Trade Value of Justin Ruggiano

With the deadline, just a couple of weeks away and the big fish of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel sent off to Oakland, the Cubs will turn to deal some of their spare parts in hopes of continuing to build depth for their farm system. One player that has really started to open some teams’ eyes is Justin Ruggiano. His ability to play all three outfield positions and his recent hitting surge has lifted his line to .292/.360/.455 with four home runs and 20 RBI make him a player with versatility and a right-handed power bat off the bench. Let’s see what the Cubs might be able to get for him at the deadline.

The first deal to look at involving Justin Ruggiano is the one that sent him to the Cubs this offseason. Ruggiano was acquired from the Miami Marlins for Brian Bogusevic who found himself starting some games for the Cubs last season after David DeJesus was dealt and Ryan Sweeney was injured. Both players were at one point five-tool prospects, with 15 home run power and the ability to steal 10-15 bases, but due to lack of tangible results in the majors, their stars have lost some of their shine. Even with Ruggiano hitting better lately, the best the team may be able to hope for is a player similar to him who has some ability, but hasn’t been very consistent in showing it.

PrintAnother player with a similar skillset to Ruggiano, although one with a better track record and pedigree is Drew Stubbs. Stubbs, a former first round pick burst onto the scene with the Reds in 2010, batting .255, slugging 22 home runs, stealing 30 bases but striking out 168 times. Since then, Stubbs has seen his power numbers decrease some, but thanks to his penchant for swinging and missing has seen his stock and his batting average fall quite a bit. He’s been traded twice, once in 2012 and again before this season. In the first trade, Stubbs was part of a three-team deal that saw the Reds send him to the Indians and Didi Gregorius to the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks sent Matt Albers, Trevor Bauer and Bryan Shaw to the Indians, the Indians sent Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp to the Diamondbacks and sent Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald and cash to the Reds. There’s a lot going on in this trade, so let’s simplify it for the purposes of Drew Stubbs value in it. The main point of this trade was for the Reds to acquire Choo, but had to expand it to a three-team deal, because they just didn’t have the prospects needed to satisfy what the Indians were looking for. To get the deal done, they had to send a young shortstop prospect in Didi Gregorius to the Diamondbacks, to facilitate the young player return needed to pry Choo from the Indians. Stubbs became a sweetener to improve the return given to the Indians who essentially received two solid bullpen arms in Albers and Shaw, a young starting prospect in Bauer and an outfielder in Stubbs with a lot of potential. In just one season for Stubbs, the Indians received below average production as he batted .233/.305/.360 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI, 17 stolen bases and 141 strikeouts. The Indians were disappointed enough in his production that they shipped him to Colorado, where he has experienced somewhat of a career renaissance for reliever Josh Outman. Outman despite the cool name hasn’t been very good at getting hitters out as a reliever and was recently demoted to Triple-A. However, lefthanders carry a career .188 average against him, so he as least a somewhat useful player if he could cut down on the walks.

Another deal to consider was the trade that sent Justin Maxwell of the Astros for starting pitching prospect Kyle Smith of the Orioles. Maxwell surprised some in 2012 when he slugged 18 home runs in limited at bats. At the time of the trade however, Maxwell was not off to best start, but still managed to net the Astros a decent pitching prospect in Kyle Smith. Smith did not have the best tools, but managed to get hitters out at a good rate in the minors and might end up being an effective bullpen pitcher down the line.

As all these deals suggest, Ruggiano would be good to either improve the return on a larger deal or to receive a somewhat useful spare part in return, which is essentially what he is. Considering that the large deal of Hammel and Samardzija has already been made, it’s up to the Cubs to decide if Ruggiano is more helpful to them on the team or to receive a reclamation project another team has given up on. Either way, his value has never been higher as evidenced by his hot hitting and daily insertion into the Cubs lineup.

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

    Thanks for the analysis Chris! Let’s hope they get it done soon.

  • The Dude Abides

    This constant grab of 4th OF’s and utility IF’s to flip seems like an exercise in futility that we keep doing. To boot we hang on to them too long expecting
    a bigger return based on a half of season of decent production. Every GM knows where these guys came from so the return is bound to be limited.

    But I suppose in the back of Theo’s mind is Big Papi and Minnesota. I guess if you had that kind of luck once it’s hard to forget.

    • Tony_H

      These guys were not signed to be flipped. They are roster fillers for a season or two and if they perform well enough where they can be flipped it is a bonus.

      This thought that all players are signed to be flipped is crazy. So to then complain that we keep them to long is also crazy and are holding out for a bigger return. Why trade anyone if the return isn’t noticeable. Just like we all know and you admit that all the GM’s know where these guys came from and what their ultimate value is to any team. In a one for one trade they hold almost no value. So unless they are being added to a package in a bigger deal, they aren’t likely to be traded.

      • Tom U

        I don’t know Tony. There was some interest in Nate Schierholtz in the off-season, but the front office failed to pull the trigger. Now, probably no one wants him and he’ll end up just playing out his contract.

        • Tony_H

          Do you know what the return was going to be?

