Three is Not Enough for Fielder … and Other Cubs Rumors

The noise and rumors surrounding the Cubs continue to be louder than the actual news coming out of the offices at 1060 West Addison. The Cubs continue to be connected to Prince Fielder by the mainstream media and the Matt Garza trade rumors will not go away.

Peter Gammons riled up Scott Boras late Tuesday night. Gammons reported that several general managers think Scott Boras could do a three-year deal for Prince Fielder worth $26 million per season. Gammons said Fielder would end up topping Albert Pujols’ AAV and would in turn be a free agent again at 30 years old.

Bruce Levine spoke with Scott Boras not long after Gammons’ report and Boras responded, “Not only is that inaccurate and delusional, but it seems that people have gotten into their New Year’s Eve stash just a little bit early this year. It appears some baseball people are just bored. That’s when you hear ideas like that floated.”

There are still upwards of six teams interested in Prince Fielder with the Cubs being one of them according to Levine’s report.

Here’s the update …

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

  • Levine thinks Marlon Byrd is still on the Cubs’ roster because they have not signed Coco Crisp … or acquired an outfielder from the Blue Jays system in a possible Matt Garza deal.
  • Levine has not heard much lately about the Cubs possibly re-signing Carlos Pena.
  • As for the Cubs signing Prince Fielder, Levine thinks the Cubs still have a shot at signing him. Levine knows they’ve continued talking with Scott Boras about Fielder and one of Levine’s sources has indicated the talks have been “more intense.”
  • Levine has heard the names Kyle Drabek, Deck McGwire, Jake Marisnick and Anthony Gose as possibilities coming back from Toronto for Matt Garza.
  • Geovany Soto is “better than most catchers out there right now” but the Cubs need to find out if Welington Castillo “can be a Major League catcher soon.” Levine thinks Castillo will get all of the reps at the Triple-A level when the season begins and Soto will likely end up as trade bait in the future.
  • The Cubs interest in Anthony Rizzo could depend on what the Padres want in return. San Diego is looking for pitching according to Levine and the Cubs do not have a lot to offer unless it ends up being some of the young relievers. It would not make sense for the Cubs to trade Brett Jackson for Rizzo. The Cubs need outfield help just as much as help at first base.
  • The Cubs are going to be in on both Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler according to Levine. Cespedes is going to be expensive ($45 – $55 million) but he feels the Cubs will spend the money. Cespedes and Soler are in the process of becoming residents of the Dominican Republic, once they are residents they will be eligible to be signed as free agents.
  • An American League team, like Baltimore, may take Alfonso Soriano if the Cubs are willing to eat most of the money owed.
  • Levine reiterated the Cubs think Ronald Torreyes is their future second baseman.
  • Bryan LaHair is the Cubs backup plan at first base if they cannot land another option.

Matt Garza
The Cubs are listening to offers for Matt Garza … and talking to his agent about an extension all at the same time. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are not sure if they should build around Matt Garza or trade him to improve the organization quicker.

Several teams are reportedly interested in Matt Garza … one of those teams is the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays lost out in the bidding for Yu Darvish and could have turned their attention to Matt Garza. The Cubs right-hander is appealing to teams in the AL East because he’s proven he can win games in that division … and in fact, a majority of the teams that have been connected to Garza are in the Junior Circuit.

Bruce Levine has heard several players that are involved in the talks with the Jays. Levine reported last week that right-handed pitcher Deck McGwire would be the focal point of any negotiations with the Cubs and Rays. Levine also reported before Christmas that the talks could include lefty Justin Nicolino and power-hitting outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Levine expanded the list in his chat Tuesday and included Kyle Drabek and Anthony Gose.

Toronto acquired Kyle Drabek in the Roy Halladay deal with the Phillies and Baseball America ranked Drabek as the Jays’ top prospect prior to last season.

Drabek had a rough time with Toronto last season and posted a 4-5 record in 18 games, 14 starts, with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP. The 24-year old right-hander is 4-8 in 21 career big league games, 17 starts, with a 5.83 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

Anthony Gose made it to Double-A last season playing a majority of the year at the age of 20. The 21-year old lefty hitting outfielder put together a .253/.349/.415/.763 line with 20 doubles, seven triples and 16 home runs in 137 games. Gose swiped 70 bases and in three minor league season he has stolen 194 bags in 262 attempts.

Baseball America ranked Gose the Jays’ fourth best prospect prior to the 2011 season.

The former high school pitcher was acquired in the eventual three-team deal that landed Roy Oswalt in Philly and Brett Wallace in Houston … the Phillies selected Gose in the second round of the 2008 draft.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are listening and appear to be waiting for a huge return for Matt Garza. Jim Bowden (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) mentioned Tuesday afternoon that the Tigers called about Garza and when the Cubs’ brass asked for a package that included right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner and third baseman Nick Castellanos (the Tigers’ top two prospects), Dave Dombrowski thought that price was a little too high to pay for Matt Garza.

