Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 05/31/12

The season debuts of Robert Whitenack and Javier Baez were a mixed bag, with neither assisting in producing more victories. Peoria was able to manage one, as it took 14 innings to secure. The winning touch has seemed to elude Daytona despite the efforts of Greg Rohan, while it has found a home in Iowa, winners of five straight. Iowa’s Josh Vitters has turned things on as Anthony Rizzo nurses a sore wrist. And Tennessee continues to stumble around in the field, as runs became hard to come by.

To see where this all leads to, take a look at today’s Down on the Farm Report.

Note: Monday’s report will cover games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (23-29)
The Chiefs held a slim 2-1 lead going into the ninth on Sunday, but the bullpen wasn’t able to close things out as they lost 3-2 to Wisconsin. Yao-Lin Wang was entrusted with the lead, but had trouble getting outs as he walked two and gave up two hits, including a two-run homer. It spoiled a good effort by Michael Jensen, who struck out eight and allowed only one earned run in six innings. Sheldon McDonald held the Timber Rattlers, as he went two scoreless innings. Once again, run support could have made the difference. Peoria had eight hits, but left five runners in scoring position while going 2-for-14 in that situation. The Chiefs scored first in the third inning, as Zeke DeVoss (1-for-4) doubled and came in on a triple by Taiwan Easterling (3-for-4, triple). Peoria added their other run in the fifth when Easterling, who had doubled, scored on a Ryan Cuneo (2-for-3, double) RBI single.

With all of the hype surrounding the promotion of 2011 first-round draft pick Javier Baez, the Peoria offense still struggled as they lost 3-1 to Wisconsin on Monday. Baez started at shortstop and batted sixth, and was 2-for-4 in his debut. But the Chiefs could only manage three more hits, as Oliver Zapata was 1-for-2 with two walks, and Zeke DeVoss (1-for-4, double) scored the only run. Jose Rosario had his good stuff going, striking out seven and allowing one earned run in seven innings. Austin Reed gave up two earned runs, including a home run, in his two innings.

Peoria played marathon baseball on Tuesday, coming out ahead of Wisconsin 4-3 in 14 innings. Kyler Burke didn’t have one of his best outings with five walks, but allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings kept things close. Larry Suarez relieved and pitched two innings, giving up an earned run. It then became a call to arms, four more pitchers followed. Luis Liria looks as if he has a future in the pen, as he continued to look sharp in a scoreless inning. Yao-Lin Wang redeemed himself from his previous appearance by striking out four in two innings, while Sheldon McDonald also tossed two scoreless innings. The win would go to player-coach, and infielder, Kenny Socorro, who blanked the Timber Rattlers for two innings.

Outfielder Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-6) doubled in Wes Darvill for the Chiefs’ first run in the second inning. Ryan Cuneo (2-for-5) added a solo home run in the third. An Anthony Giansanti (2-for-6) single in the bottom of the fourth brought home Javier Baez, who had walked and stole second base earlier. That was all until the bottom of the 14th, when Pin-Chieh Chen drew a two-out walk, stole second base, and touched home on an Oliver Zapata single.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (19-30)
Daytona rallied to take the lead on Wednesday, but the D-Cubs’ relief corps couldn’t hold it as they fell 8-7 to St. Lucie. Starter Frank Del Valle wasn’t able to repel the Mets’ attack, surrendering two home runs as part of a five earned run, six strikeout, five-inning performance. The D-Cubs came back with seven runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, as Greg Rohan hit a three-run homer and Ronald Torreyes was 3-for-3 with two RBI. While Joe Zeller struck out three in his two innings, he allowed St. Lucie to tie the score with two earned runs. Then Tony Zych, in his two innings, allowed the Mets to take the lead, which would eventually turn out to be the winning margin.

