The Daily CCO: An Extremely Busy Weekend for the Chicago Cubs

The Daily CCO returns after a two day hiatus due to the blockbuster trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for what will end up being four players. The Cubs received INF Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Dan Straily and a PTBNL. And while that was the biggest news of the weekend, the Cubs made a lot of noise over the last three days.

Theo Epstein is hopeful this is the last summer the Cubs are obvious sellers and he addressed the trade with the beat writers as well as Starlin Castro’s status with the team.

Starlin Castro was named to this third All-Star roster and even with Theo Epstein reiterating that Castro is the Cubs shortstop and he should not be looking over his shoulder, a majority of the New York media is convinced that Castro can be acquired for the right package of pitchers. Joel Sherman reported the Cubs do not plan to trade any of their shortstops, for now, and the Mets have not spoken with the Cubs about any possible deals.

But it doesn’t sound like the Cubs are done on the trade front. James Russell is receiving a lot of attention and Justin Ruggiano is as well. Wesley Wright, Carlos Villanueva, Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and Nate Schierholtz have also been scouted by teams and there is interest in each of those players.

PrintKris Bryant was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for June and he and Javier Baez went deep in the same game twice in three days. And speaking of the Iowa Cubs, four I-Cubs were named to the PCL All-Star teamArismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker.

Kyle Hendricks appears to be on his way to Cincinnati to make his big league debut this week and Tsuyoshi Wada will also make his Major League debut on Tuesday in Cincinnati.

The Cubs signed sixth round pick RHP Dylan Cease to a $1.5 million bonus, and three International free agents according to Baseball America, LHP Wander Cabrera, SS Yeiler Peguero and 3B Tony Rijo.

But the biggest news outside of the trade involved the old ballyard at the corner of Clark and Addison.

Wrigley Field Restoration

The Cubs are set to meet with the Landmarks Commission on Thursday (July 10) to receive approval on the team’s revised plan to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field. The rooftops have offered the Cubs a truce and told the team the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association will not sue if the team installs only two signs in the outfield (large video board in left field and see-through sign in right field) instead of the seven outfield signs that are in the Cubs new proposal.

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks was lifted after two innings of Sunday’s game and appears to be on his way to Cincinnati to make his big league debut at some point during the five-game series with the Reds. Hendricks will have to be added to the 40-man roster, and there is one open spot after the trade with the Oakland A’s.

The Cubs will also have to clear a spot on the 25-man roster to add him to the active roster.

Kyle Hendricks has had a good season in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Hendricks is 10-5 in 17 starts with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. In 102 2/3 innings, Hendricks gave up 98 hits with 23 walks and 97 strikeouts.

Tsuyoshi Wada and Pitching Moves

The Cubs made a series of roster moves Saturday morning and Sunday in the wake of the trade with Oakland. LHP Chris Rusin was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and pitched in Saturday’s game. The Cubs recalled RHP Blake Parker prior to Sunday’s finale against the Nationals.

The Cubs are expected to tweak their pitching staff over the coming days. Tsuyoshi Wada is starting one of the two games Tuesday in Cincinnati and it appears the Cubs will use the 26th roster spot to officially call him up. With the amount of pitches Chris Rusin threw Saturday, he could be looking at a demotion in order to get a fresh arm up for the five games in four days in Cincinnati.

RHP Dallas Beeler is also on the 40-man roster and he figures to be in the mix for a spot in the rotation.

Dylan Cease

The Cubs signed sixth round pick, RHP Dylan Cease. The prep pitcher agreed to a $1.5 million signing bonus. The Cubs signed three high school arms with high upside, now the organization has to develop them. Cease is scheduled to undergo Tommy John Surgery on July 22.

Alfonso Soriano

The Yankees designated Alfonso Soriano for assignment Sunday and Soriano is unsure what his next step will be Soriano told the New York media he is going to take a short break and talk with his family about what he should do.

After hitting the cover off the ball last season following the trade to the Yankees, Soriano hit .256/.325/.525/.850 with 17 home runs in 58 games with the Yankees. Soriano only managed a .221/.244/.367 slash line with six home runs in 67 games this season.

Over seven seasons and 889 games with the Chicago Cubs, Alfonso Soriano hit .264/.317/.495 with 218 doubles, 13 triples, 181 home runs, 70 stolen bases and a .812 OPS.

News and Notes

The Cubs reportedly signed International free agents LHP Wander Cabrera, SS Yeiler Peguero and 3B Tony Rijo.

During a conversation with Andy Masur on 720 WGN during Cubs’ post-game following Friday’s game, former Cubs’ southpaw Glendon Rusch said he could be coaching in the Cubs’ system this summer. Rusch spoke with Theo Epstein about the possibility of him coaching in the system during Spring Training.

