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stoveTwo Lukewarm Stoves in one weekend? Insanity!

  • Yesterday, the Rangers took out the big guns to sign the Big Puma (or Fat Elvis, if you prefer … which I do), Lance Berkman, to a one-year, $10 million contract. The deal comes with the possibility of an option worth probably another $10 million, which vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances in 2013 (with a $1 million buyout, so it’s almost like a $1 million incentive). If it seems like a lot of money for a soon-to-be-37-year-old who missed most of 2012 with serious injuries … it is. It has the faint smell of desperation, which I hate to ascribe to an organization as well run as the Rangers, but after they repeatedly missed out on targets this offseason, and were set to enter 2013 considerably worse on paper than in 2012, maybe they felt like they absolutely had to land a bat. Berkman was set to retire, so maybe he would have continued to play only for a healthy payday. In any event, the signing has a number of possible implications: (1) it leaves even fewer at bats for third base prospect Mike Olt, who was already going to have a hard time finding regular playing time (unless they trade Mitch Moreland, which I suppose is possible); (2) hard to see the Rangers having any interest in Alfonso Soriano anymore, if they ever did; and (3) maybe they look to really solidify the team for 2013 now, and become more interested in adding a pitcher like Matt Garza.
  • Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Rangers are still trying to pick up Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks, and are pushing that Olt be one of the primary pieces in the deal. If Rangers want to build Upton package around Olt, it means they’re looking to move Olt, but it also means they probably won’t move him until they know Upton can’t be had for a package featuring Olt. In other words, if the Rangers don’t land Upton in a deal involving Olt, a Spring Training trade involving Garza and Olt becomes slightly more possible.
  • The Orioles and Diamondbacks have discussed a Jason Kubel swap, but the Diamondbacks are looking for young pitching, which the Orioles don’t want to give up. If the Diamondbacks are looking to pick up young pitching in a deal for Jason Kubel or, presumably, Justin Upton, the Cubs probably aren’t going to be a good fit. They do have some nice pitching prospects, but most are quite young, and fraught with risk.
  • If the Orioles are looking at Kubel, though, it could be a sign that they’d consider Alfonso Soriano, who could offer similar production and better defense at a lesser price (depending on how much of the $36 million left on his deal that the Cubs eat). The Orioles have long seemed a plausible trade partner in a Soriano deal, but we don’t know whether Soriano would consider waiving his no-trade rights to accept a deal to Baltimore. In general, they fit his stated requirements – East Coast team, competitive in the near term, would probably let him play some outfield.
  • Speaking of Soriano, the Phillies are getting pretty open in their desire to pick up a corner outfielder. From GM Ruben Amaro: “We’ve had several talks with free agents, although they’re limited now. We’ve also talked about some possible trades. We’re staying active as far as that is concerned. We’re still trying to improve, depth-wise, in our outfield, if we can. We don’t have proven everyday Major League players on our corners right now. If we can create some depth there, if we can create some competition, I would like to do that.” That’s about as plain as you’ll ever hear a GM make things. He may as well have just said, “Dear MLB, we want a starting corner outfielder badly. Kthxbye.” The Phillies must be strongly interested in both Kubel and Soriano at this point.
  • Theo Epstein spoke to Nick Cafardo, and identified Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Samardzija, and Darwin Barney as part of the team’s current “core.” Cafardo also speculated that the Cubs are willing to move Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano, the former if he shows he’s healthy in Spring Training, and the latter if the Cubs can get a “quality” return.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren says the team has not ruled out the possibility of re-signing Michael Bourn. Although re-signing him wouldn’t cause them to give up a draft pick, they would then not receive the compensatory pick they would have received if he’d signed elsewhere. In other words: re-signing Bourn essentially costs the Braves a pick.
  • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dan

    Um If the braves sign Borne it’s only money – the draft pick is not there’s so they wouldn’t essentially be losing anything’

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If he signs anywhere else, they get a pick. If he signs with the Braves, they don’t. Thus, by signing him, they get one fewer pick than they’d get otherwise. How exactly is that not “essentially losing a pick”?

      • Marcel91

        For some people you have to spell it out a few times. I get the better way to put it is, they wont be “losing” the pick in a possessive way. They just miss out on gaining the pick.

      • BD

        But they don’t have that pick yet- so essentially they are losing the opportunity to gain a pick, right? I understand that it’s basically the same outcome, but it’s a little different than losing a pick (like the Cubs would to sign Bourn).

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “Although re-signing him wouldn’t cause them to give up a draft pick, they would then not receive the compensatory pick they would have received if he’d signed elsewhere. In other words: re-signing Bourn essentially costs the Braves a pick.”