The D-Cubs were never in it on Thursday, losing 5-2 to wrap up their series with St. Lucie. Ryan Searle return to a starting role, and was clearly rusty as he allowed three earned runs in only 3.2 innings with two strikeouts. Hayden Simpson relieved and gave up another earned run in 2.1 innings. The last run for the Mets crossed the plate on Eduardo Figueroa, as he pitched two innings and struck out three batters. Ty’Relle Harris finished things off with a scoreless ninth. Daytona was able to push across two late runs as Greg Rohan (3-for-5) belted his eighth home run while Micah Gibbs (1-for-4, home run) hit his first of the year. Richard Jones and Ronald Torreyes were each 2-for-4.

On Friday, Daytona received yet another sparkling performance from Austin Kirk, but couldn’t take advantage of nine hits as they lost 2-1 to Clearwater. Kirk continues to dominate Florida State League hitters, tossing eight shutout innings while striking out four batters. Closer Tony Zych blew his fifth save as he allowed two earned runs in the ninth. The D-Cubs only run came as Rubi Silva (2-for-4) came home on a single by Dustin Harrington (2-for-3, RBI). Micah Gibbs was also 2-for-4 for the evening.

Saturday’s game saw Daytona halt a three game skid, as they topped Clearwater 3-1. Matt Loosen is now rounding into form, as he went six innings and only allowed a solo home run, while striking out seven batters. Jeffrey Lorick saw his first action for the D-Cubs and repelled the Threshers for two scoreless innings. Now assuming the left-handed closer role, Scott Weismann struck out two in the ninth and picked up his second save.

Centerfielder John Andreoli was the spark for Daytona, as he was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Rubi Silva scored the other run, as he was 2-for-4 with a triple. Matt Szczur (1-for-4, RBI) and Elieser Bonne (1-for-3, RBI) had an RBI apiece.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

On Tuesday, Daytona dropped a pair to Brevard County 4-1 and 5-2 in a doubleheader. Game one saw the return of Robert Whitenack, who had Tommy John surgery a year ago. Whitenack was a little rusty, allowing four runs (three earned) and ten hits in 4.1 innings, but not as rusty as the Daytona offense. Their only run came in the fifth, as a Matt Szczur (1-for-3, RBI) single brought home Richard Jones (2-for-3), who had doubled to lead off the inning. Ryan Searle continues to plug gaps, as the D-Cubs have yet to find a role for him, as he struck out four in 1.2 innings.

The second game saw PJ Francescon go the distance, pitching six innings and giving up five earned runs while striking out five batters. The only Daytona runs came on a Greg Rohan (1-for-3, HR) home run, his ninth of the season, with Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-2) aboard in the third inning.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (22-30)
The struggles for the Tennessee squad continued on Monday, losing their fifth out of the last six games to Huntsville, 8-4. The game wasn’t even as close as the score made it appear, as shoddy outfield defense helped lead to five earned runs off of starter Dae-Eun Rhee in the second inning. Rhee pitched 2.1 innings and was charged with seven earned runs. Jeffry Antigua attempted to right the ship, striking out five in 4.2 scoreless innings, but the offense couldn’t produce. Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 with his sixth home run, but that wasn’t able to make up for some of his defensive shortcoming in left field. Luis Flores went 1-for-2 with two RBI. The Stars were able to push across an insurance run off of Brian Schlitter, who tossed two innings. The only bright spot was Frank Batista, who kept his Tennessee ERA at 0.00 with a scoreless ninth.

While the Tennessee offense remains punch-less, they got just enough good pitching to get past Huntsville 3-2 on Tuesday. Nick Struck had his best pitching performance in weeks, striking out nine in six scoreless innings. Then the high-wire act that is Alberto Cabrera took over. Cabrera struck out two, but continued to demonstrate an inability to work out of jams, allowing two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. Fortunately, Kevin Rhoderick came to the rescue, bailing out Cabrera in the eighth and pitching a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.

