stoveSpring Training games are just around the corner …

  • Apropos of nothing, Jon Heyman says, “#yankees would not give up a top or even good prospect for a. soriano. do think theyd pay $10M of the $36M to go” (sic, sic, sic, sic, sic). I mean … ok? They wouldn’t give up even a “good” prospect for Soriano, with the Cubs eating $26 million? Fine. Here’s my proposed follow-up tweet, in the style: “ok then #cubs would not trade a. soriano to #yankees.” The Cubs aren’t going to dump Soriano for a schlub just so they can “save” $10 million. They have absolutely no reason to do it. Either the Cubs get value for Soriano (assuming they pay a huge amount of his contract), or they keep him. No harm in that outcome. They’re not going to be looking for a tip-top prospect for Soriano. But a “good” prospect? Absolutely.
  • Speaking of which, SI’s Jay Jaffe takes a look at the teams that make the most sense for a Soriano trade, and comes up with the Orioles, Rangers, Rays, Mets and Yankees – all of which I’d agree with. He also mentions the Giants, the team to which Soriano blocked any possible trade last year before they went on to win the World Series. Jay mentions the World Series possibility as being enough to entice Soriano, but it’s not. He won’t go there.
  • Nick Cafardo reminds folks that David DeJesus is a possible trade chip for the Cubs: “While there’s more focus on where Alfonso Soriano might be dealt, don’t forget DeJesus. The former A’s outfielder is a pretty good player who would fit a few teams, including the Phillies, Orioles, and Red Sox. DeJesus could be a nice midseason chip for Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein.”
  • Separately, a source tells Cafardo that impending free agent Bronson Arroyo – who will be 37 next year – is a good fit for the Cubs next year, because of his steady, veteran presence. Shrug. Here’s hoping that, by next year, the Cubs wouldn’t even have a spot in their rotation for a (presumably declining) 37-year-old starter.
  • Bruce Levine chatted this week, and … (1) if healthy and effective, Matt Garza’s market value is around the Anibal Sanchez deal (five years, $80 million), and I agree; (2) eventually, the Cubs will have to spin some of their positional prospect depth off for pitching; (3) Bruce still believes Carlos Marmol will be dealt before the season opens, and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs add a veteran reliever in that case (the pitcher which generated the question was, shudder, Brian Wilson); and (4) there also remains a chance that Soriano is dealt before Opening Day, but it would depend on injuries around the league.
  • And MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith chatted and among his thoughts: (1) the Tigers may end up keeping Rick Porcello for depth; (2) it’s really hard to figure where Kyle Lohse is going to land, although it’ll probably be soon; (3) Giancarlo Stanton and David Price will probably be all over the hot stove next offseason; (4) a quote that could have come straight from my own mouth, “I like what the Cubs are doing. I think they’ll be competitive by 2014 and remain competitive for a while.”; (5) Robinson Cano to the Cubs in 2014 would improve the lineup dramatically.
  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    I love blanket statements such as, “Robinson Cano to the Cubs in 2014 would improve the lineup dramatically.” Yeah, and he would improve every other lineup in baseball dramatically too.

    • Edwin

      Babe Ruth’s re-animated cyborg corpse to the Cubs in 2014 would also improve the lineup dramatically.

  • Patrick G

    Would love Cano to the Cubs, but would be a very pretty penny

    • davidalanu

      I would guess around 20 billion of them.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Would hope to get more than Cano for that much… something along the lines of, I don’t know, Iceland (GDP of $14 billion).

        • hansman1982

          you’re thinking dollars.

          20 billion pennies is $200M – which isn’t too far off the boat for the best 2B in the game today.

          • gocatsgo2003

            In other words… exactly how I corrected myself a minute after posting.

        • Josh

          That’s it – Soriano and cash to the Yankees for Cano and Iceland.

          • Forlines

            and the award for comment of the day goes to….

      • gocatsgo2003

        SELF CENSOR ALERT: Just realized the original post made a penny pun… Dang it.

  • Edwin

    I just don’t understand why Garza would have similar market value to Sanchez. Sanchez is a better pitcher, will have been 1 year younger than when Garza will be a FA, and isn’t coming off of any injuries. Even if Garza is healthy this year, I think at best he’s a 3.5-4.0 WAR pitcher, with it being much more likely that he’s in the 2.5-3.0 range. Unless the $/Win shoots way up, I’d think Garza would be closer to Jackson.

    • Jacob

      Is he a better pitcher? They’re nearly identical..

      ERA ERA+ WHIP BB/9 K/9
      Garza: 3.84 108 1.290 3.1 7.6
      Sanchez: 3.75 110 1.346 3.3 7.6

      The main difference is that Garza has more mileage and has had injuries… but you can see why a healthy Garza would get an identitcal market to what Sanchez got.

