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stoveThe midseason trade rumors seem to start earlier and earlier each year, but we’re still not quite there yet. I’d like to at least get to May …

  • I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Julio Borbon, the outfielder recently designated for assignment by the Rangers and subsequently waived. I’m going to assume the questions are coming out in force because of the inordinate amount of attention Borbon has received over at MLBTradeRumors. Borbon was once an interesting young outfielder, but he is presently a 27-year-old who has never shown anything in the bigs and hasn’t had a quality minor league season since 2008. I know there’s talent there, but I don’t really understand all of the hoopla. I also don’t really see a fit with the Cubs, given the current big league outfield, and the presence of Ryan Sweeney at AAA. Maybe if the Cubs commensurately dealt Alfonso Soriano (and David DeJesus?). Speaking of which …
  • Remember how Alfonso Soriano said this Spring that he would gladly consider approving a trade to a contender … but only after he gave the Cubs a chance to be good out of the gate? So, after a 4-9 start where the Cubs look anything but competitive, is Soriano ready to consider those trades? Not just yet, he told Paul Sullivan. There is still time to turn it around, Soriano thinks/hopes. For his part, Soriano is out to a slow start, but he was brutal last April, and we saw how that turned out.
  • I wrote earlier this week about Matt Garza’s time line and the qualifying offer issue, but he tells Patrick Mooney that he’s still not worried about his contract situation. Garza says that he and the Cubs are on the same page: he’s got to get out there and pitch healthily, and then all of the other stuff – trade, extension, whatever – can be discussed.
  • Tim Dierkes did the chat thing at MLBTR, and, in addition to saying he’s certain David Price will be dealt (and will cost a king’s ransom), he touched on a couple topics relevant to the Cubs.
  • From Tim: If the Pirates are still in the race by midseason, they could look to make a lesser-tier trade addition, and Tim mentions David DeJesus, specifically. The point here is less that the Pirates might want DeJesus, and more that DeJesus could look like a nice acquisition piece to teams who find the asking price on whatever top outfielders are available at that point to be too high. The Cubs aren’t going to get a top 100 prospect for DeJesus, but they could get a nice return if they opt to deal him.
  • More from Tim: Tim thinks there’s only a 40% chance Chase Headley is dealt this year, which seems low to me. Yes, he likes San Diego, and yes he might give them a reasonable deal on an extension. But they aren’t immediately on the cusp of contending, and Headley could net a huge haul of prospects in this market. I think he’s dealt. Whether the Cubs would consider him actually came up on the podcast this week. The answer is yeah, they’d probably check in, but his value to other teams is going to be much higher, given that he could actually help them in a playoff race this year.
  • The Cubs have been the third-most active team on the waiver wire this year, by the way.
  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    I love the waiver wire link at the bottom there, Brett. Hopefully they stay active – or get to a point where they don’t need to be.

  • Chris H.

    Yeah I don’t think it would be worth it to get Headley,especially if we r gonna be in on Price. I have a feeling we r going to have a hole at third for a while barring a Mike Olt acquisition or the quick rise of someone like Candelario.

    • willis

      I still have hopes that Baez will be that guy, but that’s probably 2015 at the earliest before he sees steady action in Chicago. Other than that, yeah, it’s going to be a bad stat line over there for awhile.

    • Seth

      Javier Baez could always move to 3b, but who knows when he’ll be up. It’s early but he’s struggling right now.

      • Ryan

        You need to see Baez live. He is all of 5’8, and doesn’t fit the 3B mold both in stature and the way he moves while playing. He would be better at SS or 2B with his release point and arm strength. I could also see him in CF down the road if need be.

        • DarthHater

          Baseball Reference says Baez is 6-0, 195.

        • #1lahairfan

          CF? What did you just say?

        • Hansman1982

          Wait, so Baez is the same height as Altuve?

      • Jp3

        I’m thinking Baez too, even though he Ks a lot so does Mark Reynalds and I don’t think he has near the talent Baez does. In a couple years he’ll probably be better than what we have right now…

    • Dynastyin2016

      The Mike Olt that has a many HR’s as Lillibridge this year?

  • Mr. Gonzo

    I live in Texas and have been surrounded by Rangers fans’ chattering about Borbon for a year or two now. They had high hopes for the guy… I guess this is all in perspective, as they wouldn’t touch Soriano with an Astros bat.

  • terencemann

    I see Headley as kind of the Padres’ Castro: he’s the guy they want to build a round and be the veteran leader when the prospects start to surface.

    • Noah

      The problem with that comp is that Headley is about to turn 29, whereas Castro just turned 23. In other words, based upon the normal aging curve, Headley is likely starting to approach the latter portions of his peak, while Castro likely has not yet reached his.

