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With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the trade season tends to pick up in the second half of July (the rumor season started way early this year, but not so much on the actual dealing).

  • Ryan Dempster is slated pitch for the Cubs on Saturday, the second game after the break, and, assuming he’s not dealt before then, there will be upwards of 10 teams present to scout Dempster, a source tells Bruce Levine. With a league best 1.99 ERA, Dempster is on a number of teams’ radars, and the Cubs are looking to get the best package possible for the soon-to-be free agent (who will have to approve the trade, though that isn’t expected to be an issue). Given that Dempster is largely a known quantity, I think you can assume that the scouts in attendance will mostly be looking to confirm that Dempster appears healthy. So, if he seems fine, but pitches poorly, I wouldn’t be too worried about his value taking a hit. But, you know, obviously it would be nice if he pitches well …
  • Speaking of pitching well, Matt Garza continues to be on as many radars as Dempster, and each start is being heavily scrutinized (though, like Dempster, Garza is largely a known quantity at this point). You can add another team to the mix for Garza, too: the Dodgers. Although the Dodgers have long been considered the “favorite” to land Dempster, they’ve apparently also talked to the Cubs about Garza. While the Dodgers are a good fit as a trade partner for the Cubs in the sense that their best prospects tend to be pitchers, they do not have an elite farm system. Nor do they have a preference for dealing top prospects in order to save some cash in a trade – they’re all too happy to take on full contracts. The Cubs, obviously, would prefer to send cash along to get better prospects in trade.
  • I’m not a prospecting hound, but my sense of the Dodgers’ system is that it would be tough for them to put together a great package for Garza, assuming there were other bidders. Dempster looks like a better fit, possibly together with a Bryan LaHair, or a lesser bat like Jeff Baker or Reed Johnson.
  • The Angels are interested in Zack Greinke, if he becomes available. That could impact the Cubs in a couple of ways: (1) Since we haven’t heard them attached to Garza or Dempster, the Angels getting Greinke could help the Cubs in their efforts to deal Garza or Dempster; and (2) wait a minute: if they want Greinke, why not Garza or Dempster?
  • Bruce Levine chatted yesterday, and … (1) Ryan Dempster will “definitely” be traded, but it might take another start or two before a team pulls the trigger on the best offer (Bruce mentions the Dodgers, Braves, and Indians as possibilities); (2) there’s a “good likelihood” that Paul Maholm will be traded, too, as he’s a valuable back-end starter with a good contract; (3) Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are also likely to be traded; (4) Levine also thinks Garza will be traded (he offered a lot of that type of opinion – I agree with him on all five, by the way, but it can be hard to actually finalize that many trades (plus any bullpen deals, and/or guys like LaHair or DeJesus); (5) Darwin Barney is another guy who has more value to a contender than to the Cubs, so he’ll be shopped, but Bryan LaHair might have more value to the Cubs than to another team (I don’t really see the distinction there, and I could argue it the other way around if I were inclined); (6) Alfonso Soriano probably won’t be traded at this point – the interest just isn’t there right now; (7) Bruce expects the Cubs’ payroll to be under $90 million next year;
  • Cedlandrum

    Bruce really going out on the limb with that last thought.

  • Steve

    These Dempster and Garza starts…it’s kinda like we’re in a playoff race as each one of their starts is crucial.
    Im crossing my fingers….Demp goes 8, gives up 5 hits and 1 run or less and k’s 7.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Yeah, it does almost have a playoff feel…

    • JB88

      I’d love to see Dempster break the Cubs’ scoreless inning record in his final start with the club (6+ innings). It just seems like a fitting end to an incredibly classy guy.

  • LoneStarCUB

    Bret,

    If the Dodgers want both Garza & Dempster what whould be the most ideal realistic return we could expect? Would the be prospects or guys that are going to start playing immediately or a mixture of both?

    • Assman22

      Dodgers don’t have what it’d take to get Garza, much less Garza & Dempster

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t think they could get both. Either way, the Cubs are going to want a mix of high upside younger guys, and also (high upside) guys who are 22ish who can be ML-ready within a year or two.

  • Edd

    Zach Lee from Dodgers for Demp out of the question?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very likely, unless the Cubs added a significant sweetener.

  • Mick

    Whoa, Levine mentions guys I had no idea would even carry trade value like Maholm, Reed, and Baker. As it stands, here’s the list of possible trade deadline departees:

    Ryan Dempster
    Matt Garza
    Bryan LaHair
    Darwin Barney
    Paul Maholm
    David DeJesus
    Reed Johnson
    Jeff Baker
    Alfonso Soriano
    Carlos Marmol
    Geovany Soto

    That’s 11 players! Is this unprecedented? If even close to half of that list is traded, would that be a record for a team’s in-season trades?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If the Cubs deal five players off the big league roster, that would be the most I can think of in recent years.

      • Gcheezpuff

        I could possibly see 5 plus players traded, but only of they are packaged. For instance LaHair and Demp to the Dodgers, Garza and Barney to Detroit. If both those deals went down that would knock out 4 players on the 25 man. I could see Camp, Johnson, and Baker going as well since the return would be minimal and none should be expected to return next year anyway. I don’t see a reason to move Maholm or DeJesus unless the return is better then expected… Someone has to show up and play everyday. Soto, Marmol and Soriano are nearly untradeable so your best bet is to let them play out the season and hope they gain value so you can move them in the offseason.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yeah, that’s true.

