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alfonso soriano hittingUsually, when Nick Cafardo (or any other person covering a beat) says something generic like this

Alfonso Soriano, LF, Cubs — Always on the trading block, Soriano could still be moved before spring training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute moves to improve. Soriano belted 32 homers and knocked in 108 runs for the 101-loss Cubs, who continue to be willing to assume the bulk of the contract for a fair return.

… I don’t take too much note. It looks like he’s just offering some thoughts, as opposed to reporting things he’s heard. Interesting, I suppose, but connecting Soriano to the Rangers and Orioles in a this-could-make-sense kind of way doesn’t really take much digging.

But when, seemingly out of nowhere, Carrie Muskat picks up the story, I start to listen. From Carrie:

There were reports Sunday that the Orioles and Rangers were interested in adding a right-handed bat, and that they have inquired about Alfonso Soriano. The Boston Globe reported the interest by the two teams in the veteran, who turned 37 earlier this month, and who would be a good fit for an American League team, which could use him as a designated hitter. Soriano does have a full no trade clause, so he would have to approve a move. He has two years remaining on his contract.

Just stirring things up on a slow Sunday? Just happened to see this Cafardo piece and thought she would share?

Maybe. It has been my experience that Carrie is generally reluctant to jump feet first into the rumor game, particularly where something looks as thin as what Cafardo said. Not only did Carrie highlight and repeat the Cafardo report, she ostensibly added that the Rangers and Orioles “have inquired” about Soriano. Given the broad range of front offices’ efforts in the offseason, I have no doubt that’s true. The question is whether this is just Cafardo-driven chit-chat, or whether Carrie has heard whispers that she is disinclined to describe in too much detail.

Ultimately, I can’t say. As we’ve discussed here before at length, Soriano makes a great deal of sense for the Orioles, who’ve done very little to upgrade their luck-driven playoff roster of 2012. The Rangers make a touch less sense, given their depth of hitters (deep enough to possibly push Mike Olt out of the mix), but they, too, have had a thin offseason.

With the addition of Scott Hairston, the Cubs have some increased cover for trading Soriano, though the resulting outfield – Hairston-DeJesus-Schierholtz – would be among the weakest in the bigs. A more interesting scenario has the Cubs trading Soriano, moving David DeJesus to left field, and signing Michael Bourn to play center field. I don’t think such a sequence is likely or necessarily advisable, but it is certainly interesting.

I think the Cubs will continue to shop Soriano, hoping to land actual value for the 37-year-old left-field who’s coming off one of his best seasons in recent memory. Although dealing Soriano would probably be a major hit to the teams’ chances to be competitive in 2013, I’m still not convinced 2013 is really the focus. I also don’t really think Soriano makes the difference between a competitive team and a non-competitive one. (Another also: we don’t know what the Cubs might get in return for Soriano – it could conceivably represented a roster neutral move, depending on the personnel.)

  • DarthHater

    If the Assman isn’t here talking about it, it hasn’t happened. ;-)

  • Gcheezpuff

    I didn’t think possible before, but if Garza shows he is healthy in ST, I am starting to see a possible fit for a Garza Soriano package to the Rangers in exchange for a package of prospects headlined by Mike Olt. I’ve always liked the Garza for Olt idea, but adding Soraino seemed like a long shot until recently. If the Cubs can bring back Olt plus pitching I would be pretty ecstatic.

    • Grant

      I was going to suggest something similar, though with Garza increasingly demonstrating his health, I wonder if something might even happen before ST. Adding Garza and Soriano would help the Rangers make a needed splash in an otherwise uneventful offseason.

    • Rcleven

      Garza for Olt? Garza for Olt/Perez yes.
      Add Soriano to the package and I don’t know what to expect back.

      • hansman1982

        If you could get average or above average offense at 1B, SS, 3B – you could live with an all-glove 2B.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          True, although you still would improve the team more by getting an average-fielding good hitting 2Bmen!

          That should not be taken in a vacuum, however. That 2ndbaseman costs $$$ and/or prospects. Those monies/prospects might be more wisely spent on a power-hitting OFer or (especially) a plus starter. Now, once you get those two items, *then* replacing Barney (or getting a good hitting catcher) becomes the biggest priority.

          I often think that a baseball team is like home-improvements: after you finish all of the projects, the oldest completed projects are now the next project in line!

          • jt

            O’s BP pitched 545 innings with a team BP ERA of 3.00
            O’s had 5 guys with 22 or more HR’s, two of whom topped 30.
            In x-innings other teams could not continue to put quality arms on the mound. The O’s could. At least 5 O’s hitters (actually more) had the ability to whomp less than quality pitching
            Who knew?
            Sometimes it is actually a good thing to look.

