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The pitching theme continues, as it will for some time …

  • Gordon Wittenmyer believes the Cubs will be going after guys like Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, and Shaun Marcum this offseason, which is an interesting trio to list. In many ways, they are the three best pitchers on the market after Zack Greinke, and possibly Dan Haren. I would be surprised to see the Cubs land two of those three, but, if they did, the rotation suddenly starts to look credible, if not downright good. Garza/Samardzija/Sanchez/Jackson/Wood? It lacks a true ace (many rotations do), but it’s deep and offers quite a bit of upside. It’s still extraordinarily early in the offseason, and I still believe we’re going to see a pitcher or two come in by way of trade, but that’s about the best rotation you could sort-of-maybe-kinda-realistically hope to see the Cubs field in 2013. Let me caution you and plant my flag here: I think Sanchez is going to get far, far more money than folks are thinking. He’s not a “cheap” option, particularly in this market.
  • Phil Rogers also mentions Marcum as a possible Cubs target, together with Ervin Santana, whom we’ve discussed here before.
  • In truth, here’s the thing on the starting pitching market: other than Greinke, Haren, and probably Ryan Dempster, I have a hard time ruling out any pitcher from the Cubs’ possible plans, especially those that are 31 and younger.
  • And I’ve mentioned him before, but it’s worth reiterating: a guy like Carlos Villanueva is a perfect fit for the Cubs. He wants to start, but his current team (the Blue Jays) doesn’t think he can be an effective starter. Because that view is probably shared by a number of other teams, Villanueva’s options are limited if he’s set on starting (and trying to make more money in the long-run by succeeding as a starter). And the teams that can give him the opportunity to start for the majority of the season even if he struggles are also limited. A team not expected to be in contention, but that still wants to add a few free agent pitchers like the Cubs? Yup, that’s a perfect fit.
  • The Atlanta Braves are poised to go into 2013 with the following starting pitchers theoretical available to start for them: Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran, and a few other upper minors types. And that’s without mentioning Jair Jurrjens (who’s likely to be non-tendered, and could be a reclamation type for the Cubs) and Brandon Beachy (who won’t be back until late in the second half after Tommy John surgery). Yes, teams like to have depth, but given the Braves’ increasingly tight pursestrings, you can imagine they’ll consider dealing a young arm or two. What a deal might look like involving the Cubs – who, yes please, want some young pitching – is anyone’s guess, but maybe the Cubs could take Dan Uggla‘s contract off of the Braves’ hands ($13 million per for the next three years) in exchange for picking up someone like Delgado (we know the Cubs like him … ), while sending back a couple good positional prospects and/or Darwin Barney (which, I know: sacrilegious)? Or maybe the Cubs would target Tommy Hanson, who is coming off a down year, and is about to get a healthy raise in his first year of arbitration?
  • From Nick Cafardo: “After finishing with 32 homers and 108 RBI, it appears the Cubs should have suitors for him this offseason. Soriano makes so much sense for a team like the Rays as their DH, especially since Theo Epstein would pick up most of the final two years of Soriano’s deal. Soriano could also help the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Indians.” You still can’t put it at better than 50/50 Soriano is dealt this Winter (and, depending on the return, it’s still debatable what the right move is), but the uptick in “Soriano is good and worth trading for” stories we’re seeing at the national level is not meaningless.
  • JR

    I know that the Cubs want to trade Soriono, but do they have anyone that is better to replace him? If you’re going to pay his salary, why not just keep him? Unless a deal is struck for quality prospects, why not continue to trot him out there?

    • Featherstone

      Getting back a decent prospect in return is implied, but yeah I dont think the cubs move him for absolutely nothing.

      • willis

        Yeah that’s the problem. There isn’t anyone right now to replace him and be anywhere near as productive as he was. Saying that, I surely don’t expect him to repeat this year next season. Tough call to make but if you can get a deal done with anything credible in return, may as well pull the trigger.

        I also think he’ll be more open this offseason to certain destinations than he was this season. He wants to win (according to him) and doesn’t want to be around for the sucking. Since it’s inevitable that there will be lots of sucking, I think his mind opens up some.

