Lukewarm Stove: Soriano and the Phillies, Stanton, Howell, Upton

stoveWith apologies, no Bullets today – but, in its stead, some rumor-y goodness …

  • Jim Bowden reported on the radio on Friday evening (h/t CCO) that he hears that there is a deal on the table between the Cubs and Phillies involving Alfonso Soriano. He did not mention the details, but said the Phillies are waiting until Michael Bourn signs to pull the trigger. Not necessarily because the Phillies want Bourn, I’m assuming, but instead because they want to see what impact his signing has on the trade market – and, I’m guessing, if the Cubs are involved on Bourn, there’s an additional layer of intertwined-ness between the Cubs, Phillies, Bourn, and Soriano. Bowden offered only that Soriano would play left field for the Phillies and the return to the Cubs would depend on how much of his salary the Cubs ate, which, obviously. Very intriguing stuff, but a huge grain of salt is necessary – the Cubs and Phillies have made sense as Soriano trade partners for some time, but teams explore all kinds of deals. Soriano isn’t the only outfielder on the market, and he isn’t the only option for the Phillies.
  • There remains the issue of whether dealing Soriano is the right move for the Cubs, given their nearer-term moves, but if there’s an opportunity to sell high, the Cubs have to consider it. Of course, if they deal Soriano, they almost certainly have to add another outfielder (something they’re trying to do anyway).
  • You can expect to hear an uptick in Giancarlo Stanton rumors again – the Marlins’ assistant GM just said that, although they aren’t shopping the young slugger, they’re listening to offers. Teams have been pinging the Marlins about Stanton ever since they sold the fort and Stanton expressed his frustration with the team on Twitter a couple months ago. The Cubs would assuredly have oodles of interest in Stanton, but so would every other team in baseball. The Cubs probably wouldn’t have the best package of prospects to land him.
  • JP Howell remains the Nationals’ top relief target, and if they’re offering enough money, it’s hard to see him going, for example, to the Cubs over the Nats. They’re, like, really good.
  • Nick Cafardo says that, if the Red Sox were going to deal prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. (each are top 100 types, with Bogaerts probably a top 20), they would have to get “something more impressive” than Justin Upton. I think it’s interesting to see that perspective on Upton’s value, because I’d assume it would absolutely take a package of at least a couple top 100 types (with at least one elite prospect) to land Upton. I recently discussed Upton and the Cubs here.

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

256 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Soriano and the Phillies, Stanton, Howell, Upton”

  1. Njriv

    I would assume so.

  2. nkniacc13

    Im not sure that a cubs deal with Philly won’t included a couple of prospects as well as Sori and cash and supposly Brown.

    1. Marcel91

      If those prospects are coming from our side then thats a huge overpay

      1. Andrew

        It would depend on the prospects were talking about and the amount of money. If its a couple utility IF prospects and Phillies pay 7 mill a year of Sorianos salary, I’d say that is just right

        1. Marcel91

          I’d say along the line of bullpen prospects. They are looking for arms.

          1. Andrew

            a prospective bullpen arm has about as much value as a prospective utility IF in my opinion so I’d support either trade

          2. Blublud

            Wow. If we are sending prospects, no matter how bad the prospects are, to Philly with Soriano, and we pay even a dollar to philly, Theo should be fired, which won’t happen any. We will get Brown and atleast 1 good not great or 2 decent prospects. If we offered them Sori, 26 mil and prospects for just Brown, they would pull the trigger right then before we could change our mind.

            1. nkniacc13

              I think there maybe pospects on both sides getting traded if its not Sori and 26 mil for brown

              1. Marcel91

                . From hearing what Phillies fans have been saying all this time the organization has handled him poorly and at this point have lost patience with him being a team with such a short window to win..I see no reason why Soriano + 26mil for Brown alone wouldn’t entice the Phillies.

                1. DRock

                  As much as I am ready to see Fonsi go, the Cubs should not just give him away and this Brown deal sounds like just that. If this is the best offer on the table, please stand pat, Theo.

                  1. Chris

                    Brown is the piece that will play in the majors this season. The minor league player(s) are the reason to trade Soriano. If the package isn’t worth it, they shouldn’t move him. Brown is just the throw-in to fill some of the missing playing time.

  3. Kyle

    After waffling on it for a few days, I think I’ve settled on not caring if we trade Soriano and put DeJesus in LF in the theoretical “Sign Bourn” scenarios.