          I don’t know how else to put this semantical discussion to bed. If the Braves sign Bourn, they’ll have 39 picks in 2013 (they lost their first rounder to sign Upton). If they don’t sign Bourn, another team will, and the Braves will get a compensatory pick – so they’ll have 40 picks.

          If the Braves sign Bourn, they get 39 picks. If they don’t, they get 40. You and I are saying the same thing – which is why I said “essentially” losing a pick, as opposed to “literally” losing a pick.

      • Pat

        Because they do not have that pick yet, therefore they cannot lose it. They pass on the probability of gaining a pick. Not signing him does not guarantee a pick, only someone else signing him does that.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If the Braves don’t sign him, another team will. Are you disputing that?

          • Pat

            Is that guaranteed? What if Borne slips in the shower and tears an ACL before signing? What if something shows up when he is taking his physical? So while the above scenarios are highly unlikely, yes, I am disputing the assertion that the Braves get a pick simply by not signing him. It’s not a matter of semantics, but a distinct, although unlikely, possibility.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              That’s fine. I said “essentially,” I meant “essentially.” You just laid out a couple of the myriad reasons why I said “essentially” instead of “literally” or “actually” or “certainly.”

              • Pat

                Actually Dan said “essentially”. You said “Thus, by signing him, they get one fewer pick that they would otherwise”. I did not see a qualifier in there anywhere. My apologies if I missed it.

                • MichiganGoat

                  and it continues, this is beginning to read like a Matrix script

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  It was easy to miss … in the post and all. :)

                  • @cubsfantroy

                    My head hurts from reading that.

                    • Wester

                      I can’t believe how many posts there are about this.

                    • Wester

                      The point that I think should be pointed out is that if the braves already lost a first rounder, they aren’t losing as much as any other team other than the cubs by signing him…or maybe they feel losing both of their first two picks isn’t a good idea and chose uptown over Bourne.

                  • Anonnifan

                    Wait, so your not implying that if the Braves sign him they would lose a pick are you? Because…Nah, I’m just kidding. You said it absolutely right the first time. My mother is one of the leading dignitaries in the field of Philosophy of Language, and I am using my inherited pull to declare you the winner of this semantic argument Brett. Not that that is worth anything, but none the less consider it declared.

        • preacherman86

          Pat, hate to say it sir, but it is not a probability of gaining that pick. It is already been determined that he is worth that pick and been offered the one year by the braves earning them the compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere. If Michael Bourne slips and tears his ACL, well kudos sir, they may not get the pick. Does anyone know how long the offer holds the value of the pick? say Bourne gets hurt, and signs next year? still get the pick? or because he declined the QO do the Braves get the pick period as long as they don’t resign him, and the only change be nobody loses a pick? But also Pat, if Justin Verlander tears his labrum, the Tigers don’t get comp either, they are just pissed about it and move on. Injuries happen, don’t predicate an argument like this on Carlos Boozer esque home incident (don’t trip on the luggage)

        • NyN

          From this moment on all compensation picks should be referred to as “theoretical” picks until said pick is actually locked into place. If said theoretical picks are lost by resigning the player that theoretical picks are attached too then the theoretical pick itself will not be “lost” it will just be a disproven pick and therefore be sticken from the record of picks.

          All of this means that “essentially” the Braves will get one less pick. It is not lost. It just goes away….

    • MichiganGoat

      This all conversation is essentially and literally the most discussed and argued item written about same thing. Oh when will then be NOW.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        Hey Goat –

        I think it’s then now!

        • MichiganGoat

          Hello Ian nice to see you back who’s the band.

          • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

            I’ve been here the whole time, I just haven’t had much to contribute!

            This is the recent podcast my band recorded; interviews, live performance, related recordings…

            http://breakthruradio.com/#/post/?blog=21&post=1711

            • MichiganGoat

              Sweet ill check it out and if you’re ever in Western Michigan let me know

  • JBarnes

    Assuming it would take slightly less to make a trade for Upton rather than Stanton, you think that would be a better idea for the Cubs? I mean Stanton has more power, is two years younger and making less money (which shouldn’t matter to Cubs) but Upton I think is better all around because he’s shown he can do a little bit of everything and still have similar power.

    • Voice of reason

      Don’t worry about it, the cubs don’t have enough to get upton or Stanton unless you want to get rid of Castillo or rizzo?

      Other teams have more minor league depth and more options at the major league level than the cubs. That’s why were in the situation we are in.

      • Chaz

        I can easily assemble a package that doesn’t include Rizzo or Castillo (he’s not worth much anyways) that would net Stanton or Upton. Maybe you don’t know the extent of our farm?

        • Voice of reason

          I understand how cubs fans love to think they have all this great talent on the minors.

          My question…. If the talent is so great then where is it? And don’t say it’s too young and not ready.

          The cubs would love to play anyone but Stewart, schierholtz and dejesus, but they have no other options!’

