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javier baez daytona cubsReady or not, trade rumor season is probably here. After a nice outing from Matt Garza last night any major league team in need of pitching will be sending scouts to watch the Cubs. And the Cubs will be sending scouts all over the country to check out minor league systems. Those scouts will be spotted, rumors will start, be analyzed, discussed, doubted, believed, changed, and forgotten when the next crop emerges. And this year looks to be even wackier than other recent years.

With the Blue Jays and the Dodgers playing badly despite loaded payrolls, the Cubs could find themselves buying from or selling to either of those teams.  Or perhaps both at once.  Kansas City is in contention and are essentially all in this season after the James Shields trade. And any talk of Kansas City includes the possibility of dealing for their competitive balance draft pick (and associated pool money), something that has never before been a possibility (although one trade involving a swap of those types of picks is in the books).

In fact, those select few tradeable draft picks could get the whole trade season off sooner than usual. Normally we don’t see that market really heat up until after the June draft, but the timing may be different this year.  We could easily see an explosion of trade talk hit the rumor wires very soon.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – It was a doubleheader in Iowa on Tuesday, and the Cubs swept it. The bullpen combined for a 3 hitter in a 2-1 win in Game One. They had to withstand a 5 run rally by Las Vegas in Game Two, but that one ended in a 6-5 Cubs win.
Tennessee – Three errors on the road usually results in a loss, and although the Smokies fought through eleven innings, a 5-4 loss is what they got.
Daytona – With an emphatic five run outburst in the tenth inning the Daytona Cubs picked up the 7-2 win.
Kane County – Kane County had the day off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic homered in each game and finished with three hits on the day. Dave Sappelt also had three hits and raised his batting average about thirty points in the process.
  • [Iowa] Brooks Raley struck out four over three innings in the start in Game One. Esmailin Caridad pitched three scoreless in the middle, and Rafael Dolis struck out three in the seventh.
  • [Iowa] Game Two saw an unusual final line from Barret Loux. Loux gave up a single hit over 5.1 innings, but thanks to three walks he coughed four runs (two earned). He struck out five.
  • [Tennessee] Some key arms in the Tennessee bullpen pitched well in this extended game. Tony Zych, Zach Rosscup, and Trey McNutt each pitched a scoreless frame.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva tripled (his fifth) as part of his two hit game. Christian Villanueva kept his hot streak alive by reach twice on a double and a walk.
  • [Daytona] Frank Del Valle dropped his ERA to 1.80 with two more innings of one hit relief.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez walked. That’s number eight if you’re counting… and, let’s be honest here, we’re all counting.  He also had two hits and his fourth stolen base.
  • [Daytona] With two more hits of his own, Jorge Soler finished the day with a May OPS of .980. His SLG dropped to .603 for the month.

Other News

  • I’ve called it out before, but it bears repeating. Ben Carhart was not a guy many were watching before this season started. I even commented that his assignment to Daytona was surprisingly aggressive when rosters were announced in spring training. Despite that, Carhart has been holding his own in the Florida State League. He broke out of a nasty slump with three hits in this game. Even with that slump, though, he is still striking out at just a 12.9% rate. His walk rate is a little low (4.9%), but that is showing signs of improvement as five of his eight walks have come in May. For now his name stays in the intriguing column, but he is earning our attention for his play on the field, not just by virtue of his of unexpected promotion from Rookie Ball to High A in a single stride.
  • Jp3

    Ahhhh, trade season… Love trade season, I would much rather be on the buying list than the selling but none the less its always a fun time of year. I like that Baez has an OBP >.400 over his last 10 games. I really hope it’s sustainable. Any word on Ha’s injury? He hasn’t played in a while. Do you think with off day in Kane County yesterday that Almora may catch up with the team today?

    • BluBlud

      The best part is that he has 3 BB in his last 5 games. The guy never going to lead the league in walks, and will probably always be somewhat of a free swinger, but at least he is showing the effort.

    • B_Scwared

      I look forward to the time when trade season is no longer my favorite part of the year.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That makes two of us.

  • BluBlud

    Another day, another homerless good game for Baez. I know I keep repeating it, but the guy seems to be making all the adjustments. Jorge and Andreoli will be promoted very soon, and if Baez keeps up this progress, I would assume he will be headed to Tennessee at some point before the end of the season also. That’s a long way from my prediction that he may see the Majors in September, but at least we are seeing progress.

    • Cedlandrum

      The Andreoli love is a little weird to be honest. I doubt unless he gets his average going back in the other direction he is going to get promoted unless they are desperate for outfielders. He is slugging less then his OBP. I think he is a nice player, but the steam on him as a prospect has really picked up and it has me scratching my head.

