stoveAs Spring Training winds down, we’re entering the stretch where a number of fringe roster types are released back into the wild …

  • Rany Jazayerli – don’t let the Blogspot blog fool you, he’s a noted Royals writer – writes that the Royals still need a platoon partner in right field to pair with Jeff Francoeur, and the prime candidate is none other than David DeJesus. The match-up is pretty strong, given the Royals’ need and the Cubs’ willingness to move players like DeJesus for value, but the timing might be tricky. The Royals would probably rather have DeJesus yesterday, but the Cubs don’t have an obvious replacement ready in center field quite yet. Indeed, Phil Rogers took on this suggestion the day after Rany made it, and said that the Cubs want to make sure Brett Jackson’s new swing takes hold at Iowa before counting on him in center field this year. That leaves the Cubs with the option of sticking someone like Dave Sappelt (or Scott Hairston, if he can hack it) in center field full-time in April/May/June if they dealt DeJesus now. And if Jackson’s swing doesn’t show improvement? Then center field becomes a serious void. I do think the Cubs will shop DeJesus – he’s on an affordable deal that includes an affordable option for 2014 – but likely not until mid-season.
  • On the Yankees/Angels Vernon Wells deal, instead of a condonable $2 to $3 million per year, the Yankees are picking up almost $14 million in salary from the Angels. The figure, which necessarily means the Yanks are giving up bupkis in terms of prospect value (indeed, at that price tag, I’d argue it’s the Yankees who are owed a prospect), is utterly insane, and suggests very strongly that either (1) Alfonso Soriano was definitely completely unwilling to accept a trade to the Yankees right now; or (2) the Cubs had some very high demands in trade for Soriano. Interestingly, there is some debate on how that $14 million in salary is going to go on the Yankees’ books for luxury tax purposes (usually, contracts are averaged out to their annual value for luxury tax accounting purposes). Given their desperate desire to get under $189 million in 2014, it’s impossible to see the Yankees adding $7 million to payroll for a guy like Wells. Indeed, Mark Feinsand hears that the Yankees are exploiting the transferring-money rule in trades in order to front-load their payments, and actually get a credit toward payroll in 2014. I don’t think MLB intended for traded salary to work this way.
  • Pretty much every article you see on the Wells trade, by the way – examples here and here – includes some variation of “desperation” in the headline.
  • Jon Garland ended up choosing the Rockies, but the Cubs may have moved on to another 33-year-old injury-recovering righty: Chris Young. He opted out of his deal with the Nationals, and the Cubs – together with many teams – were in attendance scouting his latest start. Young hasn’t pitched much over the last few years, but he did manage 20 meh starts with the Mets last year. I don’t really see a whole lot of upside in Young.
  • Fear not: Ronny Cedeno has signed with the Astros. (Which has led to them shopping Tyler Greene, who is out of options and whom they will waive or trade. He can play all over the infield, but is a right-handed bat who only last year – in Houston – showed a little pop. Before that, he wasn’t anything worth a hoot at the plate.)
  • Fear still: Yuniesky Betancourt is back on the market.
  • Fear worse: Dale Sveum called Chone Figgins “interesting” as the Cubs consider waiver wire/free agent options for the final bench spot (otherwise, it’ll be Steve Clevenger).
  • The Indians have released reliever Matt Capps, who is still just 29 and had a good, abbreviated year in 2012, even if his K rate has dropped quite a bit in the last two years (but his velocity has remained steady despite some shoulder troubles). There’s a belief that the Indians are going to try and re-sign him to a deal that doesn’t require them to pay him a $100K bonus (which his original minor league deal would have required if he were sent to the minors out of Spring Training), but if he can find a Major League roster spot elsewhere, he’ll presumably take it. The Cubs still have that one opening in the bullpen, and Capps has a nice track record. Who knows what his medicals look like, though.
  • Jim

    If DeJesus can bring back a decent return I would say go for it. I don’t mind seeing what Sappelt can do as an every day player. Jackson will still be there if it doesn’t work out. This could also open up a position for a guy like Brian Bogusevic to be added. I think Lillibridge could also backup CF.

    • CubFan Paul

      Yeah Bogusevic would be an obvious replacement if Dejesus was dealt now. Maybe the trade talks with KC is why BJax hasn’t been sent down despite injury.

      • Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

        I’ve wondered the same thing about Jackson.

    • itzscott

      Trade DeJesus like yesterday….

      You have to get REALLY bad in order to get really good and the Cubs are just about there.

      Trade him now for someone from KC’s minors who can blossom in the next couple of seasons with the Cubs.

  • Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

    If we’re holding on to DeJesus because we fear that giving the job up would be an early white flag, then I applaud their attitude.

    But I promise not to yell at them if they pull the trigger, give the job to Jackson and it doesn’t work out.

    • Dale’s Ear

      Breaking News: the Cubs complete a trade of Dejesus to the Royals after Kyle promises not to yell at them. Epstein notes that Kyle applauding his attitude was the most fulfilling moment of his life.

      • Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

        You’re welcome, Cubs fans.

        • Dale’s Ear


  • mudge

    yeah go for it.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I like to watch DeJesus play. I mean are we allowed to enjoy some games at all, or is all just about 2015 and beyond. If they use a platoon system correctly, the Cubs outfield ain’t all that bad.

    • pete

      As a fellow hostage in St. Louis, my baseline hope for 2013 has become that the Cubs are still ostensibly in the race on June 17 for their first St. Louis trip, so as to minimize the crap I have to hear whenever I leave my office from the Peacock family, uh, Cardinal fans.

  • Cubbie Blues

    If only we still had Campana. He would have been all-world in CF. Except when trying to read a fly-ball or being able to get the ball all the way to the cut-off man.

    • hansman1982

      Or hitting for an XBH.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Eh, he would bunt a double (well it would be a full cut, but the result is a bunt).

    • Chet Masterson

      I look at Campana’s spring line for fun sometimes. He’s 4-20 with 1BB and 5K. He has 2 XBH… both against the Cubs in one game.

  • BD

    I’d rather have Figgins than Betancourt.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I’d rather have gaunaria.

      • Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

        Im offended.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Well, that wasn’t difficult at all.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Is that a new type of strain, yikes?

  • #1lahairfan

    What would we get back for DeJesus?

    • Bilbo161

      I’m hoping we could weasle their competitive advantage pick away from them. It’d be nice to have an extra pick before the second round.

  • wax_eagle

    Capps seems like exactly the kind of player that would be worth signing. If he’d take 2 years and two million and his medicals check out he could be a nice trade piece at the deadline next year.

  • The Dude Abides

    Bring on Brett Jackson in CF give him a season and either we have something or we move on. Obviously we’re not going anywhere. My guess is his numbers wouldn’t be far from Dejesus offensively and far superior defensively.

    Young would be a nice complement to our ever growing impressive DL for 2013.

  • North Side Irish

    jon greenberg ‏@espnchijon 4m
    Sox home opener sold out, just SRO. Cubs home opener is open for business.

    Wow. Just wow…

    • BT

      The Sox came in second last year, the Cubs lost 101 games. In a rational world this is entirely expected.

    • Jim L.

      That will be the only Sox sell-out until the Cubs show up at The Cell.

      • BT

        They sold out a total of 3 games last year, while coming in second. Opening day, and 2 Tigers games. So selling out opening day is no indicator of booming business at the Cell.

        • Smitty

          They often sell out opening day. Rarely does it happen the rest of teh year.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          There will be 10,000 Tiger fans there.

          • fromthemitten

            There are many Tigers fans in where I live (directly between Chicago and Detroit) who would much rather go see them in Chicago even though the Cell is in a shit neighborhood

    • Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

      BCB has a good article today showing the Cubs’ troubles selling Opening Day tickets.

      It’s more an embarrassment than a real problem, but it would be the first time the team has failed to sell out Opening Day since 1997.

      You’re doing a helluva job, Rickettsy!

      • The Dude Abides

        Are the roof tops sold out?

      • BT

        I’m sure the fact that it’s 32 degrees out has no bearing on the lack of enthusiasm, and/or is Ricketts/Theo’s/Jed’s fault as well.

        • brickhouse

          The cold weather had no bearing on the enthusiasm in the past. How about a team coming off 101 losses and did little to improve as the reason.

        • Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

          Are you under the impression that this is the first col Opening Day in the last 16 years? That’s an odd belief.

    • hansman1982

      Meh, it will, undoubtedly, still be listed as a “sellout”.

      • brickhouse

        plenty of tickets left

        • hansman1982

          How many?

          • brickhouse

            call the ticket office and you can get seats almost anywhere you want

  • Cheryl

    Maybe the Yanks would be interested in DeJesus. They’d be better off with him than Wells/ At least they would be if Soriano is out of the picture. But the Wells deal is probably done.