          Because in the off-season it would have needed to be much better than a Justin Ruggiano type and/or a prospect arm like Corey Black or Ivan Pineyro type to move him last winter. Obviously we can look back now, knowing he has had a horrible season and say they should have traded him already, but I think that shows that he wasn’t brought in to be flipped as much as to cover RF until the system sends up a Bryant or Soler to fill RF.

          If the return was less than those types I mentioned, what’s the point in trading him…just to say you did?

          • Richard Hood

            I agree with this in one aspect even with the horrible season that Shierholz has had he has more value to us on the field than on the trading block. And without anyone actually pushing him out the door he will continue to for the immediate future.

          • cubtex

            This rebuild would have been much less painful….IF….they put real mlb players out there as roster fillers. 3 years now and not one prospect(hopefully Alcantara proves to be the 1st) has broken through as a legitimate future piece. I am talking about position players here. 3 years and we have one holdover from the previous regime in Alcantara that looks like he could join Castro and Rizzo. Forcing Olt in the show at the beginning of the year was ridiculous. Lake was learning outfield on the fly at the big league level and had contact issues. Not one position player under Theo was flipped for any value whatsoever. DeJesus-Cash. Geo Soto- Broken down pitcher. Ian Stewart-Released.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            What did you expect for those three, Tex? DeJesus was DFA’ed after the trade to WA. Soto was hitting .181 as a 29year old and coming off of a .228 year. Ian Stewart’s out of baseball.

          • cubtex

            I was saying IF they had better players playing for 3 years…they could be flipped for something. As I said..not one position player brought back any value in 3 years.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            So the FO should have overpaid for FAs, which is necessary to acquire quality players, and then traded them for prospects after a year or two? Please name one FO that employs a sign and trade roster building strategy. It seems terribly cost inefficient.

          • Richard Hood

            Not that I agree but Boston uses this strategy every couple of years. It has worked out pretty good for them.

          • Tony_H

            Can you give some examples of guys they signed with the intent on flipping them?

          • Richard Hood

            Never said that they INTENDED to flip them just that they did. And the list is quite long and probably going to get longer this year.

          • Tony_H

            That is what he was saying, what FO uses this strategy? None. All teams look at selling players that are about to be FA’s when they fall out of the playoffs. But I don’t know of any team that has ever used the strategy of signing mid to upper level FA’s with the intent of trading them.

          • cubtex

            where was mid or upper level free agents mentioned. I said better. This could have been done via trade,free agency etc. not putting crap like Schierholtz,Sweeney,DeJesus,Bogusevic and Ruggiano types out there.

          • cubtex

            they could have signed Coco Crisp. Would he have brought back any players??? Of course he would have.

          • Tony_H

            Not many people wanted Coco Crisp, not even you. But in hindsight it is easy to bring up players as examples.

          • cubtex

            I would much rather have had them sign Crisp instead of DeJesus…but of course they went cheap.

          • Tony_H

            Easy to say now, but all it would have done was change your ranting against DeJesus to Crisp. Like I said, easy to say now that we know how it turned out.

          • BigJonLilJon

            After seriously considering both your arguments, I have decided you two will never agree!!
            But, since we must have a winner (this being America and we love a winner), the judges here side with Tony. 4 wins differance for the Sox and they have nothing in the system coming up. No future prospects or any cash to buy big time FA’s. Cubs could have gone about things different and had a few more wins. But then we wouldn’t have Bryant among others. I don’t care for this long losing deal either. But given the 2 choices, I have to say Theo’s way is going to better in the long run. Possibly the short term as well. But, I still won’t spend a dime to watch what’s being marched onto Wrigley either. They have to earn my money.

          • Tony_H

            LOL!!!

            Look out for the wrath of Ray (or whatever his name really is) to go after you now.

            I haven’t gone to a game since JH didn’t see the need to rebuild. I will go when Bryant or Baez gets called up.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Lol. Let him bring it on.
            I won’t go to Wrigley until they put a respectable product on the field. Should be a top 5 product due to the fact that we’re being asked to pay top 5 prices. But I’ll settle for a chance at winning. An effort too.

          • Tony_H

            And it took you until today to see that we will never agree :)

          • cubtex

            who are the judges? lol. oh. I guess you are Big Jon and Little Jon. Kind of like Jekyll and Hyde.

          • BigJonLilJon

            More like Common and Sense. Something I can only hope you find in regards to the rebuild and the future of the team.

          • cubtex

            so you biased judge. hahaha. you had your mind made up already. I know your type

          • BigJonLilJon

            Actually I hadn’t really decided. If you look back at my posts you’ll find I was pretty pissed at the time table and direction also. But I’m coming around to the plan. The thing that I can’t stop thinking about is the whole 4 wins thing. Heck, make it 10. Doesn’t matter. Team would still suck and the list resources of those 10 wins would ensure more sucking to come.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            LOL! We like winners and big pick ‘em up trucks.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Even when tickets are free, between parking and concessions – not to mention gas driving from NW Indiana- it still costs $200 to attend a game with my 2 kids. Money… It’s going to ruin sports!!

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

            If they are over 500 next year I think it can be considered short term.

          • Richard Hood

            They both were the same the only difference is that Crisp retained some of his speed and had a huge year. Pure luck shot.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cheap? They paid DeJesus $10 million dollars!