          Baseball prospectus ranks the cubs as having the 20th best farm system. That’s by no means good.

          I understand you’re a rah rah cub fan, but I always keep it real.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            “My question…. If the talent is so great then where is it? And don’t say it’s too young and not ready.”

            My question: what color is the sky? And don’t say blue!

            • Dale’s Ear

              hahaha thats good stuff right there

          • JR

            What are you talking about Voice of Reason? The Cubs minor league pitching still blows, and they had the worst AAA team in baseball last year. I don’t think many who know, are acting like the Cubs have an a great system at this point.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I’ll gladly act like the Cubs have a top 10 system in baseball, if that’s where we draw the line.

          • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

            Almora, Soler, Baez, Vogelbach, Lake, Candelario, Alcantara, Villanueva, Panigua, and so on are all too young and are not ready… Oh and don’t forget about the #2 pick who will start in rookie ball next year. By the time next years draft is over the Cubs should have a top 10-5 farm system, and that is without a doubt keeping it real. The Cubs system just needs a whole lot of pitching.

            • the sandman

              Don’t be surprised if the guy who makes a big leap forward this year is Vogelbach. His power IS off the charts, avg 1hr/11 abs at Boise last summer. If he gets 500 AB at Kane County, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 30HR season.

          • JBarnes

            Brett beat me too it…that’s exactly what you say, they are young and not ready. Only so many players like Griffey, Arod, Trout, Harper etc. in the world…unfortunately we don’t have any at this point. Also don’t be surprised to see Soler sooner than you think, I honestly think he could get a call up at the end of ’13 and see serious playing time in ’14.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            You keep it real by using pre-2012 season farm system rankings as the primary means to gauge the current farm system? Interesting. I doubt even the Baseball Prospectus writers would endorse that approach.

            A great deal changed over the course of the 10 months since Baseball Prospectus last ranked farm systems, and I can absolutely guarantee you that there is exactly a 0% chance that the Cubs’ system as it currently exists will be ranked 20th when they next rank the farm systems. It is definitely in the conversation for a slot in the Top 10. Top 8 would not surprise me at all.

          • Internet Random

            “You keep it real by using pre-2012 season farm system rankings as the primary means to gauge the current farm system?”

            **BOOM**

            Luke just dropped a burn bomb on yo’ ass.

      • Turn Two

        If you think Castillo would be the holdup piece for Stanton you are very confused.

        • EQ76

          he may have meant to say Castro.

      • JBarnes

        Stanton maybe but we absolutely have enough to get Upton. You telling me if we offered Castro, Samardzija, Baez, Soler, Almora, Vizcaino that we couldn’t get either one of these guys? Do some research on our farm system and the talent we have in our top prospects. I’ve said it on here before but wait til the rankings come out and see where guys like Baez, Soler, Almora rank…maybe even Vogelbach and Vizcaino.

  • Gcheezpuff

    I am very hopeful Upton stays put or goes to any team other than the rangers. I have to believe the rangers and cubs match up pretty well in an Olt for Garza swap and after the 2 trades these teams completed last year you’d have to think it has already been discussed. I am a huge Garza fan, but I think Olt has the potential to be an above average 3rd baseman for a long time and would love to see him as part of the Cubs young core. Assuming Garza comes back healthy, any guess as what a deal between the Cubs and Rangers would look like? I think more then these 2 names would be exchanged with both sides adding pieces. maybe cubs return christian villanueva to restore the Rangers 3rd base depth and ask for a young arm or two with Olt? I am not super familiar with Texas’s farm and honestly probably very bad at figuring a prospects value.

    • Blublud

      That actually makes sense. Garza and Villanueva for Olt, Julio Borbon and Justin Grimm would get it started.

    • Rcleven

      Mid season trade discussed was Olt/ Martin Perez for Garza. Give two mos. less service for Garza. Garza can walk at end of season so it depends on if/when a deal can get done.

    • JBarnes

      I don’t like Olt that much…he strikes out more than I’d like, somewhat old for where he was in the minors which makes me wonder (I know he went to college but still) and I question whether he can stay at 3B. Plus I think he gets hyped by some experts just because he’s “MLB ready” now not because he’s more talented than others. I know you don’t worry about low level prospects when making trades for the MLB team but where does that put us with Baez? A trade chip for Stanton or Price? Idk. I think I’d rather try to get some young pitching for Garza or possibly a catcher.

      • Blublud

        I don’t think he’s overhyped. I don’t think or atleast I havent seen where any scout or expert has said Olt will be a star. He might get mentioned more then he should, but so does a lot of other prospects. I think Texas thinks people will over value him, which explains why they are trying to trade him, maybe to benefit from the hype, because even they know he won’t be a star. But a Garza for Olt deal will not be complete if Olt is all that’s coming back.

