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stoveTo my mind, the real meat of rumor season kicks off after the Draft (June 6 to 8 this year), but there’s already plenty to discuss, as the Cubs struggle to translate their underlying stats (decent) to the W/L column (not decent).

  • I’ve noted for a few weeks now that the midseason trade market is shaping up to be exceptionally thin on the pitching side, which could benefit the Cubs, should they decide to sell. And, what do you know, Buster Olney dug into the prospective pitching trade market, and the Cubs show up heavy at the top. In a ranking of the top potentially available pitchers – in terms of the best options, all things considered – the Cubs claim the top two spots, with Scott Feldman and number one and Matt Garza at number two. Buster concedes that, by the time Garza shows what he’s got, it’s possible he’ll take the top spot. For now, though, given the contract and the solid performance – not just in results but also in form – of Scott Feldman to date, Buster gives him the nod. Nice to know.
  • The rest of the list is a mish-mash of castaways like Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris, and Jason Marquis. Yes, the Cubs are in a good position. That said, the market hasn’t fully developed yet, largely because we don’t really know who’s going to be buying or selling. Buster’s list is heavy – understandably – on guys on teams that are obviously going to be sellers. In a month or two, there are bound to be some surprise sellers, and thus some surprise entrants onto the market. Your hope, in that regard, is that teams don’t run away with divisions, and that as many teams tread water as possible heading into July.
  • Ken Rosenthal discussed possible Cubs trade pieces, including Feldman and Garza, as well as Alfonso Soriano. The latter Rosenthal describes as a better trade option for teams this year given that he’s got only one more season on his expensive contract left after 2013. Rosenthal questions whether Feldman’s great performance is just good luck, and wonders whether the Cubs might opt to hang onto Garza to collect draft pick compensation after the season (they would do that only if (1) they wanted to try and re-sign Garza, or (2) the trade offers were worth a fair bit less than the draft pick (which, remember, still costs you money to sign)). Not a lot of meat. So, the relevance here, I suppose, is more the simple fact that Cubs players are being highlighted as trade candidates. Positive national media attention doesn’t really make a deal happen, but it probably doesn’t hurt.
  • Last week, upon the news of David Price’s triceps injury, I wrote, among other things, this: “It could certainly impact the Rays’ asking price on him, but here’s the problem with that: if his value sinks too low because of the risk associated with the injury, the Rays may decide they have to keep him at least until the Trade Deadline next year (and eat half a season’s worth of another arbitration raise). Even if they don’t, the reason the Cubs would be getting him at a bargain [this offseason] is because of the injury risk. Given the expected financial investment (a big reason to trade for Price now is to have the first crack at extending him), is that really a bargain at all? So, in short, the Price injury makes me nervous, and I was already nervous. The upshot of a reduced trading price isn’t really all that appetizing.” Unfortunately, the local media in Tampa Bay seems to see things the same way. Marc Topkin writes that the Rays have a real problem on their hands with Price, who will now probably command less in trade AND be a harder sell in trade because the Rays have got to convince teams that he’s worth taking a big risk on in the first place. In other words, Tampa fears that other teams will view this situation exactly as I did. We’ll see how Price looks when he gets healthy. If he has a strong second half, maybe my interest returns to what it was. But this nervousness – as we saw with Matt Garza – will never fully abate.
  • Noah

    Honestly, Feldman is someone I’d be interested to see if we could extend on a team friendly deal. He’s not a top of the rotation piece, but he’s a guy I felt was underrated coming into the offseason. When someone’s result stats aren’t as good as their peripherals, you have to wonder if there’s a reason. And pitching in Arlington can be a very solid reason. He’s a solid 3/4 type, and I’d love to have him on, say, a 3 year/$30 million deal if possible.

    With that said, there’s no reason to put him on the market and see what you can get for him, but I’d be just as happy extending him. Whereas if Garza has an amazing next two months it would actually make me want to deal him more than if he was just ok.

    • ssckelley

      If the Cubs feel that strongly about Feldman then there is no reason why they can’t go back after him in the off season as he will be a free agent.

      • jay

        Actually, Feldman is exactly the guy you want to deal for a meaningful farm piece, because he’s never going to pitch better than he is right now. Garza, on the other hand, you now would like to keep because you can probably get an extension at a substantially lower price than last year. Smardj, Garza, Wood, Appelt, Jackson is going to look really good in 2015

    • Ivy Walls

      Honestly, trade is always best when value is high. Feldman’s previous best year (and only best year) was all the way back to 2009 on a contender. A thirty year old who is having a hot first half of the season making $6M is a prime player to sell.

      As always it is what you get in return. Garza is another, what to get in return. I say he is a good thing to sell—especially if Baker shows he is ready to pitch come July

  • Kevin F.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the White Sox slip into the sellers’ market. If so, it’ll also be interesting to see if Hahn, unlike his predecessor, is willing to dangle a Jake Peavy for young talent they so sorely need.

    • Dave

      I think there is a good chance of that happening . The Sox don’t look particularly good and they sorely need to stock their farm system.
      That would be bad news for the Cubs. Depending on who else becomes available Peavy could end up being the most sought after SP on the market .