The Smokies were able to get some production out of the top of their line-up, as Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Jae-Hoon Ha was also 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Justin Bour was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (24-27)
As rumors swirled on Sunday, Iowa was able to put together a solid effort and defeat Memphis 5-1. After Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3) put the I-Cubs ahead with a two-run double in the first, he left the game for a pinch-hitter in the sixth. Rumors immediately started that Rizzo was about to be called to the parent club. But in the end, it was just a precaution due to a wrist issue. Alfredo Amezaga and Luis Valbuena, both 2-for-4, set the table for Rizzo. Dave Sappelt was 2-for-4 and Josh Vitters was 2-for-5, while Juan Apodaca (1-for-3) drove in a run.

Chris Volstad had things under control, as he cruised through seven innings, allowing an earned run and striking out four batters. Striking out the side, Carlos Marmol continued to tune up in an injury rehab. Esmailin Caridad also recorded two punch outs as he held the Redbirds the rest of the way.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Iowa showed that it isn’t all-Rizzo, all the time on offense Monday as they swept Memphis 8-2. With Rizzo on the bench, Josh Vitters took over at first and went 2-for-5 with his sixth home run and two RBI. Brett Jackson has batted .295 since moving to the six-hole in the batting order, as he was 2-for-4 with a triple, stolen base, and an RBI. Alfredo Amezaga and Luis Valbuena were also 2-for-5, while Dave Sappelt had a 2-for-4 day.

Brooks Raley had it going in his second start for Iowa, sailing through five innings before allowing two earned runs in the sixth, as he struck out two batters. Manny Corpas came on and kept the Redbirds off the scoreboard for three innings. Scott Maine then slammed the door, pitching a shutout ninth inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

A late rally by Iowa on Tuesday pushed their win streak to five games, as they defeated Omaha 5-4. Josh Vitters continues to be on fire, as he was 2-for-3 with a home run, RBI, and two runs scored. Down 4-1 in the top of the seventh, Brian Esposito (1-for-3, double, two RBI) droe in two with a double and helped the I-Cubs pull within one run. Iowa then added two more in the eighth, as Alfredo Amezaga (1-for-5) came in on Dave Sappelt’s (2-for-4) force out, while Luis Valbuena (1-for-5) scampered in on a wild pitch.

Chris Rusin allowed all four earned runs to the Storm Chasers in six innings, striking out three batters. Jeff Beliveau returned from the DL and tossed a scoreless inning for the win. Mike MacDougal and Scott Maine each pitched a shutout inning, with Maine notching his third save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

2012 First Year Player Draft
The 2012 First Year Player Draft begins Monday. The Cubs have the sixth overall pick and four of the top 67 picks in the draft (6, 43, 56 and 67). According to a report from the Sun-Times, about 20 of the Cubs’ top scouting personnel and front office evaluators have been gathered in Chicago since Monday preparing for the three-day draft.

Jason McLeod indicated pitching will definitely be a focus for the Cubs in the upcoming draft. McLeod said, “It’s not going to be need-based picks, especially with our first pick. But once we get past the first pick – and it could be a pitcher; it may not be a pitcher – it is something we are certainly going to try to address. It is a need for our organization.”

The Cubs began a process Wednesday at Wrigley Field of working out draft eligible players. The process is expected to continue over the next few days. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Tim Wilken were in attendance for Wednesday’s workout.

The Cubs worked out shortstop Carlos Correa and left-handed pitcher Max Fried on Wednesday. Correa took infield at both shortstop and third base and Dale Sveum threw him batting practice. According to Bruce Levine, Sveum threw 47 pitches to Correa and four of the balls ended up in the bleachers (two to left, one to center and one to right). Max Fried threw off the Wrigley Field mound.

Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R.)
The Cubs were said to be interested in the 17-year old shortstop Carlos Correa prior to his workout at Wrigley Field. Correa is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and according to Baseball America he is light on his feet, shows fluid actions and has a cannon for an arm. Correa has the tools to remain at short but as he develops he could move to third base. Correa has been compared to Troy Tulowitzki and Ryan Zimmerman. At the plate, Correa shows excellent balance and rhythm, as well as patience, to go along with exciting bat speed and natural loft according to Baseball America. Correa is one of the youngest players in the draft and has committed to the University of Miami.

Carlos Correa is being advised by Paul Kinzer. Players cannot officially sign with an agent before being drafted.

Max Fried (Harvest-Westlake HS, Studio Valley, CA)
Max Fried is lean, athletic and projectable at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds. According to Baseball America, Fried has a fluid delivery and advanced feel for three pitches that all have a chance to be plus or better. Fried can add and subtract from a fastball that ranges from 88-95 mph. His best pitch is a tight downer curveball in the 74-78 range that rates conservatively as a plus pitch and flashes plus-plus. Fried throws a low-80s changeup that is already average and projects as another plus pitch. Baseball America described him as cerebral and determined and projects him as a potential number two starter in the big leagues with a chance to be a number one.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs optioned C Blake Lalli to the Iowa Cubs; Iowa activated LHP Jeff Beliveau from the 7-Day disabled list and placed RHP Rodrigo Lopez on the 7-Day disabled list. The Iowa Cubs assigned IF Nate Samson to the Tennessee Smokies.

The Tennessee Smokies placed LHP Casey Harman on the 7-Day disabled list.

Infielder Javier Baez was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs from the Boise Hawks; IF Marco Hernandez was assigned to Extended Spring Training.

CCO’s Prospect Watch
Note: RHP Robert Whitenack, the eleventh player in the 2012 fan poll, will take the place of RHP Dillon Maples

  • Javier Baez (IF) – .222, stolen base (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .249, 10 doubles, triple, two home runs, 13 RBI, 13 stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – . 294, six doubles, triple, two home runs, five RBI, three stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .269, 11 doubles, three triples, home run, 13 RBI, 19 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .173, four doubles, two triples, eight RBI, four stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .281, 11 doubles, seven home runs, 25 RBI, stolen base (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Robert Whitenack – 0-1, 6.32 ERA, 4.1 innings, 1 walk, 2.54 WHIP (Daytona Cubs)
  • Tony Zych (RHP) – 2-3, 3.91 ERA, 25.1 innings, 20 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1.26 WHIP, 4 saves (Daytona Cubs)

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Zonk

    Tom, it’s early now, but next month will you do a “Mid-Season” top prospects list?  From early returns, there are some prospects whose stock has climbed it seems, and some whose stock has fallen.   Some I am thinking of:

    Junior Lake
    Anthony Rizzo (duh)
    Arismendy Alcanatara

    Jay Jackson
    Reggie Golden
    Brett Jackson

    • CubsTalk

      There is a guy named Kirk (pitcher) who is on the fast track to Wrigley.

    • Tom U

      Zonk, its hard to be down on Reggie Golden at this point. He finished last season on a high note, and injured his knee early this season, putting him out for the year.

      I plan on doing a mid-season system report, along with a system All-Star team. Although, I will have to scratch around hard to cover some positions.

      • CUB 65 – 97

        Cant wait to see how much weight he gains now…one word round comes to mind round

  • CubsTalk

    Most of our farm boys need more seasoning…..Lake needs to improve his defense, but he is a bat without a position …..Biaz will be our 3B guy….so Lake has to head out to  LF…. ..but hat spot is taken by Soriano and Vitters who is ahead of Lake……..I  believe Theo will use Lake and maybe Vitters for trade bait later……….

    Who has the longest contract with the Cubs?………Gerado Concepcion.

    For people like Aaron who doubt this information…go to…….

    • Calicub

      you shouldn’t have to provide evidence to silence so called doubters, you should provide your evidence to demonstrate a logical careful and accurate research.

      get over yourself

      • CubsTalk

        I had a few who question where I get my information….I really don’t care if a couple of Cubs geeks believe me or not…I just like to give a jab at a few who get too “anal” about the Cubs.

