Lukewarm Stove: Chatting Bits About Chisenhall, McCarthy, Chavez, Porcello, Sanchez, More

A little Saturday afternoon chatting bits for your perusing …

  • Bruce Levine chatted earlier this week, and offered his usual array of thoughts. Among them: (1) The Cubs may elect to fill center field from within, going with a Tony Campana/Dave Sappelt platoon until Brett Jackson is ready (if that happens, you know the Cubs have absolutely no intention of winning more than 65 games in 2013); (2) the Cubs are still looking to move Carlos Marmol, and Bruce mentions the possibility of picking up a Major League third baseman; (3) that big Marlins trade didn’t interest the Cubs because they didn’t want one year of Josh Johnson or an aging Mark Buehrle (among many other reasons the deal wouldn’t have made sense for the Cubs); (4) the Cubs would love to be able to add a young third baseman like Nick Castellanos or Lonnie Chisenhall (well, yeah); (5) Bruce doesn’t get the sense that the Cubs are interested in bringing Ian Stewart back; (6) the Cubs “would listen” to an offer for Darwin Barney, but they aren’t looking to trade him; (7) the Cubs have not been negotiating with Ryan Dempster; (8) as soon as Matt Garza is healthy, the Cubs will be shopping him; (9) both the Cubs and White Sox are looking at Brandon McCarthy, whose agent says McCarthy would “love a chance to come back to Chicago”; (10) Bruce guesses that Chisenhall would cost Josh Vitters and “another young player” (sounds about right to me, though that other player would have to be a top 20 type prospect, at least); (11) Bruce hasn’t been able to confirm Jim Bowden’s report of the Cubs making an offer to Francisco Liriano; and (12) the Cubs will probably look at Eric Chavez as a platoon option for next year.
  • It’s not a roster-type rumor, but Levine added that he hears the Cubs are considering adding another LED board in left field, like the one they added in right field before the 2012 season. It’s not finalized, and I’m not quite sure how that would work, given the slightly different configuration on each side of the field. It couldn’t quite be a mirror image.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith from MLBTR also chatted … (1) If the Tigers re-sign Anibal Sanchez, they’ll probably look to deal Rick Porcello, who will “draw interest” (in other words, they’re not just giving him away, despite his slow-developing career); (2) Ben sees the Cubs’ next move being another free agent starting pitcher; (3) the Scott Baker signing was a good one for the Cubs; and (4) a seven-year deal for Anibal Sanchez in the $13 to $15 million per year range is too much.

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

98 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Chatting Bits About Chisenhall, McCarthy, Chavez, Porcello, Sanchez, More”

  1. Njriv

    Other than the mentions of Chisenhall and Porcello, I find this Lukewarm stove quite depressing.

    1. calicubsfan007

      @Njriv: I am taking this in perspective, I wouldn’t be too worried. There are days that the stove is on fire, then there are days when it is well “lukewarm” (=.

  2. MightyBear

    I would love to see the Cubs trade for McCarthy AND trade for Porcello. That would be sweeeeeeet!

  3. MightyBear

    I mean sign McCarthy. Dammit.

    1. calicubsfan007

      @mighty bear: I was gonna say… (=

  4. william

    i think the cubs should do lonnie chisenhall for vitters and mcnutt unless they can do a trade with the tigers for porcello and castellanos i would be ok with barney, marmol, and a prospect for those two and i also think liriano would be a nice fit in wrigley

  5. Dr. Percival Cox

    Chisenhall is an interesting piece. Obviously, you’d much rather have him than not have him. But the question becomes what price is fair for a guy who threw away a fortune in top-10 draft money to steal computers? He clearly comes with a herd of elephants in the room when looking at character (the exact opposite of Rizzo), and so decided on whether or not to give someone like Gioskar away for this guy becomes a pretty big decision. Have fun, Theo.

    1. terencem

      He’s an incremental upgrade over what the Cubs have otherwise but, of course, the question is at what cost.

  6. florida Al

    why is everyone in love with brandon mccarthy?? hes a number 3-4 at best…unless they can get him next to nothing money wise.but i dont see that happening…

    1. Sanchez

      Well thats where we most likely would put him, behind garza and shark

    2. fromthemitten

      past two years his era has been under 3.40 that’s a damn good pitcher right there… he’s just had health concerns

      1. fromthemitten

        3.29 to be exact

  7. JR

    So as of now anyone know who the free agents are next yr.? This offseason I think the FO will only be looking for players who are bounceback/just had Tommy John/suck ass. I am ready for next year. Typical Cub fan. haha..

