Lukewarm Stove: Free Agency Binges, Hoyer, Soriano, Marmol, Samardzija

We’ve got two weeks left until the unofficial waiver trade deadline on August 31. Will the Cubs make another move? It’s still possible.

  • GM Jed Hoyer was on CTL on CSN yesterday, discussing a wide variety of things. Most notably, he reiterated Theo Epstein’s public stance on the relative unattractiveness of signing big-name free agents. “One of the problems with free agency is that there is an illusion in some ways that you’re acquiring this great talent,” Hoyer said. “Most of the time, players hit free agency when they’re on the back half of their career. Players peak [at] 26, 27, 28 [years of age]. Free agents [are usually] in their 30s. So, you’re spending a lot of money sometimes for declining performance. It doesn’t mean you don’t do it. It doesn’t mean you don’t seek the right guys out. [But] we have to build from within and build young players, because the days of going out and signing young free agents is over. Teams lock up their guys. Look at how many long, multiyear deals teams are signing with their pre-arbitration players. You know that you’re going to delve into free agency, but if you have an offseason plan, or a plan of the future dependent upon those names, I think you’re doing things the wrong way.” Keep in mind, the Red Sox were no stranger to big-name free agent signings, so it’s not as if they aren’t a part of the plan – they just might not be part of the plan in the near term. The point is that free agency is not the way to build a winner. Given the financial structure of the game, that should be obvious by now. To field a 25-man roster capable of winning a division, a team – even one with a payroll exceeding $130 million – will necessarily have to have at least half of those guys making $1 million or less. The way to do that, of course, is to develop talent from within. Mix in a few home-grown superstars in their arbitration years, and thus making less than they’re worth, together with some expensive free agents, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
  • But, as I always point out: you’ve got to sign those free agents when they’re actually available. It’s easy to say, without regard to the actual free agent class, that the Cubs need to wait another year or two before pursuing free agents. If the right free agent, however, is on the market this year (or next year, or whatever year is “a year earlier” than you expect to be competitive), you may have to pull the trigger a year early. Because, plainly, that’s when the guy is actually available to sign. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there don’t seem to be too many guys like that in the 2013 class, so I don’t think the Cubs are going to be faced with that kind of dilemma.
  • Instead, I think you’ll see the Cubs going after more rebound type candidates again this year. Your early favorite for rumors? How about Brandon McCarthy? Tons of talent, tons of health problems.
  • Phil Rogers thinks a number of teams could use Alfonso Soriano, beyond just the Giants. He mentions the Rays, the Tigers, and the Rangers (the Rangers?). I certainly agree on the Rays and the Tigers, and you could throw in the Pirates and the A’s, though Soriano has reportedly ruled them out as places to which he’d accept a trade. I remain of the mind that the hurdles to dealing Soriano are probably too steep to overcome right now. He’ll be shopped in the offseason, though.
  • Doug Padilla did the chat thing yesterday, and … (1) Bryan LaHair’s drop-off in production in June and July torpedoed any trade value he might have had; (2) Matt Garza’s trade value this offseason is going to be seriously depressed by his injury, and the Cubs are more likely to shop him after he starts throwing in the Spring and shows that he’s healthy; (3) the Cubs don’t care about losing Alfonso Soriano’s production this season if they move him (query, though, whether they’d worry about losing it in 2013, as Bruce Levine discusses, see below); (4) two or three more front office guys are mulling reduced roles or job title changes; (5) Doug hints that a Carlos Marmol trade isn’t out of the question this month, particularly for a team looking to add a set-up type; and (6) hard to see the Cubs going after a top free agent until after 2013, at the earliest.
  • And how about an MLBTR chat? (1) The Angels could use a bullpen arm (Marmol? Camp?); (2) the Giants almost have to make an outfield addition if they want to keep leading the West, and could consider fringy options like Johnny Damon or Vernon Wells; (3) the Cubs should shop Jeff Samardzija in the offseason; (4)
  • Bruce Levine also chatted (it was a chatty week), and shared his thoughts: (1) Starlin Castro will likely not be shopped this Winter (Bruce asserted this before the extension rumors broke, mind you); (2) Bruce hears vague rumors about Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol being shopped this month, but nothing substantial; (3) the Cubs are likely to go after one-year type free agent pitchers this Winter; and (4) the Cubs shouldn’t move Soriano unless they know who’s going to replace his production next year, and, right now, there isn’t anyone.

