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The Lukewarm Stove isn’t just for the offseason anymore. A reminder: the Lukewarm Stove is all about bringing you the latest Chicago Cubs rumors OR MLB rumors that relate in some way to the Cubs, even if said rumors are tenuous, speculative, and unlikely. Might as well cover it all, eh?

Away we go…

  • Both Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla did chats for ESPNChicago this week. In Bruce’s chat, he offered some tidbits: (1) Theo and Jed are waiting until the “right” time to make trades, and the “right” time is when they can get the most in return (boom knowledge’d); (2) Bruce is now talking about a Matt Garza extension like he’s looking for 5 years and $100 million (although the financial side of the game has changed in the last year, has it changed that much?); (3) Bruce again says the reason for the delay in Jorge Soler becoming a free agent is because MLB is thoroughly making sure he’s actually “Jorge Soler” (if Bruce is correct, then Soler either already has residency in the Dominican Republic, or MLB is somehow participating in that process); (4) Bruce thinks the Cubs will trade Ryan Dempster, who will ultimately consent to the deal because the Cubs aren’t bringing him back next year; (5) in the right deal, the Cubs would trade literally anybody; (6) David DeJesus could be trade bait if he keeps hitting well; and (7) Bryan LaHair would not net much in trade because he doesn’t have a long track record of success in the bigs.
  • Doug also offered tidbits: (1) No matter how bad the Cubs play or what happens to attendance, Theo and Jed aren’t going to stray from their plans; (2) it might be ideal for the Cubs to trade Dempster, but hold onto Garza to form a 1/2 in the future with Jeff Samardzija; (3) it kind of sounds like the Cubs will have better luck getting Dempster to OK a trade if it’s to a contender (obviously) and if they’re getting back a very good piece in return (Dempster might appreciate being able to help the Cubs that way); (4) the Cubs would probably only consider trading LaHair if they got a “whopper of a deal”; and (5) if Marmol doesn’t come back with electric stuff, the Cubs won’t be able to trade him.
  • Roy Oswalt remains a free agent, and no, he isn’t coming to the Cubs. But he is going to sign with someone, and it could impact the Cubs’ market for trading a starting pitcher like Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster (to the extent the Cubs try to trade them, that is). It’s believed that the Rangers, Phillies, and Red Sox are the leading suitors for Oswalt, who hasn’t pitched yet this season. The Orioles are also believed to be interested, but folks question whether he’d really go to Baltimore. Buster Olney says the Rangers are the most likely to sign Oswalt, at whom they’re looking now that Neftali Feliz went down with arm troubles that will keep him out for some time. If the Rangers ink Oswalt, it’s fair to say they won’t be aggressive in the starting pitcher trade market.
  • Speaking of Buster, he wrote a piece that’s gotten a lot of play in the comments this week. The piece (Insider) doesn’t really offer much in the way of new info, instead suggesting that the Cubs will face some tough trade decisions with respect to guys like Matt Garza, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro. He advocates trading Castro if the Cubs can get enough for him. Shrug, sure, if you get an absurdly ridiculous haul for him, pull the trigger. But that isn’t going to happen.
  • ALL APPROPRIATE CAVEATS: A poster on BCB named “joeby” commented three days ago that a Jorge Soler signing was “imminent” (that was basically all he said on the matter). On it’s own, that isn’t worth anything, but “joeby” is the guy who called all of the Cubs’ draft signings last year long before anyone else thought signing ALL of Maples/Dunston/Vogelbach/Shoulders/Urban/etc. was possible. That *doesn’t* mean this is certain, or that I’m saying “joeby” is legit. But, this being the Lukewarm Stove, and folks being absolutely desperate for any teeny, tiny morsel related to Soler, I thought I’d pass it on. For my part, I’ve not heard of any change in the situation – still waiting on residency in the DR, and subsequent free agency. This could all happen very fast, though, and much of it without us hearing anything. Given the upcoming international signing changes that come into effect on July 2, I still expect Soler to be signed before then (so does Baseball America’s Ben Badler, for what it’s worth).
  • hansman1982

    joeby was incredibly accurate last year – adding to your caveat – he did call the Darvish bidding wrong saying the Cubs won at $51.6

  • Patrick

    Did Doug Padilla call the 1/2 punch of Garza/Samardzija: Gardzija? (not going to give it up for another week, at most)

  • Crockett

    Omg a Soler morsel. I just J’d in my P’s. (calm down people…he’s not Mickey Mantle)

    • Rick Vaughn

      yet…

  • terencemann

    The question is how much is the right amount of talent for Castro. Is there another team who believes the future projections?

