We aren’t quite in the throes of the rumor season, so when it comes to “Chicago Cubs rumors,” we’ve got to settle for speculative/evaluative types, rather than actual, sourced rumors. I think you’ll find that things start to pick up after the Draft in early June.
Until then, to whet your rumor appetite, there are a couple of interesting pieces from MLB Trade Rumors on the trade values of Geovany Soto and Bryan LaHair, as well as a chat earlier today from Bruce Levine.
- On the MLBTR pieces, I found them interesting, if not particularly illuminating. The Soto piece, which is less about trade value than about Soto’s future with the Cubs, correctly notes that his value – either to the Cubs or another team – is closely tied to his offensive ability, but really lights into him for a down 2011 (a season in which, I’d like to point out, he still put up a 97 OPS+ and a 2.4 WAR, making him the 13th most valuable catcher in baseball (again, that was a “down” year)). Given those parentheticals, I can’t agree with the ultimate conclusion that Soto might be worth a low-level prospect as a back-up catcher on a playoff-bound team. I do agree, however, that Soto needs to start hitting, and fast, if the Cubs are to reap some serious value from him.
- The LaHair piece pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying about his trade value for week: because of his unique situation, it’s really hard to peg his value. From the piece: “Suitors wouldn’t pay a king’s ransom for LaHair since they would also have an eye on his middling career history, but power is an increasingly rare commodity, so teams would definitely give the Cubs some value if LaHair continues to smash right-handed pitching. LaHair would also be under team control through 2018 though since he’s already 29, controllability is not a major factor in this case.” MLBTR concludes that the Cubs would still be lucky/happy to get two of a team’s top 15 prospects for LaHair. Depending on the system, I think that’s probably right. The question going forward, of course: should the Cubs make that trade?
- Bruce Levine’s chat offered a few bits to chew on: (1) Every scout Bruce hears from says Jeff Samardzija is legit, and the Cubs might consider an extension after the season (he’s under control for another three years after this one, though); (2) the Cubs are starting to believe that Bryan LaHair can be a consistent performer all year (maybe not at this level, though); (3) Bruce thinks we’re going to see a fair bit of Adrian Cardenas as Darwin Barney’s offense continues to slip; (4) Bruce sees Carlos Marmol eventually getting his closer job back; (5) the Cubs might not be looking to move David DeJesus any time soon; (6) Geovany Soto has a fair bit of trade value and will probably be shopped at the trade deadline; (7) nothing new on Matt Garza extension talks – the belief is he wants between $15 and $20 million per year, and the Cubs may not “be ready” for that level of expense on a pitcher (I’m not sure I agree there, Bruce – you can only get players when they’re available, so sometimes you have to leap a year or two early); (8) it’s possible Brett Jackson could stay at AAA all season long; and (9) a Yankees/Larry Rothschild/Carlos Marmol pairing is unlikely.
- Don’t forget to “like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook and “follow” it on Twitter as the rumor season picks up steam. There are a number of things discussed there that don’t necessarily show up here on the blog.