ESPN’s Bruce Levine had another chat yesterday, offering his thoughts on a range of Chicago Cubs’ topics, many of which add a little wood to the hot stove…

  • Levine suggests the Cubs could get two or three quality prospects in return for Carlos Marmol, and mentions the Red Sox and Angels as possible suitors.
  • Levine says a couple teams have reached out to the Cubs on Geovany Soto’s availability, including the Pirates (who tried to acquire Soto at the trade deadline) and Angels (whose interest in both Soto and Marmol was first reported here last week). The new front office doesn’t have a particular allegiance to any players, and that’s a part of the reason valuable players like Soto are available.
  • If Matt Garza is traded, Levine sees Jeff Samardzija moving to the rotation. I suspect the Cubs are going to give Jeff another chance to crack the rotation in 2012, regardless of what happens with Garza.
  • Additionally, Levine says there’s no way the Cubs move Garza without getting young pitching in return. Which, like, duh. He says the Rangers “definitely” have interest, and says that it would be nice to get 28-year-old pitcher Alexi Ogando as part of the return. Ogando, a converted reliever, isn’t even eligible for arbitration for another two years.
  • Levine doesn’t see the Cubs going after any high-priced position player free agents, except for Prince Fielder. On the pitching side, however, he could see the Cubs pursuing some expensive vets. The resources to add both a guy like Fielder and other pricey free agents are there, but it wasn’t the original plan to use the resources that way. Levine concedes that the CBA really changed things.
  • Relatedly, Levine doesn’t see Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis. I’m not sure I know anyone who does, Cubs rumors notwithstanding.
  • The Cubs are keeping their evaluation of 26-year-old Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes, whom all of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod have observed first-hand, to themselves. Making that information public – whether they liked what they saw, or didn’t like what they saw – can only hurt the Cubs.
  • Levine doesn’t think the Cubs could put together a package to land Mets’ third baseman David Wright, which is, to me, nuts. Wright is owed $15 million in 2012 (with a $16 million option for 2013, and a $1 million buyout), has dealt with repeated back issues, will soon be 29, and has suffered from a decline in defensive ability. None of that is to say he’s not a quality third baseman, one worth having on your team (he is). But the suggestion that he’s this over-the-top superstar whom the Cubs couldn’t possibly land with a package of prospects is, in my opinion, inaccurate. That all said, should the Cubs pursue Wright, even if they could land him? Nah.
  • As noted in last night’s rumor blowout, Levine mentions Chase Headley as a candiate for the Cubs at third base. Until/unless another option comes up, I’m firmly planting my flag on the Headley-is-my-top-3B-choice side of things.
  • Also noted in the rumor blowout, but not from Levine, David DeJesus is clearly on the Cubs’ radar, and could be the Cubs’ first move in free agency. Levine calls him the kind of player Theo and Jed usually look for, and could be a good rebound candidate in 2012. I’m inclined to agree, if the price is right. As I said last night, although his numbers weren’t where they usually are last year, DeJesus’s BABIP was unusually low, which tends to be an indication that a guy simply had an unlucky year.
  • Bails17

    Brett…it’s all good…but I really need to get some work done today!!  Man…the last few days have been killing me!!  LOL

  • kansas cubs fan

    I’d like to get DeJesus, I was a fan of his when he was a Royal. Great defense for sure.

  • Dumpman

    I just read somewhere that the Yanks went after Garza hard at the deadline last year. read we had the pick of 2 or 3 of the big prospect names floating around. Take it for what it is, but it sounded like we could have had Montero and Banuelos in a package.

    • Brett

      That wouldn’t shock me, and given Hendry’s stance on not dealing parts like Garza at the deadline, it wouldn’t shock me if he passed. If that kind of deal came up now, however, the Cubs would probably have to pull the trigger.

  • mister_rob

    Wouldnt a early DeJesus deal kind of signal that they are definately going after a bigbat 1b?
    I would imagine that DeJesus would get more than 1 year. If you have he and Jackson locked in for at least 2 years in the OF, the power has to come from somewhere

    • Brett

      Maybe – but, keep in mind, there isn’t a whole lot of power available to be had this Winter in the outfield, so it probably wasn’t going to come from there anyway.

  • EQ76

    DeJesus could really be our Desavior in the outfield.

    • Spencer

      Uh oh. Watch out with that “savior” talk. Brett doesn’t like it. :)

      • Brett

        Nah. Unlike Epstein, I really do think DeJesus could be the DeSavior. :)

        • nonesuch

          “you don’t fool (de)Jesus”

          • Brett

            Yeah, now I’m REALLY hoping the Cubs sign him.

  • mister_rob

    Well if they really want to improve the defense, an OF of DeJesus, Cespedes, and BJax would certainly fit the bill
    It always amazed me that teams like the Yanks and Redsox would get a bunch of CFers, and then worry about who played where later while Hendry would get a bunch of LFers and try and figure it out later

  • nonesuch

    Brett, what kind of a package would get Headley from the Padres?
    Interesting note about giving Shark another rotation shot, could Cashner be in the same place?
    DeJesus seems to be surplus unless Colvin, Byrd or (ahem) Soriano is moved.