      • Jim L.

        Tony Campana Syndrome

  • ETS

    I guess I’m less excited about a 23 year old, corner infielder/dh, who is only in A+ ball and has a .670 ops. I realize FSL is pitching dominate, but still.

    • Jp3

      What? Who is the 23 year old corner infielder?

      • Rich H

        Carhart

        • Jp3

          Yeah I found him, I overlooked him and ETS is right, hard to get excited over that guy.

    • Jp3

      Yikes, now i see, the Carhart man. Guess you have to write about something everyday Luke?😀 It’s tough coming up with something other than Baez, Soler, and Almora but c’mon ETS is right dude is 23 and isn’t exactly lighting up league.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Excited, no. Worth monitoring? I think so. In my book he’s gone from a non-factor to a potential bench/utility guy this season. He’s no where near Top 40 territory.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Organization filler…

  • Kyle

    This is definitely the best stretch Baez has put together since promotion last season. Actual peripheral improvement instead of just a hot streak based on some BABIP variance. Keep it up for three more months, Javy, and the bad start will be wiped away.

  • BluBlud

    An Update on a player that i put in my top 25 prospects in the system, even though I put him there just to get his name out, not because he is really a top 25 prospect YET.. Jeffrey Baez is crushing extended spring training. His line

    .347/.418/.612/1.030 4HR 10RBI 10R 5BB 3SB

    is very impressive( small sample size, 55PA). I wonder if this guy heads for Boise when the season starts. Luke, have you heard anything on him.

    • Jp3

      He has a lot of Ks too right? I think I read those stats too from that AZL Phil article a couple days ago.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Been talking about Jeffrey Baez since the middle of last summer. He’ll get more writing time once he gets out of extended spring training and into a league where the stats actually mean something.

    • Spriggs

      It’s funny about Je Baez. He wears that Baez name on the back of his jersey and I must have seen 20 or 30 autograph hounds ask him for his autograph this spring. A couple words from Je – and they all walk away pretty quickly.

  • EricR

    I wonder why Christian Villanueva isn’t mentioned more as the future at 3rd?

    • Kyle

      He’s not a good enough prospect to be labeled “The future” at a position. He’s consistently listed near the top of 3b prospects who have some chance of becoming MLB regulars.

      • Jp3

        I think it’s funny speaking of futures at 3B we’ve all but left Vitters for dead and not even thought about him as a possibility there and he’s only 23 years old. His MO is to hit really crappy his 1st year each time he’s gotten a promotion to a new level and then hits fairly well the following year. I guess he’s not that great of a glove over there is the reason nobody gives him a chance at being an everyday major leaguer.

        • Kyle

          I give him a chance, but it’s a thin chance. His defense really hurts him.

          • Jp3

            I agree, his defense does hurt him a lot apparently. I think he’ll hit enough over there but ultimately you’re right in that won’t be his problem.

        • Voice of Reason

          I said this last year after talking with Peoria. Vitters cannot play third base. He can hit, but where do you put him? Outfield?

          Vitters IS NOT being considered as a third baseman for the Chicago Cubs.

          Throw Vitters in the same pile as Earl Cunningham, Ty Griffin and Gary Scott.

          • Spriggs

            Scott was a better fielder :)

          • Cedlandrum

            The problem for Vitters is not his athletic ability. He is athletic enough to play there and he has good enough hands. The problem is with the routine. He for whatever reason doesn’t use the same arm slot and he tends to be too erect when making throws. When he has to dive or is in a hurry and in a more athletic stance he is a good defender. I think it is more mental then anything with him.

            • Voice of Reason

              Of course, it’s his routine! If they would just change his routine he would be great there! He would be Mike Schmidt. If you realize this then why doesn’t the Cubs organization make this simple change? We have a future super star if they just change the way he throws the ball to first!

              And, if they would just alter Schierholtz’s batting stance he would hit 60 home runs.

              And, if I would just practice a little bit more I could be a better golfer than Tiger Woods. It’s my routine!

              And, if the queen had balls she would be king!

              • TWC

                You’re really quiet comfortable in your smug tedium, aren’t you?

                • Voice of Reason

                  Dude, you can’t let someone make a statement like that.

  • Die hard

    If 10 games under .500 or 10 games out of first place at All Star game– clean house

    • Rich H

      I still think is the year the Cubs can be both buyers and sellers. Flipping guys like Feldman, Dejesus, and probably Russel and also buying from a team like Toronto or Anaheims sell off that I think is likely if they do not improve. With the right moves you could end up setting up a stacked team next year with guys that are legit and still get pieces for the future.

