Scott Baker Set to Rehab with Kane County and Other Cubs News and Rumors

The Cubs received good news on the Scott Baker front. After throwing four simulated innings at the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Baker flew to Chicago and met with the coaching and medical staff. Baker completed a bullpen session and threw mostly fastball and changeups under the watchful eye of Chris Bosio on Thursday afternoon.

The Cubs announced afterwards that Scott Baker would begin a rehab stint with the Kane County Cougars on Sunday. The plan is for Baker to complete at least four rehab starts (four to five) and if all goes well he could make his Cubs debut at the end of July … around the trade deadline. Baker can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days before the Cubs would have to make a decision on whether he is healthy enough to activate or not.

Scott Baker addressed his possible future with the Cubs on Thursday. Baker likes what he is seeing in the organization and would like to be a part of the team moving forward because he feels the Cubs are going in the right direction.

Jed Hoyer said the team has discussed re-signing Baker for next season if he is healthy.

The Cubs are expected to formally announce the signing of Kris Bryant on Friday. The Cubs agreed to terms with Bryant on a contract reportedly worth the slot value of $6,708,400. Bryant is expected to report to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa prior to the Boise Hawks. Jed Hoyer mentioned Bryant could end up in Kane County before the end of the season depending how he plays after not being on a baseball diamond since May.

The Cubs reportedly signed 24th round pick, Tyler Alamo, for slot value of $100,000, which came as a surprise. Many thought the high school catcher would fulfill his commitment to Cal State Fullerton and when he signed with the Cubs the general thinking was the Cubs gave him quite a bit over slot to get him in the system.

Other draft signings will be made official and announced prior to Friday afternoon’s deadline (4:00pm CDT/5:00pm EST).

Matt Garza

Matt Garza is slated to face Lance Lynn on Saturday night. The Cubs are trying to move him according to multiple reports and the front office is trying to max out his value … which means every start he makes diminishes his value just a little bit. As Jed Hoyer pointed out on Wednesday, the ups and downs of a player this time of year has less impact on his value than people think. But if the Cubs are trying to get as much as they can for Garza, every start he can give his new team is very valuable. Especially with the way Garza has been pitching as he tries to increase his own value heading into free agency.

The Cubs and Indians might not be a fit after all for Matt Garza. According to a report from Jerry Crasnick, the Indians are looking for a starter but would prefer a pitcher they have control over for a couple of years. As Crasnick pointed out, that criteria would make Garza a tough fit for the Indians.

Ken Rosenthal thinks the Indians shouldn’t make a big play for Matt Garza. Rosenthal does not think the addition of Garza would be able to push the Indians past the Tigers and it would cost them too much from a thin farm system.

According to a report from Danny Knobler, one of the teams that have been connected to Garza has put buying on hold. The Giants slide has apparently taken them out of the buyer’s market and could make them sellers before July 31.

Travis Wood

Dale Sveum said prior to Thursday’s game that Travis Wood was the Cubs’ MVP in the first half. And he plans to call Bruce Bochy and let him know that it is okay with the Cubs that he pitches in the All-Star game.

Travis Wood faces Adam Wainwright on Sunday night in the last game prior to the break. Wood has made 17 quality starts in 18 tries this season. Wood became the first Cubs’ pitcher since Greg Maddux (1988) to record 17 quality starts prior to the All-Star break.

News, Notes and Rumors

Iowa manager, Marty Pevey, gave an update on Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters on Thursday. Pevey said he was not sure when Vitters and Jackson would be able to return to the I-Cubs. As Tom reported, Josh Vitters started at third for the AZL Cubs on Thursday night.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, numerous teams are calling the Cubs to express interest in trading for Kevin Gregg and James Russell.

David DeJesus will spend the All-Star break in Arizona working out at the Cubs facility in Mesa and possibly see some game action. The Cubs have not announced a timetable for his return. At this point it would figure to be the first week of August before DeJesus would be ready to return to the lineup.

Edgar Gonzalez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs earlier in the week and reported to Iowa on Thursday.