        • Featherstone

          Fully agree. I really dont think he repeats the performance he had this year and his value couldn’t be any higher than it is now. I think the Cubs are willing to eat nearly all the money to get a legit prospect in return.

          • ruby2626

            People make it sound like the year Soriano had was right out of the blue, it wasn’t. Last year Sori was at 26 and 88, if you prorate the 86 additional at bats he had this year over last year he would have been at 31 and 104, only a HR and 6 RBI’s different. Where he picked it up was his fielding, his hitting was almost the same.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You can prorate HR, but not RBI; those are not an individual stat, and there is huge variation in the proportion of baserunners an individual knocks home from year to year, never mind from month to month.

              That written, I think that part of the reason people are higher on Sori right now is that he learned to (at least frequently) distinguish between an outer half fastball and a foot outside slider last year. He simply did not look as bad in 2012, even when he was flyng out or even K’ing: going down on a “he didn’t get cheated!” swing looks a lot better than going down on a “got badly fooled and waved at it!” swing.

              • David

                Quick question doc. Why cant rbi be quantified a bit more to make them more meaningful. For example say Soriano in 2012 had an average of. 245 runners on base per at bat, or. 139 runners in scoring position per ab, which is +/- league average or whatever.

                Then you could come up with a sort of conversion rate as compared to league average. Maybe something already does this but usually its just the same old “rbis are meaningless” argument.

                There you go. Something to do in your spare time!

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  There are a few issues. One, BAwRiSP almost never deviates from the normal BA once you take into account sampling error. So, you’d use his batting average.

                  Moreover, BAwRiSP correlates poorly with RBI and even the proportion of runners driven home. That’s because it ignores guys on first driven in by HR and doubles (& triples), which are a big chunk of a slugger’s RBI.

                  So, what you wind up with is much more complex. Here is (I think!) the equation for the expected number of RBI:

                  (P[base loaded] x
                  (P[non-K out] x (P[runner 3rd scoring] + P[runner 2nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[single] x (1 + P[runner 2nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[double] x (1 + P[runner 2nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[triple] x 3
                  + P[homer] x 4))

                  + (P[2nd & 3rd] x
                  (P[non-K out] x (P[runner 3rd scoring] + P[runner 2nd scoring])
                  + P[single] x (1 + P[runner 2nd scoring])
                  + P[double] x (1 + P[runner 2nd scoring])
                  + P[triple] x 2
                  + P[homer] x 3))

                  + (P[1st & 3rd] x
                  (P[non-K out] x (P[runner 3rd scoring] + + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[single] x (P[runner 3nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[double] x (1 + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[triple] x 2
                  + P[homer] x 3))

                  +(P[1st & 2nd] x
                  (P[non-K out] x (P[runner 2nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[single] x (P[runner 2nd scoring] + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[double] x (1 + P[runner 1st scoring])
                  + P[triple] x 2
                  + P[homer] x 3))

                  +(P[3rd] x
                  (P[non-K out] x P[runner 3rd scoring]
                  + P[single] x P[runner 3nd scoring]
                  + P[double] x P[runner 3nd scoring]
                  + P[triple] x 1
                  + P[homer] x 2))

                  +(P[2rd] x
                  (P[non-K out] x P[runner 2nd scoring]
                  + P[single] x P[runner 2nd scoring]
                  + P[double] x P[runner 2nd scoring]
                  + P[triple] x 1
                  + P[homer] x 2))

                  +(P[1st] x
                  (P[non-K out] x P[runner 1st scoring]
                  + P[single] x P[runner 1st scoring]
                  + P[double] x P[runner 1st scoring]
                  + P[triple] x 1
                  + P[homer] x 2))

                  +(P[Empty] x P[homer])

                  Wow, that’s ugly. But what’s really key here is that a HUGE chunk of this is dependent on how often a guy is batting with runners on base, and that the two most common PAs will be with either bases empty or runner on first only. In such cases, HR drives in runs; in the former case triples (rare!) will as will doubles: but, then, a lot of possible triples wind up doubles because the guy on first couldn’t score.

