Trading madness is about to be unleashed. When the deals start coming down the majority of our focus is going to be on the prime prospects that come back to the Cubs. Guys like Chris Reed or Drew Smyly are going to take up the headlines, but odds are good that prime prospect will not be alone in the deal. There will almost certainly be that other guy… the throw-in.

And if the Cubs hold true to form, that throw in could be a formerly somewhat well regarded prospect whose stock has slid lately. That was the case with Casey Weathers from the Rockies and Zach Cates from the Padres, and I strongly suspect it will be the case when Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are dealt as well. One of these days the Cubs are going to strike gold by picking up that type of player. It is definitely in our interest to take a hard look at the history and resumes of those other guys as the trades become final.

Naturally, the fastest way to get Bleacher Nations’ coverage of all Cub moves is to follow Brett (@BleacherNation) and me (@ltblaize) on Twitter. Things are likely to get crazy in the comments and on the Message Boards as well. Be sure to check in early and often once the deals start to happen.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs finished off their road trip with a strong 9-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies gave up four home runs en route to their 6-1 loss.
Daytona – The Cubs nearly blew this one. Instead, they won 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
Peoria – The Chiefs tried to rally in the ninth, but ultimately fell 4-2.
Boise – The Hawks lost a close one by a final of 5-4.
Arizona – The Arizona Cubs had the day off.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Chris Rusin allowed just two hits in his five innings, but that accomplishment was somewhat dimmed by the four walks he allowed.
  • [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad and Jeff Beliveau combined to pitch three innings of relief. They each struck out two.
  • [Iowa] Adrian Cardenas hit his 14th double as part of a four hit game. Just as importantly, he was in the middle of both the Cubs’ double plays.
  • [Tennessee] Kevin Rhoderick did not pitch poorly, but he still took the loss. He gave up two runs on two hits (including a home run) in his two innings of work while striking out four.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies did not have much offense in this game. Logan Watkins led the team with two hits and his 17th stolen base.
  • [Daytona] Robert Whitenack gave up three hits, three walks, and struck out three in a 4.2 inning start.
  • [Daytona] A.J. Morris gave up one hit and struck out two in two innings of scoreless relief.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli reached three times on a hit and two walks. He also stole his 33rd base of the season.
  • [Daytona] Elieser Bonne has quietly raised his average to .270. He finished this game with two singles and his 15th stolen base.
  • [Peoria] Larry Suarez pitched two hitless innings and struck out two in relief.
  • [Peoria] Javier Baez came a home run short of the cycle. His triple was his fourth this season.
  • [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen stole one base and now has 20 on the year. Zeke DeVoss stole two bags, giving him 24 on the season.
  • [Boise] Roderik Pichardo struck out two in his hitless inning of relief.
  • [Boise] Stephen Bruno had the only multi-hit game for the Hawks.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Gioskar Amaya was hit in the head in the first inning and left the game. There is no concrete word yet on the severity of any injuries.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 40 – 55.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 18.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 12-12
Southern League North Division – Second Place : 2.5 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 11-13
Florida State League North Division – Foourth Place : 3.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 9-14
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fourth Place : 4.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 10 – 20
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 9.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 15 – 5
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Ahead

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Wow I hope Gioskar Amaya is ok I wondered why he exited in the 1st inning of yesterday’s game. Thank you for the info Luke

  • Steve

    Baez needs to jump. He is basically getting batting practice right now.

    • Windy City Misfit

      His bat maybe working, but I was at the game yesterday and watched him get picked off first … get caught stealing 2B and just plain over slid second on his double and got called out. Not to mention throwing the ball into the dugout.

      I always hear about his bat, but is his defense/base running supposed to be this erratic?

      • Steve

        Yikes Windy..

        I have heard he was pretty solid with his glove…never heard anything about his skills on the base paths, other than his average speed.
        Maybe we can attribute the issues you speak of as over excitement.

        And just in case you haven’t heard, Javier Baez does ” whatever the _ _ _ he want’s.”

        • Windy City Misfit

          Seems like he has a bit of an air about him… Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. He did flip a ball behind his back to start a double play after the throwing error. Twas nice ..

        • Luke

          We should probably attribute them to him being 19 years old and in his first full season as a professional.

          I would be very surprised if he is lifted out of Peoria any time soon. He might get a quick trip to Daytona (possibly Tennessee) at the end of the year (ten games or so), but I don’t think we should expect anything more than that.

