Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Dempster, Soriano, LaHair, DeJesus, Soler

Even in the midst of the Draft, the rumor mill doesn’t die entirely. There are a number of notable bits to pass along…

  • Ken Rosenthal says that other teams are all over Matt Garza, especially the Blue Jays (recall, they were hot and heavy for Garza most of the Winter), and most teams expect that he’ll be traded this Summer. Quietly, a pretty sizable market of aggressive suitors – Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers – is building for Garza. Come July, it could include a third of the teams in baseball.
  • Danny Knobler says the Dodgers might be in on Ryan Dempster, whom they’ve tried to land before (back when the Cubs sent them Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot).
  • Phil Rogers says that, once the Draft completes today, one of the Cubs’ priorities is going to be “swinging for the fences” on an Alfonso Soriano deal. He’s certainly done all he can to help his trade value over the past month, but that trade value remains virtually non-existent, given his contract (the Cubs still owe him almost $48 million through 2014). At this point, assuming Soriano accepts a deal, the Cubs will be able to find a taker if they’re dead set on dumping him for virtually nothing – which doesn’t sound like much, but I wouldn’t have said that this Spring.
  • Bruce Levine did his chatting thing: (1) The Cubs remain the favorite on Jorge Soler, to the extent there is one (“I’d be shocked if they don’t come up with the best bid”); (2) the Cubs aren’t sure Matt Garza is a number 1, so they might be more inclined to trade him at this point; (3) Ryan Dempster will be the first Cub traded in the next couple months if he wants to be traded; and (4) David DeJesus has trade value, but might have more value to the Cubs as a positive veteran influence on young players (there’s certainly something to that, but if a team makes a great offer, he’s gone).
  • Jim Bowden proposed a number of trades that the Cubs should consider, two of which are pretty slanted in favor of the Cubs (in other words, they almost certainly ain’t happening). The deals include sending Ryan Dempster to the Braves for Kris Medlen and Mike Minor, sending Matt Garza and a fringe prospect to the Tigers for Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos (this one I wouldn’t leap at), and sending Bryan LaHair to the Indians for Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Hagadone.
  • And finally, a reminder on Jorge Soler: he’s a free agent, and he’s accepting offers through tomorrow. I’ll have a Jorge Soler rundown up tomorrow morning, but like I said this weekend, I don’t expect to hear much until after that June 7 deadline has passed.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

87 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Dempster, Soriano, LaHair, DeJesus, Soler”

  1. Toby

    I’d like DeJesus to stick around. If Cubs were to trade Sori away then you’ll need DeJesus even when Brett Jackson is ready.

  2. CubsFanBob

    If DeJesus leaves can his wife stay ?

    1. Joker

      Beat me to it.

    2. JoeCub

      My first thought as well.

  3. calicubsfan007

    Depends on what the fringe prospect is in terms of accepting the Tigers trade for Garza. I have heard from places that Vitters might be that other guy in that deal, but then the Cubs would expect a couple lower level prospects with Cast and Turner. Especially with Turner not really taking the MLB by storm, the Cubs might be able to leverage for more.

    1. Luke

      I think Garza+Vitters is too good a return for Turner + Castellanos.  Garza+Elliot Soto, or Rebel Ridling, or Micah Gibbs, or maybe Eric Jokisch… that I’d do.

      1. calicubsfan007

        I agree, I am saying what I have heard. I have also heard the Cubs might trade Garza to the Red Sox for several prospects including Middlebrooks. I have really heard the Cubs shopping for a ML ready young 3b man. I even think now that Turner won’t be the centerpiece of the Tigers possible deal, even though he would still be in the deal, that Cast would be the centerpiece now.

      2. ETS

        Jokisch seems high for me. The others you list I could part with.

  4. Joker

    Weren’t we talking about how Tuner and Castellanos were more than acceptable this offseason? Or am I “mis-remembering”?

    1. calicubsfan007

      Turner hasn’t dominated so far this year, while Cast has done pretty well in the minors so far. But the Turner thing has made the Tigers’ best offer less attractive.

    2. ferrets_bueller

      Some people were, I for one was not. I have, and always will be, against dealing for Turner.

  5. Noah

    I just don’t view David DeJesus as the sort of guy anyone makes a “blow you away” offer on. He’s a good, solid player (who I hope at some point gets to play on a decent team). But he’s someone who I think has the exact same trade value if the Cubs trade him now or if they trade him in a year, barring injury or massive decline.