        Hey, we are all here to enjoy baseball……

        Anyone see that story about Soriano is a good fit for Cleveland?

        If Cubs did eat $48 million, I want three near ready MLB top prospects back from Cleveland for that amount to pay for.

        • cc002600

           “If Cubs did eat $48 million, I want three near ready MLB top prospects back from Cleveland for that amount to pay for”

          Surely you are kidding, right ???

          If you can find some sucker to take a small portion of that contract, you should be on your knees praising the Lord 6 ways to sunday.

          Fugettabout about getting anything in return, cause you won’t get a bag of balls.

        • John_CC

          What do the quotes mean?  Maybe I shouldn’t ask.

          • cc002600

             I am quoting what cubstalk said

          • John_CC

             I meant cubstalk’s odd placement of quotes above.

          • Cory

            All I can say is consider the source…

    • Tom U

      As reported in the link above, Nate Robertson released by Iowa.

      • Zonk

        I was wondering why he was still on the roster…makes sense, Robertson has nothing to offer at this point

    • John_CC

      I think most of us are aware of MLB Trade Rumors, what exactly am I supposed to be reading here? 

    • JoePepitone

      Providing citation to the source of
      your information is what people with credibility do.  They do it as a matter of habit and don’t get all pissy about it.

  • CubsTalk

    Tomorrow is a big day in the minor league system where veterans who have minor league contracts either get called up or get released…..Alfredo Amezaga is one of them at Iowa.

    • Tom U

      Business is business, but I would hate to see that happen. Amezaga, along with Luis Valbuena and Frankie De La Cruz, have been the best veteran off-season minor league signings.

      • Zonk

        Tom, I was going to ask about Valbuena.  He’s a little old to be a prospect, but at 26 can help the club.  He’s having a nice year at Iowa obviously.

        What is the scouting report on his defense?  Specifically, SS?   He was basically Cleveland’s starting 2B for a couple years, but Asdrubal Cabrera may have blocked him at SS. 

        I wonder if he’s a better option than Cardenas.  Valbuena seems to be about the same offensively, but on paper offers more defensive versatility.

        • Zonk

          PS:  Though, Valbuena has hit at AAA for 3 years, including a nice 302/372/476 line last year, and played mostly SS.  Yet, Cleveland still dumped him (and Toronto as well; they cut him to start the season)

        • Tom U

          Sorry to get back to you so late, but like CubsTalk puts it, I was out making money.

          There are several things that jump out when looking at Valbuena


          He’s always hit better in the minors than up in the bigs, and that he is a better second baseman that shortstop. In that way, he’s kind of like a mirror image of Darwin Barney.

  • Zonk

    OT, but Jamie Moyer was DFA’ed by the Rockies.  2-5 with a 5.70 ERA.

    He should probably retire, but I am very impressed by Moyer and his professionalism.  Although he isn’t officially the oldest player in ML history, he is the oldest “Real” player IMO, that wasn’t some sort of gimmick (Satchel Paige and Minnie Minoso were gimmicks playing in their 50s)

    Hats off to Jamie Moyer, and inspiration to all of us middle-aged!

  • gocubs

    I dont understand why Jackson and Rizzo are not part of the CCO Prospect Watch at bottom.  You started adding them for a while, but then have reverted to leaving them out.  Why?  Arent they top prospects?

    • brent carmona

      The CCO has their reasons but I think for most readers here we like to see how the under the radar prospects are fairing since information on the top prospects are aplenty out in the cubs blogosphere

    • Vivid_Reality

      Everyone voted on who they wanted to see in the prospect watch.

    • John_CC

       The reason is Tom and Neil asked readers every week over the winter to vote on the prospects that they wanted Tom to keep track of specifically.  That is the list.  I don’t think it has changed.  People asked to keep track of some of the younger/under the radar prospects — Jackson and Rizzo are in the write-ups ever week as starters on the AAA team.