    • Cubs Dude

      Well considering a lot of people project him as a potential HOF player if he can stay at short. I think a system such as the Dbacks top 4 prospects would only suffice.

      • Patrick

        I like that trade to AZ. They have a ton of good arms, if we could get 2-3 and a position player, I think that would be a good trade for both teams

        • Cubs Dude

          IMO it’s still a big risk. What Castro has done at his age and position is historically great. But we could talk..

          • Jeremy

            You don’t trade a young proven player like Castro for prospects ever. Sure the D-backs have a great system but they are all potential at this point. Plus All-Star SS don’t grow on trees. You keep Castro and build around him.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              If Arizona offered the Cubs Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs (their top three prospects) for Castro straight up, I’d pull the trigger instantly, before Diamondback’s GM  sobered up.

               

              • Jeremy

                Well that deal would never happen, but again I just don’t trust prospects. Sure they have potential but that’s just it, it’s potential not proven. Don’t get me wrong I like all three of those guys but trading a guy that has proven he can play at an all star level for guys still in the minors scares me due to chances of them not making it. That’s just my opinion but the D-Backs would be stupid to offer that obviously so it isn’t worth discussing haha.

              • Kyle

                I almost certainly wouldn’t.

                Isringhausen, Pulsipher and Wilson for a possible (likely?) HOF shortstop? Pass.

              • ferrets_bueller

                In all honesty, i would do that too. Instantly. AZ is probably the only team who’s prospects would actually get me to let go of castro.

              • Patrick

                Luke those where the prospects I would take if it happened. Their top pitching prospects look great.

              • JulioZuleta

                I wouldn’t accept 3 pitching prospects for Castro no matter how fantastic they are. Odds are pretty overwhelming that at least one will have arm injuries and that none of the 3 will hit their true potentials. This is proof that we are in the prospect overvaluing age. To trade a 22 year old that has produced numbers that are basically unmatched in the HISTORY of BASEBALL for 3 lottery tickets (albeit good ones) is pretty crazy. Castro really has all the makings of a 10-13 time All-Star.

            • rcleven

              Have to agree Jeremy.
              But never say never.

            • cooper

              If you get 3+ top 50 prospects for Castro, you do it for sure. Castro refuses to take a walk to save his life, is below average defensively, and might not even be able to stay at SS long term. He is anti-Theo/Jed philosophy.

              • Jeremy

                Just because there in the Top 50 doesn’t mean they will pan out, their still just prospects. If they traded Castro it would have to be for young MLB ready talent. Top 50 prospects are not always MLB ready. I don’t value prospects as highly as others because people tend to overvalue them IMO.

                In regards to his play, Castro is 22 and has shown improvement this year on defense after a terrible start to the year. In fact I really can’t remember the last time he made an error. He only has 8 on the year and the majority of those came in the first 3 weeks from what I can recall. He is a free swinger, I can’t argue against that but give him time. By the end of the year his OBP and K% should be back to normal.

      • Dustin S

        Just saying if the Cubs trade Castro, even if it’s a good haul I think Wrigley would look like 1981 attendance-wise. It’s easy to overvalue prospects and get too optimistic on how many actually pan out.

        I read a report that said statistically about 70% of Baseball America top 100 prospects are busts, 20% succeed as average to good players and and only about 10% end up being stars. So even if we got the Dbacks top 4 prospects (and assuming all 4 were top 100), going on the averages we’d probably end up with 2 average players, 2 busts, and maybe a 40% chance of one of the 2 average guys being a star. The Cubs definitely do need more prospects, but trading Castro isn’t the best way to get there. It may sound good at first, but the odds of us getting 4 prospects that develop into players anywhere close to Castro is really slim.

        Rebuilding this team is gonna require a volume of prospects. That will have to come from getting us much as we can for the older players, some skillful drafting, and some good cherry-picking by Jed and Theo of other teams undervalued guys. I wish we were only 1 big trade away but realistically it’s just not that close even factoring in Rizzo on the way.

  • Cubs Dude

    Who is this “joeby” and where do his powers come from? Is he part of Xmen?

  • Assman22

    Joeby231 is not always correct and neither is anyone else credible.  He did call the Concepcion signing and he did say the Cubs were close but a mystery team out of nowhere has become the favorite for Cespedes, both of which were true.