Kyuji Fujikawa made his first appearance for the AZL Cubs Sunday night as he works his way back from last year’s Tommy John surgery. Fujikawa started the game and pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant had a big weekend at the plate. Baez hit a mammoth shot Friday night that left the park and Bryant hit a towering homer Sunday that also left the park. Baez and Bryant hit home runs in the same game for the first time Friday night … and did it again Sunday night.

And speaking of Baez and Bryant, when Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 prospect list is released, Kris Bryant (2), Addison Russell (5) and Javier Baez (7) will be in the top 10 and the Cubs will be ranked as the top system in baseball.

Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month

The Cubs named Kris Bryant its Minor League Player of the Month for June Sunday … and Juan Carlos Paniagua was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month.

Minor News and Notes

Arismendy Alcantara, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker were named to the PCL All-Star team.

The Cubs released veteran LHP Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez appeared in only one game for Iowa on April 4 after a rough spring. Sanchez allowed five earned runs on one hit, three walks and a strikeout in two thirds of an inning.

Addison Russell went 0-for-5 in his debut with Double-A Tennessee in Sunday’s 9-1 victory over Birmingham.

Jorge Soler went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in his return to Double-A Tennessee. Soler hit a homer in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game, his first longball at the Double-A level.

Billy McKinney was set to make his debut with Daytona on Sunday afternoon. McKinney was in the leadoff spot and in right field. But the game was postponed due to rain.

RHP Dan Straily has reported to Iowa and will start Monday night’s game according to a report from Randy Wehofer.

RHP Dae-Eun Rhee was promoted to Iowa from Double-A Tennessee. Rhee posted a 5-4 record in 18 games, 16 starts, with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP with the Smokies.

RHP Josh Conway had another good outing for Boise.

Lefty Nathan Dorris allowed one hit over six innings for Daytona and extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 innings.

RHP Duane Underwood struck out six batters in six innings for Kane County.

This Day In Cubstory

2013 – Cubs released Shawn Camp

2011 – The Cubs came back from an 8-0 deficit and beat the Nationals in Washington 10-9. The Cubs handed the Nationals its largest blown lead in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).

2005 – Cubs signed Alberto Cabrera as an amateur free agent

2001 – Cubs signed free agent Delino DeShields

1999 – Rockies traded a PTBNL to the Cubs for John Cotton and Kevin Rawitzer. The Rockies sent Tarrik Brock to the Cubs on July 7 to complete the deal

1995 – The Mariners claimed Kevin Roberson off waivers from the Cubs

1992 – Cubs traded Ced Landrum to the Brewers for Jeff Kunkel

1987 – Andre Dawson hit a homer in the first inning off Eric Show. Show hit Dawson with a pitch in the third inning, the benches cleared and both players were ejected from the game in one of the most memorable brawls in Wrigley Field history. Dawson received 22 stitches and Greg Maddux was ejected from the game in the fourth inning when he plunked Benito Santiago.

1977 – Rick Reuschel shutout the Cardinals and ran his record to 12-2. Reuschel had allowed only one run, a solo homer, since June 1

1968 – Phil Regan, the Vulture, picked up two wins in relief for the second time that season. The Cubs beat the Pirates 5-4 and 4-3. Regan won two games against the Dodgers on April 21. Regan is the only pitcher to win a pair of games twice on the same day in the same season.

1936 – Augie Galen, Billy Herman, Gabby Harnett and Frank Demaree collected five of the National League’s nine hits in the Senior Circuit’s first All-Star victory, a 4-3 win over the American League at Graves Field. Hartnett drove in a run with a triple and Galen hit a foul-pole homer. The AL won the first three Midsummer Classics

1927 – Charlie Root pitched a one-hitter and beat the Pirates. Cubs took over first place and Root, in his second season, led the National League with 26 wins in 309 innings pitched.

1925 – The seventh place Cubs replaced manager Bill Killefer with Rabbit Maranville

1917 – Pirates purchased Harry Wolfe from the Cubs

1909 – Billy Herman, born

1886 – Cap Anson belted a double and a homer and Ed Williamson hit a triple and a home run in a Cubs 21-9 victory over the Giants at West Side Park. The game was called because of darkness after eight innings.

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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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  • John G

    When the Cubs finally win a World Series, I predict that the Manager will be Manny Ramirez. He will be the North Side’s answer to Ozzie Guillen. I know this sounds absurd but think about it. A manager’s lifetime with the Cubs is about 3 years. Manny is getting coaching experience while creating a bond with the young guys in the system, not to mention the quantity of Latin Americans that he can relate with. And you have to admit, he’s a winner, no matter his personality faults. He’ll be ready about the time Ricky is burned out, which will be prime time for the Cubs. I could be wrong, but it makes for a good discussion.