  • itzscott

    In my mind the Cubs can take a great leap forward in their rebuilding process by trading as many pitching pieces that don’t figure long term as possible for prospects that are further along than maybe they felt they could get in return when they signed these guys as flippable pieces…. and that includes Travis Wood.

    • Jim

      To me, Travis Wood, has to be off the table. Why? He is only 26 years old and won’t qualify to be a free agent until 2017. That would seem to be the kind of guys the Cubs are trying to get, not trade away. Right now I feel like Wood is our Ace and maybe as untouchable as Castro and Rizzo.

      • willis

        I wouldn’t go as far as “ace” but I would say that he should be untouchable unless the offer is just ungodly. He’s proven to all of us that he can be a key cog to this rotation at this level, is young and under control.

        At some point, you have to stop playing to trade, and actually take a look at things and see that the way it is shaped, can be a big building block. Why tinker with this rotation? It’s a very good rotation, and it is hard as hell to get a rotation put together at this level as effective as this one has been. The better thing is that it’s a pretty young rotation which you can build around.

      • Smitty

        I have to agree with Jim. Players like Russel and Wood are exactly what the Cubs are trying to collect, Cheap quality players that are under contract during our timetable of competing.

        The only way you trade either of these guys in my mind is if they are performing way above what our coaches/FO think they are capable of sustaining, or the return is too good to pass up. I think the first is possible, but not so much the second.

      • aaronb

        Travis Wood has some really pedestrian Perfs thus far. He also has a GB rate of less than 40%.and a ridiculously unsustainable .193 Babip.

        He seems like a case study in a guy you take year to year through the arbitration process.

        (Also keep in mind how bad the weather has been in Wrigley thus far. A lot of this pitcher luck will likely trend downward once the weather heats up.)

        • Cubbie Blues

          His BABIP will regress toward his norm which is .262 which is still low, but has been trending downward. His GB% is within his anticipated levels. I am still on the fence whether to lock him up or to let him go another year. That being said, at the end of the year I’m sure the FO will have a good idea where Travis stands within the organization.

          • aaronb

            He’s also got a FIP of 3.81 and an xFip of 4.57.

            I think he’s a good pitcher while he is cheap. Likely going to be much less of an asset the bigger that contract gets.

            • jay

              Totally agree with all of this.

  • aaronb

    Buster Olney is higher than a van full of hippies. No way in hell is someone going to empty their system for Scott Feldman.

    For all the tongue bathing people are giving him. He’s only been decent over the last 5 starts. There is literally close to an 800 Inning track record of him being among the worst pitchers in baseball. Do we really think GM’s around baseball will just overlook that?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “No way in hell is someone going to empty their system for Scott Feldman.”

      Buster said exactly the same. That doesn’t mean Feldman isn’t the best overall option right now on the market (in part because his price WON’T be crazy high). I think you missed the broader point: the market, presently, sucks. That could change in the next two months.

      • aaronb

        I caught the point. I just don’t think anyone is going to be fooled by Scott Feldman.

        Breaking down his season, it’s basically just a good 5 start streak and an unsustainable .236 BABIP.

        • aaronb

          Also a 3.98 FIP and 4.09 xFip.

          I have a feeling most GM’s have access to Fangraphs.

    • gocatsgo2003

      “There is literally close to an 800 Inning track record of him being among the worst pitchers in baseball.”

      Pretty rough sell on a guy with a 94 ERA+ over the duration of his Texas career.

  • Spoda17

    If we are going to contend next year, which has been the plan, then we need pitching. This rotation is pretty good, and I actually think we need to strongly consider keeping them together.

    • Grant

      I’m thinking much the same.

    • THEOlogical

      I would love to agree with you, because then that means we are in a position to compete next yr. We do not have a 3b nor do we have a leadoff (with DDJ most likely being traded). Not sure where Baker will play or if we re-sign Garza, Arrodys may work out as a SP, plus you have a possible #5 guy in the minors right now. I’m just saying, I think we can spare one or two of the rotation in order to get back key components to help better our team next yr. Of course you need 8-9 starters for a season, but shouldn’t we give the injured a chance to compete? They’re almost like midseason pickups and could make our rotation (or bullpen) that much stronger. I do agree, however, that if the players whom we get back in return are not close to MLB ready or are positions we needed filled, then I say keep those trade candidates.

  • ssckelley

    I would sell high on Feldman.

  • Dynastyin2017

    Don’t want to change the subject to the draft, but does anyone think Garza’s Cubs fate may be tied to the 1st round draft pick? If they Take Bryant instead of one of the pitchers, do they try harder on Garza?

    • ssckelley

      I don’t think it makes a bit of difference, the Cubs should be approaching the #2 overall pick as taking the best player available regardless what is needed at the mlb level. I think Garza’s fate will be sealed by how well he pitches from now until the trade deadline.

  • Kevin

    Note to front office : Don’t get involved with any more players represented by Boras.

    • Kyle

      Why not? There’s a lot of really good players represented by him.

      Not to mention, last year’s first-round pick was a Boras guy.

      • ssckelley

        Plus I think 2 of the 3 players the Cubs are considering for the #2 overall pick is represented by Boras.