    • JulioZuleta

      I can’t find where he said it. Do you have a link?

  • Kyle

    5/$100 sounds about right to me for Garza in this environment. We are at the very beginning of another massive period of inflation.

    • Cubs Dude

      That seems like a ton for Garza though, even in this enviroment. Would you give him that extension if a trade wasn’t there?

      • rcleven

        Don’t care much about the money. Would you give Garza or anybody else for that matter full no trade?

        • Cubs Dude

          Personally, I wouldn’t. That scares the hell out of me. I hate NTC’s..

          • rcleven

            Garza is a 2 or 3 on many pitching Staffs in MLB.
            Pitchers are very fragile by nature.
            Cub fans have a tendency To over value players on the team.
            Trades have to work for both teams and dealt from strength.
            Pitching is the only the strength the Cubs can work with right now.
            This team needs hitting more than anything.
            With Z coming off the books, Demp coming off the books, Garza’s money coming off the books that is a lot money to go after free agents with.Plus getting prospects back for Demp and Garza.
            I would trade him in a New York minute if the right deal came around.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Why would we pay that much for Garza when you are buying a year of arbitration? That makes no sense. At most we should be at $80 (with inflation). Yes, $20 million is a huge gap of where he should be. He may say he wants to be here, but if he is asking for that, and not coming off of that, he is just wanting to wait until free agency.

      • Cubs Dude

        Right… Wasn’t Garza and his people completely Way high on his asking price this year in arbitration? I love Garza but they seem unreasonable to deal with..

      • rcleven

        Z was signed for 16.3MM for 5.
        Garza should go somewhere near the Danks contract.

    • Jeremy

      If Garza is demanding 5yr/100mil I think we need to trade him. I would give him closer to Danks money. 20 Mil a year is too much for him in my opinion.

  • Assman22

    Also, Ty Youngfelt is one to follow on Twitter come draft day….

  • rcleven

    Does joeby do any laying of hands?
    I got this pain in my hip.

    • Cubs Dude

      Joeby will hook you up rcleven. If he gets this Soler thing right, he’ll become a cult hero.

  • JulioZuleta

    Just scrolling though #CubsHell here and there at work. Brett is the leader in the clubhouse…. “In #CubsHell, Mark Grace’s preferred slump-buster is your sister.”

    Wonderful.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. I was pleased with that one.

      • Joe

        Holy sh*t.

        I think the curse is justified.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Dude, Brett, thank you for making me laugh with that one. My lips are kind of dry and you actually made them split painfully from the size of my smile just now.

        Zulu, thanks for passing that along. I can’t wait to explain to the wife what a slumpbuster is (again), and who mark grace is (again), so I can repeat that tweet to her and have it make sense. STOKED!!!

  • crazyhorse

    Worst record in baseball – Theo and Jed deserve that recognition.

    • Mick

      Yep, their plan is working perfectly. Don’t commit to any multi-year deals for the immediate future, clear the books of all of Hendry’s deals, and reap a few seasons worth of top draft picks. If you’re going to re-build there’s no sense in half-assing it, right you crazy horse?

      • crazyhorse

        No sense in going to the park – no sense in throwing away good money after bad. When I buy a new car i do not go to plant and watch the car being built. When Theo and Jed create a team that is contending then All Cub fans will embrace them unless Little Theo jumps ship to ……. Baltimore and tries to steals Dan Duquette thunder. All i am saying last place teams deserves no positive recognition. if you want too wait on a rebuild that may or may not prove positive, then that is your right. I can spend my money on better experiences for myself and my family.

        • MaxM1908

          And when the Cubs start going to the playoffs every year, you’ll tell everyone how you stuck with them through the bad times, how you’re a true Cubs fan who knew all along that Theo and Jed would be successful, how you never doubted their rebuilding plan and how all the other screaming fans are just bandwagon because you were there when they were losing.

          • crazyhorse

            No I will not waste my money on an inferior product at discounted prices to attend a Cub game. I am a die hard Cub fan (tis the reason why I waste my time on these web sites and watch this team on T V) but I am not a lovable loser Cub fan. When Theo creates a team that contends then i most certainly will buy tickets at inflated prices to experience Cubs pennant fever. only time will tell – in a few years you could be the very same individual that says Epstien was the biggest fraud to steal millions of dollars from the Ricketts Family and the City of Chicago. only time will tell ,and today the cubs are the worst team in MLB.

