Lukewarm Stove: Marmol, Cedeno, Theriot, Astros, Soriano, More

stoveRumor 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.

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

111 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Marmol, Cedeno, Theriot, Astros, Soriano, More”

  1. TWC

    No h/t for the Theriot article? You must have an always-open tab w/ the constantly refreshing results of a Ryan Theriot Google search…

    1. hansman1982

      You lead a sad and pathetic life with that auto-refresh google news search…

      1. TWC

        Yo, man, it was *front page news* on the Chronicle’s website yesterday evening. Made me want to puke.

  2. lou brock

    Looking at the Rockies depth chart it looks like they have an abundance of third basemen & outfielders. I think the Cubs should target Jordan Pacheco (3B, 1B, C, LF) who has some decent power & hits for average. He could start at third, back up Rizzo at first, & be a third option at catcher. I would offer Clevenger & Dolis for this deal to work. Maybe we throw in Matt Szczur & the Rockies include Eric Young Jr. a switch hitting outfieder with speed. This also would open up a spot on the 40 man roster for Lillibridge.

  3. Kyle

    Cedeno has been better at the same thing than Lillibridge in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Him being better at it than Lillibirdge in 2013 is a pretty good bet.

    The only difference besides that is that Lillibridge can play the outfield, something we absolutely don’t need him to do and will surely cause anti-Sveum rage if it starts to happen.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      “The only difference besides that is that Lillibridge can play the outfield”
      Not true, Lillibridge has a contract with the Cubs and Cedeno does not. I would say that is a huge difference.

    2. hansman1982

      Ehh, considering the Cardinals need at SS, I am worried they released him. If their Voodoo won’t work, the Cubs sure as hell wont.

  4. BluBlud

    I think Soler and Baez will both be in Tennessee fairly quickly. I also think they will both see a September call up. I am pretty sure Soler will see one, as it will not hurt him at all. As for baez, if 2014 is the permanent year for him, it would be dumb to not allow him to see some time in the Bigs this year so he can make adjustments to his game in the upcoming off-season. I would say it worked pretty well for Trout, and I think Baez could be as good as Trout. If baez doesn’t get a September call-up this year, I wouldn’t look for him to make his permanent call-up until 2015, with a sept call up in 2014, and I highly doubt this happens.

    1. Demarrer

      Baez can not be as good as Trout, as much as everyone would love that to happen. Trout is a once in a generation talent. Sure Baez has pop but he is not the fielder nor the runner that Trout is.

      1. hansman1982

        Wow, we sure do have a lot of “once-in-a-generation” talent playing right now:

        Pujols, Verlander, Strasburg, Harper, Trout, Stanton…

        1. Kyle

          Once in a generation 1b, HS pitcher, college pitcher, offensive CFer, defensive CFer, power hitter.

        2. Cubbie Blues

          Don’t forget about DeJesus. He did win the Bunt Tournament tow years in a row.

          1. hansman1982

            Damnit…he’s gonna kick my ass now.

      2. DocPeterWimsey

        Baez also has nothing close to Trout’s batting eye. That had a lot to do with why Trout trashed AA pitching (.326/.414/.544) at 19; Baez’s line from the same age (.294/.346/.543) not only is less impressive (save for the higher isoP), but it was also against A/A+ pitching. (Trout did a great job of carrying that over to MLB pitching, too.)

        In short, it’s too late for Baez to be as good as Trout.

        1. The Dude Abides

          Too late for Baez to be better than Trout? Trout has one year under his belt other than his brief call up where he bombed in 2011. Are they already clearing out a section for Trout in Cooperstown?

          Or do you mean at the same age? If that’s the case just about everyone is too late including current hall of famers who weren’t called up at his age. I’m not sure if Baez is the answer but one thing I’m sure about is Trout has many years left in his career to prove himself. There are a lot of variables in front of him just like everyone else. First called up doesn’t guarantee him anything in the coming years.

          1. DocPeterWimsey

            Comparisons are only meaningful for the same age: at that point they have comparable time for growth. Thus, however well Baez does this year, it compares to Trout’s 0.326/0.399/0.564 line from last year against pitching 2 levels higher. (And, no, Trout didn’t “bomb” in 2011: 135 PAs are slightly better than one month, and even a half season isn’t a big enough sample size to mean much: but if you want to hold that “bomb” against him, then you have to count Baez’s equally bad performance against A+ pitching last year, too.)

