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matt garza cubsThe Wife and I saw ‘This is 40′ last night, which was enjoyable, even if not as good as Judd Apatow’s first two features. ‘LOST’ played a prominent role, which is obviously wonderful (though it was the spoileriest of spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the show), but the Cubs came in for a it’ll-be-a-long-time-before-they-win dig. I can’t be sure, but it sounded like an ad-libbed Paul Rudd Albert Brooks line. Boo …

  • Matt Garza continues to say all the right things about his recovery from a stress reaction in his elbow, which kept him out for all of the second half in 2012. In an interview with CSN’s Dave Kaplan, Garza said he’s still feeling great. “If Spring Training started tomorrow, I would be ready to go,” he said. “I’m not ready to pitch six innings today, but I will be ready to go when the season starts. I will be ready to go Opening Day, that’s guaranteed.” Obviously Garza’s health matters in a great many ways tied to the Cubs’ performance, to his own performance, to his own contract, to the Cubs’ trade prospects, and so on and so on. For now, it’s enough to just know that Garza being fully healthy and effective early in 2013 is a good thing for everyone involved. So let’s hope Garza continues his recovery.
  • Maury Brown considers the possibility that we’ve feared around here – that local TV deals are approaching a bubble burst. If it pops before the Cubs get theirs, they could be at a disadvantage financially when compared to the big boys for a looooong time. Here’s hoping they are working feverishly to buy out both the WGN deal (expiring after 2014) and the CSN deal (expiring after 2019), with an eye toward a reworked deal with either or both network, or something else entirely. (I’ll have a lot more on this topic soon.)
  • Patrick Mooney writes about the 12 defining moments for the Cubs in 2012, and most should be familiar to you. Still a good read.
  • You can partially thank Matt Garza for Edwin Jackson signing with the Cubs. He sold his former teammate on the idea of coming to Chicago. “I told Edwin that he has to approach the season in spring training mode, where everything is day baseball,” Garza told Dave Kaplan. “He also has to be ready to handle 80 degree temperatures in Arizona and then 30’s and 40’s in Chicago and the Midwest. I also told him that as a father [Jackson and his wife have a young son], that he will love day games because he will be home to have dinner with his family and he can take his kids to school when we are on a homestand. I told him he would love playing in Chicago.”
  • The former long-time umpire clubhouse attendant at Wrigley Field, Jimmy Farrell, was well-liked and respected, and passed away this week at 91.
  • Carrie Muskat chats, and discusses the lack of late games on Fridays at Wrigley, and compares Edwin Jackson to Anibal Sanchez.
  • cubzforlife

    I’ve never seen such childish and offensive comments on this site. Can’t this fellow be turned off? I would hate to think a teen was reading those comments.

    • Segal27

      Luckly I didn’t haha. I come here for the nice community and fast Cubs news, i have no interest in reading some guys disrespectful comment.

  • nkniacc13

    If I thought Diaz the younger of he 2 Cuban defectors who will be a fa on jan 8 would be able to start the year at the majors Id go after him and see about playing him at either 3rd and if he could’t play him at 2nd and trade barney. But I don’t know enough on the 2 cuban defectors other than the older is a IFA now and the younger Diaz will be on Jan 8

    • Xavier

      Whats the news on this Diaz guy this is the first I heard of him.

      • Chris

        Everything I’ve read is that these are 2 raw Cuban prospects. Diaz probably isn’t ready for the majors. The other kid, who’s 24, could be a defensive OF type, but might not hit. That’s a summary of various, small, articles I’ve read over the last 2 weeks. There’s even less info out there about these guys than there was for Puig.

  • Roy Hobbs

    @mudge

    Or should I just call you minge?

    Since you’ve now decided to escalate things with me and call me names, inserting yourself in a conversation you were no part of, allow me to respond.

    Zip your little minge up into your tiny Capri pants, and go back to watching the notebook.

    Nobody needs to hear from a talking minge.

    Except Oprah.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This is your final warning: attacks on other commenters (and I’m not going to explain to you why that is an attack, because I’m sure your response will be to suggest that it wasn’t) are not tolerated. Even I have my limits. This ends right now.

  • Roy Hobbs

    Good Brett.

    Then I will expect you to reprimand the jerk who attacked me, and instigated all of this with me in the first place.

    He does it all the time and u allow it.

    Friends?

    If you allow jerks like darthhater to call people pissants, when I never even directly spoke to the guy, and then threaten to ban me for defending myself..albeit with strong and direct language.

    Well that’s hypocritical of you to say the least.

    I’ve been waiting for you to say something to this jerk and when he started with me for no reason I finally had enough and told him in no uncertain terms, exactly what I thought of him.

    Out of respect for you, and your community, I won’t post anymore negative comments, and trust that in the future I will be treated with the same respect the next time some jerk decides to be rude and disrespectful to me.

    I trust that you will intervene then, the same way you have with me.

    Even though you did not the last time.

    Ok. I’m sorry for my comments and it won’t happen again.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I do my best to review all comments, but I can’t catch them all. I have to trust that everyone will also do their own best to be big boys and girls and treat each other with respect, even if they disagree strongly. I will continue to do my best, regardless of who’s doing the commenting.

  • MichiganGoat

    Okay Roy do you need a hug? Figured I should get attacked as well

  • Richard Nose

    Recently released from prison in Venezuela after serving seven years of a 14-year sentence for attempted murder, 39 year old former big league reliever Ugueth Urbina hopes to return to MLB.

    Sounds hilarious to me.

    • TonyP

      I would hope that he wouldn’t be allowed a work visa in America; after being convicted of attempted murder.

    • Voice of reason

      Sounds hilarious to you?

      Sounds like he’s set up material for the cubbies in 2013 to me! Lol

      Give us your tired, your poor…. Your recently paroled…….

  • Fastball

    If you get up and walk away from the pc or phone and don’t respond it usually speaks louder than words. I get missed sometimes and realize I have better things to do.

