stoveA few rumor-y bits for your pre-game consumption …

  • Gordon Wittenmyer writes about the possibility of Chase Headley down the road for the Cubs, since Headley is in town (and looking good, as usual). Headley’s a great player at a position of need, but feels like a bad fit for a variety of reasons. For one thing, if he’s traded by the Padres, it’s almost certainly going to be this Summer, and it won’t be to the Cubs. If that happens, who knows how much his new team will offer him in an extension? If he’s not traded, there’s always the possibility of the Padres digging deep to keep Headley, who has become something of the face of the franchise. He loves being in San Diego, and might accept a slight discount to stay. If he does end up testing the free agent waters after 2014, there are new tricky issues. For one thing, the Cubs might have a long-term third baseman by then – maybe Javier Baez is ready, and he or Starlin Castro is manning third. Maybe someone surprising like Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva, Josh Vitters, Luis Valbuena, or Ian Stewart (hey, I said surprising) emerges as a long-term option by then. Headley turns 31 in that 2015 season, which would be his first with the Cubs if they signed him to a long-term deal in free agency. If the Cubs are good in 2015, which they could be, and a third baseman hasn’t already emerged, then maybe he does make some sense. But it’s early, early, early.
  • Bruce Levine chatted at ESPNChicago, and among his thoughts: (1) When Kyuji Fujikawa comes back off of the disabled list, Bruce thinks there’s a chance the Cubs may try to get Michael Bowden through waivers once again (my guess is Kameron Loe, for whatever that’s worth); (2) Bruce’s guess on total players traded by the Cubs before the Trade Deadline is three to five (sounds about right to me, though I’d lean toward the three end of that spectrum, simply because it’s hard to put together that many deals); (3) Giancarlo Stanton’s desirability in trade could be taking a hit with his injury issues (it is fair to say that, when a young player has knee issues and hamstring issues in close proximity, it makes you nervous); (4) Bruce thinks June 1 is an optimistic timetable for a Matt Garza return – here’s hoping he’s back earlier than that; (5) Travis Wood has been a “special project” of Chris Bosio’s, making it less likely that the Cubs will be interested in trading him, even if his value is high; (6) David DeJesus is more valuable to the Cubs over the next two months than whatever he’d net in trade (I’m not sure exactly what Bruce means here – if he’s saying the Cubs should hold onto DeJesus at least until July, then I don’t have a huge beef with it – though I’d say, as soon as a team makes you an acceptable offer for DeJesus or Alfonso Soriano, pull the trigger); and (7) the Cubs don’t have the players to get David Price, unless they part with Javier Baez plus more (which, well, yeah – that’d be the starting point).
  • Tim Dierkes also chatted over at MLBTR, and … (1) If Tim’s guess of 10% for the Blue Jays’ playoff odds is accurate, they might become surprise sellers this Summer; (2) that could put Josh Johnson on the market, which could give the Cubs some pitching competition on the trade market; (3) the Cubs might have to include two of Soler/Baez/Almora in a deal for Price, and, if so, Tim doesn’t see the Cubs doing that for two years of Price (I agree, though I’d add a couple subpoints: the Cubs wouldn’t deal for Price at all unless they were very certain they could extend him, and it’s too early to say the Cubs couldn’t land himĀ without including two of that trio – it might only take one, and then a whole lot else); (4) like Bruce, Tim sees Stanton’s trade value as having taken a hit; and (5) Matt Garza won’t be traded before he shows at least two or three healthy, effective starts in the big leagues.
  • macpete22

    Baez, Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson and maybe one other filler for Price is as much as I would give up.

    • Featherstone

      Sadly if the Rangers offer up Profar then they immediately have a more attractive offer to the Rays. I think the Rangers land Price if they want him.

    • Cheryl

      If the cubs end up taking a third baseman in the first round of the draft (Two were mentioned as possible first round choices), instead of a pitcher, which I doubt they’ll do then Baez being traded is pretty certain.

      • Dynastyin2017

        At this point, I wouldn’t get hung up on Baez’s position. Baez is going to be a bat. If his hitting improves, they’ll find a spot for him. I’m saying he’s going to end up in the outfield. I do agree with you though, he’ll be the first of the big three to get traded.

  • jt

    I liked the way the lineup worked last night.
    Valbuena is not a 3 hole hitter and Borbon is probably not a guy many want starting but..
    I think it showed that which would be possible if Soriano were to be replaced by a patient slugger and at 3B a high OBP guy with good glove were to take over.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Valbuena moved to 2nd and batting 8th but understand those who like Barney.

    • Noah

      I’m curious if the Cubs saw something with Cashner in the tape that led them to believe they should load up the line up with left handed bats against him. Throughout his career he’s actually done abut as well against left handed hitters as right handed hitters, but this year he’s done much better against right handers (.258 wOBA) than left handers (.338 wOBA).

    • dw8

      at 3B a high OBP guy with good glove were to take over.

      Just for the record. Valbuena has a 15% above league average wRC+, 18% percent above league average OPS+ so far this year while carrying a a .214 BABIP. (I’m aware that he’s probably not a high BABIP guy)

      He’s already 1 run above average according to DRS and 2.7 runs above average according to UZR.

      2012 UZR: 13.2 Runs above average
      2012 DRS: 5 runs saved above average.

      He’s good.

      • willis

        He’s definitely been good to this point. I hope he can keep it up.