            • TheRiot2

              Hi jt,a deal for Olt in exchange for Garza would need another prospect too be added. At this point I don’t care if it’s Perez or another position prospect. Our farm system is totally lacking in catchers at the upper levels so any catcher meeting Theo’s idea works for me. I definitely won’t be waiting on Michael Brenly.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “… the Orioles, who’ve done very little to upgrade their luck-driven playoff roster of 2012.”

    What? Outhomering the opposition by 10 in extra innings isn’t a repeatable formula for success? Who knew?!?

    Seriously, that is the single best summary of a team’s season AND post-season that I’ve ever read! Kudos.

  • Jim

    If Mike Olt comes to the Cubs in return for Soriano and then the Cubs go out and sign Bourne, then I really like the move. Bourne may still be on the market waiting on the Cubs to get the deal done. A middle of the order of Rizzo, Olt, and Castro could be potent for many years to come!

    • Spencer

      Rizzo, Barney, Castro, and Olt might be the best IF in baseball.

      • mike

        Haha, come on.

        • MichiganGoat

          It would be a top defensive IF in baseball if not the best

      • PKJ

        I love reading these comments. Cubs fans are always overvaluing what they have.

        • Blublud

          I don’t think they would be the best, but they would certainly be near the top. 3 years from now, you’re looking at 700 hits and 90 HR with that group. And like MG said, they may well be the best defensive IF. All these guys may have GG before it’s over. Defense matters.

          Now Olt, Castro, Baez and Vogelbach in 4 year and you talking about some dynamic. That could possibly be a 120 HR In Field.

  • CubFan Paul

    The Yankees had interest in Hairston, so I’d say they’re looking at Sori too, if the price is right.

    The “right price” in my opinion is any deal that gives the other team almost zero liability in Sori’s last contract year (veteran’s minimum ($1M?)). No team wants a 38 year OF at any big rate of money.

    Which is why I think Theo&Co will have to make Sori a $3M a year player ($5M in 2013 & $1M in 2014).

    Sori (plus $30M) and maybe some smaller pieces could easily bring back a (blocked) Top prospect.

    • JR

      Yeah the whole money thing with Soriano confuses me. If the Cubs get the right prospects back why wouldn’t they pay 100% of $36 million. I keep seeing that the Cubs are willing to eat it all but except for $10 million. Is that just an arbitrary # that people like Cafardo throw out there? If the Cubs are getting Perez/Olt package I would hope they would eat all the money for Sori.

      • CubFan Paul

        ‘Cubs are willing to eat it all but except for $10 million’

        Beat writers got that from other front offices early in the offseason.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The problem is that the Yankees do not have a lot of strong minor league pieces. Their (probable) #1 prospect is Mason Williams, who put up Javier Baez-like numbers in A/A+ last year, but who is 2 years older and an outfielder rather than an infielder. The guys that we might call “blocked” in AA & AAA just are not that promising.

      • CubFan Paul

        Okay. who’s blocked in AA/AAA on the O’s and Rangers besides Olt?

        I doubt Sori would go to the O’s but if he’s all about shorter flights to the Dominican, who knows.

      • Kygavin

        Tyler Austin or Gary Sanchez would be decent for a starter offer too

  • MJ

    If it’s to be believed that the Rangers actually were willing to send Olt to the Cubs, it’s irritating that it didn’t happen. I doubt Mike Olt to the Cubs would happen now, seeing that the Rangers already gave them Christian Villanueva (heard of him?) who was behind Olt in Texas’ organizational depth chart. I would have rather seen Olt in the Cubs organization, but Villanueva is supposed to be a pretty good player in his own right.

    • JR

      Maybe the Cubs could send Villaneuva back to Texas in a deal involving Olt. Just a thought.

      • calicubsfan007

        @JR: I wouldn’t want to give up on Villaneuva though. It would be a tough decision because both are promising, although it is true Olt is a bit more promising obviously.

    • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

      The Rangers spend a lot of money and years on Beltre any chance of the Rangers replace him with Olt isn’t going to happen.

  • JR

    Brett, or anyone else was it ever confirmed that Sori blocked a trade to Baltimore last year? I thught I heard that. Maybe he has changed his mind because Boston and NY look weaker and Baltimore could be better.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No, not confirmed. Whispers, rumors, innuendo. The belief was he said early in the process that he was disinclined to accept a trade there, so discussions never went very far. No idea whether that’s changed, or what legit in the first place.