Manny Corpas
According to a report from Jon Heyman, Manny Corpas could earn as much as $2 million in 2012 with the Cubs … if he hits all of his incentives.

Corpas will make $1 million base salary if he makes the team out of Spring Training and can earn $700,000 for days on the active roster and another $200,000 in incentives based on games finished and total appearances.

The signings of Corpas and Andy Sonnanstine are low risk signings based on the fact they are non-guaranteed, split contracts. The Cubs need to add pitching depth at the Triple-A and big league level and “if” Epstein and Hoyer are able to buy low and sell high, they could add a few pieces next July that could help down the line.

News, Notes and Rumors

Jim Bowden (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) thinks that the Marlins, Nationals and Cubs are the front-runners to sign Yoenis Cespedes. According to Bowden, Cespedes is young enough to fit the Cubs long-term plans. Bowden also stated “his gut” is telling him that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will make one big signing this off-season and it could be either Prince Fielder or Yoenis Cespedes.

Joel Sherman (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) thinks Prince Fielder makes sense for the Cubs on a five to seven year deal. Sherman said Fielder would help Epstein and Hoyer rebuild the Cubs and make them contenders quicker. Sherman questioned where the Cubs will turn to find a power hitter when they feel they are ready to contend.

Seth Everett (MLB Radio Network/XM Radio) agreed with Sherman during MLB Roundtrip and said Prince Fielder fits with the Cubs for more than one reason … both on the field needs and from a marketing standpoint.

Forbes thinks Theo Epstein should call Jerry Reinsdorf to discuss the Cubs’ TV deal.

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

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • Tony_Hall

    Any wonder why Boras reacted so strongly?  Because what Gammons said was true, and he probably had just offered that to a team as a “hypothetical” situation, if he was unable to get the long term deal.  He was mad that it had already been leaked.  Otherwise, he would have just given a no comment, or a denial of the rumor.

    • Schwimmer

      I’m confused by your comment about Boras?  Boras DID deny Gammon’s comment to be true.  He said that it was “inaccurate and delusional.”  That’s a pretty strong denial.

      So, I’m not sure why you said that about Boras?

      One thing is certain:  No one is jumping at the opportunity to sign FIELDER for 8 to 10 years!  And, since he’s trying to sell all the Clubs on a long, long-term contract, it probably “pisses him off” to hear any discussion about a 3-4 year contract.

      BORAS is a “transparent” manipulator.  He is an expert at knowing how to “play” these GMs.   I don’t like him because I think he is wiling to be very dis-honest to reach his objectives on behalf of his clients.   I think “lying and deception” are his specialty.

      I want to believe that THEO has laid out — “how much” and for “how long” (me thinks:  $22m to $25m per year…and, 5 to 6 years) he’s willing to sign FIELDER to a contract.

      And, if he can’t sign FIELDER, I’ll bet THEO is willing to give LaHAIR a shot at being our starting 1st BASEMAN…which is fine by me.

      Tony, do you agree (1) that is probably what THEO offered Boras on the FIELDER contract? (2)  Do you agree that THEO would, seriously consider LaHAIR as his starting 1st Baseman in 2012?

      Thanks.

      • Tony_Hall

        I think Boras went to a team or teams, that won’t go long term and floated the idea of a 3 year deal.  He didn’t offer this to the teams that are debating how to wrap him up, under the long term deal numbers.  I think he over reacted in his reply, as he didn’t want the teams looking at over $200M, to even think that he would consider a shorter term deal.

        I believe Theo has given Boras what they are willing to go to, and that it is a shorter term deal, but I don’t believe he is trying to outbid anyone for Fielder and yes, I think he considering Lahair, but he is not thinking he could be the 1B for the next 5+ years.

  • Tony_Hall

    I’m not sure how anyone can not like the deals for Corpas and Sonnanstine. 

    Buy low – check
    Can be sent to the minors – check
    Incentive based – check

    Both players need to make the team, to get paid as a major leaguer and with Corpas, if he does make it, it is still incentive based to make more.  

    Wouldn’t you love every players contract to be more incentive based?
    Pays for current performance.  Can you imagine a bonus for every time you advance a runner, by hitting to the right side of the infield?  Inducing an inning ending double play?  Taking the extra base due to hustle?

    If these guys don’t work out, they hang out in AAA, and can be cut, if they get in the way.  

    If they work out, they might help out short term, but could be traded to help a team in the race next year.

    Buy Low

    Sell High

    It’s the little moves, that add up.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JKQGSH67PHSCQL7OCOLRJHIGY TomO

      I’ve been dreaming of an incentive based system for years.  Or at the very least, a system where there are no guaranteed contracts and players can be cut without the team being held financially responsible (similar to NFL).

      • Tony_Hall

        I would love that one simple clause too.  

    • GaryLeeT

      Nobody could argue against that approach, unless they were trying to construct the main body of their team that way, like the Pirates have to do.
      The reason the NFL works so well is because their contracts are structured just as you described. Every down is a chance to add to their paycheck. If they don’t perform, they are cut, and the next guy steps in with his chance.

