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.
  • Carytid62

    This is ridiculous. Stanton is 23…23!…and has already has a season where he hit 37 HRs in a cavernous ballpark. The Cubs can only hope that ONE of their OF prospects becomes 90% of what Stanton already is. If you can get a player of that level at this age and this salary, you trade most of your top 5 prospects. It’s not about want versus need–it’s about getting the best ML team you can for the long-term.

    • Jason

      Hell yeah!!!!

    • Njriv

      I hear you, but the Cubs don’t have any potential #1 either in their farm system. If the Cubs only have a handful of trade chips to use, I would rather use them toward getting an ace.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Absolutely not. There are 3 big arms in this draft any 3 of which should be a short development route to the ML. It’s nice to speculate some of this absurdity, but the Cub’s aren’t getting Price and the package for Price would be insane on top of having to sign a long term deal. The price mania is pure absurdity.

    And I will take it further, I love the idea of Stanton, but the Cubs don’t have the juice to make that happen. I have to believe the starting point for Stanton would be Castro and 3 of the top 5 prospects. Stanton is clearly a better talent than Castro and Miami would have to be bowled over to deal him. Upton is a different matter, AZ would probably jump at Castro and send Upton and pitcher, but I don’t see Upton moving the ball, I’d rather keep Castro and am not a huge Castro fan.

    • Marcel91

      I cant tell your not a big Castro fan by making the ludicrous statement that Stanton is a far better player. Statistically the only thing Stanton has over Castro is power.

      Castro has the better contract, plays a vastly more important position, and doesnt have the injury problems stanton has. At 23 he already has bad kneed. Thats a red flag. And Castro + 3 of our top five prospects for just Stanton???? Are you forreal?

      • Kyle

        1) Power is kind of important. And he has more of it than anyone playing right now.

        2) Stanton also gets on base more.

        Combine the two, and you get the fact that Stanton is a much, much better hitter than Castro. The fact that Castro plays a premium position closes the gap a little, but Fangraphs credits Stanton with 10.3 WAR the last two seasons, Castro with 6.8.

        Stanton is the far more valuable player and it’s not even close.

        3) It’s a bit tricky to take one minor knee injury and call it a bad knee. If you want to make bets on longevity, middle infielders have the shortest careers and peaks on average of any player in baseball outside of pitchers.

        • Marcel91

          So you’d make the trade guy about suggested? Castro + 3 of our top 5 for Stanton?

          • Kyle

            It’d be close. Probably not, but I’d think long and hard about it. Stanton is a far better player, but I don’t know if he’s 3 very good prospects worth of better.

            • Chris

              I agree that Stanton is the better player, but I don’t think it makes sense to move Castro in a trade for him. Now if Baez was waiting in Iowa to come up, and continues to show he can play SS, maybe this is more possible. Power is harder to come by these days, but I think we can get a serviceable RF more than we can get a dynamic SS. I know many are down on Castro, but he showed tremendous improvement in 2012. There would never have been an extension if he hadn’t shown the progress he did this season. He’s not untradeable, but I would shy away from considering it. It’s a moot point though, as the Marlins acquired their SS of the future from Toronto. For Stanton, they would absolutely have to consider moving Baez. SS is a strength in the organization. While difficult to find a potential 3B candidate with power, where Baez projects, Stanton is a one of a kind talent, and fits the age range of what’s starting to be the young core (Rizzo & Castro).

              • Kyle

                I totally get what you are saying, and I don’t think I’d do the deal, but with Stanton I don’t think I care about positional scarcity.

                His position is “guy who will probably mash 50+ homers in his prime.” That’s the scarcest position of them all.

                • Chris

                  True. Maybe I fall into the category of, Castro plus 3 good prospects is too much like you were saying. Castro, Baez, and 2 others probably is a touch much. If Lake, or Alcantara, or Hernandez were dominating in AA or AAA, maybe they could pull the trigger on something like that. I don’t know… it’s interesting to think about. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Cubs have enough to offer at this stage anyway. Maybe once enough time elapses, making Soler and Almora dealable. Now if the Marlins wanted Baez, Soler, and Almora for Stanton, that would work for me. The don’t need a SS, so they could move Baez to 3rd. While not extremely expensive, Castro does have that contract extension now, and the Marlins want cheaper players. Maybe there’s something there. Then again, Soler makes more money than the average minor leaguer. Maybe he’s not a fit either. Then again, maybe he would attract Cuban fans. The Yankees don’t have the prospects to get a guy like Stanton right now, so I think the Cubs could beat any deal they offer. I think there are plenty of other teams, like the Rangers or the Dodgers, that could offer more though. I’m rambling… Bottom line, put together a package with anybody else in the system, and try to keep Castro, I’m in.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            He didn’t say that. He was commenting to your statement bashing the guy about Castro. He was right. Castro is not on the save level as Stanton. You would have to give up a lot. That would probably be the deal it would take to get it done. I wouldn’t do it, but I don’t see where he was wrong.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    You’re over the top. I am not suggesting trading Castro and 3 top prospects for Stanton. What Im suggesting is the Cubs are unlikely to be able to put any deal together as Brett as shown to get Stanton and even more unlikely to put together a deal for Price. I don’t think the Cubs have the juice for either of those kind of deals.

    But at the same time, I get it, a big bat, when you don’t really have one is a precious commodity. Castro is in his 4th year, his numbers don’t lie. He doesn’t have great focus, doesn’t have great command of the strike zone, doesn’t get on base for his talent level enough, and doesn’t at least now demonstrate tremendous power. If Miami would send Stanton to the Cubs even up for Castro, I’d do that in a heart beat. Even a deal like Castro, Jackson and Maples, but that won’t happen. And just because some of you have convinced yourselves Starlin is Derrick Jeter doesn’t alter the reality of what he is. Its a moot point, they aren’t in any position to put together a deal for either Stanton or Price.