      • JR

        OK, thanks!

  • Marc N.

    Two teams with stuff I would want. I would prefer Martin to the highly overrated Olt, and I like Perez. Martin could cover CF for a couple of years and be what Jackson was once said to be (solid but unspectacular CF).

    Soriano to the Orioles for Matusz and Reimold or something would interest me as well. I still think Matusz has good upside as a starter.

  • Marc N.

    Question: Why is Mike Olt such a rock star prospect to Cubs fans?

    • JR

      People love the power and D I guess. I have never seen him play, but unlike Vitters his glove will stick at 3rd (from what I have read anyways). Although, he was a little old at AA last year.

      • Blublud

        JR, he is a good player, but that is all he is. He is not the next Mike Trout or Brice Harper or better yet, even the next Starlin Castro IMO.

        • JR

          Yeah no doubt Blublood. I don’t think Olt is a can’t miss guy by any means. But he plays solid D at 3rd, and walks an absolute ton too, which we all know the Front office loves. I would take him in the right deal for sure, but there is some risk.

      • Mac

        I’ve seen him play

      • DocPeterWimsey

        People like Olt’s so much because he is a multi-tool guy: good pitch identification, good strength, good footwork, good acceleration, good glove, good arm. He’s not great at contact, but that is in part because he uses the “selectively aggressive” approach in which he airs out his swing at strikes. He’s not particularly fast, but the footwork and acceleration that he shows fielding coupled with his ability to immediately identify where balls are going suggests that he’ll be a good baserunner (think Mark Grace: slow, but good jumps and very quick identification of balls splitting gaps).

        Worrying about “can’t miss” is a waste of time: there are no guarantees in baseball. However, guys who play at his level in AA (even at his age) usually play well in MLB. Which ones fail is unpredictable, and which ones really flourish is equally unpredictable.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He’s not. He just comes up a lot because he’s obviously a fit for the Cubs and is without a position on the Rangers.

      • Marc N.

        I just feel like he’s a 24 year old who has zero success above AA, and wasn’t even zomg amazing against younger competition in a hitter’s AA.

        His glove gives him a shot, but he seems to be one of the most overrated minors guys out there.

        If I was a prospect I would look at his agent or PR guys. They are doing a heck of a job.

        • hansman1982

          He turned 24 on August 27, so it’s not that he is an old 24. This means that he put up a .977 OPS (with a .398 OBP and .110 IsoD) in his third season (which would be his 2nd full season) in the majors at a level where he was maybe a year too old for.

          It’s not like pining for Bryan LaHair after he mashed the PCL in 2011.

          • Marc N.

            Not LaHair but nothing special either. Struck out 101 times against younger competition…only hit 17 doubles which annoys me…While there’s potential there I just do not see the big deal with this guy. It’s alot of uninspiring hype with the bat, though I will say he can at least seem to be able to pick it at 3B.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Well, he is the #2 3B prospect in all the minors according to MLB.com:
      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130124&content_id=41139974&c_id=

      He was #11 overall in BP’s mid-season Top 50:
      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17781

      So…not just Cub fans.

      • Blublud

        Nobody is questioning whether he is a top prospect. But some people thinks he this guy who will come in and be this once in a generation type of guy. He’s not that good. And remember, Dom Brown was ranked higher. What exactly is he doing for the Phillies right now.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          I don’t think anyone here ever said any such thing about Olt…Could be wrong, don’t read every single comment, but I don’t think anyone believes he’s Trout or Harper.

          Dom Brown doesn’t matter. He asked why Cub fans were so high on the guy, and well, that’s why…he’s ranked high by the professionals.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Right, and that’s the key. Olt looks like he will probably provide above average numbers from 3rd base for whomever he plays. The probability is even greater that he’ll provide better numbers than the 3B options for the Cubs. Baseball is about maximizing the sum of above averages: teams that get above-average performance from most of their players often get to do things like, say, play in October!

        • Drew7

          If some people thought that, they wouldn’t be saying he could be acquired for one year of Matt Garza.

          • Blublud

            There is one guy, I believe it’s VoR who thinks Olt is all world.

            • Pat

              I don’t think he said anything about all world. I think his point was that Olt likely offered more value than one year of Matt Garza or the corpse of Alphonso Soriano.

              • http://Isa Voice of reason

                Thanks, pat!

                That’s what I’ve said all along!!

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              I never said or insinuated that olt is all world.

              I’ve continually said that the rangers will not trade olt for garza. And, I’ve constantly said the reason is that garza missed half of last year. If garza didn’t miss the second half of last year and the rangers were looking for a starter then that trade may have happened. Again, it won’t because of reasons I mentioned.