      • Tony_Hall

        I’d take Fielder on an incentive based contract and any  player in our core this way.  

        Guarantee $10-$15M, but have incentives for all power stats, team wins, playoff wins, World Series victories, staying below a certain weight, etc, etc. Make it to where if he has similar performances, he would earn the $20+M he is seeking, but if the team wins a World Series and he keeps his performance up, he would make $30M+.  

        To Fielder – You think you are a superstar, come here, bring a World Series victory, and you will make more than 10 years $254M…come here and get fat and lazy, and don’t win, you still make a lot of money, but no where in the stratosphere you are asking.

        It will never happen…but it would be nice.

        • Jeff in AZ

          Great idea tony but it will take guaranteed money to land that big fish.

    • cubtex

      Sure Tony but like I have said many times….If you buy a $2 steak for $1……It is still a $2 steak. It is a shame we are even wasting our time talking about Sonnanstine. It reminds me of last offseason with Braden Looper.
      On another note….If the Jays are willing to trade both Gose and Marisnick with either Nicolino or Drabek with Deck McGuire….That would be pretty hard to pass up.

      • Tony_Hall

        So, you don’t think they should be stockpiling players with upside?  

        If you buy a $2 steak for $1, then resell it at $1.75, still giving a bargain, you still make 75%.  

        They are making lots of little moves, that can push the needle forward, instead of all the past years, where most moves, pushed the needle backwards.

        If a team offers enough, Garza will be gone.

        • cubtex

          I totally like the idea of stockpiling players with upside……but they haven’t stockpiled any of those players yet.
          Here is my issue…..Even if DeJesus performs at a level that he did 2 years ago…he is still a below average outfielder on a major market team.
          Sonnanstine- If he makes your team….what does that say about your current pitching staff? Must be pretty bad..correct?
          Corpas… A bullpen guy who didn’t pitch in 2011.

          Why don’t we bring back Mark Prior as well? It is the same concept.

          • Tony_Hall

            DeJesus, prior to last year was a 3+WAR player, that’s not below average, that pretty good.  But I will let him win you over when you see in Cubs blue.  He’s no superstar, but I still think you will like him.

            Sonnanstine and Corpas are both going to AAA, unless they win a spot.  Which is the key, that they have to win a spot. Not that we need to put them on the 25 man roster, or lose them.

            If they win a spot, I would say that means they looked good in spring training, and we may have a couple of good arms to help out this year, and may be able to be traded for some prospects.  

            Mark Prior has pitched 12 innings in each of the last 2 years in the minors. get your point, but someone gave him a chance to see what he had left last year…the Yankees.  I know Rothschild was trying to get some of his towels back :)

      • cubtex

        Tony, here is the real reason those 2 signed those contracts.

        1. Coming off a very poor or injured year…..Check!
        2. Current team has no interest in retaining your services……CHECK!
        3. No real interest from other teams…..CHECK!
        4. Sign the contract or get out of baseball and find a real job……CHECK!

        • Tony_Hall

          You don’t know what other teams were interested.  

          Players sign with teams that they think they have an opportunity.  Well after what they have seen of the Cubs the last few years, do you blame them for thinking they would have an opportunity.

          So if a team waives a player, no team should sign them.

          If a player has a bad year or is injured no team should sign them.

          Just trying to understand your criteria for signing players.

          • cubtex

            I thought I would help Theo out with some more Sh## to throw against the wall to see if it sticks.

            Chris Young
            Brandon Webb
            Sergio Mitre
            Mark Prior
            Rich Hill
            Kevin Hart

            Tony, my point is that….these players do not have many options. They are signed by low market teams(because these are the only teams willing to give them a shot) They sign a 1 year incentive laiden contract and with the hope that they do bounce back(highly unlikely) they can sign on with a contender.
            That is what Oakland did with Brandon McCarthy last year. They hit on that one…but Brandon McCarthy didn’t have any other options but a low market team like Oakland.
            Theo is operating the Cubs like they are the Oakland A’s.

          • Chadaudio

            I can’t believe people still pay Mark Prior to pitch.  It’s sad.
            That being said, I seriously thought Rich Hill looked good our of the pen when he was healthy last year… I’m just say’n

          • paulcatanese

            You forgot Aaron Miles. :)

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, I understand what you are saying here, any ballplayer would think they would have a chance with the Cubs.
            That would even help them in the draft, a quick route to the majors.
            Kind of like telling a kid, “be a catcher, fastest way to the bigs”.
            Only thing is, its the Cubs, and up till this year, that didn’t gurantee anyone a way to the majors with the management they had.
            These signings may mean they could be around for another year, and in a way they will find out quickly if they have it or not.
            If they are willing to take that chance, and why not, go ahead and keep plugging away as long as they do not block another.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Cubtex,
          You were right on the money….CHECK!