        • Nate

          Is Garza for Olt, Perez, and Buckel too much considering Texas would only get a few months of Garza?

          • Blublud

            We would never get that return, IMO.

          • Voice of reason

            You are not going to get olt straight up for garza.

            The rangers can shop olt and get a better overall starter than garza for olt. In fact, they won’t even have to trade olt to get a better starter than garza.

            It’s fun to make phantom trades, but keep it real, gang!

  • Blublud

    I don’t think the package for either wouldn’t be worth it. However, if I chose one, I would take Stanton. He younger then Upton and is already exceeding upton’s production. I would trade for both though. Then I would sign bourn. An outfield of Stanton, Upton and Bourn. OHmm MY……………..

    Damn, why did yall wake me up!!!!!!!!!!

  • ETS

    Am I the only one that thinks signing EJax makes us LESS likely to trade garza?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      During the Sanchez stuff, I started to think that way (on the assumption that it would be nice to have a three-man core of Garza/Sanchez (or Jackson)/Samardzija)), but I’m not sure the Cubs agree. And they might know something we don’t: namely, they might know that there’s no way he’s signing a reasonable extension. And, if he’s not, they might be best off trading him now for whatever they can get.

      • JR

        Yeah all signs point to Garza wanting a crazy size extension. Wasn’t his arbitration request way to high last year too?

    • Rcleven

      If the Cubs were to resign Garza it would/should have all ready happened. Garza’s NT demands pretty much put him out of the Cubs future plans.
      When the talks broke down last summer and never picked up again the writing was on the wall.

  • Bilbo161

    Of all the potential (and plausible) trade targets out there, it seems to me that Olt is the best fit for need with the Cubs. Unfortunately, he could be off the board by the time Garza has proven himself healthy enough for Texas to take the plunge. Do we have any other non-core trade pieces that may interest them if they don’t like Garza’s recovery? I do think Shark is part of that core. It would take more than Olt to get him from me.

    • Voice of reason

      The rangers aren’t even looking for a starter and if they were there are still some free agent starters that could do just as well as garza.

      The rangers will not have to offer olt to get a starter in a trade and, if they were offering olt, would get other teams to offer something better than garza.

      Garza is not cheap, he is in the last year of his contract and he missed the second half with arm trouble. What makes you think the rangers are going to bend over and give us olt for garza?? It’s not possible!!

      The rangers might offer a couple of lower level prospects but nothing close to olt.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        That is why most reasonable people have said if he pitches well in Spring Training. Free Agent starters that could do just as well as Garza? I will have what you are smoking.

        • Voice of reason

          Why is that hard to believe? All a starter has to do is stay healthy all season and he will be better than garza was last year.

          Lohshe can put up garza numbers. He could put up better numbers than garza.

          Everyone acts like garza is some stud.

          Remember that he missed the second half of last year, he is in the final year of his contract and he is owed slot of money. That certainly won’t get the cubs olt.

          People act like garza is the only option.

  • Abe Froman

    Say Garza is traded for Olt in spring training, what happens with Baez? I realize it increases the odds of him being traded in the next couple years, but if he isn’t?

    • Blublud

      I think Baez is a better prospect, but Olt is just MLB ready. Olt will not be a star however. He will be an above average 3B who can man the spot for a while. If Baez reaches his ceiling and the 3B spot is needed, Olt will be moved. But if we have a solid core of Olt, Castro, Barney and Rizzo, its not out of the question that Beaz could be a corner OF. He might even be athletic enough to play Center. He can probably succeed at any spot not called catcher or pitcher.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah. It’s a good question, but it falls into the “nice problem to have, deal with it when you have to” area.

      • JBarnes

        Do you trade Garza just to get a stop gap guy until Baez is ready tho? I don’t think you look at it that way if your the Cubs and I don’t think you do that as the reason for the deal either. I would much rather get some higher minor league level pitching for him…I believe a healthy Garza gets a bigger return than Olt does in a couple years.

        • Blublud

          Look at the deal I proposed earlier. Garza and Villanueva for Olt, Borbon and Grimm. Grimm gives us the pitching who can debut in the 2nd half of 2013. We dont need pitching for the beginning of 2013, but for the 2nd half and going into 2013, he would be a good fit.

          • Blublud

            Meant going into 2014

          • JBarnes

            This may be confusing so I apologize but this is why I don’t like your trade idea…

            We trade Garza for Olt, Borbon, Grimm

            Say 2 years from now Baez is ready to play 3B and is a better player than Olt which is def. a possibility

            Your not going to trade Baez (the better player) so you’d have to trade Olt who would have less trade value than (a healthy) Garza does now.

            Your then forced to take less talented players in an Olt (hes nothing more than a rental for 2 years now in this scenario) deal in a year where the team should look to contend.