Juan Carlos Paniagua made his first start stateside on Thursday night and tossed three shutout innings while striking out four batters.

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Quote of the Day

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

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  • Sonate

    It seems the Cubs are meandering toward a situation where they make Garza a “qualifying” offer (which he turns down) so they can get an additional early draft choice next year.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I think that is seeming more and more likely but who knows? I heard a quote from Curt Schilling last night on BBTN saying the next 2 weeks are as exciting for Cubs fans as for fans of teams in the playoff race because of the long-term ramifications of the moves made. I agree with him to a point. It would be more exciting if we had a better field product and the loaded farm system to make a move or two to bolster us for a playoff run. But in lieu of that scenario, this is an exciting time.

    • DWalker

      Its possible, but I wouldn’t count on it. Its just a question of who blinks first of the interested teams. Garza has too much value and theres just not enough top end pitchers available.

  • gary3411

    Trade Russell!

    Man, Garza had soooo much more value last year before he got hurt as the Indians are helping to point out. Martin Perez could’ve been ours. That’d have awesome. This really, really stinks. We may not get a single top prospect for him now. Probably 2 decent ones similar to what Dempster got us last year.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      The Dempster trade is looking like a doozy for us. Hendricks is starting an all-star game and Villanueva is still Villanueva. I’d prefer better for Garza but the Dempster trade has turned out to be a big help for us it appears.

      • gary3411

        Of course it was a solid trade. But what we could have gotten last year would’ve blown that away. I’d probably still take it over a draft pick.

        • daverj

          If was my sense that most Cub fans wanted to hold out for more in exchange for Garza than take what was being offered pre-injury. Some thought the Cubs could hold out and get Profar plus others. If the Cubs had dealt Garza for Perez last year, I would guess that the vast majority of Cubs fans would have said that the Cubs would have received more if they waited.

        • Rational Logic

          I wish MLB would allow teams to trade players for draft picks like the NFL. That would really make things interesting.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles

    Kris Bryant will be introduced during a news conference this morning and take some batting practice.

  • Ripsnorter1

    There’s talk that the Cards may pony up the prospects to take Garza off of our hands.

    • calicub

      Oscar tevaras and kolten Wong.

      Git-r-done!

      • mutantbeast

        Taveras will be replacing Beltran next year.

        • gary3411

          He was joking.

          • calicub

            Lol yeah. I cant imagine the Cardinals seinding their top prospects to another Central team, although history is in their favor in terms of trades between the Cubbies and them.

          • daverj

            Yeah, between Brock and Sutter, I’d say the Cubs should be wary of any deal with St. Louis.

    • triple

      I think the Cubs would be the last team Mozeliak would do a trade with. He’d never want to send prospects over to the Cubs. That could hurt them for years to come.

      They’d never let Taveras go. The Cubs would have to demand at least one of Martinez or Wacha, if not both, which Mozeliak would never do. Kolten Wong could make a nice addition along with one of those pitchers. But this is all speculation as I really believe the Cards will never pull the trigger on this big of a deal with their rival.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You mean to say that the Cards will not trade to their favorite patsies?

      • daverj

        I would deal Garza for Martinez or Wacha straight-up. I highly doubt the Cards would make that deal.

      • J Daniel

        I don’t think they really care. Their system is deep, they know what they are doing, and will replenish. Cards are not stupid and really are what the Cubs want to be. Have a good system, keep bringing guys up that are cheap, make a trade every year for need, sign solid fill in FA’s, and have the stones to walk away from Pujols.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs introducing Kris Bryant today at Wrigley.Catch a live stream of the press conference at 11 am — http://bit.ly/135zZ4A

  • DWalker

    Will Paniagua end up at Iowa or will they start him lower?

    • Vivid_Reality

      He is still youngish, gotta think they start him in Daytona for now. I’d send him to AA personally but the FO might want to be less aggressive.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I think they will start him lower and let him progress through the system. I would think Kane County first.