    • paulcatanese

      If that comes around, you can be sure that “small ball ” will have no place in the Cubs offensive package, and additional bathrooms behind the outfield doors will be added:)

      • texcubnut

        Lol. Good one, Paul!!

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

      I like the thought

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

    Justin Ruggiano was hitting .288 on Sunday. He could help a lot of teams as he appears pretty dialed in to me.

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

    Can’t wait to see Hendricks on the hill for the Cubs! I read where his velocity is up to 94-95. Everyone knows I have high hopes for him but hearing that increase makes me feel great.

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

    I heard Ron Coomer describing the pitching difference between AA and AAA and thought it was interesting. He stated that at AA you see a lot of power arms and top prospects that are young. At AAA you see more guys that are refined and really know how to pitch. More savvy pitching that has experience and is more of a challenge for hitters. I thought this was interesting with reference to Mike Olt. Olt dominated AA, which for a guy that tattoos fastballs as he does that makes sense. He never really dominated AAA which reflects on his MLB progress. He struggles with offspead stuff and pitchers with great command.

    It’s great to understand aspects like this when looking at young players. Ron is great and I’ve learned a lot listening to him. He’s cut from that same cloth as Steve Stone and Bob Brenly with respect to his knowledge of the game and how he relates it to the listener.

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

      In Olt’s defense he never really got to spend a lot of time at AAA adjusting. He was hurt all last season and is adjusting in the fly, in light duty, presently. Tex is right that he should have tatted the season at AAA. I was wrong on that. But I by no means think the FO is ruining him or it’s their fault. There was a jam and it made sense and Olt had just crushed it in ST. And by no means do I want then to switch for Bryant now. It may work but it might not. Bryant is a special player and a few more months at AAA will help and not hurt. Plus this is a business and you have to put the franchise ahead of everything. Having the extra year of control is big. Even of he gets resigne to a long term deal early it give the club more leverage in negotiations. I don’t want to start his clock and pay for extra service in a season when his overall impact isn’t going to push us over the top and we’ll hurt thigs long term so he can adjust. For the next few years things are still rough financially due to multiple factors that we all know about. Most likely by the time his contract is due we’ll have renovations done and a new TV deal in place but there is no guarantee. We’re aggressive in making moves and trades but no reason to not be conservative financially until our situation has improved which it eventually will.

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

    I have trouble getting too excited about Chris Rusin. Much moreso about Beeler, Wada and Hendricks. Just my opinion. Maybe the unknown gets my interest more than Rusin because I’ve seen him and he’s been just okay.

    • calicub

      I’ve been excited to see Wada pitch for the Cubs since I heard they signed him. He was pretty highly touted coming from Japan and never really got to pitch for the O’s. I think he is going to surprise a lot of people.

  • daverj

    If I were Epstein, I would be calling the Mets now and offering Baez and a lesser prospect outside of the Cubs Top 20 for Wheeler and Snydergaard. The Mets probably say “no” but they have excess pitching and a big need at SS.

    • calicub

      I’m hearing they would say no to Wheeler or Snydergaard plus another prospect for Castro. No way thats going to happen.

    • Denver Mike

      I don’t think we need young pitching prospects, no matter how close to ML ready they are. Too much injury risk, and no proven track record of success at the ML level. We need to be thinking about proven ML ready arms via trade or FA that have had success, and are over the “injury hump” that seems to plague pitchers in their early 20s.

      • paulcatanese

        While I agree with the thought, I would put it out there, didn’t the Cubs just send two pitchers packing that fit that criteria?

        • Denver Mike

          Hammel was gone at the end of the year, and is 32 years old. Samardzija was never going to sign an extension, and isn’t worth overpaying the money he will get in FA so I never considered either as a part of the future. Also, even though they’ve looked good so far this year, I would consider Samardzija a #3 and Hammel a #4 in a legitimate rotation, I think we already have a #3 in Arrieta and a #4 in Travis Wood, so I am thinking more along the lines of adding a #1 via trade (Price) and a #2 via FA (Lester). I think that would be a big upgrade over the two guys we just traded away.

          Just my opinion, so it’s probably wrong :)

          • DWalker

            right there with you. Hammel was over performing in the best year of his career. It probably won’t last. Cubs did good to buy low and sell high. Shark would have been nice to keep, but he lacks focus and priced himself over market going forward. 1.5 years of shark coming out of the rebuild but probably not really in the hunt next year even, vs hopefully 6 years of Russell in the heart of the run as long as he pans out. I bet shark over performs though this year with pressure on and something to stay focused for, he wouldn’t have done that for the cubs.

