I had planned to post just a couple things this morning, the second of which is a holiday card of sorts, and then semi-head-out for the holidays. With the Marshall trade still not announced and the Corpas signing to discuss a bit more (probably), that ain’t happening.
- Assuming his physical in Cincinnati went well yesterday, the trade of Sean Marshall could be formally announced today. We know the Cubs are getting back pitcher Travis Wood, but the identities of the other players in the deal remain a strangely guarded secret. I have my theory as to why (perhaps the Reds are trying to work out an extension with Marshall, in which case the prospects they give up will be slightly better – just a theory). Regardless, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to wait to announce the deal this weekend or next week.
- Speaking of those prospects: Keith Law says he’s heard names, and they aren’t just filler. He thinks Cubs fans will be happy. He also says the Cubs should heavily shop Matt Garza, and says he wouldn’t trade Brett Jackson for Anthony Rizzo if he were the Padres.
- The Cardinals signed outfielder Carlos Beltran, who turns 35 in April, to a two-year, $26 million contract with a no-trade clause. Beltran, whose knees are in bad shape, is coming off his first full, good season in a few years. Normally, I’d say he’s due for a regression. But no one regresses in St. Louis. Voodoo magic. Beltran won’t quite replace the departed Albert Pujols, but with Adam Wainwright coming back from surgery, the Cards might not be much more worse for the wear in 2012.
- The A’s traded young lefty starter Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals for right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, lefty Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris. To the extent each qualifies as a prospect, all four were in the Nationals’ top ten according to some lists. Cole and Peacock tended to be near the top of those lists (behind some kid named Bryce). What does the deal mean for the market for Matt Garza? Well, it leaves Garza as the best pitcher available in trade, by my accounting, and continues to set the bar high as far as acquisition prices go. Garza wouldn’t net quite as much as Gonzalez, who is younger, lefty, and under control for longer, but he could be close. The deal also leaves the teams most interested in Garza – the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox – looking for a starter. The Nationals weren’t pursuing Garza with any vigor, so it’s not like the Cubs lost a suitor.
- According to a report in the Peoria Journal Star, the Cubs’ Single-A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs, have been losing money for four years. The losses, which average around $600,000 (and climbing), are attributed to a bad economy and the attending drops in attendance.
- Former Cub favorite Mark DeRosa looks set to sign a Major League deal with the Nationals. He serve in a utility role, and will probably become their Reed Johnson of irrational badassery. Speaking of Reed, FanGraphs gives him a look in light of the Cubs’ re-signing, and comes to the conclusion: he’s pretty average, and that’s fine for a back-up outfielder.
- The Cubs are giving back to the community in a variety of ways this holiday season – or so says this Cubs press release.
- The top ten baseball books of 2011 according to Baseball America. I gotta get me a library card.