            So basically what just happened is you traded a guy with the highest value out of all the players involved (Garza) for whatever prospects/players you get in an Olt deal.

            Idk if I explained that the way I wanted to but hopefully someone understands what I’m saying.

            • Blublud

              Well, you can’t look at it that way. If in 2 years, we trade olt for a OF prospect and pitching prospect, Grimm is one of our starters and Borbon is our starting CF or at worse, a 4th of, then the value we recieved from the trade would be a SP, CF and 2 decent prospects. That’s still a good return.

              • JBarnes

                @blublud-I just think we can get more out of a deal for Garza than what you suggested especially considering what was rumored at the deadline last season…but a lot of things have changed since then so maybe we can’t.

                @brett-Haha I knew someone was gonna get me on that point. It’s also a possibility they would just move Olt to a corner OF spot assuming everyone involved is healthy and he’s capable. My ideal situation would be trading Garza for pitching and waiting out Baez with FA’s or Vitters.

                • JR

                  I find it crazy that people think Garza still has this awesome trade value. First off he is coming off a weird bone/ELBOW injury that I can’t find any other player who has had a long lasting healthy career after. He is not cheap, and he only has one year of control left. Too me his trade value is not good at all. I see what other SP’s are going for, but their healthy and don’t have the drama Garza brings to the table…

                  • JBarnes

                    Did you see what the Mets just got for a 38yr old knuckleballer that had one year left? There’s reason to believe Garza can net a substantial package of players. And like I said in the post you responded to, maybe we can’t get the same type of players that were rumored early last season.

                    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      A knuckleballer that got an extension and was the Cy Young winner? Yeah, wonder why he was able to net what he did???

                    • Marcel91

                      did you not see that the only way that deal got done was contingent on Dickey signing a contract extension?
                      that changes things not to mention that fact that when he was healthy, still had a 1 1/2 left on his deal + whoever got him recieved a pick we had a deal with Texas for Mike Olt and Martin Perez. Now that he only has a year left, coming off injury, and no draft pick comp theres no way you get a substantial package for him now. A good one maybe but not substantial.

                    • Blublud

                      If he is traded before the end of spring training, he still does net the team receiving him a draft pick.

                    • JR

                      That dude is coming off the Cy Young award, way cheaper, and is HEALTHY. Come on now… Not even close.

                    • Rcleven

                      Texas may be more desperate this year than last. They have more questions about the back end of rotation than when they took Dempster. Angles and Oakland is more improved. They may want Garza just to keep him from the Angles.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      The Angels would make for a pretty poor Garza trade partner – I can’t even think of what they’d have that the Cubs would want …

                    • JBarnes

                      I’m sorry Garza isn’t allowed to sign an extension? Did I say anything about trading him RIGHT NOW before proven healthy? Everybody knows the Blue Jays overpaid for Dickey because they want to win now. They gave up the better prospects in the Dickey deal than they did for Reyes, Buehrle and JJ. The Jays paid for a Cy Young award, not a great pitcher.

                    • JR

                      Would you want your team to trade it’s top prospects for one year of a $13 million Garza, coming off an elbow injury that kept him out the last 3 months? And you only see him pitch in spring training. I sure as hell wouldn’t want the Cubs to do that deal…

                    • JBarnes

                      “Would you want your team to trade it’s top prospects for one year of a $13 million Garza, coming off an elbow injury that kept him out the last 3 months? And you only see him pitch in spring training. I sure as hell wouldn’t want the Cubs to do that deal…”

                      Again I didn’t say anything about when he would be traded so your spring training situation means nothing to me. Also if he is getting traded then obviously the team getting him thinks he’s healthy. Didn’t some Greinke guy get traded this past offseason with an expiring contract too?

                  • Voice of reason

                    You are correct.

                    Garza is not all that. He is making a chunck of change, coming off surgery and has just one year left.

                    If the rangers want Matt garza they can sign Kyle loshe. Basically the same pitcher is garza, but they wouldn’t have to give up a top prospect and they wouldn’t have to worry about harass recent surgery holding up.

                    • JR

                      Garza didn’t have surgery, but still has major injury concerns..

                    • Dale’s Ear

                      lohse is 34 garza is 29.. then you can compare stats and its not consistently close. not to mention lohse has had a rare freak injury before and he actually had to have surgery http://www.sbnation.com/2010/5/27/1489994/kyle-lohse-cardinals-condition-syndrome

                    • ncsujuri

                      Signing Lohse would cost the Rangers a draft pick, you need to factor that into the equation as well.

                • Blublud

                  If one moves to a corner OF spot, it would likely be Baez over Olt. Baez is more athletic.

              • praying the cubs get ready to win

                I agree

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              You explained it well, but if we’re going to play the if game … what if, instead of being a better player than Olt in two years, Baez is out of baseball because of repeated knee injuries?