    That said, if they get a killer offer for DeJesus, pull the trigger on that one.

    1. mick6x


  6. MaxM1908

    So, I’m confused about the Soriano trade. If we eat 95% or more of his salary, is the expectation that we get some prospects in return? If so, what calibre? I just hate the idea of both eating his salary and getting nothing in return. The guy still has power hitting value. His production is solid this year. I hate the idea of giving him away for free just to open up a roster spot.

    1. calicubsfan007

      I am guessing low a prospects. Kinda like the other guy not named Bowden we got in return for the Byrd deal. Thats a fair deal to me, I would like Soriano gone so we can go fullblown on this rebuilding asap.

      1. Cubs Dude

        Personally, I think the Cubs got ripped off in the Bowden deal (they got no salary relief and a crap prospect). If you can’t do better than that hold him.

        1. King Jeff

          Yeah, hold onto Byrd and have an even more crowded group of fourth outfielders. I’m pretty sure Byrd is about to get DFA’d by Boston.

    2. ferrets_bueller

      its the same thing as with Byrd- Getting rid of him, and getting literally ANYTHING in return is a win.

      1. hardtop

        Yes but we got virtually nothing for him so that was a loss.

  7. mick6x

    First bid, if they offer any salary relief take it. I think that’s a solid no brainer.

    1. Cubs Dude

      agreed. spend any saved money on soler

  8. oswego chris

    Have you seen Soriano running lately?…So it’s AL only…then how many of them really need a DH?…we won’t get anything for him…better to waive him and eat the dough and open up a spot…

    let him DH in this up coming AL stretch…maybe…you will find a suck…taker…

  9. oswego chris

    here are the DH depth charts…tell me who needs him…

    BAL * Betemit, Wilson 3B BAL (6) * Johnson, Nick DH BAL * Reimold, Nolan LF BAL (8)
    BOS Ortiz, David DH BOS (5)
    CHW Dunn, Adam 1B CHW (3) Viciedo, Dayan RF CHW
    CLE * Lopez, Jose 3B CLE (6) Santana, Carlos C CLE (4) * Damon, Johnny DH CLE (3)
    * Hafner, Travis DH CLE (5)
    DET Young, Delmon LF DET (7) Martinez, Victor C DET (5)
    KC Butler, Billy DH KC (5)
    LAA Morales, Kendrys 1B LAA Trumbo, Mark 1B LAA (7)
    MIN Doumit, Ryan C MIN (6) Morneau, Justin 1B MIN (4)
    NYY * Ibanez, Raul LF NYY (6) * Chavez, Eric 3B NYY * Jones, Andruw RF NYY (7)
    OAK * Smith, Seth LF OAK (5) * Gomes, Jonny LF OAK (2) * Ramirez, Manny DH OAK
    SEA Montero, Jesus C SEA * Carp, Mike 1B SEA
    TB Scott, Luke LF TB (5) * Matsui, Hideki LF TB (4)
    TEX Young, Michael 3B TEX (4) Napoli, Mike C TEX (7)
    TOR Encarnacion, Edwin 3B TOR (4) * Francisco, Ben LF TOR (5)

    I see maybe Baltimore, maybe Tampa….

    1. Cubs Dude

      Baltimore is the obvious choice, but he already blocked a trade. They have a shot to be relevant for once. Would he accept now? I doubt it..

      1. rcleven

        Sorri said just the other day he would accept a trade to a contender. Don’t think too many people picked the Orioles to be where they are now.Including Sorri.

      2. Fearbobafett

        Soriano he rejected a trade to Baltimore in the off-season when everyone thought they suck, he could accept one now. I actually think his numbers would improve there, but that is just me.

        1. Leroy K

          I agree and think Tampa would be perfect. We have worked with them before too.

  10. Carew

    I’m gonna miss Dempster, when he leaves either by trade or free agency. One of my favorite players.

    1. rcleven

      The man is not dying. I still cheer for Lilly.

      1. Carew

        Its not like i wont root for him. I just wont with him in a Cubs uniform anymore

        1. rcleven

          I suspect in the next few years you won’t see a lot of your favorite Cub players on the team and they just might be better for it.

    2. Joe

      I’m not gonna miss Dempster at all! I think he is so over-rated as a pitcher. I “absolutely” like him as a person, but not as the pitcher making his kind of money. That be one less player tied to the Hendry era! I know, I’m a bitter person.