      • Jacob

        That did not format how I wanted it to. My apologies.

      • Edwin

        Sure. They’re very close talent wise, although I’d give small but clear edge to Sanchez. Looking at the past three seasons, they both have an ERA- (I’m using Frangraphs, just cause it’s easy to sort and export to excel and then use a filter) of 93. For FIP-, Garza is 95, Sanchez is 85. For xFIP-, Garza is 93, Sanchez is 92.

        So yeah, they’re pretty close, although Sachez has been the more consistent pitcher throughout his career so far. I just think that with Garza being a year older and a slightly worse pitcher makes a bigger financial impact.

        For example, lets assumer that Anibal Sanchez starts at 3.5 WAR for his age 29 season this year. Assuming a .5 win decrease per season, that gives him a total of 12.5 WAR for the contract. We’ll use his $80M to value the win at $6.4/win (80/12.5).

        Now lets assume that Garza is fully healthy, and every bit as good as Sanchez. So, also in his age 29 season, he puts up 3.5 WAR. However, his FA deal starts at his age 30 season, with 3.0 WAR. Over a 5 year deal, Garza winds up with a total of 10 WAR, which gives a contract value of $64M.

        Again, even if they’re even in terms of talent and health, the fact that Garza is a year older and further into his decline can have a decent financial impact.

    • Brett

      If Garza puts up a 3.5 to 4 WAR, that’s two of the last three years in that range (and each his last two full, healthy seasons). Given the dearth of talent on the market, I think that would be plenty to put him in Sanchez’s range.

      • Rizzo 44


        • Wilbur


          On a different, but linked issue, it strikes me as strange that there is not more interest from serious fans (such as yourselves) just to resign Garza (good health always being a threshold requirement)?

          My point is some of you do recommend resigning for four or five years, but many are looking to a trade for prospects. It appears to be a “bird in the hand versus …” argument with good points on both sides.

          My reasoning is if the FO is going to trade him and then reenter the FA market for 2014 and 2015 to replace him why not keep him? I’m sure there are good points to made for the trade, If the intent is to compete in 2014, it seems counter productive.

          While I do not attribute this as the FO’s plan, trading Garza at least implies 2014 will be what it is, but prospects for 2015 and beyond are the top priority, not the only, but the top. This scenario is one where the long term trend would be pursued at the expense of the short term.

          Also, I might be overstating the interest in trading him so correct my impression if that’s the case.

  • Edwin

    I’m curious to see what a competative 2014 Cubs might look like.

  • Spencer

    Cano would improve the Cubs? There’s a gem.

  • Bigg J

    I would love a Cano in the lineup and if we dont have a decent 3rd bsaemen, just kick Barney to 3rd and hope he does well. He’s got the glove, but hopefully they would have someone there by then (Baez or Castro).
    I also agree that the Cubs can wait to get a good prospect for Sori and I believe the Yanks will eventually come around because they dont have much at all with ARod out and Jeter iffy. They also have all left handed starting outfielders and Hafner for DH. They need a power righty.
    To finish it up I think Marmol will be gone by 3rd week of ST and Arroyo I would never want.

    • Spencer

      Third baseman Miguel Cabrera to the Cubs in 2014 would improve the lineup dramatically.

  • Doctor_Blair

    I don’t understand your aversion to Brian Wilson. That dude’s beard is AMAZING.

  • BD

    The Cubs would pay $26M of the contract, right?

    • Brett

      Yeah. 26.

  • Jono

    Depending on your definition of “competitive”, I don’t think that happens until at least 2015, more likely 2016. The earliest I see the hitting prospects coming up is late 2014. Give them a year to get used to the bigs, plus add the aspect of a lack of SP (assuming garza and 1 or 2 others get traded), and 2016 seems to be the year they can compete for a division title or wild card. Of course there are always surprises like what the As and Orioles did last year, but you can’t count on a surprise season. I jus don’t see how they improve fast enough to be competitive next year, especially with another sell off this year. Normally 15/20 game improvements don’t happen to teams that sell off their talent. Also, if they’re going to be competitive in 2015, they will need to rely on free agent pitchers. Im no minor league expert, but I don’t see quality SP coming out of that farm system in the next.couple years

    • Jono

      Of course some may may consider a .500 team competitive. I doubt that happens in 2014, but it’s a very decent possibility if they bring up some talent to begin the season

      • DocPeterWimsey

        One in 4 0.500 teams will win 85+ games, and 1 in 8 will win 88+ games. Now, what you then need is the 1 in whatever chance that 85 wins or 88 wins will get you to post-season. But it can happen.