        The Cubs will take themselves out of the running for a lot of good baseball players if they avoid all players represented by Boras.

    • SenorGato

      I would hate the Cubs FO with an undying passion if they cut off Boras simply because they’re too scared to play and pay.

  • Kyle

    The road to hell is paved with contract extensions for 30 year old pitchers. If the Cubs don’t crawl back into things, then both Garza and Feldman need to go, imo.

    That does leave the pitching situation awfully thin in 2014, but you’ll just have to risk it.

    • hansman1982

      Ok, I am not convinced this the Real DB Kyle.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I know right? It must be the avatar. It forces him to actually use it. :P

        In all seriousness, I think he turned it around quite a bit once he was convinced how much money the FO has to work with.

        • Kyle

          That changed a lot. It turned out Ricketts was lying all along and the decision to lower payroll wasn’t some sort of gambit by Epstein but simply the result of decisions made before he ever took the job.

          It looks like it’s going to be five years before we have the kind of FU money it takes to run a big-market team, and I can drum up quite a bit of rage over the people who have caused that to be the case, but in the meantime Epstein will have to act within that restraint.

          It also helps that the front office has done a much, much better job finding MLB talent this season up and down the roster. They don’t get a free pass for 2012, but 1-for-2 is a lot better than 0-for-1. Don’t forget, I was one of the most optimistic about this team going into the season and generally praised the offseason they put together.

          I can’t help but wonder about how Epstein and Hoyer feel about how the evidence says they put together a .500 team, but even they cannot seem to escape the iron rule of “Because Cubs” and they have one of the worst negative variances in the league.

          Plus, it looks like 2011 was really free agency’s last hurrah for awhile. With $135 million and the pre-2012 FA class, I think you could have made a real effort at patching things up while we wait for the results of the improved scouting and development. With $110m in the pre-2014 draft class? That gets a lot ickier.

          Now the flip side of all this is that while I think they’ve more or less accomplished step 1 (stabilizing the team, letting the big contracts unravel, getting the S&D infrastructure in place), step 2 is going to be much harder. That’s the step where you move beyond a .500ish team and start to win divisions consistently. With the wild card split in half, this is even more important than it was in Esptein’s days in Boston.

          We’re going to be stuck between those steps for at least a while. You can get lucky and make a run in that state, but taking the next step forward is going to be pretty difficult. Despite all the juice the farm system is getting (and the constant calls for rapid promotions), I don’t see much talent making a full-time impact before 2015, and it’ll be even later than that before we have enough pitching coming through the system to reliably feed the MLB team.

          • Timmy

            Yes, and yes. Half of you guys here can’t think past being pitiful yes men, perhaps training from your jobs, but (besides Brett) Kyle makes the most sense most of the time.

            Why in the world aren’t we more annoyed that ownership is deliberately making the team fail by lowering payroll for personal windfall? What happened to Chicago?

            • bbmoney

              wow….great comment……

            • hansman1982

              Really? Really…

          • hansman1982

            Geez, we disagree but this time you are defending Theo and I’m not?

            I think Theo has as an equal part to blame in the payroll decrease as Ricketts. If it was a the depth of the crap-hole that the new CBA is for amateur spending, the failure to land Darvish/Cespedes or his true ambition to go for broke on a rebuild strategy, or something else, but payroll only took a severe drop when he came aboard.

            With that said, I REALLY wish now that we had re-signed Ramirez.

            • aaronb

              Saying this goes against anything said by either Ricketts or Epstein. You are basically apologizing for Ricketts when he has ADMITTED payroll is his call.

              • hansman1982

                Then why didn’t he dramatically cut player spending before Theo?

            • jdblades

              He tried for Darvish and was outbid, blame that on Ricketts’ tight ass. He went for Soler instead of Cespedes, since it would be a few years until they were competitive.Soler is younger so it made more since. Also, people get mad when free agents don’t sign with their team. The players have a choice where they go and throwing money at them doesn’t work all the time. We were lucky to get Soler, thirty teams bidding we won. In my opinion one out of three(darvish,cespedes, soler)isn’t to shabby.

              • Die hard

                Are u suggesting Mark Cuban would have signed all 3 as he has unlimited funds and no daddy pulling financial and other strings?

              • Timmy

                My thinking on this has come around due to Brett’s posts. I blame the owners instead of Theo, who I initially blamed. The can only spend as much as he’s greenlit for, and he was thinking in the longterm with his younger signings. I support this.

                Willing to change my minds about the owners if they win us a championship too, but for now I see them as just another conglomerate ruining something good for short term short sided and greedy goals.

                • Die hard

                  So appears you agree other owners would do better — agree and for that blame Bud who pushed for Ricketts cause he knew would be hard to compete against Brewers given financial issues — in effect Bud got the best owner for the Brewers not the Cubs

                  • Timmy

                    Interesting theory, at this point I’d believe anything in terms of motive. But in the end I’m guessing it’s simpler – the guy just doesn’t understand sportsmanship, just financial accumulation. Business is sociopathic like that these days. That’s why we’re getting rid of public services, the notion that sports teams are public trusts, and the like. I just plain don’t think the Ricketts’ care about the fans, they care about the bottom line only. They’re not alone among ultra-modern capitalists.