      • daverj

        The more I read about Gose, the more I have visions of Felix Pie and Corey Patterson.  Give me Marisnick, Nicolino, Drabek, and McGuire for Garza and we have a deal! :)

        • cubtex

          I would love those 3 pitchers…but I doubt the Jays would include all 3 with Marisnick. If they do…I am with you 100%

          • Aaron

            Probably 2 of them…not 3…and instead I would ask for Nicolo, Drabek (whom they’d be selling low on), Marisnik and Snider…basically you’d have 2 known busts…or on the verge of being considered such and 2 unknowns…I think that might be fair

          • daverj

            That’s a fair proposal.  I could see it happening.

          • daverj

            You’re right … the Jays prob won’t include all three. Was just wishful thinking on my part!

    • paulcatanese

      Yes Tony, that kind of contract has been what I have been saying for a long time.
      Think about Aram with the same kind of contract, he would have owed the Cubs money for the first half of each of the last two years, so would Byrd, Pena, and a lot of the rest of them.
      Would have had no problem with payroll, in fact the Cubs may have been richer at the end of the year.
      The only fault I could find is Theo would have to hire four more suits to keep track of everything.

  • Tony_Hall

    For those that like the business side of baseball, here is an article that goes over the EOY payrolls for teams.  This is the final number for the year for each team, and is what the luxury tax is based on.’

    It shows the Cubs finished 2011 at $140,608,942 which is 1.26% less than 2010.

    Wow, I would have to believe you would have to work hard to spend $140M and end up with a worse record.

    http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5563:2011-mlb-salaries-see-3-increase-rangers-lead-all-clubs&catid=26:editorials&Itemid=39

  • GaryLeeT

    Was glad to read XM’s Joel Sherman and Seth Everett parrot my take on the Fielder & the Cubs. I was beginning to feel quite like the lone wolf here.

    • SuzyS

      GaryLeeT,
      I have several concerns with Fielder as a Cub. Remember, Everything is relative.
      #1) The main reason to sign Fielder is for his “stick”  & “marketing purposes” – (to put people in the seats).
      As Fielder ages, as a larger person, it will be much easier for his atheletic skills to erode quicker…then…let’s say an Agon
      type player. So the question is, Will he pull a “Zambrano” and rest on his laurels once he has long-term security and huge money…or will he try to remain as sharp as he can?

      #2)In principle, I hate long-term guaranteed contracts…they make no “true baseball sense”.  The real question on Albert Puhol’s new contract is : For how long will he really contibute
      at maximum level? Not IF he will be able to contribute all ten years….but how many of those years will be an albatross around his team’s neck?

      #3)Is Fielder really in the category of Agon/Teixeira/Puhols?
      What about his defensive contributions to an already defensively challenged team? I consider Fielder a step below
      any of the three afore mentioned players…so not worthy of quite the same type deal’s.

      #4)The Cubs are where they are because of the poor decisions
      of previous management….hamstringing the organization to
      large contracts the players have not lived up to…Sori/Z/Milton/
      Aram etc. Sori and Zambrano are not worked out of yet…Fielder is no stopgap…he’s a statement….So let’s finish with Sori and Zambrano before we start making statements.

      #5)Throughout Cubs history, there have been a ton of teams with one or two star sluggers to put fans in the seats…and nothing else. I’ve seen that before…Let’s see something else.

      That being said, the Cubs will do as they wish.

      -Respectfully yours

      • GaryLeeT

        Fielder is a step below, the people you mentioned in #3. That is why he will not get the money, or the contract length he is asking for. Hendry could not judge a players intelligence, heart, and character, to save his life, that is why his long term contracts were bad, but not all of them are. Do you think the Cards regretted the long term contract they just came out of with Pujols? We have seen enough games with the Brewers to know that Fielder is not great on defense, but is not atrocious either. One thing is for sure, it’s easy to see from his mental makeup, that money will not change his approach to the game.

      • Anthony

        Suzy, in your part #1, body type/makeup is an important issue, especially with prospects early on, and trust me they all get the %body fat test in Mesa, thought is, it is used in projections since muscle weighs in at a 3:1 Ratio to Fat.

        This simple test provides insight into genetics, athleticism, diet, self-care, and is a useful tool, for example:

        Ever see a kid listed at a weight, and at 1st glance, you say “no way he weighs that much”

        It is basically a more bang for the buck situation as far as physical makeup, and projection, and athletes who have a low fat makeup usually possess faster twitch muscles, a bonus baseball gift they are.

        Now regarding Fielder. Look at genetics. Cecil was 6’3″ and 230 plus and flamed out around age 32. If Prince is 4 inches shorter and 60 pounds heavier at age 27, and looks fat, where does that lead to?

        yes, the boy can pound the baseball, hits from a solid base and great wrists, but the body type should be a concern long-term, and the $25plus million can be better saved for a later date.

        • paulcatanese

          But as his bat slows, and everyone’s does he will no longer be able to hit the shoulder high fastball which is his meat pitch right now.
          Under any circumstance he is a high risk deal and should be avoided on any contract over 3 years.
          You’re take on his genetics are correct, and when he goes the other way, he will do it almost overnight.