    1. Sanchez

      Josh johnson ,Tim lincecum,Phil hughes, Ricky nolasco just to name a few sp

    2. João Lucas
  8. cubsin

    Brett, do you have any insight into why the Cubs seem dead set on trading Garza rather than trying to re-sign him? I could understand trading him for the right prospects, but the “right prospects” haven’t been available yet, and his value is likely to decline on Opening Day if he’s still with the Cubs (no comp pick for his new club versus several teams desperate for starting pitching at the trade deadline, who may or may not have the right prospects). Is his agent insisting on too many dollars, too many years and a no-trade clause?

    1. cubchymyst

      Garza is 3 years away from 10-5 rights any extension would basically give Garza a no trade clause. That said, I’d like to see Garza extended. If I remember correctly he has stated he likes the day games. Multiple people have stated that day games are a problem for the cubs and having someone who can pitch at garza’s level and also enjoy the day games a bonus.

      1. JR

        I love Garza, but he is a little risky at this point with injuries. He’s had 2 elbow/bone bruise/weird as hell injuries the last 2 yrs. After witnessing the b.s. the Cubs are going thru with moving guys who have no trade rights I want no part of them either, and can understand why Thed stays clear of that crap. Garza is a very tricky situation, and I have no idea what the should do, but investing a lot money into him at this point seems real risky.

        1. cubchymyst

          The injuries do pose a risk, and hopefully the new pitching instructor will help reduce the numbers of injuries going forward. Garza and Sanchez are of similar age and due to Garza injuries he can likely be extended for less than it would cost to sign Anibal Sanchez. A health Garza can be a strong #2 in a rotation for the next 4-5 years. lt will be interesting to see what the FO decides with Garza over the next year.

  9. cubsin

    I think I’d prefer a platoon of Shawon Dunston Sr. and Jr. to a platoon of Campana and Sappelt.

    1. Jason


  10. Kevin

    I posted this earlier but didn’t get any response. Are the Cubs being restricted from renovating Wrigley Field or Building a new stadium elsewhere because the Tribunes 5% interest?

  11. Deez

    I think Chavez would be a great fill gap at 3B for the unforeseen feature. That’s the player I think we should key in on. He’ll help our Offense & Defensively I would say he’s still a Top 10 player

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Chavez cannot stay off the DL long enough to be much more than a utility player. He’s had back problems for years, and for a middle infielder, that’s dancing with a grenade in one hand and it’s pin in the other.

      Indeed, “platoon” is a misnomer: you don’t sit him against lefties, you sit him every couple of weeks for 15 days against everyone! (It’s a shame, because Chavez could have been a great player.)

  12. john

    Barring Mike Olt getting traded between now and spring training, is that someone the Cubs would trade Garza for? Or would the Cubs ask for more if Garza proves to be effective in the Spring?

    1. JR

      I don’t see anyway even if Garza is very healthy that the Cubs could get Olt at this point unless the Cubs included more players. I dont even think Olt was availaible in a Garza deal at last yrs deadline. They are going to want a young controllable stud pitcher to move Olt.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        I dont even think Olt was availaible in a Garza deal at last yrs deadline.

        If the rumor mill smoke reflected any real fires, then a lot of teams were asking after Olt at the trade deadline. People have focused on Hamilton’s departure, but one of the other stories in the Rangers organization is that they have to give up on playing Michael Young every day. They also have let Napoli go. That means that first base is open, and anybody who can play 3rd can play first, too. Moreover, as they are talking about moving Kinsler to CF, that opens up 2B for Profar (or Andrus with Profar at SS).

        So, although the Rangers are gushing with young talent, they really are not overflowing with it: they actually have things to do with both Olt and Profar. So, don’t be surprised if they do keep them both.

  13. Dude

    Cubs need a left handed hitting prospect at 3rd or OF. Baez, Soler, Almora are as close to cant miss as Cubs have seen in a loooong time and if they develop into MLB players the Cubs will pretty RH dominated if Castro, Barney and Castillo are still on team. Too bad Garza couldn’t shake lose Tavares and Miller.

    1. Kyle

      Interesting thought. I’ve been following Cubs prospects roughly since Kerry Wood was the No. 4 overall pick.

      Ranked at the peak of their prospectdom (which is a little unfair to the current guys who may not have peaked yet):


      Am I missing anyone that belongs on that level?

      1. Spriggs

        Maybe Angel Guzman

  14. Carew

    Brett, do you know anything about this Fujikawa from Japan? Apparently Cubs are interested in him.

  15. die hard

    Current roster is shaping up to be the primary reason for the Ricketts to have city condemn Wrigley before 2013 opening day…play games at Comiskey for hefty fee is likely…Soldier Field?….rebuild and open by 2016….write off attendance losses….new and improved team in new park on current site in 2016 is doable if Romney doesnt want the team

  16. DarthHater


    Saw the irritating pop-up again. A few seconds after page loaded, an on screen box entered from lower left and moved to center of screen. The advertiser was not plainly identified, but the box contained a question for a survey about pharmacies and mentioned Walgreens.