                    • hansman1982

                      “I just plain don’t think the Ricketts’ care about the fans, they care about the bottom line only.”

                      Do you have one iota of proof of this? Even a line of evidence that could point to this conjecture?

                      Or do you just hate rich people due to jealousy?

                    • Timmy

                      Here comes the robber baron fan club again.

                    • hansman1982

                      Here’s my self-portrait:

                      [img]http://www.redstonereview.com/wp-content/uploads//2011/12/1112p5monopoly-man-295×300.jpg[/img]

                      God forbid I ask for some proof of your claims. What in the hell was I thinking.

                    • matt3

                      These comments are drifting away from baseball

                    • matt3

                      Capitalism can’t harm you, because the capitalist can’t force you to purchase his product. Fascism, which is the merger of government and private industry, can harm you because government can force you to purchase a product at gunpoint…Like maybe build a stadium for someone else with your tax dollars…

                    • DarthHater

                      Yes, publicly financed stadiums are the same as fascism. Good grief.

              • hansman1982

                “He tried for Darvish and was outbid, blame that on Ricketts’ tight ass.”

                Jesus, this debate again? I could see this argument if the Cubs bid didn’t come in 2nd grouped with most other teams.

                “He went for Soler instead of Cespedes, since it would be a few years until they were competitive.Soler is younger so it made more since.”

                He went pretty hard after Cespedes as well, but wouldn’t cave to the 4-year Free Agency clause he ultimately got. And Cespedes has a .728 OPS right now, not a huge miss for this season.

                “for now I see them as just another conglomerate ruining something good for short term short sided and greedy goals.”

                If this is the case, then they are the worst ownership group in the history of ownership groups. Cutting payroll and spending gobs of money on the minor leagues is a pretty bad way to turn a quick profit.

                Ricketts is in this thing for the long haul, Steinbrenner style.

                • Hawkeye

                  I think a better question would be do you have one “iota” of proof that Rickets cares about the Cubs or Even baseball. The only thing that has been shown thus far is Rickets has added to his net worth but I have seen nothing that shows he cares about the Cubs winning. Now maybe that will change, but wouldn’t it be very easy to say after this year ( in which we could easily have 95 losses.) “we’re still too far away to add any significant free agent pieces”. Also that whole hate rich people statement is a very weak argument. I’m guessing the criticism stems from a lack of acquisitions not jealousy.

                  • JoeyCollins

                    Bringing in one of the best front offices in baseball doesn’t show a desire to win? I still don’t understand the arguments about Ricketts not caring about the team. The money spent on FO, minor leagues, advanced scoutig, and a long list of non-payroll related parts of the organization show he cares about winning. The last ownership group did not care about winning long term. All they wanted was to inflate the value of the team for a higher sale price. They did this by doing the exact opposite of what the current ownership is doing, and now the fans are crying foul.

                  • hansman1982

                    What Joey Collins said plus the money spent in the Dominican, Arizona, on Scouting and Development overall, fielding a team that is halfway decent and not just filled with crappy scrubs, authorizing a strategy that takes years to complete.

                    If he were criticizing the construction of the team he would have, ya know, actually attacked the construction of the team and not spewed buzz words he heard at the hipster store.

                  • DarthHater

                    I think a better question would be:
                    [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/8763152824_bb5d86171d_o.jpg[/img]

              • Kevin B

                What are you talking about that Theo/Jed went for Soler instead of Cespedes? That was not mutually exclusive. Cubs went for both of them. They had a great offer for Cespedes and the A’s had to overbid and allow him to be a free agent after 4 years to get him from the Cubs. Had they signed him they still were going for Soler. And allegedly they finished #2 for Darvish so how does anyone Blames Ricketts for that? They are sealed bids, he bid more then every team in baseball (who was interested) but one.

    • Rich H

      I happen to agree with Kyle on this one. Pitchers 30 or older now with an injury history (Garza) or a history of bad results (Feldman) you trade while the iron is hot. The chances of a 30 year old pitcher being good enough to fulfill his contract at plus value is not very good.

      What is really a flip though is if you can not get the value for Garza of a compensation pick then you have to try and extend him or lable him at the end of the year. Because year at 11 million for a truly healthy Garza while he builds more value is probably considered a steal in this day of baseball contracts.

  • MissC

    This is why women need to be careful about watching baseball. Some of us get too attached to players. I know this is business and that players will come and go… but I’ve become far too attached to Feldman. Watching him throw this season has been way too much fun. I know he’s worth a lot but I’d hate to see him go.

    I’m also in denial about the likelihood of Alfonso being traded. Sometimes I feel like the only Soriano fan left in this town. He loves being a cub so much and he’s had a great season. His knee is obviously better; look at the way he’s stealing bases!

    • chrisfchi

      with soriano, always been a fan of the man, just not the contract. guys a nice positive presence in the dugout

      • jay

        What great season are you looking at?? Soriano is the biggest piece of mud still slowing us down.

        • Stinky Pete

          He is leading the team with 5 SBs, I believe.