            • MaxM1908

              All I’m saying is that IF the Cubs start winning in the near future, I hope you will fess up to how you abandoned them during the rebuilding years. And, yes, I believe your declarations of not spending money on the Cubs is equivalent to abandonment no matter how much time you spend on websites. Teams primarily make the money they use on acquisitions and payroll from ticket sales. If you and so many other fans go on strike during the tough years, you directly contribute to the lack of funds for necessary moves in the future. That’s abandonment in my mind.

              • die hard

                Yankees are for sale…Price they get will set bar for what Ricketts family wants when they realize the team will never be the cash cow envisioned…they wont get 75% of Yankees price unless Mark Cuban allowed in…but the fat years will not follow these lean years to come unless new owners step in and let Theo and associates go…he was a one trick wonder in Boston and like Soriano’s contract, Cub fans will be stuck for paying for his success before coming to Cubs..

              • crazyhorse

                Like i said, I am a die hard Cub fan not a lovable loser Cub fan. The Chicago Cubs need to earn my dollar bill . Trust me kid many people feel the same way. the proof is in the stands

            • Mick

              How many games did you attend when the Cubs were contenders? Do you even live in Chicago? Either way, what you do with your money is your business. If I lived in Chicago, I wouldn’t buy season tickets for the next few years but I’d still go every once in a while because I love baseball, the ballpark, and the atmosphere. The point I was trying to make to you was that you shouldn’t have got your hopes so high because we’re in the beginning stages of a complete and total rebuild. You can go on wishing every year that this is going to be the year but without a plan it’s just that, a wish. Keep the planning to Theo and Jed and we’ll keep the wishing to you.

              • crazyhorse

                good bait question, if I answer I spend upwards to 20 grand a season you might call me liar or If i say as little as grand a season you might say well that aint nothing. When the Cubs put a product on the field that is worth buying the price of admission i will gladly pay the price of a baseball ticket . Lets just say when the cubs are in contention i dont mind paying 400 to 500 per ticket x4 a couple of times a year and my children they get bleacher tickets whenever they want to go I pay for them and they pick them up at will call . I would imagine many people do this – when the Cubs are in contention.

      • Kyle

        The history of MLB teams successfully tanking and reaping the benefits is pretty slim. The turnaround is usually quite long, longer than if you just keep trying to be good.

        • hansman1982

          It certainly can’t be any worse than the last 10 years of our attempts at continued success.

          • Kyle

            The last 10 years included 3 division titles and one season where we were clearly the best team in the NL.

            Yeah, it can definitely be a lot worse.

    • Jeremy

      I prefer to look at it as the best record at losing in the MLB. But Mick is right Theo and Jed are sticking to their plan no matter how bad the Cubs do. We will have money going into the off season and another high draft pick in a very good 2013 class.

  • Mick

    5 years $100 for Garza!?! Oh gross, can we all agree that this would be a terrible idea?

  • TSB

    When talking about potential or suggested trades, could we keep it in the real world? It gets tired after awhile when someone says “we shouldn’t trade Garza, or Castro, etc”, to have a glib reply like “oh yeah? Well how about if the Dodgers offered Kershaw, Kemp, and Ethier for Castro?” Just assume that in the real world, a trade must be good for both teams, and that the chances that you can pull a fast one on the other team is not likely.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That would indeed be nice.

    • Jeremy

      I second this.

    • MaxM1908

      In #CubsHell, fans overvalue their own players and undervalue other teams’ players (and are pissed off when their proposed PS3 or Fantasy trade never happens).

  • die hard

    When considering backing up the truck, it has to be for minor leaguers only…no major leaguer wanna bes or has beens…because recall that over the winter, when the board was making predictions on the team’s prospects, some of us felt that .500 was too optimistic…some of us even guessed that .400 would be a good season…a couple of us suggested that this team was akin to the 1962 Mets…not far off and thats why a clean slate from scratch is way to go meaning Garza too

  • BFiddy

    In #CubsHell, Dick Tidrow is clean-shaven.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      NOOOOOoooooooo!!!!

  • Cub Style

    I’ve lost a ton of respect for Olney.