              I happen to like olt and I happen to like garza. I believe the cubs will extend garza if he proves healthy.

              • DarthHater

                On January 13, you wrote: “If garza proves he is healthy by all star break then he has value, but not enough value to get you olt.”

                So you have not consistently said that the only reason the Rangers won’t trade Olt for Garza is because of Garza’s injury. To the contrary, you plainly said that even if Garza proves he is healthy, he still doesn’t have enough value to get Olt.

                I don’t know if that means you think Olt is all world or not, but it definitely means that, apart from any Garza injury, you have a higher view of Olt than just about everybody else on this site.

                • Blublud

                  Thanks, Darth!

                  That’s what I’ve said all along!!

                  • DarthHater

                    In fairness to Voice, I think I now understand his point to be that by the time Garza can prove he is healthy, there won’t be enough value left in the few remaining months of his contract to get you Olt. I think that may be a valid point and does not involve any overvaluation of Olt, imho.

                    • Blublud

                      Screw you Darth, I thought you were on my side. I guess you know what they say about assuming.

                    • DarthHater

                      Hey, what can I say to that? After I read Pat’s comment above about factoring in the limited time left on Garza’s contract, I understood V’s point differently. It’s called changing one’s mind based on additional information and trying to be fair. It happens. ;-)

                    • Blublud

                      Correct. But if healthy by ST, he gets Olt plus some.

                    • Pat

                      If Olt was an outfielder instead, his value would be lower, but seeing as third base is currently pretty thin league wide, I think it adds to his value, or perceived value. It’s also different when talking about a gu who is probably MLB ready today vs. guys who are a couple of years away (like when we traded for Garza).

                    • DarthHater

                      Fair enough. You think that a full season of Garza gets Olt plus some. V has said in the past that half season of Garza won’t get you Olt. there is no necessary dispute between those two views.

                      However, I think V also today said (or came very close to saying that a full season of Garza won’t get you Olt. You directly dispute that point. On this dispute, I tend to agree with you, though I think it depends on just how successful Garza is (or can be) at proving complete health by the start of the regular season.

      • Spriggs

        A lot of people seem more infatuated with Castellanos and he isn’t even on that top 10 3rd base list. What’s not to like about Olt? Would love to have him.

        • Jake

          Castellanos is on Mayo’s OF list not 3rd base. Believe he is #6 if I am remembering correctly.

          Agreed-Olt would be a very nice addition.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            That’s pretty dumb: Castellanos in RF is a very temporary thing. Miggy is going to be at 3rd for one more year, tops: once VMart is gone, then Miggy or Prince moves to DH, with the other playing 1st. Castellanos will be playing 3rd for the Tigers by 2014, if not next year. (I could see the Tigers trading VMart for a reliever, and then doing the shuffle now.)

            • DocPeterWimsey

              I should clarify: dumb by Mayo, not by you!

        • Rich H

          Castellanos is ranked on the OF’ers list where he is now projected to play for Detriot. But he is rock solid defense at 3rd with room to get better. The only reason he was moved was for Cabrara to play at 3rd and still get this kid the show as quick as possible. He is going to rake no matter where he plays.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Right, but Castellanos should not be projected to be an OFer: Detroit has made no secret that they plan to get him to 3rd soon. They just have 3 DHs to sort through!

            Moreover, the fact that Castellanos makes the Top 10 OF list is really telling, as there are a lot more OFers than 3Bmen, and corner OF in particular is much less of a “skill” position than 3B. They must think that he is going to really rake. (He’s had Baez-like numbers, but a year ahead of Baez.)

            • Spriggs

              Yeah, I agree – he’s not an OF’er. He might rake, but I sure like Baez’s swing a lot better.

          • Spriggs

            Oh, I didn’t realize that. I thought he’d just dropped off the list after somewhat disappointing stints in AA and the AFL last year. Thought that would have been an overreaction. Still seems strage to have him as an OF.

      • Marc N.

        The competition sucks.

        I just see the name but didn’t read the discussion….I like Castellanos’ bat more. I think Castellanos is going to be a really good hitter.

    • Good Captain

      There’s a balanced article on Olt over at the Texas Rangers SB site (Lone Star Ball) that you might find interesting. I’ve never seen Olt play either, however, I think its premature at this point to assume Olt’s future as a top 10 3B man at this point. If you’re interested, the article link is http://www.lonestarball.com/2013/1/28/3921542/mike-olt-scouting-report .