          Shall we set the over/under on total Cubs (active roster + guys like Wells and Volstad) traded this month at 5? I kind of want the push, but if I had to choose one or the other, I guess I’d take the over. Barely.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I was going to say we should make the over/under at 5 1/2 to avoid the push, but then I started thinking that we would still have a push possibility if Campana got traded.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Haha. Yeah, 5.5 is better. I’ll take the under.

              • Gcheezpuff

                I’ll take the over… Theo and Jed are cleaning house. On a side note, just heard the dodgers want a lefty RP. Any chance adding Russel to LaHair and Demp gets Zach Lee in a return package? I wonder what we could really expect the return on a package of those 3 to the Dodgers to look like, they do have a few nice pitching prospects.

          • Mick

            That seems like a lot of work for this FO to facilitate trading over 5 players before the trade deadline so, I’ll take the under. Does the new CBA include the waiver-drop-trade deadine that I think used to be in August? What was the difference again between these 2 trade deadlines?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              The waiver trade deadline is still the end of August. In short, a player has to clear waivers before he can be traded in August to any team (if he’s claimed, he can only be traded to the team that claimed him). The full answer is much, much longer, and will be addressed in the first few days of August. Ah, screw it: here’s last year’s version: http://www.bleachernation.com/2011/08/03/the-waiver-system-in-august-claims-trades-deadline/

              • Mick

                Right, thanks, that helps. I’m still going under on 5 for the trade deadline but I’d take the over if we included the waiver deadline.

          • MaxM1908

            I’ll take the under.

          • Featherstone

            I’ll buck the trend and take the over @ 6

            • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

              I think over 5 are traded before the trade deadline and at least 2 are traded past the deadline.

    • TonyP

      My guesses

      Ryan Dempster- Traded
      Matt Garza- Traded
      Bryan LaHair- Traded
      Darwin Barney- Not Traded
      Paul Maholm- Not Traded
      David DeJesus- Not Traded
      Reed Johnson- Traded
      Jeff Baker- Traded
      Alfonso Soriano- Not Traded
      Carlos Marmol- Not Traded
      Geovany Soto

      • TonyP

        Soto- Not traded

        • Richard Nose

          Here’s something for ‘unprecedented’…if Soto were involved in a trade would the Cubs have to send along a cash value that’s higher than his actual contract, thusly paying someone to take him and his Mendoza-crushing BA?

      • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

        Ryan Dempster- Traded to Dodgers
        Matt Garza- Traded to Tigers
        Bryan LaHair- Traded to Dodgers
        Darwin Barney-Traded to Tigers
        Paul Maholm- Traded to Cards
        David DeJesus- Not Traded
        Reed Johnson- Traded to White Sox
        Jeff Baker- Traded to Nationals
        Alfonso Soriano- Traded to either the Indians, Pirates, or Rays.
        Carlos Marmol- Not Traded
        Geovany Soto- Traded to Rays
        Shawn Camp- Traded to ???????
        Chris Volstad- Not Traded
        Randy Wells- Not Traded

        Thats right…. 9 players traded!

        • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

          Wait I can’t add… 10 players traded

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            That’d be an exciting three weeks, if nothing else.

        • Alou and Vinegar

          I think there may be some “suprise” teams that we make trades with. We keep saying Dodgers, Tigers, etc. and that is very possible, but there may be some suprises
          Dempster- I have a feeling he wants to stay in the NL. My guess is the Braves with the suprise team being the Reds.

          Garza- Red Sox. Suprise team is the Diamondbacks
          Baker- Red Sox as part of Garza deal
          Johnson- Indians or White Sox
          Camp- Orioles or White Sox. No way the White Sox keep 6 rookies in the pen down the stretch
          LaHair- Dodgers or Pirates
          Soriano-very doubtful he goes, but if he does it will be to Tampa
          Maholm- traded at next years deadline
          DeJesus- same as Maholm
          Soto- traded in the offseason for a pair of cat’s pajamas or six pack of Michigan craft beer

    • baldtaxguy

      Hope Barney stays, I think he could improve his hitting and be even more of an asset.

    • ncsujuri

      Remember too that all of these guys don’t necessarily have to be traded by 31 July because that is just the Non-Waiver deadline. There are some guys on this list who could be traded after that if they are put on waivers and pass through or are put on waivers and claimed. I could see that being the case for some of the lesser names like Maholm, Johnson, Baker.

  • Ronnie Woo Woo

    huh, payroll under $90M??……….ummmm Tommy boy where is the all this money going? it can’t go to international players anymore nor to drafted players and I realize the FO is now 200 persons strong, but that’s 50M less than when you took over plus another 30M less this year. where is that 80M? your pocket? so basically, the 150M from the city of chicago you won’t need in another few years since you are saving it all with the inferior product on the field?

    let’s see; there is only 38M for next year’s payroll guaranteed, 18M to sori alone which …….guess the plan is to tank all of theo’s 5 years………damn it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wondered if anyone was going to grouse about that. If it actually plays out that way, I will be surprised (and disappointed).