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

            Agreed although I think by next year Arietta is at least a 2. And we don’t need this guys at that age at this moment. In the offseason maybe but even then it’s more likely next offseason or next trade deadline. Wait until a team is a seller and pick up a proven guy for some of our young bats. The only deal I make this offseason is Price and/or Lester for the money Shark wanted. Hammel if he’ll take #3 money. Masterson or others if they’ll take less too, although with te market where it is they’ll all be overpaid. But I would overpay a little for Price or Lester. Both aren’t just TOR but are true, game 7 WS starting aces.

          • paulcatanese

            It’s you’re opinion, you are not wrong. Just hate to see the search go on and on when it could have been.

          • Denver Mike

            Haha, I kid regarding my opinions because opinions are just that, and someone will always disagree.

            I have been excited by some of the new prospects coming into the organization, but I am also right on board with you now in that we need to start adding proven vets that can help get us to the postseason sooner rather than later.

  • Chris K.

    I heard Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus on the Score this morning. Said that if Kyle Schwarber were included on the list, the Cubs would have 5 players in the top 20. He also mentioned that having players like Bryant, Russell, Baez and Alcantara being at similar places in the infield was a good problem to have. Especially when these guys are athletic enough to play elsewhere.

    While I was initially disappointed in them not acquiring a talented young pitcher, I really enjoy where this team is headed. After this season and last, having a team that can hit consistently would be nice to see.

    • Denver Mike

      I was formerly hoping for high-end pitching prospects in return for Hammel and Samardzija, but after we got Russell back this weekend I started looking at what potential TOR prospects are out there. I was pretty surprised at the attrition rate of the top pitching prospects, and after looking in more detail I want nothing to do with unproven arms unless we are drafting and developing them ourselves. Take a look at the pitching prospects in the top 25 coming into 2014 (per Baseball America), I’ve excluded Tanaka because I didn’t really consider him a prospect:

      (9) A. Bradley – ARI
      (11) T. Walker – SEA
      (12) J. Gray – COL
      (15) D. Bundy – BAL
      (16) N. Syndergaard – NYM
      (19) R. Stephenson – CIN
      (20) K. Gausman – BAL
      (21) L. Giolito – WAS
      (22) J. Taillon – PIT
      (23) K. Zimmer – KC
      (24) E. Butler – COL

      Bradley (elbow), Walker (shoulder), Syndergaard (elbow), Zimmer (lat), and Butler (shoulder) have all missed time at some point this year due to injury, and Zimmer still hasn’t pitched at all in 2014.

      Bundy, and Giolito are both working their way back from TJ, and Taillon just had surgery and is out for the year.

      That leaves Gray, Stephenson, and Gausman as the only pitchers to avoid the injury bug in the last year. Stephenson did pull a hammy last July, but I’ll let that slide. Either way, only 27% of those pitchers have a clean injury history which is really low when compared to top position prospects.

      I think it’s time to move on from the prospect acquisition phase, and starting this off-season we need to add at least 2 proven arms to slot in 1/2, and a veteran for the OF that can still produce and contribute on a winning team. If the FO does that, I think we are over .500 for the first time in a long time next year.

      • DWalker

        soooooo many things to go wrong with a pitcher in the minors. more and more the mantra of draft position players and buy/draft bulk pitchers makes more and more sense. Even on the low end, the cubs have a massive payroll gap between whats needed next year and what they could spend, seems hard to imagine them not going all in on FA pitching. Consider also that they have done really well with mid rotation guys with bosio. Aside from wildcard and playoffs, having a true TOR starter as opposed to just a decent starter is bothering me less and less with the power being stockpiled in the minors and not just the top 7 guys. considering that and the derth of hitting in the majors lately, at this point I would much rather have elite hitting prospects than pitching prospects.

      • triple

        And don’t forget that the 2013 #1 pick in the draft, Mark Appel (Astros) who many said would be pitching in the big leagues by 2014, is no where on that list anymore. In fact, I just did a google search and found this interesting BA from about a month ago that talks about him and the alarming rate of college pitchers picked in the top 3 picks of the draft that aren’t ending up as top of rotation pitchers in the big leagues.

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/ask-ba-appels-rough-start-cant-be-ignored/

        • BigJonLilJon

          Here is some news regarding Appel and Aiken:
          Brady Aiken, the top pick in this year’s MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, has a ligament issue in his elbow and the Astros will look to sign him at a discounted rate, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

          Aiken, a 17-year-old left-handed pitcher from San Diego, was reportedly set to sign two weeks ago for $6.5 million, but the deal was called off. Heyman reports that the snag was a result of Aiken’s elbow issue and that the Astros are offering around $5 million now. MLB’s slotting system values the top overall pick at $7.9 million.

          This was the third consecutive year that the Astros had the top pick in the draft. In 2012 they selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who suffered a season ending injury in June at Class A Lancaster. Houston’s top pick in 2013, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, has an 8.91 ERA this season in Single-A ball

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

            Sucks for then. I think Corres will be fine but the pitchers obviously are cause for concern. The one good thing about these young pitchers are they get out and get TJ done early and get recovered from it. Most come back stronger after it’s done. It may be a trend to watch.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            I was never impressed with Appel’s last college season. Did not seem worthy of the number one pick.