      • brent carmona

        Ah that’s right thanks yall I forgot

    • Tom U

      Sorry to respond so late gocubs, here is a link back to our reader’s poll 

      There were two adjustments during the season. When Reggie Golden went down with a knee injury, Tony Zych, the next injury-free (I don’t like to use the term “healthy”) player replaced him, Then when Robert Whitenack returned from the DL, he replaced Dillon Maples, who is currently in injury rehab.

  • paulcatanese

    Tom, this may be a stupid question, but what does extended spring training actualy mean? Is it that the parent club has no-where to put an individual, are they continualy working on something? Or are its trying to figure out where one belongs?

    • Tom U

      Extended spring  training is combination of players with injuries rehabbing and younger players not assigned to a team currently playing. The games are looser in structure, and the teams involved usually tailor the rules in order to accomplish the work that needs to be done. For example, if a player needs at bats, he might bat a second time if he makes an out in his first at bat, or something like that.

      Arizona Phil, who I have cited many times, does a good job in covering everything that happens out there. You can find him at 

      This is the second time within a week that I’ve given them a free plug.

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks Tom.

  • cc002600

    Not sure anyone saw that trade bait list by Jon Heyman, but that just reinforces what I have been saying.  The cubs should just extend Garza.  The supply of available pitching to be dealt is vast, which means if you think you are going to be blown away by someone offering 3 top prospects for Garza, it ain’t gonna happen. 

    Nobody will offer that, because they won’t have to.  There will be many sellers of quality pitching. Its simple supply and demand.

    • John_CC

       But Garza is under team control through 2013.  The fact is there is no real rush to extend OR trade him.  Unless of course, they are blown away. That is all they are waiting on. 

      What is the point of extending right now?  Personally, I hate the mid-season extensions on a player that isn’t in his last year under contract. What if blows out his shoulder or elbow? What if continues to suck for the rest of the year?

      The contrary is: what if he is an ACE from now till August?  Great, now he’s worth more in trade. And he is still under contract for next year when we can go through all this again.

      • cc002600

         I didn’t say to extend him now….
        I’m just saying they should extend him whenever, instead of trading him.

        You won’t get the haul you think you will

      • gary3411

        Theoretically, Garza will ask for more money at the end of the year, than he will for right now, because he only has one year left until free agency, that is why you would want to extend him now. Not saying I want them to, but that is the reason you would.

        Basically, he survived another year without getting hurt during his arb years, which makes him more valuable come free agency and more expensive to extend.

        Also, trading him in the offseason will result in a lower return as well because he will be expensive and it’s a one year rental. One and a half years (basically 2 because the teams are really wanting him for the playoffs) of Garza is much more valuable to another team than one year at what will probably be 12-13mil next year. You’d probably get one top prospect for him in the offseason.

        • cc002600

           Exactly, the notion that teams are going to just trade 2 or 3 top prospects for one pitcher is just pure fantasyland. 

          Teams are reluctant to trade them away these days, since they can control their cost for a long time.

          • John_CC

             I disagree.  But that is aside…I don’t really get your argument to the Heyman list.  He puts Grienke at the top of the list but then states that Garza could be more attractive and return the biggest prize due to the extra year of team control.  It is counter to your argument. 

          • cc002600

             forget about how he ranks them. My point is simple.

            Its simple supply and demand

            if there are a bunch of teams out there willing to trade pitching, the price will coem down.

            Conversely, if no one had pitching to deal, then the price go up, (i.e then you COULD get 2 or 3 top prospects)

            anyhow, I’d rather see them keep him.

            you can’t just keep trading away your best players for prospects and expect to contend anytime soon…..if you want to wait till 2017 or 2018 to watch a contender, than God bless, but not me. 

            Because there is NO WAY you will contend in 2 or 3 years if you keep dumping your best players.