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        So will I. That said, if my quick math is right, the Cubs could hand out two $20 million a season contracts this winter and still potentially come in under $90 million. They are going to have so much room to spend that they may not want to spend it all at one time just for the sake of spending it.

        A payroll under $90 million doesn’t automatically mean they are going to do nothing over the winter, or that they won’t pursue any high quality pitching, or that they have some scheme in place that requires that they forfeit every season from now until whenever.

        • Kyle

          Assuming Garza is traded, it’s going to be very hard to get to $90 million *without* handing out at least one $20 million contract.

        • Ronnie Woo Woo

          IF sori could be moved to save 3M, marmol moved to saved 1/2 his salary next year at 4.5M, trade demp/garza for SP prospects that could start next year, you could give greinke and hamels 20M contracts and still be under 90M next year and have 1 hell of a rotation with those 2, smardz, t wood and prospects and just let the offense figure it out with bjax, vitters and keeping lahair…..

          and save for the 2014 w/o marmol-dejesus salaries and be at around 50-55M; which leaves alot of room for offensive players in FA.

          • TonyP

            I hope we keep Soriano until he is blocking a youngster. We aren’t going to get anything back for him except for a little cash savings and he is still top 20 in HR and RBI in the league (or was last time I checked).

            • T Wags

              Agreed. Although before this season I wanted him long gone because I couldn’t stand watching him kill our pitchers with his outfield play, his improved defense has changed my feelings toward him completely. The most we would save in a trade with him would be around 3 million/year right? Where would we find that kind of production for 3 mill? Plus, everything I’be heard has said we shouldn’t expect much of a prospect in return for Sori anyway.

              He’s not blocking anybody yet(though that could change after the Garza and Dempster trades) so I say just fix his knee, drop another half ounce from his bat and let him stay till next July when we’d only have to eat about 32(!!!!!!) Million to get rid of him.

      • Featherstone

        So with our under 90 million dollar payroll when do we get to be eligible for the competitive balance draft picks for small/mid market teams (semi-sarcastic)?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Haha. Sadly, the Cubs will never be eligible because of the market size.

          • Featherstone

            But the accursed Cardinals get extra picks with a higher payroll. Clearly they need it, voodoo magic and all. /endrant

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I’m with ya.

      • oswego chris

        it better be more than 90 million….The Ricketts quietly have already shed it from 144 million to 110…the honeymoon might really be over if we are below a hundred million…

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          They are going to have to sign a lot of players to even hit $90 million. The current payroll for 2013 is around half that number after arbitration.

    • beerhelps

      I’m not usually one to disagree with the new owners/management, but I gotta agree with you here. Just how low can they lower payroll without fans kinda freaking out? $80 million? $70 million? They better be careful just throwing a shit team out there again and continue to ask people to be patient.

      • @cubsfantroy

        I’m not upset about the payroll going down after Hendry spiked it with ridiculous contracts, but what does worry me is getting low end FA’s with little to no upside and just a basic stop gap. I really would like to know what the plan is for the future. Building through the system is all fine and dandy but sometimes we need some guys who have had past success and are still in their prime.

        • Pete

          I was the one who asked Bruce that question and I was flabbergasted by his answer when I read it. I initially included a part about $110M, $120M, $130M in the question but deleted it, feeling that level of payroll was presumed. I think if MLB payroll is below $110M next year, it is a horrible PR move. After this 90-100 loss season with a (per Cots) MLB payroll of $109M, that would have the appearance, especially to the casual fan, that ownership is satisfied with sub-mediocrity. And it will probably be reflected in attendance, which will affect cash flow for ownership, which is pretty leveraged, . . . . . . . .

          • Cubbie Blues

            Everyone talks about attendance dropping, but attendance has never been a problem in the past. In the last 25 years the Cubs have only been in the bottom half of attendance in the NL once, with the majority of time drawing the 4th or 5th most. Even this year they are averaging 37,522 which is good for 5th.

            • Pete

              That is true, as well as the fact that the announced numbers are up 1,500 from last year. From everything I have read (somewhere between 5,000 to 8,00 per game), the no-shows are up for 2012, which is a very real possible harbinger for 2013. My point is that next year’s team with an $88M payroll probably gets you a second 90 loss season (and will have been viewed as a 90 loss team from the start of the season). Which is asking for trouble, even with the loyal fan base.

            • Scotti

              The issue isn’t where the Cub attendence finishes compared to the rest of the league, it’s where they finish compared to where the Cubs have finished before (total attendence lost). The team could lose 50-80 million–per season–in gate, consessions, ad buys, etc.

              By A) losing even 7-10% of their gate (off their top, sold-out figures) and B) having to lower prices on tickets, beer and C) getting less in ad buys they wind up killing the goose that buys the golden prospects and pays for the golden renovations.