      If I’m the Padres and can get the king’s ransom for Headley, I take it.

  • DaveY

    Third most active on the waiver wire?… picking through the scraps…

    • Dynastyin2016

      picking through scraps…like Theo’s entire Cubs run.

      • Edwin

        All 1.5 years of it.

      • Cyranojoe

        No, you’re right, ignore the waiver wire, don’t take a chance for little to zero risk. Focus exclusively on getting big-deal free agents, they’ll take us to the promised land, just like Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano did immediately after they signed their ridiculously overblown contracts.

        Oh, wait.

        So I’m not saying do one to the exclusion of the other. But you seem to be suggesting that. Which is at least as foolish as you accuse the guys with years of experience and a history of success of being. (My bad if that’s not what you meant…)

        So… yeah, I’m going with the guys with the logical plan, not the internet QQer.

    • baseballet

      Jed is like a raccoon going through other teams’ garbage.

  • Kyle

    Agree on Borbon. He looks like a replacement level guy, which would be nice in our infield or bullpen, but we are oversaturated with left-handed outfielders.

    • CubFan Paul

      ‘…but we are oversaturated with left-handed outfielders’

      That’s a first.

      • jdblades

        Why do some games like the Reds vs. Phillies game Tuesday get rained out, but continue where they left off the next day. Then other games that have completed five innings or more get rained out and become official?

        • Noah

          It depends on if they’re tied or not. If you make it through the requisite 5 innings and the game is tied, they’ll suspend it and continue from where it ended. If it makes it the requisite 5 innings (or 4.5 innings if the home team is winning) with a team winning, whomever is leading wins. If it’s less than that, the game is considered not played at all.

  • corey costello

    The bad Cubs fans don’t really know how Theo and Jed work. I believe in them, and I love that they are 3rd in line with the most waivers.

    They know what they are doing, just give them time.

    • jdblades

      Don’t waste your time on the FO haters, most of them are haters in general and love trashing guys who are doing a good job with what they were handed. Like losing 40 million payroll per year. The team payroll has only been this low 2 times in fifteen years not even including inflation. They need to blame Ricketts for that 40 million debt per year, either he is a cheapskate or is indeed paying off that debt. The last two years are almost exactly -40 million from where it has been. I know attendance has dropped, but ticket prices have been raised which should equal out.

    • Wilbur

      I’d hate to start classifying everyone that disagreed with me on any topic as “bad”. If I did there would be very few “good” people in the world.

  • Chad

    Lake could be a guy at 3rd if he can get more consistent in all aspects of the game. He reminds me a lot of Starlin with all the tools, just needs to harness his attention toward it.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Lake and Castro have little in common where important tools are concerned. Both Lake’s contact skills and batting eye are worse: Lake has K’ed nearly 24% of the tie (Castro did only 11% in miLB and 14% in MLB) and walks only 6% of the time (Castro did so about 7% of the time in miLB and 5% in MLB). That’s not something that “harnessing” can cure!

      Lake might well be a very gifted-athlete, but: a) you don’t have to be a gifted-athlete to be a good batter, and b) a lot of gifted athletes are lousy batters.

      • Chad

        Little in common? 1. No eye 2. Great arms 3. Range 4. Lack focus 5. Some power, but limited. Yes Lake strikes out more, I won’t argue that, but to say they have little in common is not right.

        • Kyle

          Lack is really bad at the one thing that makes Castro really good.

        • AB

          ROFL, how does a career 300 hitter at the MLB level lack an eye??

          Plate discipline and ability to make contact are two different skills.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Castro’s eye is not horrible: otherwise his K rate would be much higher than it is. It also is not great: otherwise his BB rate would be higher than it is. He is one of those guys with a really big red zone. He would be a better overall hitter if he could magically grow a good batting eye, however: although Castro hits near non-strikes better than most hitters, he hits strikes (and especially particular strikes) better than he hits near non-strikes.

            (Yes, I know that “non-strike” sounds weird, but “ball” and “ball” are hard to distinguish sometimes.)

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Oh, and yes, “plate discipline” (which should be replaced with batting eye or pitch recognition: it’s about instant identification not waiting) is very separate from contact. They also are major differences between Lake & Castro.

  • CHi

    Is Tyler Moore of the Washington Nationals available? He could be a nice, young piece in LF for the Cubs.

  • Mike S

    As mcuh as 3B is a gaping hole for us that has no hopes of getting better any time soon, we should not be focusing on Headley. Save all the prospects for Price! An proven ACE for our staff is biggest concern in my eyes.

