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stoveLikely the last check-in at the rumor mill before the Draft, after which the rumor season really starts to pick up …

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer joined Buster Olney on his podcast, discussing a variety of topics, including the Cubs’ midseason plans. Hoyer said that no one wants to sell, but you have to take a dispassionate look at your situation, and sell if you’ve got movable pieces that aren’t going to help next year. His tone certainly suggested that he’s expecting the Cubs to sell, which is no surprise. The reality is that this team is not going to be competitive this year, and there no sense in keeping the team together just to win 75 games instead of 70 games.
  • Hoyer also discussed Alfonso Soriano as a trade piece briefly, noting that the Cubs haven’t had too many conversations with him this year yet about trade possibilities. Hoyer said that Soriano’s intangible value on the team – particularly to young players – has made the organization feel like there’s no rush to move him. But Soriano likely wants a ring, and at some point the two sides are going to have to come together and decide whether he can be put in a better position to do that elsewhere.
  • Jon Heyman is sticking to his story on the Orioles and Matt Garza: the Orioles need a starter, but they’re not interested in Garza.
  • Nationals reliever Henry Rodrigez has been DFA’d and will be placed on waivers, which could pique the Cubs’ interest, given their penchant for grabbing and stashing arms. The 26-year-old righty has a huge arm – his fastball is regularly in the upper 90s, and frequently tops 100 – but has been plagued by control issues in recent years. He’s walked more than 6 per 9 each of the last three seasons. If you could harness that arm, there’s a ton of raw talent. The Cubs might feel he’s worth taking a shot on, particularly if they can finagle the same kind of grab and stash that they recently worked with Alex Burnett.
  • The Brewers have now all but conceded that they will be sellers this year – GM Doug Melvin told the Journal-Sentinel is that they won’t be trading away any young pieces to try and bolster their big league club this year, and said that if they do make any trades, it will be with an eye toward a few years down the road. To the extent you’d rather not see a market full of sellers (and the Brewers could shop, for example, Yovani Gallardo, depressing the market for Cubs starting pitchers), you’re going to want to root for the Brewers to go on a sufficiently hot streak that stripping down to the bones is implausible. That said, given how good the top three in the Central look, and with a possible long suspension for Ryan Braun looming, I don’t think there’s going to be any stopping the Brewers from selling, at least a little.
  • Cuban infield prospect Aledmys Diaz – in whom the Cubs have had interest – is reportedly now playing in Mexico, hoping to sign in the offseason. He’s had some age issues (allegedly claiming he was older than he said he was so that he wouldn’t be subject to signing restrictions), which might be cleared up by next January. So, um, I guess remember this in six months. (h/t MLBTR)
  • Tobias

    Rodriquez would be the kind of power arm Hoyer has said he wants for the bullpen.

  • Jacob

    I will be shocked if the Cubs don’t pick up Rodrigez. This seems like an auto-pickup for the Cubs, nowadays.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Yes it does. Pick up other teams castoffs, then wonder why your bullpen sucks.

      • Jacob

        Eventually one of them has to be a success, right? lol

        • mudge

          um, Kevin Gregg.

          • Jacob

            Yeah, I know. But he was a FA signing, not a waiver wire guy.

            • fromthemitten

              same difference. scrap heap is the scrap heap. he has pretty good stuff

      • Kygavin

        In a lost season might as well take a shot on a power arm finding some control and being a good piece out of the bullpen

        • willis

          Exactly, and not like he’s that much worse than any arm down there now. May as well give it a run.

  • mudge

    Will Soriano hit 15 home runs this year?

  • Drew

    Control Issues . . .another Dontrelle Willis?

    • DarthHater

      Carlos Marmol career BB/9 IP: 6.1
      Henry Rodriguez career BB/9 IP: 6.1

      Next.

      • hansman1982

        It’s only because his arm is moving too fast and the batters are cowering in fear, thereby shrinking the zone.

