Rumor time …
- Bruce Levine chatted this week, and … (1) Detroit has not been, to date, interested in Carlos Marmol (which makes sense, given the very reason they’ve been on a quest for a new closer – Bruce had previously reported that they were interested, but he was told that was incorrect); (2) it’s not likely Marmol or Alfonso Soriano are dealt before the season starts (Bruce has ceased banging the Marmol-traded-before-the-season drum, and he says there’s no real movement in that area right now); (3) the Cubs’ moves this past offseason have all been calculated gambles, rather than moves to be a sure winner in 2013; (4) if Javier Baez starts out well at High-A this year, he could “quickly” be moved up to AA (I wonder if that’s the same path for Jorge Soler – if so, each would be very, very on the radar for mid-2014); (5) the Cubs keep scouring the waiver wire for arms and utility types; and (6) Kyle Lohse still isn’t a fit for the Cubs, as he’s likely to go to a team ready to compete immediately.
- Andy Martino cites an executive who says the Tigers have been affirmatively calling around trying to trade Rick Porcello, even though they’re still asking “a lot” for him. The exec believes he’ll ultimately be traded.
- A couple of former Cubs infielders are available! Ryan Theriot and Ronny Cedeno! The Cubs need infield help with Ian Stewart out, right?! Sign them!
- Ok, but seriously. Cedeno, 30, played well in a part-time role with the Mets last year, and was set to see serious action with the Cardinals this year after Rafael Furcal was lost for the year. But then the Cardinals released him earlier this week, which will save them some money on his non-guaranteed contract. Cedeno hasn’t played much third base in his career (mostly he’s a middle infielder), and he actually hits righties slightly better than lefties (though he doesn’t hit either one very well). Even if you divorce yourself from the memory of Cedeno’s disappointments, I’m not sure I see a fit.
- With respect to Theriot, there’s no fit because he says he’s not going to accept a job that doesn’t include a guarantee of lots of playing time. Yes, he of the .270/.319/.324 line since 2010 sees reason to be picky about his options (he has won the last two World Series, though). He has young kids, and says he’d rather spend more time with them than schlep around on a team’s bench, so I guess I can’t blame him in that regard. (Belated derp h/t to TWC.)
- MLBTR offers the best headline in the history of obvious headlines: “Astros Willing to Listen on Players.” Le duh. If he thought it would net the Astros a modest increase in talent, GM Jeff Luhnow would trade himself.
- Ben Nicholson-Smith, who is leaving MLBTR in favor of Sportsnet.ca as their new baseball editor (bummer – Ben was solid, but good luck to him going forward), chatted yesterday … (1) the Cubs are still likely to move Alfonso Soriano before his contract is up after 2014, but it was a surprise that he wasn’t dealt this offseason with his value at its height; (2) Scott Rolen doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Cubs given the youth movement; and (3) Dear Friends: please stop suggesting any combination of Soriano and Carlos Marmol that nets Nick Castellanos from the Tigers – it won’t happen.