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I caught ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ the other night, and it’s only in my adult years that I realize: Pig-Pen, as a character, is really insensitive. A dirty kid that no one wants to get close to?* Come on, Mr. Schultz.

  • Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum was asked about the big rumor in the Cubs world, the pursuit of free agent first baseman Prince Fielder, and his response got everyone up in a tizzy. “At this point, I think it’s a lot of media talking more than us doing anything,” Sveum said about reports linking the Cubs to Fielder. “We haven’t had any talks with Prince, and I haven’t had any conversations with him. It’s more the media and other people bringing this to the table than what we’re doing. We haven’t initiated any kind of contact at all. That’s the media bringing it out right now.” OHMYGOD THE CUBS AREN’T INTERESTED IN FIELDER AT ALL!!!!11!!!1!!!! FIRE THEO AND JED!!!1!!!1!!!!! ROAR!!!!1!!!!lol!!!!!!!
  • Consider me un-tizzied. I just can’t put that much stock into Sveum’s comments – which echo what he already said a week and a half ago at the Winter Meetings. Is it possible that this is the big break in the Fielder rumor sweepstakes, and Sveum is publicly confirming for everyone that the Cubs do not have interest? I suppose it’s possible. But, come on. Is it likely? This is a guy who coached Fielder last year, and who has repeatedly said that Fielder is one of his favorite players, one whom he’d love to have on the Cubs next year. Don’t you think it’s a little more likely that he was told to play it a little more close to the vest the next time someone asks about Fielder? His bosses, after all, have a policy of not discussing player acquisitions, and I doubt Sveum is unaware of that policy. And, finally, what did Sveum say, really? That he hasn’t spoken to Prince? That the Cubs haven’t reached out to Fielder? That could be true, even as the two sides negotiate a contract. That’s kind of why players have agents. Speaking to/reaching out to Fielder, himself, wouldn’t occur until the very end of the process. And maybe the Cubs didn’t reach out, but that doesn’t mean Scott Boras didn’t reach out to them. I’m not trying to be blindly hopeful here – if there was a clear denial of interest by the Cubs, I’d accept that. But this isn’t that.
  • The Cubs finalized their coaching staff yesterday, with the announcement that Dave McKay – and not Craig Counsell – will take the last spot, and will coach first base. As previously announced, Rudy Jaramillo will return as hitting coach, Pat Listach will shift over to coach third base, Jamie Quirk will be the bench coach, Chris Bosio will be the pitching coach, and Lester Strode will return as the bullpen coach. Mike Borzello and Franklin Font also will serve as Major League staff assistants. Borzello, a long-time coach who spent his last four years as the Dodgers’ bullpen catcher, will work with the catchers and be involved in advance scouting. Font, who was the Cubs’ minor league infield coordinator and has been with the organization for 17 years, will assist Jaramillo.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington offered another non-update on the ongoing Theo Epstein compensation talks. “I think sometime in the next 15-20 years we should have a resolution,” Cherington joked. “I think at some point this offseason we will put that to bed .… We have a basic understanding of about what the level of compensation should be. We differ by degree. At some point that will be resolved. It’s not really holding up anything else.” As I always say: the longer it drags on, the better for the Cubs, as the pressure to get something of obvious value for the Red Sox continues to be reduced. Still no word on the Jed Hoyer/Jason McLeod/Padres compensation issue, which should also be resolved soon.
  • A long read on Ryne Sandberg as minor league manager and continued Major League hopeful.
  • Long-time minor league catcher in the Cubs’ system Chris Robinson has moved on to the Texas Rangers’ farm system.
  • More thoughts on the MLB/MLBPA International Talent Committee, and what it means for an international draft.

*(And don’t tell me about how Pig-Pen is all proud of his filth. He’s a kid. He doesn’t know any better.)

  • EtotheR

    Hiring Dave McKay is like hiring Boba Fett…

    Do we know for certain that he can truly leave behind his loyalty to the dark side?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not to be “that guy,” but, as a bounty hunter, Boba Fett’s allegiance was to no one but himself.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        Douchenozzle

      • Oswego Chris

        Glad you pounced on that and not me Brett…so I didn’t reveal myself as a 40 year old Star Wars nerd…

        Boba Fett’s popularity is unreal, and Luca capitalized on it and did that whole stupid Jango Fett thing in “sequels”…he owes us 3 good movies…

         

         

        • Dougy D

          Sorry Chris, but I think you may have revealed it with the rest of your post.

      • EtotheR

        True enough, boys…and coming from the most profound lineage of nerds the world has ever known, there’s little I can do to escape my fate.

        That said…I agree. I know Boba was a bounty hunter, with allegiance to no one…so my analogy was a tad flawed. Still and all…this may actually make him even more analogous to McKay.

      • Eric

        I dunno, I never saw him ally himself with Luke and the good side. He always tended to do business with Jabba crime lords and Sith. So it did seem that he prefered the darkside.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Bah. They had the deepest pockets. That’s all that mattered.

      • CubFan Paul

        theres a star wars marathon on Spike today..

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      I liken it more to hiring Snape.  The only two who truly know where his allegience lies are Sveum (Dumbledore) and McKay (Snape).  Now the question is, who is Lily?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Whew. And here I thought I was going to be stuck with the nerdiest comment on the post…

        • EtotheR

          Wow…that was nerdy, Hans.