  17. daveyrosello

    Chisenhall for Vitters and a top 20-ish prospect? All day long I make that trade. Vitters and Jae Hoon Ha, or Trey McNutt, or Ronald Torreyes, or Ben Wells, and thank you very much.

    (Obviously, I’d prefer Castellanos or Olt, but neither seems like a good trading partner for the Cubs unless they have an interest in Garza).

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      I am really intrigued by Chisenhall. I think that was one of Acta’s biggest mistakes in Cleveland: playing Hanahan over Chisenhall. Acta came in promising to be a stats savvy modern manager, but he would up acting like a very old-school type. This was the sorest example: he went with the “proven” and “consistent” veteran over the slow-starting kid. Of course, Hanahan is proven to be below-average, and he’s consistently performed at that level, occassionally rising to average and occasionally descending to the level that we saw most of the time between Santo & ARam.

      I have no idea if the new Indians manager (has he been picked yet?) will be wiser here, and that probably will be important.

      1. The Show

        Terry Francona was picked for the Indians job.

  18. DocPeterWimsey

    *face palm* I knew that.

    Well, Chisenhall is the sort of player that Tito likes (good power, above average OBP at a skill position). Tito also was not one to go with “tried and true (but bad).”

    Now, where are those pills that my neurologist gives me…..

  19. someday...2015?

    Not sure if anyone asked this yet, but anyone have a scouting report on this 32 year old closer Kyuji Fujikawa who the Cubs may have interest in?

    1. A.J.

      He’s been an elite closer in Japan; can that translate to mlb?

      1. Carew

        Holy crap. I say sign that guy! He may be 32 and coming from Japan, which in no way is bad, but it’s still hard to ignore those numbers

  20. The Dude

    Hopefully, the Haren deal fell apart over money and not medicals because I would be happy if the Cubs signed McCarthy and Haren. As Anibal’s asking price goes up, I think it might behoove the Cubs to look at extending Garza (if they can work around the NTC). Garza is going into his eight season so maybe a contract that includes a NTC for the first two seasons could work for both sides?! Not sure if that’s doable but it would give the Cubs one season to trade a 30 yr. old pitcher (in 2014) with two years left on his contract before he became eligible for 10/5 rights.

    I can handle one more experimental/low expectation season on the major league level if the Wrigley renovation gets going. A .500 team in 2014 with nice upside for a promising 2015 season in a “new” Wrigley – I can dig that.

  21. Kevin
    1. The Dude

      A great response to that article.

      1. The Dude

    2. King Jeff

      It’s always guaranteed to make people see your point of view by insulting those who don’t agree. Nicely done.

    3. Carew

      wow…at first I giggled at the article, then afterwards I got angry…that guy doesnt get it

    4. DarthHater

      Good reading for those not already brainwashed.

      Translation: Good reading for those already braindead.

  22. The Dude

    Sorry for all the replies w/o a link. Hopefully this works …

    1. Carew


    2. Internet Random


  23. whiteflag

    Nice link.

  24. Jeremy

    If Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt are the opening day CF than the Cubs are tanking again. Campana is god awful and Sappelt is an alright 4th OF.

    1. The Dude

      I agree but I also believe Brett Jackson will be a solid MLB center fielder. They just need to bridge that 1/2-1 season gap while he adjusts his swing. If the Cubs sign any outfielders this offseason, I want B.J. Upton because his power fits well as a corner OF’er when Jackson is ready to come up.

      1. JR

        I hope u know what you’re talking about Dude. I have always been a huge BJax fan, but pretty much everyone i have heard recently says it’s impossible that he can become a good everyday outfielder because of his k rate.

      2. Jeremy

        I do think Jackson will end up a solid MLB CF, but with his stuggles last year I think we need to make an effort to finding another potential everyday CF. Jackson is no guarantee and if he ends up sucking again, were screwed.

      3. DocPeterWimsey

        Regarding BJax, this is a huge adjustment for which we are asking: cutting his K’s in half would still leave him K’ing too much, and I’d bet that we rarely see guys cut their AAA K rates in half.

        A corresponding concern is, if you do make sure a radical change to BJax’s approach that you do decrease his K rate hugely, then will he have any power at all? A singles hitter who K’s 15% of the time is not exactly a huge run creator.

        1. jt

          BJax has had 222 AAA K’s in about 682 PA’s and 75 BB’s
          Adam Dunn had 222 K’s in 649 PA’s and 105 BB’s
          Dunn got 110 hits while BJax earned 159 hits
          Dunn had only 19 doubles while Jackson had 39 doubles/triples
          Dunn won the hr derby 41 to 25
          Dunn had a single SB while BJax had many.