                  So, the OBP of the prior 4-5 batters is huge (as is the slugging of those players), as this hugely affects opportunities. Base-running skills are important: some guys have a much higher P[1st scoring] than do others.

                  And here is the kicker: that’s just the expectation!. Calculating the probabilty of X more or X fewer for error bars? No way!

                  That said, P[HR], and P[doubles & triples] are pretty heritable from one year to the next. P[single] is up to Eris.

                  I’ll shut up now…..

                  • cubchymyst

                    That is an impressive equation. There has to be a simpler equation than taking into account every possible scenario a run can be batted in. Wouldn’t a stat like wOBA be pretty good at predicting since it takes into account all types.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Sadly, I don’t think that there is, at least if you want to do RBI. Basically, you have to look at all of the combinations, not just PAs with runners in scoring position.

                      wOBA tells you something different. Basically, wOBA should correspond to the (runs scored + RBI) / 2 you expect if you cloned a guy (and had a DH) so that, say, Starlin Castro batted in slots 1-9.

                      But that’s why wOBA or runs-created are better than RBI and runs-scored for predicting how much Sori (or any other player) will contribute to another team: that’s based on what Sori does himself, without worrying about what Castro, Rizzo, Barney, etc., are doing. After all, those are the guys that affect how frequently Sori bats in all of those circumstances. And that’s why we cannot really even do anything like rescale RBI to 162 games: with that many factors, chance variation is huge even if Sori (or anybody else) is clockwork.

                  • King Jeff

                    Doc, I’m having a little trouble graphing quadratic equations. Can you help?

    • ncsujuri

      As has been discussed at other times when the words Soriano & trade come up in the same sentence its worth noting that the more money the Cubs eat on his contract the better the prospect(s) coming back are likely to be…

    • terencem

      Theo has made every indication, at least in public, that they will only trade Soriano for a player they find of value. He won’t just be dumped off like Zambrano was.

  • Zogie

    If the rays pick up James Shield’s option would they be able to trade him in the offseason? Soriano, cash, and prospects for Shields sounds like a good deal to me.

    • Kyle

      Yes, they could trade him.

      As with all deals involving the Rays, be prepared to pay through the nose. They do not part with talent lightly.

    • Ssckelley

      This would be awesome

    • terencem

      I think if the Rays are going to trade Shields, they’ll only do it for younger talent just because that’s how they operate. I’m not suggesting it would take Baez, just that you shouldn’t expect them to give him up for Soriano without something they find pretty attractive attached.

  • cubsin

    I can’t imagine Soriano accepting a trade to Cleveland, and I doubt the weather in Baltimore or Toronto would appeal to him. The Dodgers OF is full. It’s possible but unlikely that there’s a fit with the Yankees. That leaves Tampa Bay as his most likely destination.

    • BD

      Toronto is in a dome, so that might make it an OK option.

      • BD

        LOL- the way I said that made it sound like the whole city is in a dome.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        The Canadians tax the hell out of you though and that might not be to Sori’s liking.

    • Jason

      I keep hearing about the weather issue with Soriano, and how he only wants to go to a warm weather team, but I’m not sure that’s the case.

      Soriano said he doesn’t want to go to San Francisco because it’s not good weather to play baseball, which can be interpreted as “it’s a big ballpark and the ball doesn’t carry well in that city so therefore I won’t be able to put up great stats, so don’t trade me there.”

  • THEOlogical

    Do not, I repeat, do not go for Hanson. I live here in the deep South and I’ve watched his entire season, he’s not worth a decent player traded. He’s the worse to keep a guy at first and can’t seem to finish off hitters or get out of threats. I know the Braves will be trying to shop him, and well, when they try to shop a pitcher….look out. I’d rather go after Delgado.

  • Evan

    I read somewhere that the braves plan on moving ugg la to third to replace chipper. If thats the case they will obvioulsy have a hole at second. I don’t know what wren thinks of barney but possibly a package built around barney or barney and taking back a bad contract could net us someone like hanson or Delgado.