          Why haven’t I ever seen you at the meetings?

          • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

            I only attend the Super Nerd meetings.

            • EtotheR

              Right on…give me a shout when you’re ready for “Über”. ;)

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Does McKay’s backpack have jets

  • John

    This Fielder stuff is crazy. The cubs go from being the frontrunner to not being in it at all and that was just yesterday. WTF SMH

    • Eric

      The Cubs never went to never in it at all. Most likely, Dale was told at gunpoint to sound very pessimistic about Fielder to the media (by Theo). The “never in it” would just be the media being stupid and not having any common sense.

  • stinky pete

    So legitimate question here, not being sarcastic or snotty, what does a 1st base coach do? and what opportunities would one have for “sabotage”

    PS I don’t think Dumbledore could truly know where Snape’s allegiance lay. He just had to trust as did Voldemort.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Aside from actually coaching at first base during the games, they usually are a “position coach” (for lack of a better expression) the rest of the year. For example, McKay, I believe is going to work with the outfielders and work on base running (which is what Dernier, the former 1st base coach, did).

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      Agreed, stinky pete – It is significant to Dumbledore’s essence that he insists on putting the best construction on the character and motivations of the people around him. That may be relevant to how Cub fans respond to their team’s leaders.

      If the Cubs want to tamp down expectations for Prince Fielder, I’ll be tamped down. It would be a shame if we all were disappointed by an off-season where we didn’t get Darvish and Fielder, if on the other hand we also managed to acquire Manny Banuelos and Jesus Montero or Brandon Belt and Heath Hembree.

      Epstein and Hoyer have a long-term plan, I’m sure, and it may be the wisest moves to be willing to miss players this year rather than overpay for them. That goes for free agents (Fielder) and trade targets (Headley).

      • ferrets_bueller

        You know what would be awesome?  If Soriano was like Neville Longbottom- a bumbling idiot turned savior.  It can happen….right? right? right?!

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          So what your saying is that Soriano will lay off a low and away slider for ball 4 to load the bases so Starlin Castro (Harry Potter) can then come in a smack a walk-off grand slam off Daniel Bard (the Red Sox being Voldemort) in the bottom of the 9th of game 7 this year?

          • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

            I guess that makes you Sybil Trelawney for prophesying it.

            And me Ron for having trouble believing it.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Nothing will happen on Fielder until the Yu Darvish announcement is made. I love that we are all waiting on a Japanese team that is using it’s full window to “think about it”, when we all know they’re going to take the $40 or $50 million and run.

    Boras would never let Prince make a decision before Darvish because it might cost him 3 or 4 million. I truly suspect that one day, Boras will have a “tragic car accident” and it’ll come out years later that every GM (except Cashman) put some money in the hat to get it done.

  • Eric S

    BRETT,
    THANK YOU! Love your daily dose of Cubness and it’s nice when someone doesn’t get into a tizzy but what is said and what isn’t. First of all Sevum would probably be the last to know if Theo and the boys were talking to Fielder. Second, why would they talk to Fielder? Since when does he control his own contract? It’s Boras they need to talk to. Boras will then offer the deal to Prince, and if he likes it the deal is done. They won’t have a discussion until either he is almost signed or after to welcome him to the team.

  • Dougy D

    I may be in the minority here, besides just liking Star Wars and not being a complete Encyclopedia of useless information about it, but I wouldn’t mind if we let someone else overpay for Fielder.

    I am not so sure about Kendry Morales coming off of his injury, unless we don’t have to give up much. If we have to give up anything significant, I think that Trumbo might be a better pick up, or another of the young mid-level first basemen out there.  Since the Angels signed Pujols, their GM has been trying to make it seem like they aren’t trying to move anyone and my reasoning for this, is that he is trying to get as much as possible for them. If the Superfriends are as good as Brett advertises them, I would guess that they are waiting for the Angel GM’s demands to drop before making a move on Morales. They will then let Lahair move into part-time 1B and part time OF.

    The Superfriends will wait for the best possible near free agent first baseman to become just that, a free agent. He goes by the name, Joey Votto. A gold glover and a bat that swings for both average and power. Votto is a much more complete at 1B than Fielder, and even though his contract will be ridiculous, it SHOULD be a safer contract than Fielder’s. I know that it is tough to be patient, and I will not like being patient, if this is the case. However, I know that I would much rather see a couple of team-building years before picking up a guy of Votto’s caliber, than signing Fielder to a seven year deal where the last two or three years are Soriano type years. (I don’t think he will ever get THAT bad, and no one can get that bad with the glove, can they?)

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but what are other people’s thought on truly building for the future?