    It’s basically a wash between the two. Soriano brings about 80 points of slugging. DeJesus brings 30-40 points of OBP and better defense/baserunning.

    It’d be weird to have a team that has such a complete lack of power, but runs are runs. You don’t get extra credit for getting some runs from power and some from OBP and some from defense.

    1. Marcel91

      Agreed 100%. Overall they’re not much different from a total production standpoint. Yes the power looks prettier to the fans, but as you said runs are runs and if Dejesus contributes more of or equal amount to Soriano that’s fine because he plays better D and actually works the pitcher.

  4. Xavier

    Well I like the idea of Soriano and like 5 average low level prospects over say Dom Brown and whoever.

  5. Randy

    I am starting to think that some people on this site just post to see themselves type. People are OK with trading Soriano for a utility/bullpen prospect? Are you serious? I think his value is being greatly undervalued especially by all the Cubs willingness to trade him. No he is not worth his contract, but he is worth more than a fringe prospect. How many players hit over 30 HRs and drove in over 100 RBI’s? 12!!! I know those numbers aren’t everything, but he was still in the top 50 (#46) in OPS. Cody Ross just got 3 years 26 million with worse numbers, so the Cubs should be able to get a lot more than just a utility/bullpen prospect if they make him a $5 million a year player. We have plenty of those types of prospects in the minors, no reason to give up Soriano for any more. If we can’t get anything better just keep him, hope he stays healthy and producing for the next 2 years. Just in-case people were wondering, did you ever notice his numbers before he switched to a smaller bat vs what he finished with?
    Pre Bat Switch:
    .283 .304 .587 .250 (0 HR’s in over 100 Ab’s)
    Makes you wonder why old management couldn’t get him to switch earlier.

    1. Andrew

      no one has suggested trading him for a utility or bullpen prospect, but you really can’t get very much for Soriano even at 5 mill a year. Last year wasn’t the first good year he’s had with the Cubs. People don’t believe last years numbers are sustainable especially because he’s getting older. Dominic Brown has a lot of potential so the Phillies wont be giving him away very easily.

  6. daveyrosello

    Anthony Rendon, Nick Castellanos, Mike Olt, Jedd Gyorko, Nolan Arenado. Gotta figure a way to trade for one of those five guys if the Cubs want to solve their 3B problem in the near future. Otherwise, it’s wait for Candelario, Baez or Villanueva to hopefully pan out.

    1. Marcel91

      What’s wrong with developing your own 3B just like the teams that possess the players you mentioned did? All those guys are just as much “prospects” as Baez albeit older and closer but in terms of potential Baez has more than any of them. And you’d equally have to hope they pan out because none of them are sure things. I’d rather take my chance with Baez and use the players it’d take to get those guys somewhere else.

      Side note: Castellanos is terrible at 3B. Tigers considered(or already have) moved him to LF.
      Washington has tabbed Rendon their 3b of the future with Zimmerman moving to 1st
      Padres have said they want to build around Headley AND Gyorko
      Olt’s ceiling is a solid–>above average 3B but not a star
      Never seen Arenado

      I don’t see any of those guys but Olt changing uniforms this year. Again, if all these teams can develop their own homegrown 3B why can’t we do the same instead of trading assets to get one of theirs?

      1. Kevin B

        Great post!

        I have no clue how Baez’s name is thrown into so many silly trades on this site. Like you said he has more upside then any of the prospects proposed to get back but he is younger.

        1. Marcel91

          I wouldn’t trade Baez for anyone not named Price, Trout, or Harper. You don’t always put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to prospects but a potential super-star talent like Baez is one that you can take your chances on.

      2. daveyrosello

        Perhaps you don’t like to read things closely. I said fix the 3B problem in the near term. The prospects I mentioned are highly thought of, and close. Baez is highly thought of, and not close, being in A ball and still a teenager. Plus, he is a natural SS, we are projecting if we consider him a 3B at this stage.

        I don’t want to wait two more years to fix 3B, on the off-chance that Baez turns out to be the real deal, and can do so at someplace other than his natural position. I’m not advocating trading Baez either, far from it, he’s a great prospect (and has max value) it he stays at SS.

        I’m advocating trading for a genuine 3B prospect that is ready to help the Cubs now. If Baez pans out lately, we’ll figure where to play him when that day arrives.