            Ask the Pirates and Royals how that has been working over the last 20 years.

          • John_CC

             I never said I wanted him traded. Just saying extending him during this season is not a priority.

            I agree with cubtex below … waiting … waiting … ok, I didn’t get struck by lightening.  Play on.

          • cubtex

            Take a look at the Matt Latos and Gio Gonzales trades. Garza will command quite a bit to a contender who is “going for it” The Mets got the Giants #1 prospect last year for 2 months of Carlos Beltran. Garza should bring back a much better haul than what the Cubs gave to the Rays.

          • cc002600

             maybe. but you have to look at the market at the time.
            Were there other teams out there willing to trade pitching too ?  Just because that happened 6  months ago, doesn’t mean it will happen again. Things change. 

            To be honest, I think the pendulum has swung somewhat. Remember when good starting pitchers were like gold ?  Well, not saying they still aren’t valued, but right now, pitching has been dominant across the board.  so that brings the value of good starting pitching down somewhat.

            A run producing hitter is probably more valuable right now, because they have become more rare.

          • cubtex

            Even you said that you want to hold onto Garza since starting pitching is so hard to find. Look at the free agents the next 2 years. The starting pitching market is very very thin. Garza would get back a great haul!

          • cc002600

             I said I want the cubs to hold onto him because we have ZERO pitching in the minors.

            If you want to trade him for prospects and wait for them to develop, than we’re looking  at 5-6 year process.

            That’s crazy

        • John_CC

           I understand, but I still do not like extending pitchers before their contract year.  The risk of injury is too great.  It shouldn’t matter for the couple million dollar difference between an extension now and January shouldn’t really matter to the Cubs. 

          Of course, they could extend him and still trade him later.

          I just don’t think an extension right now is a priority.  They need to make a lot of move this June and July and probably into August,  reassess the team and where they stand. Then they can decide on the future of Garza.

    • CubsTalk

      but you are not in that position to say “yes” or “no” on a trade……

      Who are the quality pitchers out there right now to trade for????……….I believe the Cubs have corner that market now …..Even the Mets & Indians will be looking to buy.

  • CubsTalk

    Bob Nightengale of USA says Theo is telling everyone that  every Cub is on the trade table except for Samardzija…….

    Starlin Castro could be traded for the right mixed of prospects….WOW!

    • DWalker

      Shark is probably off the table bacause they beleive he hasn’t reached his full potential and can’t possibly right now bring in enough value to offset that. Also by pulling him off the market, it puts more value on the other three pitchers they would be more interested in trading.

      The Castro bit may be just talk, and probably is. However, I can see why they would at least listen to offers on him, especially if they don’t see him as a long term SS. As good as he is at hitting, he doesn’t bring a lot else to the table so can be troublesome to fit into a rotation, he also doesn’t fit Theos mold. Castro is also the one item on the team they have that has serious trade potential. If they are looking at 2015+ rather then 2013 or 2014 for competing, I could see them taking a real hard look at a couple of major prospects of Rizzo quality, maybe not future HOFers, but like they said, Impact Players. Right now the minors look pretty bare of that type of player for the next few years.  It might very well require a multi team trade to pull off though as I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be looking for both an infielder and a TOR potential pitcher. Its the type of move that would define Theo’s time in Chicago, so for the right package I don’t think Theo would hesitate.   

      • CubsTalk

        I like Castro, and maybe one day he will be a Miguel Cabrera type of player……I just hate us to make a Lou Brock type of trade on Castro…..but the issue is Castro is not maturing for this game……he is lazy….and there are those outside issues that can pop up again.

        • John_CC

           Aside from making the big leagues at 20 years old, there is nothing in Castro’s game that looks like Miggy’s did. 

          At 21 Miggy hit 33HR/112RBI with a slash .295/.366/.512 … he has only improved every year since.