              • Blublud

                Exactly. Beaz could be the best player to ever play the game, or Lord forbid, he could get in his car and get in a wreck and never play again. I definitely fon’t wanna see the latter, but you never know. If Olt is there to get, you get him. If Beaz turns into an all-world player, then you have a good problem on your hands.

                • Dale’s Ear

                  If Baez could get in a car and get in a wreck and never play again couldn’t Olt potentially do the same thing? Or does he not have a valid drivers license or something that I don’t know about? I don’t give up more than Garza for Olt if I even give up that much. An established pitcher that the Cubs gave up the moon for vs a 24 year old 3B who hasnt had success past the AA level yet? Sounds scary to me…

                  • Blublud

                    Very true. Could happen to either. That’s the point. If a player is available, take them. Havent to many players at any position is always a good problem.

                    • Dale’s Ear

                      I guess it would be nice to have the depth at 3B especially considering the lack of production out of the position last year, but Theo keeps talking about the lack of pitching depth in the upper minor league levels and how much position player depth they have established in the last couple of years. I think it’s smarter to try to use Garza to get more pitching considering that is a much more pressing need. One of the things Theo or Jed said(I’ll just call them Thed) was something like “needing more guys like Matt Garza not less” so Idk I guess if they did that trade I wouldnt be mad about it but I think they can do better. They got Vizcaino for Maholm and Reed I think and expect that they can do even better with Garza.

                • JBarnes

                  I don’t mean to beat this to death or to get on anyone’s case but Olt isn’t exactly proven yet either. He may not be any better than Vitters is.

                  • Blublud

                    I agree. I dont think is a sure thing, but what propsect is.

          • the sandman

            Garza for Olt, Perez and Borbon. I cant see the Strnagers giving away all 3 for just Garza. Maybe 2 of the 3, or if not Borbon then Gentry, whos a better fir for us anyway.

        • Dale’s Ear

          I completely agree, stay the course and wait for Baez to develop…Unless the Marlins are willing to negotiate a package based around Baez you keep and develop the cost controlled stud prospect and trade Garza for young pitching

      • David

        If Olt manages to establish himself while Baez develops, which would be a nice problem to have, you have Baez try his best at 2B.

    • BleedingCubbieBlue

      If he projects as a above average SS couldnt he play 2nd.

  • Rcleven

    Theo has been known to trade his higher draft picks. That said Baez becomes the second baseman of the future.

  • JR

    How in the hell did Berkman get that contract? Too bad other teams hate Soriano..

    • P hertz

      The Rangers are in panic mode.

  • cheryl

    Samardija would probably interest them but he’s been identified as part of the core. Garza has more experience and has been a favorte of mine too. With Samardija and Villenueva they might get Olt, Borbon and Grimm. Coud they then put together another package for Stanton?

    • Blublud

      IDK. I think Garza and Villanueva would be enough. If not, maybe we throw in Trey McNutt to make the deal a little sweater. Garza, McNutt and Villanueva for Olt, Borbon and Grimm.

      • Dale’s Ear

        Ugh I really don’t like this offer, granted the Rangers system is better than the Cubs but I don’t think its smart to trade our best pitcher and trade asset on the major league team along with two of our top 10 prospects for a guy who is definitely a stud prospect in Olt(24), but also a top 10ish prospect in Grimm(24) and then a guy in Borbon(26) who is already getting up there in age. I don’t see how this makes the team better I would much rather see the Cubs trade Garza elsewhere( or not trade him at all) and wait to see if Villanueva pans out or if Baez can make the transition to 3rd if/when he gets to the majors. The Cubs have a boat load of position player talent, if they are going to move guys like Garza I’d like to see them get young pitching in return. Also if they are going to be moving guys like Villanueva I’d want him to be part of a package with guys like Vogelbach and/or Junior Lake to get a big piece for the major league ball club to facilitate contention in 2014 and beyond while the young guys that are projected to be ready are adapting to the big leagues.

        • Blublud

          McNutt is no longer a top 10, atleast I wouldn’t classify him as top 10. He is no longer a starter and we have plenty of R/H RP in the minors. I think Harza and Villanueva gets it done, but if the deal is hanging and McNutt pushes it over the hill, I we ould fo it in a heartbeat. Olt is better then Villanueva, so Garza for Grimm and Borbon I’ll take.

  • WNebCub

    I think teams just believe Soriano will stink up the joint this year. No one wants to be the team that makes the trade and ends up regretting it, saying “i knew it”. But as the season approaches it’ll take just one desperate team to make that leap of faith, and once they’re convinced they need to do it, and with the salary the Cubs eat, they’ll net a pretty good prospect or two.