          • EQ76

            I don’t know.. if he keeps hitting like this they’ll really need to move him up soon right? I lived in SoCal back when a kid was coming up through the minors named Ken Griffey Jr. He was raking and seemed to only last a couple weeks at each minor league level.

            I just don’t see how Baez stays in Peoria if he keeps hitting like this. I’m starting to think he could be a Sept. call up next year and maybe be our 3B by 2014. Is that crazy talk?

            • Norm

              The Cubs are not going to rush anyone. It’s going to take a LOT more than 150 at bats to get promoted.

              • EQ76

                I’m not saying promote him to the bigs this year, I’m saying if he keeps hitting like he has, I could see a Sept. call up NEXT year. That would be after a lot more at bats..

              • hansman1982

                agree, but there is also a fine line between rushing and delaying until he gets bored and isn’t working on the fundamentals that struggling forces you to rely on.

                I think some of it may depend on who ahead of him is in a playoff race – they may want to expose him to some of that.

            • Luke

              The Cubs are not going to promote / demote anyone based purely on how he is hitting. If they don’t like his defense, his baserunning, or the way he has adjusted to life as a professional baseball player, they are not going to send him anywhere.

              The Cubs are not going to leave him in Peoria out of sheer stubbornness, but nor are they going to promote him because he is on a very hot streak right now.

  • Cheryl

    Good points on throw-ins, Luke. Any idea who the cubs might throw in besides LaHair and Vitters. I’m wondering about Dunston and maybe Shoulders.

    • AB

      I’d think James Russell, Jeff Baker, Reed Johnson, Shawn Camp have much greater probabilities of being throw-ins than anyone in the minors.

      • Mysterious4th

        AB- I tend to agree with most of those except russell. He is our last years sean marshall. So anybody looking for a great lefty set up guy will look at him and make a trade for him and expect a throw in like baker to bring back a better prospect return.

        • AB

          Yea, you’re definitely right.

          Russell could get a good package by himself. not sure I think he has one more year of auto-renewal before arbitation??

        • Jackalope

          Russell is not comparable to Marshall. Contrast their FIPs as relievers the last 3 years:

          Marshall: 2.53, 1.86, 2.28
          Russell: 4.04, 3.61, 5.20

          Marshall has been one of the top relievers in baseball while Russell has been very mediocre.

  • Andrew

    Cheryl, I don’t think the Cubs are going to throw in players. The Cubs are trading front-line MLB players to teams who will mortgage their systems for a playoff spot.

    I highly doubt the Cubs are sending Vitters away in a Dempster trade, unless it’s to get a front-line prospect. Instead, the Cubs are likely going to get throw-ins to sweeten the pot on a deal.

    Hopefully, one of them turns out to be as solid as that throw-in the Cubs got on the Ivan DeJesus-for-Larry Bowa deal. He turned out to be pretty good.

    • Mat B

      Yeah, didn’t that guy go on to a Hall of Fame career? I was thinking the same thing. Now, who was that…?

      • Leroy K.

        OOOH!!!! I know!!!! I know!!!!

      • djriz

        isn’t he the manag…,oh nevermind.

  • Luke

    I wondered what picture you would put with that headline. Well played, Brett.

    • Jackalope

      Maybe the Cubs will pick up a summersault throw-in, you know, the kind that turns out to be successful, and makes you want to do summersaults.

    • Caleb

      He doesn’t even let you pick your own picture?? What a control freak!!

      • Luke

        No, more like I opted to let him pick my pictures because I’m a lazy bum.

    • Brett

      I like when I have the option of being clever.

  • Cheryl

    Andrew, interesting point. Yet I’ve heard Vitters mentioned. And Detroit has asked about Garza and Baarney, according to news sources. There’s also been speculation about a multi-player deal with five players from each side. Would they all be from the major league club?

    • Mick

      Whoa, 5 players from each side, give me names and let’s talk about that!

    • Luke

      A throw in is not the same thing as any player from the minors. Often teams trade deliberately to get a certain player from a farm system. If the Cubs traded for 5 guys out of someone’s farm system, that does not mean they traded for 5 throw ins.

  • Edwin

    Wasn’t Chris Archer somewhat of a throw in for the Mark DeRosa deal? Maybe not a perfect example, but sometimes “throw in” players can end up doing quite well.

    Also, I think Mike Fontenot was a throw in for the Sosa deal, he was a good utility player for the Cubs for a little while.

    • beerhelps

      Hell I would be alright with a Matt Murton type throw in

    • AB

      I’d argue Archer was the most valuable piece and had the highest ceiling of that trade. Stevens was a warm-body who nobody picked up in the Rule V draft the previous two years, and Gaub was already a reliever at that point.