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

        Agreed. But if we can’t get Price and/or Lester I’d wait until the deadline next season and see who is available.

        • Denver Mike

          If the right opportunity presents itself at the deadline next year I’m all for it, but you typically have to overpay much more at the deadline than you would during the offseason. Of course, if we are buyers at the deadline next year then that would mean we are in the playoff race, at which time I am fine with overpaying.

      • BigJonLilJon

        I agree with your premise. However, I caution all that these wonderful “prospects” are still just that. They are not ready. Most likely not ready to make impact until at least late 2015. Some, and possibly most, not until later. Team Theo will not be adding high priced, front line FA pitching until they are closer to being ready. I predict at least another year of our current results, then add the yougsters for the end of next year. FO signings and maybe some competitiveness in 2016.

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

          True, but Theo and Beane’s quality model may get it done. Right now if we told the Rays they could have Russell for Price? I think they’d have to think long and hard about that. So next deadline say a guy like Price is available and Baez has continued to improve. Maybe we trade one for one? I don’t see Theo trading Russell. He’s too much if a guy that fits “Cubs way.” I think he’s Theo’s prized possession ;).

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

            To expand, Russell is to Theo as prized Hog Matilda is to Pappy at the county fair! No way, no how!

        • Denver Mike

          I’m well aware of the attrition rate for prospects, and in no way am I banking on all of these kids coming up and winning the WS in 2015. This is exactly why you need to start adding proven ML talent at some point, and considering the insane injury rate of pitchers in their early 20s, that is as good a place to start adding veterans as any. It’s not like we can wake up in December of 2015 and say, “ok we want to win the WS next year” and fill every hole through FA in one off-season. It’s going to take time, and I hope the FO gets started after this year.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            Theo and Jed have been pretty good so far when it comes to identifying good pitchers and assembling a staff. Pitching has not been the problem recently, its scoring.

          • Denver Mike

            They have done a good job of cobbling together a rotation to keep us in games the last couple of years, but if we are going to compete in the postseason that just isn’t going to cut it. Not when you have to go through teams like the Dodgers who can throw Kershaw/Greinke/Ryu in a 7 game series, or Detroit with Verlander/Scherzer/Sanchez. When you get into a playoff series, elite pitching is usually the difference maker.

          • Jeffrey Rogers

            I agree but there are just not that many truley great pitchers.

            Keep the ball down
            Don’t walk batters
            Play great D
            Run the bases
            And RAKE

            That is what Boston did last year. Cardinals had a better pitching staff but they failed to hit when it mattered and their D SUCKED.

          • John_CC

            This is a really good point. A Championship team will always need a strong rotation and particularly a couple horses at the top. But a solid, above average 4-man rotation and hard throwing, shutdown bullpenbullpen backed by a great defense and supported by a bunch of long ball mashing sluggers and deep count hitters will go a long way.

      • Chris K.

        Is it possible that Theo and co realized this already and are assembling a powerful offense in which to win games? I remember that their FO realized the compensation pick advantage when they were with the Red Sox. Considering the lack of quality hitters in the majors, maybe by building a team full of them, they will have a leg up on their competiton. Just a thought.

        • Denver Mike

          I do think they were aware of it, which leads to my optimism that they are turning the corner and getting ready to start adding some proven talent to the ML club, and I hope pitching is where they start!

        • John_CC

          He stated as much in an interview last week. There are more dominant pitchers in the game right now than pitchers.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Baseball America has updated their top 50. Does not include 2014 draft.

    Bryant – 2

    Russell – 5

    Baez – 7

    Alcantera – 33

    No Solar or Almora

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/midseason-top-50-injury-cant-knock-buxton-1/

    • MNCub

      Assuming our prospects pan out and reach potential (huge assumption I know!), maybe we throw out a lineup in 3 years that looks like this:
      C- Schwarber (Maybe we try to keep him there)
      1B- Rizzo
      2B- Alcantara or Castro (if he switches positions)
      SS- Russell
      3B- Baez
      LF- Soler
      CF- Almora or Alcontara (if we keep all our infielders)
      RF- Bryant

      Looks like Mike Olt and Junior Lake will be trade bait. Still would like to see those 2 playing more and some teams would be willing to try yo turn them around.

      We could throw out myself and a few of you other posters on this site to pitch with this lineup!

      Fun to think about.

      • Jeffrey Rogers

        I think Schwarber is already in the outfield. I would not count on him being a catcher, other than the emergency guy.

