This past week, there were a couple of chats obscured by all of the Wrigley and Scott Hairston focus.
First, from Bruce Levine …
- Bruce believes Matt Garza, if he’s built up enough arm strength, will be with the Cubs and starting on Opening Day. (It’s possible he was only predicting the Opening Day starter part, and not the if he’ll be traded part, though.) He goes on to add, later, that the best case scenario for the Cubs would be Garza pitching well in the Spring and then signing an extension early in the year. I could see a couple best case scenarios, but they definitely each start with Garza looking fully healthy in the Spring.
- Bruce remains adamant that the Cubs and Phillies haven’t spoken about Alfonso Soriano since November. I’d add that, with Delmon Young in the fold, the Phillies may have elected to go that route for right-handed outfield power anyway.
- Bruce says Ian Stewart “was not honest” with the Cubs about his injury last year (in terms of what? how much it was hurting?), and says that some in the organization questioned why he left the team to rehab at home.
- The Cubs would have to get “a heck of a deal” to consider signing Michael Bourn. That isn’t likely.
- If the Tigers were interested in a Cubs reliever, the Cubs would probably try and work out a trade for Rick Porcello. So far, no dice.
- Bruce says NL owners have never wanted the designated hitter, and right now no one is pushing them to adopt it. Well, consider me pushing.
- Bruce believes there is nothing Brett Jackson could do in the Spring to change the Cubs’ minds about starting him out at AAA this year.
- Carlos Marmol is likely dealt in the Spring, when teams realize they don’t have enough relief pitching. I’d add only that Spring trades are quite rare.
And then, from Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLBTR …
- Like me, Ben sees the Alfons Soriano trade market as related to the Scott Hairston and Jason Kubel (and Vernon Wells) markets. With those two off the board, I’ve got to believe Soriano is looking mighty attractive to the right team.
- Ben expects the Yankees to add another player before all is said and done, and my guess would be a right-handed hitting outfielder.
- The Rangers, too, will do something, but it could be in the lineup or the rotation.
- Matt Garza isn’t a serious trade candidate until he shows he’s healthy, at least in Spring Training (which we all know).