              300k fewer fans (who spend apx 80 bucks on tickets, beer, food, t-shirts, etc.–the vast majority being pure profit) that’s a loss of 24 million. And the other fans all spending less (say 20 bucks less at the park per) cuts that down another 5 million. Diminished ad buys (both in the park and on WGN TV and radio, WCIU and their cable deal) and licensing opportunities would (do) each cut into profits (again, pure profit) by tens of millions with a losing team on the field.

              Losing is a lose-lose proposition.

              Invest an extra 50 million in making the team more competitive now and you wind up with MORE money for other long-term purposes.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      I think the payroll stuff is an overrated topic.
      In no way should they spend money, just to spend money.

      If the Cubs let Castillo catch, Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Soriano, DeJesus, play, that leaves CF and 3B.
      They’ll obviously need pitching, but figure the bullpen to be filled internally.

      So what if the payroll is under $90M? I think they only have about $40M committed to next season. That leaves them $50M to spend for some starting pitching, a CF, and a 3B. The CF and 3B might even be internal fills with Vitters and Jackson.

      Under $90M is VERY likely.

      • Kyle

        The “under $40 million committed” doesn’t include arbitration-eligible players. Guys like Samardzija, Russell and maybe Soto will take that a bit higher.

        • @cubsfantroy

          I don’t see them offering Soto anything, and I don’t see him back with the Cubs next year. I have nothing to base that on as far as rumors go. But I feel Castillo and Clev will share duties behind the plate.

        • Ronnie Woo Woo

          Soto??……dude he ain’t gonna be here next year; clevenger and w castillo i’m sure can hit .177 combined and soto is due for around 4M next year; just not in cubbie blue.

          and it could go lower if dejesus is moved that’s 4.25M, (sweeney would be a cheaper version-same player), marmol if the cubs got lucky would be another 9 or 10M for next year. smardz and russell are the only 2 other than garza to be kept for sure as arb players; so maybe 45M or so……..that leaves alot of 45M to spend; and talk about spending just to spend; don’t waste 45M on guys like maholm or dejesus, get some assets.

          and at 90M, the actual payroll of players on the team could be 72M if sori is traded.

          remember, the new avg is 90M for teams. somehow i don’t 3M plus fans plus higher than norm road attendance should be subject to a “avg” payroll team……..rebuilding or not.

          • Twinkletoez

            I actually like the Maholm and DeJesus signings

        • rhino70

          It also doesn’t include offering Castro a team-friendly long-term contract to buy out his arbitration years. I’m sure the front office is smart enough to be budgeting for that expense.

      • Noah

        I don’t know the payroll situation well enough… but let’s say the Cubs trade Garza and sign either Hamels or Greinke? It sounds like even with paying Hamels or Greinke, in that situation the Cubs’ payroll would be well under $90 million?

        • Lou

          No way the Cubs would sign either. Hamels is WAY to expensive for the caliber of play of this team. Have you seen Grienke’s home vs road splits? Awful! His stats at Wrigley are just as awful.

          • Scotti

            Greinke’s three-year splits are very good. Small sample sizes should be taken with a grain of salt.

      • SoCal Cubs Fan

        What about Melky for our CF and a nice starting pitcher or 2!

      • Wilbur

        I agree the payroll is an over rated metric (I think of Tampa, Minnesota, etc.).

        If next year’s team is notably better than this year, say winning 75 to 80 games, has a couple of more Castro/Rizzo positional types, builds the bullpen internally, and has some developing starters that’s a huge turnaround.

        If the FO drops a lot of money on a couple of free agents this winter fine, but if the above factors are being addressed and the FO waits one more winter to bring in the stud pitchers or positional players that’s not a big issue for me.

        • Featherstone

          problem with the whole waiting on paying out for pitching is the fact that the next couple years after this one dont have as many quality arms available.

          • Lou

            Exactly. This my BIG, BIG problem with waiting out prospects to get good or what Theo calls “Sustained success”.

      • Steve

        THANK YOU for that comment Norm.
        We suck this year…were gonna suck next.
        Are you really going to get upset if management says be patient? For the love of mayonnaise…its been over 100 *&^ing years!!!! Whats another 2-3???
        Lets all be like little Fonzies, and how are they? They’re cool.
        I say stash the cash and lets let our plants down on the farm grow a little. With Garza and Demp, we should get 2 super solid prospects ( out of the 4-5 we’ll actually get)
        With next years draft, Soler and Almora, Baez, and Rizzo…we can build a DYnASTY.
        So, yes fans…BE PATIENT!!!!!

    • http://bleachernation.com JY

      I understand building for the future, but as a fan of baseball it would be nice to enjoy watching the Cubs play. Why can’t we build for the future while staying semi-competitive?

    • baldtaxguy

      Hope Hamels is pursued as a FA.

  • Dumpgobbler

    I think we’ll see a lot of movement this deadline. I think the guys at the top want to bring in their own guys. Wouldn’t be shocked to see some prospect movement like Jackson, Vitters and Lake as well.

    • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

      I think if the Cubs land a guy like Castellanos they would not have a problem trading Vitters or Lake. I also think Jackson could be part of a bigger package to get more polished near ML players or young high upside guys 2-3 years away.