        1. Marcel91

          No I read you just fine. My question to you is what is why the incredible urgency to deal top Top prospects or good players to acquire those guys when a few years from now you could have a 3B better than all of them for free?

          And though Baez has surprised with his instincts at Ss he still lacks the range and fluid play Castro has. Plus scouts fully expect Baez to outgrow SS soon just like Lake did, he’s already bigger than Castro at the same age. Even if he does stay at SS with Castro there you can slide him over to 33b where he can win a gold glove. Your better off holding the fort and banking on Baez.

          1. Kevin B

            Thank you Marcel again. I don’t get this “natural SS” crap. Why because he played it in High School? He also caught some. Many high school athetes play SS because they are great athetes in High School. Does not mean they are a SS in the Pro’s.

            Chipper Jones was a high school stud SS. Never played 3B much. Oh yea in 5 years he will be in the hall of fame as a 3b’man!

            BJ Upton was a shortstop and the Rays can use one but anyone hear any talk of moving him back to SS? Heck no!

            Ryne Sandberg was a SS in the minors. Yet he was terrific at 3B and oh yes he is in the hall of fame as a 2b”man.

            Barney never played 2B until his last year or so in the minors and then only a bit. He won the gold glove.

            Almost all scouts call for a move for Baez. I wonder if whats his name ever heard of Cal Ripken? He WAS a SS obviously but as he kept growin (Baez) he moved to 3B and did just fine there.

            Baez would be fine at 3B if we moved him there, or 2b or RF or LF. Cubs even considered him as a catcher, yes he caught some in high school too, does that make him a natural pro catcher? Of course not. Not by itself.

            Lake is playing SS as well but that does not mean he will be a SS in the Pros. The list goes on and on.

            Cubs left Baez at SS as a comfort thing while he started his career as his bat is his best asset. Cubs had him playing both SS and 3B in the Arizona league before he hurt his thumb and got shut down.

  7. cheryl

    There’s one orher aspect to a proposed Phila, trade. Even if they settle at the FO on who gets what Soriano still has to approve the trade.

    1. nkniacc13

      He’s said he wats to go to a East coast team that is likely to be in the playoff hunt

      1. cheryl

        If the paramaters are in place and it looks good he still has that sayso and may change his mind.

  8. Mike F

    I think it’s pretty clear to Soriano, they really don’t have a fit here for him so I’m sure he’s working with them to finish a deal with Philly. Its the best thing for both parties.

  9. Marcel91

    Learned an interesting little fact today. The draft pick that the Yankees gave up to sign Mark Teixiera resulted in none other than Mike trout. It’s hilarious how every team that has acquired Teixiera for short term gain at the expense of long term has paid dearly for it. Imagine Atlanta now if they still had Andrus, Feliz, and Harrison….but no, they traded them for Teixeira because they got impatient and now have nothing to show for it. Andrus is now a top 10 SS, Feliz a dominant closer when healthy, Harrison just won 18 games this year.

    I surely hope we don’t make a mistake like that.

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      There are examples for both sides of that argument. They were able to get Trout because a lot of teams made a mistake in the draft. We have to trust the FO to have the scouting in place to not make a mistake like that. You have to give up something to get something. There is no sure thing. You have to play your odds. Texas got extremely lucky that everything in that trade panned out. That just doesn’t happen.

      1. Kevin B

        I beg to differ – how can you say the Anges got Trout because other teams made a mistake. You think 20 teams all thought Trout was this good but just screwed up? Or they thought Trout was no good because they had others rated higher? But the Angels knew Trout would be this good so they took him? What a crock?

        Marcels point is right on. The Angels used the pick in the first round they got as compensation from the Yankees and they picke Mike Trout. The point Marcel made is some people do not value these picks and that is a MISTAKE. And trading prospects due to impatience IS A MISTAKE.

        The response to Marcel makes no sense. I guess some think the picks are worthless but the Angels got “lucky” Look at the draft after Trout in the first round and second round and third round even. There are players there!

        I guess some think the Angels got lucky and got Trout but those same people would be advocating DUMPING Trout as a prospect and trading him for ….. Mark Teixiera for example. How silly that argument is!

        By the way Trout came up the previous year and stunk (Like Rizzo) and I bet those who think the Angels got lucky because other teams made a mistake where not singing that tune then …. no they would be on a site like this proposing silly trades and “throwing” in Trout because he was a bust and arguing how this was proof that losing a draft pick meant nothing.