        I like leaving Castro where he is and let the new guys beat him out of the SS position. He might end up at 3b eventually, just because he is getting bigger. he has a good thing going right now. I would not mess with it.

        I heard a scout on the MLB radio this weekend say that Castro has grown 1.5″ in height the last year and has put on some muscle after attending a core conditioning camp with McCutchen and a couple of other players last summer.

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

          Love hearig that! I see him maybe in outfield. Russell is a future gold glover at short so I see him there. He’ll make circus type plays as I understand it.

          • BigJonLilJon

            I remember reading some where he has actually played half in OF and half as catcher.

      • triple

        Sign me up for 1 inning of pitching and the following TJ surgery that I will need as a result. This assumes that I will make it through the full inning…

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

        Schwarber won get to catch unfortunately and his bat will be too good to not have playing. I also see McKinney and Hanneman in the discussion. Bu I like where your at with this.

    • cc002600

      I’m not going to lose sleep over it, but how in the world can ANYBODY be ahead of Bryant with the off-the charts, incredible numbers he is putting up ?

      • DWalker

        especially a guy with a wrist injury. We know how those can turn out. Buxton is a talented guy, no question, but he should have slipped.

        • daverj

          I would deal Bryant for Buxton in a heartbeat.

          • bpot92

            Why? Buxton is farther away and more raw than Bryant. My opinion is take the safer closer prospect who can still be a franchise player. Neither are guarantees but Buxton is injured and much farther away. Now Baez for Buxton…. that may be a trade I would consider.

          • daverj

            Buxton has a higher ceiling even though Bryant’s is already sky high. Also, I seem to be the only one concerned about this, but Bryant’s K rate still has me a bit hesitant on him. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bryant and expect him to be a star … I just like Buxton a bit more.

          • bpot92

            Buxton’s ceiling is ridiculous but that’s only if he reaches all 5 tools. It would be exciting to see him challenge trout for best 5 tool player but I’ll still take Bryant for the cubs for where they are at in the rebuild

          • triple

            Bryant’s K rate is very alarming. Baez’s has been going down (slightly) over the last month. Hopefully that trend continues, as I’m sure that is one of the main criteria the FO is watching as for when to promote Baez. Both have risen through the system rather fast, and it looks like Baez will spend more than a full year in AAA to complete his development and prove that the “strike zone recognition” box deserves to be checked off. I would also imagine that Bryant may see at least a full year of AAA ball before he’s promoted as well. If their strikeout rates haven’t dropped much by then, I would think they will both be the type of guys who may push 200 K’s in a full season in the major leagues. If they can still hit 30HR/100RBI it may not matter too much… but it’s definitely a concern.

          • daverj

            If Bryant doesn’t get his K rate down, then he won’t be the .300+ hitter people are expecting. I agree that he may still hit 30 HR with 100 RBI, but he won’t be the superstar many are expecting if he hits .250 along with that power.

  • paCubsFan23

    Id like to work out a trade with the Marlins for Andrew Heaney. I remember reading that they would take Baez and Almora for Stanton, so Im thinking Baez, Almora, and Castro for Stanton and Heaney.

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

      I like that deal and it would probably get it done. For some reason I just feel like at some point Stanton may be a Cub.

    • Denver Mike

      I agree with Baez and Almora for Stanton, but you would essentially throw in Castro for Heaney straight up? Are you sure you didn’t mean Castillo? Starlin Castro is probably one of the top 3 all around SS in all of baseball. There is no way I trade a 24 year old, 3 time All-Star SS for a pitching prospect that just had a pretty rough first taste of the big leagues.

      I’m excited about the prospects we have in the system too, but I can’t believe how many fans are just ready to send Castro out of town for anything we can get. It seems ludicrous to me.

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

        I wouldn’t send him for anything. But if we could get a package like Wheeler and Syndergaard from the Mets I would consider it. That would be a solid trade as both are near MLB. Castro is a huge asset. Have to consider it carefully an with his growth I think he’s becoming a run producer who can hit 30 HR. But if we can get two top 20 pitching prospects I’d think long and hard.

        • Denver Mike

          Wheeler already has 200 innings at the ML level, and has been just ok, really struggles with control. Syndergaard had to be shut down with elbow issues already this year, and while he avoided TJ at the time he is still not out of the woods. Plus his stats at AAA this year have been terrible.

          If I were running this team (I’m not), Castro would be as close to untouchable as any player on the team.

        • Denver Mike

          Especially considering the attrition rates of top pitching prospects that I threw out there earlier in this thread, I no longer have any interest in giving up talented bats for other team’s arms. I think I’d much rather draft and develop our own.

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

            You convinced me! Don’t give up any of our bats for pitching. Develop and sign. That’s a plan that I can live with. I know I can overstate but were putting together a lineup that could be an all-time winner. Rarely has one team had so many of the games project able bats in one place. Rizzo and Castro are already there and 10 or so more than solid prospects that aren’t far away. Not all will turn out but with 2 already in place all we need it 6. I don’t think thats a stretch.