      • Gcheezpuff

        It is sounding more and more like Vitters might be better off in Left Field. He is still very young and starting to hit at AAA. I wouldn’t be suprised to see him traded in a package if the Cubs pick up a 3rd baseman, but I also see the possibility they move him to the outfield. Castellanos would be a nice return as part of a Garza package, but I am really hoping the Ranges change thier target to Garza and offer up Mike Olt in a package. Olt looks like he could be starting at 3rd next year. Castellanos looks good, but still needs to add some weight to his frame. I’d be pretty happy seeing either in Cubbie Blue though.

  • @cubsfantroy

    “Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are also likely to be traded”

    Although I like the idea of Baker being gone, I’d rather they keep Reed. I actually like him.

    Yeah, that is not baseball related for me, I hate Baker and like Reed.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    The Magic Man could get creative. He could send Koby and Gasol to the Cubs for Dempster, Garza and LaHair. Theo could then sell them to the Celtics and then the Irish mob could force Cherington to send us Whomever we want from Boston. He He…

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Can’t agree with you on Reed Johnson. I can’t stand that dude he is a waste of roster space in my opinion. He sucks. I have never liked that dude for some reason. That’s my opinion of him :) I know people like him. I just have always looked at him like why is he on this team.

    • @cubsfantroy

      I feel the same way about Jeff Baker haha.

      That is why I said it wasn’t baseball related, it is strictly personal.

    • Drew7

      You can hate him all you want, but you can’t ask for much more from a 4th/5th OF’er

    • baldtaxguy

      4th & 5th outfielders never get any love

  • Cub Gone Wild

    the only team Johnson could get a job with is the Cubs. He has been cut/DFA’d by every team he has ever played for other than the Cubs. Even Hendry was smart enough to let him go until Koyie Hill gave Johnson his pictures of Hendry doing a sheep while eating a box of Krispy Kremes.

    • Featherstone

      Really no need for the over-the-top Reed Johnson hate. If you don’t like the guy that’s fine, but lets not spout off unsubstantiated bullshit. Hes a cheap 4th outfielder who plays his role adequately, nothing more.

    • TonyP

      He has been released by 1 team. He played out his Dodgers contract.

      June 2, 1999: Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round of the 1999 amateur draft. Player signed June 19, 1999.
      March 23, 2008: Released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
      March 25, 2008: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
      November 5, 2009: Granted Free Agency.
      February 1, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
      November 1, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
      January 12, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
      October 30, 2011: Granted Free Agency.
      December 21, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.

      • baldtaxguy

        Let’s not let the facts get in the way :)

        • TonyP

          Ha! I’m all about the facts my man.

        • Featherstone

          cant let the facts get in the way of a good unsubstantiated rant

    • Wilbur

      Don’t be hatin on Krispy Kremes, you’re crossing a line there …

  • Cub Gone Wild

    The Ricketts strike again. Laura Ricketts is heading up a Lesbian Super Pac. WTF… is this an attempt to get Emanuel back to the table? Wow that is one diverse family. Whats next from the Ricketts family. Tom will declare personal bankruptcy or something.

    • MaxM1908

      Laura has been involved in LGBT advocacy long before her father ever ruffled feathers with his political activities. She’s openly gay, and she was (and may still well be) very involved in Lambda Legal–the legal advocacy group for the LGBT community. This is nothing more than an extension of her very open history of social advocacy.

      • Richard Nose

        Lambda Lambda Lambda?

        • Stinky Pete

          Omega Moo

      • Katie

        WTF does Laura’s sexual orientation have to do with anything? Jeez.

        • andrew

          was that a joke? He was just pointing out that it isnt random for a lesbian person to advocate for lesbian rights and isnt a ploy to make rahm happy

        • MaxM1908

          Not sure if that was directed at me, Katie, but as Andrew pointed out, I was just informing Cubs Gone Wild that the PAC is not a calculated move on Laura’s part but is an extension of her past activities. I firmly support all her activities and am proud that the Cubs organization is the first professional team to have an openly gay owner.

        • Dave H

          takes her out of the “game” so to speak for some of the posters LOL

          • Katie

            Sorry, I was making a dumb joke.

    • MightyBear

      Todd is going to flour bomb Kim Kardashian for wearing fur.

  • When the Music’s Over

    On top of a larger front office (including increased scouting), don’t forget about facilities upgrades (whether at Wrigley, minor leagues, internationally, etc), eating more contracts, Soler/Concepcion deals, various other initiatives, etc. as counting against or in conjunction with future payrolls. I don’t think the Cubs yearly MLB payroll can be viewed by itself; instead, it should be viewed as only a piece (albiet a large one) of the total yearly budget.

    I honestly don’t mind it dipping below $100M or so for a year or two until they get the rest of the team’s operations in order. To a large extent, the Cubs overall organization (including tangible assets) was underfunded/underdeveloped for quite some time. At some point this had to change. I’d rather the Cubs get everything in order, top-to-bottom, all at once. Like “taking a bath” in terms of running a business.

    • Hebner the Gravedigger

      Exactly. This is a business and one that needed some serous attention. I would (correctly) argue that prior ownership did not have a strategic plan in place. A poorly devised operational plan, but not a strategic one.