        I mean WOW!

        1. blublud

          I beg to differ – I am someone who is all about home grown talent. I would love to field a team of all Cubs prospects. However, I got pounded for saying that last off-season, and in reallity, it will never happen anyway. You should NEVER, and I repeat NEVER, chose to keep a draft pick when there is a proven Major League comodity that you wish to sign and is guaranteed to help your team win now. Yes the Angels may have gotten Trout because of that move. But the pick could have just as easily been Cory Patterson. Considering that the Yankees won a World Series with Texiera and the Angels with Trout(I do know this is his first year) have yet to win one, I’ll take what the Yankees did over Trout anyday.

          In Fact, if it guarantees me just one World Series, I would trade Baez, Almora and Soler for a relief pitcher. <Now that would never happen, and I'm not being literal, but if you have talent on your team to win and you are only missing one piece to close the deal, you make the deal, and you don't concern yourself with consequences..

          Oh and BTW, the Angels didn't exactly get the Yankees draft pick. Teams don't get the others teams pick in compensation. The team loses there pick and the team that recieves the pick falls some after the first round in some order decided by MLB. So if the Yankees kept that pick, there is no guarantee that they would have drafted Trout anyway, and even if they did, there is no guarantee he would have developed as well as he did in there system.

          1. ssckelley

            Very good point, I will take seeing the Cubs go to the World Series over any prospect.

            Obviously the Yankees signing Teixiera has worked out well for both the Yankees and the Angels, that is how it is supposed to work. It is why teams get an extra first round pick when they lose their top players to free agency. Down the road I want the Cubs on the Yankees side of those type of deals, I do not want to see them have to take chances on compensation picks in order to be competitive.

        2. blublud

          Also, if draft compensation draft picks are that good, then did we trade empster at the deadline next. If we were sure to recieve a Mike Trout type of player, wouldn’t it have been better to just let his contract run out so he could sign elsewhere and we recieve our pick. I mean isn’t the “possibility” of getting a Mike Trout more valuable then Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hindricks.

          1. blublud

            Meant “then why did we trade Dempster at the deadline last year?”

        3. Kyle

          It’s a little dishonest to take the guy who is probably a shoo-in for greatest late-first draft pick of all time and say “Ah-ha! That PROVES how awesome draft picks are.” You have to look at the whole body of evidence, not just the one that you like the best.

          The same year as Trout, three other teams had compensation draft picks, and none of them look like they’ll be significant MLB contributors at this point.

          Trout was a once-in-a-lifetime find at No. 25. We’ll all probably live out the rest of our lives without seeing a player like that develop out of the late first round.

          1. King Jeff

            We’ll probably live out our lives without seeing any player drafted from any position develop like Trout, but it’s not like there aren’t a pretty good number of MLB players that come from late first round and supplemental picks.

            Just going back one year from Trout’s draft, Wade Miley, Jake Odorozzi, and Lance Lynn all went later than Trout in the first round and so did Gerrit Cole, who didn’t sign that year. Olt and Castellanos both went in the late-first/supplemental range, and I think a lot of us would be thrilled with having one of them. I know that there is no guarantee, and if the right player comes up, the pick shouldn’t hinder that pursuit, but it’s not like the pick has no value. I know a lot of picks miss, but the more picks you have, the better shot you have at picking up a good prospect.

            1. Kyle

              It’s a numbers game. Depending on how late you are talking about and how good your development program is, you’re getting a 5-15% chance of getting a useful MLB player out of your pick. Even out of that list of interesting prospects that year, many or most will not have long-term MLB careers.

              I’m not talking about burning the pick for a 25th-man, but if there’s a useful MLB player available that you want for your team, you take him without a second thought to the draft pick.

              Honestly, Epstein didn’t do that well in that range for the Red Sox, either. Not terrible, but not amazing either. He made 17 picks between 25-50 in his Red Sox tenure. Two so far look like solid MLB regulars: Buchholz and Lowrie. About half are still young prospects, so we’ll see how it shakes out in the next couple of years, but even Epstein gets mostly Bowdens and Hagadones and Murtons in that range of the draft.

              1. King Jeff

                I agree, he seems to be better picking in the later rounds.

    2. Kyle

      I’ll counter with a side fact.