  • BD

    Barring trades, my SP free agent list would include:

    if years/money are right: Haren, Sanchez, Marcum
    1 year (maybe with option for 2nd): Kuroda, F. Garcia

  • cubchymyst

    I do like the scenario you laid out for getting Delgado from the Braves. Makes me wonder if there is any other Dan Uggla situations out there for the Cubs to take advantage of. Find a small market team with a nice prospect and instead of throwing in more players take on the payroll of an aging veteran.

    • Hebner The Gravedigger

      Agreed unless those vets block the way of youngsters. I guess we will find out how much Cubbie management values players like Watkins. There has got to be an old overpaid 3rd baseman / starter the Cubs can take on in return for young talent….

    • Chris

      I agree as well. There’s been a great deal of chatter regarding the value of taking back a ton of prospects. I’d rather see one truely worth prospect received in return versus volume. And with the financial flexibility the Cubs have, maybe they can go out and provide teams salary relief in exchange for a top prospect. If they money isn’t going to be spent on free agency, this is absolutely the type of move that the FO must dig in on.

  • Andrew

    Would love getting uggla and delgado for something like Barney and Lake and maybe another throw in or two. Uggla would have had a very good season if his HR/FB rate was closer to his career average and he already had a pretty good season as it was.

    • AB

      doubt you could build a deal off Barney. Braves already have simmons at short.

      • King Jeff

        I’m pretty sure everyone is assuming Barney as the replacement at 2nd for Uggla. So, I’m not sure why Simmons presence would be a reason for not doing that deal.

    • Drew7

      Uggla: Decrease in power, coupled with an increase in K’s, at age 32 makes me nervous about signing him.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Keep in mind, my suggestion above (which is very, very from the hip) is less about wanting Uggla and more about finding ways to “buy” a young pitcher with money rather than prospects.

        • Drew7

          Oh I know. My post was more of a response to him being productive again. If you give up Barney, Uggla would be a downgrade at this point.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Maybe. But, according to FanGraphs, Barney’s 2.5 WAR this year is better than just one of Uggla’s seven career seasons (and that one was a mere 2.4, in 2011). I’m not so sure it’s a downgrade, overall, even if Uggla repeats his “down” year in 2013.

            • Drew7

              At 32, and in what looks like a pretty good decline, a huge amount of FB and IFFB, and a BABIP right around what you’d expect, all signs point to him not getting a whole lot better than he was this year (which included a pretty decent start). Not to mention, at his age, the wheels could fall off defensively at anytime.

              Even though I I wouldn’t say this most of the time, I feel Barney would be the better option.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Which is why the Braves would consider the deal.

                Again: the goal for the Cubs is to acquire young pitching. Gotta pay a price.

                • Drew7

                  I understand that, Ace. I was under the impression that we had shifted this convo to just comparing Uggla and Barney.

                  “Maybe. But, according to FanGraphs, Barney’s 2.5 WAR this year is better than just one of Uggla’s seven career seasons (and that one was a mere 2.4, in 2011). I’m not so sure it’s a downgrade, overall, even if Uggla repeats his “down” year in 2013.”

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    We had, but it’s part and parcel of the same conversation – since it’s not like I suggested swapping Barney and Uggla as a way to improve the Cubs.

                • Mick

                  We like the Braves pitchers but I don’t understand what their motivation would be for dumping payroll. Chipper ($14 million) and Bourn ($7 million) are both off the books now, the Braves have options on McCann ($500K buyout) and Hudson ($1 million buyout) they could choose to decline, and the option to non-tender Jair Jurrjens ($5.5 million +). Uggla makes up $13.2 million of the $14.7 million the Braves have committed for next years payroll. Granted, they’ve got holes to fill and a slew of players going into arbitration.

                  If we’re taking the angle of taking on bad contracts to acquire prospect pitchers, teams that need payroll flexibility are the Angels (Vernon Wells, Howie Kendrick), Mets (Johan Santana, Jason Bay), and Giants (Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum).

