There was a time not so long ago that the Cardinals’ 4-year, $41 million deal on Kyle Lohse looked like an albatross. This year, he’s earning every bit of that $12ish million he’s being paid, and he showed it again last night against the Cubs. He’s a free agent after this year, but buyer beware: unless you’ve got voodoo magic in your dugout, he won’t keep doing it …

  • On his weak start last night, Ryan Dempster assured the media after the game that it wasn’t a matter of his mind being on his scoreless streak or on the trade rumors. It was just Cardinals hitters being aggressive early, and within just a handful of pitches, it was already 3-0.
  • Dale Sveum says, if and when Ryan Dempster is traded, it’s going to hurt the Cubs off the field, in addition to on the field. “You can’t deny it’s only going to take away from the clubhouse atmosphere,” he said, according to Paul Sullivan. “The leadership role, the work ethic …. You don’t replace the whole package he has- a guy that makes that much money, a guy that’s had the career he has and still, to watch him work, the professional he is, you don’t replace those things.”
  • In the same article, new Cubs Justin Germano, whom many believe will take Dempster’s spot in the rotation when he’s dealt, makes me like him already: “We read stuff,” German said of trade rumor stuff about Dempster. “We know that there’s interest out there. [Dempster] is one of the best pitchers in the game right now. He’s definitely going to be sought after. Whether or not that had any impact on me [being here] I have no idea. I’m not really anybody compared to him, so ….” You’re somebody, Justin. You’re somebody!
  • A little more on Germano coming to the Cubs. It sounds like he doesn’t quite know where he fits in yet, but he’s happy enough to be with the Cubs. For now, he’ll pitch in relief, but I’m quite sure he’s high on the list of candidates to take a rotation spot when one opens up. In case you missed the Germano deal during Thursday’s flurry of activity, here you go.
  • Dale Sveum’s goal for the Cubs in the second half: go .500. Not in just the second half; he wants the Cubs to finish the season at .500. Obviously that would require the Cubs to be pretty much the best team in baseball over the next two months.
  • Keith Law scouted Jorge Soler’s debut.
  • The Daily Big Ten looks at the best Major League players from each of the Big Ten’s schools, and obviously there are a handful of Cubs peppered throughout. Somehow, Rich Hill didn’t make the Michigan list.
  • Our one-day fantasy contest ran last night on DraftStreet, and – once again – I did not do well. I really liked my lineup, too. Congrats to, in order, the top ten: G0cubsg010, bspinner, schmidt28, aprahl, pjboy9, coopr1248, rshamberg, Peaceknuckle, Jwesterhouse33, and crawlers12. Keep your eyes peeled next month – we’ll do it again.
  • I’ll be on 101 ESPN Radio in St. Louis today at 11:30 am CT to discuss Cubs/Cardinals, Ryan Dempster, and other things, I’m sure. You can listen there at that link if you want to hear my purdy voice.
  • BN’er ProfessorCub send along a beautiful picture of Wrigley from right field, made far more beautiful by his Bleacher Nation shirt (which, hey, what do you know, you can buy right here):

  • tim815

    Justin Germano= Latest 40 Man Jenga attempt.

    Keep it up, Theo.

  • fromthemitten

    please don’t finish .500. like I know it’s his job to say these sort of things and a late season surge could increase his job security (I say he should get at least four years to turn the team around) these hot streaks at the end of the past two seasons have #1 been too little, too late and #2 have lowered their draft position. especially with the new modifications to the CBA preventing overspending on draft picks

    they need to suck for Luck this year (or Appel I guess?)

  • Tony

    I won’t pay those ESPN asswipes for Insider….what does the Soler piece say?

    • yield51

      I agree. Occasionally there is a piece that I want to read that requires Insider, but I refuse to give any money to that corporation. It’s nearly impossible to navigate that site because of the insane amount of ads.

      • chirogerg

        I get it for the magazine, but more importantly for fantasy football. All of the baseball articles I find worth reading are insider-only.

    • Quintz

      Seeing as that Soler DH’d and had three at bats (0-3), I was curious as to what he really scouted. Main points….

      “He loads his hands high and deep, but accelerates quickly enough to catch up to above-average stuff, even meeting a few balls out in front of the plate (perhaps because his timing is still off). He’s balanced through the swing and should be able to generate power from his lower half. He grounded out twice but didn’t run hard either time, although his strides are long and easy and he should be an above-average runner”

      “He’s in very good shape and his body looks loose and athletic. This wasn’t an ideal look since he didn’t play the field.”