      The No. 25 overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft went to the Oakland A’s, who selected Landon Powell, now a 30-year-old career AAA catcher who has put up a negative WAR in a few cups of coffee.

      That pick came from the Red Sox, who gave up their first-round pick to sign relief pitcher Keith Foulke. Less than a year later, Foulke closed out their World Series championship fielding a comebacker and tossing to first.

      The Red Sox were fairly liberal with giving away picks under Epstein, going without a top-30 pick three times in nine years.

      1. Kyle

        Oops, make that four times.

  10. Dan

    Trading Soriano to trade him makes no sense – the return has to make sense – he isn’t blocking a someone from playing and is the only bat in the lineup that has proven power

    1. baldtaxguy

      I have not read anyone making the point to trade Soriano just to trade him.

    2. ssckelley

      I do not want to see the Cubs trade Soriano either unless they get a solid return for him. Just giving him away, paying another team to play him, and then having to turn around and spend more money to get another leftfielder makes no sense unless the Cubs are getting players in return that can help the team past 2013.

      1. Chris

        Yep, I would guess they won’t move him unless they can get a good return. They’re not going to dump him like we’ve all wanted in years past. With the bulk of the money off the books now, it’ll come down to how much the Cubs are willing to eat. That will determine how good the return will be. I’ve seen the Philly rumor in multiple places, so I hope the OF market shapes up in a way that doesn’t give the Phillies other options. Getting a former prospect like Dominic Brown, and maybe a young pitcher from their system, might get it done.

  11. praying the cubs get ready to win

    How far away are Baez and Lake from playing in the majors?

    What minor league players in the Cubs minors will we expect to play in 2013 on the Cubs major league team?

    1. Marcel91

      Lake could be ready by mid-season Baez is at least 1 1/2 -2 years away. 2013 could feature Bjax and Vitters again, Vizcaino and Cabrera, Zych and Mcnutt could come up this year. 2014-15 are the tears where we should really start seeing the good stuff.

      1. praying the cubs get ready to win

        Thank you

  12. steve

    I’m thinking it’ll be a trade of Soriano, Clevenger, and cash for Brown, another good prospect, and maybe two more lower tier type prospects. We get another good young OF, albeit one that hasn’t panned out yet, and some other young pieces to work with. I think that we are in on Bourne, I don’t have any concrete news on it, just a gut feeling. I think that his price tag has fallen, and Theo has stepped in quietly to try to grab us a true leadoff guy. Maybe a 1 year deal, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Theo go 3 years on Bourne. DeJesus would slide over to left, and Brown would platoon with Nate in RF to start the year. The around the deadline, if we move Dejesus, Brown could slide over into left and we go from there, maybe by then Jackson will come up and be Nate’s platoon partner.

    I know Brown hasn’t panned out yet, but he really didn’t get a true shot at realizing that potential with Philly being in a win now mode. With the Cubs he would finally get a chance to be in the majors and to try to fill that vast potential. If we get him, and he gets a chance, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him reach that potential and become yet another young core piece. By the deadline, we could move Dejesus, and give the whole last half of the season to Brown to show his worth. I also think that Garza will be moved to Texas in the spring, maybe Dejesus along with him, for Olt and some other pieces. Bourne at leadoff will have a good impact offensively and defensively. Olt and Brown would both be brought in to be two more core pieces. I’m excited to see how this works out. If we could get Brown and Olt, with Rizzo, Castro, Castillo, and maybe Jackson will give us some pretty nice young pieces going forward with. I’m excited when I think of the potential of all those young guys growing together, then adding other kids like Baez, Soler, and Almora in a few years after. Bourne would be a decent to good leadoff type to bridge us to those years. Man we could own this division for a long time in the not to distant future. Add those young guys this year, and others off trades of Marmol, Baker, and maybe Feldman, plus another good draft we will be swimming in great young talent.

    1. praying the cubs get ready to win

      Sounds like a solid plan

    2. Kevin B

      Steve I agree on Bourne except for the years. If you are losing a 2nd round pick you do not sign him for just one year. What is the value in that? If they sign him it better be for 3 years if we are losing our second round pick and at 29 years old I am not worried about giving him a 3 year deal.

      But lose the pick for one year of him in a non contention (allegedly) year for us? That is a step backwards.

      Just my opinion.

  13. cheryl

    Will Bourne cost a second round draft pink?

    1. Kevin B

      Yes he will cost us a 2nd round pick if we sign him.