        • MissC

          Perhaps great is too strong of a word. But he’s already got 5 stolen bases this season when last season he had a total of six. That’s quite an improvement. He’s also got 15 RBIs. While that might not be excellent, I certainly wouldn’t call it “mud dragging us down.” He’s a reliable bat, a competent fielder, and he brings a positive attitude to the club.

          But like I said, most women watch baseball differently– I’m a big Alfonso fan and I will be, even when he isn’t playing very well. I fully acknowledge my bias.

    • Carew

      I personally love having Soriano as a Cub. When he got his contract, he was a 40/40 guy. Sometimes it just doesnt work out the way we’d all like, but he has still been a very productive player

  • TT

    “Rosenthal questions whether Feldman’s great performance is just good luck, and wonders whether the Cubs might opt to hang onto Garza to collect draft pick compensation after the season (they would do that only if (1) they wanted to try and re-sign Garza, or (2) the trade offers were worth a fair bit less than the draft pick (which, remember, still costs you money to sign)).”

    That draft pick also comes with it an extra allotment, so unless the plan is to use it on someone who wants way over slot, the money paid that draftee isn’t of much consequence.

    A far more important consideration is whether the Cubs will be comfortable committing ~13 million to Garza early in the offseason if he were to accept that qualifying offer. With all the financial upheaval it could take a potentially big chunk out of money to spend on upgrades elsewhere

    • Cubbie Blues

      We will also have other sources of revenue in place at that time with added signage and the new video board (if not constructed yet, they could still count on that revenue for the future).

    • ssckelley

      The Cubs do need to get more that what a compensation pick is worth out of Garza if they are to trade him, and if he comes back pitching well then those offers will be there. I would not worry about the risk of Garza accepting a 1 year deal because you repeat the same process over in 2014.

    • TT

      It’s certainly possible that the available money will be greater that they don’t have to worry about getting “stuck” with Garza at ~$13 million. It’s also possible that they won’t. Garza is a talented pitcher, but tomorrow marks his first start in 10 months, so even with a strong finish to the season I don’t know if I would be comfortable with committing a huge amount of available payroll for next season to him right at the outset of the offseason. The risk is not having Garza on the team, it’s that you can only add a couple marginal players around him because the payroll flexibility isn’t there to do much else.

      • aaronb

        I’m really on the fence with Garza personally. If he looks good between now and July, and doesn’t command much on the market. I’d be in on a 1 year tender type of contract.

        On the other hand any multi-year deal with him would be uber sketchy. Unless it was fitted with performance clauses and team options to help mitigate the risk.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “That draft pick also comes with it an extra allotment, so unless the plan is to use it on someone who wants way over slot, the money paid that draftee isn’t of much consequence.”

      That wasn’t my point – it was much simpler. Garza for Prospect X is a better deal than Garza for Prospect X minus the $1 million it costs to sign Prospect X.

      In other words, the cost of signing the eventual draft pick is a part – however small we may regard it – of the consideration, and is never discussed by anyone in these situations. I think it should be. A prospect, unlike a draft pick, has already had his signing bonus paid for.

      • aaronb

        And also some level of track record.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That, too. I’m imagining a hypothetical world where we know the prospect and the draft pick will end up being the exact same caliber of prospect.

  • aaronb

    I’m curious why Olney doesn’t have Scott Baker at the top of this list? Since he’s slurping the Cubs in this article.

    • Carew

      Because Baker hasn’t pitched an inning since early spring training due to elbow issues…

  • Cubbie Blues

    fangraphs gave some kudos to the Cubs broadcast for showing a chart on run expectancy.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/not/spotted-run-expectancy-charts-during-cubs-broadcast/

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. Saw it, and decided not to post it since they’ve been doing that since the first week, and it was kind of discussed then. I guess the NotGraphs guys haven’t been watching too many Cubs games …

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Theo needs to make another deal with his beloved RedSox. I would offer Garza & James Russell for 3b sensation Garin Cecchini & RHP Anthony Renaudo.

  • David

    I have a feeling that the FO will listen to offers for The Shark and really get tempted to pull the trigger. Can’t blame them too much… But if we get an offer for a top 5 minor league pitcher and one or two more significant players….. Aghhh!

    • SenorGato

      I have a similar feeling. Samardzija is good but until he lasts a whole season bringing the awesome then there’s no reason to lump him in with Rizzo or Castro. SPs are too volatile and they bring back too large a haul to completely dismiss moving Samardzija.

      BTW: Can you imagine that just 18 months ago this guy’s bandwagon within the Cubs fanbase was basically? Goes to show how quickly things can change.

      • SenorGato

        *basically empty

  • matt

    We complain that “we don’t have ANY pitching ready in the minors”, and then we can’t wait for them to deal two of their starters that are pitching pretty good. Why do we want to get rid of them, when we can use them the next couple of years, and invest in some offense, and not totally suck? Starting pitching hasn’t been the problem, the return on these guys wouldn’t be ready for a couple of years….This isn’t the stock market. If the Cubs continue to suck, attendance will fall off. I’m fine with two years of a terrible team, but the team better make some serious strides in the 2nd half, and next year, or nobody is going to buy this rebuild process.

