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Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein addressed the media via conference call (yo, Cubs – shoot a blogger a dial-in number next time) shortly after the Sean Marshall trade, which netted the Cubs young lefty starter Travis Wood, as well as outfield prospect Dave Sappelt, and infield prospect Ronald Torreyes, was finalized and announced. I’ll have more on Wood’s future with the Cubs, as well as more on the two prospects in the near future. For now, here’s what Epstein had to say on the three new members of the Cubs’ organization, on the loss of Sean Marshall, and on the possibility of dealing Matt Garza.

  • On the trade, in general: Theo called the move exemplary of what the organization is trying to do, and said that it fits with the “general direction” in which the team is moving. Namely, to turn short-term assets (Theo noted that Marshall could have walked away for nothing at the end of 2012) into long-term assets. “I don’t think we are done,” Epstein said of the move and ones that may follow. “I do think we still need to build more depth on the starting pitching front, both in the big leagues and minor leagues. But it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to make sacrifices. Just like moving Sean Marshall, who was certainly an asset for the 2012 club.”
  • On Travis Wood: “He caught the eye of a lot of people and a lot of clubs had interest in him,” Epstein said. “He’s a really athletic package. Very athletic, his arm works very well. More than enough velocity to succeed as a left-handed pitcher. Some days you can see him, he has 3 or 4 above-average pitches. Those are the ingredients you need to be successful as a starting pitcher.” Theo noted that, if Wood pitches like he did in 2010, the Cubs could have improved for 2012 in this move.
  • On Torreyes and Sappelt: Theo called the youngster Torreyes a good defender and baserunner, and added that “When you’re young for your level, and you’ve hit everywhere you’ve ever been, that’s a good sign.” Theo also joked about the last small second baseman he had, Dustin Pedroia. In general, Theo was excited to add some more depth to the farm system.
  • On losing Sean Marshall: Theo conceded that the bullpen was now weaker, and said that guys like James Russell will have to help fill the void. Theo also mentioned minor league lefties Scott Maine, John Gaub, and Jeff Beliveau (the latter of whom was the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2011).
  • On the possibility of now trading Matt Garza: Theo conceded that the Cubs will listen to offers on Garza, and anyone else. “There’s always an active trade market for starting pitchers,” Epstein said. “But we don’t take lightly what it means to have a top-of-the-rotation guy in the house …. It’s hard to find top-of-the-rotation guys, so if you have them, and if there’s way to keep them around, that’s always compelling for the club. With that said, we’ve been honest. We are in a mode where we have to listen on everybody. And if there’s a way to improve the long-term outlook for this club in a significant manner, we can’t look past opportunities.” To me, that’s another of Theo’s excellent coded messages, like what he said about Marshall being the best left-handed reliever in baseball. Here, Theo is saying: Garza is available, but he’s going to cost you plenty. The Cubs’ starting point in negotiations will absolutely be the kind of packages Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos recently netted, even if the Cubs cannot ultimately secure packages quite that good (Garza is probably the third most valuable of the three pitchers).
  • Theo left open the possibility of extending Matt Garza, instead of trading him, but that seems more like a matter of preserving leverage in trade talks than a sincere desire to extend Garza. “In the case of Matt Garza, perhaps nothing happens [in terms of a trade],” Epstein said, “or perhaps we can turn him into a long-term asset by extending him on a deal that makes sense for everybody.”
  • Fishin Phil

    Make a plan.  Stick to plan.   Who’d have thunk it??

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

      Yeah having vision is such a horrible thing, what is Theo thinking?

      • Wilbur

        Must be the Starbucks coffee …

  • http://rooftop-view.com Jack Nugent

    I agree Garza might be the 3rd most valuable of he, Latos, and Gio Gonzalez, but contracts aside, I actually think Garza is better than either of those guys. Strictly in terms of talent, I’d take Garza before Latos or Gonzalez.

    Both of those other guys have a lot more time before they become free agents, but I’d expect Garza to net a comparable package. But I’m still fully in favor of a contract extension. Garza is worth every penny that John Danks got, and if they can get a similar deal done, I really think that’d be the best course of action.