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

            Totally. Crisp is surprising everyone this season but he was bad for a few years. I would have wanted him any more than the guys we got. He has been good but it’s a total outlier.

          • Tony_H

            OK then, if only they would have signed lower level FA’s for bigger money contracts so that they could flip them to teams in the playoff hunt.

          • cubtex

            are you paying the salaries? Obviously they went 4 years at 52 mil for EJax….but as you say he was an innings eater so that was a good sign. Get better players to play and get better players back when you trade them. Not brain surgery

          • Tony_H

            And look how the EJAX signing has gone…poorly. You can barely call him an innings eater at this point.

            But would the return back on a slightly better player, return a Kris Bryant? Or the ability to bring in the 3 HS arms we added in the draft?

          • cubtex

            are you really banking on those high school arms? cmon man. I am glad you are excited about 3 high school arms but is that a reason on why they should have lost more games on the mlb level?

          • Tony_H

            It is about the whole of the draft, the int’l market, the trade returns, etc. I just listed a couple of examples.

            And yes, I would expect at least one of the 3 to make the majors as a starter.

          • cubtex

            wow. I wish I could get a bet like that in Vegas.

          • Tony_H

            It will still have odds, but I doubt even Vegas bets on baseball prospects.

          • Tony_H

            And I really dislike the argument of “are you paying the salaries”. Every deal has an affect on what a team can do in the future.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Yeah, they do have fire sales. I forgot about the Marlins a couple years ago dumping Reyes and Buehrle .

          • Ripsnorter1

            I think if you look at the Oakland A’s, every single player on their 25 man roster was acquired via a trade, save one player.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Yup, but the discussion was centered around signing free agents, then trading them. Since the CBA change in 2012, signing and training a player has become less prevalent.

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

            Hairston. Soriano. But many others havent.

          • Tony_H

            The decision to do a complete rebuild was almost 3 years ago. Move on. IF they did what you said they would have won 70 some games each year, received worse draft picks, let draft pool money for both the International and Rule IV drafts. A little easier to watch, but they would be farther behind in the rebuild.

            The point you make about only one holdover (Alcantara) from the previous regime shows just how barren the cupboard was that they inherited.

          • cubtex

            and all these flip trades and holdover trades didn’t pan out yet. Dempster,Maholm,Garza(Olt definitely didn’t) Soto,Marmol,
            Who has done a better job so far in trading assets? Hahn- Santiago= Eaton. Peavy= Avisail Garcia. Signing Jose Abreu who is putting up unreal numbers. Dempster had more value than Peavy at that time. Theo was bullheaded in insisting on getting pitching back for Dempster. He should have been more flexible(like with the Shark deal) back then and could have gotten an outfielder with upside who could be starting for us right now.

          • Tony_H

            If you talk to White Sox fans they are jealous of the Cubs situation. I have one Sox friend who hates the Cubs almost as much as you hate Theo. And even he has admitted that with the last trade that the Cubs are building something special.

          • cubtex

            not arguing that the Cubs are building up the farm(by losing) and accumalating prospects. The Shark deal netted one of top position players in the minors. Not a pitcher…a position player. Maholm net a fragile pitcher who has had 2 surgeries and is more than likely a bullpen piece. Dempster net a #5(ceiling) starter and a utility infielder(ceiling) Garza net 2 bullpen arms and a fragile starting pitcher who is 165 pounds and might not be able to endure a 180 plus inning year. Do you see the difference? One guy is aquiring starting players and one guy is aquiring question marks

          • Tony_H

            They are polishing up Hahn’s executive of the year award as we speak….

            You talk floor with all these players, which paints them in the worse case possible. Just like not all players will reach their ceilings, not all players will fail….at least not with this group of players.

            I am not going to rehash all these trades (again).

          • cubtex

            I would try and avoid discussing that if I were you as well.

          • Tony_H

            No, I think you are wrong in your assessment. But we have already done this so many times. You can keep baiting me all you want.

          • cubtex

            Speaking of Vizcaino. Have you seen his Iowa numbers so far? Ouch!

            6.1 IP 16 hits 11 ER. Wow

          • Tony_H

            They my as well cut him, based on those numbers he obviously has not talent.

          • cubtex

            hahaha. always the smart a##. but let’s keep stuff like that a secret. shhhhhhh

          • Tony_H

            It’s no secret that he has totally dominated this year until he got to AAA. Small sample size and I am sure it rocked his confidence and has led to the other poor outings. This is all a part of the development of players. They do need to fail to learn how to deal with it as they will have times where they are playing poorly in the majors as all players do.

            Not sure this is a secret, it has been reported in every minor league that I read.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Ray, I am paying attention to you guys going back and forth to make sure I am being fair to everyone. I appreciate you and Tony keeping everything civil today.

          • cubtex

            thank you Neil

          • triple

            You know what’s really funny (thinking about rehashing trades)…. Edwin Jackson has delivered more wins this season than a certain pitcher has for his team, who can’t seam to take the mound every 5 days. I’d say that’s a strong case for the win column being more important than ERA and WHIP.