    • ferrets_bueller

      If I could take any 1B right now, or in a couple years, it would be Votto. He’s going to be set up in the same position as A Gonz was, which is perfect.  But…there is one flaw.  He’s most likely going to be traded prior to hitting free agency, IMO.  Which would actually be preferable for the Cubs, just as it was for the BoSox and Gonzales.  The flaw is, though…what are the chances of the Reds being willing to trade their best player to the Cubs?  Nil? My guess would be that he ends up being traded elsewhere and signed prior to hitting FA.  Although we can dream…

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      I agree. I would much rather acquire a young 1B like Brandon Belt than overpay for Fielder. But you have to be open to Fielder coming to you if he wants to sign with the Cubs and play for Sveum. If you don’t have to overpay for him, than he works. It’s an imperfect fit, but it is a fit. Shoot for 5 years; don’t go to 7 years; don’t break the bank. If he comes for that, he gives the lineup a bat we aren’t likely to get anywhere else.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Everyone would rather acquire a mythical awesome 23-year-old first baseman (or pitcher, or shortstop, or closer, etc.) than pay big bucks for an older free agent. It’s not always possible … because everyone tends to want to KEEP their mythical awesome 23-year-old first baseman, pitcher, shortstop, closer, whatever.

        • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

          Totally agree. And the challenge is that when you look at a prospect blocked, as the Giants keep doing with Belt, there’s usually a decent reason the team has blocked him.

          I do think that 1B is a place teams are more likely to give up decent prospects, though.

        • Dougy D

          I am not talking about a mythical first baseman, just a solid young player to play until the opportunity to get Votto arrives, or doesn’t. Maybe Lahair is already that guy in the front office’s mind. I certainly won’t be crying if they sign Fielder, as it would be very nice to have a big bat in the lineup. Paying a king’s ransom wouldn’t make me happy though. I could live with a 5 year deal, but I don’t think that he should be getting $25 million a year. I think that for that kind of money, he should be proven solid defensively as well as have a monster bat. I am just worried about getting burned on another huge contract for the best available free agent (Soriano, Bradley, Blauser). I would rather the Cubs turn into more of a Braves type of club with the ability to make a big move when necessary. I am sure that is what the front office wants, but with the shape the franchise is in, it will be awfully tough and take a long time to pull it off. I suppose that it depends on the patience of the fans, the owners, and the front office.

          After all, what’s a couple more losing seasons? Right?

          • Kyle

            Really, though, what does getting burned by a free agent hurt the Cubs?

            They aren’t really running out of money anytime soon. They are a big-market team with big-market revenues. If the farm system is doing everything Epstein has promised it will do, then overpaying an aging Fielder for a year or two isn’t going to be a major detriment to winning.

            This is what it keeps coming down to: Cubs fans are so snake-bitten by the perception that the Hendry regime failed in free agency that they are scared to use one of the most potent weapons a big-market team has at its disposal.

            But that’s really not why the Cubs are in such bad shape. Most of the deals werne’t really that bad. The Soriano deal was ridiculous, but even that should be overcome-able.

            It’s easy to see what’s there that you wish wasn’t: A mediocre Soriano making $19 million/year, for example. And then you assume that’s the problem. But that’s not really the problem. The problem is with what was never there at all, which is why so many people fail to see it.

            The drafts from 2002 to 2006 should be primary contributors to our roster right now. Here’s what we got from those years:

            Tyler Colvin, Rich Hill, Sean Marshall, Sam Fuld, Jeff Samardzija.

            That’s it. Five years of drafts!!!! and the best we got was two decent relievers and some AAA players. That’s horrific. That’s atrocious. A blind monkey throwing darts at the board should have been able to do better than that.

            By contrast, here’s the Cardinals from that time period:
            McClellan, Brendan Ryan, Ian Kennedy, Jason Motte, Colby Rasmus, John Jay, Allen Craig

            Red Sox
            Jon Lester, Ricky Romero, Brian Bannister, David Murphy, Matt Murton, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson.

            Imagine the 2011 Cubs, but now add two more above-average position players and two decent starting pitchers instead of the horrific dreck we had to trot out there when injuries started hitting.

            Those 2011 Cubs in an alternate universe where they drafted reasonably well are probably competitive in the wild card right to the end of the season, at the least. Maybe even a 90-game winner.

            That, in a nutshell, is the problem with the Cubs. They completely and utterly and horrifically failed to draft and develop with a shred of competency. Do they have a few overpaid free agents toward the end of their deal? Sure. All big-market teams do. That’s normal and natural, and it would be foolish to hamstring ourselves from by refusing to sign free agents because of the fear of it.

            • Lou

              I totally agree, Kyle. The Cubs under Hendry never knew what they had down on the farm. Patterson–he’s a lead-off hitter, no he’s a #5 hitter, no he doesn’t have command of the strike zone, so he’s probably #6 hitter. Same with Felix Pie. And then both really couldn’t play in the big despite being highly touted–as most draft picks are by the Cubs and their fanbase. Same thing with Carpenter and Smardijza–initially Cubs brass thought of them as starters, I’d say more effective as relievers. And we’re seeing it with the possible signing of Maholm as the #5 starter. Don’t think Smardijza is going to get a shot at the sp rotation if Maholm signs and Garza’s kept. Without Theo’s imprint on the farm system, as of yet, I don’t see the team being competitive until 2015. Takes usually 2-3 years for even the highest quality of picks to develop in the minors. Look at our top pick, Jackson — he was supposed to be ready for opening day 2012. Now, you have everyone saying he struck out too much at AAA last season and could use more ABs at Iowa. Going entirely the draft and development model without paying attention to the big league team seems misguided. I hear from others say it’s early–but the Maholm rumors coupled with a fear of free agents because of the spending of the past gives me pause.