            Now, will Trout get much better than he is? Probably not: in particular, he won’t duplicate that 0.390 BABiP from last year. However, his 10+% walk rate will be typical and his minor league numbers suggest that he’ll average even better than that; thus, he’ll probably routinely post a 0.400 OBP to go with 25+ HR power. Baez is never going to post numbers like that. Oh, he might come close to Trout in isoP: but that will be it.

            And as for the trail to Cooperstown, well, the only guys to post numbers like Trout’s at such young ages who didn’t make it to Cooperstown were wrecked by injuries: they didn’t just get worse naturally.

        2. Bilbo161

          What use is same age comparison when point was he thought Baez “could” be just as good. When their careers are over, we will know. Clearly not too late for that.

    2. brickhouse

      There is a 0% chance Baez or Soler are called up this year. They both have a long way to go in their baseball development

      1. EQ76

        I’m sure that was said the year Castro got called up too..

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          Yes, some people did, but the FO was not very adamant about this as a general policy. Also, the Cubs had delusions of contending in 2010, and they desperately needed another bat in the middle IF. I don’t think that the Cubs have such delusions this year, which will make it a lot easier to leave both players in AA all year.

          1. BluBlud

            I think promoting or not promoting a player based off of you competition level in the majors is just plain dumb. If a player is ready, promote him. If he’s not, then don’t. It should be that plain and simple. If a GM is sitting in his office and has a top prospect who is not ready, but he promotes him anyway, because the team might make the playoffs, then he should fired. The same goes for a team not in contention not promoting a prospect who is ready.

            As much as I think Baez will make his debut, and some fans would love to see Baez this year, if the Cubs suprise and are in the race, but Baez shows that he is not ready, I would hope Theo would not move him up. I would rather Theo protect his future and the Cubs future. I think Baez will see the Bigs this year because I think he will show the talent level and show that he is ready or almost ready, not because I think Theo will just promote him just to promote.

            1. Rich H

              You see here is the rub with fans. When a kid shows the talent and the ability to advance and doesn’t get to the majors yet it is the idiot GM’s fault. When the kid is overwelmed when he is brought up it is the GM’s fault. When a kid does not have a good enough judgement of the strike zone to bat .200 in the big leagues it is the GM’s fault. When a kid has success at the major league level almost right away. He did it in spite of the GM.

          2. EQ76

            agreed… but Castro was ready.. sure there’s no reason to have to bring up Baez, and sure the Cubs probably won’t compete this year, but that doesn’t mean Baez won’t be ready this year for a call up nor should anyone claim a 0% chance of promotion.. i’d put it more at 5% tops.

      2. bbmoney

        Oh there’s a chance. More likely for Soler because he’s already on the 40 man.

        I think Baez’s chances are pretty slim though.

        1. BluBlud

          I think the Cubs see Baez as a part of this team in 2014. I’m not saying Baez gets a permanent call up in September. I think that if the Cubs see him as a permanent fixture in 2014, it would serve him a ton of good to see how his game is against major league pitching in September of this year. He would then have the entire off-season, next years Spring training and the start of next years minor league season to work on whatever adjustments he needs to work on before getting his permanent call-up sometime around mid-season next year. In other words, his call up will be more about his development, then about it being time to appoint him as the permanent whetever position he’ll play player.

          If you look at the way the conbination of Theo, Jed and Jason have handled players like Pedroia, Ellsbury, Rizzo and possibly Jackson and Vitters, those guys all got late season call ups the year before they were truely ready for the bigs. If Baez doesn’t get a September call-up, it’s no biggie. It probably means the FO sees him as a part of 2015, in which he’ll probably get his call up late next year. I just think they see him as part of 2014, in which he’ll get his late seson call-up this year. Same for Soler.

          1. bbmoney

            I understand what you’re saying. I just think it’s less likely than you do.

            I think it’s much more likely Soler comes up this Sept. But I’m excited to see what happens either way.

    3. TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      Before we compare Baez and Soler to Trout, we need to remember that Trout had over 1300 minor league PA’s. Baez is around 350 and Soler around 100. I can see both getting a Sept callup, or I could see both being sent to Arizona Fall League. They will do what Castro did, they will let their performance set the timetable.

    4. Grant

      I agree that they both might get a bit of a hurry, but I think you’re being a bit aggressive with your timeline. If things fall in such a way that it looks like the Cubs have a decent chance of competing next year (which I think is the plan) and Soler does well this year, he might be a September call-up since he’s already on the 40 and they will want to see what he can do against real competition. No reason to add Baez to the 40-man yet since that’s one less slot we have to protect someone when the Rule 5 draft comes around, and as we’ve seen the past couple years, the Rule 5 draft hasn’t been kind to us. If we think we’ll have a shot in 2014, expect Baez to come up after a couple months, waiting just long enough to avoid Super 2 status.