    • Lou

      I’m either way on the Garza front. The Nats, Texas, and the Yankees IMO aren’t trade partners. I’m not enthused by the Jays pitching prospects and on other teams, not sure because they’ve yet to be directly linked to Garza trade. If you can get what you want for him, you might have to extend him.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Personally, I’m not really big on Matt Latos.  I think Garza is at least the second best of the three, and could give Gio a run for his money.

      • kubphan82

        Take Gio away from that pitcher’s park and watch him explode. Garza fairs well everywhere, he is consistent. This guy is impressive, especially in comparison to Gio. I’m sorry my Cubs bias aside and I would still rather Garza pitch in Chicago than Gio.

  • cubbylair

    If this a trade was Wood for Marshall it would go down as a terrible trade. Marshall was excellent as a setup pitcher and was greatly undervalued. Wood is a 500 pitcher who typically surrenders more hits than innings pitched and his strikeout rate is far lower than it should be. The fact that he is a fly ball pitcher is ominous. However the player prospects are interesting. I would think Sappelt is ready though roster adjustments will have to be made if he is to join the Cubs in April.Does this mean Soriano is on his way out? Too good to be true. Torreyes if he continues to improve could be the real plum in this trade.

  • JasonB

    Garza is definitely better than Gio – Gio walks too many for my taste.  Latos is a tougher argument to make because he’s really good although FIP and xFIP do give the edge to Garza in 2011.

  • 2much2say

    over/under for a win 3.5 runs. So realistically 30 starts 14-10 record means you have a solid #3 Who on the Cubs fills the bill? Garza Dempster Big Z. Problem is no #1 or #2

    • EQ76

      Garza is a solid #2 who could be a #1 with a good enough year.

  • EQ76

    I’m getting really  eager to hear the Soriano’s gone press conference.

    • cubsnivy56

      1 bag of new balls or two bags of used?

      • Rick Vaughn

        Case of warm Natty Light would be more than enough for me.

    • Brian Myers

      I would love the Soriano is gone press conference too… but, here’s some interesting stats.

      Player A) .244, 26HR, 88 RBI
      Player B) .225, 28HR, 80 RBI
      Player C) .306, 26HR, 93 RBI

      3 Guys. Player C obviously hits the ball for the best average. But as a guy that drives in runs… he’s only marginally better than the other two players.

      Player A is more athletic than Player B but puts up similar numbers.

      Without knowing anything else, you might choose Player C..then Player A… then Player B… but statistically, they are pretty similar.

      A) Soriano
      B) Carlos Pena
      C) Aramis Ramirez

      Point being, we all want to lose that massive contract, but it isn’t happening as we would eat most of it and his replacement would make up the difference. On this team, this year, Pena might not be back, Ramirez won’t be back. That means Soriano could be the second best offense weapon this team has behind Starlin Castro. If they just “get rid” of him it doesn’t seem likely they will get something better in return…best case, some mediocre low A ball guys or some overpriced, no better than Soriano guy. Yep… that’s the BEST case. Worst case they get nothing in return, still eat the contract, and lose several more games this season because they don’t have anyone that can duplicate his numbers.

      It may be the best thing for the team long term, but the above is likely the big reason they don’t seem to ready to get rid of him… no matter what they do with him, they likely get the short end of the stick. Keeping him might be the best option (unless another team decides they can eat his contract or are willing to give up a decent, low minor’s prospect to get his production NOW and have the Cubs eat salary).

      • BetterNews

        I’ll go along with your reasoning, for sure.

      • realist

        That’s assuming the Cubs don’t trade for a decent replacement for Soriano, which I think they would be able to find thru a trade. This kind of Cub thinking is straight out of the 1950’s and left Ernie banks without a game of post season experience. It is not cute to be a loser. Never was, but Cub fans live in an imaginary world that Theo Epstein & crew have been hired to shred and replace with something that will compete & win. When they trade Garza, and they will, hopefully as a Christmas present, that trade will bring back our new LF. And it won’t be Brett Jackson. He’ll be gone too. Hopefully a young guy like Eric Thames from Toronto as part of a Garza package will be out there. Talking to these myopic Cub fans is like trying to talk to a Ayn Rand fan or a Ron Paul supporter, they just don’t ever get it.