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

90 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Free Agency Binges, Hoyer, Soriano, Marmol, Samardzija”

  1. RoughRiider

    Brandon McCarthy might be a good target. He’s had enough injuries and time in service to maybe figure out how to be a pitcher instead of a thrower. Relatively low price tag and the potential to be a #3 or 4 starter. His stats have been good and he might benefit from a change of leagues. Good call Brett.

    1. ssckelley

      He would be a #2 starter in this rotation.

    2. AB

      I doubt McCarthy is going to be as cheap as people think. All you have to do is look at the starting rotation problems for the Yankees and Red Sox.

      1. bbmoney

        Agreed. He probably won’t get a LT deal because of health concerns. But when he’s pitched the last couple of years, he’s been very good. So wouldn’t take a long term deal, but probably more $ than you think.

  2. ssckelley

    It makes me nervous about getting rid of Soriano as well as the Cubs do not have a decent power hitter batting from the right side. LaHair would be an obvious replacement in left but he is useless against lefties and you need someone splitting up LaHair and Rizzo in the batting order. But if the Cubs can get a decent prospect in return before the deadline then this is an area the Cubs would look to address in the free agent market this off season (Ryan Ludwick anyone?).

    1. Frank

      Has LaHair been any good against anyone since July? What are his numbers against righties?

      1. ssckelley

        No, he has completely lost his timing. He has been swinging to early on the breaking stuff and to late on the fastballs. He needs consistent at bats to work through it but he must be out of options as he really could use a couple of weeks at Iowa.

        1. hansman1982

          well then he lost his timing in May when he was playing every single game because that is when his production started tanking.

          1. hansman1982

            from May 2 – May 26 LaHair played in every game and put up a triple slash of .231 .333 .436 – he is just not a good starting option

            1. ssckelley

              I am not going by numbers, I am going by what I see when he is at the plate.

              1. hansman1982

                well the numbers tell me he has been in a slump for 4 months. If someone is “slumping” for that long that generally indicates they are not a good hitter.

                There is a reason why he didn’t get his first good look in the bigs until the age of 29.

                1. LT Cool J

                  Yes, he stinks.

            2. Drew7

              What’s crazy is, those numbers actually equal a slightly above-average OPS for a 1B. Now, since the end of May…not so average.

        2. bluekoolaidaholic

          I thought that LaHair’s problems were that the big league pitchers made adjustments to him and he has not adjusted back. If that is the case, then it doesn’t seem like it would do much good to send him down to AAA.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            Probably not. LaHair’s success was buoyed by ridiculous BABiP in the early season: Brett was very good at emphasizing how that success rate could not be sustained. LaHair was K’ing up a storm back in April & May, too: I seem to recall that his K rate actually dropped (albeit insignificantly) after that!

            1. Assman22

              ^This. His BABIP is why he had very little trade value regardless of how cheap he is and our FO knew it.

              Also, I don’t see the Cubs moving DeJesus this season or in the offseason. He’s on pace to finish with a 2+ WAR even if he slumps the rest of the season. Contract is for $4.5 mil, therefore he’s playing $6+ mil over what he’s paid.

          2. bbmoney

            I think LaHair is out of options.

      2. art

        most can be replaced. after last year it was who will replace Aram’s offense, Pena, etc. Soriano’s offense can and will be replaced in team production. better D, Pitching, Rizzo, and maybe Jackson. we aren’t going anywhere in 2013 so Soriano’s loss will not be missed. the problem is can we get rid of him. that’s my take and i’m sticking to it. BBQ Sunday.

