want those prospects back for Garza now. But I am sure everyone already knew that :)

          • J Daniel

            Only if Tampa threw in Sam Fuld.

      • cc002600

        Yea, it had better be a king’s ransom if they decide to trade him, which I hope
        they don’t.

         

        Garza is a valuable commodity
         

      • paulcatanese

        Yes I do know how much you value Garza, and as you know I changed my opinion of him pretty early after he joined the Cubs. I dont know what justification they have for doing this, Tony explained it to me below, but I just think its a backwards move. The point was made that he will be a free agent in two years and will cost much more, I dont know, isn’t that the desired result?

        • Tony_Hall

          Paul – That is why JH should have put a contract in front of Garza, last year.  Pitchers never know when the old Tommy John will be calling, and would be crazy to not accept a guaranteed contract, versus going year to year.

    • Tony_Hall

      It tells you they feel they can receive 2-3 players in return, who will be a part of the future of this team, and the fact that Garza is a FA in 2 years.  They obviously don’t feel that this team is close (who does), and that they better get something for him, rather than lose him to FA and paying his ever rising salary.  

      It is the same reasoning as to why I was against trading prospects for him, they weren’t close to being a World Series team.

      • cubtex

        But the prospects they gave up to get him were nothing special. Maybe Lee…..maybe, but Archer will not be a solid starter in the majors(imo). Guyer is not a loss. Chirinos is a backup and Fuld is Fuld. Anytime you can get a pitcher of Garza’s ability for what they gave up you do it no matter if you are looking to win now or not. Now you have that value in a starting pitcher who you can keep or trade for a much better return for what you gave up to get him.

        I would only trade Garza now if they can receive potential top starting pitching back. Not position players.

        • Tony_Hall

          We don’t know what the prospects will turn into, and I can list how they have already helped Tampa in 2011.  We’ve been over this many times.  

          It’s the concept of when to trade for an established pitcher, and when to trade an established pitcher.  The position they are in, is to trade versus trade for a starting pitcher.  They aren’t close and need to restock the system, after years of JH trading off the system for established vets.

          No one is saying to trade Garza and not receive a good return, hopefully better than we sent out, and it will need at least 1, sure fire starting pitcher.  

          • cubtex

            Just for kicks…..Show me how they helped Tampa in 2011. I am curious on how you are going to spin this. :)

          • cubtex

            Guyer…   .195 Avg

            Chirinos…..218 Avg and only threw out 2 baserunners out of 23 attempts

            Fuld……. .240 Avg

            I thought I would help you out. Do you think they could not have gotten that production from somewhere else?

          • Tony_Hall

            This is the no spin zone…

            Last time I checked the Rays made the playoffs by 1 game.  So, just little ole Sam Fuld’s beginning of the season, could be where you find that 1 game.  We have beaten this to death, too much, and we will never agree.  
            The Rays traded Garza to get Hellickson into the rotation.  Hellickson had a better year, in his rookie year, then Garza has ever had.  The fact that they got any production, for the major league team, from any of the 5 guys, is a bonus to them in 2011.  The Rays would do this trade again, in a heart beat.  If Theo, had the chance to do or undo this trade, I think he would undo it.  

          • cubtex

            And the Cardinals would not have gotten in the playoffs without Corey Patterson and his .157 Avg. Is that really your argument? So Patterson appeared in 44 games for the Cards so he must have helped with 1 more game?
            Isn’t it possible that they could have had a player either internally or aquired from another team who would have produced more and made the playoffs by more than 1 game? I think you know the answer to that question.

          • Tony_Hall

            Fuld’s numbers in April 

            289/358/433

            Please find me a month where Corey Patterson was productive.

          • cubtex

            One other comment that always makes me scratch my head is you insisting that the trade was to get Hellickson in the rotation and it doesn’t matter who they get back and anything is a bonus. Huh? You have a valuable asset like Garza and you don’t care what the return is because you have a pitcher to insert?

            So this offseason they have a stud in Matt Moore who will be in the rotation who will more than likely be an upgrade over Shields and Niemann. So, you don’t utilize those assets in Shields or Niemann and try and get back a hefty return to upgrade your ballclub? It should never matter who you have to take the pitchers place….you should always look to upgrade the ballclub in every trade you make regardless.

            The Rays did not upgrade their ballclub in the Garza deal as much as they could have. Remember the Rangers offered Derek Holland and others for Garza…. and if I recall correctly….Holland had a pretty good year for the Rangers including a shutout in the WS.