  • Blublud

    Dodgers TV deal official. 25 yrs 7 billion. $280, 000, 000. Called SportsNetLA

  • Blublud

    IDK. I like Olt too, and would love to have him as long as its part of a package deal of prospect for Garza. But the guy is just a good prospect. He is not a super star prospect or a sure bet. I don’t why people think he this once in a generation prospect.

    • http://bigleaguefutures.net Kevin Gallo

      I have seen him play on a couple levels. I see a lot of Scott Rolen in him.

      • Blublud

        I would probably agree. And like I said, I would love to have him.

      • hansman1982

        If that’s the case, I’ll take it. Rolen put up 30 WAR from ages 25-30.

  • ruby2626

    I’ve got a question for you Brett and it’s a tough one. With the so called revenue sharing in baseball, do the Dodgers have to kick back any of that ridiculous amount of cash to the small market teams? Guess I’d love to know how this so called revenue sharing works.

    • bbmoney

      Not Brett, like to hear his thoughts too. But I don’t think so. Revenue sharing deals more with merchandise and MLB wide national TV deals. I believe teams are responsible for and get to benefit from their own local tv deals.

      There’s also the whole luxury tax idea based on payroll size. But I think the Dodgers get to keep all their riches from this TV…granted they’ll probably start getting slapped with the luxury tax shortly….but that’s peanuts compared to 280M per if the reports I’m seeing are to be believed.

      • terencem

        That sounds correct. Media deals and revenue related to the stadium (ticket sales, advertising in the park, concessions, etc.) are the things the team doesn’t share.

        • RoughRider

          You can just about count on it that at some point if teams are getting an unfair advatage ie Local TV money, there will be some way that MLB will even things out. Maybe something like going over a certain Payroll level there is a luxury tax AND a loss of draft picks and money you can spend on them.

    • JoeyCollins

      Saw an not article not too long ago addressing just that. It said the MLB has been afraid off these kind of deals because it’s allows teams to hide revenue. Try and find it again so I can post the link.

  • Adam

    No way we get Olt for Soriano.

    Now Soriano and Marmol and we eat a lot of contract? I donno.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Incidentally, there is potentially one big bump in the Olt issue. There is buzz that the Rangers will actually trade Elvis Andrus to open up SS for Profar. (Profar already projects to put up better numbers than Andrus in 2013.) There could be a big domino effect there, including making either 2nd or 1st open for Olt. (Most probably, they keep Kinsler at 2nd and open up 1st.)

    Now, most buzzes come to nothing, but we should pay attention to this, as it will strongly affect the Cubs’ (and everyone else’s) chances of acquiring Olt.

    • JR

      I still don’t get why the Rangers refused to trade Andrus for Upton. 3 years of control for Upton vs. 2 for Andrus seems like a no brainer to me. Profar is an abolute stud.

      • Blublud

        Profar is a stud defensively, but he something like a .250 hitter on offense. Slight power and above average speed. Far from a stud with the bat.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          ZIPs already projects Profar to be 0.260/0.330/0.410 next year: at age 20. Guys who do that at 20 are (barring injuries) studs at 25. In comparison to Castro at the same age, Profar exhibits a much better batting eye and more pop. He’ll have a lower BA than Starlin, but a higher OPS.

          As for the DBacks, I kept reading that they were trying to get Profar, not Andrus. Andrus just signed a 3-year deal, but that means he’s a lot more expensive and under shorter team control than Profar. Given that Profar projects to hit better than Andrus does by 2014 at the latest, it is not surprising that Profar was the focus of the talks. It’s possible that the DBacks viewed the Prado+Delgado package better than an unreported Andrus+others package: but I never read anything about Andrus entering the talks.

          • Blublud

            Profar is 160 lbs I believe and smaller then even Lindor. Where is that pop coming from. Myers, D’Arnaud and Teveras are better position playing prospects. Of course Profar is a SS, so that elevates the hype, but I don’t see this guy ever coming close close to having the pop or average or OBP of Castro. He will have a higher walk rate, but the batting average distance between him and Castro will be to much to make up the distance.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Profar has excellent bat speed: I’ve read he gets it from the wrists, which is the common source of power for skinny guys. (Hank Aaron was the quintessential case, and guys like Sheffield have been good recent examples.) Profar has an excellent selectively aggressive approach, with a batting eye good enough that he K’s only slightly more than he walks: and he walks in 12% of his PAs.

              Combine this, and you get good power that will only improve as he gets older and adds muscle. (He’s just 20 now, so he’ll get a bit bigger unless he’s a total slouch.)