    • gary3411

      Is he going to be tried as a starter first? Gotta think he ends up in the pen eventually.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kris Bryant confirmed he will be starting at Mesa to “knock
    off the rust” then report to Boise. Bryant has been hitting with wood bats and
    does not see a problem using them full time.

    When asked about his position,
    Bryant said he will play anywhere. Bryant: “Any ballplayer should listen to his
    coach.”

    • paulcatanese

      Right out of “Bull Durham”. Those are the quotes that are made for the fans:)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Kris Bryant 8 home runs so far in BP session At Wrigley.

  • daverj

    The Cubs now have their best farm system since 2002 when they had five Top 50 Baseball America prospects in Prior, Juan Cruz, Choi, David Kelton and Bobby Hill plus two more Top 100 guys in Nic Jackson and Zambrano.

    Next year, I expect the Cubs will have three Top 25 guys in Soler, Baez and Almora plus a Top 50 guy in Bryant.

    • triple

      Let’s hope their success rate of turning these guys into MLB regulars is better than from ’02!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let the CCO readers be instructed by those seven Top 50 prospects of 2002.

      David Kelton did not make it. 22 ML ABs, with zero walks. JHendry cut him when he didn’t draw a walk. He did fan 8 times and picked up 1–read it folks–1 ML RBI. He was an OF that could not hit for power or average, who had no speed and didn’t drive in runs, and he didn’t walk much. Drafted as a 3B, he was awful with the glove. Moved to the OF, he was not great there either.

      Bobby Hill: a .262 career hitter with no power (.350 slugging) and a truly awful glove. If he could have caught the ball, he would have had more than 596 ML PA.

      Hee Soep Choi: a LH bat that could not hit LH pitching (.151), nor hit RHP for average (.250). Slugging? .455 vs RHP, with .353 OBP. How about that 1B glove of his? Barely average.

      Nic Jackson: never spent a day in MLB. Another OF who could not hit for average or power.

      Marc Prior: He was a stud pitcher, but injuries ruined his career. Mike Marshall, pitching guru, predicted his injury.

      Juan Cruz: he had a great power arm, not enough control.

      Zambrano: great arm, but not enough control–of his temper, I mean.

      Please observe:
      2 difference makers out of this list: Zambrano and Prior.

      1 usable piece relief pitcher: Cruz.

      2 Complete busts: Kelton and Jackson.

      2 marginal utility players: Choi and Hill.

      And this is probably a pretty accurate predictor of the success the Cubs top prospects will have.

      • daverj

        Agree to some extent Rip, but it’s my observation that Top 25 position player prospects tend to have a higher success rate than pitchers. In 2002, the best prospects were pitchers, not they are hitters.

        • Ripsnorter1

          What I intended to say was that, if the Cubs have 7 top 100 prospects in 2014, expect 2 to really be difference makers, 1 to be an avg. ML player, 2 utility players, and 2 complete busts out of the bunch.

      • J Daniel

        Choi was useful as it brought D Lee. Hill brings ARam. Not bad deals.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Bad deals for the teams that received them.

      • Rational Logic

        You don’t need them all pan out. If Prior’s career had not been derailed by injuries, it would have made up for the combined worhtlessness of the others. Zambrano was a huge asset and Choi brought in D Lee and Hill, Aramis. I would say they had a pretty high yield.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Your comment shows that trading prospects is a worthy endeavor. It also shows that giving up real MLB players for a prospect, no matter how highly rated, may not pay off.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Juan Cruz…man…forgot about that guy…he had electric stuff!

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Pirates deal away Tim Anderson.

    Alderson, 24, was a one-time top prospect with the Giants after being selected 22nd overall in the 2007 draft. The Pirates acquired him in a trade deadline deal for Freddy Sanchez in 2009, and it was considered to be an impressive pull for the Buccos at the time of the deal. Alderson’s star has faded, however, and after failing as a starter he’s been shifted to the bullpen. In 29 relief appearances at Triple-A this season, he has a 2.43 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He did not rank among the Pirates’ Top 30 prospects in either of the past two seasons, according to Baseball America.