      1. BluBlud

        HUH. Baez could start on the Cubs opening day next year and avoid super 2 status. If the FO think Baez, a potential Super Star or at least a potential Star, needs the development, they would be dumb not to promote him just to protect a petential fringe guy. I agree, we don’t wanna just let players go, but you want to do whats best for your best players first and then worry about the rest. Plus, I think the Cubs will have plenty of roster spots after this season. We may have 10 open spots after this season.

        1. Kyle

          If Baez started with the Cubs on Opening Day of any season, he’d have super-2 status, barring being sent down at some point subsequently.

        2. Grant

          Could you explain how they avoid Super 2 status with Baez if he starts on opening day next year? Not trying to be argumentative, I guess I just don’t understand it as well as I thought I did.

          1. Kyle

            Super 2 is for guys with partial years of service, between 2 and 3.

            If we started him on Opening day of 2014, it’d go like this:

            After 2014: 1 year of service time, no arb
            After 2015: 2 years of service time, no arb
            After 2016: 3 years of service time, arb eligible (but not a Super 2).

            1. Rich H

              That is why we bring him up at September expanded rosters and if he can handle it then extend his butt through the arbitration years. Seems like Tampa has been quite good at doing that. We just take the chance.

  5. JR

    “Dear Friends: please stop suggesting any combination of Soriano and Carlos Marmol that nets Nick Castellanos from the Tigers – it won’t happen.”
    What there have been Cub fans who have brought that trade scenario up?? Haha.. I have seen that a ridiculous amount of times. To me Soriano with tons of cash for Porcello makes all kinds of sense. But i have come to realize Soriano has no trade value, regardless of what the Cubs pay. Porcello is a bad fit for that defense. He would be very solid as a Cub.

  6. CubsFanBob

    My crazy prediction – Baez is the Cub’s starting third baseman by June 1st

    1. Cubbie Blues

      You’re correct that is both a prediction and crazy. :P

    2. JR

      Damn Bob, that’s intense. I like it. I hope he’s ready, and I hope you’re right just to make the summer more Cub friendly to tolerate. I am pretty sure they will want him to get some work in the minors at 3rd before they throw him out there in the show though.

  7. Jono

    My guess is that baez, who should reach the majors before soler, will play his first big league game in the begining of 2015. I think a 2015 September call up is more likely than a 2014 September call up

    1. BluBlud

      I will bet my house, my car, my wife, my job and anything else I own besides the kids, that if Baez continues to hit at the pace he hit before arriving in Daytona and that he hit this spring, that he will definitely see the Bigs before September, 2015. I am not 100% certain he will see the bigs this year, that just my prediction. I am 100% cetain, however, that he will be in the Majors well before september, 2015.

      1. Kyle

        So if he only hits at this absolute best and never, ever slumps again, he’ll make the majors before Sept. 2015?

        Sure. But it’s irrelevant. Because he will have slumps.

    2. BABIP (MichCubFan)

      I agree. 2015 for Baez if not mid-2015. Peobably pretty close to the same for Soler. But I don’t necessarily think Baez will be ready before Baez.

      We will really have to see how each of them does over the next season or two to get a better idea, but they aren’t going to be called up in 2013 or ’14 unless maybe one or both of them get a September call-up in ’14.

      Theo and Co. do not rush prospects. They will let them work their way up, play a season in triple-A, and then come up to the majors when they are fully prepared for it.

      1. BluBlud

        I swear I think people think that once a player is called up, it permanent. They can be sent back down. I talking developmental call-ups, not permanent call-ups.

        1. Kyle

          What exactly do you think a “developmental call-up” is?

          It’s generally considered a negative to promote a player and then have to send him down.

          1. BluBlud

            Plenty of teams call players up in September for developmental purposes with no intentions of that player making the 25 man out of camp the following season. It happens every single year in baseball. It happened to Trout. They have intentions of that player having an impact at some point so they want to take advantage of the extra roster space to get them exposure. It a common practice in Major League Baseball.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              Trout actually was called up in July because of an injury and because he was making AA look silly, not for development purposes. He then was called up in mid-August again, and actually did OK (0.250/0.318/0.450) in 88 PAs. Both times, the Angels had holes to fill, and hopes of getting the WC spot; they were really hoping that Trout would play (say) nearly as well as Harper did last year.