      1. TWC

        Since he became a starter, he’s been good for 200+ innings a season with an accumulated 113 ERA+ and an WAR of 12.35.  In that time he’s been paid $43.3 million.  A starting pitcher is worth ~$6m per WAR, indicating he was “worth” about $74.1m since he’s been a starter.  You may think he’s overrated, but he’s certainly underpaid.  In that time, he’s also had a K/9 rate of 8.3 and averaged 1 HR/9.

        edit:  whoops, I looked at the wrong line.  A SP’s WAR rate is closer to $5m.  I had looked at the “all pitchers” line, which would make Dempster’s WAR “worth” closer to $61.75m.

        1. Cubbie Blues

          There you go again, letting the facts get in the way.

        2. Joe

          Underpaid? Underpaid? You could not have typed that with a straight face!

          1. Cyranojoe

            Damn straight.

        3. Joe

          First off, I don’t believe in that WAR crap you are presenting as the basis for your argument! Secondly, who ever decided that a starting pitcher is worth 6 mil per WAR? Your facts are flawed and therefore “rubbish” as far as I am concerned.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Just like you don’t believe in how to calculate batting average?

            1. Joe


              1. MichiganGoat

                Okay, nice playing, good night, I will say you are behaving much Better under this name

                1. Drew7

                  I never thought about that, Goat, but thats definitely who that is.

                  Brett- cant we track that IP address or something? Its gotta be him!

  11. rcleven

    Any body have any idea whats in the Dodger farm system? Their about the only team that would resign Demp after their stretch run.

    1. Boogens

      I hope that he ends up going somewhere other than the Dodgers. It seems like we always get crap back from them in our deals. Hopefully, Jed Theo are different.

  12. Bren

    Im kind of thinking baseball could’ve used an Amnesty Clause in their CBA as well

    1. djriz

      They basically do. Since they dont have a salary cap, they could release and pay anyone they want, anytime they want.

  13. morgan

    so where the talk about the justin upton rumors, few days ago i mentioned the idea and now today cubsrumorsandnews say that the cubs and dbacks have had talks about him, i should work for the cubs

    1. rcleven

      Just tire kicking I suppose. Cubs don’t have anything worth Upton.

      1. djriz

        Food for thought. What if Upton is what the Cubs receive in a three team deal where we give up Garza? Cubs get PROVEN, young impact player instead of prospects.

        Then we sign BJ Upton as a free agent.
        Brothers in the same lineup would just be cool.

    2. Patrick G

      where did you see this?

  14. daveyrosello

    What about Stephen Drew? AZ is burning their bridges with him, he’ll be a FA this offseason. Wouldn’t mind seeing Team Theo sign him to the Cubs and move Castro over to 2B, or vice versa. Lord knows the Cubs will have no shortage of $$ to spend next winter.

    1. Mick

      I was thinking the same thing today about Stephen Drew, we could use him at 2B. The problem is that he’s rarely healthy and he’s always demanded a premium salary. The other 2013 position-playing FA I was pondering about was Edwin Encarnacion. And while we’re at it Hamels and Greinke.

      RF DeJesus
      SS Castro
      1B Rizzo
      3B Enarnacion
      LF LaHair
      2B Drew
      C Clevenger/Castillo
      CF Campana/B Jackson

      SP Greinke
      SP Hamels
      SP Samardzija
      SP Maholm
      SP Wood

      1. Cub Style

        Edwin is a butcher at 3rd and Hamels will get a ton of money from the Dodgers.

        1. Mick

          A butcher? Is that good or bad? Is it good with the bat but bad with the glove?

      2. King Jeff

        Encarnacion signed an extension with Toronto this winter, he won’t be a free agent this year. He’s more of a DH/1b anyway.

        1. Mick

          Enacarnacion didn’t sign an extension this last off-season, his 2012 club option was just picked up, he’ll be a FA this winter (

      3. chris margetis

        Really? A Drew that’s rarely healthy and overpaid?

    2. Toby

      Isn’t this how the Cubs got into the mess they are in today?

  15. Jared

    i want mike olt!

  16. mark

    I think he’s spot on re Soler. The Cubs are hurting so bad for outfielders at this point that they’ve basically got to swing for the fences to get Soler–even if it’s a gamble.