  • cubzforlife

    Having served six years in Federal Prison I have some experience in how it can affect one physically. If he watched his diet and worked out faithfully he may have the body of a man ten years younger. Guy might be a beast.

  • cubsklm

    Can he pitch with an ankle monitor on?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    been a slow couple days of news

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Christmas, New Years, and the weekend will do that. I actually thought there’d been quite a bit to say, all things considered.

  • Marc

    A deal built around Samardzija for Upton is interesting to me.

    • AD

      The Cubs need pitching though. Smaardzija type players are what we need to hold on to. The only way I would deal him would be if there were a couple of starting pitchers coming back to the Cubs.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      I don’t know.

      It’s not bad value. It just feels weird to be trading a starting pitcher for a right fielder.

      • Marc

        Work in one of the D’Backs’ excess of SPs and problem solved.

        Agreed the Cubs need more worthwhile SPs, but landing a young high end OF talent would do alot to push this rebuild forward. Samardzija to me is the epitome of sell high on the roster, though I do think he’ll be a pretty good player.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I find your ideas interesting, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

          (No, but seriously, I do find that interesting. Thing is, the D-backs have a lot of pitching. Not sure Samardzija would be their prime target.)

          • Marc

            The good thing is that alot of their pitching is young and completely untested. They’ve supposedly been looking for a TOR type arm since at least mid-season last year.

            • Marc

              Bah meant to go longer…

              Throw in Fixed Swing Jackson to try to replace Chris Young, a player he kinda sorta resembles, and a slew of others and I think we have something to work with here.

              Upton and Kennedy/Hudson/Miley/Corbin for something like Samardzija, Jackson, Lake, L. Watkins, Amaya, and someone else…It would be a terrific way of using the organization’s depth to strength a major weakness (the MLB lineup and OF).

              Samardzija would suck to lose but I could get over it if Upton is even close to what he can be.

          • Marc

            BTW: I’m late to the party on this but you do a great job with this site.

    • Voice of reason

      I’m sure it is! What cub fan wouldn’t want upton for shark and a couple prospects?

      Problem is…. That ain’t good enough. There are so many teams that can offer so much more than what the cubs can.

      The diamondbacks would laugh in your face if you made that offer.

    • Kevin B

      Sounds crazy to me ….. I would not even trade shark straight up for Upton. Shark has more value to the Cubs in the current state then 3 years of Upton. A potential young front line starting pitcher is MUCH MORE valuable then an outfielder, even a good outfielder. Now Trout or Stanton that would be different. Now you are talking potential superstar outfielders.

      • Marcel91

        Agreed, were more desperate for pitching than hitting, so why would you trade your best young pitcher for another hitter….

        • Marc N.

          We’re desperate for both. Last time the Cubs got an ace-esque season from a late 20s starter with strong periphs across the board all the fanbase wanted to do was trade him…

          • King Jeff

            Who are you hinting at here? Wood, Zambrano, and Prior are the last guys I can remember who had “ace” seasons, and the only one that the fanbase wanted to trade was Zambrano, and that was after he stunk for a few seasons first.

            I agree with your point though, I don’t want to see Garza or Samardzija traded at this point, especially not to add to the offense.

            • Marc N.

              2011 Garza had a better season than Samardzija 2012.

      • King Jeff

        Upton is not that much of an upgrade over Soriano aside from the age factor. No way do I want to see the Cubs trade their best starter for him.

        • Marc N.

          Upton gets on base more, plays better defense, is a decade younger, is more likely to hit 30 HRs again than a now 37 year old Soriano, can hit both hands, isn’t due for regression….

  • AD

    Yeah I just don’t see the value. Especially if we want to compete starting in 2014. Also, Samardzjia is under club control and cheaper than Upton.

    • Marc

      They’re under control the same length of time and price is not an issue.

      How does Upton for Samardzija hurt the chances of competing in 2014?

      • CubFan Paul

        Price is an issue. Samardzija can be extended for $6M -$12M a year during his prime, Upton can’t.

        • Marc

          What’s that supposed to mean to me? A huge amount of the reason to explain that price difference away is talent, which is a much more significant factor to me than price.

          This isn’t even taking into account that Upton, like Samardzija, could be traded within the three years they are still not at FA price.

          • JR

            I think he’s simply saying that money is always a factor. If you’re spending $6 million a year more on Upton, that’s less money you’re spending in other areas of need. I think Shark for Upton is a very interesting argument, and that Upton is a better player but there are a lot of factors. #1 factor is the Cubs minor league pitching still sucks.

            • Marc

              The Cubs have plenty of money to spend on other areas of need. I’m not listing pinching pennies as a legitimate reason not to trade for a player when the talent gain to the roster is significant.

              The Cubs’ current MLB OF sucks, and I find that more relevant than the minor league pitching (which looks like it will be well on it’s way up in the next two years or so).

              • JR

                First off, I am still not buying the minor league pitching as looking well on it’s way. Vizcaino was a good deadline pickup, and a couple of the recent draftees may workout, but it is still one of the worst minor league pitching groups in baseball. Especially the starting pitchers, it’s still terrible.

                Also, I think the Cubs will be spending a lot over the next couple years. So 5 million here, 6 million there will mean a lot come 2014 and 2015.

                • Marc

                  Meh, someone (probably Kyle) mentioned a little bit of inertia when it comes to stuff like this and there is a noticeable difference in the SP prospects in the system now vs. even a year or two ago. Paniagua, Vizcaino, Underwood, Maples, Johnson, Cabrera, McNutt, Wells, McNeil, Blackburn, Scott, Prieto, some of the DSL kids (including that Rodriguez kid) is a much better crop than where the Cubs were previously, and most of those guys have a ton of room to go up (or down). Then there’s the #2 pick…

                  Not to mention that right now the MLB club currently has:

                  Garza
                  Samardzija
                  Jackson
                  Baker
                  Feldman
                  Wood

                  with a decent looking bullpen coming together.