              1. BluBlud

                My point was he was called without the intentions of it being a permanent call up. It may not have been a September call up, but he was going to be sent back down, unless he came up and just absolutely killed MLB pitching that year. I think Baez has the same ability to kill AA pitching as Trout. As for your Trout love, I felt the same way, but the more I look at his numbers and the more I study “other” stats, the more I realized he was extremely lucky last year. He may have been the luckiest player in all of baseball. He’ll be hard pressed to even come close to last year number ever again in his entire career.

                1. Patrick W.

                  I will take that bet.

                2. DocPeterWimsey

                  No, Trout was called up with the hope that he was ready.

                  And Trout was not particularly lucky last year. Yes, the 0.390 BABiP was a bit lucky. However, the 30 HR were not. The 10% walk rate was not. The 19% line drive rate was not. All of those stem form the critical tool Trout has (and has always had) that Baez lacks: batting eye. Trout waits for pitches he can hammer and then does so: those 30 HR come from getting flyballs 50% of the time. His BABiP might not reach 0.390 again, but he will have a higher mean than most batters because he has such a high proportion of well-hit balls.

                  He’ll repeat the core numbers (walk rates, XBH rates, etc.) frequently enough because he has the two basic batting tools: pitch recognition and the ability to make hard contact. Unless injuries take those away from him, he’ll be good for a while.

        2. BABIP (MichCubFan)

          What do you mean “you people”?

          Maybe they call one or both of them up in September 2014 but that isn’t really the point. They could do that whether they think that Baez and Soler are ready to play in the big leagues or not.

          Soler and Baez are not going to be full time major league players until 2015 at the very earliest, but more likely the middle of 2015.

          Now obvioulsly there are many things that can happen… Injury, slumps, bad play, etc. But the quickest i see either of them moving up would go like this:

          2013- A+ to AA
          2014- AAA
          2015- Majors

          That is the very quickest i could see them moving up. More likely I think they would start 2014 in AA and then move up to AAA, meaning they would start 2015 in AAA and eventually come up sometime in the middle of 2015.

          They are not going to rush these guys. They want them to get enough time in at the upper levels of the minors so they are prepared for the big leagues as best as they can be before they are called up.

          I don’t see any example in the past where Theo rushed anybody in Boston. This Baez will be up in 2013 crap is just sensationalized by his exciting spring. As a fan it would be very exciting to see prospects like these come up as soon as possible, but it isn’t going to happen like that and it shouldn’t…for the sake of the players.

          1. BluBlud

            Dude, I have been saying this since last season, and even while he was”struggling” in Daytona. You must be new here. There is absolutely no way Baez waits til 2015 to see the major leagues. If Baez crushes AA, where he’ll be by june, if not before, and he is not up by at least next year, Theo should be fired. Period. Anybody who says Baez will not be up until 2015 for the first time if he produces like his pre-Daytona number and his ST is just major league baseball illiterate. My whole assumption is based off of how I think he’ll produce. If he fails to produce like I think he will, I will definitely change my mind. I think even if he is just good however, he still arrive long before 2015.

            1. BABIP (MichCubFan)

              If he crushes double-A he will still have problems with his hitting approach. He might hit over .300 and hit a lot of home runs, but his OBP will not be at a healthy level (when you compare it to his avg.) Last year his OBP at Peoria looked decent, but it was feuled by 10 HBPs compared to 9 BBs.

              Taking walks isn’t everything, but it is the byproduct of a good hitting approach. Our front office is really big on that. It is also one of those things that really tends to separate big time major league hitters from failed mega-prospects. It is also much better for players to learn this while adapting to double and triple-A pitching than it is at the major league level where the pitchers are a lot better…and smarter, meaning they know how to take advantage of over-aggressive young hitters.

              He will be better off going through the system to learn the appropriate skills against the appropriate competition. Then he can come up with more polished skills than glaring weaknesses.

              Things aren’t so black and white all the time. There isn’t a good hitter-ready, bad hitter-not ready system. There are a lot of things that go into hitting, fielding, base running, off-the-field stuff, working out, etc. that are important to young players and the lack of any of these skills could be what derails their major league playing career. That is what the minor league system is for.

              I do think Baez will need 2013 and 2014 in the minors to develop all of these tools.

