Lukewarm Stove: Lowrie Trade, Barney, Bourn, Soriano

stoveHey, a trade to discuss. It seems like it’s been a really quiet January/February trade season, so it’s nice to have something to look at …

  • The Astros and A’s pulled off a big-ish trade yesterday, with the Astros sending middle infielder Jed Lowrie and reliever Fernando Rodriguez to the A’s for power hitter Chris Carter, a top 10 system pitching prospect (Brad Peacock) and a top 15 system catching prospect (Max Stassi). Rodriguez, 28, has been an up-and-down reliever with a nice strikeout rate, but rough everything else. He’s basically a throw-in, so you’re looking at a 26-year-old quality DH/1B option, a quality pitching prospect, and a quality catching prospect for Lowrie.
  • That seems like a mighty haul, and it makes me wonder what the market for Darwin Barney would look like if the Cubs actually did shop him. Lowrie has offensive ability that Barney does not (the former’s career OPS+ is 97, while the latter’s is just 79), and, if he played shortstop, is probably in the same general range that Barney would be in defensively (I think Barney would be better, though). But Lowrie is expected to play second base for the A’s, where Barney is a Gold Glover. Lowrie is under control for just two more seasons, and will cost $2.4 million in 2013. Barney isn’t even arbitration-eligible until 2014, and is under control through 2016. Lowrie is a couple years older, and has had repeated health issues (his 97 games last year were a career high). All together, it’s pretty easy to see why the Cubs would probably require a whole lot more than we would have thought for Barney in trade – and that, among other reasons, is probably why we haven’t heard any serious trade discussions. Teams are reluctant to give up that kind of package – arguably, Barney deserves one better than the Astros just got for Lowrie – for a defense first second baseman. And the Cubs are reluctant to give him up, given how much surplus value his contract situation offers.
  • The Mets’ pursuit of Michael Bourn appears to be increasingly dramatically in its intensity, with David Wright reaching out to Bourn to try and persuade him to sign with the Mets. GM Sandy Alderson confirmed the Mets’ interest publicly, per the New York Post: “We’re getting to the point where we can be in the mix. If you look at the fundamental composition of our team, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of moves [like adding Bourn] to change the whole perception of things.’’ Alderson went on to confirm that the Mets would seek to have their number 11 pick protected if they sign Bourn. “In the event we get to that point, I don’t think it’s fair to say we’re looking for a rule change,” Alderson said. “We’re looking to clarify the effect of the existing rule. It’s sort of a case of first impression. It hasn’t been dealt with before. If we get to that point, we’ll see.’’ I’m sure those conversations are already being had, and this has the feel of a situation where, if the Mets get their way (and I’ve discussed before why I don’t think they should), they’ll be signing Bourn.
  • Phil Rogers says Alfonso Soriano might soon become a hot commodity, but it’s predicated mostly upon stuff we’ve discussed before (Nelson Cruz and Alex Rodriguez PED issues). He adds that the Rays remain one of the best fits for Soriano, and I continue to agree.

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

116 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Lowrie Trade, Barney, Bourn, Soriano”

  1. Cooper

    My head has exploded with all the posts today.

    1. Ryan

      It’s been pretty wonderful

    2. JoeyCollins

      I picked quite the day to be productive away from the computer at work.

  2. macpete22

    I know Soriano doesn’t want to go to San Fran (for whatever reason) but, they have a whole in LF. Blanco and Torres don’t really seem to be anything to get excited about. If they add Sori, they could become favorites to repeat.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      It’s cold at night. Like all year.

  3. CubFan Paul

    “it’s pretty easy to see why the Cubs would probably require a whole lot more than we would have thought for Barney in trade”

    Mouse in your pocket? I predicted Barney was worth a haul (and should be dealt this offseason) as soon as he won the Gold Glove (for all the same reasons mentioned) and was laughed at.

  4. Cubbie Blues

    We could always trade Soriano for Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Archer. Law had them at 78 & 53.

    1. blublud

      Hey, I know that feeling when you say something people think is crazy, they laugh at you, and then when it happens, or is proven true, they won’t admit it. Like, I’m pretty sure i’m the only person who thought Campana would still be on the roster at this point. hmmm.

      I also thought Barney’s value was high. I thought Barney was good before the season. Most people on this site don’t like Heart hustle, determination and things of that nature. Metric stats are important, and I starting to study them, but there is still more to a player.

      1. Norm

        A .300 OBP is bad no matter how much “heart hustle” someone has.