                  Meanwhile the current OF looks like:

                  Soriano
                  DeJesus
                  Schierholtz
                  Sappelt
                  Campana

                  • Marc

                    ABTY over on PSD mentioned that scouts said that Paniagua was the best individual arm talent in the system since Prior, and that he should move quickly.

                    Get an arm back from the D’Backs from their excess of youth and I just don’t see how it’s not a major positive net gain for the Cubs to give up Samardzija for Upton.

                    • nkniacc13

                      I agree that Paniagua may move quickly but im not sure if hes a bullpen arm or a starter same thingfor cabrera and vizciano. That is the issue with the Cubs minr league pitching is that in reatlity outside of Loux they don’t have a pitcher in AAA or AA that you can look at and say for certain that he is a starter and is anything above the possability of at 4th stater

                    • Marc

                      Paniagua is a starter.

                      Loux strikes me as a BOR starter, but if he’s capable of throwing quality ML innings in 2013 then that makes dealing Samardzija for a big bat even more appealing…

                  • JR

                    I don’t have any idea what Kyle said about the Cubs minor league pitching. You list some good additions, but its still a HUGE weakness in allowing the Cubs to contend. Most of the guys listed would be lucky to stick as a starter. I hope the deadline dumpoffs go good this year. Just saying, not hating on Thed. They had a ridiculous task ahead of them..

                    • nkniacc13

                      In reatlity look at the AA and AAA levels and find be more than 2 starters that you want to put into the rotation?

                    • Marc

                      The HUGE weakness in the Cubs being able to contend is the major league roster. Get a competent 3B and an OF or two suddenly the 2013 Cubs look like they can make some real noise.

                      I think the level needed to go to overhaul the Cubs has been greatly exaggerated. It really wasn’t and isn’t that bad of a situation where they should be wasting years just trading MLB talent for prospects, which isn’t a simple thing to do anyway. Trading a pop up surprise starter for one of the most talented OFers in the game could go a long way towards legitimizing this lineup. Castro – Upton – Rizzo is a hell of a trio to build a team around, they would still be able to field a competent starting rotation in 2013, and the farm wouldn’t be so empty that Upton is the last trade that can or will be made to improve the rest of the roster.

                    • Marc

                      I reiterated what was said about the pitching prospects. People have been parroting around for a couple of years now that the Cubs don’t have pitching talent that it’s slipped by that quietly they’ve built up some real upside options in the system. Sure most are pretty far away (Underwood, Maples, McNeil, Wells, Prieto, Rodriguez, Scott etc), but then there are guys like Vizcaino, Paniagua, and Johnson that could be up and contributing within the next couple of years. possibly in meaningful, impact-ful ways.

                      Plus guys like Dolis, Cabrera, and McNutt that still have some (especially Cabrera) to make an impact in the late innings for a bullpen.

                      I don’t expect the Cubs to be lauded for their pitching yet, but the wind blows next year and people will be noticing.

                    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                      Vizcaino is the only player you mentioned that really has legitimate chance of contributing within the two year timeframe you mentioned.

                    • Marc

                      I think Paniagua will put himself into that conversation. Vizcaino is just the one that happens to be in the upper minors right now.

                    • Jeff1969

                      Loux is probably going to start at AAA and until he proves he’s garbage, or his arm finally blows up, he looks like a better option than guys like Rusin, Coleman & the rest of the AAAA’s. Prieto & that kid we got from Detroit as the ptbnl also seem to be forgotten by some fans. I’m hoping this is the year Vizcaino stays healthy & does some proving that he can be counted on. Starter or reliever. Cub fans just have to be patient, 2013 is going to be a big year for the farm system.

              • Marc

                Especially since the player is only 26 next August.

                • JR

                  Listen man, I am not trying to get in an arguement about Upton. I actually love that dude, and think Kevin Towers is an emotional idiot… I think Upton could have a huge yr in 2013. I am simply stating that our starting pitching in the upper minors blows ass. It really does… Once we lose all our flip guys like Baker and Feldman and maybe Garza what would we have left? A bunch of interesting guys at A ball.

                  • Marc

                    We’re not arguing Upton, we’re arguing the merits of trading Samardzija for Upton. I do not believe the reasons being floated around are enough to stop it, particularly since this “ace” of ours has only started for one season, didn’t finish it, and his only defense is that he’s cheaper and upper minors pitching isn’t here yet.

                    Suggestion: Don’t flip everyone. Feldman and Baker could be quite productive here. The goal isn’t to gain the best minor league system, it’s to win major league games. In fact, try to make trades FOR starters at the deadline, as buying is much easier to do than sell at the trade deadline (something the FO has acknowledged).

                    • JR

                      Yeah I could get board for Upton for Shark. I never once said that was a bad deal. It actually seems pretty fair. I still hope our minor league pitching is closer to what you think than me though.

                  • Andrew

                    I’m definitely intrigued by the Samardzija for Upton idea. It makes the team younger actually (albeit with a higher payroll). As far as the lack of minor league depth, sure we dont have pitching but what kind of stuff do we have in the minors in terms of power hitting corner OF. Theres Jackson whos more valuable as a CF, then Soler who is pretty far away. Granted it is easier to move plays to the corner OF than it is to turn them into starting pitchers. In the end I think I’d say hang on to Samardzija because I really believe he can be better than he was last season so i think he will become more valuable as he progresses.

                    • http://bleachernation.com hutch

                      arizona would never do that they have 3 pitchers in their minors that are better than samardzija. One year success doesnt net a player as young with as much potential as upton

                    • http://bleachernation.com hutch

                      proposed trades on this site are the worst. No sense of actual reality or value

                    • JR

                      Apparently Hutch didn’t see Towers last trade for an absolute no hit, slow, shortstop named Didi. Anything is possible with that idiot running the Dbacks…

                • Voice of reason

                  @Marc, you say the cubs situation isn’t as bad as everyone thinks? You do realize this team lost 100 games. It was the third worst season in team history. Mind you, this is a team known as the lovable losers. And after all the years of futility last year was the third worst and you say it wasn’t as bad as people thought?