    Also, I knew the second we signed Schierholtz that he would be a great, cheap, surprise for the Cubs. He’s off to a hot start, and yes there will be regression, but I dont think it will be too significant. Somebody please reassure me that we wont be shopping him at the break and, instead, will give him a modest extension if he can keep it up all year (i think he can). The man was an untapped talent for SF and CHI is where he will shine.

    • brickhouse

      Schierholtz is an average OF best suited in a platoon role. He will be shopped along with Dejesus, Feldman, etc

  • Jim

    I am not so sure on David Price … Obviously he is very good and still young, but the cost will be very high. When I look at the Cubs rotation core I see Samardjiza, Wood, Villanueva, Garza, and Jackson in that 26 – 30 window that are pretty decent pitchers. I don’t know what to expect out of Baker, but Feldman has done nothing to impress me in Spring Training or the regular season. I also see Rusin in AAA that I still think will be pretty good. Then we have the #2 pick in the draft that could net us a starting pitcher that is almost ready for the big league. Looking at the team we have now, the relief pitching has been horrible and the offense has been nonexistent too often. Maybe Baez and Soler help there eventually but I wouldn’t mind seeing a Headley or other offensive cornerstone installed.

    • Chad

      None of those guys is really an ace, and Villanueva is a fringe starter/reliever. Wood is having a great start, but can he sustain it, and Garza may not be with the cubs after July 31st and he has been pretty injury prone for the cubs.

      I prefer:

      Price, Samardzija, Jackson, Wood, Appel to be honest with you. I also think Cabrera will surpise some people, but it will take a few years. Vizcaino could be a good one as well. Love to see what he can do. But yeah the cubs need to get Price IMO. headley is good, but I’d rather have Price. Tough to find proven aces especially with the extension trend.

      Also, I think somewhere in our system is the next 3B for the cubs whether it is Baez, Villanueva, Lake, Candelario or someone we don’t know much about there is potential there.

      • Noah

        Also, the “peak” years issue is of a much greater concern with hitters than pitchers. When a pitcher’s peak occurs is significantly more random, and really just a question of when the arm gives out. You’ll see a lot more Cy Young candidates in the their mid-30s than MVP candidates. So I’m a lot more concerned about Headley’s age than Price’s (and Price is a couple years younger).

      • Jim

        Good call on Vizcaino, he is another one that you can add to the mix. The problem with Price is that he will probably cost us either Baez, Soler, or Almora and maybe even a combination of two of them. I don’t know if the system has grown that much to be losing those type of pieces.

        Headley was just an example of a player that could come in and give you offense at a position that is currently a bit barren. It could also be a Cano or outfielder, just somewhere offense needs to be found. I hope Castillo at catcher continues to do what he is doing, that would be a huge help on the offense.

        • macpete22

          I honestly wouldn’t mind giving up Baez for Price.

          • nkniacc13

            Another thing to consider is what you get back in any trade especially a Garza trade this year as far as farm depth.

        • Chad

          I would not hesitate to give up Baez or Almora in a package to get Price. Proven aces are hard to come by. Hyped up prospects are not. We have no idea if either will pan out to be worth anything, but we know Price is good. Not that he can’t fall apart but those guys are very unproven. Heck Baez is struggling at A ball right now (though he seems to be coming out of it). You can’t hoard prospects and pass up aces when they come up. More prospects flame out than turn out. Now Baez and Almora could be studs, but you never know. You know Price is good.

  • DarthHater

    Yes, if only Soriano were willing to go, I’m sure other teams would be beating the door down to get him…

  • JulioZuleta

    I know Marmol is doing better, and maybe I haven’t noticed it because I haven’t gotten to watch him live much this year, but he’s REALLY tipping his slider. Watch the wrist curl on his sliders. It’s huge, and it’s not there on his FBs.

    • JulioZuleta

      Maybe batters can’t see it, his body may be blocking it, but if you see replays, look at his wrist when his hand drops on his wind up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I saw the same thing.

      • JulioZuleta

        This is probably the second or third time that I’ve watched him pitch this year. I wonder if he just started doing that, I’m pretty surprised I haven’t noticed that before.

  • DarthHater

    WOOHOO!

  • Die hard

    The waiver wire winner is a page out of Money Ball— Theo must believe that history can repeat itself… But there is good and bad history— 1962 Mets were built that way too

  • MrWright

    Like Chad points out, when you have a chance to get an ace for unproven commodities, it’s almost a no-brainer. I would be all for that now while Almora and Baez are still in the lower levels of the minors. One example I have to mention is Felix Pie!

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