      • Bric

        Agreed, Archer was the youngest and had the most upside. Stevens was supposed to “add depth” (Code for Hendry’s theory that 5 average AAA pitchers equals 1 all star), and Gaub was a potential lefty specialist project that never materialized.

  • Patrick G

    Nice to see Whitenack have a solid start

  • Joker

    Luke – correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like you are writing about Logan Watkins nearly every day. I was impressed with him all the way around when I got the chance to see the Smokies play in person a couple of weeks ago. Do we have a true sense of how the Cubs view him down the line? He seems to me to be a gamer, a “dirt dog” who knows how to play the game, and someone who would fit well on a Svuem managed team.

    • Luke

      At worst I think he gets a shot as a utility player and left handed bat off the bench. He can play solid defense at second, short, and in center, so he definitely has value as utility guy. I still think he has a good chance to start at second for the Cubs one of these days.

      • Njriv

        I think the Cubs have enough depth at 2B for now, Barney, Cardenas, Watkins and DeVoss.IMO I think they might want to add more depth at third base and catcher. Who knows if Vitters and Lake can handle being everyday third baseman fielding wise and the FO might take Baez’s development more on the slow side. As for catcher, Clevenger seems like a good back-up, but Castillo doesn’t really seem like a guy that can be the catcher of the future.

  • MightyBear


    I was wondering the same thing. Logan Watkins seems to get a write up everyday. Is he moving on soon? Does he project to be a major league 2nd baseman? Can he play multiple positions? I hope he turns into a star.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    We have a great 2b. I pray he doesnt get traded. Sometimes guys like Watkins end up behind a great player who has developed like Barney has. They just have to keep working on their game. Building depth is what Theo is trying to do. Not every playercomes like a Baez or Castro. I dont think it would be very smart to mess with our shortstop and second baseman. We need the Watkins types to keep progressing. Other teams will notice and take interest. We should be using our farm system to get players we need in trades. There are no sure things in baseball. The best players career can end in a moment or just be victim of nagging injury after nagging injury and never make it. Like Stewart, 1st round pick with lots potential and he may never get another shot to play in the show again.

    • baldtaxguy

      Agree, I would hate to seen Barney go. If so, and in the interim until a player develops into the position, I’d love to see Cardenas get a full shot at 2B. He’s simply collecting hits at Iowa and is currently blocked by a strong Cubs middle infield and the presence of Baker as 2b backup

  • Assman22

    Cubs sign Paniagua, now after Gohara….

    • AB


    • djriz

      Hope you are right on Gohara, but I thought he was a sure thing for Seattle.
      What do you know about Paniagua?

      • Assman22

        Doesn’t turn 16 til July 31st, so Cubs have two weeks to change his mind about Seattle

  • Norm

    Hi praise for Baez from Kevin Goldstein today…saying 70 hit and power tools, and has overtaken Miguel Sano as best all-around offensive prospect in the Midwest League in most eyes.

    • Luke

      That’s very high praise. Not too many guys with a 70 in both hit and power in the game of baseball at all right now.

      • Joker

        In MLB, I’m guessing the hit/power tool comps would be in the Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder territory?

        That’s scary and exciting to consider.

    • Brett

      Whoa. 70/70 is like, superstar caliber, no?

      • Luke

        Pretty much. That’s perennial All-Star territory / Hall of Fame candidate territory. And Goldstein does not hand out 70s lightly.

      • Norm

        I didn’t make it clear that his was ceiling and not current…sure you know that, but just clarifying.
        And we know how rare it is for players to actually hit their ceiling.

  • scorecardpaul

    I was at the Chiefs game yesterday. I thought it kinda cool that there were a couple of scouts in the stands scouting the Chiefs. We might also be giving some throw ins the other way?? I felt like a little kid again watching every move of Baez. Every time he would make a young mistake my wife would say something like… “is that the guy who is so good” . Had a good time and got lots of autographs. It was really a good day, just wanted the victory in the end.

  • Benny

    What’s the status of Frandy De la Rosa? It was reported that he signed with the Cubs. When will he start playing in the minor leauges?

    • djriz

      He’s 16, so probably two years in the DSL.

  • Benny

    Wonder when he’l start playing w/ dSL

  • Benny

    when will Pierce johnson make his season debut?

    • djriz

      When Shelby does?

  • Benny

    shelby has nothing to do with pierce johnson

  • John

    Does anyone know if Dillon Maples will pitch this season and are there any updates on Jorge Soler?