  • Doug

    Brett, With Dempster’s loyalty to the Cubs is there any chance he takes a trade to help us get some prospects and then comes back to us next season?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes, there’s a chance. And that’s really, really, really rare that a guy will do that. But, with Dempster, there’s definitely a chance. I think it depends more on the Cubs than on Dempster.

  • Kubphan82

    With all the “hype” between quality signings and potential trades, i started sondering about how the front office views the Cubs future. Lowering payroll each year, brimging in “their” guys to develop and promote. By 2015, what are the chances the Cubs could be staring at a homegrown lineup? I don’t want to lead you to think that I believe every player
    In the Cubs system reaches MLB everyday player status, but I would suspect that the Cubs want to sustain success by playing with smart money (not being cheap)… The smartest money may be in having theist expensive minor league system and the laws of averages force the Cubs to be right enough times to provide quality MLB players. Looks like we’ll need more trades to bring in pitching or that’s where the Cubs money will go:

    LF Albert Almora
    SS Starlin Castro
    RF Jorge Soler
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    3B Josh Vitters
    2B Junior Lake
    CF Brett Jackson
    C Welington Castillo

    • baracus

      no Baez?

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Looks like Shawon Dunston, Jr. has been demoted from Boise back to the AZL after a rough start. That’s a bummer.

    • andrew

      making room for almora?

      • Cedlandrum

        I don’t think it probably has much to do with Almora they were already crowded when they called up Trey Martin. AZ Phil had thought Martin would get the promotion to begin with, but Dunston had a run at the end of extended and got sent up. I think this is best so that they both get to play full time.

  • Richard Nose

    I want this cause I love Baez and Candellario. There’s clearly not room for everyone, some trades, some fizzles. I’d prefer to trade Jackson and Vitters and maybe even Lake, of course nobody knows if our 18 and 19 yr old outfielders pan out.

    CF – Almora
    SS – Castro
    1B – Rizzo
    RF – Soler
    3B – Baez
    LF – Candelario
    C – Castillo, Clevenger, trade
    2B – Lake (waste of arm, trade to someone who’ll give us something decent)

    • baracus

      theres Baez!

    • AB

      These 1-8 lineup projections of Cubs position players prospects are driving me nuts.

      • Richard Nose

        Can we talk about it? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Instead of working, this is what I do at the office, just beat around BN all damn day.

        • Twinkletoez

          clicked the *like* button on that one.

    • Alou and Vinegar

      2nd base could be Gioskar Amaya

  • AZCubsFan

    Is it possible that the Dodgers could include Puig in a deal with the Cubs. Knowing the Cubs really wanted him and the Dodgers “overpaid” to get him. Not sure if that is possible.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. Players – subject to some caveats, so this is a bit of a generalization – cannot be traded until 1 year after they sign.

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    Kevin Goldstein has his projections for 2013 future’s game rosters up at BP and ESPN…each team gets a max of two players aside from the host city’s team which can have three players i believe. He has Jorge Soler as an OF for World team and Alberto Almora as an OF for team USA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That would be pretty incredible if they’re both in a position to be in that game by next year.

    • Jared

      baez should be in there too if he keeps it up!

    • BleedBlueinWNeb

      made a mistake he has Javier Baez in there, NOT Alberto Almora…my mistake fellas

    • TonyP

      I really hate ESPN insider, everything I want to read on that site is “Insider”. I know it is only a few bucks a month but I won’t pay it out of principal. Thanks for pulling out the Cubs related info for us.

      • Noah

        What principle is that? The “you like free stuff” principle? Or is it the “you don’t like paying for stuff” principle?

        • Ted

          To be fair, a lot of websites offer high-quality analysis without paywalls, and this approach seems to be the norm for internet media in a lot of ways (for better or worse). So I can see the mentality, even if in the past we would have paid for Sports Illustrated, cable for Baseball Tonight, etc.

          NB: I subscribe to Insider and work in old media

        • TonyP

          “The “you like free stuff” principle?” I would word it as I like free access to Websites. However I did make a donation to BN so it is not like I’m a cheap ass or don’t have money. There are just so many websites out there that are free it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to pay for one.

          • TonyP

            When you have been given a free lunch for 15 years who likes having to start paying for it. I understand why the charge for Insider now, I’m not naive or uneducated, I just don’t want to pay it so I don’t visit their site much anymore and get my information from other places. I’m sure the revenue they generate off-set the loss of traffic from people like me so who really gives a rip. I should have just kept my opinion to myself.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I think your opinion is totally fair (and a lot of people feel that way). At the same time, and this is probably because of what I do, I don’t have a problem with sites/people charging for premium content. It’s not a setup that I think would work on a site like this (very community oriented, and I like it that way), but I think there are situations where it makes sense (BP and BA are some of the more obvious ones).

              • Cedlandrum

                yep that is what the Daily herald did for a while with Bruce Miles and screwed up his blog, which was a great read.

        • Twinkletoez

          ESPN used to give all this information for free, so for those of us that have been around since the “free” days its hard to anti up now. having to pay for news just doesn’t sit well with me either.