        1. BluBlud

          Hey, Barney’s OBP is not even .300. Plus, like I’ve said, I’m done discussing whether Campana is worth a roster spot or not. I think he is, most people think he’s not. End of story. I just stated I’m pretty sure I was the only that was sure he would still be on the roster. Not only was I sure, I was pretty damn adamant, despite everyone else being adamant that he wouldn’t be on the roster. That was the point. Oh, BTW, last time I checked, he is still on the roster.

          Besides, the heart, hustle and determination comment was in relation to Barney, not Campana.

          1. BWA

            you care way too much about winning arguments. You always bring stuff up from a long time ago, and some of it hasn’t even been proven yet. We still have 41 men on our roster.

      2. DarthHater

        “Metric stats are important, and I starting to study them”

        This should be the signature line at the bottom of everything you post.

        1. BluBlud

          My typing and spelling when typing is horrible because I type in a hurry and I almost never look as the screen as i almost always doing 3 or 4 things at a time. Thats why I use my bosses Executive Assistant to Proof Read every thing I type.

          1. DarthHater

            Now all you need is a fact-checker and someone who understands baseball statistics and you’ll be in business.

            1. Adventurecizin' Justin

              Why antagonize?

            2. BluBlud

              I definitely don’t need a fact checker. I bet I can go prediction for prediction with you anyday and come out ahead. I laid out all my predictions this offseason, an so far, I haven’t been wrong not one time. Say what you may buddy, but check the metrics on everything I’ve said the Cubs would do, including calling for the Hairston signing way back in early November before anybody even thought about Hairston. I can keep naming stuff I have predicted that the Cubs do or moves they made that I predicted would fail and they did. So maybe you need a fact checker buddy.

              1. TWC

                Yeah, Jay. You’re a frackin’ precog. We’re very impressed.

                1. DarthHater

                  A regular Nostradumass.

                  1. cub2014

                    DarthHater why all the name calling, didnt your momma breastfeed you.

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      Well someone has a sick fetish…

                    2. DarthHater

                      This would just be too easy, so I’m not going to say anything…

              2. Adventurecizin' Justin

                Why care what he says?

                I don’t want Bleacher Nation to turn into all of the other blogs. I’m definitely gettin’ sick of the perpetual pissin’ matches and troll feeding going on around here. I’m not trying to be the police, but it is getting out of hand. Take care, All…Justin

                1. TWC

                  Yeah, you could freak out about every comment that everyone makes. Or, you could just look a little deeper at the tongue-in-cheek repartee that happens here and take it a little less seriously.

                  1. Adventurecizin' Justin

                    Yeah, I’m freakin’ out! Unfortunately, the tongue-in-cheek is more popular than talking baseball. Moderation would be greatly appreciated since TIN tends to be a condition of troll feeding.

                    1. Adventurecizin' Justin

                      TIN should have been TIC (tounge-in-cheek)…oops!

                    2. Blublud

                      Dude, this is a blog. We come here for entertainment. Last time I checked, this was the most entertaining site on the whole web. Most of my post are in fun. If I come off to serious for you, I apologize. In fact, no I don’t. Maybe you should just loosen up some. I have nothing against TWC, Darth or evenWestbound Willie(LMAO) or anyone else on this site. I’m a trash talker. If you dish it, you have to take it but what you must remember is it’s all in fun man. I hope you don’t leave this site because of this. it a great site, so if you do, it will be your lost.

                    3. TWC


                    4. DarthHater

                      All I ask is that any future predictions by BluBlud be made in writin’ and notarized on the date made. Sorry if that’s takin’ things too seriously. :-P

                    5. TWC

                      This, too!

                    6. DarthHater

                      And somebody please make TWC stop doing that! ;-)

                    7. Blublud

                      I can do that, cause I’m always right. So I’m not worried about being proven wrong.

                    8. DarthHater

                      “I’m always right.”


                2. DarthHater

                  I’m definitely gettin’ sick of all the g-droppin’ goin’ on around these parts. ;-)

              3. John

                U MAD BRO?

                1. DarthHater

                  Well done. I believe you are the second person ever to post that statement at this site. You should be so proud.

              4. TonyP

                You tell em Campana :-)

                1. Ian Afterbirth

                  So if I come to this site to read about the Cubs, I have to scroll past all this crap?

                  Dudes, come on….

      3. Cubbie Blues

        I was actually joking about that kind of return for Soriano because they used to be in the Cubs system but, where traded for Garza. Now, they are thinking of trading Garza and that might be the type of package we would get back with maybe another throw-in.