    2. Chris


    3. Marcel91

      Our second round pick this year is the equivalent of a 1st round supplemental pick in past years, add the fact that we have the 2nd most draft pool money and would lose a nice chunk of that if we signed Bourn i’d stay away from him.

      1. Kyle

        First-round supplemental picks have not been historically that great either.

        In the 47-year history of the draft, four No. 40 overall picks have gone on to have at least 1 WAR in the major leagues.The absolute best was Kevin Tapani.

        1. ssckelley

          The biggest loss for the Cubs would not be the pick itself (you have proven that) the biggest loss is the pool money that might be needed to sign the #2 overall pick.

          1. Chris

            The pool money is a factor, but if the player is worth it, I don’t think giving up a 2nd rounder is a problem. I just don’t want any part of Bourn. If the Cubs sign him, I’d look for a 2-3 year deal, tops. And I would expect that he would fall into the “flippable” category, come trade deadline.

            1. ssckelley

              I agree, if the Cubs are going after the top free agent on the market then go for it. But giving up the pick and the pool money for Bourn IMO is not worth it and I think that is the reason why he is still on the market. If his asking price slips below his value then I could see the Cubs getting involved, but I think a couple of other teams would as well.

              I think the Cubs are going to wait it out on signing another outfielder. The longer the off season lasts and teams get closer to filling their rosters the lower the price tags become on some of these players.

              1. Chris

                I’m not saying don’t sign Bourn because he’s not worth the draft pick though. I’m saying don’t sign Bourn, regardless of the pick compensation. I like the idea of stockpiling draft picks and see what you have later. And I think that things we’ve viewed from a historical perspective related to the draft, will be different going forward, due to the changes in draft pools and signing international free agents. But Kyle is right about those picks not being worth all that much, so I see the value in signing guys regardless of compensation requirements. I’m just nervous about overpaying a leadoff hitter with little power. I’ll pass. Who knows what opportunities will be presented in-season. Save the financial flexibility for then. Sign Garza to an extension… Eat more of Marmol’s or Soriano’s contracts to get a really good return… Despite the various pitching signings, this team is no better than what they had in the first half last season, with Garza healthy and Dempster & Maholm pitching well. So I fully expect the Cubs to be sellers again at the deadline.

                1. Kyle

                  Yeah, if someone doesn’t like Bourn as a free agent, I totally get that.

                  He definitely wasn’t my first choice for OF this offseason.

                2. ssckelley

                  I am not high on Bourn either and I understood your point. But this FO has proved they will go after value and if the market for Bourn slips below his value then I can see the Cubs getting involved. The closer you get to spring training the better the market becomes from the FO perspective. I could warm up to the idea of Bourn being a Cub if he came here on the cheap.

                  1. Chris

                    I won’t close the door on him. And on a short deal, with maybe less money than what he wants on the table, I could see it as well. Ideally he performs early, and he becomes a trade asset. Then you can get prospects that would equate to higher than 2nd round pick talent, being that they’ve actually played a game professionally and have made it past rookie league. I’m all for that. I just don’t have the stomach to see them give him a 4-5 year deal, and go forward with him as the long term solution in CF. I don’t think he is.

          2. Kyle

            I don’t know why that is likely to matter. I very much doubt the No. 2 overall pick will be a difficult sign.

            First, even without their second-round pick, the Cubs can offer more money than anyone drafting after them. The bonus pool for the pick itself is going to be roughly a million more than the No. 3 pick is slotted. It’s more than most teams’ entire draft pools.

            Second, we’re almost certain to be taking a college pitcher, which will severely limit their leverage.

            The Pirates’ situation with Appel was a bit of a fluke. The Cubs will almost certainly sign their No. 2 pick. There may be a pre-draft deal, there may be a lot of wrangling to the last minute, but for all practical purposes, everybody signs.

            1. King Jeff

              Do you think the FO is going to be willing to pass on a top player if they see him as a difficult sign? I kind of get that feeling, just because I think they want the money to overslot guys in later rounds.

              1. Kyle

                No. Obviously, we can’t extrapolate their entire drafting future based on one data point, but it’s the only one we have. And last year, they were the only team picking in the high first round who paid overslot to sign their first-round pick.

                I suspect they’ll do something similar this year. They’ll take the player they like best at No. 2, they’ll sign him for whatever it takes, and they’ll let the rest of the draft fall where it may. Which is the right strategy.

