The latest in non-Darvish, non-Fielder news and rumors from around baseball…

  • San Diego Padres’ Assistant GM AJ Hinch was asked on MLBN Radio a little bit ago about the rumors of a deal for Matt Garza, in which the Padres would include first base prospect Anthony Rizzo. He said he likes the Padres’ rotation depth, and called the rumor “more far-fetched than most.” Not to be all defensive, but, the idea that Garza would be pitching for the Padres in 2012 is and always has been “far-fetched.” The rumor – and  yesterday’s discussions (about which, I’ve heard nothing more, I’m sorry to say) – never had Garza ending up on the Padres, but instead being spun off to a third team for prospects.
  • To the point: Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes yesterday conceded that, when explaining what the Latos/Alonso/Grandal/etc. trade meant for Rizzo, Byrnes told Rizzo that it may lead to a “trade in the future, because that’s business.”
  • Phil Rogers also noted a third team may be necessary for the Cubs to put together a deal for Rizzo, and suggests the Cubs could include Carlos Marmol in such a deal. That would be just fine with me, as, unlike Garza, Marmol is replaceable internally by the Cubs. But, let’s be clear: Marmol’s value in trade is nowhere near Garza’s. Whether Marmol would be worth Rizzo (however a three-team trade would actually work things out) is debatable. Rizzo is probably more valuable.
  • Jim Bowden yesterday suggested the Cubs could land Rizzo in a package for Matt Garza, which was the primary mainstream discussion of the rumor, which was more fully addressed/reported here at BN. Bruce Levine and Carrie Muskat gave the rumor a cursory look today and late yesterday, respectively. Not much there.
  • Jon Heyman hears from one NL executive that the Padres might, instead of trading Rizzo, try to flip Yonder Alonso. Maybe, though the rationale given was that Alonso can’t play outfield. Byrnes has already said that Alonso will be playing first base.
  • On his Saturday morning ESPN radio appearance, Bruce Levine said the Cubs continue to try and shop Carlos Zambrano, with the Marlins still having at least a passing interest. The name Levine mentioned as a possible return was almost-non-tendered pitcher, Chris Volstad. The 25-year-old righty has never been able to duplicate his impressive rookie half-season in 2008, which preceded three straight meh campaigns. In 2011, Volstad made 29 starts, threw 165.2 innings, and had a 4.89 ERA and 1.425 WHIP while making near the rookie minimum in his final pre-arbitration year. If the Cubs were taking back Volstad – a guy who might not even be worth a roster spot come mid-season – in a deal for Zambrano, it’s possible they wouldn’t have to eat quite as much of Zambrano’s $18 million 2012 salary as previously thought. That’s the sliding scale in a dump deal like that: the more money you save, the less attractive the player(s) you get back.
  • The Cubs are believed to still be talking to Paul Maholm, but there’s nothing new on that front. Like David DeJesus, I kind of have the feeling that the Cubs will wrap this one up relatively quietly.
  • Here’s a column vaguely linking the Washington Nationals to a possible pursuit of Matt Garza, which is the first such connection I’ve heard. In theory, any team looking for a front-line starting pitcher should be talking to the Cubs.
  • The Dodgers signed John Grabow to a minor league deal, because Ned Colletti is Jim Hendry is Ned Colletti is Jim Hendry.
  • The Diamondbacks just signed Jason Kubel to a surprising two-year, $15 million deal. I know Alfonso Soriano isn’t Kubel, but, like, how is it possible that the Cubs can’t find a taker for Soriano at $5 million per year?
  • ty

    Ramy–it was well known at Salt River that stewart was going to be non-tendered–and would have been cheap meat at the market. They were beyond frustration.

  • Toosh

    Would a lukewarm stove be lukewarm because there are still embers in it waiting to be stirred up or would it be lukewarm after the fire is completely out and it’s cooling down?

    • Brett

      I always thought of it as the former – it could get hot at any time, but it’s mostly just sitting there, kind of warm (i.e., the rumors are loosely connected to the Cubs, or not particularly certain).