        • BetterNews

          Realist—There is nobody interested in Soriano.

        • ferrets_bueller

          I take offense to that last sentence.

      • CubSouth

        Brian, my name is Brian as well, I love when people put up silhouettes or letters by players stats and make u try to guess who they are. It also helps u get a better understanding of how good or bad that player is to a comparable player. I think there has been way too much harping on Soriano, the guy has issues, yes, but he brings us what we are lacking and that’s power. He may strikeout a ton more but we need his bat, as of now, until someone else trades for him.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I like the exercise, too, but there’s not a lot of date in that particular set of numbers. Adding even just one number – OBP – makes the comparison far, far different.

      • ferrets_bueller

        How about adding OBPS, SLG% or OBP to this, instead of empty stats like RBIs, HR, or AVG?

        • Brian Myers

          Because stats tell stories. For instance, here’s a rather bizarre and on the surface, useless stat (but it has value when you think of what it means).

          Runs vs Times on Base.

          Aramis scored approx. 37% of the time he got on base.
          Pena: 34%
          Soriano: 24.5%

          Yet few people would say Aramis and Pena run the basis better than Soriano. It means they had hitters behind them that produced 1 out of 3 times… Soriano had hitters that produced less than 1 out of 4. So not only did Soriano have his worst year since he became a starter, but the guys BEHIND him struggled to produce as well.

          How about this… what percentage of the time did they knock in a run when they came up to bat?

          Soriano: 17%
          Pena: 13%
          Aramis: 15%

          Yes, it’s an odd stat, but Soriano had a better percentage of getting an RBI when he came up to bat. It can be argued that this makes sense, Pena and Aramis batted ahead of him so he had more opportunities. But it can also be argued that he HAD to swing at everything because the guys behind him were not getting the job done.

          Also, while he was behind Pena and Aramis in 2011 in OBPS, SLG and OBP, he was AHEAD of them all in these same categories in 2010.

          Ultimately, stats can support anything with a certain way of looking at them. But the point is that I couldn’t have made these arguments with using Tony Campana or Marlon Byrd (at least not very easily). No matter how you look at the stats, Sori still has to be in the discussion about the Cubs best hitters… particularly now with ARam gone and Pena likely gone as well. It’s his DEFENSE that makes you want to leave him out of the lineup, or else he should be the Cubs #5 or 6 hitter this year (not because he’s great, because there isn’t anyone better on the club to be it).

          • BetterNews

            As always, good comment and something to reflect on.

  • 2much2say

    Linescum Watch officially begins now.

  • Coach Harris

    Garza may be better (longer track record and playoff experience) but he is not more desirable.   Gio is left handed, younger, and is under control for longer…therefore making him a little more attractive.

    I love what Theo and the boys are doing, but would rather not trade Garza unless they get blown away…and that sounds like the game plan.

    The Marshall trade is sounding better and better.  Wood’s home/road splits were pretty telling.

    5.30 at home

    3.58 on the road

    In Theo and company we trust.

     

  • http://- OHBearCub

    JN,

    I don’t think Garza is as good as Gio Gonzalez but he is better than Latos.
    I don’t really see the Cubs trading Garza. Theo won’t find any other pitching that is as good as Garza this year. Next year the market will be stronger.

    I believe the trades he has left are for prospects from trading McNutt, Soto, Byrd, Wells, Samardja and Dewitt.
    There won’t be a trade for Zambrano or Soriano.

    We have in house replacements for Soto and Byrd. Samardja and McNutt could pull in a decent starter. Byrd and Wells could bring 3 decent prospects.

    I am hoping Theo signs Orlando Cabrera as a back up for Barney and Castro.