                  Also, you said that Castro rizzo uptown would be a good three to build around? It sure would be, but the problem with your scenario is that Arizona is going to demand either Castro or rizzo and more to get uptown.

                  I love it how cub fans think teams are just going to give us solid talent for nothing.

                  • Marc N.

                    The front office has addressed 100 losses and I completely agree with their view…people will see it, react to it, and the reaction is highly predictable. Fact is that they forced 100 losses last year, and that was not the true talent level of last years team. Last season’s loss total has very little predictive power. I’ll say it again that it wasnt as bad as people like to think, and when the wind blows I suspect most will forget they ever thought that anyway.

                    They won’t demand Castro or Rizzo, but I love how Samardzija, who I suggested as the main trade piece, moves from ace to nothing depending on convenience.

                    • Voice of reason

                      You can say they had more talent than a 100 game losing team, but no matter what you say, they lost 100 games.

                      The offense was horrible. There was none at all other than soriano and rizzo and Castro.

                      The pitching when dumpster was ther wasn’t bad on paper with garza and shark.

                      But, what plays to my point of this team being so bad is that dempster was in the hunt for the era title for quite some time yet had a bad record. Why? Because the team was very bad. Not even dumpster pitching some of his best baseball ever could help them win.

                      Now, were stuck rebuilding and I’m ok with that. This team is committed stocking the minor leagues because they aren’t committed to spending like the Yankees or angels. And, the immediate past owners tried to buy a world series and where did it get us? In the mess we are today.

                      Bottom line, third worst cubs team in the history of the franchise. You can make all the excuses you want.

                    • Marc N.

                      “You can say they had more talent than a 100 game losing team, but no matter what you say, they lost 100 games.”

                      No one is denying they lost 100 games. I am denying the predictive power that has, as not all 100 teams are created equal. This FO worked hard to lose 100 games, and it worked.

                      “Bottom line, third worst cubs team in the history of the franchise. You can make all the excuses you want.”
                      .
                      A grand total of zero excuses has been presented.

                  • Shortcircuit

                    @voice of reason, I disagree. I think that we are turning it around and I’m looking forward to this season. Some of the seasons past, we didn’t have as many losses, but we didn’t see many positives to the team either. The 2012 team lost 100 games, but we had quite a bit of positives happened last year. The Rizzo trade, Samardzija had a solid season, we could have some future star players in the minors.

                    Your other point being, that fans like to trade talent and give nothing, what fan base doesn’t want to do those types of trades?

                    • Voice of reason

                      What did this teaM do in the off season that gets you excited for 2013?

                      They did absolutely nothing to improve the absolutely pathetic offense. They are looking at Bourne for center because we don’t have one, demeans is a fourth outfielder at best yet he returns in right where u should have a power hitter, but he couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag. Then there is third base and the catcher. The ONLY players that will give us any offense are soriano and rizzo and Castro…. That’s it!

                      Schierhotlz might start in right but his career numbers offensively are worse than dejesus.

                      The starting pitching is better, yes. But, remember my point about dumpster. He was leading for the era title for quite somemtime yet had little wins to show for it because there was absolutely no offense!!!

                      How will this team score runs?

                      The offense is exactly the same as last year.

                      The owners know it will be another crappy year. Since they seem to be okay with that since didn’t add any offense then cubs fans better accept 90 plus loses and be ok with it, too.

                    • MattM

                      Voice of Reason…..You are so negative that you can’t see past your own nose to understand what is going on, which makes people not listen to your points.

                      You can’t just look at the whole picture from last year and just say, “hey we sucked we still suck.” Because that doesn’t explain anything! Which is why you should go be friend with Jim Hendry because that was his approach and it killed our team.

                      If you look at last year and this year you can TELL our offense has gotten better. Look at an average season from Stewart and what we did at third base last year. If you do you will see that an Average Stewart is an upgrade.

                      How about and Average Dejesus and Scherholtz for a whole year (they will get someone to platoon)….Look at our production at Center and Right last year…..Dejesus is WAY better than anyone we had in center last year offensively and Scherholtz is better than anyone at center. Since all they have to do is be BETTER than who we had at center that is an upgrade.

                      Look at how bad our catcher position did last year offensively. You don’t think a full year of Castillo will be better than what we got out of catcher?

                      It makes no sense to be negative to be negative like you are. You just come accross as a clown.

                    • Marc N.

                      “What did this teaM do in the off season that gets you excited for 2013?”

                      2012 GS fWAR rWAR
                      Volstad 21 +0.2 -1.9
                      Germano 12 +0.6 -1.5
                      Rusin 7 +0.1 -0.4
                      Raley 5 -0.4 -0.9
                      Berken 4 0.0 -0.5
                      Wells 4 -0.1 -0.4
                      Coleman 1 -0.3 -0.6
                      Total 54 +0.1 -6.2

                      Zero of those players have any shot of making a start for the 2013 Cubs. They combined to start almost 1/3 of the games last season.

                      The bullpen got much needed depth in Fujikawa and there is better depth there as well.

                    • Marc N.

                      Actually exactly 1/3 of the games from last season.

                    • MattM

                      Once again CLOWN material. A simple search will take you to the baseball reference website which will point out that an AVERAGE season from stewart is 232 20 and 68.

                      Were you trying to just take even partial years and make that an average? Wow good job lol……

                      Way to make up numbers to support your opinions.

                      BTW. Whether YOU think the offense is bad makes no difference. It is a FACT that Dejesus is an upgrade offensively over our center field production. A Scherholtz and righty platoon is also an upgrade over our center field production so that IS AN UPGRADE.

