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ryan sweeney red soxA couple of tea leaves for you to read this evening.

First, from Chicago Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt:

(I’d have included Sappelt’s original tweet, but his account appears to have disappeared. Permanently? Temporarily? Just a Twitter glitch?)

So, if Sappelt’s going out, who’s going to replace him? Well, it’s a left-handed hitting outfielder from AAA. Minor league signee, Ryan Sweeney:

I’ve written a couple times (here and here) about the Sweeney signing, which I loved (as much as you can love a minor league deal, anyway), and it was only a matter of time before he made his way up to Chicago. Sweeney was crushing AAA – .351/.405/.662 – and he’s always had the look of a high quality fourth outfielder. His replacing Sappelt makes a good deal of sense, assuming he can still play passable defense in center field.

It does remove the possibility of the strict platoon in center with David DeJesus, though. DeJesus, I tend to think, was really benefiting from facing only righties. Originally, I’d thought Sweeney wouldn’t be coming up until one of DeJesus or Alfonso Soriano were traded.

It’s likely that this is just going to be a simple one-for-one swap, with Sweeney added to the 40-man roster, and Sappelt waived (to open up that 40-man spot for Sappelt). It’s possible there are related moves happening as well, so we’ll keep watching.

  • Kyle

    I really like Sappelt, but I can’t deny this move is justified. He’s better than Borbon, but they need to keep Borbon on the 25-man if they want to keep him.

    We are just overflowing with useful 4th outfielders. So we got that going for us.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Gotta start dealing some outfielders eventually. That logjam is not going to clear itself.

      • Jp3

        Seriously, need to actual deal some of these guys and not just shuffle them from AAA to the majors. That’s getting the AA logjam nowhere as well as the trickle down effect in Daytona and Kane County.

  • Kyle

    Quibble: Sappelt had options left, so he shouldn’t need to be waived. We can just send him down and that’s that.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Quibble: Cubs need to add Sweeney to the 40-man.

      • Kyle

        Ah, well, there’s a certain 3b who is completely redundant, playing terribly at Iowa when he plays, and has rather audaciously decided to take his 72 hours to report despite being already with the team.

        • @cubsfantroy

          Seriously? He is taking 72 hours to report even though he has been playing there for the last 3 weeks?

          If that is true, I think I have lost all respect I had for the man.

          • willis

            I lost respect for him a long time ago, if what Kyle says is true, then he is well worth all of our ill will. What a dick.

            • Kyle

              There was something about it in the Des Moines paper today, and he wasn’t in the lineup again today.

              Technically, we don’t know if he cleared it with the team before hand or whatever, but it’s a very odd move for a man who is trying to win his way back on the team and presumably needs at-bats to keep sharp.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/05/04/where-oh-where-is-ian-stewart/article?nclick_check=1

                He was in the clubhouse and taking batting practice Friday and was considered as possibility for the lineup today (even though the manager did not expect to see him in the ballpark).

                I don’t think we need to tar and feather the guy just yet.

                • Clay

                  Thanks for the post Luke. Thats whole 72 hour no show smelled of total BS! No baseball player trying to win a job would pull a dick move that huge. Thanks again. Seems like someone should use a little “logic” next time!

              • FarmerTanColin

                It sounds like it was something worked out with the club. Since the Manager wasn’t freaking out about it.

                • Kyle

                  Maybe, but it sure seemed to me that the manager was being nice for the media’s sake.

                  It’s very, very unusual for a player to be healthy and on the roster for a game, but just voluntarily not show up at the park, even if he technically has the right.

                  • willis

                    I think it tells you/me/us all we need to know about Ian Stewart (although many of us have already felt this way, this confirms it further).

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Maybe. Or maybe that’s confirmation bias.

                    • FarmerTanColin

                      I’ve already over posted about this but what “Willis” is saying is a gross overstatement about a person’s character based on…not liking how Stewart plays baseball?