    Baker and Stweart will platoon at third and Baker can also back up LaHair at first. Possibly start teaching Soriano to play 1st base to back up Lahair. I would put Soriano at first on days he matches up very well against opposing pitching. We may be kind of sucky at 1st base but I think LaHair is going to a better than average job there. If Theo focuses on the trades I mentioned above he will get minor league prospects that he is looking for. At this point any new adds to MLB roster will have to come via free agency.

    If Theo would go out and sign Coco Crisp to play center field, have Jackson in left field, DeJesus in right with Campano and Johnson as back up outfielders.

    • AB

      I’m wondering why would the Cubs trade McNutt??

      his value is at its lowest after the injuries and blister issues last year.

      Samardzija is probably going to make more than $2 million, He’d bring nothing back but salary relief.

    • Ron Swanson

      Isn’t McNutt exactly the type of player we’re trying to stockpile?

      • LJ

        For a team that is looking to build depth in the starting rotation, I seriously doubt that the Cubs are looking to move either McNutt or Samardzija. If Shark can continue to develop his pitches as he did last year, he could be a solid option at the back end of the rotation. The ONLY way I see either of them being moved is if they are part of a trade that bring Rizzo back.

  • Dumpman

    I wonder if they are listening to offers on Castro. I know he said everyone could be had for a realistic price.. Any idea Brett?

    • Bric

      That’s a question we’ve all been thinking since Theo’s statements a couple of days ago. The only problem is the price for Castro would be so outrageously high, very few clubs would even consider it. For instance, would the Yankees deal Montaro for Castro? Probably, but they wouldn’t because they don’t need a short stop.

      Trying to deal Castro is like trying to sell your Lamborgini. Sure, it’s an awesome car and everyone would love to have it. But the price would be so high most people wouldn’t even consider it. And the few people that have that much cash to consider probably already own one anyway. So trading Castro just ain’t gonna happen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They’ll listen, but the “realistic” price would be so very high that no team will meet it. If it were just in prospects, you’d be talking about a team’s top five prospects as a request. I just can’t see the two sides coming together on a deal on a player like Castro.

      • Bric

        Did you like my Lamborgini analogy?

  • http://- OHBearCub

    My 2012 Cubs Lineup if Theo does what I think he should do.

    1. Crisp CF
    2. Jackson LF
    3. Castro SS
    4. Lahair 1B
    5. Stewart
    6. DeJesus
    7. Castillo
    8. Barney
    9. Garza, Dempster, Zambrano, Maholm, Wood.

    On the Bench: Alfonso Soriano, Orlando Cabrera, Baker, Campano, Johnson

    BP Closer Marmol, Setup Wood, Cashner, Beliveau,
    Russell, Dolis

    If its cold has a biatch in April at Wrigley bring up some scrubs and let them play so nobody gets hurt. I would do that every year. I hated pitching in the cold in highschool and college. I couldn’t wait for our florida trip.

    • Michael

      So we would go with no backup catcher? Gonna be a long year for Castillo.

    • Brian Myers

      Another way to look at it is who do we currently have? A really rough guess at a lineup (as we know, it will flex during the season / based on who they face).

      1. DeJesus (L) RF
      2. Castro (R) SS
      3. Byrd (R) CF
      4. LaHair (L) 1B
      5. Soriano (R) LF
      6. Stewart (L) 3B
      7. Soto (R) C
      8. Barney (R) 2B

      Bench: Baker, Campana, Sappelt, Castillo, DeWitt… and perhaps someone else. It could be Brett Jackson, but he might also get a bit of seasoning in AAA before joining the big club later in the year.

      That’s a lineup that makes you (as a Cubs fan) nervous. It puts a lot of pressure on a minor league journeyman hitting in the middle of the lineup. The Cubs could flip him and Stewart (the two lefties) to take the pressure off him. Interestingly, if Soto can hit just a bit over his weight and LaHair can equal his potential over a full season, this lineup isn’t much worse (it might be statistically BETTER if DeJesus gets on base) than last year.