          • Denver Mike

            Haha, nothing wrong with differing opinions so you certainly don’t have to agree. If we are trading bats for pitching I would much rather trade the prospects before the proven ML talents, and get back proven ML pitchers that is all. It’s nice that the minors are so stacked I can make a comment like that!

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

            No man for real. I thought about what you said an i agree. Originally when they got Russell I said I didn’t want to give up any bats I meant it but had drifted. But after reading more i like what were going for. And as always I trust what I view as the best FO in baseball. If that what they think is best, then I support it.

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

    Here’s another thought that could solve some pitching woes. I have a hunch that Vizcaino will get another shot to start. I could see his outgoing meeting before seasons end being “get yor body and arm ready for a startin role.” He just doesn’t seem to be that ace one inning guy. He’s got the talent but I just think he’s better suited for a starting role. He’s obviously healthy again as he’s throwing triple digits. We shall see but don’t count it out.

    • daverj

      I hope you are wrong on this one. I can’t see Vizcaino holding up as a starter and I fear he will get hurt again in that role. But, I do see him as a very good (or better ) 8th inning man or closer.

      • SirGladiator

        I agree, I see Vizcaino as our Closer for the next Decade, once he’s ready. Best to not risk him getting hurt again trying to start.

    • Eugene Debs

      Dusty Baker, is that you?

  • paulcatanese

    The Cubs now need to go after catchers, hard, as they are pretty well fixed with position players (prospects, but good ones). The real strength of a team is up the middle, get that solid and they are on the way.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      I noticed Zagunis has only played 2 games at catcher and 5 in LF 1 DH he is hitting though and due for a promotion as soon as Schwarber gets a promotion

  • paulcatanese

    If it were not for Bonaficio’s injury I truly believe Barney would have been traded by now. When he comes back, I would expect that to happen.

    • daverj

      You may be right, but the return for Barney will likely be a single A reliever. I think Emilio is more likely to be the guy dealt if he comes back healthy.

    • Eugene Debs

      And by traded, do you mean released?

      • paulcatanese

        No, I don’t think so. I believe he would have been included for
        another player with Oakland if it were not for Emilio being injured. The A’s are really hurting there.

  • Larry Schwimmer

    To Neil, Tony and Other Mavens on this site: I’d love your opinion on an article in today’s NY Daily News that said, “Theo Got Fleeced!” The article talks about how he could have gotten a lot more trading each CUB pitcher individually; and that several teams had better deals on the table. I’d love to know your thoughts on the article. Here’s the link.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/madden-theo-epstein-forgets-game-moneyball-article-1.1856368

    • daverj

      I think he is wrong. Epstein may have asked for more from other teams, but I do not think other teams had more on the table. I also think the Cubs would have ended up with more quantity (but less quality) if they traded Shark and Hammel separately.

      I have been listening to both the Score and ESPN radio a fair amount today (lots of car time for work) and the “experts” and “hosts” all seem to really like this deal for the Cubs. The fan reaction is mixed but overall positive. I heard Keith Law this afternoon and he seemed to think the Cubs made out great in the deal.

      Personally, I was surprised the Cubs received as much as they did for Shark and Hammel. I expected Hammel to return a couple of fliers with upside like Feldman last year. I thought Shark would bring back 1 top 40-60 (in all of MLB) prospect, one B level prospect outside of the Top 100 and 1-2 fliers with upside. I would rather have 1 Top 10 (in all of MLB) prospect plus 1 Top 100 (in all of MLB) prospect plus 1 flier with upside in Straily. It very rare to have the opportunity to acquire a guy like Russell.

    • Tom U

      Self-serving crap by a New Yorker. I won’t even dignify this with an answer.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        lol…how do you really feel about it? I heard they think their pizza is better, too…

    • DWalker

      not one of the experts, but heres my take. This was a Yankees writer who was unhappy the yankees didn’t make a deal.and was sour grapes about –