    • http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com Josh

      That happened for me when I read “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty.” It’s a giant hagiography of Torre, Paul O’Neill and Mariano Rivera. The Yankees were giants among men. The Diamondbacks aren’t even mentioned in the book, or so it seems. The Yankees could only be undone by themselves. In fact, believe it or not, he pins the Yankees loss in the World Series on Buck Showalter! (Because he insisted on putting that dirt strip between home and the mound in AZ and that’s what caused Rivera to make that error, It was “Showalter’s revenge!” Olney exclaims.)

      His criticisms of the Yankees amount to Bernie Williams being “moody.” That’s about all you get as far as portraying anyone on the Yankees as anything short of perfection.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    To me you have to be honest about what you have. In Castro, you have a kid who is talented. To throw around the tag HOF is absurd, I get it, people are projecting. But having watched a lot of baseball over my aged time on the planet, to me the apt comparison of Mr. Castro is Manny Trillo without the great hands. Same lack of discipline at the plate and no power. Don’t get me wrong the fact that the kid has hit 300 in short career is nice. And he does have real ability. But no, I am not sold that he’s great, and not sold that he ever will be great or make the people around him either offensively or defensively better. Could he? Sure. But let’s be clear, even if he stays healthy I see nothing to indicate he’s a once in a lifetime or HOF caliber talent. In fact unless his attitude, demeanor and approach game change significantly I don’t see him ever being in that kind of discussion.

    The Cubs are a very bad team. The talent absent Rizzo, Vitters and Jackson is at least a couple of years away. So yeah, anything that shortens that process should be considered. Castro has had the time to show greatness and while he’s shown talent, I don’t think it’s right to call it greatness. And given the state of this organization, I don’t think at the ML they have bottomed, they should look to make themselves better any way they can and shorten the years of losing that await. By all means, everyone including Castro should be available for the right price. And I don’t think it makes sense to limit that to just ML talent. The right package of prospect ought to be logically considered.

    • Cub Style

      Manny Trillo never hit .300 once in his career.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      This is not about projecting.  If Castro continues playing just like he has, then he’ll easily accumulate HOF numbers.  In particular, he will have a great shot at 3000 hits given how young he is and how many hits he already has gotten.

      And as for his attitude, demeanor, etc.., you know absolutely nothing about those.  One, you are just projecting your own highly subjective criteria for discerning them.  Two, they are about as relevant to actual performance as phlogiston is to heating your dinner….

      At any rate, you clearly never actually watched Manny Trillo!

      • crazyhorse

        Castro is off to great start in his young career but to label him a future HOF is a bit premature. lets wait at least a decade until the future HOF label can be attached and earned

        • Cubs Dude

          Castro’s #’s at his age and position are HISTORIC. Get over it Castro haters. Sure he’s not perfect at this point, but he’s a favorite for HOF for players 22 and under by a long shot… He really is sooo talented people take him for granted all the time it drives me nuts.

          • crazyhorse

            what happens if he blows out his knee? or if … or if ….. Gooden and Raspberry ( you know the coke head straw…) had future HOF and they were younger with power – speed let the kid Castro earn the label first. I am not saying he wont be a HOF – I am just saying he has not earned the label yet

          • crazyhorse

            Dude I remember Kerry Wood was a future HOF when he struck out 20 players and then…..

            • Cubs Dude

              I am not saying in anyway that it is a certainty Starlin is a HOF’er. But I am saying he has the BEST shot at the young players in league to do so. He is so raw still and should be in the minors still for so many reasons, but his contact skills are thru the roof and allowed him to lead the league in hits at 21, which is ridic….

              • crazyhorse

                kewl

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                The comp that scares me most is Garry Templeton, who had two 200+ hit seasons by age 23 and three seasons of .314 BA or better by age 24….then he had a hard time hitting .280.

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  With a crappy OBP cuz he rarely walked.

                  • Matty

                    The Templeton comparison appears to be frighteningly correct. Not that he was a bad player, just not a superstar.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Templeton fell off due to knee problems caused by playing on artificial turf. That prevented him from playing as he had been playing.

                  • Cubs Dude

                    OK, so Starlin is a Templeton type player in your opinion? I don’t see it. But if you’re looking to be negative cool…

                    • Drew7

                      How is that being negative? Like Matty said, its not like Templeton wasn’t a good player. If that’s the worst-case scenario for Castro, then great.

                      Not being an a-hole, but do you have any reason (statistical or otherwise) that causes you to throw that comp out immediately? If so, great. Hopefully I wont be as concerned in that case.

                • Drew7

                  I agree Norm.