      • Blublud

        So in other words, we should claim him then extend him for 3 yrs/20 million.

        • lukers63

          Player option for 4th year too….

  • YourResidentJag

    It will be a buyers market which won’t benefit the Cubs. The Royals offense is a disaster–plausibly sellers. The White Sox….well. The Brewers and the Jays all have comprable to better pieces than the Cubs. The team’s record is bad. But the Cubs should be playing at or close to .500. Think the Cubs will still get there or roughly say 5 games below.

  • Oswego chris

    If the guy throws upper 90s pick him up…Bobby Jenks was waived once…of course that was more for…ah…non baseball issues

    • Rcleven

      Jenks threw strikes. For a few years anyway.

      • mudge

        Well so, if you can’t teach pitch recognition, how teachable is control?

        • King Jeff

          A lot more teachable than pitch recognition. Control is usually a mechanical issue, pitch recognition is not.

  • Jono

    About garza- seems like the cubs should sign him to a 2 year extension and try trading next year mid season, that way he’s not just a 1/2 year rental and he hopefully wouldn’t be coming off two injuries. Also, why wouldn’t the orioles have interest? I didn’t follow the link to the other article, so forgive me if the answer is in there

    • Saving grace

      The orioles don’t want to give up any of their top prospects(which is smart)
      So they are looking at the next tier of pitching,of which Feldman is one of the ones they seem to have interest in.
      Remember they have two horses in the wings,Gausman and Bundy so they arn’t in desperation mode for pitching a year down the road
      Duquette is doing it the right way for the orioles.Davis was a steal
      They won’t sell the future for this year.
      Gallardo and Lee are better options besides,so the Cubs are once again getting slow burned in the lets deal Garza saga

      • When the Music’s Over

        I’m not so sure they have enough to land someone like Gallardo or even Feldman, unless its all about quantity. Not sure I’d be excited to trade either of those guys for a few flyer C level prospect(s), which is likely all they’re willing to deal.

        • Saving grace

          no, they won’t go after Gallardo,i was lamenting about the cubs trying to trade Garza and a few new better options pop up like cliff lee and gallardo.The markets getting crowded.Soon josh johnson could appear and who knows who else.
          Feldman is an option for the orioles thou.
          He’s in the tier below Garza,lee,gallardo,johnson

    • When the Music’s Over

      Because the Orioles don’t want to give up anything of value (if they even have any value outside of Gausman and Bundy) in a trade. They want players for free, which isn’t going to happen, so they pretty much have to say they’re not interested.

  • Beardface

    Sorry for the sarcasm but control issues are just what we need…. Ugh.

  • jt

    LH hitting OF’ers and starting pitchers….they have too many.
    Good BP guys and young catchers……they don’t have too many.
    A good trick would be to turn a couple of good near 30 y/o pitchers into a couple of good 23 y/o pitchers. Now, that would be a trick.

  • Beer Baron

    I’m at least encouraged that Hoyer said he hasn’t had “many” conversations with Soriano about a trade (as opposed to having had no conversations) . The fact that there has been any conversations means there have at least been inquiries happening, which is about all you can expect in early June. I still think on the right team he can be a very useful player.

  • Kyle

    That three-game losing streak sure did come at the wrong time. The Pirates collapse may have begun.

    That said, it’s appropriate to be proceeding with the plans to sell, though I maintain the absurd hope that a 15-5 or something hot streak could snap us back into things.

    I like how he talks about selling things *that aren’t going to help next year*. No need to ship out everything not tied down.

  • Timmy

    Sell, sell, sell. This team is so substandard that we should scrap everything and get anything we can. There’s a few good pieces, of course, but that’s it–just a few.

    If we can get rid of Soriano and Marmol and we don’t sign Cano in the offseason there’s truly no hope.

    • hansman1982

      Really, you want the Cubs to go out and offer an 7-10 year deal to a 31 year old 2B?