                      Are you going to make up stats again?

                  • Carew

                    *Upton

                    • Voice of reason

                      I come across as a clown? I’m not the one saying an average Ian Stewart year is an upgrade!

                      His career average is .232 with 59 career home runs, 204 career rbis and 16 steals. He has played nine seasons.

                      If he has an average year he will hit .232 with 7 home runs and 23 RBI and 2 steals. If those numbers excite you then you’re off your rocker.

                      Now, if you’re putting dejesus in center and shierholtz in right you have absolutely no offense there either. Dejesus has played ten years and has 80 home runs with a .281 batting average and 58 steals. Shierholtz is even worse with 24 home runs over six seasons and 20 stolen bases with a .270 average.

                      That’s terrible and you can’t debate it so I don’t know you’re talking about. What do you see in those numbers that I am missing?????

                    • MattM

                      Once again CLOWN material. A simple search will take you to the baseball reference website which will point out that an AVERAGE season from stewart is 232 20 and 68.

                      Were you trying to just take even partial years and make that an average? Wow good job lol……

                      Way to make up numbers to support your opinions.

                      BTW. Whether YOU think the offense is bad makes no difference. It is a FACT that Dejesus is an upgrade offensively over our center field production. A Scherholtz and righty platoon is also an upgrade over our center field production so that IS AN UPGRADE.

                      Are you going to make up stats again?

                    • MattM

                      BTW Stewart HAS NOT played in 9 seasons. I don’t know where you are getting your facts from, but it is not a reliable source.

            • http://bleachernation.com hutch

              i think that was more frusteration with bauer than anything. I dont think they feel hes going to be an ace and is allways going to be hurt. He has major command issues too

              • JR

                Not sure about that man. Bauer is clearly weird, but the Dbacks took him #3 overall in 2011 over all kinds of studs when they had all the facts. Bauer had some major success in the minors over his brief career, and I would love it if he were a Cub. It was a terrible deal, no way around it. And the fact that Towers is trying to force Upton as a trade is so weird….

                • Marc

                  They did take him #3 in a draft where they owned the #7 pick as well.

                  Plenty of questions about Bauer for me as well…I think he’s the college version of Kerry Wood and will never be that #1 starter he was hyped to be coming up. He’s got both command and control flaws, his mechanics get alot of love but he doesn’t repeat them without effort and can lose his arm slot…I thought the D’Backs sold high and from a position for strength when they dealt him.

                  I’d like for him to be a Cub because they could use the arms, but theres alot more arms I like a whole lot more.

                  • Marc

                    To extend that 3/7 thing…Bradley was a big time HS arm prospect, possibly a better prospect than Bauer by the time his 20th birthday comes around, and required an overslot. Bauer was a solid pick that wouldn’t break their bank to sign Bradley.

                    • Cubs Dude

                      Yeah Bauer absolutely has issues and talent. But the main dude they got back hasn’t hit a lick in the minors. Ozzie Smith defensively?

                    • Marc N.

                      Think Darwin Barney with the gift of being able to hit in Arizona and with all the pre-arb years left to use.

            • Kevin B

              Well Shark was the better player in 2012

  • bfox75

    Why not just sign Delmon Young to a one year deal and have him play right field wit Nasty Nate? He has some power and wouldnt cost the cubbies any prospects and he is still young.

    • Carew

      The only problem is that he is a bit of a headcase

  • bfox75

    Unless they can get Bourne on a 3-4 year contract, i dont really see much else out there and we need some power. Also i hope they just hang on to Sori, Garza, and marmol. I dont see them getting any real value except for Garza, for Olt, who could be Vitters anyway. Speaking of Vitters, keep him too. Have to see more then a sample size and i was very unimpressed with how they handled him last year. They never gave him any real shot, pinch hitter, here, spot star there. They called him up to sit on the bench and we got to see Valbueno most of the time. Which by the way, he looks like a younger Neifi Perez, lol. Not a compliment. But seriously, first time up and the at-bats werent givin to Vitters consitently.

    • frank

      I don’t think this was ever meant to be Vitters’ “shot.” He was meant to get a look, work with the coaches, and see the things that he had to learn.

      • waittilthisyear

        i’m pretty sure had vitters done well at the start of his call up, he would have remained a starter. quick weigh in on the shark for upton trade…no way. shark is on the rise, upton is on the plateau. we could see a special season from smardja (sp)

    • Voice of reason

      Vitters can’t play third base, first of all. Second of all he didn’t hit a lick.

      That’s a bad combination!! If he was hitting they certainly would have found a spot as the offense was pathetic.

      Bottom line…. Vitters needs to learn to play outfield and learn to hit a freaking baseball.

      He was given some chances to play, but he was horrific.

      I mean, this team is trying to find any bright spots from it’s minor leaguers, but there aren’t any at all!!!!!!

      • Carew

        Vitters never really saw the field, period. I think someone mentioned it but he was mostly called up to work with Svuem and the other coaches. At least that’s what I gathered.

  • pete m

    There is a lot of talk, regarding future Television deals. The Current radio Contract with WGN is never discussed. When is that deal up? Cubs should be getting a lot more money from radio. Lastly, WGN radio coverage is lacking, compared to other MLB team Broadcasts.

  • legen wait for it dary

    any body think we can get Stefen Romero and Leon Landry for soriano and marmol

    • legen wait for it dary

      from mariners

  • http://bleachernation.com Ramy16

    All this bull shit trading Castro for Upton is pure stupidity.. Even Cody Ross being average is better than Upton! The only thing Upton has is youth right now! ThebDbacks cant stand 2 bad yrs in a row! The only reason he’s still there is becuz the owner likes him alot! I still would rather have Parra! Trading our farm for him isn’t worth it! Pitching and defense wins ball games! Please see the San Francisco Giants for success!!