              So, Profar gets the power from a combination of great tools (batting eye & bat speed) plus a good approach (reduced swing zone with a strong attack swing). He’s also has a plus arm for a SS, and that tool almost certainly reflects the same things.

    • Bigg J

      There has already been “buzz” that the Rangers are looking to extend Andrus. If they were to trade Andrus, they would have doen it for an impact bat of Upton, but the Rangers didn’t want to give him up so why would they trade him now? They are more likely to stick Profar at 3rd then trade Andrus.

  • Tremendous Slouch

    Wasn’t Scott Coolbaugh once a highly rated 3B prospect from the Rangers… :)

    Maybe it’s just the stature, but I can’t shake the comparison!

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51aWMpcrohL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    [img]http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4904608706331834&pid=15.1[/img]

  • baseballet

    Since Sori had the right of refusal, and since he has said he wants to go to a warm weather contender, I’d say Texas would be an ideal choice.

    Texas’s average highs:
    April: 76
    May: 84
    June: 91
    July: 96
    Aug: 96
    Sept: 88

    That warm weather will feel good on Sori’s knees.

  • Rich H

    Keep in mind that some scouts don’t even think Olt is the best 3rdbase prospect for the Rangers. Joey Gallo taken this last summer is already ranked in the top 10 3rd prospects and projects to be above average defensively with a huge bat and can get on base.

    He set the AFL record for homers this last fall and took home the league MVP. Even though that really does not say he is a sure thing it is a good start.

    Olt’s only plus he has over Gallo is he is farther along in his development. Olt is not a great 3rd base prospect. He is a good prospect that appears to be solid. That is it.

    • Bigg J

      Yea, but we are looking to possibly contend in 2014 and Gallo will take a lot more time to develop and plus since he was taken in this years draft they can’t trade him for a whole year. Olt is ready to play now and I am not sticking with Vitters, Valbuena and Stewart after this year.

      • Rich H

        I wasn’t saying trade for Gallo. I was just stating that some Texas guys aren’t even sold on Olt as they are Gallo.

        • Bigg J

          Well I will take Olt compared to what the Cubs have now. If they do trade Garza to the Rangers, I hope they get Olt and a good prospect in return as well.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Well, what scouts think and what Texas thinks do not have to be the same things! FO’s frequently disagree with the general scouting community. Indeed, how often do we read two completely contradictory assessments from two different scouts?

          That said, Texas is set at 3rd for at least another couple of years. Right now, they have 4 infielders to put into 3 positions. That makes trading one of them a smart idea, and given that three of them (Andrus, Profar and Olt) can fetch quite a bit, the Rangers are in a nice driver’s seat. (Kinsler could fetch some good prospects, too, but I don’t see the Rangers letting him go just yet.)

          However, Beltre might make 3rd base seem to be a 3-4 year plan for the Rangers: and that might make taking a gamble on Gallo over Olt a little easier risk to take.

    • Eric

      Gallo didnt play in the AFL(Arizona Fall League). He played in the Arizona Rookie League. HUGE talent gap there among pitchers. Not saying Gallo wont be a stud but the level of competition isnt even close between the two leagues.

      • Rich H

        OK my bad I miss read the write up.

  • Bilbo161

    Both the Rangers and Orioles have history trading with the cubs. Garza and Soriano appear to fit with the Rangers, and Soriano would be a good influence on the young orioles team. Does Garza fit with Baltimore? What would the cubs ask for from the O’s for either or both?

    • Rich H

      The player that I would want for Garza would be Gausman. Not sure that Baltimore would do that but definitely see the potential with that kid. He doesn’t have the upside of a Bundy but has 2 plus pitches and is said to be working on a breaking ball. If they want Garza that would be where I would start.

  • Indianapat

    Just ordered my Bleacher Nation shirt!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nice! Thanks.

  • Joepoe321

    I don’t really want Olt for Garza I think our hitting is pretty solid and if Olt is at third what if Baez and or vitters pans out? Then who plays where? With Olt it would cause too many probls blocking Baez or vitters..I would rather want pitching!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You have to plan on probabilities, and it is much, much more probable that Olt will pan out than will Vitters: Olt simply has many more tools both offensively and defensively than does Vitters. Really, the only tool where Vitters exceeds Olt is contact, with Olt being better in all of the others (batting eye, power, footwork, arm strength, accuracy, etc.).

      Baez has a higher probability of playing well in MLB than does Vitters, but if that turns out to be the case, then you move Olt or (more probably) Baez to 2nd. You might move either to LF or RF, but keep in mind that there are a lot more good-hitting OFers than good hitting IFers: neither Olt nor Baez will be as (relatively) good in RF or LF. Alternatively, you trade one for a starter.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Vitters is not a big league third baseman. The cubs want to move him to thenoutfield in the minors.