                1. Chris

                  I still think draft strategies are being formulated. Shifting to mostly college players in rounds 3-10 seems to be the right thing to do, trying to save pool money on guys that don’t have the leverage of staying in/going to school. But maybe there are other ideas yet to be formed by teams. Last year, McCleod made a point to comment on how you have to pick a positional player high in the draft as much as possible because you can get quality, underscouted, pitching later in the draft easier than good hitting. But the way the talent shakes out this year, they almost HAVE to take a college pitcher. There is still a season to be played, and maybe a position player rises from the pack to move up, but I would fully expect the Cubs to take a Manea, or one of the other arms available at this point. I really wish the season were a little closer. With the Bears eliminated, and the Bulls being average and unwatchable, I’m ready for spring training.

            2. ssckelley

              You are probably right but my point is the amount of pool money available represents as much value (if not more) than the actual 2nd round pick itself. The money may not be needed to sign the #2 overall but perhaps it might help sign that 5th round high school prospect that has slipped because of the money it might take to sign him.

              I am not afraid of the Cubs burning the pick or the pool money to sign a top free agent, but I also do not think Bourn is that guy. I think other teams have stayed away because of the compensation. He would probably be off the market had the Braves not made a qualifying offer.

              1. Kyle

                A lot of people think that way.

                I personally don’t. The entire concept of trying to pick up “fallen” talent is pretty overrated. This isn’t the NFL where the 40th best prospect is going to step in and be a starter. The MLB draft is a handful of legit elite talents and a *ton* of interesting guys with flaws who may or may not develop well as they get older. I honestly don’t think there’s any real difference between the 50th best prospect and the 150th best prospect in a given draft.

                1. ssckelley

                  I understand that but the more top 50 type prospects the Cubs can accumulate then the better chance they have at finding that one who can help at the mlb level.

                  In 2011 the Cubs took a chance on Dillon Maples who some consider a top 10 prospect in the Cubs system. Granted he has not panned out yet, and he may never pan out, but the Cubs got him with a 14th round pick and spent 2.5 million to get him to sign. With the new CBA the pool money becomes more important than ever.

                  Agree or disagree with it (i know where you stand) the FO is all about acquiring talent to build the entire system from the minors to the mlb roster. Again I think the price has to drop in order for the Cubs to be a player for someone like Bourn.

                  1. Kyle

                    Just the opposite, though. The new CBA makes it far less likely that a Dillon Maples will fall, and that he’ll be signable if he does.

                    And we’re a long way from finding out if $2.5 million for a Maples was a good investment.

                    If you want to improve your talent across the board, I can’t think of a better way to do it than sign a good major-league player.

                    Same caveat as always though: If you just don’t like Bourn, I get that. I’m not sold on him myself.

      2. Chris

        You also have to look at it another way. Only the worst 10 teams avoid sacrificing a 1st round pick when signing a free agent that requires compensation. Is it better to sign a guy and lose the 11th pick in the first round, or the 2nd pick in the second round? I’m not advocating signing Bourn, as I’m not a fan, but if the Cubs could find a worthy player that required compensation, now is the time to sign him, when the lost pick is only a 2nd rounder and not a first.

  14. Stevie B

    I am going to ask one thing of my fellow Cub fans in 2013 :

    Please, for my sanity, please use the word suppose correctly.

    It is supposedly, not supposably.

    I’m thinking of offering a “bounty”, or “reward” system to those in compliance.

    I beg you, for my mental health, please at least try???

  15. August

    Soriano is akin to my father’s old BMW 528i: overpriced, usually reliable, high performance, and high cost of ownership. When he became fed-up with this car and traded it in, IT WAS NOT TRADED FOR TWO “RUNS GOOD” PICKUP TRUCKS AND DEALER CASH. Hence, trading Sori for anything less than a top 100 MLB prospect at a position of need is a waste if time and resources. If the adjectives, “relief, fringe, utility, 4th, or backup” are in any way attached to the player return in a Sori trade, or any other future Cubs trade, it is a Fail.

    1. True(ly) Blue

      August, I love your analogy of Sorie to cars. It explains the situation very nicely and reflects my thinking (Which is why it’s so good, eh?).
      BTW, to all the English majors on this site please get off your high horse and enjoy the comments rather than marking the comments with a red pen.
      Thanks and Happy New Year to all.