    • ssckelley

      While I agree at some point you have to stop trading away assets and eventually turn into buyers but this is not the season for it. About the only 2 pieces I would not trade unless I was overwhelmed with an offer would be Samardzija and Wood. Those are 2 pitchers that are young and you still have a 2 years of control (Wood has 3). But in a case like Feldman who is only signed to a 1 year contract or Garza who is a FA after this season they allow you to trade for pieces that can help you win in the future.

      Starting pitching is the Cubs biggest asset and there are always contenders at the trade deadline looking to acquire pitching, the Cubs are not going to win this season so you might as well take advantage and get good prospects in return. Keep in mind the Cubs still have Villanueva and Baker will hopefully come back at some point. This will not be like last year where the cupboard was almost bare after they traded Maholm and Dempster.

      • SenorGato

        Wood strikes me as a “sell high” guy.

        • ssckelley

          But I don’t think the FO does.

      • cubbyblue

        totally agree w/ you. I would like to see a DeJesus trade. I think he certainly will draw interest. Not sold on Barney whatsoever. I know sometimes you can get away with a weak bat to have a skilled player but they have too many weak bats. I just done want to see trades for A players. They need players ready to take the next step to the big club. 3B, outfield

        • ssckelley

          DeJesus is another the Cubs should sell high and I still think the Royals would be high on a player like DeJesus. They are 4 games out of the AL Central and he has a salary that they can afford. Kansas City has pitching prospects and a competitive balance first round pick I would love to see the Cubs get.

          With all the middle infield prospects the Cubs have coming up I cannot imagine Barney being with the Cubs after this season. But he needs to get his batting average up a little.

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            Wow… What do you expect to get in return for dejesus?

            There is no way they are giving up a number one and a pitching prospect. Dejesus is a fourth or fifth outfielder on a good team. There are triple a outfielders that are available for a bag of balls who could put up numbers similar to dejesus.

            • hansman1982

              “There are triple a outfielders that are available for a bag of balls who could put up numbers similar to dejesus.”

              So there are a ton of AAA OF that can put up an .872 OPS and 1.7 WAR 50 days into the season?

              • http://Isa Voice of reason

                Again, what does that give you? You certainly won’t get a number one pick for him or a top of the line pitching prospect.

                He’s a fourth or fifth outfielder on a good team.

                And, teams would rather roll the dice on a triple a outfielder than give up a number one or a top of the line pitching prospect for the reason I mentioned…. Dejesus ain’t that good!!

                • DarthHater

                  “what does that give you?”

                  What it gives him is a clear demonstration that your assertion that “there are triple a outfielders that are available for a bag of balls who could put up numbers similar to dejesus” was a crock of manure.

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  “teams would rather roll the dice on a triple a outfielder than give up a number one or a top of the line pitching prospect”

                  Did I miss it? Who said anything about a Number 1 or top of the line pitching prospect?

                  • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

                    “The Straw Man” said it!

              • aaronb

                Sample Size

            • ssckelley

              Have you noticed how good DeJesus has been this season? If there are players in AAA that can put up his kinds of numbers then how come Iowa does not have any?

              Kansas City’s pick is #34 overall, I would want it more for the draft pool money more than anything. Also I would not ask for their top pitching prospect, but KC is very deep in pitching prospects. They are in a win now mode and do not have a ton of money to spend, a player like DeJesus would be perfect for them. I would hope the Cubs could get more than a “bag of balls” for him.

              • waittilthisyear

                dejesus has proven over the past 2 years to be one of the most reliable leadoff hitters in the game. obp above .350, no prolonged slumps, good defense. enough of you have already tried to set voice of reason (ironic screenname perhaps?) straight, but ill throw my 2 cents in as well. 4th or 5th outfielder? maybe on a shitty allstar team

                • DarthHater

                  “ironic screenname perhaps?”

                  Definitely not, inasmuch as irony implies understanding.

                • http://Isa Voice of reason

                  Put down the cub Kool aid. One of the best leadoff hitters in the game??

                  The way some people on this website talk the cubs should be in first place.

                  Dejesus is one of the best lead off hitters we have one of the best third basemen in the game, schierholtz is playing all star ball, soriano is having a solid year, our rotation is one of the best in baseball.

                  Why isn’t this team in first?

                  • waittilthisyear

                    i did not say best. i said most reliable. read. understand. repy

                    • waittilthisyear

                      damn it, i spelled reply wrong.

                  • Cyranojoe

                    Note that he said “reliable”. I could split some hairs there between “reliable” and “best”. That said, I don’t imagine we’d get a top prospect *and* a pick… that’s quite a lot….

                    • http://Isa Voice of reason

                      I’m 100% with you cyranjoe!

                      There is no way any team is parting with a top prospect for dejesus.

                      Call him reliable the best whatever you want.

                      The fact is he is average, very average and nothing else.

                      Many cub fans watch this team and think all these people are worth more. If all these players were as good as some on this site think then the cubs should be in first by ten games.

                    • TWC

                      You’re not particularly good with nuance, kid, are you?

                    • hansman1982

                      “There is no way any team is parting with a top prospect for dejesus.”