                  I think Castro already has a little more power, but past that, they could be pretty comparable.

                  That said, I still think Castro improves in the power dept in the coming years and ends up being a really good player

            • Tim

              hey woodys 2nd all time in K/9 inn only behind randy johnson

      • cubchymyst

        I don’t believe you brought up phlogiston, love any post that mentions that.

    • Kyle

      The Starlin Castro to Manny Trillo comparison is the new clubhouse leader for most absurd comp this site has ever seen. Keith Law (Szczur to Pierre) is relieved.

      Trillo didn’t break into the big leagues full-time until his age-24 season, and he didn’t have a single season in his career comparable to what Castro was already doing at age 21.

    • Cheryl

      I agree. He is a very talented player. If he gets better over time that would be great. Is he a HOF possibility? None of us know, now. Will he be traded? Probably not, but he may be discussed. That is all this is – a discussion. it doesn’t mean that there is a dislike for Castro. What it means is we look at him like anyone else, including Garza.

  • Chase S.

    With the MLB possibly stepping in on the Soler thing is it possible that they (for their selfish reasons) slow up the process of him getting signed until after the July 2nd?

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      MLB stepping in? It’s about residency…MLB has no influence on that.

      • Chase S.

        But do they have an effect on the timing of his free agency status is what my question was unclearly asking. My knowledge of how that works is pretty small.

  • http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com Josh

    “joeyby” also predicted the Cubs would sign Ricky Jacquez. In fact, he said they were just waiting for the paperwork to be approved.

    Essentially he predicted everyone would sign and when almost everyone did, he looked like he knew something. As you pointed out, the Cubs weren’t even in the ballpark on Darvish, despite his claims.

    • Drew7

      Was that information on Darvish recently released?

  • Mike S

    It’s sad that Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Archer are #1 and #2 as the Rays Top Prospects. You always know whoever we trade away is going to end up being good.

    • Shawon O’Meter

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but please provide 3 examples to back your statement. Who are these players that the Cubs have traded that have gone on to greatness.

      • njriv

        Hmm the ones off the top off my head are Ricky Nolasco, traded him to the Marlins in 2006 for Juan Pierre and trading Josh Hamilton to the Reds but if I remember correctly it was a prearranged trade.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I wouldn’t count Hamilton at all.

          The prospects the Cubs sent out for Harden have mostly flamed out.  Nolasco is the biggest success… and arguably the only big success… from the Pierre trade.  The jury is still out on the Garza trade, but I’ve liked that trade for the Cubs from day one.  I’m not changing my tune now.

          If we go back to the Aramis Ramirez deal, none of the prospects panned out.

          I know Casey McGehee and Eric Hinske has some brief success when they left the Cubs, but nothing all that significant.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Mike S repeats a common belief, but the truth is opposite of this. There is a dearth of Cubs farmhands in MLB, especially among position players. Where this really turns up is the All Star Ballot. Teams should average 8.5 farmhands on the ballot, but the Cubs rarely have half that many. If HY Lee goes on to greatness, then he’ll be an exception: but give how poorly he has done in AA, I wouldn’t bet too much on this.

    • Mrp

      Actually those two guys have been very unimpressive since we have traded him leaving many to believe that we stole Garza. Then there are others that say OMG SAM FULD, HOW COULD YOU TRADE HIM?!?!

  • Drew7

    With Archer posting a 5+ ERA and a 1.5+ WHIP in AAA, and Ju-Lee at .235/.306/.305, I’m not losing any sleep.

  • Hawkeye

    What exactly is Hoyer/Epsteins plan? I say this in all seriousness. Could someone please explain. I understand the rebuild the minors part, but at what point do free agents begin to play a role? Why can’t you rebuild the minors while keeping fielding a better product than this. I’ll give them a pass this year but how long do we except that “were not ready to win” so let’s gut the team thing. Isn’t this what the royals having been doing for years?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      After this season most of the dead weight contracts will be off the books.  The one exception, of course, is Soriano, but the remainder of the big deals that have somewhat hamstrung the Cubs will be toast.

      Also, at the end of this season the front office will know what they have in the farm system.  Remember,  Theo and Jed are still getting familiar with a lot of these guys.  When July roles around… and definitely when free agency season begins in the fall… the Cubs will know what they have.  For example, how critical is the need to sign an impact in the outfield?  Is Lake that guy?  Is Jackson that guy?  What about LaHair?  That’s something they’ll want to have a good grasp of before dropping $120 million on Hamilton, for example.  And there are similar examples all over the diamond.