        1. Pat

          No one really did replace the offense from Ramirez. That’s why runs per game has dropped to 3.7 from 4.04 last year.

      3. art

        he had his chance. maybe the kid is just not a ML’er.

  3. Luke D

    How about Melky Cabrera?

    1. Mick

      Maybe Luke Scott on a one-year deal to flip at the deadline? Jonathan Sanchez? Ervin Santana? Jake Westbrook? These all seem like the type of sigings we should expect.

  4. JulioZuleta

    Hey Brett, this is kind of random and off topic, but I’ve been arguing with a friend about the process of players leaving their mlb contracts to pursue baseball overseas. Specifically, we were arguing over whether, if he wanted to, LaHair could go play in Japan this year, and what would be the contractual implications with MLB if he decides he wanted to come back after a year or two. I don’t see how the Cubs could stop him from going to a non-competing league even if they wanted to. Also, obviously he wouldn’t just be a free agent if he came back, the Cubs would still have his rights, but where would the contract resume? Would the Cubs have the option to just say “nah, we don’t want you anymore” and be off the hook?

    Sorry, I know, random.

    1. hansman1982

      I think if the Cubs allowed him to play in Japan that would end any rights they have to him. Basically, they would release him and he becomes a free agent.

      At least that is my understanding.

      1. JulioZuleta

        I guess my question is, do they have to “allow” 1 it? Couldnt he just basically retire fron the Cubs and sign for any non-competing league?

        1. King Jeff

          I think it’s like a gentleman’s agreement between MLB and Japanese pro baseball. We don’t sign their guys until they are eligible for the posting process, and they don’t sign our guys without permission/release/compensation returned.

  5. cubs1967

    Cespedes was one of those players that the “Trigger” needed to be pulled last year. 9M with a .870 OPS is cheap. He’s an asset; could of been traded at any point of his contract for prospects. Theo got “schooled” by Billy. Guess that’s why he has a movie about the “new” sabermetrics.

    1. AB

      whats with the “quotes”

      1. Leo L

        reminds me of friends episode with hand quotes. funny stuff

        1. Njriv

          I was just watching that episode today, hilarious! Anyway, if I remember correctly, didn’t the Cubs finish 2nd in the Cespedes race? Didn’t they just offer a couple more years than he wanted? So it came down pretty close it wasn’t like they were never in it and the same goes for Yu Darvish.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            It seems that the Cubs offered the same amount of money but for 6 years instead of 4; that means that the A’s were offering about 50% more per season. We’ll probably never know particulars about the other offers because they never are formally registered anywhere, but it seemed as if the A’s offer was completely unique.

      2. cubs1967

        look it up in wikipedia………or graduate from high school english…..you decide.

        1. TWC

          Jeez, man, you’re really stepping up the trolling these days, aren’t you? I’m pretty sure high school English had something to say about using either six or nine periods for an ellipsis — or, frankly, when to use an ellipsis at all.

          1. Cubbie Blues

            I believe the proper way to use them, if at all, is with a space in front and behind with three periods.

            1. TWC

              I’ll play the role of MG here to note that the Chicago Manual of Style recommends a space between each period. Other style manuals differ.

    2. bbmoney

      Hindsight is always 20/20. He was a lot better this year than most people thought he would be. I’m pretty happy with getting Soler and a couple of other Cubans as well. Can’t always get them all.

    3. Cubbie Blues

      Are we to disregard only having control for four years?