                      Not sure where this is coming from, at all.

                      “The fact is he is average, very average and nothing else.”

                      For a leadoff guy? No, I’d say he is above-average. .355 career OBP leadoff guys don’t grow on trees.

                      It’s possible we could squeeze someone like KC for a top prospect, especially if we throw in a bunch of cash.

    • Kyle

      Because those two starting pitchers are not under team control beyond the end of the year.

      Signing them to contract extensions, even assuming they’d agree to such a deal, would represent a financial risk that may not be worthwhile given their age and history.

  • SenorGato

    I am hoping the Cubs are more buyers than sellers, but it is possible there is room to do both depending on what they bring in when selling.

    This farm system is so deep in quantity of prospects that it is extremely hard to imagine them sitting/resting on it until breakouts. There’s probably 60 guys who can be called a prospect *before* making the #3, 41, and 77 picks in the draft.

    • SenorGato

      Dammit…#2 pick…aka Go Appel or Go Home.

    • ssckelley

      As much as it pains me to say this I think it would hurt the Cubs more in the long run if they are not sellers this July.

    • Grant

      With regard to the quantity of prospects – we were hit pretty hard in Rule 5 this year, and the farm system will only get better (unless we start trading some of those prospects for MLB-ready talent).

      • AB

        Nobody is going to miss the guys the Cubs lost in Rule V this year.

        The only one people should care about they got back (even if he’s hurt or something).

  • Alex

    Feldmans this year Mahlom. Might not wanna see them leave but someone will offer a prospect they can’t pass up.

    • SenorGato

      Villanueva being on a cheap two year deal and capable of giving competent innings makes him a potential Maholm candidate too. Sucks that he kind of hit a slump, but teams are always looking for pen help as well. Realistically THO, it is hard to imagine the Cubs getting such a good deal like that twice.

      • Good Captain

        True but he needs to regain. His early season form IMO.

  • David

    Shark will have 4 or 5 years of great pitching by the time the cubs are ready to win a world series. What is the norm before they begin to break down – 6 yrs maybe 7 yrs??

  • Austin

    I think I’m the only one on here that thinks Wood is an awesome trade candidate, and should be the guy Theo and Hoyer are shopping at the end of July. The guy is pitching out of his mind right now, he’s under team control until 2017, and he’s only 26. That’s the type of guy a big time buyer at the deadline will empty their farm system for.

    To be honest, he’s a junkballer that doesn’t have overwhelming stuff. His absolute highest ceiling is a 3 spot in a good rotation, and if we can get 1 or 2 elite prospects for him, simply because of the timing of the trade, then you absolutely have to do it.

    • cubbyblue

      disagree… You lock up a 3 or 4 starter at a nice salary. You cannot just get rid of all your pitching.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        well, if you get 1 or 2 elite prospects, you definitely do it. But you’re not getting any elite prospects for him.
        Wood is likely most valuable to the Cubs as a member of the Cubs and not as trade bait.

    • Kyle

      Other teams can also see that he’s not pitching near as well as his ERA. You aren’t going to get an overpayment for him on that scale.

    • ssckelley

      Heck if someone is willing to empty out their farm system for Wood then I am all for trading him.

      The Cubs have a good starting rotation, with Garza back I think he slides into 3rd. Wood is a good pitcher that the Cubs can with with as a 3/4 starting pitcher. I would have to be overwhelmed with an offer to give him up, but 2 of someones elite prospects might do it for me. But I doubt you will find anyone offering up 2 elite prospects for him.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Wood is a lefty and 26. You don’t trade him away unless the offer is overwhelming. He isn’t sandy Koufax, but on a good team he is a number 4 starter and might turn into a number 3.

      • RoughRiider

        I agree. As much as I liked Marshall and was against the trade, Wood has pitched very well this year and has opened some eyes and could be a good LHP for some time. I think you alway hold on to a good LHP if you can. They are so hard to come by.

        • RoughRiider

          Good LHP STARTER that is.

    • Carew

      I think the way you described Wood is exactly why he won’t be traded.

  • mudge

    Maybe Vogelbach can pitch.

  • Die hard

    If we are .500 then should consider being buyers because Braun could be suspended and don’t see Cards staff holding up and Reds don’t have all the pieces– could be fun to see Cubs make a run

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      The cubs should consider being buyers?????????????

      Oh brother……

      • Die hard

        To sell is to admit defeat… If .500 by AllStar game would even start push to nominate Sveum mgr of year assuming team ends up near there as they were projected 90 losses

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          Well, look for your cubbies to admit defeat cause they will never, ever, ever, ever be buyers this year.

          Have you been in a bubble and not noticed what they are doing?

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            The cubs admitted defeat before the year even started.

            They passed on some decent outfielders and third basemen and signed schierholtz and stuck with what they have at 3b. When you go into a season with those bums you are anticipating a veeeeerrrrrrry bad year!!!!

            There is a plan and we have to be patient. In the end, this will be the formula for long term winning.