                  • JR

                    I like the idea of looking at taking on Zito he is up after next year for a prospect. I am sure the Giants would love to put that $23 mill. towards some offense.

  • King Jeff

    Lukewarm Stove: IT HAS BEGUN!!!!!

  • When the Music’s Over

    No thanks on Marcum. That shoulder gives me the willies. Anibel Sanchez is probably also on that boat. Take a look at this link. Not someone I would necessarily want to dish out some ~4/$60 contract.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/03/spanish-links-sanchez-hanley-contreras.html

    • When the Music’s Over

      Sorry, I should have included Sanchez’s quote.

      “I’ve never pitched without pain. There’s always a small problem with something,” Sanchez said. “I have five scars inside my shoulder, and some nerve has to be touching those.”

  • Melrosepad

    Just read an article that wonders if the Tigers will try and keep Sanchez and look to trade Porcello figuring that Sanchez’s power works better for them than the finesse of Porcello. Why not see if we can trade with them. Porcello will be 24 next season and entering his first year of arbitration. He would be a long term piece we could build around and his numbers would probably be a bit better with being in the NL.

  • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

    I’m going to beat the Ervin Santana drum here. He’s coming off a year where his HR/FB ration is basically twice the league average. He’s got a league average groundball rate. The strikeout rate did drop a bit, but I think he could bounce back in the NL. He’s only thirty and he’s averaged over 180 innings per year since 05. He’s durable, decent and coming off a down year (not requiring a long term deal hopefully).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I definitely like him as a bounce-back pick-up candidate for the Cubs.

  • Melrosepad

    For the bullpen, what about someone like Cory Wade who was let go by the Yankees? He has always had low walk totals (2.1 BB/9). I know his ERA was high this year but it seems like a fairly cheap flier on someone who could be an improvement on the walk-a-thon that we had from most of our guys.

  • MightyBear

    I think Jair Jurrgens is a perfect candidate for the Cubs. He would be a low cost high return guy the current FO is looking for and the Braves look like they are about to give up on him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sure, as long as the expectations are low: the concerns about his health, the terribleness of his 2012, and the smoke-and-mirrors by which he amassed his previously low ERA cannot be overstated.

      (And won’t be, in a separate post on Jurrjens, once he is actually non-tendered.)

      • terencem

        I look forward to your thoughts on Jurrjens. I just think the Cubs tried the reclamation project approach this year. I don’t know if they’ll be able to sell it again.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    What about Martin Prado at 3rd base… I dont want Dan Uggla.. his Defense cost the Braves a Run against the Cardinals in the playoffs.. I would rather have Barney’s Defense.. Infield of Prado Castro Barney, Rizzo and Castillo

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You missed the point: “getting” Uggla is about “paying” the Braves, not about getting this super awesome extra throw-in for the Cubs. The Braves won’t want to deal Prado, and even if they did, he would cost more in prospects – defeating the entire purpose of working with the Braves in the first place.

      • terencem

        Barney and Soriano for Uggla might work out but I don’t know if it fits the FO’s strategy of younger, fitter, better and then the Cubs have to plug left field on top of third and they have an expensive aging second baseman.

        • terencem

          Also, Uggla has always shown “old player skills” which, according to Bill James, don’t age well.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Why would the Cubs even consider that deal?

          • terencem

            I don’t just mean Uggla for Soriano and Barney but an expanded deal might work somehow.

            • Eric

              You forgot the fact we are targetting Delgado in that imaginary deal.

  • Stevie B

    Basically, what I’m seeing here is …we will be better off trying to build our own team. Nothing but crap out there to throw money at.

  • Rizzofanclub

    What do you think about Mark Reynolds as an option for 3rd? Plenty of power and could be had on a nice 2 year deal.

    • terencem

      Beggars can’t be choosers, is how I see it. His glove at third is a catastrophe and there is risk that he could become ineffective as a hitter due to the strikeouts but at least it hasn’t completely ruined his value yet.