            • Dougy D

              I understand what you’re saying, Kyle, Lou. That is why I think that it wouldn’t make sense to spend all of that money on Fielder when the franchise doesn’t have the players to compete for a Championship for at least 2 years (probably more). I understand that it would be good to already have Fielder in place in Cubbie blue when the time comes, but I think that if we won’t be seriously competitive for 2 years, why not wait to take our shot at Votto. In the meantime, have a guy that can fill the opening at first base (maybe LaHair or Morales or another young prospect that is blocked by an already quality starter in another system) until it is ready to be filled by a great all around player. I suppose that day may never come and I will look silly when Votto signs an 8 year extension with Cincinatti.

              Our farm system isn’t great as far as I know. I don’t get a chance to see any of them play, but from reading, it seems that there won’t be significant help for a while. I would rather see what we have in the system and how they can play before using up that portion of the payroll for the next 5-8 years.

              I guess we will just wait and see what the front office does. I am not a business- man by any sense of the word(s), so maybe they are doing what is best, as far as cost, if they are planning on signing Fielder- waiting. Maybe I am just frustrated by the uncertainty of it all.

  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

    Right now, I suspect that Theo and Co. want to make it look to potential trade partners that they are going after Fielder but he wants to make it look to Boras that he isn’t that interested in Fielder.

    • BetterNews

      I don’t believe the Cubs ARE interested in Fielder, and not because of Sveums comments either. I don’t think Theo is interested because he realizes the Cubs won’t be competing in the near term(As much as I hate to say that) and signing him makes no sense. But on the other hand, he might be tempted just for the sake of drawing fans, which I hope does not happen because that has been going on for too long and that’s what needs to change.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    What’s insensitive was pulling the football out on Ol’ Charlie Brown every time he tried to kick it. Charlie did defend Pig-Pen by saying, “Don’t think of it as dust. Think of it as maybe the soil of some great past civilization. Maybe the soil of ancient Babylon. It staggers the imagination. He may be carrying soil that was trod upon by Solomon, or even Nebuchadnezzar.”

  • oso

    Pig Pen was a good lesson to children.

    Dirty children become dirty adults, nobody likes that.

    A little hygiene please!

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I have sooooo many students that resemble pig pen, nothing like working with them in a small conference everyday. I actually keep lavender oil in my desk to rub on my stash before meeting with certain students.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    The Reds just picked up Matt Latos from the Padres for Yonder Alonso and others, according to Ken Rosenthal.

    Sucks for the Cubs in terms of the Reds improving, but is good for the Matt Garza trade market, as the Reds weren’t interested in trading with the Cubs.

    • JasonB

      This confuses me – why would the Pads want Alonso?  They already have a 1B and let’s face it, Alonso isn’t a LF.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Best I can figure is either (a) they’re willing to try Alonso in the OF (or Rizzo, who’s never done it before), or (b) Rizzo’s headed down for another year in the minors (he’s just 22, and he was pretty terrible in the bigs last year).

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        And Blanks is a 1B/LF, too, if I’m not mistaken. There could be an additional move in the works for the Padres.

    • Kyle

      Eww. I really thought the Cubs could put together a run for the division in 2012, but that’s looking less and less likely.

      • BetterNews

        It’s pitiful, but the fact is the Cubs are “worse” than they were just 3 months ago.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Reds also got one of the Reds’ top catching prospects, Yasmani Grandal, a very good relief prospect, Brad Boxberger, and Edinson Volquez. Turned out to be a pretty good return for the Pads. That part is good news for the Cubs.

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        That’s a solid haul for the Friars. I like Grandal better than Alonso.

        Alright Cub fans – which one of Alonso, Rizzo, Blanks, and Guzman do the Padres want to flip, and is there one we want?

        • JasonB

          Agree that’s a pretty solid haul.  Grandal was expendable with Mesoraco ready to take the reigns at C.  Never thought Mesoraco would be part of the package – he could end up on a few top 10 lists next year.

        • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

          If they picked up Alonso, I have to think they are going to flip Rizzo. If there any ballpark in America where you need good outfielders playing outfield, it is Petco. I’m not sure Alonso or Rizzo could handle it.

          If Rizzo is moved, the Cubs should be one of the first teams calling about him. He fits the Cubs reloading efforts perfectly.

      • Kyle

        Holy mother of pearl. The Reds are going for it for this year, and that’s fine, but their farm system just got ravaged. That’s an incredible haul.

        • Toosh

          The Reds gave up way too much. Wait until Latos pitches half his games in Cincinnati rather than San Diego.

      • MoneyBoy

        Brett … Latos goes from the cavernous Petco to the bandbox in Cincy (what Toosh said).  Conversely, Alonso goes the other way.

        Smart play by Jocketty – Latos under control for 4 yrs.   Reds bought out Votto’s 3 arb yrs (3/$38) and he’ll only be 31 when he’s a FA.   I continue to believe that, with Jocketty, Cincy is the team to fear in the NL Central.

  • Deer

    Yeah, good move for the Reds. I thought the Padres already had a stud prospect at 1B? Can’t remember his name though. Cubs?

    • JasonB

      Anthony Rizzo – Pads acquired him from Red Sux last year in Gonzalez trade

      • Jeff

        Jed,

        Please tell me your going to trade for Rizzo! I’d take that over Fielder.