          • cubtex

            so if you think Cashner is never going to be healthy…how optimistic can you be about CJ Edwards or Arodys Vizcaino to stay healthy and take the mound? Wouldn’t that be double standards? And Wins along with ERA and WHIP all matter. It isn’t just one without the others.

          • triple

            I’m pretty sure I’ve never expressed great optimism in CJ Edwards, although I am intrigued by Vizcaino’s potential as a relief pitcher. And you can go back a long way where I made a post about Vizcaino, and if he ever will be able to help the Cubs, I said it wouldn’t be till at least 2015 anyway, and if he were to become a starter, it wouldn’t be till 2016. So it’s not like I’m waiting at the finish line to cheer Vizcaino along as he finishes any race of recovery. So sorry, but I have no double standards.

            Wins, along with ERA and WHIP do tell the story, but I think the first that can be eliminated is Wins, as it relies on the offense and the bullpen to do their jobs to help deliver the W. Wins are heavily inflated for some pitchers and deflated for others due to poor offense and relief pitching mishaps. As an example, if Cashner pitched on a better team, he might have 8 or 9 wins instead of his 2, and I’m just looking at the starts he’s made this year.

            That just shows how good Cashner is. I like him as he’s really fun to watch pitch! I wish he could stay healthy. But if he can’t stay on the field, his ERA could be 0.98 and WHIP could be 0.85 and it still won’t help his team win any more games from the bench. He’s worth it right now because he’s only costing his team $2.4M. He’ll be worth it next year too, because he’ll probably be paid about the same in his second arbitration year. But will he stave off injury for the entire 2015 season? That’s hard to say… I wouldn’t bet on him pitching 200 inning next year. And then how does that effect him for his last arbitration year in 2016? And further, then who’s gonna pay him a big salary in 2017 when he’s 30 and exploring free agency with a questionable arm. At that point, he’d make a good 1-year sign and flip contract for the Cubs and keep your fingers crossed that he stays healthy through July and get a king’s ransom for him. But I hate to say, that that’s what his career will probably look like over the next 3 years.

          • bmoneyy20

            Abreu made a lot of people forget about Keppinger .

          • triple

            So your way, like the Sox are doing, is good enough to make a team 4 games better than the Cubs. That’s it. You are complaining about a 4 game difference? Is that 4 games really that significant to you? You would be all rose pedals and unicorns, all is hunky dory in the state of Texas if your team happened to be 4 wins higher in the win column? That seems like an awefully small amount of wins to be upset for considering 3 years of a rebuild.

          • cubtex

            as I have argued. Hahn is putting Theo to shame. In one offseason he added a stud in Jose Abreu without giving up a player and a leadoff hitter in Adam Eaton for Hector Santiago. He kept Chris Sale,has Quintana as a solid #3(he would be a #1 for the Cubs) kept an allstar in Alexei Ramirez instead of selling him low last year and now can trade him if he chooses and get a lot for. Cubs have added 1. Count them 1 core player in 3 years. Anthony Rizzo. Hopefully Bryant will be #2 from the Theo regime. Alcantara was here. Shark was here and was traded for Russell. Baez was here.

          • triple

            And still the WhiteSox are only 4 games better than the Cubs. That is not putting anyone to shame. When all that matters is how is the big league team doing right now (there is no guarantee for the future, you say it all the time about the Cubs prospects, and it also applies to any big league player without years of proven history and success behind them), so if how the big league team is doing is what matters the most, how is 4 games better than the Cubs who, in your words “are trying to lose,” putting anyone to shame?

          • cubtex

            right now the Sox are much closer and I hate that. Now…could that change in 2 years? Yes…but not this year or next year. Sale is head and shoulders above any pitcher the Cubs have. Quintana is as well. I probably would rather have Danks over Wood as well. Now to position players. Do the Cubs have anyone who trumps Abreu? No, and both in mid 20’s. They have more major league talent right now than the Cubs do and it is not old mlb talent. In 1 year of rebuilding they have surpassed the Cubs and they still have mlb assets to trade that will bring back value(unlike the Cubs)

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Do the Cubs have anyone who trumps Abreu?

            Yes, Rizzo who is three years younger and making

            $6 million less a year.

            http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=15676&position=1B&page=8&players=3473

          • triple

            I just got a simple question… Where are these standings that put the Sox much closer than the Cubs? Or the ratings that show that the Astros are a year ahead of the Cubs? They don’t exist. It is all in your head. Your opinion on the matter. Why do you let what’s in your head get you so bummed out? It’s not exactly reality. Reality is the world around us. Reality is that while your opinion is that the White Sox are much closer than the Cubs, that they are only 4 games ahead of a team that you say is tanking on purpose. You’ve said that you don’t care about the prospects and just what is happening at the major league level. Well the best way to decipher what is happening is to look at each teams won loss record.