  • JR

    I would be good with taking Uggla and his crap contract on to aquire some good pitching in the deal. But I would hate to give up Barney in that scenario. Ideally I would like to move Barney in a seperate deal for more pitching if we got the Uggster.

  • Kearnage

    Personally, I love the idea of trading for players with bad contracts if you get good prospect(s) in return. It may be a way for teams with money to collect prospects especially with the rule changes to the draft and international signings. If we traded for Uggla and received prospect(s) in the off season, and then ate a lot of his contract at the deadline we might be able to move him for prospects again if he puts up decent numbers during the first half.

    I think its a creative way for a team that knows they are going to be bad to essentially “buy” prospects. I like this outside thinking and I think it could be an effective plan for the Cubs because they know they are going to be bad for at least one more year (if not more), but they also have some money to spend. How do you spend the free money you have to collect prospects with the rule changes? This could be an interesting way.

    • JR

      I completely agree. The Cubs have all this payroll flexibility. Lets take on a couple inflated turds that are up in a couple years so we can get some good young pitching. This is exactly the type of things we are going to have to do to get our young pitching to where it needs to be.

      • Drew7

        There’s also a flip-side of that coin: With the ristrictions of the new CBA, teams are probably going to be more reluctant to give up their top prospects – especially in a salary dump.

        • JR

          I hear ya there Drew.7 I just thought it made some sense with the Braves since they are stacked with pitching and penny pinching. Seems like a match made in heaven!

          • Mick

            Are the Braves penny-pinching? They’ll have a lot of $$ available and could move Prado to 3B to replace Chipper. In that case, they’d have a need in LF which they could choose to fill via FA or trade. Also, the Braves elected to go with Ross at C for their 1-game playoff with the Cardinals which leads me to think picking up McCann’s option isn’t a foregone conclussion. Finally, since they do have depth in their rotation, maybe they decline Hudson’s option too.

            • JR

              I know the Braves have payroll coming off, but they have a ton of young players that are going to becoming very expensive soon. By everything I have seen and heard they have been trying to cut payroll for several years.

              • Mick

                I’m just not feeling the match between the Braves with Uggla and the Cubs unless we actually gave them useful pieces as opposed to just salary relief. What about the Angels and Kendrick? Or, the Giants with Zito and/or Lincecum? Those may be more realistic options since they’re contending for divisions and could use the payroll flexibility to address their other needs.

                • JR

                  I like the Giants as a match for the Cubs a lot too. Even though Lincecum had a bad year I would be surprised if they were looking at just salary relief for him. But I think Zito would be great. A guy who can eat up a ton of innings for us next year and we pay his terrible salary and get a young piece back too. I don’t think money matters much to the Angels at all though.

  • JR

    For what it’s worth I hope that Ortiz isn’t back with the Red Sox. That seems like another place where Soriano could be a fit. If he gets past “the weather”. At least that turd Cafardo likes Sori in Boston nation.

  • Fastball

    I would do a trade for Uggla and have him play 3B for the Cubs.
    I would not send Barney. I would send our kid at AA though. he hasn’t proven anything at ML level and I won’t miss him if he’s gone. I do like the idea of snagging Jurgens and Delgado and maybe Hanson. We have plenty of infielders and outfielders in the minors we can send them as many as they want. None of them are superstars in waiting except for Soler and Almora. The rest are all good for any trade involving pitching.

    • Dr. Percival Cox

      “None of them are superstars in waiting except for Soler and Almora.”

      What do you base this on? (By the way, Javy Baez thinks you’re forgetting someone.)

  • Fastball

    I personally think Uggly would be a good third baseman for the Cubs. I am not all that big on trading Barney. He is proven he hits enough for me. If we get a few HR hitters like Uggly it wouldn’t matter if Barney hits .268 to .272 ish. I for one think defense and pitching win games and if we add some production at 3B and move DeJesus to Center and get a Right Fielder with some power we could be competitive in the NL Central. That’s with a boat load of pitching coming in. Gotta have that or I will play even more golf and spend more time on my boat and riding my motorcycle. Cuz watching another season like this one won’t be real high on my list everyday.