      1. Yankees farm system is pretty weak, no, make that weak. #1 for the yanks doesn’t equal #1 in many other farm systems. Sanchez has been steadily slipping every year and isn’t even considered a top 50 prospect anymore. in addition, the yankees are even worrying he is a bust and he is having problems resulting in disiplinary actions. Yes, a catcher is needed, but Sanchez is a high risk and they didn’t have enough to interest the cubs in making such risk the centerpeice of a deal. no, to theo, what he wanted was severino+soemthing more+ sanchez (who was a high risk throw in). –
      2. this writer questions positional redundency at shortstop. seriously. that right there should be enough to tell you the rest of the article is suspect. Its not like trading for a 1st base, whose only move down is DH. SS can mostly learn to play infield or outfield, and an offensive shortstop with gold glove defense is an incredible gift from the baseball gods. Either he or Castro are capable of moving to second base, even if they want to stay at SS. If nothing else, SS is still a premium trade position. Take a short stop and when you move him off SS you usually have a plus defender elsewhere. –
      3. pitching. Theo has said that of the top 20 pitching prospects, none were on the table un injured. This pretty much says everything, that no team was willing to meet the pitching price and no team was willing to give up the volume of top pitching prospects needed. Maybe a deal with the jays could have happened, but that was a big maybe, and despite saying he WANTS pitching prospects, Theo is a firm beleiver that pitching prospects are high risk. Being offered a top 10 position player outweighed two lessor pitchers. His suggestion of the Cards was unlikely in the extreme –
      4. indpendant trade values. Hammel alone was only going to bring back so much. A feldman or Dempster deal if that. Hes palying way over his head and is due to regress. had the yanks offered Sanchez for that, theo might have been interested, but the yanks in no way had enough to go after shark. shark alone was not bringing back top packages that the front office wanted either. The A’s didn’t have a super strong system, but their #1 was a top prospect talent, and there #2 wasn’t bad. maybe the cubs gave up a little in total volume, but quality, they got the best player available by far I have no doubt and a legit 2nd prospect and an interesting, if risky, pitcher.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Larry, the Yankees are the best in the business at hyping their own prospects. The Yankees did not have enough for either pitcher and could not have offered the package of players the Cubs received. I encourage you to read this link

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2014/07/cubs-send-samardzija-hammel-oakland-addison-russell-billy-mckinney-dan-straily-ptbnl.php#.U7sk_fldXK0

      Keep in mind for every report that you find like this one, you can find one that praises the trade. It is all point of view at this point and no one will know which team won the trade, a phase I cannot stand, for a couple of years.

      • Vivid_Reality

        While I agree they probably didn’t have enough to acquire Shark, they could have traded for Hammel. Sanchez and Severino would have easily been enough. I’m not gonna say that those two plus whatever they would have gotten for Shark elsewhere would have been better than what A’s gave up but it could have been close. It comes down to quantity vs quality preference.

      • paulcatanese

        All I can say is Theo is happy, Billy is happy, and the Shark is happy. Hammel probably also. Nothing more to be said.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        Thank you Neil and all the rest of my brother CUB fans for taking a moment out to respond to my question. I really appreciate everyone sharing their point-of-view. It’s really educational for me (and maybe others, too) to hear intelligent responses to what other media says about the CUBS. The civil conversation we have on this website is why I’m so happy to participate.

        On other websites, I see individuals putting each other down for simple questions or for their particular view. Neil: You do a great job keeping CHICAGOCUBSONLINE…a very classy and enjoyable website for the CUB faithful like me. Thank you.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Larry, you’re more than welcome and thank you for your kind words.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    I don’t think there is anyway the Cubs trade Castro. He is proven. None of the other SS in the minors are. I just see Baez just as likely to be another Cory Patterson as he is likely to be an All Star.

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

      Or he could be the next Gary Sheffield. But I agree. Keep them all…

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

        Stick with what were now doing. Instead I throwing all the eggs into one top pitching prospect. Draft 3 in later rounds and throw enough money they sign. This last draft was overwhelmingly efficient, creative and prosperous.

  • Eugene Debs

    For those advocating the trade of Castro: are you kidding? Seriously, that’s just not a good idea.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Media hype from New York. Its been frustrating to see all the Wheeler for Castro proposals. It would be the height of stupidity to deal our proven SS to play someone you hope might be as good. We don’t even need a TOR starter as badly now. We have tons of mid rotation types that should provide enough pitching so the offense can cover.

      • Denver Mike

        Take a look at Wheeler’s numbers at the ML level. I wouldn’t have traded Samardzija straight up for him, and Castro is twice valuable IMO.

    • DWalker

      Makes for good news chatter, but when it comes down to it, even without the many many reasons why the cubs won’t trade castro, its probably the mets that are even more reluctant. For all the financial woes of the cubs, the mets fans would trade places in an instant. the mets are BROKE, they have no interest in taking on ANY salary, even as team friendly as Castros is. Baez might be an option, but castro probably doesn’t have a chance.

      Besides that, the cubs have a lot of mid rotation options coming up. And they also have salary room. A LOT of room,a nd they have it for a few years. enough room that they really could out yankee the yankees on FA pitching, offer a huge up front bonus and a major contract and still be in good shape. Also, as long as they have a first 10 pick, their draft slot is protected.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Glendon “Glooroo” Rusch back in the news!

    Haven’t read about him on CCO since…(cue the wayback machine!):

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2006/05/chicago_cubs_94.php#.U7s1sZRX-uY