      • Richard Nose

        hahhhaahahah i’m the same way. F ESPN and their shenanigans!!! I’ll pirate their S all day long. Correction, I have no idea how to pirate anything.

  • AZCubsFan

    Thanks Brett,

    Just trying to think outside the box. Great site. Bleachernation is my first vistied each day. I go here first and then to MLBTRADERUMORS second.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, AZ.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Thinking BN is a great site is in no way thinking outside the box. The box was built for BN.

  • Jared

    Have any of you guys looked at this Aaron Sanchez kid, a blue jays prospect?
    Hes got an insane stat line:

    8-0
    0.72 ERA
    70 SO
    .148 avg against
    in 10 starts and

    now i know hes only single A but thats still pretty impressive and it dont seem like he is getting much love….a lot of blue jay pitching prospects look very undervalued

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think he’s generally regarded as their best pitching prospect at this point, for whatever that’s worth.

      • Jared

        ok i was just looking at the blue jays prospects and who we would possibly be interested in a garza deal

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Sure. The Cubs would definitely be interested in Sanchez.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Am I the only one who thinks Brett Jackson might be a “big time sweetener?” He might need a fresh breath of air somewhere else and another GM might feel that way. Maybe Garza and Jackson together brings in a Ubaldo haul like Theo and Jed want. Or maybe Jackson and Demp together could bring in Zach Lee and others. I would like to see Jackson as a Cub and for him to get his k-rate down. I know the Cubs are in no position to be trading away young talent, but if throwing in Jackson helps you bring in a future #1 pitcher, and a few other prospects then I say, why not? Ah I can’t wait for the deadline, so close, yet so far away.

    • TonyP

      I could see Jackson getting moved.

      • Assman22

        Just learned Jackson is on the block and was even available during the offseason, could get interesting….

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          On the block as in available, or as in actively being shopped? Available would be no change – this front office has virtually everyone available. Actively being shopped, on the other hand, would be a bit of a surprise.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I don’t really see the upside in actively shopping a player like Jackson. He costs you nothing to keep, but his value drops merely by virtue of you shopping him (particularly given his season, and given the Cubs’ desire to rebuild (as in: “hmm, why would the Cubs want to dump a guy who otherwise looks perfect for their rebuild … something must be wrong”)). I don’t doubt Jackson’s name comes up in trade talks, but I strongly doubt the Cubs have called a single team and said, “hey, what if we told you Jackson was available? Interested?”

            • Assman22

              Never heard it til now, so they kept it very close to vest. FO really wants to add arms to the farm. Traded their top pitching prospect(Cashner) for their top hitting prospect(Rizzo) earlier this year, may want to turn Jackson into a top pitching prospect. Makes sense

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                It does, in theory, but those trades are both rare, and difficult to pull off. If the Cubs could get a pitching equivalent of Jackson, though, I’d be on board.

                • Cedlandrum

                  Well sure who wouldn’t want a pitcher with 122 SO and 34 walks. Quit being so greedy.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Haha. Nice.

                  • Assman22

                    Oh I see what you did there….

            • Drew7

              I’ve never understood this.

              Jackson is not only young and cheap, he’s probably the closest thing to a “Theo-type” player that these guys inherited. Sure, his lack of contact is a serious issue, but you dont think other teams see that too?

              Jackson is still a top-100 prospect that just recently showed a big flaw. I think he’s way too talented and toung to merely be a *sweetener* at this point.

              • bt

                No, we should dump him. He’ll never be a prospect. Just like Shark and Vitters, anyone who ever shows a weakness in the minors is obviously no longer a prospect.

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          O.O

        • djriz

          Thus the need for Sweeney?

    • Mick

      Talk about a win-win if you’re the Dodgers, acquire Garza and a #1 prospect for a #1 prospect. Why just give away our most advanced prospects as “sweetners” with other deals? If the Dodgers want a sweetner for Zach Lee with Ryan Dempster then they can have Jeff Baker or Reed Johnson. If the Tigers want a “sweetner” for Turner AND Castellanos, then give them Barney or Soto. Or, what’s sweeter than cold-hard cash?

      • Kyle

        Brett Jackson is not currently a No. 1 prospect in just about any system.

        • Noah

          Including the Cubs. He’s at best the fourth best prospect in the Cubs’ system right now, behind Baez, Almora and Soler. You could also make arguments for Vitters, Lake, Szczur and Candelario to be in front of Jackson. Quite frankly, depending on who the Cubs get in return for trades, there’s a slim chance that Jackson could end up out of the Cubs’ Top 10 entirely in a year. It’s a very slim chance, but it’s non-zero, that you could have the Cubs Top 10 be something like: (1) Baez, (2) Almora, (3) Soler, (4) Best Player Received in Garza Trade; (5) Vitters; (6) Candelario; (7) Lake; (8) Best Player Received in Dempster Trade; (9) Szczur; (10) Pierce Johnson

          • Mick

            But the #1 OF who’s currently playing games for a Cubs’ affiliate. How people rank “prospects” is subjective. Some do it by ceiling, some do it by MLB readiness and some do a combination of the two. Would you not agree that Brett Jackson is a Cubs’ top-prospect?