                      You’re taking a snippet and reinforcing it to your desired end result with little factual information about what was discussed or what he is actually doing.

                      Until it comes out that he was blowing off the Iowa Cubs, please keep the character judgement at bay.

                    • DarthHater

                      I gave up on Stewart after that kitten drowning episode a few months back…

                  • FarmerTanColin

                    I bet they gave him the option to see his family for a couple days.

                  • Clay

                    2 games were snowed out during that 72 hours hiatus, and he showed up the third day and was taking BP. He didnt take 72 hours to show up after being sent down.

                • willis

                  Ha, he wasn’t freaking out because it forced his hands to actually play guys at 3B who are productive and want to be there. :)

          • Dynastyin2017

            Yeah, that would put him Milton Bradley territory as the biggest ‘tool’ ever.

          • FarmerTanColin
            • willis

              I’m not calling out his “character” as a human or anything. I just think that the Cubs have given him much opportunity to turn his career around, more than I think is/was needed. Already being with the team, and saying as much as he has about knowing he isn’t playing well and isn’t ready, it bothers me that he goes away for however long he will go away, instead of just fighting through this and continuing to get the ABs and time he needs to get back on track. The kid has talent, no doubt about it. But there’s a reason his talent has never translated into results save a season a few years ago. I don’t like him as a player, true. But when an organization is trying like hell (for some reason) to give him every opportunity possible to succeed, and he continues to slap it away, eventually when do we just say “eh, ok this was a failure and we don’t need you”? Not to mention he’s setting a crap example for the younger players.

    • Alex

      It’s the 40 man spot that needs to be opened.

  • Dustin S

    Been hoping for this move for awhile. Sappelt is ok, but keeping both Borbon and Sappelt was redundant. The key for Sweeney imo is if he can show some power. He definitely has the size, but hasn’t hit more than 13 homers at any level so far. This year at Iowa he already had 6 HR in only 84 at bats. So if he somehow can continue to show that power surge, or at least knock some RISP in, he could be a lot of help.

    • Rcleven

      Cubs have plenty of guys with home run power. I would like to see some one who can hit the ball into the gaps and run like hell.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Not to sound like a killjoy, but Brent Lillibridge and Brian Bugosevic are killing AAA, too.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s why, with Sweeney, I make sure to emphasize that he’s also already been an effective big league fourth outfielder.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    But, hopefully, this is a sign of that Royals trade I’ve been calling for… Vitters is back in action, going 2/4 and 3/5 in that double header tonight.

  • Neifi

    Mike Taylor,

    What Royals trade?

    • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

      I’ve been saying that the perfect fit for David DeJesus is in Kansas City, platooning in RF with Jeff Francoeur (who only hits lefties). We could get bullpen help and catcher depth. But, if we add Feldman or Villanueva (both who’ve pitched recently in the AL) to help their rotation, we could get more. Schierholtz may be more attractive because of his cheap contract and similar numbers.

      • Dynastyin2017

        Another Cubs’ site (a lesser Cubs site) has KC scouting Garza, and the Cubs scouting KC’s minor leagues. Speculation has KC’s #34 draft pick is also involved, which means it has to be done by June 6th. They also mentioned KC has interest in Barney.

        How about Garza, DeJesus, Barney for Zimmer, #34, and a few lesser prospects?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          I would be stunned if Zimmer were to be dealt at all.

          Then again, Arizona did give away Bauer, so stranger things have happened.

          • Dynastyin2017

            Agree, but KC is in a win now mode, and they did just trade Myers, so you never know.

        • Boogens

          “How about Garza, DeJesus, Barney for Zimmer, #34…”

          I don’t believe this trade is possible. I thought that teams are not permitted to trade draft picks.

          • npnovak

            you can trade supplemental round picks now

          • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

            Competitive balance picks are tradable. There have already been two such trades.