        • Jono

          And WHEN it does, PAAAAARTYYYY! (I hope you crotch the reference)

        • Jono

          Haha, “crotch” = auto correct for “catch”. But the mistake is even better

  • Die hard

    Phillies could be ready for a house cleaning if injured players don’t come back or they would add veterans to avoid complete collapse of fan base

  • Tim

    How cute. Albert Almora is engaged

    • truthhurts

      To Theo?

  • Dale’s Ear

    Why do you “shudder” at the thought of brian wilson? I always found him funny lol

  • XavierGunz

    No Brian Wilson. Anyone but him. Hes an DBag. Yes to Cano, and always been a fan of Pence.

    • Jp3

      We’ve had Kevin “blown save” Gregg, Kyle f’n farnsworth, and Tom “flash in the pan can’t throw a strike” Gordon so I don’t think we would be too good for Wilson. Shenanigans aside he’s been a pretty good closer…I’ll take his bs over holding my breath every time Marmol comes in the game… I have to say my wife doesn’t watch much baseball but every flipping time marmol came in last year shed say oh no not that guy again…

      • Matt

        Don’t forget Mel Rojas, LaTroy Hawkins, Rob Dibble, Doug Jones…

  • Marc N.

    Man I would love to land Porcello. Maybe next year. I think he can take major steps forward with an NL team.

    • Edwin

      Porcello seems ok, but his K% is just so low, even with decent velocity last year. His slider is terrible, so if he can improve that and turn it into even an average pitch, he could do ok.

      • Marc N.

        He’s got good curve and change up that he doesn’t throw nearly often enough. That said, I understand why he hasn’t (age) and love how the Tigers have brought him along at the ML level. Speaks to his incredibly high makeup that he’s even survived as produced, but I love me a young pitcher who’s basically lived and died on his fastball at extremely young ages. That his fastball has picked up notches in velocity is even more impressive.

        I might go as far as saying he’s by far my favorite change of scenery young ML rotation guy.

        • Marc N.

          *survived and produced

  • Morken

    I wouldn’t expect a “good” prospect in return for an aging, defensively limited, Alfonso Soriano. It’s more realistic to expect one of two things in return:

    1.) Major salary relief

    2.) A young player with potential, who’s underperformed thus far over the course of his career(Dominic Brown-like).

    • Brett

      That’s a debate about the meaning of the word “good,” rather than a debate about the return on Soriano. That is to say, we probably agree on the substance. I’d call Domonic Brown a “good” return (because it’s being contrasted against a “top” prospect).

  • JR

    Anyone know if Lohse isn’t signed by the draft, teams can sign him without giving up a pick? If so that would be a perfect fit with the Cubs as he could come in and help replace all the guys they flip like Feldman and Baker. I would go 3/$36 Mill for Lohse and have him start with the Cubs after the draft this year. His arm would be fresher for next year when they are trying. Ha…

  • ruby2626

    Cano is exactly the type of player Theo said we wouldn’t sign. He will be 31 at the end of his Yankee contract and the Trib today said he wants a 10 year deal with Votto or Pujols money. Wouldn’t that be paying for past production not future production. Lets hope our minor league system continues to improve. What if Soler shoots up the ladder to a top 5 prospect, you know with all the Cuban’s around Miami he could be a key piece in a trade for Stanton. Or we could just keep him and he would possibly be Stanton in another year.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I LOVE Cano…but I hope the Cubs are never so desperate as to pay an insane contract like those of Pujols, Fielder, and Votto.

  • JR

    I am not saying that Soriano should be dealt for $10 million and a crap prospect, but I don’t think it’s as insane as it may sound to most Cub fans. Clearly, most teams don’t think he’ll be nearly as good this year, and he’ll probably be close to worthless next yr. So $10 million bucks they can use on someone who will help when it matters wouldn’t be the end of the world. I know Sori’s known as a locker room hero, but is that worth $10 Mill? Just saying.

  • Tommy

    Thank you Heyman. We all know that you are just a propaganda media lemming for the Yankees anyway.

  • Tommy K

    Robinson Cano to the Cubs would improve the lineup dramatically. In other news, water is wet.

  • Saving Grace

    I havn’t head alot about Soriano bing linked to the Mets ,
    But think the Mets are the pefect fit for the Cubs and Soriano.
    Soriano said he would like being traded to the Mets
    His value will never be more than now and the Mets outfield is a mess.
    Trading him before the season helps the Mets get their outfield in order and alows the Cubs to get set.
    The Mets have a young big time prospect at Catcher(which is something the Cubs really need) in Kevin Pawecki.He’s been called a potential rbi mchine,an offensive minded cather,a toughhard nosed catcher.Sounds alot like Varitek in his prime.
    He also was noted for handling pitchers well while @Purdue.
    Now that they have D’arnaud he’s a nice trade chip for the Mets.
    Throw in a pitcing prospect and the Cubs get a great deal
    I like this deal alot and it fits both teams well