  • http://- OHBearCub

    McNutt is still one of our top prospects in the organization. He would bring a nice peice back. 2M is chump change for a reliever with a good arm. Samardja doesn’t have to bring back another pitcher for it to be a good trade. maybe a better 3b for the future or throw Samardja and McNutt along with Jr. Lake to the Padres for Rizzo. Then we can trade Lahair to the Brewers so he can kick our asses 16 games a year.

  • http://- OHBearCub

    We might as well do business with the Brewers and the Cardinals next. I hate doing deals with the Reds. I hate the Reds worse than the Cardinals… I live with the Reds everyday. they suck moose nuggets.

    • Bluekoolaidaholic

      Agreed, but as long as they promise to keep Dusty, I laugh.

  • http://- OHBearCub

    Castro and Soriano for the entire New York Yankee’s lineup. Make it happen.

  • clark addison

    If that’s the Cubs lineup in 2012, it will be hard to avoid 100 losses.

    I’m confident that Hoystein will bring something better than that to opening day.

  • http://- OHBearCub

    I am just saying the way it looks right now that’s the best we are gonna do. We we gonna get a Superstar? We got nothing… You can’t trade nothing for something and we got nothing. Even if he trades Garza that lineup isn’t going to change much. If we only lose 90 games it will be a miracle.

    If Theo signs Fielder and Cespedes maybe we got a shot a .500 ball. We just resigned Johnson for god’s sake. The dude is held together with duct tape. He already went and got DeJesus and Stewart. they both suck. so we got what we got… Maybe Coco Crisp and Jackson can steal 100 bases. Im just saying it is what is right now. Whatever Garza brings back in trade ain’t enough to save this team from the starting lineup I sent up 20 minutes ago.

    • Skinner

      The lineup will be developed over the next few seasons along with everything else. 90-100 losses appears inevitable at this point. Tough medicine, but as the great Dusty Baker would say, it is what it is. It will get better.

    • CubSouth

      OBC, u wrote that this lineup is what u think Theo should do. We still have 2 months and I hope to not at all see that lineup in the bigs! That 6-9 would be a pitchers dream and 90I losses on their own lol. I’d have a hard time thinking Theo would allow this kind of lineup or even should for that matter.

  • Bluekoolaidaholic

    I wonder if they will get Pena back? They don’t seem to be moving on any other 1B.

    • Stinky Pete

      “They don’t seem to be moving on any other 1B.”

      Why? Because you haven’t heard anything?  Because not a lot has been reported?  If Theo is working on a deal in the woods and no one is there to hear it, it still happens, my friend.

      • Bluekoolaidaholic

        Even if they don’t have something in mind, I am ok with giving LaHair a shot anyhow. Who knows, they may be after Rizzo, but you are right, I’m not impatient, I was just wondering. Someone I know predicted that we would wind up with Pena again, which considering the amount of power we have, might not be all that bad.

  • Kyle

    Cubs pretty much robbed the Reds blind here. They are going for it in 2012 and don’t care, but still.

    Wood is being severely underrated in most parts.

    Career K/9 BB/9 HR/9
    7.0 2.85 0.82

    NL average
    7.3 3.1 0.9

    He could strike out a few more, but he’s a little above average at not walking people, and the fact that he’s been able to keep his HR/9 below league average with GABP as his home park is extremely good. (Wrigley, despite its reputation, is a neutral HR park on average. GABP is the third most homer-friendly park in baseball, inflating HRs by about 30% on average).

    Those are the peripherals of a league-average starting pitcher, a decent No. 3. I think that’s what we are going to get out of Wood. He’ll be 25 next season and we get him for the next five cost-controlled year

    Throw in two prospects that I like, and this might be my favorite Cubs trade of the last two decades.

    • Kyle

      And actually, those starts are for all NL pitchers, not just starters. Relievers tend to be able to throw a bit harder and thus strike out more.

      For starting pitchers, the average is 6.9 K/9 3.1 BB 1.0 HR

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Why are people still recommending that Castro hits third?

    Did you not see how that worked out last year?

    Right now Castro is a 1 or 2 spot hitter until he develops more power. Until he shows that he can sustain the power numbers a “3 hole” hitter should have for at the very least half a season he should NOT be moved there.