      • Saving grace

        Who could be suspended soon in the biogenics scandal

      • mjhurdle

        signing HR hitting former Yankee middle infielders has worked very well for the Cubs in the past…..right?

      • Internet Random

        Only if we can’t find a 10–12 year deal with a 35-year-old center fielder.

      • MichiganGoat

        Surely the Cubs can avoid what ever other team is starting to realize. Don’t sign 30+ year olds to long contracts. It will be interesting to see exactly what he gets after all the failures of signing players like him have shown.

        • Internet Random

          All Day IPA.

          • MichiganGoat

            Cheers that one of my staple brews

    • jay

      That’s exactly the kind of free agent signing Jed and Theo are going to avoid at all costs–Paying for past performance as opposed to future results for someone on the wrong side of 30. Can you say Soriano?

    • Timmy

      so i basically agree with you guys about cano’s age and the odds of his contract being too big. but you gotta build around SOMETHING and a guy like him has a proven track record that soriano never had. if it’s like 10 years 250m i’ll be with you for no cano. but if it’s like 5 years 125m i think we need to sign someone of that stature.

      we can’t push ourselves into kansas city territory by choice. a big market team spends on big market players. there is a limit to a statement like that though, i agree.

      • Timmy

        and for that matter, what would be wrong with a 5 year 140m contract or something? if it means not eating carrying a 40 year old to their retirement home for 25m a year. no comment on possible steroid use, i have no idea and will await the report.

        • MichiganGoat

          A 5 year deal would make sense if the Cubs were a move away from a strong playoff run. The better plan would be to keep looking and aquiring players like Rizzo (ones that are just a step away from MLB success but other teams don’t have faith in). Then when needed to cross that plateau you sign a All Star FA for a 5 year contract with a high annual value. Continue signing the 2nd tier FA like Nate S, DeJesus, Feldman – no need to sign the biggest FA just to sign them… AMIRITE LA?

        • MichiganGoat

          Also look at the recent WS teams- none of them got there through sign big time FA. They all have great home grown developed talent, 2nd tier players that have amazing years, and/or traded for player before their peak. The Yankees are the exception and you could argue Fielder, but he had Verlander & Miggy there before him.

          • Die hard

            Lots of generalization in that treatise but no footnotes

            • MichiganGoat

              Now you want FACTS, you don’t need no stinking FACTS.

              • Die hard

                Heh heh.. Where I come from what you did is called trolling to the Nth degree… tsk tsk

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Didn’t know speak easies had trolls.

                  • Die hard

                    Billy Goat Tavern for MG

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Original barfly?

                • MichiganGoat

                  Okay lets play because I’m tired of grading finals:
                  Lets call a large contract 7+ Years of 125M+

                  2012 – Giants – only Zito (and he was considered a bust until he surprised everyone last year)
                  2011 – Cardinals – Holliday (not sure if anyone would say he has lived up to his contract, he was signed to give Pujols some protection)
                  2010 – Giants – Zito (see above)
                  2009 – Yankees – basically the entire team and they only got one out of all the money spent
                  2008 – Phillies – ZERO – now that was a team of young talent all coming together at the same time

                  So that covers the previous five WS champions… isn’t research and facts FUN. See a great FA is not a way to build a WS champion and is a bad way to build a foundation for a team.

      • Jim

        You don’t go out and sign a “Cano” when you are rebuilding and trying build from within. If we get to 2015 or 2016 and the young kids are now on the team, then you can look at the free agents and try to fill the holes. Right now we are just getting stop gaps that won’t get in the way of young guys.

        • Timmy

          5-year rebuilds are the things of myth. there’s no guarantee you’ll be better in 5 years. every player could turn out to be corey patterson.

          if you have the cash you spend revenues on talent. the rest of that is just nonsense. name one other team who has refused to spend money at hand to try to win when players are available? if cano wants too much then we’ll probably see eye to eye on this. until then i say get rid of what’s not useful…again…but rebuild with some stars, not some trash. i can’t believe the garbage contracts this team has gone through the past 18 months. it’s like throwing money into the lobster.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            If he signs for what you are proposing, there are 20 teams out there willing to meet these demands. Teams like the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Yankees, and Tigers would probably pay that in a heartbeat and be more than appealing to him than the Cubs at this time? No? That is why you always see a team jump out to 7 years every year.

