The traditional second half of the season kicks off today, although the true midpoint of the season was (mercifully) a couple weeks ago. While the Cubs’ performance on the field may not provide much excitement, the next few weeks – and even August, as well – could provide a great deal of excitement in the trade arena.

  • The Cubs have *finally* signed one of their top 15 draft picks, inking third rounder Zeke DeVoss, an athletic outfielder out of the University of Miami. The DeVoss signing has been expected for a few weeks – Zeke was seen taking batting practice at Wrigley Field a couple weeks ago. DeVoss will get his start with the rookie team in Arizona. So, about those other top draft picks…?
  • The Cubs also signed 21st rounder, Andrew McKirahan, a reliever out of the University of Texas. The cut-off isn’t until August 15, so there’s still plenty of time. Still, it would be nice to start getting some more kids into the fold so they can start playing.
  • The Cubs don’t have any intention of retrying Jeff Samardzija as a starter in the second half of the season, though Samardzija admits he still thinks about being a starter. Still, he’s taken to his bullpen role. “I also understand, as we found out this year, that the bullpen’s a very, very important role. And to be on the same page with them, saying I want to pitch every day, any time that I can, has also helped me out a lot.”
  • Phil Rogers imagines Prince Fielder in a Cubs jersey.
  • Bruce Miles does not sound optimistic with respect to the futures of Jim Hendry, Mike Quade, and Crane Kenney. The delicious irony? That’s the very kind of thing that would make me optimistic about the Cubs’ future.
  • Paul Sullivan evaluates the Matt Garza trade by reviewing both his performance, and the performance of the primary four prospects for whom he was acquired, in the 2011 season so far. The winner can’t be determined quite yet, but it looks slightly better for the Rays (as some people say: you trade with the Rays at your own peril).
  • Alfonso Soriano breaks out a hilarious quote about the scrutiny Cubs players receive by way of the Chicago media: “We can not play baseball without reporters,” he said. “Who would write about what we do? It’s like a 50-50 [partnership]. The media is like an umpire. I may not like the umpire, but I have to be friends with him because if you don’t like them, they can call anything they want at the plate. And they’re like the police, too. The police are good, but sometimes I want to do something crazy but can’t do it.”
  • dreese

    “Phil Rogers imagines Prince Fielder in a Cubs jersey.”

    I imagine the Phillies trading their rotation for John Grabow

  • Ron

    Maybe they are taking longer to sign because of the perception that cubs don’t develop talent well. Although I think Castro and Soto show different. But maybe they are having to “sell” it more.

  • Toosh

    Some draftees think their potential signing bonus should be more than the offers they’re getting.

  • Ron

    Also, the uncertainty at the top of the organization can’t help.

  • VanSlaw

    Phil Rogers has imagined his entire baseball acumen.

  • Joe

    A couple things about the article with Soriano’s quote:
    1) While it may not be that big a deal, I like that someone yelled at Quade for his pitching decisions. I definitely like that it was someone who supported his return as manager. I think that pretty much shows that Quade is done. I still think nothing will happen a Dempster’s next start, though.
    2) Why the hell are we getting quotes from Koyie Hill?
    3) Due to his quote, I now believe that Koyie Hill has daddy issues. Quade=daddy is a bit disturbing.
    4) Why do sports journalists put bits of quotes( that are needed to understand the quote) in parantheses

    • Joe

      My iPad is smarter than me….
      4) and brackets? (Quade is) the manager doesn’t make sense without “Quade is”.
      5) Anybody else think it was fitting that Soriano said “When the team is bad, they blame somebody”?
      6) At least, Soriano has a sense of humor.
      Lots of complaining due to pent up rage. Why, you ask? Bleacher Nation man slings are still backordered! Do I need a better reason?

      • TWC

        The portion of the quote in parenthesis [or brackets] is where the writer substitutes words for what was actually said to clarify intent when the quote is taken out of context. It’s standard procedure for journalists, researchers, etc.

        The article reads: “(Quade is) the manager.” But Koyie Hill most likely said “He’s the manager.” He might have also said “That asshole’s the manager”, and Paul Sullivan cleaned it up for the paper. At least, that’s what I hope he said. Professional standards, baby!

        • Joe

          Ok, thanks. I didn’t know that. It had me confused for a really long time. It’s probably a good thing that I’m not a professional journalist. I prefer “that dumbass” over “that asshole”. It would give Hill a few more points in my book, bringing him to
          like -4,000,000,000.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Nice post on the youngster ace…what’s the news on Javier Baez?..I talked to Shawn Dunston jr yesterday via Facebook he’s leaning more towards Vanderbilt

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Have you guys see this game?…Marmol walked 3 and then gave up a double to Dobbs After Garza pitched a gem…I feel for Matt Garza..

    • Joe

      what about the cg against the white sox? But that’s the way it goes this season… We give some run support when the pitcher is doing badly. We give no runs when the pitcher does great. We’ve been complaining about starting pitching problems all year. Well, there you go…