Sean Marshall wasn’t available for comment after his rough outing last night against the Phillies. That one appearance took his ERA from 2.70 all the way up to 3.18. He’s in a bit of a cold stretch – he’s given up seven earned runs in his last 6.2 innings.

  • So far, Matt Garza has not murdered any of his bullpen teammates, and it sounds like he can hold it together for another week. “There’s no blame,” he said. “That’s just the way the ball bounces.”
  • Phil Rogers recently wrote an article entitled, ‘Could Sox or Cubs Trade for Rockies Ace Jiminez?’ about the possibility of the Cubs landing Ubaldo Jiminez – who might make sense for them in a number of ways, given his cheap team control after this season. Let me save you from the link bait – Rogers asks the question, and in approximately one sentence about the Cubs, he answers: no.
  • If you’re wondering what kind of return Jeff Baker might bring in a trade, look no further than yesterday’s Jeff Keppinger deal. The two are very similar players, right down to their age and contract situation (both are under control through next year, though Keppinger is about $1 million more expensive). The Astros got a decent relief prospect, and a mediocre ML reliever/spot starter. It’s not hard to see why the Cubs might be reticent to trade Baker if that’s all they can get.
  • Jim Hendry was checking out the Iowa Cubs yesterday, and he was quoted as saying he’s already rejected a number of proposed deals involving the Cubs’ younger core. “Why would I trade Sean Marshall? Why would I trade Darwin Barney? Those calls kind of stop quickly. It makes no sense.” We’ll have more on Sean Marshall as a trade target later today, but as for Barney, I suppose I’ve made my thoughts known. If the Cubs are refusing to listen to offers on him because they believe he’s a surefire, long-term starter second base, I will be very, very unhappy.
  • Hendry also offered a sad statement about his time as the Cubs’ GM in recent years: “I haven’t changed any since we won 97 games in 2008. I’ve worked just as hard.” I have no doubt that Hendry has worked his ass off, and that he’s a really nice guy. But, results matter. That’s why this game exists.
  • Mike Quade spoke to MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre yesterday about his anti-umpire comments over the weekend. Sources still believe he’s unlikely to receive any discipline.
  • The Tigers “are considering” asking the Cubs about a big-time deal involving Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano and cash in exchange for prospects and Brandon Inge, says Phil Rogers. There’s not a lot of meat to this rumor, hence the mere bullet. But something worth noting: if the Cubs do pair Ramirez and Zambrano, you can expect that they’ll do so with an eye toward clearing as much of Zambrano’s salary as possible, rather than getting a haul in prospects. Not sure if that’s a good thing.
  • Fishin Phil

    The closer we get to the trade deadline, the greater the sense of dread I feel when listening to Hendry.

    Speaking of the trade deadline, how close are we to paying for a marathon blogger?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There will be a post on it tomorrow, but, yeah, fortunately (or unfortunately) – it’s happening.

  • LouCub

    Boy, that picture of Hendry says it all doesn’t it??? I’m with you Fishin Phil, Hendry has no business being in charge of any Cubs trades anymore, he’s lost the plot..Plus I can’t see him getting better tier prospects back, he NEVER does,,He goes after project guys that hardly ever make it and goes for quantity over quality.He sucks..I wish Tom Ricketts would hire Pat Gillick now to oversee the fatmans intentions before a golden opportunity gets squandered, we could completely overstock our farm with the number of trades the Cubs could make, buts thats the operative word “could”..Hendry’s in denial!!!

  • Andy

    Don’t understand the Barney love. He is Ryan Theriot with a brain. Only Hendry would deem him untradeable. And have we not seen before the small window on relievers? We are beginning to see that with Marmol and Marshall may not be too far behind.

    As to the Ramirez/Zambrano blockbuster, there is no point in trading ARam unless we receive a haul of above par prospects in return. The 3B market is so shallow this offseason that it may make more sense to hold onto him one more year. Who’s to say he wont put up parallel numbers next year and it will be just as easy to trade him going into a contract year? Plus, it would give Vitters one more year in the minors.

    • Joe

      Impossible. No Ryan Theriot can have a brain. It would destroy the universe.

    • MichiganGoat

      I agree there is a strong link between Barney and Theroit. In their first season with the Cubs the fans fell in love with their slap hitting, scrappy, All-American white boy- ness. But remember how quickly we turned on Theriot, we expected in year two for his average, slugging, on-base, to dramatically increase and guess what it didn’t. I won’t be surprised if the same happens to Barney next year.

      • CubFan Paul

        i turned on Theriot because he changed his swing/approach & stopped hitting balls to right field and his offensive production dropped after that ..im not sure where we could get old spray charts for players but Theriot became famous because it seemed liked 60% of his hits were dropping in front of the right fielder for easy base hits

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The similarities are substantial. Two key differences, though? Theriot was actually valuable with the bat at times, but Barney isn’t a morAn (and is above average with the glove). I don’t think folks will turn on Barney because he plays smart, and will always try hard. It will be up to folks like us to get others’ heads on straight… (I’m looking at you, Caleb and Kyle).

        • hardtop

          You can try to convert as many fans as you want to Barney-haters, but the fact is, Hendry loves him. unless, god willing, jimbo is shit canned in the next week, he’s the only guys who’s opinion counts. therfore, whether you like or not, or the numbers are on your side, barneys starting for the Cubs next year. we can only hope he figures out how to improve his obp. the fact that he has a brain leads me to believe its a possibility. And just like any Cub player Im going to hope he succeeds and cheer the kid on! of course there’s always a chance he gets moved, but hendry seems to be pretty firm in his belief that he knows what he’s doing, even if the rest of the world knows the opposite to be true.