      • djriz

        Thanks, Quintz.
        The best part about this? We won’t have to listen to Law bashing Soler whenever he is mentioned. Law makes his initial opinion and it can never change. This is about as positive as one could expect, considering it was only 3 AB’s.

  • fromthemitten

    AWWWWW MAN it’s gonna be much harder for me to root for Matheny knowing he’s a Michigan man…. no actually I’ve had no problem rooting against Tom Brady…

    • fromthemitten

      and huh… Kevin Orie is the fifth best player to come out of IU’s baseball program? They must be as successful as the football team.

  • Kevin

    Time to back up the truck and unload players immediately just like Houston did. It’s pretty sad when the Cubs hire a dream team front office and they are getting outsmarted by the Astros FO. A total rebuild requires to start from scratch.

    • Martin

      Outsmarted=Astros traded nothing pieces for limited return?

      Fast does not equal smart.

      • fromthemitten

        quantity doesn’t indicate quality… toronto wanted to open up a spot for travis snyder

  • Abe Froman

    Random thoughts on the elusive and much fabled Ryan Dempster trade:

    – His value remains unchanged.
    – It was a risk yes, but you can’t cover him in bubble wrap and vacuum seal him until the right offer comes in, he has to continue in the rotation.
    – It would be ideal to have traded him before this start so the FO can focus on other trades, but they clearly were not happy with the offers on the table. With many teams in on the Canadian feeding frenzy, Jedstein wants to see if a team says fudge it and makes an impressive offer. After all, the playoff picture is fluid this time of year, and the finality of the trade deadline inches nearer.
    – In the trade deadline arms race maybe his max value comes after rival teams add key pieces and a GM feels compelled to keep up.
    – It’s important to get a great return on Dempster, because in a sense, it sets the baseline for the rest of Cubs trades over the next couple weeks.
    – The FO does not care that I have been checking Bleacher Nation and MLBTraderumors fanatically over the last week, and for some reason does not appear to be on my timeline (or yours).
    – Random Conspiracy Theory That Most Certainly Makes No Sense: Dempster asked to continue pitching as long as his scoreless innings streak went on, and since he can veto any trade he was allowed to do so and a trade goes through sometime before dinner.

  • hcs

    Almost finished in the top 40 in the contest… Getting better every time!

  • Mr. Gonzo

    I don’t think anyone was outsmarted in the Ass-tros/Jays trade. No major impact players were involved. The Cubs are handing out flyers on everyone but a few key pieces. First to trade doesn’t mean they are the best trades. And this new FO values quality over quantity, patience over knee-jerks. I tend to agree.

  • Kevin

    We are talking a 2 month rental – get a “B” prospect and move on.

    • Martin

      Why? So you can read some news?

  • Kevin

    Addition by subtraction makes total sense, especially if you want the 1st pick in next years draft.

    • Martin

      So take less in prospects (who are closer to the majors than any pick in the upcoming draft, which is a year away) so you could potentially lose more 5-6 more games, while hoping that other teams get hot and you get the #1 pick. A pick that will be farther away from the majors and thus more likely to flame out in the minors.

      That makes no sense.

  • Luke

    If the dodgers offered Chris Withrow and Garret Gould, I think Theo can talk them into a different deal with similar prospects. Possibly Chris Reed, Shawn Tolleson, and then maybe a throw in prospect or the cubs include another player to get an additional top 20 dodgers prospect. Tolleson could be the set up man or closer of the future, after striking out 34 in 22 innings in the minors this year and having a WHIP under 1.00 in both leagues. Chris Reed is also having a pretty solid season in his transition from college closer to pro starter, and he is also a lefty which is never a bad thing. He has a fastball that can hit mid to upper 90s and a solid slider to go along with it. If both stayed on track we could see them in Wrigley by next year making contributions.

    This is also assuming we arent getting Lee or Webster.

  • Korean Goat

    Germano played a 2nd half of season last year as a starter in korea. His stat was below…
    g w l ip h hr bb so r era
    8 5 1 45.1 45 3 6 29 17 2.78
    Though he had played not that many games, he made a good result and his fans here do miss him. He is with cubs now, that is so funny. Goodluck germano!