            The Sox are only 4 games up from the Cubs despite having 2 great pitchers on their staff and one hitter. They have ONE great hitter in Abreu, while the Cubs have 2, who are both younger and under control for cheaper for the next 6 years that Abreu is signed for. As great as you see Alexei Ramirez as, he is just a little better than the average shortstop. Why have his HRs trended downward over his 7 year career? He’s had a couple good seasons, but he is replaceable. If he was really the kind of guy you’d keep building around, he would have turned his career upward like Starlin Castro has, but he’s never done that. They probably should have traded him when they had a chance. As far as age, it looks as the though the Cubs have more younger talent than the ChiSox. Castro 24, Rizzo 24, Alcantara 22, Sale 25, Quintana 25, and Abreu 27. So when you look at their ages, the Cubs have 3 guys under 25 who all do and will continue to play every day. At some point next season, the Cubs will probably have 5 guys 25 or under who play everyday. Right now the White Sox have two guys in their everyday lineup who are 25, and neither is currently playing at the level of Rizzo and Castro, and neither has as high of a ceiling either.

            *** Really though, all I do want to know is where are these rebuilding standing that you are privy to?

          • Tony_H

            Keep in mind the division that each team plays most of their games (subtracting the Cubs and Sox)

            AL Central 192-181 (516)
            NL Central 205-177 (537)

            Almost offsets all 4 of those huge wins that put the Sox so far ahead :)

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            What about Arrieta? Ramirez a key addition to the bullpen? Rondon ? We don’t know what Hendricks will be. Travis Wood could turn things around. Would you prefer Hayden Simpson, Mark pawelek Bobby Brownlie. Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, tyler Colvin or Schwarber Soler Almora Russell Mc Kinney, Bryant

          • Denver Mike

            Not taking sides, but the only player Hahn has acquired that has proven to be a starting caliber ML player is Abreu, and nobody saw him having the year he is right now. Eaton has upside, but has proven nothing in the majors thus far and is known for being a problem in the clubhouse, Davidson is in the minors (and hitting .213), and Garcia has been injured all year. I’m not sure that is enough to say that one guy is acquiring starting players while the other is acquiring question marks, especially because it appears the Cubs acquired more players that are starting right now than the White Sox did this past off-season.

          • cubtex

            My point is that Theo was so bullheaded the last couple of years on insisting that they trade the Maholm’s,Dempsters,for pitching instead of what Hahn did. True, Garcia is hurt….but he has a ton more upside than a Junior Lake does. Eaton was traded for a low draft pick in Hector Santiago that had a couple of good months and can’t make the Angels rotation now. At least Theo tried to make the best trade for Shark this time and actually didn’t just get a slew of question marks…he got a top prospect back.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Plus Abreu currently has about the same WAR as Rizzo but at a cost of almost $6 mil more a year.

          • cubtex

            and thank you again for proving to me how ridiculous WAR is.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Why because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

          • cubtex

            Seriously Hoosier. Compare these 2. It isn’t close.

            Abreu
            .292 29 HR’s 73 RBI

            RISP- .292 9 HR and 46 RBI

            Rizzo

            .275 20 and 49 RBI

            RISP- .231 3 HR and 24 RBI

            It’s laughable to say these 2 are equal.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Here compare these numbers.
            Abreu :
            http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=15676&position=1B#platediscipline

            Rizzo :

            http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3473&position=1B#platediscipline

            One has a BB% of 6.3 and a K% of 23.4 (Abreu who is 27)
            The other has a BB% 13 and a K% 18.4 (Rizzo 24)

            Long story short Rizzo has better than league average contact skills and plate discipline (Abreu is below league average) is younger and hits for a bout the same offensive production wRC+142 vs wRC+ of 159 (Rizzo is 42% better than league average at producing runs, Abreu is 59%) at HALF of the annual cost.

            I’ll take younger cheaper talent with good power and good plate discipline any day of the week.

          • cubtex

            If you want to say that Rizzo walks more…..fine…I’ll give you that. But……They are middle of the order bats. If they were leadoff hitters then that is a valid point. They are supposed to drive in runs. One(Abreu) does that at an excellent rate and One(Rizzo) is below average in that category.

          • cubtex

            and…Abreu has a better OBP with RISP than Rizzo as well. Rizzo is having a fine year but it isn’t close to what Abreu is doing. Abreu is putting up historic numbers and it is his first year.

          • Denver Mike

            This is one thing we can certainly agree on

          • Richard Hood

            While I agree that WAR is a ridiculous measuring stick on players because of a number of inconsistent factors If you are talking about complete players the conversation is very one sided. Abreu is a DH that is just about it.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            What are the inconsistent factors. If you say fielding realize that they play the same position so the fielding metrics are applied equally to both of them regardless of the metrics accuracy.

          • bmoneyy20

            Sometimes you go quantity over quality. what the rays did when they traded Garza to the Cubs in first place. Jon Daniels Rangers GM himself said something like that trade is or has the chance to haunt me. W/O signing Hammel they don’t land Russell, there is one of your nice free agent signings.

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

            How can we already write Olt off? That’s kind of crazy. Maybe he will never be good but it’s far from known.

            I like a lot ofte others we got but won’t get into it on everyone of them.

          • Tony_H

            Don’t you know, if Theo had anything to do with the guy, once they struggle you should dump, they are done :)

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

            Yep. And lower level prospects he gets are bums. Even though they’re just that, lower level. And one has won player of the week and another two have also won awards and many like their potential. Only one POV matters.