  • Kyle

    The more I look at it, the more I’m convinced Sappelt needs to be our starting LFer in 2012. (and I’m not one of those who thinks Soriano is worthless).

    I keep looking at his career numbers and I just can’t come up with a good reason not project him as a 290/325/410 hitter in the majors, or something along those lines. With plus defense in LF, that’s at least a league-average starter.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The only reason I can come up with is that Reds folks say he was exposed in the bigs at the plate and on the base paths (I can only assume they mean TOOTBLANs). I’d be just fine with giving him a chance, though, all things considered.

      • Kyle

        He got 118 PAs in the big leagues. That’s hardly enough to make a judgment. It is classic Dusty Baker, however.

        This is the day I’ve been dreaming of for years and years. Probably since the first time I read Moneyball, but really even before that.

        These are players who the consensus seems to say one thing about, but the statistical record says something very different, and that makes them very undervalued, and the Cubs are feasting on them.

        The consensus of talking heads is that Wood is a “No. 4/5 starter.” I look at his peripherals, I look at his stats, and I can’t see a single reason not to project him as league average, aka a No. 3.

        The consensus is that Sappelt is a fourth outfielder, but I just can’t come up with a projection for him that isn’t something like 290/325/410 with plus defense in LF, which would make him a league average starter.

        The consensus is that Torreyes is too small to be a projectable prospect, but I keep coming back to that insanely low K-rate and thinking “That’s an elite hit tool no matter how much he weighs.”

        This is a really momentous day for the Cubs and sabr-savvy Cubs fans.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think it’s hard for a lot of us to accept – we know it to be true, but this kind of move has been SO FOREIGN to us for so long, we don’t know how to be appropriately happy about it.

          (Although I, myself, am quite happy.)

          • MoneyBoy

            LOL … Brett, this is truly “un-Hendry” … nice little surprise for the Christmas stocking

        • realist

          I really agree as well. All three guys are gonna be contributors I think. Torreyes gets lauded for his fielding more than his hitting. I bet he’ll be up here by the time he’s 20 to play the middle with Castro. Sappelt has a little speed, a little power, but looks like a natural hitter. I see him maxing out with 10 hr, 20sb, and a .285 avg playing above average in centerfield and being a very good #2 hitter who gets on base & makes contact.

        • farmerjon

          Great stuff Kyle, thanks

    • realist

      Except that he has really been a CF. Why not put him there? Reds fans are getting freaky nervous about what they’re doing and trying to downplay the decent prospects we just took from them. Plus they hate the Cubs way more than we realize.

  • 2much2say

    The 3 hole hitter for the current Cubs should be Castro because he is the only option besides Soriano. Pick 1

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Bryan LaHair.

      I’d rather not risk Castro messing his swing up trying to be something he is not. And he is not currently a power hitter. And the three hole hitter needs to have power.

      • 2much2say

        and the 4 hole? Lahair

        • Cheryl

          Either 3 hole or 4 hole for LaHair. Fielder doesn’t seem to be in the cards, which is just as well. Let LaHair make it or not. But see what he does.

  • 2much2say

    Lets say Zambrano is an Ace this year and Dempster is above average. Wood turns out to be a #3 and we still have Garza and a #5. Soriano plays at a high level and the scrappers out perform. Playoffs baby. Hey, its Xmas. Miracles really do happen.

    • Bric

      You can tell it’s happy hour here at the bleacher nation. We’ll all just got off of work, there’s a two-for-one special and for the next hour or so we’ll all be in a state of euphoria. Cheers, 2m2s.

      • CubSouth

        I wish I could say I’m off work but just got here. Working straight on thru Christmas and New Years. Gotta love the shift work! Merry Christmas to all before I forget.

        • Toosh

          Happy holidays to you as well.