    • Scotti

      Thanks for letting us know, goat…

  • Kevin

    Establishing a plan and sticking to it leads to success. I don’t see a solid plan in place

    • Abe Froman

      Seems solid to me. Trading short term assets for long term ones as Theo has said time and time again. Cutting payroll in the short term so we can give contracts to the homegrown talent that pans out, and adding key free agents, big ones when the time is right in a few years. Continuing to add depth and talent to the minor league system.

      If you are expecting this to happen in a matter of months I think you need to adjust your expectations because in my humble opinion that is not near realistic.

    • Brett

      It wouldn’t make much sense for the Cubs to completely lay out their blueprint to the world.

      That doesn’t mean they don’t have one.

    • Martin

      If you don’t see the plan, you’re not paying attention. The plan set in place by the Cubs front office is the clearest of any team in Chicago.

      1. Build the farm system: take advantage of the financial advantage they possess all the way up until the new rules are implemented (see Concepcion and Soler)
      2. Trade short-term cost controlled assets (see Marshall) for long-term assets.
      3. In trades, prioritize pitching prospects, as Epstein has discussed the need for “waves” of pitching.
      4. Modernize the scouting department to increase the use of technology in both minor league development and advance major league scouting.
      5. Holistically, build a solid base within the minor league system so that free agency does not become the main avenue of talent replenishment.

      They haven’t made a Dempster trade fast enough for some impatient fans. That’s about a million steps from “not having a plan.”

  • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

    Word by Rosenthal and on mlbtraderumors is the Dodgers are now “very unlikely” to trade for Dempster. Does this speed up or slow down the process now that the alleged frontrunner has bowed out?

    • Martin

      I don’t necessarily believe they’ve bowed out. It’s just as likely they’re simply negotiating through controlled media leaks.

  • Patrick G

    Dodgers are out on Dempster according to

  • Kevin

    Winning 15 of 20 games is a great way to position for next years draft. Let’s do what feels good today, we’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

    • Martin

      You’re being deliberately obtuse. This has nothing to do with a 15-5 stretch. You’re just being impatient.

    • Oswego chris

      Positioning yourself for next years draft means punting the rest of 2012…which means less revenue…it’s just bad for business…finish on as much of an upswing that you can….you don’t want them losing 100 games…

      • willis

        Amen dude. Play as well as you can and play to win. This losing on purpose or hoping for the cubs to lose is ridiclous. They’re going to get a top ten pick, most likely top 5. A very good player will be taken.

      • Quintz

        You might convince me if there was a Bryce Harper or Stephen Strausburg type player sitting there, and even then, probably not. They’ll be in the top 10, probably top 5 and I’m fine with that.

  • CapnCub

    Listening on 101 now, here comes Brett soon.

    • Scotti

      How bad was he? Did he embarass us?

      • Brett


        • Scotti

          Crap. I knew this day would come. Time to whip out the paper bag again…

  • Kevin

    I have the right to post my opinion, it’s simply my opinion. I don’t need for everyone to agree or disagree, its simply just my opinion. Because you may think differently does not mean you should take my opinion as a personal attack, it definately is not.

    • Martin

      The problem is that your opinion is not based in fact and you haven’t provided any evidence supporting your opinion. Of course you have a right to your opinion. What you don’t have a right to is a lack criticism from those who provide opposing opinions supported by evidence.

      You’ve presented several statements: (a) that they don’t have a plan, (b) that they should just “accept a B prospect and move on,” and (c) that the fact that a Dempster trade hasn’t happened yet is indicative of some kind of “win now” mentality that is keeping them from trading him. All you need to do is provide some evidence for any of these statements. Any evidence would do. Otherwise, don’t expect to not get critiqued.

  • Abe Froman


  • Ralph

    Does the Kyle Lohse voodoo magic have anything to due with the fact that he was drafted by the Cubs? Cubs pick… then mlb success with the Cards.

  • MI6

    Why Collado/Paniagua? Not only did he cheat (twice!); he got caught twice! I worry about the corrosiveness of cheating in a system that is trying ‘to do it right’.

    • Brett

      I have no way of knowing this for certain, but I strongly doubt *he* cheated. I suspect adults/older people took advantage of him.

      • Luke

        That’s my sense of things also.

    • RoughRiider

      It’s possible and probable that it wasn’t Paniagua who was doing the cheating and that he was duped into doing something that wasn’t quite right. It’s more likely that his agent or handlers that did the cheating in trying to get their chunk of change. There have been some pretty shady characters involved in the Carribean area.