  17. Terry

    Like the idea of getting Upton because I would to see the Cubs good next year not 2 o or 3 years down the road.

  18. T Larson

    I don’t know where all tis Justin Upton talk is coming from. The radio stations, newspapers, etc. aren’t mentioning any possible trade talks. This hasn’t been talked about here in Arizona.

    1. dabynsky

      It comes from a website, or rather the twitter account from that website, that to many is less than credible.

  19. AD

    Would the Cubs really want Mike Minor and Kris Melden for Dempster? I think they can do better

    1. Cub Style

      Gilmartin would be a good start.

    2. King Jeff

      Wow, what a difference 2 months make. If the Cubs could get Minor and Medlen for Dempster, they would jump all over that deal.

  20. Assman22

    Cubs in attendance today for Soler’s workout.  Supposedly will sign sometime next week…

  21. ferrets_bueller

    I like the Dempster and Lahair trade ideas (especially the lahair one!!!), but loathe the Garza one.

    1. Joe

      Yes. Now we are talking sensible baseball!

    2. Cheryl

      It may be a good deal for LaHair. His batting average sure beats Kotchman’s and he might have a chance to play regularly. But if he does, the cubs could be the loser here, especially if he hits 285 with 25 homeruns, which he may be capable of doing.

      1. Joe

        Again, the big question with LaHair is can he make the transition to outfield. If management thinks he can, I think he stays a Cub. If they don’t believe so, he is a very “valuable” trade piece.

        1. King Jeff

          LaHair has played over 200 games in the outfield in the minors, and played a bit there last year for the Cubs. I think until they have a younger, better candidate, LaHair will be the left fielder, that is after the younger better candidate takes over at first.

          1. Cheryl

            Then, three or four years after Rizzo comes up they’ll have to figure out what to do with Vogelbach.

          2. Joe

            I hope you’re right! But the Sori situation still exists and I think things are very much “in the wind” until it is resolved.

        2. Cheryl

          He could probably make the transition but I don’t think he’s in their plans for the future. If they get Soler and Alamora they are probably three years away.Short term he’d be okay, but that depends on how Theo & Company see things.

  22. Jeff1969

    I think the ideal with LaHair was to play him & see if he had anything, play him because he was cheap, hope he works out to build some trade value. I don’t think the Cubs really considered him a long term piece, unless he pulled a Jose Bautista. I think mission mostly accomplished on that one. Let’s just hope he plays well the next month or so for this year’s team & what we can trade him for by the deadline.

  23. Big Joe

    First off, the only reason the Cubs have received garbage from the Dodgers in any trade, is because they have signed off on the deal. Nobody can FORCE a trade on you. You don’t like the deal? Ummm…don’t agree to it. Secondly, it’s a wonderful, wonderful DREAM WORLD that you live in, if you thinks the Cuvs will sign either of Hammels, or Greinke, let alone, one of them.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Why no to signing one of the top pitchers this off season.

  24. Big Joe

    The team will not compete next year. I don’t see them being as bad as this year. But, do you really want to pay either guy premium dollars for a wasted year? At, or around $20 million for a still- rebuilding club? Not me.

    1. Kyle

      I do. Assets are assets. If you always wait until your team is good to start adding elite talent, you may find that your team never gets good.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Precisely, you have to build on all fronts.

    2. MichiganGoat

      Rebuilding means building via the draft, trades, and free agency. We will have money to spend and if Hamels can make us better in 2015 of course you try to sign him.

      1. Cheryl

        Yes, but the new CBA is going to limit what you can do on the draft. Take our no. 6 draft. If he asks for say $5 million we can’t afford anyone to speak of later on with the way the slot system and penalties is set up. The only way to build with a number of younger players may be if they decide to declare themselves free agents prior to the draft. Would that be a possible solution? he only problem, and it would be a big one, would be that the richer clubs corner thegood free agent market.

    3. Cubbie Blues

      They are available after this year not next. You have to get the players when they are there. If you wait until you are good you will never be good.

  25. Big Joe

    To add to me comment…you have talk either of those guts, in their prime, to pitch for a bad team, in the middle of a full-on rebuild. I just don’t see it.

  26. Patrick G

    I think cubs can get better then that. If they don’t get a great deal for Garza just keep him

    1. Joe

      I don’t think the Cubs are searching for a deal on Garza. If a huge offer came around, that would be a different story.