  6. CubFan Paul

    “the Cubs shouldn’t move Soriano unless they know who’s going to replace his production next year, and, right now, there isn’t anyone”

    BJ Upton would be a nice buy low rebound free agent to target with a Dejesus like contract

  7. Rizzofanclub

    There’s a few players I think the cubs will look at on the pitching side I see the cubs signing 2 of the following: McCarthy,Floyd, Dan Haren, Colby Lewis, Anibal Sanchez, or Joe Saunders. I would love the cubs to get Haren. The Angels are not going to pick up his 15 million option and I bet he could get back to the pitcher he was last year in the NL Central. I also would not mind a Colby Lewis on a Maholm type deal (coming off an injury.) As for the outfield I say sign one of Cody Ross,Ryan Ludwick (dude kills at wrigley), or take a flyer on a guy like Delmon Young. I hope they work out an extension for Castro and Garza with some front loaded contracts so that leaves more money in 2014 and 2015 when the cubs will be bigger players in free agency.

    1. Cedlandrum

      Dan Haren will not be a cheap 1 year guy. He is going to get a fairly good contract because despite this year he has been really good. This year he is just o.k.

    2. Chris

      I just took a look at the free agent class… 2013 is a poor year for free agents. I have a bad feeling that means mediocre players are going to get receive more money than they should. That makes it hard to predict which guys slip through the cracks to the Cubs for low dollar – short term contracts. Guys I would look for are all the pitchers named by Rizzofanclub, and Delmon Young, BJ Upton, Angel Pagan, and maybe even take a shot at Melky Cabrera (not sure his value will fall that much, but you never know). I honestly don’t believe they will get any of these guys cheap, given the class in general, but they’re going to need a starting pitcher or 2 and some OF help, especially if the do move Soriano.

  8. Flashfire

    There’s also the possibility that after Carl Crawford, Theo is extremely gunshy about big free agent signings, and so they really aren’t part of the plan. Just flyers on guys like Maholm who could bounce back.

  9. Tennessee Cub

    I would take a starting rotation of Shark, Garza, Ervin Santan, Brandon Mcarthy, Dan Haren, What about Fransico Lirano? Is he a free agent? On the field, I like 1st-Rizzo, 2nd-Barney, ss-Castro, 3rd-Vitters or Stewart, LF-Soriano, CF-Upton, RF-Dejesus. Jackson worries me with his high strikeouts. If that staff stayed healthy they can win 65 + games at least. What ya’ll think? By the way Theo never wanted Carl Crawford, Larry did. Another reason he left Boston…..

    1. AB

      Santana would probably give up 40 home runs pitching for the Cubs.

    2. Flashfire

      I really like the idea of taking a flyer on Liriano. You can probably sign him to a minor league deal so he can just sit at Iowa as a 7th starter in the worst case.

      1. RicoSanto

        Lirano has been pitching great and would NEVER sign a minor league deal. He would be a good # 3 or #4 and wil get 2 or 3 years easily,,.

  10. Tennessee Cub

    Catcher, I left off. Wich we had a Posey or someone like that. Guess Wellington will have to do….

    1. Cedlandrum

      so does every other team in baseball

  11. fortyonenorth

    “The Cubs should shop Samardzija…”

    I should win the lottery. [-sigh]

    I sure hope this doesn’t happen. Shark’s got a bright future and could be a dominant pitcher for the next decade. Even if we got a few good prospects, I can’t see that being an upgrade.

  12. Tennessee Cub

    Also look at who is free agents: Edwin jackson, Lirano, Mcarthy, Sanchez, Santana (change of scenery), Carlos Zambrano–JOKING, Marcum, Greinke, …We need at leat two of these guys. Shark, Garza, and maybe Wood can cut it but those other guys we have are terrible….Also think the former Leo Nunez and Broxton could be good as closers. Nunez a high risk high reward guy.

  13. koyiehillsucks

    (3) the Cubs should shop Jeff Samardzija in the offseason … completely disagree with this, unless the return is way more than one can reasonably expect…

    1. Cedlandrum

      Yeah there is no way they should shop him, but they should listen to offers and if they are blown away make a deal.

    2. Frank

      Agreed–I don’t know why they’d actively shop him given what he’s shown this year.