      • Chad

        If they trade Dejesus for bullpen help that would just be pointless. The cubs are not going to win this year anyway so why get a reliever? The cubs farm system is apparently stocked with young arms that don’t fit in the rotation but would be great in the pen. So why trade for that when you already have plenty of that in the system that will likely soon be called up? That doesn’t make sense to me. If you could get catching help or 3B help then yeah, but a reliever or relief prospect doesn’t make sense. Hopefully some of these arms that are in the system get their shot in Chicago sooner than later.

  • FarmerTanColin

    Still have six outfielders than only play the outfield and now 4 that hit left handed. Sappelt wasn’t working but now how does Sweeney fit? More days off for Sori or something gets traded maybe.

    Not many ABs for Borbon in the future.

  • Neifi

    Honestly DeJesus trade value is pretty high. The cubs could cash in on that.

  • ruby2626

    Did anyone see the inning Borbon had in Cincy’s big inning Saturday. A fly to medium right not even close to the warning track and 3 guys tag up. He completely dogged it that play, took his sweet time and was shocked when Bruce took 2nd. Couple batters later a short fly to right and his throw home bounces before Rizzo. Holy Juan Pierre, pus arm and an incredibly slow release is no way to go through life.

  • willis

    Sappelt is terrible so I like getting rid of him. Whoever his replacement is.

    Does it really matter though? This season has already been handed away and they are just playing out the draft position/trade deadline string. Still, getting rid of this dude creates a smile. Bye “sappy”.

  • Ron Carlson

    When ever they start dumping players why does any one think they will get any thing good for them? The players they got rid of last year what did they get for them that is any hope for the future. Some people here seem to think Ryan Sweeny is the answer if he is the answer I don’t want to know the question.

    • Kyle

      Nobody thinks Ryan Sweeney is “the answer” to any question besides “who is a slightly better reserve outfielder than Dave Sappelt.”

      We got Arodys Vizcaino last year the deadline. That’s plenty for one dumping.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Players picked up in trade that could be playing for the Cubs in the future:

      Arodys Vizcaino – Before his arm blew up he was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Even if he doesn’t take a starting rotation slot, he’s a pretty good bet to feature in the bullpen, possibly as a closer. And he has already reached the majors (if only briefly).

      Kyle Hendricks – Took a no hitter into the sixth this week and, in general, has just be pitching well. He looks more like a mid rotation starter than an No 2 guy, but even mid rotation starters are useful.

      Christian Villanueva – Very good third baseman with the glove, but there are legit questions about the bat. At worst his glove is likely to carry him to a defensive/utility slot in the majors one day. At one time he was a Top 100 guy.

      Barrett Loux – Could be a fourth or fifth starter this season.

      No, none of those guys will single handedly turn the franchise around and win umpteen world series by himself, but all of them are good prospects with a real and non-negligible chance to have have a notable impact in the majors late this season or next season.

      • WGNstatic

        We should also be reminded just what the Cubs gave up at the deadline last year.

        Dempster and his imminent free agency. A mid-rotation guy in Maholm, and a bunch of scrubs/fill-ins (Soto, Johnson, Baker). None of these guys helped their team advance beyond the 1-game wild card playoff. Only Maholm stayed with his new team (without being cut first, as Soto was).

        If any of the guys the Cubs picked up amount to anything, my guess is the fans of the team that gave them up will be howling.

      • terencemann

        In short, they traded 4 players who would have minimal to no impact on the 2012-2013 teams and turned them into players who could be solid contributors to the team on league minimum salaries for years to come. There may have only been one “impact” prospect returned in the group, but they converted several players they weren’t going to be building around into players they will be able to use well into the future.

    • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

      Arodys Vizcaino will be good if his arm heals.

      Christian Villanueva is a solid 3B prospect.

      Kyle Hendricks is among the top 5 starting pitching prospects the team has nearly ready.

      • Alex S

        To be fair, that third point isn’t much of a compliment.