        1. BluBlud

          Hey, This was actually supposed to be in response to CubFan Paul’s post above, Not your post Cubbies Blues. Sorry, I must have clicked on the wrong button.

        2. Boogens

          I just can’t se the Cubs moving Garza for a package equivalent to only Lee & Archer. Their sights are set much higher than that.

          1. Cubbie Blues

            2 top 100′s plus another isn’t a bad haul. Plus Archer looked pretty good last year in the Bigs in limited duty.

            1. Edwin

              I think if Garza gets traded, at best it’s for a top 51-75 hitting prospect, or a top 26-50 pitching prospect. That’s if he gets traded before the season starts and the Cubs eat all of the salary.

              1. Kevin B

                The Cubs eat all of the salary? Really? The have to pay every penny of the lousy $10 million to get something for Matt Garza? Really?

  5. Tim

    To basically Soriano and Sam fuld for Matt garza!!

  6. CityCub

    If The Rays were a possible destination for Sori to ended up getting traded to, What kind of return could we expect to see from them for him? I know they have a pretty deep system as far as pitching goes. And JedStein is willing to eat a guap of cash to get a legit return for him, so what are the possibilities?

  7. Jacob

    Question: Let’s say the Mets sign Bourn… actually it doesn’t matter either way. With Soriano being a 5 mil/yr player, why don’t we hear more rumors about him going to the Mets? Would those chances increase with them signing Bourn or decrease? They are in a desperate need for OF’ers and Soriano could fit there at 5 mil/yr.

    Obviously they aren’t slottled for contention this year, but that’s mainly because of their outfield. With the additions of Soriano and Bourn they could seem like a bit more of a threat.

    1. CubFan Paul

      No Trade Clause.

      1. Jacob

        I thought about that.. but that hasn’t stopped rumors from surfacing this offseason. I mean, the Diamondbacks still tried to trade Upton to the Mariners despite his limited no-trade clause.

        1. CubFan Paul

          Sori was a full NTC and very specific demands (amongst them – Contender), unlike the Upton situation…

  8. Seth

    Does anybody have any idea what this tweet is about?

    IS a trade involving Shelby Miller on the way?

    1. Cubbie Blues

      What does it matter? He is a Cardinal.

      1. Seth

        Well it is still baseball. It’s worth mentioning. Plus any trades involving the Central division matters to the Cubs.

    2. Mick

      It could mean the Cardinals are going to re-sign Kyle Lohse meaning Miller starts in AAA again.

    3. North Side Irish

      Rumor is that it involves the health of Chris Carpenter and that it’s not good…

      1. Seth

        Looks like we are about to find out either way.

  9. Morken

    The Astros did not obtain a “haul” in exchange for Lowrie.

    Just as the Cubs would not obtain a “haul” in exchange for Barney.

  10. JulioZuleta

    Chris Carpenter might be out for the year, already. I know he’s a Card, but still hate to see it.

    1. North Side Irish

      Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
      Chris Carpenter will discuss his future today in the press conference; … what a great career he has had.

      Maybe he’s done done?

  11. Marc N.

    - I hope the Met get to keep their pick.

    - I feel like Barney being traded will be tied to how quickly Baez can move through the upper minors. Baez can slide right into the 2B from there.

    - I want a huge haul for Garza, otherwise would be no dice.

    1. TWC

      “- I hope the Met get to keep their pick.”

      Yeah. We should totally support a revision to the clear language of the CBA to allow the Mets to cheat the specific intent of that rule.

      1. Marc N.

        Yeah that’s totally the case. They didn’t lose it on a nonsense technicality due to another franchise’s incompetence.

        1. TWC

          I’m glad we agree.

          1. Marc N.

            You are GLAD. Take that.

            1. Marc N.

              Dammit, it’s GLAAD. Oh well.

              1. TWC

                So your first instinct is to imply that I’m gay? I’m thinking that says an awful lot more about you than it does about me.

                1. Marc N.

                  Yeah dude, you said glad and I went with GLAD (done wrong since its GLAAD). Get in there Freud.

              2. DarthHater


              3. Miggy80

                Hey Marc I’m GLAAD. “What’s so wrong with peace, love and understanding?”

        2. Kyle

          That’s a remarkable amount of wrongness in a single sentence.

          1) It’s not a technicality. It’s intentional. The first 10 picks are the only ones that are protected. The Mets pick is not in the top 10. The language is clear, and it’s made even more clear by the fact that the new CBA changed the language to make it so.

          2) The Pirates’ “incompetence” was intentional. They wanted the compensation pick this year.