          • Tony_Hall

            Once again, that is not what I said. 

            FOR 2011, that was all they were looking for from this trade.

            The fact that they have prospects in their system, who will contribute in the future, was what they got in return for Garza, the reason to trade Garza was to save $$$$ and open up a spot for Hellickson, who is a better pitcher than Garza.

          • cc002600

            are you serious ?

            You think the Garza trade was bad for the Cubs ?  Wow.

            Lee is a nice prospect, but the guy is at least 2 more years away, and nothing guaranteed.

            Archer did nothing.  I love Fuld, but we have the same guy in Campana, so who cares.

            Guyer and Chirnos ? Dime a dozen prospects.

            Not sure how you don’t like the trade. If Garza had any type of support last year,  he would have easily won 15 games last year. 

            He’s 28, with no history of arm problem, and has reasonable salary.

          • Tony_Hall

            I didn’t say that.

            I said the Rays would do the trade again in a heartbeat.  They made out very well as a team.

            I said that Theo may undo the trade, haven’t you heard the rumors and why we started talking about this again.  If he received 5 prospects back for Garza, that he thought would improve the Cubs he would do it.

            The prospects the Rays received were not intended to help them last year, but in the future.  

            Garza is not at a reasonable salary anymore.  He will be just shy of $10M this year, and over it next year, and then to FA.  If he walks, and signs elsewhere, this trade was bad, as they weren’t ready to compete for a World Series when they added a very good pitcher.  That is why I did say, they should have extended him last year, and should do it now.  

          • Ripsnorter1

            You’re right, Tony. Tampa doesn’t make it without Fuld’s contributions early in the season. And Guyer hit a pinch hit, 3 run tater to win a game, too. 

          • cubtex

            And Corey Patterson had a game winning hit too. So? Other players could have performed better. It is not like they would have had an automatic out in their place.

        • ChadAudio

          Yeah, I definitely disagree with you about Lee, and I’m surprised how low your opinion of Archer is.  Archer may not turn into anything, but our system really misses a player like Lee.  I would love to look forward to a really good defensive SS/lead off hitter this spring training – wouldn’t you?  It would be pretty awesome to have Lee at SS and Castro at 2B.

          • cubtex

            Chad…do you know Lee had 100 AB’s in AA last year and only hit .190.  What makes you think that he is anywhere near ready to ever hit leadoff in the majors?

          • Chadaudio

            He’s just too young to know yet… but he is projected that way.  Did you know Keith Law put him in his top 10 prospects?  Must be something about his BABIP going up every year.  Prospects sometimes don’t pan out, but a lot of people have high regard for Lee’s defense and leadoff potential.
            http://www.faketeams.com/2011/7/15/2277118/keith-laws-updated-top-50-prospect-list

          • cubtex

            I saw that and that was ridiculous. He made that on 7/15 and if you noticed how he performed in AA you will not see him anywhere near that spot again in the near future.

          • Chadaudio

            Look, I’m not saying the Garza trade was bad… I’m glad we got Garza.  I like Garza.  I just wish we had a good defensive SS to look forward to in the next year or two.  Maybe Lee is garbage (we don’t know yet), but he projects as a great defensive SS, and as an MLB lead off hitter.  Would you at least agree that he projects higher then any infielder we have in our minor league system?  Would you rather have Junior Lake?

          • daverj

            Lee is a better prospect than any infielder we currently have in the minors … by far.  I’d much rather have Lee than Lake.  That said, the Garza deal doesn’t get done without Lee … and I’d make the Garza deal again in a heartbeat.  We could flip Garza today for a prospect package equal to Lee, Archer, Guyer, Chirinos and Perez, but I think Epstein is looking for more.

          • Bredstik

            I know Lee was highly touted, but after watching him for a whole season in Peoria he never passed the eyeball test for me. He did seem to have the makings of a good on-base guy, but he made a lot more mistakes on the bases and routine ground balls than I thought he should have. If I didn’t know he was projected as one of the Cubs’ top prospects, I never would have determined that on my own. The players on that 2010 team that impressed me were Bour, Ha, Rohan, Watkins, Nelson Perez, & Richard Jones.

      • paulcatanese

        I understand what you are saying Tony, but in my mind the only players of value right now today are Garza, Castro, and Marshall. If the intention is to trade for potential, what would prevent them from trading the other two along with Garza? Seems like a catch 22 to me.