        • BetterNews

          I would take over Fielder also.

        • Lou

          SD Padres–Ok, give us Starlin. Would you do it, Jeff?

          • Jeff

            No, the only way your getting Rizzo is by giving up pitching. I’d probably include a McNutt, Cabrera and some other prospect. Pitching always gets hitters.

            • Lou

              You’re talking about the Cubs pitching, though. I’m not sure exactly if Theo impressed with our pitching prospects.

        • BetterNews

          Nope. But how about taking Zambrano and Soriano?

          • JasonB

            Szczur and Carpenter might work for him?

            • BetterNews

              You might be on to something there! I sure hope Theo checks BN comments once in a while.

  • die hard

    Trade Castro for 3 regulars is best move if Cubs want to restructure in a meaningful way….

  • pakman23

    I hope Jed instantly got on the Phone and asked what it is gonna take to get Rizzo. Love this kid, was diagnosed with Lymphoma on 2008, recoverd and has done nothing but crush minor league baseballs ever since and is supposed to be a very likable clubhouse guy. Please, please, please get him.

    EDIT: wouldn’t trade Castro, but would give up Jackson for the younger more advanced Rizzo. Get it done.

  • Boog

    I thought I read somewhere about Jed having a man crush on Rizzo from signing/scouting him with the Red Sox. I gotta believe he’s going to do whatever it takes to get him if he’s available.

  • njriv

    If the Cubs don’t sign Fielder, I feel a blockbuster deal with the Padres is going to happen. Maybe including Garza, Marmol, one of the Cubs utility players, Headley, Rizzo, maybe a Padres young starting pitcher and some upcoming prospects on both sides.

    • Lou

      Interesting thought if the Pads could afford the money that Garza stands to make in arbitration. Not sure if they would trade for Garza for that kind of $$.

    • Jeff

      We Need to keep Garza….No questions on that….we are way to thin on pitching….can’t believe you guys who keep advocating shipping him out in a deal. Next year we are without Zambrano 19M and Dempster 14M, where would we be if we are without Garza too.

      Up shit creek…stop this get rid of Garza too Crap.

      • Lou

        Problem is that those of us advocating a Garza trade, including the creator of this site, don’t believe (1) IT’S CRAP and (2) by “shipping out” Garza you’re “getting rid” of him. By keeping him, you’re making an investment in him for the future. That is to say if he wants to stay with the club and sign an extension or wait for FA and go elsewhere. There’s some risk with that. No risk if Theo gets younger and just as formidable prospects with them not approaching FA as quickly as Garza. I’d actually say stop with the idea that Garza is so valuable that you wouldn’t consider a trade if it meant two to three blue chip prospects in return.

        • pakman23

          If this Latos deal sets the bar for what the Cubs could haul, you Absolutely have to deal him. Sorry, but they just got the Reds #2, #5 and #12 prospects and a starting pitcher. HUGE haul. From texas that would mean Perez, Olt, Grimm and someone like Colby Lewis. Ummmm..YES PLEASE!

          • Jeff

            I’m sorry, but that’s not a better haul than what your giving up. Lewis? and your saying yes to him?

            There’s not much reason to believe Olt is that much better than Vitters. They have not been willing to include Perez in any deals.

            Grimm???????

            come on!

            • Toosh

              What about Profar?

              • pakman23

                Would love Profar too! Perez of Profar, either would be sweet.

            • pakman23

              First off, Olt has a solid aproach at the plate, good discipline and a Mlb ready glove. Vitters has NONE of that.

              Colby Lewis has been worth 5.3 WAR the last two years Garza has been worth 4.9 WAR. Enough said on that.

              Grimm is a B+ prospect, at the moment the Cubs have….. Wait let me count……. 1 of those. Maybe 2 if a scout is being really nice.

              so yes, I’m saying HELL Yes.

              • Jeff

                Olt only had 247 AB’s at AA last year to make a judgment on this. His major upside is his defense. But I’m not sure he’s heads over Vitters, both have not proven enough to warrant being crazy over either.

                Lewis is a free agent after this year, if you want him so bad, wait!

                Grimm, I wouldn’t trade for a pitcher till I’ve at least seen his AA numbers, Grimm doesn’t have any of those.

                Texas is on the record saying they are not willing to include Perez in any deals.

                • Jeff

                  Now, I would consider a trade if the players included were Profar, Beltre, Skole ,Scheppers and Kirkman.

                  That would be a better haul

                • pakman23

                  Ok, if you read the post it was an example of what the Cubs might expect in return based on the Latos trade.

                  A #2, #5 an #10-12 prospect along with a pitcher to plug into the rotation. I don’t give a flying leap if these 4 guys or the Yankees #2, 5 and 12. That gives us a top 5 farm in one trade.

                  And you’re crazy if you think Garza could net those 5 players.

                  • Jeff

                    Why, we gave up 5 players to get him.

                    I just don’t understand the logic here by some people. You’d rather trade him for 1 decent and 2 or 3 iffy players and act like we couldn’t get 5 premium minor league players for Garza.

                    You either get the 5 or you keep Garza and give him a long term contract. If Texas or some other organization says no, you walk away.

                    Remember Garza is the proven talent, what your getting back is the gamble. We do have the upper hand.