          • Richard Hood

            Because he is 26 years old and was never going to be a great contact hitter to begin with? He was a glove first power guy that the Cubs hoped would make enough contact to be legit. Right now it does not seem like that is going to happen.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Olt may turnout to be a good player down the road his long swing and approach need an overhaul. You never know look at Josh Harrison who was a cubs farm hand who would have thought he’d ever be an all star. Harrison might fall off or continue to be a decent player he’s in his prime years right now.
            Who’s to say Josh Vitters might be an all star in 5 years.

          • Tony_H

            I still don’t get how Harrison is an All-Star.

          • Richard Hood

            He isn’t but it was nice that he was rewarded for a good half season.

          • Tony_H

            But it wasn’t even that good.

          • Richard Hood

            In his managers eyes it was. He even talked about it the last Cubs series there. His selection was not a surprise in the least.

            I just wish it was not at the expense of Reardon. That kid deserved his moment in the sun after the keeping the Nats afloat in spite of all the injuries they had.

          • Tony_H

            That’s the point a utility guy should have to out perform a regular player like Rendon.

          • Richard Hood

            LOL I have done that twice today. I will fix it.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            I don’t get it either, but he’s been pretty decent this year. Not all star numbers but decent. He might have an ok career.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Starlin Castro, Baez,Vogelbach, Andrew Cashner, Wellington Castillo, Junior lake, Zac Rosscup, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, to name a few from the previous regime.

          • Tony_H

            Castro, Samardzija, Cashner and Russell were already on the major league team. We were talking farm systems.

            It has been 3 seasons and so far Castillo has filled the catcher position, but not even average so far, Junior Lake is failing, Rosscup has gotten a cup of coffee.

            That doesn’t say much 3 seasons later. Farm systems should produce players every year.

          • Richard Hood

            You forgot a couple that also tried and failed (ie Viters and Jackson) and a few that grinded to a halt with the change in teaching in the minors (Sczrur, Mc Nutt), If they had better results from the kids that were here we would be a lot farther towards competing not contending but competing.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Traded D.J. LeMahieu who is having a solid career in Colorado.

          • Tony_H

            Not sure if solid is the right word. 352 slg in Colorado is really weak. 283/339/352/690 690 OPS in Colorado is well below average.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            .283.339 Obp is better than what we have had from Barney. They traded him essentially for nothing. All I’m saying is I like and agree with what Theo and Jed are doing but they aren’t perfect and do make mistakes. Edwin Jackson lol.

          • Tony_H

            Not really the point of comparing to Barney, Valbuena would be the better comparison this year. DJ is a replacement level player.

            If you read Arguello, he has a good article on probabilities and how even decisions are made to give you the best chance for success, nothing is guaranteed for any player or type of player. Ex. – We could trade for Mike Trout and he could get hurt and then never be the same player. There is risk in every move.

          • Denver Mike

            In my opinion, Emilio Boniacio is a better choice at second than DJ LeMahieu.

          • Tony_H

            Look at his splits

            Home 315/387/369/756 (not even 800 OPS at home)
            Away 248/284/333/617 (really bad)

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Away is still better than Barney and look at Rizzo Castro 80% of players hit better at home. I agree slugging is bad especially for Coors

          • Richard Hood

            If a frog had wings and all that. I was not talking about trades they made because that is just from not enough information and they have even admitted to mistakes in that. Just that the first season of this regime was brutal on the in house prospects. A lot of them struggled to adapt to the new system and some of them failed miserably. So it took a redo on some of the prospects to get that first taste of the big leagues.

          • Denver Mike

            I always get a kick out of the LeMahieu love. I’m not saying that’s where you were coming from, but I live here and have seen him play in person many times. He’s a serviceable second baseman, but he is nothing special. You could get a similar player as a low level FA signing, which seems to get panned around here a lot.

            Did Ian Stewart work out for the Cubs? Hell no, but I still wouldn’t call that trade a loss just because we lost a replacement level player in the deal.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Probably right

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            I forgot D.J. LeMahieu and I agree that teams players from farm systems should produce every year. And Hendry didn’t. I’m not advocating for Hendry just pointing out the farm system did produce some productive players and players on the MLB team from your farm shows some production.
            Absolutely horrible in the first round besides Prior. Going way back
            I agree with what the Cubs are doing.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Hayden Simpson bust, tyler Colvin bust, Brett Jackson bust, Josh Vitters bust, Matt sczcur bust, Mark Pawelek bust, Bobby Brownlie bust. All first round picks under Hendry.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Castillo is an above average defender and average with the bat for his position this year and the past two years he has been above average. Castillo is having a down year it happens Castro and Rizzo last year. .. Look at Yahoo sortable player stats by position.
            Every single MLB player produced isn’t an All-Star. neither will all the MLB from Theo and Jed.

          • Tony_H

            I get that, and I believe Castillo can be a mid range catcher with a small chance of being a Top 10.

          • Richard Hood

            I think he is a glove first back up that was thrust into a starting role and survived. He is 27 years old and is very much on shakey ground if they get another catcher into the system.

          • Tony_H

            They have other catchers, Lopez will likely be the back up next year or by mid-season, Cutler is more likely a backup, but should be the next year. Wilson Contrears is the best chance to be a starter but he is a few years away.