          • Brett

            Just a point of clarification – I don’t hate Barney. I like him. He’s just not a starter.

            • hardtop

              haha, well maybe not on some teams but he is on the cubs 😉 i know you dont hate him, just a convenient term. you get my point though right, like we’re kind of stuck with him, if what hendry says is true. if it eases your mind, soriano’s not a starting left fielder either.

              anywho, assuming he’ll be in the lineup next year, do you think Barney could play short? maybe move starlin to 3rd, barney to short, baker/dewitt/lemeheu to second… this is assuming aramis gets traded or does not return. anywho… you get

      • jstraw

        You know he’s not a white boy, yes?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          To folks who watch and like his hustle, he is. You know that, yes?

          • MichiganGoat

            Beat me to it

    • hardtop

      “He is Ryan Theriot with a brain. Only Hendry would deem him untradeable.”
      yeah but hendry traded theriot, so if…

    • hardtop

      am i the only one who thinks vitters is a bust? or, at least, more likley than not to be a bust? if we’re counting on him to drive in 80+ runs for his carreer, I’m afraid we’re going to be really disappointed. i know he’s young but the 3rd pick in the draft should probably be standing out amoung his peers at this point. what’s he hitting .280/.320? i don’t know… seems to me that “what to do with aramis in the next year or two” is not the big issue. the real issue is how are we going to fill our giant infield voids. If Brett is right about Barney, and he’s not going to be at least as good as theriot, we need to fill three infield positions. and not just “fill” them with bodies, with real players who can play very good D and drive in a few hundred runs. oh, and then there’s the pitching. man we are f’d. how can anyone say hendry didnt ruin this team?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Vitters has absolutely not developed as hoped for. No doubt about it.

        But… he’s still just 21. He’s STILL one of the youngest players on the AA squad. It just takes longer to click for some kids. It feels like he’s been around forever because he was drafted when he was 17. There’s still time.

        • Jeff

          He’s also hitting better over the last month or two and his strikeouts are way down. At 21, I don’t see how you could call anyone a bust. He might not be a power hitter, but he make contact and he has a great swing, so you can’t count him out. Josh Hamilton didn’t start out so hot after he was drafted that high, and he’s working out pretty well.

          • Hogie

            He has struggled to begin with at every level, and seems to need about half a season to adjust. I have read that he is too good at making contact, so he ends up hitting a ton of pitcher’s pitches. If he can learn to be more selective, that great swing is going to produce…but as has become the theme…if…

            • hardtop

              gotcha. i know he’s young and his swing is sweet. i guess you guys answered my question: i am the only one that thinks he’s looking more like a bust than not. time will tell. im certainly not closing the book on the kid but i think making plans that involve him as a future 80-90 rbi guys is not smart planning. if he’s not head an shoulders above his minor league competition in a couple years, the book will be closed firmly and tossed in the burn pile with other relics of hendry’s tenure.

  • CubFan Paul

    i can’t see Zambrano pitching in the American League, except for maybe the Yankees because of Rothschild being there.. Big Z is barely the Cubs viable #3 starter right now & if Lopez stays in the zone & noone reminds him that he’s goddamn Rodrigo Lopez i could see him being the #3 starter in Septemer after a few off days that would shuffle the rotation ..wow, I can’t believe i type that

    But to your last point Brett, if a team were to take on Big Z’s salary just not to give us anything but kibble&bits you would have to be okay with that because next year’s payroll w/o Zambrano would be a pittsburgh pirate-ish $36million!!! im quite sure we’d have to pay some of it but wow ..i can’t believe i typed that either

    The 2 Billion Dollar Man Cricketts would absolutely love that scenerio ..but its a pipe dream

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      How did you come up with $36 million? Even with Ramirez and Zambrano gone, off the top of my head, I come up with at least $56 million (Soriano – $18 million, Dempster – $14 million, Garza – around $8 million, Marmol – $7 million, Byrd – $6.5 million, Marshall – $3 million, and then a bunch of other arbitration raises).

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah I’m at 51.4M with just guaranteed 2012 contracts (Byrd, Soriano, Dempster, Marshall, Marmol) everyone else is on year deals (many under team control and arb eligible). This does not include arbitration raises or free agents signings which we will have a ton since the only locked payroll positions we have are LF, CF, and pitchers. We have a lot of players that are arbitration eligible or on one-year deals. I see this as exciting window where we can dramatically rebuild this team.

    • CubFan Paul

      you’re right, Cot’s is wrong. Sorry, i shoulda done my own math ..because not including Z’s salary its over $60mil
      soriano-$18m, demp-$14m, pena’s deferred $5mil, byrd-$6.5m, marmol-$7m, marshall $3.1m & garza about $8mil = $61.6million

      Russell, Barney, Wells, Dewitt, Castro, & Cashner all make an average of $440,000 & will get raises. Soto makes $3mil & get a raise. same for Baker ($1.175mil)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah, for future payroll, Cot’s doesn’t usually list arbitration players – because you have to kind of guess at what they’re going to make. Not a shot against Cot’s, which is easily one of the most valuable sites on the ‘net.

        • CubFan Paul

          ..add zambrano’s contract back in & give all the kids a salary raise to $1mil, soto a raise to $4.5mil, & baker up to $2mil and the 2012 obligation is still only an estimated $92million

          That gives me lots of optimism & hope that the Cubs can contend next year (with hopefully a payroll of at least $130million)

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Me, too. I don’t expect the Cubs to slash payroll again next year, but we’ll see.

  • CubFan Paul

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4ew-fwu2XT3cpPRtt9qIGw ..thats from Cot’s baseball (http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/) ..maybe its wrong or not current

  • dreese

    Damn, Garza is such a good guy!

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