  • CubSouth

    If Brett isn’t on the road or too busy or if there is someone else who would like to give me a reasonable guess, I have a question for u. Theo and Co. do not like to give 8-10 year contracts out, agree?…..agree. And let’s say for the sake of the argument 3 yrs down the road a player becomes a FA and is wanting a lucrative deal in the range of none less than 8a yrs, no matter the higher annual salary for less years, they want a home til they retire. By then I’m sure Theo and Co.have already passed on many players because other teams have went out on a limb and gave the players what they wanted. Sure we can be the team that passes up great talent for the players we have and sure those other teams will most likely crumble because of the gigantic contracts they took on but would Theo ever change his mind for that one player because he sees other teams passing him up with won now mentality? All I’m saying is we can look toward the future but if we lose out on the big names because they got more yrs from other teams who r willing to risk those last 3time yrs for a shot at a championship in the next 3, it would seem like a loooong time before we reach the promise land.

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

      If and when we are 1/2 pieces I do believe that is when Theo goes for it

    • MoneyBoy

      Several thoughts – Among them, Crawford – 7 yrs, Dice K – 6 yrs, Pedroia – 6 yrs, AGon – 8 yrs.

      As of this moment, the only player on the 40 man roster even remotely deserving of a contract that long is Castro – and it’s been predicted here and other places the Cubs are likely to lock him up in a year or two.

      It’s near Christmas – so I’ll be as gentle as I can.  Writing is a skill.  Run on sentences, not using commas, not using paragraphs — all these contribute to making your thoughts jumbled and difficult to digest.

      • CubSouth

        Thanks for the advice Moneyboy, but if ur suggesting Theo brought those huge contracts into Boston by his own accord, ur wrong. Also I’m using my android and it has a mind of its own when to, or not to use commas and periods and whatnot, so sorry u had to read thru the jumble, maybe just not comment next time my name pops up. Also, let me know when u r called moneyman, as I often don’t listen to boys, that’s all, and thanks for the input, again, thanks, for, the, input.

  • 2much2say

    There are only 3 choices for a 3 hole hitter Soriano Castro and Byrd. Even Fielder would bat #4 and A Lahair type would be 5.

  • 2much2say

    1st base (4 hole) Barney Castro Stewart Dejesus Soriano Byrd Soto. Who bats 3rd?

  • barroof

    Did I see Wood projected at a 14-10 record ??? His ERA would have to be under 2.00 with the current offense the Cubs will be running to the plate. Yikes on 2012 even with the division tanking around us we’ll be looking up at the Pirates. I agree we need to keep Soriano if for no other reason but to give the angry Cubs fans someone to BOO (he’s earned it)and keep the heat off some of the young guys. Lets hope he has a good enough year to bring us something at the trade deadline as his value is so low it can only go up. All in all it’s a 90 loss team. Does anyone know when “Hard Hat ” day is ? The rebuiding will take a while.

    • BetterNews

      Good comment. Again, he does have the “potential”. But what does that really mean in terms of the opening roster? I know, I’m being pessimistic again.

  • BetterNews

    I’ve always said Garza is not going anywhere. TY!

    • KCubsfan

      I bet you there is more then a 80% chance he is moved by the trade deadline. A 70% chance he is moved before Opening Day.

  • Yuri

    This is the best cubs news site around. Keep up the good work.

  • Mike F

    Trading Garza is going to be harder than most think. Right now people are focusing on comments out of context. I think the one thing Theo said that is important is he’s weighing the value of extending him, i.e., 4 or 5 seasons at 14 M a season over trading him. That’s far more difficult then people think. If he gets full value either way fine, if not not fine. Further he’s got him for 2 years so the lust thing continues, as people criticize those who want to spend money, fairness requires the same criticism for those who want him traded now in the name of lust for prospects. The line between prospects and suspects is very fine in baseball and starting their means it’s not nearly as easy to trade a front end starter, when he’s likely the only one on your roster and could me the only one up and down your organization.