          • Edwin

            That’s pretty pessamistic. Jackson has one flaw and is at the highest minor league level. If he fixes his flaw, he’s a very good player. If not, he’s still a serviceable CF for a couple years.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              I think you’re too optimistic.
              He’s not a lock to be a serviceable CF for a couple years.

        • Mick

          That’s debateable and I meant more of in a general sense. It’s just illogical for us to be re-building but trading away top prospects, especially when we don’t need to.

          • Kyle

            You mean like Andrew Cashner?

            • Mick

              No, not at all like Cashner. Brett Jackson’s never had 1 AB in MLB. Cashner’s wiki:

              Cashner was called up to the majors for the first time on May 31, 2010. He made his major league debut that day.In the 2010 season, Cashner appeared in 53 games as a relief pitcher.

              On March 26, 2011, Cashner was named the Cubs’ 5th starter. However, Cashner only made one start for the team before being forced out with a rotator cuff injury.After a rehab stint in the minors, Cashner returned to the Cubs in September in the role of relief pitcher.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Don’t forget that Cashner got in two starts before going down with an injury this year! In another 30 years, he’s going to be a workhorse….

                ;-)

                • Edwin

                  Cashner seems like he’s been very mishandled the past couple years. The Padres should let him spend a full year in the minors getting stretched out before they start expecting him to contribute at the ML level as a starter.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            It’s NOT illogical if the Cubs front office think the prospect is likely to bust.

  • Master Gonzo

    With all the buzz around the Dodgers talking to the Cubs about either Garza/Dempster, it really feels like they are going to lock down a trade soon. If I’m Theo/Jed, I would definitely not go through with that trade until either Zach Lee or Chris Reed are involved.

  • Mike S

    Dodgers are reportedly in the hunt for LH relievers…

    Dempster and Russell
    for
    Zach Lee and Chris Reed

    Who hangs up the phone first?

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Hmm… I think that deal gets done if Demp pitches a solid game coming out of the break.

    • Richard Nose

      ohmagod I could see hanging up from either side. I just read the dodgers are desperate for a LH RP. That trade makes my bottom pucker up. yiiiiikes.

  • Nick Nesler

    Non thread related. Almora to room with Soler and Concepcion to dl.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Love it (the Soler/Almora part). Not only because they’re going to hopefully come up through the system together, but also because Soler couldn’t find a better kid to help him with his transition to the States.

      • Nick Nesler

        Not to mention Almora’s Cuban heritage.

    • djriz

      This begs the question…where are they rooming together? Az, Boise or Peoria? Or is it just while they go thru their ‘spring training’?

  • BlueHorizons

    I know there is a “blackout” period during the All Star break. Since the All Star festivities have concluded, I’m curious as to when that “blackout’ is lifted?

    More specifically, if there are any trades brewing and ready for finalization, when is the earliest an announcement could be made?

  • Jared

    i remember at the beginning of the season when svuem was praising brett jackson and saying how hes one of the best all around players he has seen and now nobody even wants to give him the time of day, i know his strike outs are rediculous but he still is super talented and all players go through bad streches. ive seen brett play in person and he can square up a baseball like a select few…he needs to be givin a lil more time in the minors to see if he can get hot then he needs to be called up (ready or not)….. i really want to see what he can do in the majors. with all those strike outs he still has like 40 extra base hits and a good ops of .833. I really just want to give him a chance in the big leagues before we get rid of him

    • djriz

      I agree with you. A two month slump and we forget about his defense, his speed and his on base skills. Guess we need perfection now. That being said, if we stole a talent like Justin Upton (or a Bundy or Profor type) with Jax being part of the package, that would be fine, too.
      Guess we just have to trust.

      • Jared

        Agree 100%

  • The Man. The Legend. The RBI King: Hack Wilson

    what; Concepion to the DL? Why? More damaged goods like Stewart? Who’s reading the medical reports at Clark & Addison?……..Doogie Howser!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      According to the Chiefs, he’s just sick.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Keep in mind that the minor league DL is only 7 days. It is completely plausible that a team would DL a starting pitcher because an illness forces him to miss a start.

  • Derrick

    I’m all for trading Dempster, but no so much Garza unless we can get back some great talent. Remember that at the time (I stress ‘at the time’) it seemed that we gave up the farm for Garza so I’d expect the same back.

  • Patrick G

    Garza and Lake/Jackson to TOR for Moises Sierra, Syndergaard or Sanchez, and a low level prospect
    Dempster, LaHair and/or Russell to LA for Reed, Lee and Tim Federowicz(C)

    Sierra is supposed to have a lot of power and is just about MLB ready, could play right field if LaHair is shipped off

    DeJesus CF
    Castro SS
    Rizzo 1B
    Soriano LF
    Sierra RF
    Vitters 3B
    Soto/Castillo/Clevenger/Federowicz C
    Barney 2B
    P

    I don’t like doing these stupid mock lineups, but with some cheap quality starting pitchers and bullpen, the Cubs could be somewhat competitive in 2013

    • Ryan G

      Not even close to enough in the Garza deal. Cubs would definitely say no to that.

      • Patrick G

        Well than even better for us!

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