      I think… and a number of analysts seem to agree… that all signs point to the Cubs going shopping this winter.  They won’t waste money and they won’t overspend just to make a splash, but they will trying to pick up some big, key pieces.

      And as crazy as it sounds right now, I still think the Cubs will be, at worst, competing for a Wild Card next season.

  • Hawkeye

    Simple fact is that the vast majority of prospects traded for veterans go on to very so so careers. There’s exceptions (bagwell for Larry Anderson comes to mind). But MLB prospects are so easily missed upon its tough to do.

  • Hawkeye

    Luke- I hope you right, and like I said I give a pass for this year but the organization at least needs to give fans some hope this winter. It’s been a long time since the cubs had a TRUE star on the team.

  • Chris Sanchez

    How much in return would the cubs get if they ever decided to trade starlin castro

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    It’s not about liking Castro I like him. It’s not about whether he’s talented., he is. Is about how talented and projections. Again, projecting him as a hall of famer is absurd. He isn’t and hasn’t shown the kind of greatness or discipline to be one. Can he hit, yes he can hit. Is he a 3rd hole hitter, look at the stats, look at the production and look at the strike zone and expansion of it. He has had a lot of opportunity with people getting on in front of him, and his lack of discipline is showing. Further, pitchers are adjusting to his strike zone, before everyone projects, lets see if he makes any attempt to adjust. So far, he hasn’t generated power is becoming less disciplined in terms of strike zone than more.

    Also Trillo one 3 gold gloves, no one has yet accused Starlin Castro of that. Is he more talented than Trillo, sure, he’s more talented than Trillo, DeJesus, maybe Ozzie Smith and maybe Sandberg. But he isn’t disciplined, isn’t a guy who seems to be determined to be great like Ozzie Smith and doesn’t do the little things that lead to winning baseball, production. and greatness. Hey, it’s not a matter of like or not liking him. I like him. I think his approach and attitude is suspect. I also think Sveum is a great mentor for him and thus far if anything, Casto to me is regressing. I think the 3 hole until he shows he’s more disciplined and capable of hitting 20 HR’s is the wrong place for him

    Yes, I think the HOF thing is absurd at this time for Castro and yes, I do believe given how bad the Cubs organization talent deficit is they should listen on everyone. And yes, I doubt anyone is going to pay what most fans think he’s worth. That said, most of the voices clamoring about accepting losing, now that it’s here and looks to be setting in, are starting to quiver. Losing all to often breeds losing.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      sigh… some people never learn….

  • Stephen

    Please, for love of mayonaise…This is year ONE of Theo and Hoyer. The MLB roster is in shambles and the farm, even though looking a little better, is still $hitty.
    My analogy of this whole Cubs experience being a car still plays well. This clunker doesn’t just need brakes and a tune up…it needs a new engine, tranny, paint, and wheels / rims interior etc etc…Garza should go to the highest bidder and if Demp will go, should be dealt also.
    Those who say ..”Well, I wont watch!” …. You aren’t fans and don’t deserve to be in what I like to call our Cubbie “circle of trust”…you fockers!
    Our future is Castro, Baez, Maples, Vogelbach, Mcnutt, Lake, Rizzo etc etc ( basically noone on the current roster) …This club is 2-3 years away at MINIMUM.

    .

  • Da Cubbies

    Going through and reading all of these comments about trading Castro make me sick. Get REAL guys, The Cubs will NOT trade Castro. It will NEVER happen.. or atleast for another 10 or so years. So stop worrying about what we’d get for him… it’s not even fun to speculate, because he’s not going anywhere…

  • nkniacc

    Just think if the Cubs wouldn’t have traded Hamliton when picking him in the Rule 5 draft. I wonder if Camp may also be traded in late July if he keeps pitching decent

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I’m not quite sure how trading Rule 5 draft picks works, but I’m pretty sure that the Cubs could have gotten in big trouble for doing that.  At any rate, Hendry would have been excoriated and possibly ostracized within the baseball community.

  • nkniacc

    The Cubs drafted Hamliton then traded him to Cincy for cash I believe

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It was a pre-arranged favor. The Cubs never had any interest in Hamilton.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Also, the narrative is backwards.  The Cubs traded the draft pick for cash and then were told by the Reds who to draft.  At no time did the Cubs have Hamilton with a question of what to do with him.

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