  • nkniacc13

    Aren’t the Cubs on Upton’s no trade list?

    • legen wait for it dary

      Yes but he would likely accept a trade to any team bcuz Arizona has made it clear they dont want him.

  • legen wait for it dary

    I could see the cubs signing Urbina next year lol.

    • Marcel91

      Pretty sure he murdered his chances of ever pitching in the bigs again……

      too soon?

      • davidalanu

        Yeah, but sometimes when you see an opportunity you’ve just gotta take a stab at it. But after all this time off, as a reliever he’d probably just come in and through gas on the fire.

  • caryatid62

    I’m less concerned about the Cubs’ lack of upper level pitching depth, because it seems that, while #1 and #2 starters are difficult to come by on the Free Agent market, 3s, 4s, and 5s are surprisingly available on a relatively regular basis.

    They need to develop more potential 1s and 2s, but 3-5 is an area where the Cubs can afford to overpay a little in the FA market. So if the Cubs believe that Samardzija is no more than a 3, he is replaceable on the market at a slightly increased rate. If they believe that someone like Upton (who might not even be available at a cost of Samardzija) is worth the overpay that would be required to accomodate for the loss of Samardizja, then it would be a good idea.

    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

      Shark had one bad month last year and after the allstar break he had a mid two era., that is a #2 on more than half the teams in the league. He works hard and has mental toughness. If he stays healthy, I see him improving into an ace on the cubs roster and his value will be more than Uptons. He is good one year decent the next, good, decent, ex. Geo Soto. If we were to trade Shark I would rather have somebody more consistent.

      • http://Cubkid jdblades7

        And no I am not saying Soto is or was anything close to Upton in skills just using his good year then bad year as an example. So no need in any comments and take my statement out of context

      • Marc

        “After the All Star Break” – September, which he did not make a start in.

        So in this season where you could declare him a future ace based on peripherals (side note: Matt Garza can’t buy a Cubs fan despite his strong periphs) for 1/3 of it he was either very bad or not active…Ace qualities?

        Remember as late as 2011 when most Cubs fans hated Samardzija with the wrath of 1,000 gods? Now he’s an ace…Funny how things change with the wind.

        • Marcel91

          That’s cubs fans for you. Hate a guy one minute, love him the next. I was on the train that always felt Shark needed to be given a legit chance to start. Take out that one bad stretch he had and he was one of the top starters in baseball last year. Cubs shut him down because why not? He was still plenty strong but they we’re way out of it anyway so why not save some bullets on a guy starting for the first time in a while.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          I’ve always liked Shark, we didn’t have many flame throwers in the organization. He also played football so I knew it would take him some time. Bottom line the kids looked good better than Garza at times, so yes I do see him being OUR ace if he continues to IMPROVE. I thought this site was for cub fans, damn.

  • August

    Anybody remember the Scott Downs for Rondell White trade? That is the last SP for OF cubs trade I can remember. I don’t recall it worked out on our favor.

    • Marc N.

      White was really good when healthy for the Cubs, but it did suck to miss out on all those big Scott Downs years.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Scott Downs stretch of good years started 7 years after the Cubs traded him. Had they not made that deal, then he almost certainly would have been traded or even released in the interim. He would not have made a difference for (say) the ’03 or ’04 Cubs.

  • Carmelo

    Good line on A. Cabrera tonight in th DWL play-offs. Starting pitcher, 5 1/3 innings,4 h, 0 runs, 1 bb, and 5k’s. This guy is someone to watch at AAA as he works himself back into a starter.

    • Marcel91

      He always and still does have frontline stuff but lacked control. He improved in that category last year so I see no reason why you wouldn’t see if he could start again…No risk at all, same with Shark last year. If he can’t do it, fine, put him back in the pen and you have a great late-inning guy, possibly Closer.

    • Marc

      I’m always for keeping prospects at their most valuable position, and it’s good to see some successes for Cabrera. I thought he had a very underrated season as a relief prospect this year, and I still think that is where he ends up long term.

      Can’t knock them for trying him at starter either…big guy who repeated his delivery much better than I thought one of our relief prospects could or did.

  • Carmelo

    Cabrera’s line also showed 8 GO to 1FO—heavy sinker working.

    • nkniacc13

      Be very interesting to see how Cabrera does in Iowa this season. I think your going to see Vizciano on an inning limit this year as well. Rondon I think will likely be sent to Iowa after next year so that he can be worked in as a starter as well. The Cubs are building depth in their minors but until most of it gets to around AA its going to be tough for the Cubs to go after any star that comes on the trade market because teams want plahyers that can help them win now or propsects that have most of the guess work already take out of them

  • http://Cubkid jdblades7

    Some people were talking about B Jax not having a chance because he strikes out to much. The five leaders for strikeouts last year, Adam Dunn 34.2% led the way with Pedro Alvarez, Carlos Pena, Drew Stubbs, and Chris Davis the only others with higher than 30%. Also, the contact rate is 79.6%, the lowest was 64.6% and you will never believe who it is, Josh Hamilton. Nobody else is lower than 66.9%. That just shows you that strike outs don’t necessarily make you a bum. The walks, speed, arm, defense, and high ops gives Jackson a good shot even with those high strike out rates, which will get better than his 2012 mlb season.

    • Marcel91

      Everything you said is correct but for some reason alot of people have already deemed Jackson a failure and made up their minds….No matter how much evidence you provide that despite the strikeouts he can still be a productive player it will be ignored because people still believe archaic stats like BA and RBIs are the end all be all and wont change their way of thinking. Strikeouts are just that, outs, nothing more nothing less. Making contact just gives you a better chance.

      It depends on the type of player you are. If you don’t hit for any power or take walks then your offensive value is tied up to how many hits you get, which can destroy you if you strike out too much. If you hit for power, take lots of walks, see a bunch of pitches then strikeouts arent as harmful….OBP and by extension OPS are the stats that matter now and Jackson has been good at that yet people will harp on the strikeouts as much as they will harp on Castro’s errors, take out a couple two week stretches at the beginning and end of the season and stats show you Castro was a well above average SS last year but you will get ridiculed for saying that.