              1. BluBlud

                And if you were our GM, any good prospect who was trying to decide whether to sign our contract or go to/stay in college would efinitely go to/stay in college. If I was a prospect and I was ready, and you held me back, keeping me extra years away from arbitration and costing me prime free agent years because of your ideas, I would make sure prospect and player agent who might follow knows about it. There is also no way I would re-sign with your organization. This kind of approach could cost a player millions in early age arbitration years and close to a hundred million dollars if you cost them prime age free agents years like 27, 28, 29 age years. Players think of things like this. If theo handle prospects that way, he should fired on the spot for being a detriment to the future of the franchise. He’s not a detriment and he will not handle his prospects that way.

                1. Kyle

                  He’s not ready. He’s not close to ready. That’s why this whole line of “if he’s ready” is moot. He’s not.

                  His last competitive environment was getting punked by the Florida State League and showing some intriguing power to go with way too many strikeouts in the AFL. He needs to prove he’s capable of handling high A before we think about sending him to AA. The majors shouldn’t even be in the conversation anytime in the near future.

                  For goodness sakes, he just put up a lower BB rate and higher K rate than Corey Patterson did in the same age at the same league. The approach problems are large and serious. Advanced pitching would make him cry like that kid who the Million Dollar Man kicked the ball away from.

                  1. davidalanu

                    The million dollar man wouldn’t do that would he?

      2. Dale's Ear

        Call me an optimist, but I just feel like those two guys, and Baez in particular, are not going to be held back as much as people think. This Baez guy seems like he doesn’t just wanna be in the pros right now, he wants to be a superstar right now. I think for both of them, it’s more about working on the mental part of the game and learning to take pitches, which is something that is refined throughout a baseball player’s career anyway. Starlin Castro has shown that you don’t necessarily need to start in the majors with your head all the way on your shoulders to make an instant impact. I also don’t feel that Baez is the type to get discouraged easily if he struggles in the pros right out of the gate. Soler still has so much work to do in just getting acclimated to the country, but still the dude is an absolute monster. I’m hoping to see them both in September, but I wont be upset if they aren’t ready yet.

        1. Cubbie Blues

          Optimist.

  8. waittilthisyear

    ryan theriot has 2 world series rings…o the humanity…

  9. J Wilson

    Soriano & Marmol for Prince Fielder & Miggy Cabrera!!! Haha wow, Castellanos.

  10. Brian cubs fan

    cubs should sign both Cedeno and Theriot give Cedeno a minor league deal and Theriot a mlb deal

    1. Cubbie Blues

      The only reason I would ever sign Theriot is so that I could cut him the next day.

  11. The Dude Abides

    “(3) the Cubs’ moves this past offseason have all been calculated gambles, rather than moves to be a sure winner in 2013″ – Sure glad Bruce Levine cleared that up.

  12. Mike

    Cubs should pick up versatile Chone Figgins and play him mostly at 3rd base. He could have a bounce back year. He beats the other “full-time” options of Valbuena/Lillibridge, or, if ever healthy: Ian Stewart. I say, drop Stewart, pay the 25% of his non-guaranteed deal and sign Figgins….he comes cheap.

    1. DarthHater

      Wow, two days in a row of love for Chone at BN? This is a sign of how pathetically desperate Cubs fans have become.

    2. Mike

      Maybe we should wait for Ian Stewart to hit 20 home runs again, but that’s not happening this year. And, if Figgins plays in at least 100 games this year at the mlb level, I would be happy to bet that he will hit better than Valbuena. Figgins plays aggressively…something lacking in Cubs players (generally speaking) for the last few years. It’s just a matter of giving him an opportunity to play regularly, whether it’s at 3rd base (which I’d prefer), or playing in the outfield or spot starting at 2nd. If you just look at his past 2 seasons, there’s not much reason to think he will bounce back. However, he only played in about 1/2 the games in 2011, and in 60 some games in 2012. Guys have bounce-back years all the time. I don’t get all the negativity. But, hey, I guess I’m not a 20-something stat fanatic that has taken the human side out of baseball. If you want to just look at stats and projections, then join a science lab. Stats and projections are not the only element of baseball…but for the past several years, that’s how folks want to look at it. Baseball is full of shades of gray…you have to take a chance sometimes. Or, you can hold onto Stewart and hope his injury-plagued career will somehow get back on track. My gut feeling is that it won’t…it’s based on feeling, not stats. The same holds true for Figgins. And, if somehow Figgins ends up a bust, then all that’s lost is a nominal amount of money. The Cubs are not making the playoffs this year. Why not gamble with Figgins? If the Cubs want to hold onto Ian Stewart, in hopes he will play at all this year, and finally turn it around, great. But, it will cost them 2 MIL on the chance he will turn it around. You could say the same for Figgins. I, for one, like Figgins’ aggressive play. Seems Stewart has been absent a lot with injuries. With Figgins, you get: a versatile, switch-hitting, aggressive player, still has speed, can play all over the outfield, can play second and third, and has a better history of staying healthy than Stewart. You could even put Stewart on the DL to start the season (which seems likely, according to reports) and play Figgins at 3rd until Stewart is healthy. Low risk signing. I like to think of comments as conversation, rather than moves behind a computer to cast aside opinions for the sake of casting aside opinions. There’s still value in old-folks like myself offering opinion, whether stat-oriented folks like it or not.