    I know our offense could suffer big time for it for the here and now…but if they got Dom Brown they could just play him virtually every day.

  • mudge

    Dom Brown, Mike Olt, yes yes.

  • http://bleachernation.com Ramy16

    I think the Cubs should also ask for center fielder leonys martin as well hes only 24! Alot of upside!

  • Need mee owner

    Why a team like rangers wouldnt want 12 he could dh play of id play hi m d bay at 3b day at first be great american league guy for half what bercman cost u

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I am lost.

    • Blublud

      This is why an edit button is needed.

    • Kramden

      Our schools are obviously failing those who pay the taxes to support them.

      But how true the famous line from Caddyshack: “The world always needs ditch diggers too”

      • MichiganGoat

        This is why more funding is needed to support our schools

        • cheryl

          Depends. There are some students that just need a dedicated teacher and haven’t met one yet. And there are teachers that need backing and support to succeed in their role. Then there are students who may be better as ditch diggers.

          • MichiganGoat

            And us dedicated teachers need the funding to reach all our students and the money that doesn’t force school to cut until there is nothing left.

    • baldtaxguy

      12 = Soriano (his number) ?

      I’m sending the rest to Langley, there is a message here, I feel it.

    • @cubsfantroy

      I really, really, really hope that English is not your first language. I’ve read some pretty bad texts in my day, but this takes the cake.

  • SalukiHawk

    Hypothetical question: Is there a date (beginning of season??) where compensation is no longer an issue?
    I can foresee a time when teams will collectively say ‘We aren’t paying these guys (Bourne, Soriano and the like) and giving up draft picks.’ They will all be out of jobs despite being elite players and the validity of the new CBA will come into question

  • Brent

    They would lose an unrealized pick. If he signs elsewhere, they get a compensation pick. If they resign him, they lose that pick. No one else gets it, but they lose it.

    • baldtaxguy

      Essentially.

  • gutshot5820

    If Garza isn’t going to sign an extension, then if I was his agent, I would be advising him to delay the injury past spring training. This way he could get traded mid-season. The difference in dollars could be in the tens of millions for him. What’s the point of holding out on signing an extension so you can make extra money in free agency if you are going to lose all that monetary value anyways because teams have to compensate for the loss of their first round draft pick.

    Because of injury, in some ways, he could possibly get a better deal by signing an extension. Or he could fake the delay of his recovery until the season starts, so he would be more likely to get traded mid-season.

    • Rich H

      He has no reason to fake an injury/recovery. Garza would cost himself tens of millions of dollars by phoning in spring training. He wouldn’t get tagged but he also wouldn’t get a 4 or 5 year deal on a gimpy elbow that he claims is barking. He can always make an agreement to have a team match his best offer for not being tagged or something like that. An agent would never have a player that already is being questioned about his elbow to delay playing just to not get a compensation tag.

    • Rcleven

      Risk of injury is a two way street if he incurs more problems with his elbow or arm he would be looking at a Baker contract.

  • cubzforlife

    Two things on my mind. Brett you have the patience of a Saint and what would make anyone believe Soriano will stink in 2013? His skills may decline but stink? I think of two older Cubs with bad wheels in Andre Dawson and Bill Buckner. Some guys can always hit . Might have to crawl to first but they can probably still hit better than some Cubs.

  • Mike S

    I don’t see the Cubs trading Garza. He has to prove himself in Spring Training first, and if he does, I don’t see the Cubs getting the right value at that time for him. Then he pitches til mid-June or July and the team trading for him only gets him for a couple months. No way the Cubs get what they want in that trade. The most realistic scenario I see is Garza pitches this year and proves that he is healthy and then he signs an extension that makes sense for both sides.

    • JR

      I agree with that, but would Garza sign on a discount when he is so close to free agency? Just a feeling, but I think Garza wants to see what Greinke just did in free agency.

      • Mike S

        He could opt for free agency, which the Cubs would make a qualifying offer and receive a draft pick…worse case scenario is he struggles throughout the season, has problems with his elbow and the Cubs can’t trade him, don’t want to make him a qualifying offer, and clearly wouldn’t want to sign him to an extension. Hopefully that doesn’t happen! LOL

  • Borocks

    Brett sorry to change the subject but do you think the Cubs front office will try to hold on to Vogelbach just in case the National League goes with the DH in the near furture. Sounds like a great advantage to us (The Cubs) if we do that.

    • Demarrer

      Vogelbach hasn’t gotten out of A ball yet. We need to stop assuming all of these players will work out wonderfully.

      • The Dude Abides

        You mean all of these 18 – 20 year old kids batting against other 18 – 20 year old kids don’t all make it to be big stars?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Vogelbach is probably a year or two away from being dealt, even if the Cubs were dead set on trading him (which I doubt). By then, things will likely look differently. I suspect the Cubs are content to send Vogelbach to Kane County this year and worry about to do with later when/if later gets here.