    2. Pat

      If it had 180,000 miles on it I guarantee he didn’t get anything better than a Ford Focus in trade.

      1. Pat

        And would have to include cash even for that

  16. Norm

    Why do people think that Theo and Jed are just going to “give away” Soriano?
    Just because YOU don’t like the return for Soriano, doesn’t mean Theo and Jed think it’s a “give away”.
    I would be pretty happy with a Dom Brown return for a guy most people wanted released a year ago.

    1. blublud

      Yeah, but I’m not one of the guys that wanted him released a year ago. I would rather Soriano play his 2 years out and walk then to take only Dom Brown back from Philly while paying $26 million. I for one, think this team is a decent outfield or decent 3B bat away from competing for the division this year, so i would prefer to sign Bourn and keep Soriano.

      1. Chris

        Brown is not the only piece coming back in a trade with Philly. The rest of the package will depend on how much money the Cubs are willing to eat. They’ll either elect salary relief, or better prospects.

  17. August

    Full disclosure: the electric dashboard on the B-mer would stop working, usually when you really needed to know how much gas was in the tank. Unlike the old car, I can safely assume Sori may be high mileage, but he’s got a lot left in the tank. The 528i was traded in for a, ahem, Volkswagen. Fail.

  18. preacherman86

    Just a quick thought on the Soriano to the Phillies discussion. If they are waiting out the Michael Bourn market, as Pro Sports Daily says, to try and increase the amount the Cubs would pay on Soriano (Presuming that Bourn gets a weaker contract than previously though) then why wouldn’t the Cubs play hardball themselves. There is a certain team out their with certain prospect the Cubs nation has been obsessing over, and it just so happens they desperately need to add a big bat in the outfield to keep pace in the AL West. Yep, the Angels. After an offseason which has seen more swing and misses than Mark Reynolds, the Rangers are now in fear of slipping to third in the division a mere two years removed from the World Series and two weeks from an AL West title this past year. Enter the Cubs Soriano Power Play. The Phillies are slow playing to bring down the cost on Soriano. The Rangers need to make a splash. Texas is warm for Soriano’s aging body, he has been there before (easier adjustment) and the Rangers just so happened to have an elite 3b prospect blocked by an elite 3b, an enviable problem to have for sure. But since they really have to many players on the left side already and are built to win now already. What if we throw a Soriano and Garza deal on the table for Olt and Perez/Buckel. Is this a large risk for the Cubs? Absolutely! Does it greatly bolster the Rangers team for this and upcoming years? absolutely. Does it put the heat on the Phillies to up their offer? Yes! So it is a win win. And if both deals walk away for now, that is part of the gamble. But assuming Garza is healthy he could net a return of near Olt and Buckel anyway by July, and Dom Brown is not that exciting of a return for Soriano. Is he a kid who can figure it out still and has the natural ability to be a stud? You bet he is, but will he?
    The point simply being that the Cubs have the position right now to make a power play with the Rangers to realign the power of the west, or at the very least re-enter the conversation in the AL West. And if that deal works, then AWESOME, that is way better than Dom Brown, and if it doesn’t we are no worse off than we sit right now. Just a thought on pressing the options instead of sitting back and waiting for teams responses.

  19. TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Any thought that Bourn would take a one year, high annual salary deal since the market has seemingly dried up? Would hope the cubs would at least propose this to Boras. Cubs would loose their second rounder but have trade bait at the deadline if they are not contending and can tender him the 13,3 (which he wont except after taking a one year deal) if the team is in the hunt. It’s a nice option.

    1. Blublud

      This would be crazy. To sacrifice a draft pick for only 1 year of Bourn would not. I dont think you choose a draft pick over Bourn, but if you sign him, it better be for at least 4 years.

      1. Kyle

        If you sign him to a one-year deal, you can qualify him at the end of the season and get a draft pick roughly 6-8 spots higher in the next draft than the one you gave up.

  20. nkniacc13

    Please Bourn sign somewhere( not with cubs) so we can see what moves the Cubs may have with Sori if the are going to move him.

  21. A Couple of Chats: Bruce Levine and MLBTR on Soriano, Bourn, Garza, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] calls the Alfonso Soriano/Phillies true rumor (which popped up again last week courtesy of Jim Bowden, who said the Cubs and Phillies had a deal on the table involving Soriano, [...]