    • Anthony

      Although unpopular, mentioned several times over the winter that Castro is NOT an MLB prototype SS, and when you remove him from that Premium position, his bat becomes so-so at any other spot due to below-avg power.

      He wasn’t traded over the winter because of the “taint” of the late-night escapades, i.e below-mkt average return.

      The Cubs have a broken down LF, a RF who prototypes like a 5th OF, a mess at 3rd base, and so on. Garza getting lit up recently devalues him also. They say timing is everything.

      This was your transitional year as well as get to know your leader the Great Theo Epstein year, the same guy who was the afterthought to Billy Beane saying NO to BOS…lol

      It is much easier to come into a work situation and maintain someone else’s success versus coming into a situation with no experience inheriting a mess. Epstein is so good, he gave $$$$ to a bust 1st rounder a few years ago when all the reports from scouts said stay away. Overrated is a huge Understatement with this guy.

      Oh Carmen, or whatever they call their non-human decison-making computer, the history of baseball and its past success was driven by foot soldiers using their eyes, not spreadsheets and the misnomer of “investment only players matter”

      • Tom U

        Anthony, nice to see you. Just to let you know. Last week, when I was on assignment, I put in a good word for Ben.

  • Neil Mock Draft: Projecting the whole first round

    Has Cubs taking Albert Almora (OF),Carlos Correa (SS) or Max Fried (LHP)

  • CubsTalk

    A playoff bound team will give more for Garza in July 2012 than in July 2013…… Garza is looking for $16 million per year for 5 years…..not in Ricketts budget….Garza is not #1 pitcher..lately pitching like a #4……….Hamels will get around $140 million contract….he will be heading home to Southern California.

    • cubtex

      A #4? Are you going by 2 starts after he got the flu and lost 10 to 15 pounds? Give me a break! Garza is a top of the rotation starter on any team!

      • CubsTalk

        I just said he has been pitching like a #4 lately…..he is not a #4……but Garza is sure no Ace.

      • Zonk

        I think the Cubs will listen to offers for Garza, but unless they are overwhelmed, won’t make a move.  Why should we?

        The Cubs can hold out for more return, or trade him this offseason, or try to re-sign him, or trade him next summer, or several options. 

        The Brewers, on the other hand, have one option:  Trade Grienke. We won’t move Garza until Grienke moves. 

        I have a feeling Garza won’t go anywhere.  And it wont’ be because we did nothing, but because we didn’t receive any great offers.

        IF Dempster wants to be moved, he is the more likely to be traded.

  • CubsTalk

    Sellers as of today……


    Everyone else are Buyers or holding on of what they have.


  • matthew8510

     Castro is “first on the list of players [the Cubs] won’t trade,” according to a team that recently spoke to the Cubs, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler also says the Cubs have told teams that they will cover as much as $45MM of the approximately $48MM remaining on Soriano’s contract if the outfielder is moved (Twitter link). At least one team has already expressed interest in Dempster, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney.

  • matthew8510

    #Pirates release Nate McLouth

    • John_CC

       Good for them.  Are you suggesting something or just stating week old news?  Because I do not want washed up OF that can’t make it on the Pirates.

      • matthew8510

        id take him over reed johnson

  • Dorasaga

    I’m pretty sure DeVoss’s name has been popping out Down On here quite a bit. He must be hot, I thought… but could only find online one in-game action vid with him, since he joined pro (the vids for free, at least). He hits a “healthy” obp, and the limited info indicates good range (speed!), so we might have a gold mine with two or three tools here. The Cubs desperately need patient hitters who can field.

    • Tom U

      Well Dorasaga, I have some good and bad news. The bad is that DeVoss is an awful fielder at second base. He shows some extremely raw ability, but he is very inconsistent.

      The good news is that when I was able to take in workouts, DeVoss worked very hard on learning second base. Whether he makes any improvement will be up to him.

      • Dorasaga

        I guess I’ll ask you again in two months if Devoss improved his skills with his raw talent.