      • Dorasaga

        Suzy, great comeback.

        It just happened that I read this journalist’s take on Pujols, from his mentality to a comparison of different players (a list from Jimmie Foxx to Willie Mays):

        http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/12/12/the-real-albert-pujols/

        I personally believed (before I read this article) that Pujols will last a little longer than 3 years. The DH will help him. Then things will look ugly as he turns 36, then 39, when the Angels still have him under contract for three more years. I cannot imagine what his guaranteed 10 years as an advisor to the owner (Moreno) will look like after he retires.

        But what do I know? Maybe Moreno wants Pujols to teach kids from Paraguay how to hit baseballs.

  • Tony_Hall

    What is this world coming to, even the Yankees are realizing, that you can’t just keep buying players…it has lead to just one World Series in 10 years after spending $2B…two billion dollars.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/new-york-yankees-hal-steinbrenner-cut-back-on-spending-in-free-agent-market-hot-stove-122711 

    Now, the Yankees will always have a high payroll, but the days of buying up whatever they need each off-season, seems to be over.

    And it also doesn’t sound like they are willing to give up their young prospect pitchers for Garza.

    • cubtex

      And Theo was right behind the Yankees spending $ for those World Series as well.
      Yes, it is strange the Red Sox and Yankees are so quiet this offseason. There is a breaking point even with those 2 teams when they say enough is enough. Throwing money at the Carl Crawfords,John Lackey and Dice K’s for minimal production gets old real quick!

      • Tony_Hall

        Yes he was, in a different time, in a different city, with a team in a different state of affairs. 

        Theo has put together a group of people to make decisions.  His is the ultimate decision.  Just as in Boston, they made group decision, but ultimately one person is the final say.

    • Jeff in AZ

      Gotta think the Yankees are still not interested in dealing with theo. Lol

  • Aaron

    The only reason Fielder is even still linked to the Cubs is because Boras has a pulse….literally everything the Cubs have done this season screams “rebuilding”….even the minor signings, trades,etc.

    I believe Theo when he says it’s a transition and I believed both Hoyer and Ricketts when they said they didn’t foresee any major spending this offseason. We all know their “interest” in Pujols was fictitious to drive up the price and get him out of the division.

    With the trades involving Marshall, Colvin, etc and the rumors involving Garza which I believe are true given their exact words… I just don’t see where any major signings fit in…even with their need for starting pitchers and the fact Jackson is still available. I believe the rotation will be filled in a Garza deal…especially with the Jays.

    I also would not be surprised at all to see Torreyes open at AA and get a call-up later this season if he does well in Spring Training. Given Barney’s lack of plate discipline and speed I believe they will try to accelerate Torreyes progress with aggressive promotions.

    I also believe they have a deal in place with Crisp that if they can unload Soriano they’ll sign him. Obviously agents won’t wait forever for that which means it’s likely for more money or years than he could get elsewhere.

    Truthfully, if they have an OF of Jackson, Crisp, and DeJesus I wouldn’t be all that upset because at least the former 2 bring a speed element this team has been lacking. The position I’m most worried about is 3B as Stewart is absolutely dreadful at the plate.

    But if they open with Soriano and Byrd in the OF the season is over before it begins. No speed, little defense, and zero plate discipline for both are recipes for disaster…as it was last year.

    • GaryLeeT

      If you are correct, and you very well could be, what fan in their right mind would pay the top dollar asked for, to see that pile of crap?

      • Aaron

        Nobody…but my point was that it’dbe better than last year’s pile of crap…mainly the OF is what I was referring to. 3B and 1B will absolutely kill this team…especially Stewart

      • John_CC

        1. The season ticket holders that have already paid, or have been on the list so damn long that won’t pass up the option.
        2. Fathers whose young kids really just want to go to see the Cubs.
        3. Frat boys
        4. Sorority sisters.

        Your point is valid GaryLeeT, but I wouldn’t have paid to see the Cubs for any of the past 3 seasons either. I haven’t even purchases a new Cubs cap even though my old one doesn’t even fit anymore, I did not want to support them in any consumer way. 

        I would rather go watch a group of young, hungry players than a group of tired overpaid vets.

        • cc002600

          Also, keep this in mind.  The Cubs will ALWAYS sellout on the weekends in the summer. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS. (since 1984, anyway)

          Doesn’t matter what the record is, people just like to go to Wrigley for the party on a beautiful summer day (Sat & Sun)

        • GaryLeeT

          Please use just Gary, which is what it use to be on this site before Disqus made me change it. It’s the season ticket holders I really feel sorry for, but there is no doubt we would all rather see a hungry kid struggle verses an over paid vet.