  14. MichCubFan

    Depending on what they expect from Vizcaino, Raley, and Rusin and whether or not they keep Garza next season, the FO should sign a few free agent pitchers. I like McCarthy and then maybe sign another one or two starters to a one year with option contracts. Then we can trade them for more prospects like we did with Maholm. I wouldn’t want to block a guy who is ready, but then on the other hand we need a certain amount of starting pitching depth.

    1. Chris

      Maholm fell into their laps, surprisingly, and really had a rebound year you couldn’t have predicted. He provided enough value to trade for a high risk, high reward player like Vizcaino. While I hope they can duplicate that success, I don’t believe they’ll be able to find a similarly good player under the radar like Maholm. There isn’t anyone in the minors that a veteran will block, so I don’t think that’s a big concern. Rusin isn’t someone to get too excited about. Vizcaino, even if healthy, may not be a starting pitcher when all is said and done. And they still need to make a decision on Volstad. Unless they want to desperately sell high on Garza, he’s not going to be traded until after the season starts and he’s shown that he’s healthy. So going into the season, I think they have Garza, Samardzija, Wood, Volstad/Germano, Raley. Rusin can be a depth answer in AAA, if he isn’t picked up by another club in the Rule V. Mayve Vizcaino is a mid-season addition to the rotation, or takes the place of Garza when he’s traded. If they’re able to add a free agent cheap, great. I just wouldn’t expect a similar lucky pickup like Maholm.

  15. Cedlandrum

    For the love of God. Luis Valbuena is to Dale Svuem as Neifi was to Dusty. Someone tell Dale that he has other options. For crying out loud he gave Barney a break the other day and started Valbuena instead of Cardenas. It is getting out of control.

  16. Rizzofanclub

    I don’t think Haren would come cheap but I wouldn’t mind the cubs throwing some money at him. The cubs have so much money going into the offseason they have to spend money somewhere. Why not a guy like Haren, even if its a mistake it would be a 3 yr deal not a 8 yr deal. Also if Anibal Sanchez keeps pitching poorly for the Tigers he might be a great bargain considering all AL team would avoid him.

  17. Patrick G

    If the Cubs are going to trade Garza, TRADE Samardzjia! He will be too old for the Cubs when they will be relevant. He is still young enough for a team who is ready to win NOW but ONLY if they can get good prospects for him.

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Shark is too much of a question mark at this point. We wouldn’t get any good prospects back.

      1. RicoSanto

        Shark had 3 or 4 bad stars otherwise he has been very good. This was one of Theo’s big steps,He loves the guy and will lock him up.We can not trade every good player away and rebuild for 2018

    2. Njriv

      Even though Shark is 27 he doesn’t have the same ware and tare as a normal 28 year old pitcher due to his football career and him pitching the majority of time in middle relief he probably has an arm of a 25 year old.

    3. Chris

      Despite being only 2 years apart, moving Samardzija now doesn’t make a ton of sense. He has much less mileage on his arm. He’s got a much bigger frame, and it’s conceivable that he’s less likely to have injury issues, all while still being able to throw gas as he ages. And the most obvious thing is Samardzija just wouldn’t bring much back in trade at this stage, given his very small sample size of starting in the big leagues. If this team is competing in 2016, he’s a 31 year old at that point. You have to expect they will have some guys in their 30s playing lead roles. Now if they aren’t competing, and he has a little more trade value built up in a couple of years, I’m all for moving him to bring in more impact guys. Somebody needs to pitch next year. Garza has value and is going into his contract season. They aren’t going to lock him up to team-favorable terms, so he’ll be moved. Samardzija won’t be that expensive, and he doesn’t have high trade value anyway.

      1. Scotti

        Samardzija has huge trade value and he would bring a huge return. He has one plus pitch (slider) and two plus, plus pitches (FB and split). He has shown he is a starter this season. He is YOUNG, HEALTHY and under CONTROL for several more seasons for CHEAP. He would bring more than Garza in return (one year of control and injury concerns). Samardzija just isn’t available.

        1. hansman1982

          I remember a long time ago when people said he didn’t even have 1 plus pitch. That was 4 months ago.