                    Doing anything less is a waste of getting Garza in the first place.

                    • BetterNews

                      “Bull’seye”

                    • Kyle

                      What we gave up for him is the textbook definition of a “sunk cost,” and your argument is a textbook example of the sunk cost fallacy.

                      It doesn’t matter if we gave up 100 players to get him. What matters is his value to the team going forward against what we can get for him going forward.

                    • Toosh

                      The Garza trade was actually 5 for 3.

                    • Lou

                      Really? So you’d be ok with the types of players in 5 players that the Cubs gave up to get Garza? I wouldn’t. Basically, what Kyle said.

              • Jeff

                Lou,

                I don’t understand……. I’m not okay with trading Garza.

                We can afford him and he’s better than what we would get in return unless we were able to raid someone like Texas and get a bunch of their top prospects. Like 5 of their top 10’s.

                I see no reason why we can’t sign him long term.

                You argument, “So you’d be ok with the types of players in 5 players that the Cubs gave up to get Garza? I wouldn’t.” actually favors my argument, not Kyles.

                • Dumpman

                  We’re far from contending.. If you can sign Edwin Jackson to a 4/48 and trade Garza and get a couple high end specs (Great idea I read earlier, check this out Garza to Tex, Mike Olt and Rizzo to Cubs, Martin Perez to Pads framework) That would make the team much better going foward. If everyone pans out can you imagine Castro, Brett Jackson, Mike Olt, and Rizzo core?

                • Lou

                  Actually, it favors Kyle’s. Garza’s a trade piece to make this team better. The team currently has nothing to put around him. Your point was that you don’t see how people are ok with trading for 2-3 blue chips for Garza. You can’t see trading him for anything less than 5 trade pieces. Well, he was traded for 5 pieces in what would be referred to as a quantity over quality trade. Just because you’re asking for more pieces doesn’t make a better trade. More effective, in this case, to target 2-3 quality players. Tigers, I believe could give the Cubs that…Jacob Turner has more upside at his age than Garza did at the same point in his career. Plus there’s Smyly and an OF by the name Garcia. If the Cubs at the very least could get Turner and one of Garcia or Smyly…would have more value than Garza.

                  • Jeff

                    Now your really grasping at straws to defend your argument.

                    Where have you picked up this Turner for Garza idea. It’s highly unlikely that trade will ever happen, did you just pull this out of thin air, and how does that help the Cubs?

                    I’m still lost at the perceived notion that a prospect, no matter how glamorous his minor league stats is, is better than a proven major league player.

                    Are you worried we can’t pay Garza or he will want to leave in free agency?

                    How many times have these 3 for 1 or 4 for 1 trades ever worked out for the team that gets the multiple players?

                    “Jeff, I think you’re confusing our prospects with other teams. I think you need to stop doing that”

                    I don’t even understand that above comment or how that pertains to anything I have said. That simply makes no sense, Lou.
                    .

                    • Lou

                      Usually when people, like yourself, get anxious about trading players it’s because the prospects of the Cubs haven’t panned so why trust anyone else’s? It makes PERFECT SENSE. I totally believe Garza would leave for FA if this team doesn’t turn it around by the end of 2013. Why wouldn’t he? Boston, Texas, NY comes with a better deal…he’d go and what would the Cubs have to show for it…not sure because of changes in Elias rankings for FAs. Maybe a draft pick?

                      Why is it so hard to imagine the Tigers giving up Turner? The Cubs apparently had interest in Texas top pitching prospect Perez so why couldn’t they with the Tigers? Tigers are interested in acquiring another SP. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be considering Gio Gonzalez. Problem is the A’s are currently asking for too much, much more than Turner. How would I know that the Tigers are interested in SP–it’s posted on MLBTradeRumors.com and talked about on HotStove on MLB Network. If I’m grabbing at straws as you claim, so must all the people that discussed this about the Tigers…wow!

                      “I’m still lost at the perceived notion that a prospect, no matter how glamorous his minor league stats is, is better than a proven major league player.” Here’s Ken Griffey Jr’s minor league stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=griffe002geo and here’s Jeter’s minor league stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=jeter-001der. Each one of these players was once a prospect. Their stats look awfully good to me. How did these players turn out? Did they not prove enough for you?

                      I know it’s hard to be a Cubs fan when our prospects don’t turn out and that would scare you off from making any trade for other teams’ prospects. It had scared me at one point in time. But I must say, when you’re arguing concepts like the last one, you really can’t say I’m grasping at straws. Sorry.

        • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

          I’d also suggest that now is the time to sell high on Garza – that he’s likely to be worth more now in trade than he will be at either the next trade deadline or next off-season.

          • Kyle

            Completely agree. I hate to give up on 2012, but if we really aren’t going to truly go for it (which at this point means Fielder and somehow coming up with at least one more good starting pitcher on the trade market), then you have to sell high on Garza. He’s coming off his best year and he’s only got two arbitration years left before free agency. If you are going to get a haul for him, now’s the time.

            • BetterNews

              I think you keep Garza for now. How do you know what kind of numbers he puts up next year? He could become much more valueable, which I suspect will be the case, by posting even better numbers. Why shop him now? Anyway, the Cubs aren’t so it’s a moot point.

              • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

                Matt Garza struck out more batters per inning than he ever had in his career. He somehow gave up half as many home runs as he had the year before. He induced more ground balls than he had before. Is he going to get better two seasons in a row? It’s possible, I suppose. If I thought the Cubs were likely to contend next season, I’d even see if he could at least maintain.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            And he only becomes more expensive for the Cubs to retain.

            • Jeff

              Yes, but in what terms? We have all seen the danger in letting a premium player get to free agency. But we are not quite there yet with Garza, maybe mid summer.

              There are 3 years left of club control over Garza. You either sign him long term or trade him if he wants to hit the open market rather than sign a long term deal.

              Zambrano’s 19M and Dempster’s 14M contracts are gone after next year.

              Who will be the staff ace then? I find it hard to believe that we can’t afford him with a 33M payroll in 2013.

              The time to get the most is mid season, not now. A team like Texas isn’t pressured to make a desperation trade right now to keep up with the Angels.

              Plus, we need proven starting pitching, we already have too many question marks in the rotation as it is.

              If we really are headed for rebuilding, then my bet will be that we are not getting Fielder, and I suspect that major rebuilding won’t happen till July.

              • Kyle

                Garza actually only has two years left of club control. He will be a free agent after 2013.

                • Jeff

                  Yes, my bad, looked at wrong column.

                  But in terms of skunk cost and sunk cost fallacy, let’s look at the 5 we sent for Garza in terms of what we would get back if we traded Garza.

                  A where are they now.

                  Archer: had a down year and is not in their rotation plans
                  Guyer: .195 in 41 AB
                  Chirinos:>218 in 55 AB
                  Fuld: .240 in 305 AB
                  Lee: maybe the only player who figures in their long term plans

                  So your telling me you would rather have these five instead of Garza?

                  Three below average tier prospects and two possibly better than average.

                  And you want to trade Garza to put us in this situation. The only reason that Tampa trade Garza is because they couldn’t afford him and they had cheaper alternatives that were as productive.

                  Clearly, what they got in return was not as good as what they gave up.

                  • Lou

                    Yet, you’re not happy with trading Garza unless we get 5 players back, not 2-3 high ceiling prospects. 5 players like these. You could do a quantity trade like the Rays did or you could do a quality trade with less (but higher value) players involved–the kind I hope Theo will do given the season Garza had last year.

                    • Jeff

                      The reason I don’t like the 2 or 3 “high ceiling” prospects is because they are exactly what the name is defined as…a prospect.

                      They are far from a sure thing, so what happens if only 1 of these so called prospects ever pans out? And what if he turn s out to be just average.

                      There is a big difference between a prospect and proven major league player.

                    • Lou

                      Jeff, I think you’re confusing our prospects with other teams. I think you need to stop doing that.

      • njriv

        I don’t want to get rid of him either, but if the right deal comes along, like getting a hand-full of up-and-coming prospects, where you can spread some young talent all over the field, you have to at least consider it.

  • pakman23

    They would be taking on more than $13M in payroll, for a club looking to shed some of its $45M payroll i would say thats a stretch.

  • mister_rob

    I highly doubt Rizzo becomes available. If anything, the Pads got the best package talent wise they could from cincy and will look to flip Alonso into more pieces
    Rizzo at age 20 beat up AA pitching (his first time there). At age 21, he destroyed AAA pitching (his first time there). This notion that his bad september callup has lowered his value is nonsense

    I say they flip Alonso fairly soon. He is somebody we could probably aim for. not rizzo

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      You may well be right. I don’t think they’ll be keeping all of Guzman/Rizzo/Alonso. The one thing is that they know Hoyer values Rizzo.

    • pakman23

      I agree and mentioned this in another post.

    • Lou

      How do you really know that other than guessing? Bowden says execs have told him Rizzo will be likely trade candidate. Heyman says Alonso. If you know who’s going to be flipped in a trade, then you must also know who’s won the Darvish sweepstakes! No fan knows either.

  • Jeff

    Yes, but you can’t name any prospects as good as Garza, that a club would be willing to part with. And I do mean as good as…a prospect is exactly that: a prospect. Some pan out others flame out. Garza is at least proven. Is on the record that he loves Chicago and would like to continue to pitch here.

  • Dumpman

    I have to imagine Rizzo will soon be a Cub.

  • Toosh

    That’s the risk in any trade. Each GM thinks the trade will improve their team, either right away or in the long-term or both.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    All this talk is driving me nuts… All i see is our rivals getting better and were just sitting back and doing nothing!! I think that Juan francisco could be had from cincinatti that would take care of our 3rd base problem easily… Move Stewart to 2nd base and trade Barney.. Anouther option bring up Junior Lake!!! Save our money for pitching!!! I would rather resign Pena and have Fielder!! Theres way better options than spending on Fielder that’s for sure.. But then again Theo gets paid to make those decisions.. I just hope we can be competitive!

    • Brian

      Unfortunately, Pena can barely hit his weight, I wouldn’t give up anything of value for Barney, and we’ve not actually been competitive for a couple years. There’s also very little in free agency except for expense bodies with mediocre talent.

      The guys on other teams that are currently on the trade block are either over priced, under talented, or almost over the hill. As for the guys the Cubs have of value, there’s little reason to trade them if you are going into rebuilding mode. Realistically they could get rid of Byrd… perhaps Soto, and not lose much, but they wouldn’t get much of anything better.