      • daverj

        Can’t be any worse than some of the crap teams I paid to see at Wrigley in the late 70′s and early 80′s.  When the weather is warm, I’ll be out there … 

    • Anthony

      I see Torreyes starting in Daytona out of ST, and if the contact remains intact, then AA TENN, and not a call up in September but a shot in 2013………..reason

      Theo is going to give Bianchi/Barney and whoever else a chance to succeed or fail.

      Maybe Tom can chime in on this as he has the pulse of the Farm better than anyone.

      The other interesting MIF is Alcantara.

      • Tom U

        Thanks for asking Anthony. For an FYI, I’m normally not at liberty to make comments until late afternoon due to the sensitive nature of my other job. However, I am off for the week.

    • Tom U

      Aaron, I’m a little more conservative with Torreyes, especially with second basemen Logan Watkins and Matt Cerda already proving themselves in the tough Florida State League.

      However, if Torreyes hits in the FSL like he has everywhere else, he be a cause for a lot of rethinking. 

  • John_CC

    Neil, a technical aside: you should change the external link setting to open a new window rather than re-direct. When someone adds a link to a different site, it reloads the new site in the current browser window. Just a suggestion.

  • Tom U

    Unless some really good prospects are included in the deal, I’m not sold on Anthony Gose.

    Gose only batted .250 in the AFL this fall, and is currently batting .189 for Aragua in the VWL. Gose seems to have been pushed a little too fast. He was promoted to Double-A this past season after hitting only .262 in two combined stops in 2010. Only the fact that he is left handed makes him in any way attractive. Otherwise, the organization already has a player like him in Evan Crawford.

    If the deal did include Gose, more valuable prospects such as Deck McGwire and catcher Travis d’Arnaud would have to be included. If the Cubs included a power prospect such as Michael Burgess, and the Blue Jays added a low level third baseman and left handed pitcher, you can call the deal complete.  

    • Anthony

      Tom, if Torreyes is accelerated, say Daytona/TENN, where does Alcantara fit, and since most of the 2B prospects are in the mid-upper levels, discuss them, and, who ends up at 2B in Boise then?

      Is Darvill moving off SS, and would they keep DeVoss in Boise to get more 2B reps, or is he back to CF?

      • Tom U

        I’m still in the process of learning about Torreyes. But from what I understand, he’s a very good glove man who hits an awful lot like the traded DJ LeMahieu, but with more stolen bases. 

        Alcantara is more versatile than Torreyes, being able to line up at short, third, and second. The best way to describe Alcantara defensively is that he has a third baseman’s arm and a shortstop’s range. However, for whatever reason he seems to perform better at second. He needs to develop more plate discipline and better pitch selection. He also has very good speed, but needs to work on his base running. Alcantara may be a little more raw that Torreyes. That’s why I said that I can see Alcantara either being Daytona’s third baseman or returning back to Peoria.

        Darvill is a lanky kid who made great strides both offensively and defensively last season. I got a chance to listen to a lot of Boise’s games, and from what I hear Darvill has no problems getting to the ball. His main issue is an average arm, which causes him to to either speed up or hurry throws, which led to most of his errors. However, he seems to be a smart player who really gave the team a spark as they were driving toward the playoffs. He apparently has an enthusiastic approach, making him one of Boise’s most popular players. I see Darvill staying at short, with a possible move to second if some other prospects at that position are moved. Even though his body type is like an outfielder, I don’t see him moving there because of his arm strength.

        As far as DeVoss goes, I feel he will be back in the outfield. With the addition of Torreyes and some of the players in the lower minors, it will be just too hard for him to make his mark at second. If he remains in the outfield, he may open in Peoria.

        • Anthony

          solid post Tom

          Say Alcantara moves to 3B for Daytona, then Geiger stays in Peoria, or they could flip-flop that decision.

          DeVoss playing CF in Peoria is understandable, then Pin-Chieh needs a spot, and me thinks they still hold Golden back for Boise again, just a guess.

          AZP had DeVoss in LF on his depth chart.

          Bet Darvill moves to 2B for Boise and Baez gets the most reps at SS there, with Contreras and Jeimer at 3B.

          My Daytona OF guess is a move to LF for Easterling, Szczur in CF, and Klafczynski in RF along with Abreu maybe as the rosters sit currently, and Giansanti possibly splitting some time anywhere from OF,C, 3B, or he may even relief pitch, who knows, but the above mentioned are really good athletes also.

  • daverj

    If we can get 2 top tier prospects plus 2 mid-level prospects for Garza and sign Soler (probably takes $20 mil) and add them to the already highly touted 2011 Cub draft class, then suddenly we have a very solid farm system that could start churning out quality major league talent in late 2013 or 2014.

    • Anthony

      agree except for the price of Soler, he is 19 and not Griffey Jr.

      his scouting reports drip raw, as they should for a 19 year old, and reports include swing modifications from long to short, all the basics, currently pull-happy, etc. and is probably 3 years away, so tying up cash that is 10 times the amount of a 1st round high school player is risky.