        • Tony_Hall

          They might just do it, no one is untouchable, not even Jeff Baker :)  

          I would trade Marshall, at the trade deadline, as he would bring back quite the return.  Castro may not be what they want at SS, and it may be best to trade him as well.  He doesn’t like to take the walks, which is something he will need to do, if he wants to stay on a team run by Theo.  

          There is going to be a lot of turnover before ST, before Opening Day, and by the trade deadline.  It could take a full season, to get this roster turned over to start to resemble how they like to build a team.  Don’t get to attached to any player that is on the roster, it was built with a completely different concept on a how to build a team.

          • Anthony

            Theo had a breast-enlarging Manny Ramirez.
             

          • cubtex

            Relax there Tony. You want to trade Castro? He is one of the best young players in all of baseball. He is a player you build a team around at his age and ability. Totally disagree with that 100%!

          • Anthony

            agree, Castro is a CORE player type, and given his age and the stress of his position defensively, he didn’t let it bother him at the plate.

          • Dorasaga

            But what if the Yankees got Castro and Baker for CC Sabathia and Jesus Montero PLUS 100 million to cover the salary difference?

            Most GM would love this kind of trade. Montero is under team control for 6 years, plays catcher, and KILLS left hand pitching. CC is a proven ace with a contract until 2016.

            Again, this business is about what the team gets back, esp. if the target player improves your team over what you give out, not what we like or not.

          • cubtex

            I wouldn’t do that deal. Castro had 200 hits already at such a young age as a middle infielder. He is someone you build around and add pieces to. If the Cubs were 1 pitcher away from winning a world series…that is one thing…but not now where the Cubs are at.

          • J Daniel

            Future 3rd baseman.

          • Tony_Hall

            I never said I wanted to trade Castro or Garza.  But Theo and Company have stated that all players are available and I see nothing wrong with that.  If we get more back then we give up, it’s a good trade.  

            I have stated, in Castro’s rookie year, when I wanted him out of ST as the starting SS, that I would give him a contract right now, Evan Longoria style, that is extremely club friendly, buys out arbitration and the early FA years.  He would have accepted, as I would have given him a nice signing bonus.  

            I have also stated I would have extended Garza already, and given him security for buying out 1 or 2 years of FA.

          • cubtex

            I agree to keep most players available in hopes that someone values your players more than you might…but I would build the team around Castro and make him the face of the franchise. He is that good of an offensive player! They don’t come around like Castro very often!

          • Tony_Hall

            We agree on something :)

          • Bredstik

            Agree. I think having a fresh set of eyes looking at our system is a good thing. No preconceived notions about the players, and hopefully a management team that understands the concept of selling high and buying low – something the previous regime NEVER did.

            I would prefer to build around Castro & Garza, but they’re not untouchable if the right offer comes along.

  • Aaron

    Trading Garza is an admission by Epstein and Co. that the Cubs aren’t anywhere near a competitive team for 2012, and they’re building for the future.

    If Garza goes, then you have to believe that Soto, Marmol, Marshall, Byrd, Dempster (if he’ll waive the no-trade) and even Soriano (if they can unload him) are out as well, otherwise, trading him away makes ZERO sense, because the other guys (sans Soriano, unless they eat almost 75% of his remaining contract) are the only veterans with any decent trade value, and Byrd and Dempster given age and their terrible seasons last year are even debatable. Normally I’d throw in Zambrano, but the market seems to have dried up for him.

    From Theo’s perspective, he realizes that even if Vitters, Carpenter, Lake, etc. aren’t part of the compensation for both he and Hoyer, the system is quite bare of high end players.

    That means that he’s GOT to maximize every trade asset he has to turn around this team quickly. After all, with the new CBA and bonus rules, he is NOT going to be able to turn around the team through the draft right away, so he has to do it via trade. I think Ricketts was very smart to build the new academy in the Dominican, because signing US-born players to over-slot is a thing of the past, and they have to have attractive facilities worldwide to get the best talent for less money.

    I’m actually not as down on this team (meaning the system) as many other people are. In fact, if they just went internal with fixes such as 1B, 3B, and OF, I think they’d be just fine with the following players:
    LeMahieu
    M. Gonzalez
    Lake
    Vitters
    Flaherty
    Ridling
    LaHair
    B. Jackson

    The problem is, once you get to starting pitching, the Cubs have MAJOR depth issues, which is PRECISELY why they need to pursue a Garza trade with the Yankees if they’re willing to include Montero, Betances, and Banuelos like they were with the Giants for Cain.