      • Toosh

        That’s kind of what I thought. I’m not sure if I can take much more of this after-season excitement. The Cardinals win the Series, then the Winter Meetings, the the Rule 5 draft, then the non-tender deadline, now Darvish. Thank goodness for sarcasm.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Sort of unrelated to the article, but on a MLBTR tangent- they just mentioned Marshall.  I really, really wish the Cubs would consider moving him back to the rotation, where he belongs.  Or better yet, i wish they would have moved him back there before last season.  Or, even better, never put him in the pen to start with…

    • Brett

      That’ll be discussed tomorrow, no doubt – both the rumor, and Marshall as a starter.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Sweeeeet.  While I definitely wish they had last year, or kept him out of the pen to begin with, I can’t help but wonder if the window of opportunity to do so has passed.  Couldn’t really hurt to try, though.

    • Ralph

      I always thought that Marshall completely ran out of gas after 5 innings as a starter. The Cubs love him in the bullpen and I think I do too.

  • Nashvillecubs

    I don’t want to be a buzz kill, but I think we’re seeing alot of smoke screens in the rumor mill. My thinking is that new management realizes that rebuilding is going to be a long process. High minors are not good, low minors are solid. We don’t have alot of chips to trade, and spending tons of money on Darvish and Fielder will not make much difference in the short run. Probably close to 100mil. (signed) for Darvish, and 150mil. for Prince is money better spent elsewhere. Look for more smaller deals made with inexpensive major league players who are relatively young, and high ceiling minor league players. Think Rizzo, Cespedes, Soler, Maholm. We may have to sacrifice this year. See what Jackson, LeHair, Cashner, are all about at the major league level.

  • ferrets_bueller

    MLBTR now says the Cards are now talking to Crisp.  If they’re really interested, hopefully Theo and Jed drive up the price and make them overpay…

  • Ogyu

    From the Twitter feed of Darvish’s agent: 常識は常識で常識ではないのが常識である、かな!よくわからない


    • Brett

      Common sense is not common knowledge..?

      • ferrets_bueller

        yay for google translate!

        • Brett

          No way, man. I totally eyeballed that.

    • tjtrigo

      Seriously, wow!

    • scorecard

      Thanks Ogyu, but what time is that in our time zone?

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    So Dave your saying Rizzo is better than Alonso?? I think not!!! If Jed is smart and pulls the trade he’d better get Alonso!! He’s already prooved his worth in just a short period of time… I know 1 of the 5 hrs he had were off of Cub pitching so I would have a prooven player you know what you are getting in Alonso

    • ferrets_bueller

      Rizzo is a waaaaaaaaaaaaay better prospect than Alonso.  Alonso, IMO, projects to a .280-.290 hitter with 22-27 homer power, with no real defensive position.  Not exactly a stud, or anything close.  Rizzo, on the other hand, has the potential to have significantly more power and better defense.

      This trade is nowhere near as uneven as people are making it out to be- the best player the Pads got was far and away Grandal.

  • Dave

    Alonso is older and also has a small sample size in the majors.  I’d rather go with the younger guy.  They both tore the cover off the ball in the minors (Rizzo had a higher OPS in 2011).

    • 2much2say

      There is an attachment to Rizzo. Alonso is only a name to SD

  • MoneyBoy

    WOW …. Just watched the Studio 42 with 8, 23 and 31.   Absolutely fabulous !!!!!!!

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    No way… Rizzo struggle alot… I grew I’m Chicago but live less than an hour from San Diego and saw Rizzo… His Defense is good… His Bat needs to develope other wise we have anouther Vitters at first base! I hope Dale really gives Junior Lake a shot at 3rd base and let him and Stewart battle it out and the winner gets the job at 3rd! Trade Barney and move Stewart to 2nd base! Also if the Cubs want to save out pitcher… Why don’t they offer a trade to the Angels to get Morales.. People out here are saying that they are willing to move him and Abreu …

  • Ralph

    I saw a couple highlights on Rizzo when he briefly got called up last year. Wow, what a loopy, long swing. Almost looks like a Colvin swing.

  • DRock

    Darvish better pan out in the MLB for all the attention he is getting & the amount of $ being spent to bid for the right to sign him.
    Btw Brett, did u just unfollow me on twitter? @drockproehl
    Hope it was unintentional!

  • Brian

    Rangers got him!!!!
    Will Jays go for Garza now?

  • oswego chris

    I will give the Theotles a pass on this one….too large of a gamble, and too much dough on an arm that could go after any pitch…

    we need to do something to get excited about….my David DeJesus and Ian Stewart “highs” only lasted for minutes…

  • drew

    Not sure why everyone is down on Rizzo…i cant claim that ive watched him extensively but his numbers throughout his minor league career seem great considering he was young at every level. Maybe im just missing something

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