      • Drew7

        It could be because I haven’t paid as close attention to the minors in the past, but I’ve never seen such excitement for a guy who just hasn’t even made it out of the Northwest League.

  • Njriv

    Hey Luke, just off the top of your head, which guys from Boise do you expect to be at Kane County at the beginning of the season? Guys like Almora, Vogelbach, Bruno, Amaya, Candelario, Hernandez and do you expect Soler to start there next season or join Baez in Daytona?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Pretty much everyone you mentioned, except for Baez, is likely to start in Kane County. I can see Soler going either way.

      • Njriv

        Wow, Baez, Soler and Almora in Kane County? And I live 20min away? I think I just fudged my huggies.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If it plays out that way, make sure you go see games early in the season, because both Baez and Soler could be promoted very early.

          That said, I tentatively expect each to start out at Daytona.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I would be surprised to see Baez start in Kane County. He should be back in Daytona.

          I can make a case for Soler to go either direction. I think quite a bit will depend on he looks in spring training. Regardless, I’m hoping he finishes the season in Tennessee.

          Reggie Golden should be in Kane County as well. He’s suffered a string of injuries, but there is some talent there. Don’t forget about him.

          • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

            Luke, you think Almora could reach Tennessee next year? I see his skills and maturity equating to him moving faster then many others.

          • Rich H

            Thank You LUKE! I was wondering why everyone had soured on the Golden one so soon. I still think that kid could be special if he gets healthy.

  • AD

    I know someone mentioned this the other day, but I believe that it that it makes perfect sense to sign a combination of Bourn, Lohse, and Soriano to one year deals. Although that would cause us to lose our second, third, and fourth round picks, I believe that it would help us to stock/replenish our system.

  • steve

    What does anyone think of a deal for Chris Nelson from Colorado? He plays third, can also play second. He hits pretty decently, and has a bit of power. They have a top prospect they want to play at third, so Nelson wouldn’t come at too great a cost. I’d offer Marmol for the guy. He would be an upgrade at third, and if we can make a move for Olt in the spring, Nelson could play some second, and be a good bat off the bench. Then if we can move Soriano for Brown, then come spring Garza, DeJesus, villanueva, Struck for Olt, Gentry, Perez, and Grimm. We’d have some young talent to add to the core with Brown and Olt, Nelson would be a nice bat off the bench, with some starts at third and second. Gentry could play CF until BJax is ready, then maybe slide over as a platoon mate with Schierholz. Perez gives us another young lefty starter ready now, or maybe after we move some arms around the deadline. Grimm would be another good arm for the future as well.

    We’d have a lineup like this…Rizzo-Barney-Castro-Olt-Castillo-Brown-Gentry-Schierholz, with BJax getting promoted at some point, Nelson there at third if the texas trade don’t happen, or on the bench. I think we would have a lot of young talent right there, with the ability to be a pretty good lineup in a year or so. We have the pitching depth to compete, who knows if the kids hit, and some breaks our way, we could contend for one of the wild cards.

  • Need mee owner

    All this talk about prospects anybody remember geoegia tech 2nd basemen was going move ryno back to 3b just because they top prospects dont mean they of famers going to be hall

    • Dale’s Ear

      Holy cow dude you remind me of that guy from Family Guy who has to tell Peter that Colonel Sanders is dead when he tries to visit him in Kentucky

    • Dfn4765

      Ty Griffin???

  • http://bleachernation.com hutch

    vogelbach after next year with a package is gonna bring back a big time player from an american league team. Not sure if it ll be price but someone substantial

    • Voice of reason

      If vogelbach is that good then why wouldn’t we keep him?

      Cubs fans are so funny sometimes!

      • Dale’s Ear

        because anthony rizzo plays first base

  • Rizzo44

    I want us to sign Jeff Baker back. I know there’s not any room on the 40man. But find a way to send someone sucky down haha… He was great against lefties and a game I went to vs Miami and the bases were loaded and they pinch hitted him, bases clearing double.. Great lefty hitter that can produce great off the bench.

  • Mirky Waters

    I could be way off here, but I’ve heard through a couple different outlets that Theo and his boys don’t really care for garza that much. He’s a strange guy with some head scratching antics. I’m not exactly sure what they are (besides the stupid shaving cream to the face during player interviews) but it leads me to believe they aren’t interested in signing him to an extension.

    I understand that garza for olt was almost a reality last summer, but does it really make sense for The Cubs to trade their best pitcher for anything but quality pitching prospects? Especially when The Cubs are a team with so few in the farm system. I don’t know, I won’t have a problem with Garza being traded but I’m hoping it nets them a top of the rotation type prospect .

    • mudge

      shhh….

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