      Best not even waste your breath when it comes to Jackson on this site lol

      • Marcel91

        I do think he should try to lower the strikeouts by at least 25%. Then with everything else he does well that makes him an above average offensive player.

        • Voice of reason

          You just said strikeouts are outs and nothing else.

          Now you say he should reduce his strikeouts by 25 percent.

          You don’t have a clue.

          • Marcel91

            They are just outs, same as a groundball, the difference is turning strikeouts into contact is something a player can have some sort of control over, if you hit a groundball you cant control whether its a hit or not. Thats why I didn’t say he needs to “lower his outs by 25%” he needs to turn some of those strikeouts into contact because he doesn’t have as much power as those other guys, I never once said it was ok to strike out as much as he did…..

            learn to read

            • Voice of reason

              Dude let me hit the joint you’re smoking.

              Good thing you ain’t running the cubs. We would have all players who strike out and never put the ball in play and when we actually hit home runs they would be solo shots cause nobody would ever be on base! And we would lose 100 games!!!!!

              • Marcel91

                “If uptown want making so much money I would do Castro for upton in a heartbeat.

                Castro is a head case.

                Uptown might be some what of anhead case too, but he putsmup all aroundnsolid numbers.

                Thencubs wouldmcertainly move Castro in the right trade”

                Coming from the same person who said this dumb shit.

                Castro has never been a headcase, you simply made that up…..Castro’s numbers we’re actually close, if not better than Upton’s last year and considering he plays a premium position that makes him the better player, add into account contract, age, positional value etc only a fool would trade Castro straight up for Upton.

                I guess that qualifies you then huh?

      • Voice of reason

        Ok, then share some stats from last season that should give fans hope for this young stud Brett Jackson.

        I’ve read everything from he needs glasses he’s too patient at the plate. That’s all bullshit.

        The bottom line is he was god awful. Ok, he plays a decent centerfield, but thats it.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        This has nothing to do with belief in outdated stats.

        The simple fact of the matter is that players who strike out at Jackson’s rate get destroyed by major-league pitching. There is simply no historical precedent for a guy without completely elite power (which Jackson does not have) succeeding in the majors with a strikeout rate similar to what Jackson had in AAA last season.

        If he can lower his strikeouts by 10-15 percentage points, sure, he will be fine. But that’s not easy. If it were easy to hit a baseball by just “fixing your swing,” we’d all be major leaguers.

        As long as he’s striking out 30+%, even with his walk rate, the math just doesn’t add up. There aren’t enough non-K PAs for him to get his OBP up to something reasonable without having an ungodly BABIP.

        • Marcel91

          Again……nobody said he could have the same SO rate and be successful.

          The argument is he could still strike out alot and be a productive player as long as you have some power, walk, and steal bases. And he used those players as examples not comparisons to Jackson. He still needs to make more contact but his offensive value isn’t held down by strikeouts as much as other players because he does have some power and he does take walks. A player like Castro would be out of the league if he struck out at a very high rate because he doesn’t walk at all and as of yet, hasn’t developed the power fully. Jackson can have a high but manageable rate and still be a good player…..

          That’s all we’re saying……calm down guys…..

          • Voice of reason

            And, after Jackson cuts down on his strikeouts well get campanas bat straightened out and he will be the next Rickey Henderson. Then vitters will get his bat squared away and we will have the next Alex Rodriguez.

            You’re analogies are great in theory and you have good intentions.

            They’re just not going to happen!

            Jackson will get a chance again cause we have nobody else and he is damn lucky we have no one else. If he doesn’t make big time improvements he will be done with the cubs by all star break. I hope he makes it, but he was absolutely pathetic!!

            • Marcel91

              Anthony Rizzo and Mike Trout we’re pathetic last year in the majors last year….Rizzo specifically made drastic improvements to his swing. ML we’re tearing him up last year and he took it upon himself to alter his approach and his swing. Is it hard? yes….impossible? no.

              • Marcel91

                excuse my bad typing. on a tablet and these things suck to type on.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                We’re talking about very different things here.

                The guys you mentioned excelled in the minors and had brief blips in the majors.

                Jackson’s K-rate was a huge problem even in AAA.

                • Marcel91

                  His K-rate was a huge problem in AAA but he still put up solid minor league numbers just like the other two, if he’d have replicated those numbers after his call-up we wouldn’t be having this conversation. You refuted that with “his AAA numbers don’t matter” yet you use minor league numbers as a counter argument for Rizzo and Trout’s huge struggles after their call-ups being alright?

                  In the same amount of games last year Rizzo was just as bad as Jackson, if not a bit worse. he had a lower average, OBP and Slugging percentage while striking out just as much. Throwing out AAA numbers which you’ve repeated said doesn’t matter, Jackson was actually the better player in their first call-ups with the same sample size.

                  P.s. since we debate often in light of all the personal attacks and insults on this site lately I’d like to point out that we’re just talking baseball and there’s nothing wrong with disagreement. I respect you, Kyle, for actually providing valid arguments instead of mindless bashing when something is said you dont agree with. You keep it about Baseball and nothing else

                  • Marcel91

                    And I know Trout played in AA which is probably the closest equivilant to MLB pitching therefore his ML numbers do matter more. So I focused more on Rizzo who played in AAA last year and had a few of the same mechanical issues Jackson does.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                    I’m not saying “the AAA numbers don’t matter.”

                    I’m saying there’s more to it than just eyeballing and saying “Hmm, that seems OK.”

                    First, Anthony Rizzo put up a 1.056 OPS in AAA for the Padres, at 21 years old, in his first exposure to the level.

                    Mike Trout put up a .958 OPS in AA at *19* in his first exposure to the level.