      • daverj

        Yes, but that is what he will likely cost and he is a great target for a team that hopes to compete in 2014/2015.  Leonys Martin signed for $15 million and Soler is in more demand than Martin.  I’d guess Soler signs for somewhere between $18 mil and $22 mil.

  • paulcatanese

    Levine believes that Byrd is still on the roster because the Cubs haven’t signed Coco Crisp yet.
    What kind of statement is that?
    I woulld hope that Crisp is not in the plan at all, let alone holding on to Byrd for that reason.
    Byrd needs to go and Crisp is not a reason to keep him.
    These are the kinds of things that baffle me, another under achiever to bring to the Cubs.
    So much is being based on players coming here on the downside with the hope of rivival of a carreer, not cool.

    • cc002600

      Paul….I totally agree.
      I don’t understand the Crisp thing, unless they can somehow get rid of both Byrd and Soriano, which is not going to be easy, at least Sori anyways. 

      And if they are trying to rebuild, why aren’t they just giving the CF job to BJax ?   He played 1/2 the year at AAA and did well. How can he not be ready at this point ?

      I somehow get the feeling they are not that high on him.  I could be wrong and I hope I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem like they talk about him much, while at the same time they keep adding outfielders….many of which are NOT young.

      I don’t get it. 

      • Tom U

        cc002600, it’s my opinion that Jackson will probably be in Wrigley this season, as soon ans the Super 2 number is past. The Cubs will probably want an extra year out of Jackson before he is arbitration eligible. Remember, Castro was brought up before the date, and this regime will have to deal with getting him under contract.

        By the way, I also feel that Coco Crisp is more reporter talk than anything else.

        • cc002600

          Tom U,

          I hope you are right !!

          But for some reason, their actions speak something else, IMO

          not only that, I didn’t even mention their “alleged” interest in the cuban OF’s (Soler, Cespedes)

          It just seems that BJax is not even talked about, while all these other OF’s are being discussed.

          Oh well, thanks again.

          We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

          • John_CC

            Just keep in mind that the entire OF right now are just guys holding places. Even DeJesus, the only addition, is just a 2 year contract. Byrd and Soriano will be gone. That leaves a lot of room. I don’t think Coco is a serious “want” either, but if they sign him, it will be a year deal, again to hold a place. I don’t think Jackson is being overlooked, they are just making alternate plans…in case.  Soler is 19-20, so he is also a future option at best.

          • cc002600

            ok, I hope you’re right.

            I’ll come off the ledge if you are.

            but I just have gut feel on this that they may trade him..

            we’ll see.
            hope I’m wrong.

          • daverj

            I think we’ll see Jackson in a Cub uniform in mid-June to avoid Super 2 status (assuming he plays well in AAA).  The Cubs may trade him, but it would have to be for another Top 100 prospect.  They won’t just give Jackson away. 

      • paulcatanese

        I agree with you, I expected Jackson before this, if he was as good as everyone says he would be here. I dont understand the holding pattern he is in, and actually expect him to be traded. Something just doesent seem right.
        I understand what Tom is saying in his post below but they have been playing that game with BJax for a couple of years now.

  • Anthony

    Don’t want the Fielder expense as a qualifier.

    Rebuilding.

    If Fielder=Yes, Garza stays and extended
    If Garza=Traded, Fielder=No(rebuild)

    How to get rid of Soriano for the least cost if YES?

    Bat him 3rd and Fielder 4th, have him sit on fastballs, crush em, increase value, gone by trade deadline to the AL.

    After he is traded, shove LaHair in LF and move Castro to the 3-hole.

    I prefer the rebuilding as a couple prime years of Garza on a potential losing cause are wasted wins some contender values much higher, hence hold out for ransom.

    Not crazy about the Toronto position guys rumored, some the top pitching prospects, yes, as one can be flipped if needed.

  • Tony_Hall

    Red Sox trade for Andrew Bailey

    The Red Sox have acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in a trade that will send Josh Reddick to Oakland and Ryan Sweeney to Boston. Third base prospect Miles Head and right-handed pitching prospect Raul Alcantara are going to Oakland in the deal, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, who first reported the move (all Twitter links). 

    • daverj

      That’s a weak return for Bailey.  Marmol probably doesn’t have much trade value after that deal.  The real loser here though is Madson … he should have taken the big contract that Philly offered.  He’s going to have to settle for much less now.

      • Aaron

        If you believe the media….supposedly Amaro was overruled by their owner and reneged on the deal because the owner would only approve it for a guy like Papelbon…it’s why Boras might not ever deal with them again because he knows deep down the Phillies were his only ticket to a big deal. Now he’s left panhandling.

  • Tony_Hall

    Reviewing some old trades to see how they worked out.