      • Jp3

        I wonder what an injured Reyes is going for these days? **ducks**

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I can’t see being both buyers and sellers. We are either in or out. Only exception I see to that is to unload an extra starting pitcher if we have everyone healthy and no room to let them all pitch.

          While the team might want to pick-up some future help with lots of team control years, prospects with talent are going to cost prospects with talent. Maybe we could find a trading partner and rebalance our holdings (some infield/outfield prospects for some pitching prospects), but I hope we don’t try reaching too far this year…this isn’t the year.

  • Die hard

    Hairston and Barney to Yankees for minor league pitching so can draft Bryant

    • AB

      LOL nice joke trade proposal.

      • Die hard

        As good as any others … Then bring up 2 kids to replace them

    • scorecardpaul

      Diehard please get an avatar. You would be doing all of us a favor.

      • Cubbie Blues

        And please please please make it your actual picture.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://xc6.xanga.com/cc6f67e554033262759911/z207301246.jpg[/img]

          • King Jeff

            Based on eye witness reports, it may be closer to this…
            [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_P46Z-ub6QVo/SP-xW8BSKbI/AAAAAAAAABM/9WGUt6syNiM/s320/independence+day+scientist[/img]

  • Hansman1982

    Damn, I hope I’m wrong about Baez.

    • Jp3

      Don’t jump on the wagon yet Hansman, I want to believe too. Unfortunately every time I say “I think he’s coming around” this year, he comes out and goes 1-5 with 4 K’s…. Lets not jinx him

      • Hansman1982

        Oh, I’m not on the wagon yet. I still think his odds of reaching the majors is slim.

        Look at how badly a high K rate has hurt someone like Jackson.

  • Rizzofanclub

    Whats the deal with Sweeney, is a free agent after the year? I am becoming a big fan of his and if he keeps it up I would love the cubs to be able to keep him on as our 4th outfielder next year.

  • Rcleven

    Kane County Cougars ‏@KCCougars 3m

    Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora has joined the Cougars! Fans, your first chance to see one of the… http://fb.me/2Cb0B31Kj

  • http://Noclue SenorGato

    I am liking the Baez of late like everyone else. His kind of talent should be able to adjust, especially since the guys guiding him know what they are doing.

    I am as big a Christian Villanueva fan as you can be. The glove is one of the very few tools in the minors that are universally praised with no parsed wording or caveats to meet. He’s shown better power that he gets credit for because it’s not Baez/Soler type power. Basically I could see him being the Barney of the 2016 roster, at 3B THO, if he’s still here. Still like this choice over the formerly mega overrated Olt.

  • http://Noclue SenorGato

    Trade season should be really fun this year. The team has easily movable guys on cheap deals like Feldman, Villanueva, Hairston, DeJesus, and so on PLUS a deep farm to do some light shopping too.

  • Kyle

    I’m half-hoping and half-expecting that few or none of the players who aren’t impending FAs get dealt.

    • http://Noclue SenorGato

      Yeah, the whole “they have to field a team in 2014″ thing kicks does starting kicking in quickly.

      • Spriggs

        That made absolutely no sense to me.

  • Das

    Why is i there are so many ridiculous organization ideas on this site?? saw somewhere that someone wanted to trade Barney for Cano. An MVP caliber second basemen for one who is BARELY surviving with a bat in his hands. With roughly the same defensive ability, there is NOTHING about this trade that would make sense.

    • Bilbo161

      That was all in fun. Got to understand context.

      • Das

        I get context but would it not be smarter to speak more realistically then to just dream?

        • Cedlandrum

          People were just having some fun, it wasn’t even really a dream.

    • TWC

      “… there is NOTHING about [a Cano/Barney] trade that would make sense.”

      Yeah. That was the point. It wasn’t a dream. It was a joke.

  • Bilbo161

    With Almora going to The Cougars would we expect a chain reaction of outfielder promotions? I’d like to see Rademacher and Soler challenged at the next level. Who would be bumped up from AA? I’d also like to see OF movement at the major league level to move the logjam at AAA. Bogusevic should get a shot and maybe BJax down the road.

    • Cedlandrum

      I wouldn’t expect a bunch of movement. The Cougars never really replaced Trey Martin when he was lost for the year. So Almora is really taking his spot I’m guessing. My guess if they need to move someone it will be Chen or Zapata going back to extended or getting released.

      • Cedlandrum

        Promotions probably won’t happen for another 3 weeks or so.

    • brickhouse

      You may just see a player demoted from Kane County like Martin

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