          1. Noah

            I agree with you on point 1, but not necessarily point 2. I think the Pirates would have been thrilled to have Appel, but only at the value they were willing to offer him. At the amount Appel wanted it seems like it would have required the Pirates to give up draft picks this year to sign him. So with their choices being: (1) signing Appel and losing at least one high draft pick this year; and (2) not signing Appel and getting 2 picks in the first round this year, they chose number 2.

            1. Kyle

              At worst, the Pirates considered it a win/win. Either get Appel at a discount or get a replacement pick in a possibly deeper draft the next year.

              The probability that he wouldn’t sign was very much accounted for on the Pirates’ part, it wasn’t incompetence.

          2. TWC

            This is exactly correct. If the Mets had such a problem with their pick being lost, why didn’t they start whining to MLB back in October or November?

            The CBA was *specifically* changed for this sort of situation. To suggest that the Mets could “lose their pick on a technicality” suggests that one doesn’t understand the language of the CBA.

            1. Marc N.

              Hit me with the exact word of the CBA people. It’s the easiest route to take and is much more cutting than being all c-wordy about it.

          3. Marc N.

            New CBA says top ten picks and bottom ten records? I guess in that case….Still think it’s grimy at best. My resentment towards the 2012 Pirates and the Pirates in general grows.

            1. Marc N.

              *and not top ten records

            2. Kyle


              And not only that, but the old CBA specifically exempted picks that were pushed out of the “protected” zone by compensation picks. The new CBA intentionally took out that language.

              1. Marc N.

                AH. I’ll eventually try to read it, but sounds like they screwed up.

                If it helps the Mets fans that aren’t here – this is as good a year as any to lose a first rounder.

                1. Kyle

                  They didn’t screw up. They made the change they wanted to make. They wanted 10 picks and exactly 10 picks protected. Not 11.

                  New CBA
                  “Notwithstanding the above, a Club shall not be required to forfeit a selection in the top ten of the first round of the Rule 4 Draft, and its highest available selection shall be deemed its first selection following the tenth selection of the first round.”

                  Old CBA:
                  “If the signing Club is among the first half of selecting Clubs, excluding selection(s) awarded as compensation for failing to sign a Rule 4 selection from the preceding year, then the choice to be assigned for the highest ranking free agent Player signed by such Club shall be its second choice.”

                  They took the exemption out on purpose. It wasn’t an accident or an oversight. They were aware of the possibility of a Mets situation, and they wanted the team in the Mets’ position to face pick forfeiture.

                  1. DH Kyle

                    MLBTR is now reporting the following: “It’s likely that the Mets’ 11th overall draft pick would be protected if they sign Bourn, Jim Bowden of and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter links). This would be accomplished through negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA, Bowden adds. Both parties negotiating the CBA intended to protect the picks of the teams with the ten worst records, Bowden reports. This would strengthen the Mets’ argument for keeping the 11th overall pick.”

                    Sounds like some real revisionist history going on there.

            3. DocPeterWimsey

              Why the Pirates? It was Appel and Boras who created this situation, not the Pirates. It’s only a slight exaggeration to state that the new CBA is trying to protect teams from Boras, after all.

              1. Marc N.

                I would be Team Boras if war broke out. Power to the people or something.

              2. Kyle

                Personally, I’d call it “stop Boras from protecting amateur players from the owners’ collusion,” but that’s just me.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  Actually, I would tend to agree with you, unclean though it makes me feel! However, dumping the blame on any one team (unless it’s Reinsdorf’s!) is a bit heavy-handed.

        3. Kevin B

          What incompetence? The Pirates offered all the money they were allowed to offer under the rules without being penalized, that makes them incompetent? I disagree.

  12. another JP

    When Barney gets dealt I think he’ll be part of a multi-player trade from the Cubs… he just doesn’t have the type of value to warrant being a centerpiece IMO. And for all the talk about Sori being traded, I don’t believe it will ever happen. Unless he goes to LA, Boston, or New York, I think he’ll block any deal because he likes it here. He’s so good with younger players that I’d believe Theo will keep him around as long as he’s still producing some power in our lineup.

  13. Miggy80

    Wasn’t Melky Cabrera on the new PED list? If so did it have to do with his suspension last year? Or will it affect his new contract with the Blue Jays? Thus increasing Soriano value

    1. King Jeff

      He was suspended last year for PEDs, and the Blue Jays paid him anyways.

      1. Miggy80

        So then his suspension last year had to do with his name being on the list that came out this year? I guess I wouldn’t put it past anyone to try and beat the system even if they have been caught before. Not that I have or would or anything.