            What I like about catcher is they are trying to develop catchers who can play other positions. I like the idea of having 3 catchers on the roster, where one or even two of them can play somewhere else.

          • Richard Hood

            I meant higher in the system.

          • Tony_H

            Lopez is AAA
            Cutler is AA

            Many thought Cutler should have been brought up this year when Castillo was out.

          • Richard Hood

            Cutler is not Team Theo’s type of back up catcher. They like Glove first back up’s that call great games. That is just the opposite of what he is.

            Lopez I am intrigued about and I think that if Baker gets moved we might see him up.

          • Tony_H

            I agree with glove first, but they thought enough of him to bring him in. We may not have a traditional starter/back-up all the time.

          • Richard Hood

            I was just saying that the last guy like Cutler we had got sent to Baltimore. Clevelanger could at least call a decent game.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Zagunis and Schwarber both playing LF and catching. I like that idea too

          • Tony_H

            Also Ben Carhart.

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

            I wondered that too. Was there an offer on the table? I’m not saying there wasn’t, but I haven’t heard that.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            There were a lot of teams interested last year at the trading deadline and a lot of reports of teams being interested over the winter.

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

            I heard that too. But interest and offer, and offer and fair offer are all different things. It’s a situation where we just don’t have enough information to pronounce a judgment on it one way or the other. Who knows?

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Agreed

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

        Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle as we have with a few of them. And most are guys that have a strong possibility of an injury recovery or else wise unorecedented success for the player. Gotta admit quite a few of these guys have career years with us.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    That’s one reason I said why trade Russell or Wright if you can’t get anything for them might as well keep them. Unless they are packaged with Ruggiano or someone else. To get a good prospect.

    • Richard Hood

      Because Rosscup is ready to be on the big league roster and is actually part of the future. If you can get value for either of the left handers then you move them just to open up the spot for promotion.

      • Tony_H

        Preferably Russell.

        • Richard Hood

          I still think there will be 2 relievers moved if for no other reason than to get innings for Rivero and Rosscup. I really expect Christian Villaneuva to be moved as well (though he might actually be in line for a cup of coffee late with him already on the 40 man).

          • Tony_H

            Not sure it will be to get innings as Rosscup will be up in September for sure. Also not sure Rivero will come up in September. He doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man to protect him from the Rule V draft. So I don’t expect to see him until sometime next season as the list for guys to protect I expect to be tough to narrow down this year and that is another reason why Rivero and guys like Bryant and Baez likely won’t be coming up in September.

          • Richard Hood

            Rivero is not a prospect in the truest sense. He is an older Cuban refugee. His upside is a late inning reliever (some have said closer but I do not see that yet). The roster games you play with prospects and the 40 man is not the same as what you do with a guy like that.

            I thought I had read somewhere that Rivero has a 3 year minor league deal with opt outs but that may not be accurate.

          • Tony_H

            They are not really games. They will protect the players they want to protect and are not going to add guys they don’t have to for the off season like Baez, Bryant, and Rivero. If they make the team out of ST they will add them then, but adding them now make no sense.

          • Richard Hood

            They will be adding to the 40 man from now till the end of the year. Especially older guys that they want to look at and see if they are part of the future. At already 26 and just about into what we think of as prime years they will want to look at him at the highest level this year and not in September.

          • Tony_H

            I hope they do, as I would love to see him up sooner than later. But with only 8 games pitched at Iowa, I don’t expect to see him until next year. We will see soon enough.

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          Why trade him if you get garbage back he’s still under control for a couple years. He’s been a good reliever all in all in Chicago for a while and is still pitching good why give him up for nothing. See what you have in Rosscup in September then decide or put 3 Lhp in the pen if all 3 are better than your other options. Or Neil Ramirez becomes a starter.

          • Tony_H

            I agree on if you get garbage back. I have said that a few times the last few days, didn’t think I needed to add it to every post.

          • Richard Hood

            Yeah I think it was a given that there has to be a reason to trade them. But the value also has to be weighed against the kids that are taking those spots as well.

          • Tony_H

            At that point you might just cut them, if they fall in the garbage return and blocking a kid. But Russell should bring back a decent arm that is much younger.

          • Richard Hood

            So would Wright. He has a better track record and playoff experience. To a team that is close to the playoff race but not a lot of experience like say the Mariners there could be more of a market for him.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            You also have to see more of Rosscup. To decide if he is Mlb ready to take that spot.
            He will get an opportunity in September if not before.
            The Cubs bullpen is finally decent and if they are serious about trying to put a good team on the field next year they need a decent bullpen.
            Rosscup and others are good depth but need to prove things first and good teams have solid depth for in the pen and rotation.
            The rotation is a huge ? Going forward a solid bullpen with depth is a must.