    12/15/07  Jim Edmonds traded with $1M cash to the Padres for future World Series MVP David Freese

    The day before that 12/14/07 Dan Haren and Connor Robertson traded to the D-Backs for Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunnigham, AND Carlos Gonzalez to the A’s

    12/14/07 – Diamondbacks get Chad Qualls, Chris Burke, Juan Gutierez, for Jose Valevere to the Astros

    12/05/07 – Yankees receive Jonathan Albaladejo to the Nationals for Tyler Clippard

    11/28/07 The Twins receive Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, Jason Pridie and the Rays receive Jason Bartlett, Edwardo Morian, and Matt Garza

    11/08/07 Phillies receive Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett for Geoff Geary, Mike Costanzo and Michael Bourn to the Astros

    10/30/07 Tigers receive Edgar Renteria for Gorkys Hernandez and Jair Jurrjens

    There were many more trades during this couple month stretch, but I found it interesting as at the time we may have said one team won the trade, only to now look at the trade differently, now that the prospects are a more known player.

    • RynoTiger

      It will be interesting if Garza to the Blue Jays goes on that list and we’ll all be very curious as to how Theo got the Jays to throw in Jose Bautista along with the prospects and how he was able to convince the Jays that Ian Stewart would totally excel in the light canadian air.  Since Bautista has played 3B before, he’s our next long lasting player there. 

      3B problem solved :)

  • Aaron

    I just hope in any deal with the Jays, Epstein and Hoyer refuse to accept Gose as any part of that deal. I really think he’s closer to Tony Campana than any other OF in the Cubs’ system, albeit with a little more home run power than Campana. If you look at their SLG %, you’ll see that they’re very similar…and while Gose has more HR power, Campana has a far better average, and K’s far less than Gose.

    At any rate, anything less than some combination of 3-4 players out of the following list would be a huge disappointment: Drabek, Marisnick, McGuire, Nicolino, D’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Hutchison, or Snider.

    Truthfully, if the Cubs just landed Marisnick, Nicolino, Hutchison or Syndergaard (not both, obviously), and Snider (as a throw-in…with the Cubs giving someone else like Byrd or Soto back), I would be more than satisfied…even without McGuire.

    But my guess–given the relative lack of high profile players received for Marshall—is that the Cubs will settle for maybe 1 player on that list, and the rest will be nobody we’ve ever heard of….in other words, it’ll be more of a Hendry-esque trade than anything, and that, to me, would be an abomination.

    I hope I’m wrong, but it seems that Epstein and Hoyer are trying to be too “cute” with their trades/signings thus far to try to prove how smart they are, versus going for sure things.

  • Aaron

    If the Tigers get Garza for Oliver, Turner, and 2 other position prospects (as has been reported in the Twitter feed as a likely scenario), then Dombrowski should get GM of the Decade award…because Oliver and Turner are garbage if you look at their stats in the minors and limited stats in MLB.

    A fair return might be Castellanos, Smyly, and Turner…plus a low level guy…but a trade headlined by Turner and Oliver is an absolute joke.

  • Aaron

    Rumors have it that it’s Tigers, Jays, and Yankees in that order in terms of likely landing spots.

    Let’s examine what each team has to offer in a likely deal:

    Tigers: Turner, Oliver, and Castellanos
    *Verdict=thanks…but NO thanks. Turner and Oliver are garbage. Both throw mid 90′s, but Oliver lacks control, supposedly. Castellanos might be a decent 3B someday, but he lacks power. I’d be trying to figure out how he’s much different than Vitters, and I’d be questioning how much better Turner would be than McNutt, and how much Oliver would be better than…say…Antigua. Both are slightly better, but not by much, and both were rushed through the system too fast according to scouting reports

    Jays: depending whom you believe…some combination of Drabek, McGuire, Marisnick, Gose, Nicolino, etc. might be in play.
    *Verdict=in my estimation, the Jays have the best prospects with the highest ceilings of any possible trade partners. I know for a fact that if the Cubs landed Nicolino, Marisnick, and McGuire, they might rank 1,2, and 3 in the Cubs’ system

    Yankees: Montero, Banuelos, Betances
    *Verdict=Montero would be the defacto favorite to land the 1B gig, and could also serve as a back-up catcher. Banuelos supposedly experienced some injury concerns this year, and Betances had bouts of wildness. At one time, I was a huge fan of this haul, until I did more research on Banuelos and Betances. Supposedly Banuelos’ velocity dropped considerably, and Betances struggles with control and had a disastrous MLB debut with 2 very poor appearances. I’m not sold on either of those two anymore. Montero has a pretty promising bat though.

    I would be incredibly disappointed if the Cubs went with the Tigers rumored offer. The Jays offer so many high end prospects I already mentioned in a previous post…enough to make a trade of 3-4 high end prospects not even hurt. In fact, if you subbed in Syndergaard and Hutchison instead of Drabek and McGuire, they likely wouldn’t blink, and the Cubs would be lucky to have them. Here’s hoping the Jays move to the front, but I’m NOT optimistic about that, especially considering where that Jays rumor originated (Jim Bowden)…In fact, if I had known it originated with him, I wouldn’t have even considered the possibilities because he’s almost never right. I hope he is in this case, however, because they have the best prospects to offer. Marisnick, Nicolino, etc. would be very exciting.