    • Drew7

      “I for one think pitching and defense wins games”

      Well, you’re about halfway there…

  • R.E.S

    If you are going to take on 13 million a year just to get a pitcher why not just spend 13 million on a free agent pitcher.

    • TWC

      Because if you take on that $13m/year for a pitcher, you’d also expect to be getting a prospect or two in the deal. You don’t get the prospect(s) w/ a FA pitcher.

      • DarthHater

        And what does that make you? Other than illiterate.

  • Carne Harris

    I’m the type who’s still checking MLB trade rumors twice a day, so I love these articles, even if Luke Warmstove does remind me of a porn name.

    Dig the idea of pursuing Carlos Villanueva, or RP’s in general that they’ve scouted and believe might make good starters. Uggla seems like a plus power guy for a 2b, so I’d be surprised if Atlanta wants to let him go since that contract gives them value imo. Happily surprised if it means we get Delgado.

  • R.E.S

    Its an interesting thought. Another way to try to buy prospects. I don’t really want to the glass half empty guy but I think its going to take a team with more money problems and an uglier contract to make it work though.

    • TWC

      Of course, nothing’s saying that you can’t both trade for the $13m pitcher (and the associated prospects) and the $13m FA, depending on the who’s who of it all.

  • DarthHater

    I see you’ve learned to avoid trying to use contractions. Wise choice.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sorry that your comment now looks like it’s responding to something that isn’t there. Necessary evil.

      • TWC

        Pfft. No biggie.

        • FFP

          Pfft. No biggie.

          It was fun trying to imagine the missing posts this time. Kind of a Rorschach test, only with invisible ink.

      • TWC

        Anyone we know?

  • DarthHater

    Oh, dear. There’s another of those pesky contractions. You really should try becoming less ignorant before opening your piehole (note correct use of “your”).

  • TWC

    Ya know, kiddo, baldtaxguy might be able to help you out one day. Let’s say you find yourself on the receiving end of a $20,000 check. Now your concern may be, and this is where you might have to, uh, check with your accountant, that this might bump you into a higher, uh, tax…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sorry that your comment now looks like it’s responding to something that isn’t there.

    • baldtaxguy

      So curious as to how a cross-the-line rant involved individual income taxation.

      • TWC

        *I* am curious how you got to be lumped in on an anti-TWC rant, to be honest. But I’ll admit, it does engender a sense of camaraderie, baldy. Cheers, kid.

  • DarthHater

    There. You correctly used “you’re” and “your” in a single post. Congratulations.

  • Don

    Trade for Delgado, give up Lake if you have to get him. Then trade Sori (trade value is high now) and Barney for Shields plus a top 10 prospect. Sign Haran. Trade for Carlos Villanueva. And the big one…sign free agent Josh Hamilton to a 4 year contract to replace Sori. Make these moves and Cubs will win 85 games next year.

    • Cubs1967

      you still beleive in the easter bunny? too!

    • Jeremy

      It what world does it only take Soriano and Barney to get James Shields and a top 10 prospect?

    • Njriv

      The best way for the Cubs to quire starting pitching is through free agency. They have money to spend and they really don’t have that many trade-able assets. There are plenty of decent options in free agency like, Lariano, Edwin Jackson, McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Ervin Santana, and Carlos Villanueva. Depending on what they are going to do with Garza they are going to need at least 2 or 3 starters, because they really don’t have any in-house options. I would also like to see them pick up another OF, a RP or two, they are going to have to re-tool their bench, because they really don’t have one outside of Valbuena, maybe Sappelt, but who knows. If Soriano is willing to accept a trade to Cleveland I would like to see the Cubs try to snag Asdrubal Cabrera and plug him into third base. I know he hasn’t really played there, but I’m pretty sure he can figure it out, if he can match his 2011 numbers, they are good enough to fulfill that position offensively. I see the Cubs being active this off-season, last year was really about getting rid of all the dead-weight and evaluating what they had. Since most of the talent is in the lower-minors, they are going to be forced to make some moves if they want to take this rebuilding plan to the next level.

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