          • Tony_H

            Rosscup has swing and miss stuff. That alone makes him good enough to be the 2nd lefty. Now if they expect him to be the #1 lefty, I would agree, we need to know more.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            Agree to disagree with you on this. Sorry You don’t have to put it on every post but I dont read everything you post. Sorry.
            Just saying your under the assumption the Cubs get back a good return. I disagree.
            In my opinion I don’t think they are going to get a top position or pitching prospect for a decent reliever, I hope they do and I eat my words maybe in a package deal with a guy like Vogelbach or something Ruggiano, Barney etc .
            Maybe they can fleece a team and get a guy with some stuff reclamation project. Wood for Marshall was a good move even though Wood has struggled this year all in all production wise a good move. An Arrieta project would be worth it too.
            They didn’t trade Schierholtz I’m guessing because the return wasn’t very good.
            I don’t think imho the return will outweigh what the Cubs have for 2 years.

            We still need a decent bullpen the next couple of years. An A Ball reliever isn’t worth it. Arodys Vizcaino isn’t worth it.

            If the Cubs truly don’t want to be sellers next year they shouldn’t trade just for the sake of it without a solid return. I think they should wait until the off season after Rosscup comes up in September and see how he does. Who knows if the Cubs get some pitching Wood could move to the pen if he continues to struggle like Marshall and be a solid reliever.

          • Tony_H

            I wouldn’t expect a top position player or pitching prospect. We are talking about Russell…right? I would hope to get another live arm that is in A ball that has a high ceiling, but likley a very low floor.

          • Patrick_Schaefer

            I just think with so many ???? In the rotation the Cubs need a good bullpen if they are serious about not being sellers next year. The guys you are talking about them blocking are great to have in AAA for depth for the MLB team for injuries and ineffectiveness and I think they should see what they have with them in September Rosscup looks like he could be good and their is no written rule you can’t have 3 Lhp in the pen especially if all show the ability to get right handed hitters out.

            I just want to see good baseball next year and the Cubs bullpen needs to be very good with all the other question marks.

          • Tony_H

            I agree.

            Bullpen options for 2015 right now.

            RH
            Rondon
            Ramirez
            Strop
            Schlitter
            Grimm
            Parker
            Rivero
            Vizcaino
            Hatley

            LH
            Russell
            Wright
            Rosscup
            Rusin
            Wada

            I think bullpen will be in good shape most years, as we have lots of power arms that are trying to be SP that will convert to bullpen versus the years of using the Casey Coleman types in the pen.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        The key thing you said is what I just said if you can get value. If you get junk for them why move them is what I said. they are both effective and under team control for two more years why trade them for nothing. Rosscup has a better fastball but hasn’t proven anything yet at mlb level he will be here in September wait and see what you got before 4 trade away decent lefthanded relievers which aren’t always easy to come by. Both Russell and Wright get Righty batters out too so you can always go with 3 lefthanded pitchers in the pen.

  • Richard Hood

    I know that I am in the minority on this but I still think Ruggiano’s value is the same as what Gabby Sanchez was 2 years ago. So we should look at any trade through that prism. Equivalent of a sandwich pick between 1/2 rounds of the draft.

    • cubtex

      That is way optimistic. Has Ruggiano ever been a starter at the mlb level for an entire year? Do you think any contenders are targeting Ruggiano as the “missing piece” to get them over the hump. If the price is right for the team that needs a 4th or 5th outfielder….they will trade for Ruggiano……if Theo is asking too much….next. They will look at other options. Guys like Ruggiano are a dime a dozen.

      • Richard Hood

        Sanchez was not any of those things when he was traded. He was a big bat off the bench that could pound LH pitching. The Pirates had a first baseman against RH’er (Garrett Jones) at the time. Those guys hold value even if they are not starters.

  • Denver Mike

    Meh….I don’t personally think any of the remaining players that could potentially be traded have any significant stand-alone value:

    Russell
    Villanueva
    Wright

    Barney
    Valbuena
    Coghlan
    Lake
    Ruggiano
    Schierholtz
    Sweeney

    Coghlan, Valbuena, and Russell/Wright probably hold the most value, but aside from trading one of the lefty relievers what is the point in trading any of them? I would rather keep Coghlan, Valbuena, and Wright for next year since we will still have plenty of holes to fill. These are all guys that could be “throw-ins” to a larger deal to help get it done, but we have nobody left to make a larger deal, so we would have to essentially depend on their stand alone value, which is practically none.

    Ruggiano is the subject of this article, and he is aging pretty quickly. If we trade him, great I hope we get a comp pick. Otherwise, our system is already pretty stocked with middling prospects of our own, so I don’t really care if we get more middling prospects from someone else’s system.

    • Richard Hood

      If we keep one of Coghlan or Ruggiano I hope it is Coghlan at least till the offseason. Coghlan is a couple years younger and under control till 2017. So that gives us a 3 year window with him and a little longer to decide if this is truly a click up or if he is what we thought.

    • Chris K.

      I totally agree. I think if they traded Hammel and Samardzija separately, more of these names would be out the door, because they could have been add ons. Unfortunately, none of these guys are worth much on the trade market, but maybe something is better than nothing since some of these guys are just in the way of younger players with similar abilities.

      • Rich Cooper

        I actually feel Ruggiano may be worth keeping as a fourth infielder or until our true third infielder arrives. Seem like he could be a flexible off bench piece to insure pinch-hitting / flip-flopping the batting order with best defensive options available. He’s actually growing on me. However, if a sweet offer was made then that’s a whole different conversation.