It’s Christmas Eve, but save your Holiday wishes for a little bit longer. The “official” Happy Holidays post is coming soon.
- Now that the smoke has cleared on the Sean Marshall trade, and I’ve already openly expressed just how pleased I am both with the return the Cubs got, and with the mere fact of the trade (it had become an extreme rarity for the Cubs to trade a valuable, short-term asset for multiple, valuable, long-term pieces at the risk of the near term, especially in the offseason), I can speak about how much I’ll miss Sean Marshall. Primarily, the guy a brilliant reliever. Riddle me this: were you ever ONCE in the last two years nervous to see Marshall come into the game? Can you say that for any other reliever on the Cubs in the last two years? But I’ll also miss Marshall because he was the consummate team player. I’ll never forget his attitude upon losing out in the 2010 Spring Training battle for a rotation spot, after pitching better by far than anyone else in the competition. He recognized that it was best for the team for him to head to the bullpen, and, if it was a disappointment, he didn’t show it. He said he was happy to help the team in any way he could, and he went out and became one of the best relievers in baseball. I’ll be rooting for you, Sean.
- Sean, himself, spoke about the trade yesterday, and was as classy as you’d expect. “It came as a surprise,” Marshall said of the trade. “But I understand the moves Theo [Epstein] and the crew are making. At first, it’ll be a bit of an adjustment. I had my whole career here as a Cub. But I understand I’ve been lucky in that aspect. It’s part of the game with trades and signing with different teams …. I’m just looking forward to embracing the opportunity to go to the Reds and have a chance to really compete and win a division, and hopefully come home after the season with a World Series ring.”
- Bruce Levine says the Blue Jays are the best fit for a Matt Garza trade, should the Cubs elect to go that route. He adds that the Cubs are also considering extending Garza, because the various trade talks that have had haven’t gone well (which, to me, sounds like a designed leak, no?).
- Big-time bonus baby, 16-year-old catcher Mark Malave (whom the Cubs signed this summer for a $1.6 million bonus, their largest international bonus of the year by far) had a good offensive showing in the Venezuelan Liga Paralela (a developmental type league, which features a number of A, and AA level players), batting .286/.402/.364 in 94 plate appearances. Given his youth, that’s a great line. My guess is Malave will play in the Dominican Summer League next year, before potentially making a jump to the States in 2013.
- The AP settles up the final payroll figures for 2011, and the Cubs – at $141 million – come in at sixth, behind the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Angels and Mets.
- An early look at the 2012 draft order (early because not all free agents have signed). Assuming Carlos Pena signs elsewhere, the Cubs will have four picks in the top 60 to 70 spots, including the sixth overall pick.