        1. King Jeff

          I think that’s part of why people are giving so much credence to the list, because there are a few proven cheaters on it. I think Melky’s suspension is tied to his usage during the time he was listed as a client at the “wellness” clinic. I don’t think this is an uncovering of a second period of usage from Cabrera, but it wouldn’t really surprise me.

          1. Miggy80

            Yeah Jeff, that sounds about right. I guess it could of been Melky’s failed test that led the investigation to the clinic. I was just a little surprised that more attention wasn’t given to Melky’s name being on the list, but then again A-Rods name would sell more papers and get more clicks

            BTW- Jeff your user name reminds me of Jeff King of the Pirates, and then I think of that game King hit a homer in the bottom of the 18th inning back in 89′. Oh I’m such a Cubs geek

  14. North Side Irish

    Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat
    #Cubs announce Lendy Castillo has cleared waivers and will report to Iowa

    That’s fine by me…he’s off the 40 man, he’s off the 25 man…nothing lost.

  15. Mike Taylor (no relation) (started 11/26/12).

    …and I suggested the A’s were a perfect trade partner. I think the FO is going to wait on Javier Baez for one more year and hopefully, Barney improves his trade value with better offensive numbers this season so he can be dealt for a higher return. That gamble did not work with Garza last year, so I’m crossing my fingers and toes.

  16. Stinky Pete
    1. MaxM1908

      I think the sample handler who faced all those false public accusations from Braun and his attorneys should sue for defamation.

    2. college_of_coaches

      Sorry Stinky Pete, I didn’t see your earlier post.

  17. college_of_coaches

    Here’s an interesting story…

    Apparently Ryan Braun’s name is now tied to the Miami clinic under investigation.

    1. Stinky Pete

      It’s cool. Braun has already defended himself saying he hired a guy from the clinic for his defense. Seems plausible but I don’t want to believe it because he seems like such a douche.

      1. justinjabs

        My thoughts pretty much to the t.

      2. college_of_coaches

        His name wasn’t on any lists with PEDs, and his lawyer’s name was also listed, so I guess it adds up, though it seems a bit odd to say the least.

  18. Desperatecubfan

    Where is Dan Vogelboch expected to start 2013? Kane county? And if he continues to put up big numbers along with recent body improvement does he have a shot at seeing some double a pitching this year?

    1. Kyle

      Kane County would be an awfully aggressive placement. He only played 37 games at Boise last year.

      But I think that seems likely at this point. The FO seems to be interested in pushing our position prospects a little harder than I would have guessed, and the Midwest League isn’t a pitcher’s haven like the FSL or a big jump in talent like the jump to AA. Yeah, Kane County seems like the place to be this year.

      1. Luke

        As well as Vogelbach played for Boise, I wouldn’t call Kane County aggressive at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs hold him in Arizona for a few weeks, though, to shorten his season. Once the weather warms up, he should be in KC for sure.

    2. BluBlud

      Kane County and a definite promotion to Daytona at some point. I stated the other day he could reach AA ball, but he would have to be absolutely raking. It possible, but more then likely he sees Tennessee in 2014, barring injury that is.

      1. CubFan Paul

        Yeah , we don’t want Vogelbach to get rushed through the minors like Campana, only to become one-trick ponies.

  19. Desperatecubfan

    Here’s a thought. Who is more likely to do their Anthony Rizzo impression this year and go on a tear at AAA, Jackson or Vitters? I know bjax has gotten praised for his new swing but vitters has a track record of improving the second go round. Perhaps the mlb experience helps him.

    1. BluBlud

      Hopefully both.

    2. Luke

      Jackson. Vitters probably has the higher floor, but he doesn’t have the ceiling Jackson does. If anyone is going to repeat Rizzo’s rampage of dominance (which, by the way, isn’t likely… Rizzo was hitting everything in Triple A last year), it would have to be Jackson.

  20. Bigg J

    I know this is way in the future, but if the Cubs do not secure a good 3rd basemen, then how possible is it the Cubs go after Headley next year if he becomes a FA?(Honestly, I don’t think he will become a FA as I believe he will get traded if SD is not in contention and he will sign long term with new team, but who knows) Just thought I would throw this out there and see what kind of responses I can get.

  21. 2much2say

    Castro will move to 3rd when Baez is ready or vice a versa.
    They plugged in Stewart for the short term with expectations
    they will rotate others in during the course of the season i.e.
    Valbuena, Vitters or Baez. Hoping someone sticks.