    Let me take it a step further. The floor for Gaza should be the deal for Gonzalez and Latos, more so Ganozalez, he’s the premier top end stater and the surest thing and has been from early on, no projection needed. Further, once you dump him, you have bigger problems. First what veterans you have will want out and what little value they have will be gone as you’re forced to get nothing to get rid of the potential circus you might have. Second, this total rebuild blow it up thing is not guaranteed to produce anything. And some of those lusting for complete change for the sake of change alone, will be the ones yelling the loudest come August when the team struggles mightily. And lastly winning and establishing a winning culture doesn’t happen with junk. People talk about this Green Bay run and credit Thompson way to much. The architect if anyone really studies it was Ron Wolf and yes he did blow it up and establish the cutture of winning. But his two first moves were two trade a prospective pick for Brett Farve and sign the best FA available in Reggie white to have something to build around.

    I have no issue with listening to everyone on everybody on the roster. I have every issue with blowing things up to blow them up. Fascinating the fixation with trading Garza when Marmol is under team control for the same period, Byrd only a year, Dempseter overpaid and a year, and host of others. It is possible and likely he is equally laying on the table all of them, but indeed if the blows it up I hope you are all as excited in August as you are now. And don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with what Theo has done so far, just troubled with the thought of money ball for the sake of money ball in a market like this where there were some assets to build around. And bluntly I will disappointed if at some point he’s not adding the known pieces not just the concept of prospects and idea of liquidation. Somehow lost in this is we hired Theo the great young builder and winner, not liquidated and demolition expert. And the promise was from day one the “Cub Way” and winning. If that’s what everyone really wanted Ricketts erred greatly and should have hired either BB or Andrew Friedman.

    • KCubsfan

      First off great comment but Let me tell you one thing about those other trades most were focused on putting to a team in 2 years at the latest. Most of the players in the Latos trade were either Major League ready or Almost ready. Also none of them had major superstar Talent. So you understand there is a difference between allstar and Superstar. Gio trade3 was a little different because of AJ Cole a lot of upside and could be a SuperStar, but Norris is a nice piece not an impact player. The Rest are ML ready.

      What the Cubs need to do is one step closer to the Gio trade. The problem and the thing that help the Cubs is Garza’s contract is short then Latos and Gio. The good part about this it will be a team that is looking for that Piece that turns them into a contender Like the Blue Jays or a team that’s looking for a piece to put them over the top like the Yankees or BoSox. The Cubs trade Garza for 4 or 5 pieces only one is ML ready or Close too, the rest are true very upside prospects maxiumizing the trade. Something like this for example
      trade Garza to the Jays for Hutchison or Drabek, Noah Syndrgaad RHP or Justin Nicolino LHp,
      AJ Jimenez C or Adeiny Hechavarria SS and Asher Wojciehowski RHP or Jake Marisnick Of. That is a little more of a high risk High reward trade that the Cubs need to try a move toward.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’ve been trying to figure out when the Cubs’ ideal “window” would be. The Wood addition makes it seem more like 2013/2014, but maybe you’re right that they’d have more success maximizing the return on Garza, for example, by grabbing more younger, high-upside players.

        • MightyBear

          I say 2014. Only because the Cubs seem to have more players in the lower levels of the farm system than at AAA or even AA. It will take two years to get a lot of them through. It will give Theo 2 plus years to work his magic and all the bloated contracts will be off the books sans 1 (maybe). Coincidentally, 2014 is the 100 year anniversary of Wrigley Field. Not when the Cubs started playing there (2016) but the park first housed the Chicago Whales in 2014 and the Cubs moved in circa 2016. I just had a thought for fun. I’m going to the message board and start a post for a lineup for the Chicago Whales. First base could be Prince Fielder. Rick and Paul Reuschel could be on the staff. David Wells and CC Sabathia could be on the staff as well. Tony Gwynn in the outfield. The possibilities are endless. Could be tough to find a shortstop for the Whales. Feel free to help me.

          • farmerjon

            old tejada is kinda plump

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    I just wished we would have gotten Juan Francisco!! I wonder what it would take to pry him from the Reds??? More power than Aramis and 11 yes younger and a solid glove at 3rd base

    • NyN

      I would imagine that Francisco would be more likely to be dealt had the Reds not traded Alonso. They could afford to trade one or the other. Alonso definately had more value.
      But yes I would have loved to have gotten Francisco is a deal as well.

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