      1. TWC

        Criminy, what defensive, luddite-tinted nonsense.

        The reason that Figgins has only had 500 PAs over the last two seasons is that he suuuuuucks, and no one wanted him to play. The M’s paid him $8m to walk. Miami told him to take a hike. He has been a terrible, terrible baseball player for three solid years. He’d have to bounce back 4 years to be a decent ball player.

        Quick, over their last 300 games (~1100-1200 PAs), which line is Figgins’ and which line is Luis Valbuena’s?

        a) .224/.292/.343
        b) .227/.302/.283

        Now the answer, really, is c) they both suck.

        But, of course, those are stats. It seems that some folks would rather field a team based on emotion.

        1. Mike

          Thank you, TWC, for proving my point. Nothing wrong with stats, but basing opinion only on stats supports a narrow view.

          1. King Jeff

            Completely ignoring the stats supports a narrow view as well. Figgins can’t hit and can’t play defense, giving him a shot after two of the worst offenses in baseball decided that he can’t help, teamed with removing someone from the 40 man roster for him, is very counterproductive. Valbuena, if he ends being the 3b, offers far more than Figgins, based on stats, and the eyeball test.

  13. spencer

    Brett, do you feel you wasted your time and energy reporting on all these bullshit trade rumors over the years? Seems like 10% of them actually happen. Maybe less.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      spencer, do you feel your life has been a wasted since you are a complete douche nozzle?

  14. Kyle

    “the Cubs’ moves this past offseason have all been calculated gambles, rather than moves to be a sure winner in 2013″

    That’s such a cop-out. That isn’t a magic shield that prevents them from being assigned the failures when they occur. It’s worthwhile to make a list of their calculated gambles and see how often they are paying off.

    To date, their calculated gambles that paid off have included Camp, Maholm, LaHair. Am I missing any?

  15. brickhouse

    Maybe Valbuena

    Maholm pays off only if Vizcaino pans out

    LaHair paid off for a 1/2 year

  16. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The Cubs should forget about Rick Porcello and target Lucas Harrell.
    Why?
    #1. The Astros’ GM
    #2. Harrell is 27, arb eligible in 2015, doesn’t reach free agency until 2018.
    #3. Both of them have high WHIP’s, but Harrell logs more innings, a higher GB%, and lower HR/FB%, BABIP, and ERA.
    #4. The Astros need outfielders and shortstops, both of which we have plenty of…
    #5. Harrell is well-versed in NL Central hitters.
    #6. Between Baker/Garza’s futures in jeopardy and Feldman/Villanueva’s ineffectiveness as starters, Harrell brings back credible stability to the rotation (which lets the FO focus on trades involving Baker, Garza and Feldman for offense).

    2013 Rotation April
    1. Samardzija (14th in xFIP in ’12 w/3.38)
    2. Jackson (32nd in xFIP in ’12 w/3.79)
    3. Harrell (38th in xFIP in ’12 w/3.89)
    4. T Wood (L) He’s doing great this Spring
    5. Villanueva (3.97 xFIP as starter in ’12)
    6. Rusin (L) He’s doing great this Spring
    7. Feldman (acquiring Harrell means we don’t have to see this guy in the rotation)

    2013 Rotation mid-May, when Garza returns:
    Villanueva goes to pen

    2013 Rotation Baker returns:
    It’ll be past the trade deadline, we’re screwed.

  17. Tommy

    “Dear Friends: please stop suggesting any combination of Soriano and Carlos Marmol that nets Nick Castellanos from the Tigers – it won’t happen.”

    Thank you.

    1. @cubsfantroy

      AMEN!

      Glad to finally see it.

  18. Die hard

    Fontenot is a fit