      • jt

        On another board I posted as early as last fall that 2nd half 2012 Valbuena saw a dramatic drop in SLG and a huge rise in an already high BB rate. Not sure if I was that emphatic here but I certainly brought it up a few times. They stayed with him though his bat was not good. My guess was/is that he was instructed to learn to control the k zone even if it meant losing AB’s. As soon as he went to S.Amer. for the winter, the power returned.
        Having said that, I’m not sure he can carry his PA’s in the same manner 1-5 in the order. Maybe he can and maybe he is the guy… but I think he has to prove that first.
        But what you said, I agree that is the best way to state it.

  • Noah

    Is Fujikawa due to come back before Garza? If so, I agree, Loe should be the first to go.

    Also, how close are the Cubs to being able to put Rondon on the DL dance? I’d rather find a way to stash Rondon on the DL.

    • Melrosepad

      Beyond one inning of his last game Rondon has been a good pitcher. I’d rather keep him and see how it goes than Loe

      • Noah

        I wasn’t clear on that… in the relatively near term, barring other injuries, the Cubs are going to have to send down 2 pitchers with Fujikawa and Garza returning. Loe should go first, but then I’d put Rondon on the DL next before waiving Bowden, if possible.

    • cub4life

      As far as I remember reading on this site they might come back around the same time. If im not mistaken (Brett correct me if I’m wrong) it was reported that Fujikawa started throwing the other day (but not off the mound) and once he is back to throwing off the mound (hopefully in the next week) he would be around a prob 2-3 weeks to get back us and as reported Garza will go with 3-4 more starts in the minors (2-3 weeks or so) before his return. This is of coarse with no setbacks and not team decisions to leave them for an extra week to prep. So optimistically they both will be back somewhere around they 24th-27th of this month (@ pit 21-23, @ Cin 24-26 and @ ChiSox 27-30). That is my interpretation of what is going on.

  • cub4life


    Where is a good place to go find out what the years of experience each player has and also how many options and the like that they have. Thanks in advance.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Here is the best place for contract info
      All other info the first place I look is

      • cub4life

        Awesome Thanks.

        Oh and i also found this site that has some good info

        • hansman1982

          That’s probably the best for what you are looking for. Also, gives you each players service time at the start of the year.

          • cub4life

            awesome, Thanks.

            so this is how I see it Castro, Barney, Rizzo and Sappelt have have options left that we can use (but I don’t see anyway that any of those except Sappelt possibly used). Other then that it would be who can we slip by people that have less then 5 years….Bowden? Russell? Schierholtz? Ransom? Valbuena? Borbon?…. and if you can’t slip any of them (and if i’m reading correctly) those that have more then 5 that would have to except the AAA move and slip threw..Loe? Greg?….Other then those options and of coarse the option of either cutting someone or optioning Stewart (with approval) or Fujikawa (which has options)….Tough choices for a front office that getts ripped on a regular basis.

  • willis

    Why would Bruce say Bowden over Loe as a favorite to get pushed through waivers? Loe is terrible. Bowden is somewhat effective.

  • Dying Quail

    I agree. Bowden should stay and Loe…should goe.

    • Good Captain

      Furthermore, I think it’s a reasonably good possibility Loe might make it through waivers although its far from a certain thing.

  • ncsujuri

    Looks like the Padres are indeed planning on “digging deep” to make Headley a big offer:

  • sven-erik312

    They shouldn’t be tryng to trade away this staff. With a few breaks, everyone knows that this Cubs team would have a far better record that they have now. The team gets a great draft pick this year again but as we have seen from several winning teams training programs, high draft choices don’t promise great players either, good teaching does.

  • Justin

    Ok, I have recently decided that this whole idea of not signing big time free agents until your young guys are ready to compete in the Bigs thing is not going to work for a LONG time. I was on board, but not anymore.
    Basically, a combination of factors such as the spending restrictions on the draft, compensation rules for free agents flipped mid-year, and TV contracts are not going to allow the Cubs to acquire top notch talent in deadline flips. The Vizcaino pickup was solid, but chance are he’s a good bullpen arm. The other guys we got in trades are for the most part, just dudes… The Cubs good young players are so far away it’s ridiculous. Baez, is striking out like a maniac at high A, Almora has barely played since High School, and Soler isn’t hitting like I hoped he would early. Our AAA team is a joke for the 2nd straight year. I’m really not trying to be sound negative (i realize it does), but just want to be realistic. Theo is in a tough spot, and a smart dude for sure. He has to realize this plan isn’t going to work for many many years. The thing is, I’m not exactly sure who to sign. The free agents are old/crusty/overpaid now a days. Theo is getting paid mega bucks, make it happen… Good luck with that:)

  • Spriggs

    I wonder if Brenley will still do that “HEDLEY” thing on his D’Backs broadcasts vs the Pads…

  • Jp3

    If we have Ian Stewart manning 3rd in a couple years I’ll go into cardiac arrest. Surprising, doesn’t do that situation justicešŸ’”. Javier strikes out a ton to this point but I heard Tim Kurchin(sp?) talking about how the strikeout rate for the last 8 months of baseball is more than any time in history so who knows what’s acceptable anymore for a K rate?

  • nkniacc13

    Im wondering if you may not see a trade here around the time that you have Garza and Fuj come off DL. I could also see an OF moved if the Cubs can get a decent player so they can promote Sweeney. I don’t see the Cubs doing the DL thing with Rondon unless he starts to struggle.

  • Spammer

    I’m an idiot.

    • Jp3

      GET OFF OUR LAWN!!!!!!

      • Cubbie Blues

        If you comment on them, Brett can’t delete them. He can only replace their text with something like “I spammed”.

        • Jp3

          Sh!t, I didn’t know that. Thanks, I just get so angry at them

          • Brett

            It’s ok. I understand the reaction.