    • Marc N.

      Put Baez at 2B like a clever franchise would.

  • JP

    Can someone explain all the man crushes on mike olt?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Good batting eye, good power, good footwork, good arm, good glove, good “selectively aggressive” approach at the plate. In short, he wouldn’t look out-of-place on teams that make post-season fairly regularly.

      And he makes the uniform look good, too…..

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/MikeOltNurse.jpg[/img]

      Do you understand now??? ;-)

      • Marc N.

        Best evidence put forward.

        • DarthHater

          I wonder if this means we can’t trade for him unless he first apologizes to all nurses? ;-)

    • ActionJackson

      Its not a man crush……its just we are trying to accumulate young players who fit into the cubs plans and Mike Olt definitely fits that bill. He is a an excellent defender, takes pitches and walks a ton (High OBP), has big time power, strong arm, etc….

      There aren’t too many stud 3rd baseman in the league so when the opportunity is there to get a “solid” young 3rd baseman who gets on base a ton, has 30hr power, and plays excellent defense then why not try and get him. Doesn’t mean he is going meet his potential but he already gets on base a ton and takes pitches and plays excellent defense so why not…….

      Be nice to see Rizzo and Olt in the 3 and 4 batting spots this year (both potential 30hr guys)

    • Edwin

      The Rangers might be looking to trade for pitching. Matt Garza is a tradeable asset. The Cubs are looking for 3B. Mike Olt is a good 3B prospect who the Rangers might be willing to part with, and would be the type of prospect that the Cubs are looking to get.

      It’s not Mike Olt specifically, as much as it makes sense in the context of what each team might be looking for/willing to give up. It’s similar to last offseason, when the Cubs were rumored to be trying to trade for Jacob Turner. Again, it’s not as much a “man-crush” as it is doing with what players best fit trade profiles.

  • ActionJackson

    Well Olt has played outfield and 1st base while he was up last year. If we got Olt he would be are starting 3rd baseman and then also be backup 1st baseman for Rizzo. If Baez pans out and and plays SS and pushes Castro to 3rd or Baez ends up playing 3rd then Olt can move to a corner outfield spot. An outfield of Olt, Almora, Soler looks good……..if Baez ends up playing 3rd……….and we land Olt :)

  • Fastball

    I don’t want to trade Garza if he is healthy. Re-Up his contract and keep him. Pitching is too hard to come by. He is still young enough to be around when these potential franchise changing prospects could show up. I personally am not counting on any of them. No such thing as a sure thing in baseball.

    I don’t think Sori accepts a trade to any team to be honest. He has said he wants to play out his contract in Chicago. I think it’s going to be hard to pry him out of current arrangement. He only has 2 years left and probably doesn’t want to set himself up in another city. He plays out his 2 years and retires.

    • mudge

      Wouldn’t Soriano let the FO know if he definitely would not accept a trade? Can’t believe communication wouldn’t be better than that. Last year’s kerfuffle notwithstanding…

    • Mick

      If pitching is too hard to come then wouldn’t trading Garza for multiple pitching prospects make more sense? Heck, there’s still a couple of decent SP options on the FA list in Lohse and Saunders.

      I agree with your Soriano views, Soriano might retire a Cub. Unless the Cubs make a trade look real attractive to him, I doubt he approves any trade. A combined Garza and Soriano trade to Texas might sound attractive in that another great player would be going with him to an already outstanding team. The other option might have to be the Cubs are out of contention by June.

  • Dustin S

    With Garza and his weird injury, I just don’t see another team taking that chance until he’s thrown a couple months in the regular season. So playing armchair GM and assuming he’s not an option until ~June, what are the more realistic packages for Olt?

    Soriano for Olt won’t get it done. Soriano + ? for Olt would be the question. Honestly Soriano + Vogelbach (who I’d hate to lose, but makes a whole lot more sense for Texas) would probably be close.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      You’re right Dustin! The rangers aren’t giving up olt for garza for health reasons AND because garza is in his final year. Garza is going to make a chunk of change and the rangers aren’t giving up olt and then possibly lose garza cause of arm trouble and then his contract is up.

      By the time he proves he is healthy it will be too late in the year for the rangers to justify giving us olt. They might give us some lesser ranked minor leaguers.

      And, there are many on here who think the rangers are looking for a starter, yet they haven’t been actively pursuing one. If they were, they could sign loshe who is still available instead of trading olt.