  • http://bleachernation lou brock

    Here is the deal with KC- Royals get Garza, DeJesus, Barney & 10 million to help defray the cost for Garza & De Jesus contracts for 2013. Cubs get #34 pick in 2013 draft , #’s 2,3, & 7 rated players in Royals system Zimmer, Ventura, & Joseph.

    • npnovak

      that would be a possible deal if Garza had been pitching without injury since the start of the season. he’ll need at least a few starts before the draft to be traded for that draft pick

  • http://bleachernation lou brock

    Note : Zimmer is RHP & last years #1 pick, Ventura is RHP who projects as a closer & Joseph is a LHP who is ready to pitch in short relief now.

    • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

      I’d love your trade to happen. I doubt it’s that detailed, though Barney and DDJ for #34, with whatever else is needed to make both sides happy.

  • mudge

    Who’s the best defensive option in center, Bogusevic? Is Sweeney an upgrade?

    • http://Noclue Marc N.

      Sweeney is probably the best defensive OFer of the guys in the immediate conversation/situation.

  • Chad78

    Ian Stewart just designated to the glamour rodeo!

  • Chad78

    Maybe it was the gramour rodeo! Yeah that’s what it was.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I love some of the pipe dream trades that are proposed. Good thing some people aren’t GM’s, they would get laughed at constantly.

  • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

    Conversely, in some situations, I’m amused by people saying “No, that couldn’t happen” on a reasonable trade idea, without offering a counter.

    KC has no big league depth. David DeJesus needs to get traded, and is reasonably priced. KC has the 34th pick in the draft, which can be traded. Whether Darwin Barney, att Garza, or a top KC prospect are involved ought to be fair to conjecture about. However, DDJ plus for pick 34 plus seems reasonable, depending on what else goes either way.

  • Die hard

    Maybe Soriano waived trade team limitation and he’s going with Sweeney to take LF?

  • JulioZuleta

    I’m not math major, but I believe this gives us 4 lefty outfielders. Kinda feels like something has to give there. Maybe an early Dejesus trade?

  • JulioZuleta

    *no math major (or English major, for that matter).

  • Jp3

    Maybe the front office is just trying to take away Sveum’s straight platooning options??? Maybe Hairston is next?? Meh, not possible with the way he’s hitting.

  • Spriggs

    How are the Cubs supposed to continue mashing LHP with little Davie gone????

  • RoughRiider

    Concerning Ian Stewerts 72 Hours. This is just a guess but a possible explanation. Stewert was expected to be in Chicago this year he has been on rehab assignment for awhile and now looks as if he will spend an extended time in Iowa. His wife and 2 kids are probably in Chicago. He probably hasn’t seen them for a couple of weeks at least and with Iowa going to a the road west he wouldn’t have much chance to see them or set them up in Iowa if need be. He may not want to uproot his family if the kids are old enough to be in school. Maybe the Cubs FO understands that and allowed him some leeway to get thing situated. These guys aren’t just players.

    • Dustin S

      Good points. Those things often get overlooked. In his situation Stewart is also probably doing some soul-searching on what career direction he wants to go. Ask for a release and try a fresh start elsewhere (probably AAA)? I don’t think it’s much of a secret that his rep in the Cubs org isn’t super high. Honestly retirement is probably even a consideration at this point. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is really putting in 100% effort but his hitting and/or health just aren’t cooperating, I have to feel bad for him.

      Not saying this neccesarily applies to Stewart yet, but the end of the road for athletes is always sad. Same feeling for Wells a while back. It would be pretty awful to be going out on the field, trying your best but failing, getting bashed by fans, and suddenly have to start a 2nd career or try to find out what you’re going to do with your life. Not so much for the stars that play for a long time and rake in lots of money, but I do think about that for all the guys that never get above AAA or have relatively short stints in the majors.

  • Beardface

    Finally!

  • Mike

    The Cubs can DFA Kameron Loe and add Sweeney to the 40-man, send down Sappelt and activate Fujikawa.

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