          How about this, let’s see him repeat his results next year before we get too excited.

          1. Scotti

            First off, whatever “people” you were paying attention to 4 months ago were uninformed. Samardzija clearly has his mid-90′s FB and top-notch split working for him since the begining of last year. You need to pay attention to more informed people. People who pay attention to what is happening on the field. Second, the only reason that Samardzija’s numbers aren’t what they should be this season is the disasterous June where the Cubs were tinkering with his stuff. Regardless, if we had a prospect who had Samardzija’s stuff, we would pee our collective pants. Third, who is getting excited about Samardzija in the first place? I just merely mentioned all of the reasons that he would return a great, yes great, haul. And for all of those same reasons, he ain’t available.

  18. TSB

    That’s right, trade “Pops” Samardzjia, everyone knows that a 28 year old player is over the hill. And it’s not too early to consider getting rid of some middle aged players, like Rizzo and Castro for some 16 year old Dominicans who are their prime…

    1. cubs1967

      marshall was 29……….and lefthanded…………so yeah 28………old. Next!

      1. TSB

        How about Samardzjia to the Rays for David Price,James Shields, and Evan Longoria? Oh, sorry, the’re all over 26, just has beens…

  19. RicoSanto

    Afte they lock up up Castro, they wil lock up Samardza also like 5 years or 6 years at 50 or 55 mll He loves the cubs. He is a horse , you have to rip the ball out of his hand to come out of the game. He has a place in Valpo and another by Wrigley. He will be a solid # 2 or at least a #3…..Trade Marmol make Vizcaino the closer. Sign Liriano and Sanchez, then along with Wood,there are your 5 starters, with Garza, or if you trade Garza you put that piece in.

  20. Greenroom

    I am happy with where Theo and Hoyer have us going. The future is looking up, for sure. But just seeing it written, that basically 2013 is going to be a “wash” as well, is depressing. I knew it was going to take a few years…but wow, just tough to think about. I am going to enjoy the process, but I wish I had a fast forward button/machine. Patience is truly a virtue. Go Cubs!

  21. hcs

    Hey, Mark Prior just hit the market again…

  22. cubs1967

    dempster is out this weekend due to personal reasons. WOW-talk about a good season going to the toilet quickly. what goes around-comes around Demp-shoulda taken the trade to the braves………..better ballpark-better chance of good pitching w/ no DH……….

  23. THEOlogical

    Can someone please explain how a team with a $130 million payroll, would need at least half of their players to make a million or less on the 25 man MLB roster? I’m also (kinda) disgusted that the FO is already prepared to tank next season. To say that, you’d have to expect players with something to prove or offered a little more green to be the only ones willing to come play for the Cubs.

    1. Flashfire

      The answer to the question you asked is because about half of your roster is bench players and bullpen arms, and so saving money there lets you spend more on starters.

      The question I think you’re asking, though, is why are the Cubs being cheap. And they’re not. There was a story last night about them signing a shortstop to a six year deal worth over $8 million a season. Pretty soon a first baseman is going to get a similar deal. And then, hopefully, a third baseman and an outfielder.

      The problem is, if you just sign top free agents for $20 million a season, your $130 million budget is gone after 6 players — and you have $10 million more for the other 19. For those huge FA contracts to make sense, you need to have substantial talent already on the team at a reasonable price. Theo’s plan right now is to get that other talent on the team so that the high priced free agents can push them over the top.

      1. THEOlogical

        Thanks Flashfire,
        I kinda see your explanation. I was looking at the question all wrong. Maybe from the POV of someone not seeing the money being spent and where is it all going? If they aren’t going to sign more than one LT contract this off season (Castro) and just one the following yr, then where is the saved money being spent? I understand once you’ve signed 4-5, but til you have, where does it go?

        1. hansman1982

          what if the saved money is being saved? That is the one outcome of reduced payroll that the “Ricketts is CHEAP” crowd fails to comprehend.