    • Blublud

      Absolutely not. Garza, if healthy in ST would clearly get us Olt plus some. Soriano and Vogelbach for Olt would piss me off because IDC how far away Vogelbach is, Vogelbach is to much for Olt IMO. I know most GMs would trade Vogelbach straight up for Olt, but I’m personally high on Voge’ and would only trade him right now for Price or Stanton. Voge’ will be a Super Star. Mock my word.

      • DarthHater

        Consider your word mocked. ;-)

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        I’m not going to mock you.

        Aren’t you the one who said the cubs would sign bourn in a heartbeat if they could get him for 13 million a year for three years? I think you also said that Boyer or Epstein would get carpal tunnel because they would sign that deal so fast?

        Now, you say that the rangers would trade olt for garza in spring training.

        I know neither will happen.

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          Blublud, you also said you have the cubs finishing above .500 which also will jot happen!

          The cubs will move soriano this year which takes his bat out of the lineup.

          Even if the cubs were to keep soriano for the season they will not be above .500.

          The comments you make about the cubs signing bourn and the rangers trading olt for garza today (which you also said would happen) and the fact that you say the cubs will finish above .500 this year make me wonder what in the world you are thinking.

        • DarthHater

          “I know neither will happen.”

          Sadly, you apparently don’t know what “know” means.

      • Kygavin

        No GM in the history of baseball would deal Price or Staton for a guy with defensive issues, weight issues, and hasnt played above low A

        • BluBlud

          Wow, this is old Kygavin. That was supposed to say no GM would trade Olt straight for Voglelbach, but I would only trade Vogelbach in a package deal to get price or stanton. Vogelbach will be that good.

          • BluBlud

            Or if they were offered olt for only vogelbach, then they would trade vogrlbach, but I wouldn’t.

          • Kygavin

            those comments make me feel even better about trading Vog for Olt. Actually can you be the GM of the Marlins so the Cubs can steal Stanton from you?

  • Die hard

    Only reason shopping Sori is they think he can never come close to last year. Problem is other teams think the same. So Cubs would have to package him with a decent player or two and go for minor league prospects only and eat most of Soris salary.

  • deej34

    Well, no more Super Joe Mather.. I don’t know how much he really brought to the table, but I’ll kind of miss him. I’ll still remember the walk off homerun against the Cards.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/01/minor-moves-joe-mather-brian-bass.html

  • jt

    how is the game played?
    The O’s, Rays and Cards were pretenders.
    Though they each won a lot of games.
    The O’s had the better record of the three because they combined scoring at least a few runs per game along with preventing more than a few runs per game.
    *
    O’s..RA/gm..wins..losses
    …..0-1…..34…..0
    ……2…….24…..5
    ……3…….13…..8
    ……4…….12…..8
    .over 5….10….48
    ———————
    TB…0-1…..29….5
    ………2……19….7
    ………3……17…10
    ………4……15…10
    .over 5……10…40
    ____________________
    StL.0-1…..33….0
    ………2…..18….5
    ………3…..13…12
    ………4…..11….9
    .over 5…..13…48
    ——————-
    ——————-
    O’s were 83W 23L when allowing less than 5 runs
    Rays were 80W 32L when allowing less than 5 runs
    Cards were 75W 26L when allowing less than 5 runs
    ———————
    The Rays allowed 4 runs or less 112 times
    The O’s allowed 4 runs or less 106 times
    The Cards allowed 4 runs or less 101 times
    ————————–
    The Cards won 5 fewer games than the O’s with better starting pitching and better hitting. But note that the 3 teams combined for 33 victories when allowing 5 or more runs per game. So, if a team wants to be a pretender, they have to prevent runs while being a able to scratch out a few themselves.
    __________________________
    The O’s scored at least 3 runs in a game 118 times of which in 89 they scored at least 4 runs.
    The Rays scored at least 3 runs in a game 115 timew of which in 87 they scored at least 4 runs.
    The Cards scored at least 3 runs in a game 118 times of which in 95 they scored at least 3 runs.

  • 2much2say

    Let’s take Soriano off the Cubs. Now try to add an OF’er.
    Now ask what team is the best place for Soriano? The Cubs.
    Then adding Bourn is the difference between sub .500 and plus .500

  • 2much2say

    Understand one thing a 30+ HR 100+ RBI guy isn’t a guy you dump, he is a guy you build around.

    • Drew7

      If that guy is Rizzo, then I agree.

      If that guy is Soriano, he’s 37 yrs old…

  • 2much2say

    Well you’ll have 2 years to replace Soriano.

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