      That pretty much leaves Garza, Samardzija… and not a lot else to trade, and Garza would bring the most value. We have to look at it this way, if we want to dump a guy for better talent then why would ANYONE ELSE want to give up talent for them unless they were the missing piece of the organization? A “sane” Zambrano perhaps would be an interesting piece to move, but his issues make him almost un-tradable for real talent.

      I think the reality has hit that the Cubs need to build from within and pick up minor parts this off season (perhaps stealing a foreign, impact player along the way). Next, they need to pray a couple of veterans turn it around (Zambrano, Dempster, etc) so that they might be trade bait for young talent to a contender later in the season. All this while becoming a patient, defensive oriented team that will attract like minded players over the next couple years while developing stars from within.

      • Lou

        Not sure I agree totally with the rebuild from within….I don’t think the Cubs will be competitive going that route until 2015….next to last year of Theo’s contract. Somehow, I think Theo wants a competitive team sooner. That’s why a trade for Rizzo over Fielder (now that he appears available) and a Garza trade makes so much sense.

    • Toosh

      Patience, Ramy. The Cubs are only allowed to make their moves in a certain, logical, predetermined order. The Handy Man can explain it better than I can, but suffice it to say moves will be made.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    I think Junior Lake could be what Castro was in his first year! Just needs the opportunity.. I would like to see him play 3rd base this spring!!! If Theo/ Jed are smart they should be working on an extension for Garza he’s our centerpiece along with Castro… I think we coul flip Barney for Alonso?? I know the Padres want to get rid of Orlando Hudson.. Barney is young and cheap!

  • ferrets_bueller

    I wouldn’t mind either Rizzo or Blanks getting a shot in Chicago.

  • Morgan

    That was a nice haul for the Padres, I think Cubs can get similar maybe lil more for Garza if there willing to. I think wilh the going young, try to get Rizzo, would be a nice 1b for the future and can grow with the young talent on the team. No since to get fielder if your not trying to win now, Rizzo, Castro, Stewart, Jackson nice young talent to start

    • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

      It was a very nice haul for the Padres, to get Rizzo will require a third team though.  The Padres are not going to want Rizzo for Garza straight up considering Garza’s price tag.

      • Lou

        I think it would be more like BJax for Rizzo straight up.

        • BAMF

          I really like where your head’s at on this.  What would happen if we tried to package in Headley on this deal?  For Rizzo (or Alonso) and Headley, I think something like this could work out well if we threw in Jackson, Barney, and at least one other player/prospect.  If we could package the other 2 with Campana, great.  If not, it would still be a good deal if we threw in a Carpenter or someone similar.  Time for Theo and company to get creative.

          • ferrets_bueller

            In order to land Headley and Rizzo, you’d have to leave out scraps like Barney or Campana.  Something like Jackson, Vitters and Carp.  They wanted a package like Vitters and Carp for Headley, and then if you want Rizzo…

            Thats around what they’d be apt to ask for.

          • Lou

            Exactly and tell Boras and his contract demands to go suck it. Tired of Boras and his demands more than I am with whether or not the Cubs sign Fielder. But now the Cubs may not have to worry about that…and for the first time, I feel comfortable saying if the Cubs can get Rizzo–I don’t want Fielder. Time for Theo and Co to get creative. EXACTLY. The Reds and their overspending on Latos may have opened a door for the Cubs. Thank you, Cincy :)

  • ty

    Junior Lake and Starlin Castro played rookie ball together with franklin font as their manager. font has just been added to the cub staff as rudy*s assistant but not really He has been our infield co-ordinator of late and in rookie ball Castro and Lake would alternate between third and short. Lake is almost a twin to castro and just completed Az Fall League and yes – ramy – he is about ready and his overall skill set may be better. coach Font is here for Castro, Barney, and Lake and one hell of a smart move. Oneri Fleita probably turned Theo on to this addition.

  • ramin

    Is headley and rizzo straight up for garza a crazy idea

    • njriv

      Yeah it is, the Padres were asking for a lot for Headley alone. There would have to be more pieces for a trade like that to happen.

  • die hard

    Heres a mega deal for you…..Castro, Soriano and Garza to Mariners for Ichiro, Smoak, Ackley, Pineda and Ryan

  • OHBearCub

    Uyou guys way over value Garza. he has to stay put if he actually signs Fielder. i doubt seriously he signs Fielder. you guys go off on these tangents with these trade ideas that won’t happen. put the crack pipes down and come back to
    he real world. after Maholm getssigned there will be 2 roster spots left for another catcher and 1 more pitcher. Then you will have your roster for 2012. Theo doesn’t have the chips to pull off any of these deals . Cubs system doesn’t have the talent to make any of these deals. Our system doesn’t have they players anybody wants i.e. these other teams don’t need what e have. They can go sign players like ours off the scrap all fast why would they trade anything of value for what we have. Garza is st best a number 3 starter on any team but the cubs. Henry should have never traded for him in the first place. Look st what the reds traded they traded from a position of weakness. Jockey is an idiot for making that trajockettyde. You think Byrnes is going let Theo bendi him over him over after he just needed Mocker

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