  • Curt

    Id love to know if soriano said no or the cubs demands were to high bc Vernon wells is one expensive turd, but why not keep soriano, only wai I’d trade him is if you get just the right offer.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The problem is/was that the Yanks have 2 types of prospects: really good ones (about 5 of them) and really meh ones (lots and lots of those). The Yanks probably felt that one of the good prospects was too much for an aged outfielder (be it Sori, Wells or whomever) who really is just a stand-in until Granderson returns. The Cubs probably felt that “meh” was too little for Sori and they are not interested in salary-relief for the sake of salary-relief.

      As there was nothing in between, that meant that the Yanks needed to find a guy like Wells, who could be had for nothing prospect-wise if they absorbed his contract. (And it does not surprise me in the slightest if they are exploiting a loophole in the rules: chances are good that more than one person sympathetic towards teams like the Yankees had a hand in writing some of these rules! The owners are far from a united front, after all….)

      • brickhouse

        nothing wrong in getting salary relief for Soriano and moving forward with your build from within plan – no team has been willing to give a decent prospect for an aging player with a bad knee due to regress

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Salary relief is not “bad” and it is certainly safe: but history goes to those who take chances. It’s worth the gamble to pay Sori’s salary and hope to get a decent prospect in return.

      • Tab

        Hey, pretty good, a post without a long list of new age statistics or a crypto plug for your fantasy baseball league! Keep up the good work!

        • TWC

          Doc includes crypto plugs for his fantasy baseball league? Link, please.

          The whining about his use of stats you’re unwilling or unable to understand will just be ignored.

  • Vince

    Too bad we gave Colvin away for nothing.

    • MightyBear

      Nothing? We have our fine third basemen to show for that trade. Mr. Know It All will be excited when he comes back (If he comes back).

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Yankees would not be interested in a player like Colvin: if they are going to get somebody as more than a stand-in, then they’ll want a guy with a batting eye who can hit at sea-level.

  • CubbieBubba

    Young looked really promising before pujols smashed his face in a few years ago. Im glad the cubs are considering him. Im still not super confident in Wood despite his strong spring, or Feldman and any more injuries to the rotation would sink the ship before the season even started.

  • davidalanu

    Didn’t see anyone mention it, but Capps has been re-signed to a minor league deal with Cleveland

  • randy

    If you had one genie wish granted to you,what would It be?
    That’s easy…. I wanna die on the day the Cubs win the World Series…. on the other hand…
    do you really wanna be a thousand years old ??

    • Cubbie Blues

      Just make sure you stipulate that you want to actually see the game. Dieing the morning of would really suck.

  • RT4

    I don’t know what to fear anymore. Figgins or Betancourt.

  • Mike Taylor

    *******UPDATE: Brewers sign Betancourt**********

    • Brett

      And there was much rejoicing.

  • Saving grace

    The 2014 draft has a big time pitching prospect.
    Could be the next Strasberg type,really being hyped, and looks to be a sure fire first selection right now.
    If the Cubs are going to be bad,i’m fine with them fighting Houston for the stud pitcher next year in the draft.
    Trade em’ all if they can,as soon as they can.

    Side note :I sure do wish the Cubs had also got Pulig in the international field last year.All it cost was money
    He is destroying spring training pitching and did the same at two levels in the minors last year.He looks special so far
    He’s so good this spring the Dodgers are considering keeping him to platoon.
    I think he might end up better than Soler
    Could of been Pulig,Almora,Soler for 10-15 years

    • King Jeff

      Are you talking about Carlos Rondon? He’s good, but I don’t think he’s Strasburg good. There are some scouts that think Tyler Beede from Vanderbilt could pass him up for number 1 by 2014.

      • Saving grace

        Yes Carlos Rodon
        He just threw a no hitter
        Was an all american as a freshman and golden spikes winner and freshman of the year
        He’s hit 99 on the gun and is a big lefty
        I think 6 3 and 230 now,he’s bulked up alot
        I have every report i’ve read says he’s a sure fire #1,ace

        This site is great for hearing about draft info

        This year i’m liking Gray a lot and think he may shoot up the rankings by draft time.

        I also have been hearing Manea is down in velocity and not showing the stuff he had that was nasty on the cape over the summer

  • Kygavin

    Trade DeJesus to the Royals and get Julio Borbon from the Rangers. According to the Rangers are shopping him to “a few teams”. Cubs should without a doubt be one of these teams since he should be cheap (Borbon is out of options and Texas doesnt have room on the MLB roster). He is fast, hasnt really gotten a chance, and is only 27. Sounds like a decent guy to go after

  • Voice of Reason

    You cannot say anything about Dejesus other than he is average.
    Let the Royals have him and let’s bring up some minor leaguers that won’t be average. In fact, throw in that bum Schierholtz, too. Schierholtz is BELOW average.