            • another JP

              Tell us which “decent” OF & 3B the Cubs passed on

          • Die hard

            So what you and others are saying that if .500 by AllStar game then should just walk away ? What would that do for morale into next season when supposedly some of the kids may be ready? You play to win now!!! Next year is not promised and if Sveum proved me wrong by getting this team in position to fight for playoff spot in Sept then kudos to him for playing the game the way it should be played… Lopez, Martin, Durocher, et al played for now, not tomorrow

  • another JP

    If the Cubs can net a prospect of the value of Vizcaino for Feldman this year, the Cubs have to jump all over that and probably will. Garza will have to be healthy and pitch lights out for any team to take a risk on him, but Detroit, Texas, Boston, etc. would be great candidates to take him I would think. And Wood isn’t going anywhere just yet- an athletic, 26 y/o cost-controlled lefty coming into his own is too valuable to consider trading. If he continues his success this year and becomes a 3 WAR player, he’d be worth locking up to a longer term deal. He’s already at 1.0 WAR pitching & .4 WAR at the plate.

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    I’m 100% with you cyranjoe!

    There is no way any team is parting with a top prospect for dejesus.

    Call him reliable the best whatever you want.

    The fact is he is average, very average and nothing else.

    Many cub fans watch this team and think all these people are worth more. If all these players were as good as some on this site think then the cubs should be in first by ten games.

  • jt

    Castillo, Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Valbuena, Soler, Wood, Jackson are all cost control at reasonable, if not under-value, rates through 2016. Perhaps Arodys should be added to that list? Almora could also be a factor! This years #2 draft pick could also be a factor!
    That means at worst, they need to acquire or resign 1 or 2 OF studs, I mean real good players and 2 or 3 real good pitchers over the next 2.5 years. It also means they will have the money to do so.
    This is at worst!
    This is before possible trades or resigns of Garza, Feldman, Shark, Schierholtz, DeJesus.
    Compare that list to what’cha thought ya had April of 2012.
    I’m sorry. I see this as thoughtful frugality not an exercise mindless austerity.
    I thought the rebuild would be interesting. I, for one, have not been disappointed.

  • 70’scub

    Bottom line the Cubs need a top ten pick the next two years 2014, 2015 to catch up to their division rivals. They need to continue to sign all their draft picks, buy and flip free agents and sell high on non signable assets. A possible trade or two could get the organization out of the young major league ready depth deficit problem by the end of the 2014 season.

  • mudge

    I think the Cubs will be sellers. But they have more depth to begin with than last year. If they are buyers, an experienced front line catcher is a necessity for a playoff run. Castilllo may get there, but he’s mighty green yet behind the plate.

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    Can the Cubs trade a SP and OFfor some nice minor leaguers.

    We have 3 OF and 3 Starting pitchers and a 2B we should be able to find a 3rd basement, catcher and some young pictures to replace our 7 Players.

  • jt

    IMO, The Cubs could be both buyers and sellers.
    Young cost controlled players do not have to be replaced. They don’t need a stud SS or 1B as a prospect. Castillo, at C, has the arm. 2013 Cubs pitchers are having success throwing to him. He seems to be framing and blocking much better this year. IMO, he is showing he will be able to handle the “D” and provide an adequate bat.
    They either sign or trade Shark. If they trade him then they get back a close to ready top of the rotation guy who would be younger than Samardzija. If they extend him then they have a known quality.
    Say they draft Grey and he turns out to be a solid #3 value starter. In 2016 they have #2 Shark (or trade), #3 Grey, #4 Wood, #5 Jackson. Sure, they have to creatively find and ace. But they would be looking for one guy, not a whole rotation as they did this past winter. Also, they have some legit assets with which to barter.
    The above leads to the belief that if they trade, they trade for almost ML ready guys who have already shown a lot.
    OK, The Cards farm system may continue to give them an edge. But I don’t see as bright a future for The Reds, Bucs or Brew Crew.

  • Die hard

    Bud wanted Ricketts and not Cuban only because Ricketts would be hamstrung in competing with Brewers for many years

    • Voice of Reason

      So, your theory is that Cuban would have spent more money than Ricketts and won a pennant?

      The Cubs tried that for the past how many years? Ditto the Orioles, etc.

      “Buying a pennant” rarely works. It takes just what the Cubs are doing now to build a franchise that is successful for years.

      Under your theory, Bud should have wanted Cuban to have the Cubs so he could spend like a drunken Jim Hendry and not win a World Series!

      • Feeney

        I know I for one wish Cuban was the owner so we could have signed Pujols and Hamilton to lead us to the promise land!!

        • ssckelley

          Not sure if serious, but Schierholtz and Rizzo have had better results than Pujols and Hamilton so far this season and make 30 million dollars less. I don’t think those 2 would have gotten the Cubs a better record than 18-25, 4th place in the central.

          • Feeney

            I was definitely being facetious.

            • ssckelley

              I thought so, but my comment is a good one for those clamoring for Cuban. All that money the Angels have spent has gotten them a worse record than the Cubs and they have 485 million tied up through 2016.

            • Spriggs

              I know what you’re getting at, but I don’t think that’s what Cuban’s really all about. I could be wrong, but with the Mavericks, he doesn’t just pour money down the drain in search of stars. He’s a smart guy.

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