          1. Kyle

            Well, as long as AAA and the majors are about the same level of difficulty, sounds like Jackson is set.

            1. jt

              But that is not what was said. It was stated that BJax would have to halve his K rate in order to be effective. A major lg player has a greater K rate and is considered effective.
              If BJax cuts his rate by 25% he would be roughly at that of Jay Bruce.
              It would be nice for him to make more contact and/or to turn some of those K’s into walks. However, adding weak gr balls to the SS may not really help.
              Point in fact, he does need to improve. However, that improvement could come in the form of increased SLG

              1. DarthHater

                No, it’s just wrong to directly compare AAA stats with ML stats. Period. You have to adjust the AAA stats to ML equivalence. When that adjustment is made, Jackson’s HR total over the same number of PAs that Dunn had would be 15. So what you are really saying is that Jackson would not have to halve his K rate in order to be considered effective at the ML level, if he instead were to almost triple his HR rate. That may be true, but is so unlikely as to be ridiculous speculation.

                Also, using Dunn as a measure of ML effectiveness is highly dubious, since the guy’s a statistical outlier if ever there was one.

      4. The Dude

        Great points, Doc. Do you think he can stick in the majors if he can shave a few points off of his AAA K rate at the ML level?

  25. The Dude

    I’m only a fan but from what I’ve read his K rate is high because he swings and misses a lot, not because he can judge balls from strikes. That gives me hope. I’m really rooting for him, but I have no hope for Vitters anymore.

    1. Jeremy

      Why would you have no hope for Vitters, he’s in the same situation as Jackson. Josh Vitters has always struggled initially at every level he has played at, so his September call up needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

      1. The Dude

        I have no hope for Vitters because of the position he plays. His bat doesn’t project enough power for a corner. Whereas, Jackson plays a position where his offense and defense project solidly – If (and as Doc points out, that’s a pretty big *if*) he cuts down on his K’s.

        1. JR

          Yeah Vitters sucks. He doesn’t project defenively at all. I could care less about that dude at this point. But BJax really does blow my mind. I keep hearing that no one with his k rate at AAA has ever been ok in the majors, but he does everything else well…

        2. The Dude

          Vitters is just so disappointing. #3 pick overall and even though he’s not old, his story is just getting old because feel like I’ve been reading the writing on the wall for years.

        3. Jeremy

          He’s 23 and played one month in the majors. His bat may not profile at a corner OF spot but it’s likely he can become a good average regular or a utility guy off the bench. He still has plenty of room to grow. I agree Jackson is the better prospect due to position value but both him and VItters are in the same position. One has questions about his swing the other has questions on his defense.

          1. JR

            Yeah i know there is a chance that Vitters may be able to play a corner out fielder/utility spot. But really who cares? The Cubs and the all other MLB teams have tons of guys that can do that. I wish the Cubs would have traded him before the other teams saw him at the mlb level. He blows. Sorry man..

            1. Jeremy

              A lot of teams actually care… Good bench bats/utility players are very useful to championship teams, especially platoon type players (for small market teams). Is he long term piece? Maybe, depends on how next season goes and whether or not he gets traded.

              Btw the view on him, around the league hasn’t changed due to one month of play in which he received a whole 99 AB’s. That’s the definition of a small sample size, It’s literally an identical situation to Rizzo, There is zero reason to write him off yet. Is he an untouchable piece? No. If you can trade him in packages for better players then yeah you do it but to immediately write him off as being a useful MLB player after 99 AB’s, makes no sense at all.

        4. The Dude

          He’s definitely the right age to breaking it in to the majors but he just looks like a ‘tweener. I was referring to any corner spot (1b/3b/OF) when talking about his bat. He doesn’t appear to have the glove for 3b or the bat to move to 1b/OF. Although I do think if he developed some more power his glove is serviceable enough to stick at 3b.

          1. Jeremy

            Agree that he is a tweener in that aspect, as I see him developing into a useful utility type player OF/3b/1b, possibly like Ben Zobrist. If he works on his glove and it improves he has a shot at sticking at 3rd long term but it’s unlikely at this point.

  26. The Dude

    can’t* (sorry I’m ‘neckin’ up the board tonight)

  27. #1lahairfan

    I heard on ” Talking Baseball” that Steve Clevenger could possibly be in a package for Lonnie Chissenhal.

    1. Carew

      Is that a rumor thing or opinion talk?

    2. arta

      that’s all it is “talking bb”.

  28. PJD

    I don’t know what this means at all but tonight during the parade down Michigan ave Dempster was riding in the cubs float.. No joke

  29. Ryan Dempster

    Yes I was. Love the site, love the fans.

  30. joking

    thats a joke above