    • Brett

      Given Headley is under relatively cheap control for three more years, and is just 27, I can’t see him costing less than a couple very good prospects (think Vitters and McNutt, just as an example). Where the Cubs are currently, and given the desire to improve defensively and in plate approach, I’d pull the trigger on that kind of deal. Good move for both sides.

      • hansman1982

        Agree, I would pull the trigger on that package in a heartbeat. 

        DeJesus would undoubtedly supplant Colvin in RF and I am guessing Soriano will be moved before the deadline when Jackson is determined to be ready.  If they can move Old Man River before the season then I think Colvin could get a good, long, hard look as an everyday player.

      • njriv

        I like Headley also, but which player is more likely to land here, Headley, Ian Stewart or Figgins?

        • MichiganGoat

          Figgins will only be here if he gets dropped and the Cubs offer him a minor league/invite to ST but in know way will he be traded for.

        • Brett

          My bet would be Headley.

    • mister_rob

      I dont think colvin is getting much consideration for anyting right about now, except maybe as compensation to boston. THe guy was pretty blah all through the minors. He had a couple good months in part time duty at the beginning of 2010, and has been god awful ever since

  • Zbo

    That’s right, pendejo, Don’t f— with DeJesus!

    • MichiganGoat

      I can see the 2012 BN t-shirt now “Don’t F- with DeJesus”

      • JasonB

        How about WWdeJD?

  • john

    Isn’t Garza a player the Cubs would trade for if we didn’t have him?

  • BT

    I’m having a hard time believing the CBA’s amateur spending limits came as any sort of surprise to the Cubs. This has to have been discussed for quite some time, and it had to be evident to them that it was going to pass. That may have been part of the reason they were willing to drop 20 million this year, knowing it was their last shot at spending big.

    • Brett

      There was a report last week, I think, that said Jim Hendry anticipated the CBA changes, and, for that reason, urged this year’s splurge. Ricketts said yesterday (which will be discussed later today) that the changes were anticipated, but the clamp down on draft spending was more dramatic than anticipated.

      • BT

        That, I can believe.

      • JB88

        This is what I don’t understand, though. Why did a majority of MLB teams agree to these changes? Did they give Selig carte blanche to negotiate a new deal? Because, frankly, I can’t understand how any big market team or teams like Pittsburgh, KC, Tampa, and others would agree to these changes. The only team this benefits is the White Sox. It is mind boggling that the owners would shoot themselves in the foot over an issue about which the player’s association has no real vested interest.

        • Jeff

          I have no idea why they let Selig impose his will on all of these changes. They are clearly shortsighted changes bent on curbing amateur spending. The problem is that Selig thinks that all the players coming out will accept the pay cuts instead of exploring their options elsewhere. I see nothing but more problems for small market teams now. The big money that they spend on the draft and international signings is small in comparison to the money they would have to spend at the big league level to compete. The only reason that I can think of for these changes is that the players and owners were all scared of the negativity that came out toward the NFL during it’s lockout, and the blowup and eventual disinterest that the NBA lockout brought on, and they wanted no part of it, so they got the deal done asap. Also, it could be that Selig is really retiring after next year, and everyone really wants him gone, so they gave in to his “last wishes”.

        • Jim

          “The only team this benefits is the White Sox.”

          We all know Bud is Reinsdorf’s puppet.

  • Jeff

    DeJesus signs with Cubs, 2 years 10 million with a third year option.

    • Andy

      baseball-reference has him most similar to:
      1.Marlon Byrd (966)

      I would imagine this solidifies one of the following 2: either BJax isnt deemed MLB ready or Soriano/Byrd will be traded.

      • Jeff

        I think DeJesus is going to play right field every day. Both of your scenarios still apply though. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jackson and Byrd both with the Cubs next year. Byrd has come out and said that he would like to help Jackson’s development and transition into the majors. I see no reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to do just that. His salary isn’t that high, and I don’t think his value is going to go down any lower if he serves as a mentor to some young guys next year. Of course, he could always be traded mid-season.

  • Jordan

    I have a gut feeling that a bunch of stuff is about to go down today..would not be shocked if we see a trade or another signing today

  • die hard

    How can Cubs contend in 2012, if thats the plan, without Garza? If the Cubs dont plan on contending in 2012, then criteria of all moves should make team as young, fast and athletic as possible. But no way can Cubs contend in 2012 without Garza. If they move Garza then we will finally learn approach to 2012. Should be interesting.

    • Stinky Pete

      Trade Garza for MLB ready (Headley, Moreland) etc. plus Prospects, sign Buerhle to cover Garza’s spot.  Boom.  We are better.

  • Josh Z

    I think the Cubs should trade Soto and Marmol. They could get high quality prospects in return and they already have their replacements in-house. Perhaps they give those replacements an opportunity to prove themselves then make trades in season.