    In that case, the Cubs might be able to expand the deal, as the Giants were rumored to be trying to do to include a guy like Swisher, and the Cubs could include Soto as well.

    But the key to ANY Garza trade is getting at least 2 high-end starting pitching arms in any deal. The Yankees, Rangers, and Braves are about the only teams that can deal depth like that, and the Cubs should get them all into a bidding war for his services.

    • Anthony

      If it happened the way you describe Aaron, it would be an OK thing.

      Whether called rebuilding or not, sometimes a step back is needed at the expense of winning to really determine what you currently have, and what you will eventually need. Look back at how the Indians did it starting in the early 90’s.

      The Cubs have the resources when the time is right to plug holes, especially pitching holes. If one reads between the lines of all the press conferences, etc, the word “CORE” comes to mind. You have to build core players, a core GROUP, then from there, the rest are interchangeable parts that can be filled from your system, from trade, and also FA.

      Theo, my guess, will try to do that first, and that could start with a Garza trade.

      2012 is the perfect season to see what B. Lahair is, and they can afford that luxury. Jackson, in my opinion will K at a 30% rate at the MLB level unless he trades back power, which keeps him in CF currently.

      On paper, I see no position players that will be selected Rule 5, so the upper levels AA/AAA will be clogged unless some of the guys make the show on your list, and soon. That clogging obviously trickles down, and given the better depth at the lower levels, some talent may be traded or released pre-maturely, and that is something I hope doesn’t happen. I feel any released younger talent will be scooped up readily by other organizations.

    • joejoed

      Does pulling M Gonzalez out of Venezuela mean the Cubs would like to give him a proper shot at the big league roster this spring?

      • Aaron

        no. He will NOT be given a fair shot, because otherwise he would’ve been protected from the Rule 5. Personally, my guess is guys like Jay Jackson, M. Gonzalez, Antigua, and even Rhee among others will be looked at VERY closely by other teams. Remember, the main purpose of the Rule 5 is NOT to find star players, but to find role guys, and fill holes on your roster. The Cubs have a TON of role players in their system that are MLB quality…just not star caliber.

        • cubtex

          It might mean he might be sent as compensation to either the Red Sox or Padres as well.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            That is exactly what I thought when I read his season was over in Venezuela.

          • Aaron

            Neil, that really doesn’t make any sense. All teams had to have their reserved lists, meaning that they could either draft him themselves in the Rule 5 or another team could just as easily grab him. If either scenario plays out then they could still claim compensation was not sufficient. Gonzalez went to “Camp Colvin” to gain more strength. There is nothing to it from what I understand.

            Epstein, at least in my opinion, damaged the system a little bit by not protecting guys like Flaherty, Jackson, Gonzalez, Antigua, and even Rhee, because they are highly likely to be selected (especially Flaherty and Gonzalez), and they lose them as trade bait and/or replacements on the 25-man roster from an already diminished roster.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Aaron, you are right about Gonzalez and it slipped my mind about him being Rule 5 eligible. That is my mistake and thank you for catching. You are right, they could pick him in the draft but that would mean he would have to stick on their active roster for the entire season.

            I know you think a lot of Flaherty and Gonzalez and it is possible they get selected. I stick by what I said at the reserve list filing deadline, I think Jay Jackson is the only one the could lose.

          • MadMc44

            I am a Red Sox Fan and when I saw Flaherty  Rule 5 available–I was hoping he might be Comp for theo.
            M Gonzalez R-5 taken by Sox sounds like a good pickup.
            Who will come for Theo’s Comp?

    • joejoed

      Also has Vitters ever played any 1B?

  • Anonymous47701

    Rotation/Bullpen Possibility?

    Y.Darvish
    R.Dempster
    J.Danks
    E.Jackson
    C.Rusin

    S.Marshall
    K.Wood
    J.Samardzija
    J.Beliveau
    C.Carpenter
    J.Russell
    A.Cashner-closer

    • daverj

      Not sure how you get to that rotation.  Darvish, Danks and Jackson aren’t realistic additions and Rusin hasn’t done anything in the minors to prove he’s ready to be a big league starter.

      • Aaron

        agreed. The most plausible acquisition is Edwin Jackson.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.

  • RynoTiger

    these rumors about the Cubs being interested in Ian Stewart are quite disgusting and sickening.  how dare reporters spread such filth!  they should be fired for suggesting such a garbage trade idea.