                    Brett Jackson put up an .817 OPS in AAA at 23 in his second exposure to the level.

                    His season does not in any way belong with the other two, so there’s no point in lumping them together.

                    An .817 OPS in the PCL is not terrible, but it’s certainly nothing that says “This guy can hit in the majors!”

                    Then throw in strikeouts. In terms of value at the MLB level, strikeouts aren’t a big deal. But in the minors, they often show a flaw that will become more exposed as the player moves up the ladder and faces pitching more capable of exploiting it. It was pretty clear this was happening with Jackson. The K’s were problematic at AA, historically awful at AAA and then downright unbelievably bad in the majors.

                    Now all that being said, anything is possible. Sure, he could just completely rehaul his swing and fix the problems. But based on what he’s done so far, the best guess is that he doesn’t have a future in the majors. There’s just no precedent for a guy having this much trouble hitting a baseball and becoming a professional hitter at that level.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      First, Jackson doesn’t have any of those players’ power. So scratch that off as one of the most important factors that allow you to get away with a high K rate.

      Now look up how many of those players struck out as much as Brett Jackson in AAA or the majors. The answer, I’ll spoil for you, is none of them.

      • Marcel91

        That’s why unlike those players Jackson needs to cut it down by so much. The argument is he can get away with it more than someone who’s entire OBP is tied to hits only with no amount of power or walks……

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          It’s just that easy, isn’t it?

          AAA pitchers struck him out at a 33% rate, but he’ll just adjust his swing and lower that by an enormous percentage facing the much harder MLB pitchers.

          • Marcel91

            You make it sound like adjustments are impossible….his swing wasnt so much the problem as it was his approach. he often got down 0-2 without taking a swing and then had to work his way out. Hell, if he just keeps his head down through the ball when he swings he’d make more contact right there….

            These are not ridiculous adjustments that cannot be made. He will always strikeout…thats a given….but who’s to say he can’t improve?

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              No one said he can’t. Just that it will be incredibly difficult. He’s trying to cut down on strikeouts in a way that is unprecedented, because his strikeout problems are unprecedented.

              • Marcel91

                I never said it wouldn’t be highly difficult in any way…. so if that’s what you’ve been debating with me about then why are we doing it.

                Also he struck out 217 times in 150 games last year. 59 in 44 games at the ML. It’s bad but is that truly unprecedented? No sarcasm but truly asking because i’m not sure.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                  Yes. It’s truly that bad.

                  For example, his combined AAA/MLB strikeout rate was higher than the MLB strikeout rate for any of the top 20 total strikeout seasons of all time.

                  I can’t find a full list of MLB strikeout rate records, but I strongly suspect if he had been in the majors all season and K’d at the combined AAA/MLB rate, he’d have the all-time single-season record.

                  • Marcel91

                    Fair enough on this point

            • Drew7

              I find it weird that in one post you praise Jackson’s batting-eye and his ability to walk, then say his problem is his approach.

              That approach (being “selectively-aggressive”) is what drives his ability to hit for power and draw walks. The best way for him to hide (or, at least attempt to hide) that massive hole in his swing is to wait for his pitch, which leads to a decent amount of XBH’s and BB’s, and a ton of K’s. Changing the approach in order to cut down on the latter would almost certainly cut down the former.

  • Marcel91

    He definitely has the delivery, repetoire, and workhorse-type body to pitch 200 innings. For him it’s all about control and the FO thinks Bosio can help him further refine it with his already smooth delivery and athleticism. I think there’s a very good chance he’s this years Shark or Lance Lynn.

    A pitcher always has more value as a starter than a relief pitcher especially if it’s a frontline one. If Cabrera is a #5 then yeah he probably has more value as a late-inning reliever so it depends on what he turns out to be. Definitely has the stuff of a #2, maybe low #1 if his control improves even more. If not, closer material. Can’t lose.

  • Jim L

    “I can’t be sure, but it sounded like an ad-libbed Paul Rudd line. Boo …”

    Albert Brooks said the line, Brett. It was funny regardless. Brooks killed it in that role.

  • caryatid62

    Stanton is available (per MLBTR this morning). Baez, Jackson, Vogelbach, and Almora wouldn’t be too much for him.

    • nkniacc13

      can’t trade Almora until a year from when he signed

  • Fastball

    On what team other than the Cubs is Shark an ace? He was a starter for 1 season and he wasn’t even consistent over last season. He got rocked really hard for several starts in a row mid season. I would say he is about average or just a little above average and only if he comes out and pitches well this year. He could just as easily have a sophomore slump in his second year as a starter. If you can get Upton for Shark make that trade. The one thing I like about Shark is his confidence on the mound. He acts dominant therefore he could be. But I would still trade him for Upton. Now is the AZ going to do that trade? NO

    • Marc N.

      Yeah but upside, cheap, potential, control….

      That said, I do think he can remain an above average starter, but the idea that he becomes an ace (except in the loose definition) is ridiculous to me as well. All that really needs to happen is that he goes back to walking 4 guys per 9 for him to clear the wagon.

  • Fastball

    I would trade Vogelbach, Baez, Jackson, Lake, McNutt and Whitenack for Stanton.

    • TheRiot2

      Can’t argue with that pkg. The only one I’ve seen that could stand a chance of getting done. Would I add to that pkg. to get that deal done ? H3LL NO.

  • nkniacc13

    Some of you guys make me laugh. When Theo signed and said were going to build through the draft and minors it was good we have haven’t done that we will have a solid team for a number of years but the next couple may not be great. Then the Cubs lose 100+ and now its trade anyone good in the minors go out and sign free agents. I understand Stanton as a possible trade target as young and talented as he is but wow this year maybe surprisingly decent but I comfort myself in the fact that they are getting talent likely near the AA level if not there that the cubs next offseason can really begin to have talent coming to the majors and be able to trade a bit of that for players of need not players of want

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