          What if Ricketts told Theo, “I am giving you $XYZ million each year. If you spend it all, so be it. If you roll $XY million over each year, so be it. I just want a damn good franchise”?

          1. Hawkeye

            Or what if Ricketts is just cheap is that a possibility as well. We’ll see I guess.

            1. Eric

              I really don’t think Tom is cheap. I think he really cares and wants to see the Cubs as an amazing team. The reason we are not spending 100s of millions right now is we really need a couple of years to improve this farm system. I mean you can also trade for great players but you need the great farm system for that. Look at who they added since they’ve been here. Rizzo, Soler, Almora, Vizciano. The more of those type of “possible” franchise players the easier it is to build (and trade) for other franchise players. They just need more time to collect guys like that because there are 29 other teams trying to get the Soler’s and Vizciano’s of the game.

  24. Mike Foster

    What’s with the flashing smiley face? First time I visited in a while….guess it will be a while longer if that is the new normal. And it seemed like a good post, just couldn’t finish it….

    1. Crockett

      Someone on the ‘shrooms again?

  25. RicoSanto

    We need a good RH Bat ( OF ) next year ,sign Ludwick.

  26. die hard

    Found this at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/

    Potential Free Agents for 2013-Pitchers

    The following players have contracts expiring or should have the six years of service necessary to become free agents after the 2012 season.

    * – player whose current contract includes 2013 option

    Starting Pitchers
    Scott Baker *
    Joe Blanton
    Kevin Correia
    Jorge De La Rosa *
    R.A. Dickey *
    Scott Feldman *
    Gavin Floyd *
    Zack Greinke
    Jeremy Guthrie
    Dan Haren *
    Roberto Hernandez *
    Tim Hudson *
    Colby Lewis
    Francisco Liriano
    Kyle Lohse
    Derek Lowe
    Shaun Marcum
    Daisuke Matsuzaka
    Brandon McCarthy
    Carl Pavano
    Jake Peavy *
    Anibal Sanchez
    Jonathan Sanchez
    Ervin Santana *
    Joe Saunders
    James Shields *
    Jake Westbrook *
    Randy Wolf *
    Carlos Zambrano *

    Relief Pitchers
    David Aardsma
    Jeremy Accardo
    Mike Adams
    Grant Balfour *
    Matt Belisle
    Rafael Betancourt *
    Taylor Buchholz
    Sean Burnett *
    D.J. Carrasco
    Randy Choate
    Jose Contreras *
    Pedro Feliciano *
    Brian Fuentes *
    Sean Green
    Kevin Gregg *
    J.P. Howell
    Hong-Chih Kuo
    Casey Janssen
    Bobby Jenks
    Brandon League
    Matt Lindstrom *
    Mark Lowe
    Brandon Lyon
    Shawn Marshall
    Dustin McGowan
    Peter Moylan
    Brett Myers *
    Pat Neshek
    Will Ohman
    Juan Carlos Oviedo (aka Leo Nunez)
    Tony Pena
    Joel Peralta
    J.J. Putz *
    Ramon Ramirez
    Mariano Rivera
    Joakim Soria *
    Hisanori Takahashi
    Robinson Tejeda
    Carlos Villanueva

    1. Carew

      they should at least target Liriano, McCarthy, both Sanchez’s, League..but thats just me…for the other relievers i have to see their ages…

  27. ferris

    i hope dempster gets it together soon ,hes a great dude an he didnt want to leave,i dont get why people dont get that,im sure hes as mad at l.a. as anyone……he lives in chi. and arizona i was hoping the dbacks would get him,if you dont know demps personal sitch you shouldnt judge…he’s one of the good guys.

  28. The Cubs Are Showing “Immediate Interest” in Brandon McCarthy | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] in the Cubs’ reasonable range of pursuit come this offseason. In fact, back in mid-August, I called McCarthy the “early favorite for rumors,” expecting that he was going to be a prime target for the Cubs. Two weeks later, McCarthy took a [...]