            • MichiganGoat

              Exactly, and he will the choose the team he has the best chance of winning another WS ring. He’ll be looking for a monster contract and if things fall to the 5yr/150M range every close to playoff team will be calling.

              • Timmy

                i think these arguments are all sound. but you don’t begin a rebuild around a team after they’ve been rebuilt. this is turning into a terrible tautology in which there’s no chance, by current standards, to ever sign another top free agent again. “maybe in 6 years when” ends up being restated over and over. you rebuild AROUND good players, you don’t wait until one materializes from the ether and then begin trying.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Yes you build around GOOD PLAYERS, players you get while young, under manageable team control, and ones where you will be paying for future performance. You don’t take a team with no foundation and add a 150/200M player in his 30s for 7-10yrs and expect that it will fix what ails the team. If you sign these monster contracts you better already be a playoff contending team and decided that you have to over pay to get that final piece and fully expect that the contract will bite you in the ass in 5 years. Agreed you can’t just spin around in a circle saying “next year” but you have to develop the foundation of the team and get a group of core all-star talent that you did have to overpay to get on the team. Even though the record may not reflect a positive direction for the rebuild, the Cubs are doing great things right now to get prepared for a sustainable future. Blowing the budget on Cano right now is just a bad idea and will set the franchise back.

                  • Timmy

                    then when, and who do we wait to sign? theo is on track for the worst overall GM record in the history of the team.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Alright now you’re just stretching- “the worst ever” this is the Cubs there have been sooooo many worse. Just because he doesn’t have us in the playoffs in two years doesn’t mean anything about his legacy. As for who will be the next big FA they will sign? I doubt its anybody we can project right now. The new CBA is really changing how teams use players. Before it was use them up through the arbitration years and then they go to FA. Now its all about signing them while they are young to control the cost of those arbitration years and extending for a few years beyond until they are into their 30s. So impact FA are less likely than they were before. We have to get players while they are young through the draft, trade, or reclamation and then hold on to the good/great ones. Big, large, and long FA are just not that successful and don’t get you to the WS. A developed team that makes smart moves get you to the WS and Theo has done that before and is working toward it again. Its just not fast enough or splashy enough for you.

                    • Die hard

                      Until he makes Cubs strong up the middle Cubs will flounder … Like human body winning teams need a strong core

                    • Timmy

                      yes, at some point something’s gotta give. i doubt he wants to be the guy who over 4 years averaged 68 wins and then got fired. cause at that point he should be fired.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                Agreed.

  • Chuck

    “Soriano likely wants a ring, and at some point the two sides are going to have to come together and decide whether he can be put in a better position to do that elsewhere.”

    Maybe San Francisco? Last year? Nope. Soriano rejected that.

    Can’t wait until he’s gone.

    • Justin

      Yeah, since when does Soriano care about a ring? That dude could have a ring right now, but couldn’t handle the weather in San Fran. His trade value is pretty much zero at this point. I am completely over him too, and could care less about his “good clubhouse presence” It’s clearly not helping with Castro and his .250 batting avg.

      • Carew

        Castro’s .250 average is all on Castro

      • caryatid62

        You have no idea why he rejected the Giants, and furthermore, as a 10 and 5 player, he has every right to reject whatever the hell he wants.

        • Justin

          Actually he made it clear last year that he didn’t like the weather in San Francisco in an interview. He basically came out and said it. I know he has the right to reject trades. Him rejecting trades is why I think he could give a shit less about winning a ring. Just saying…

      • Ben

        Soriano is using his no trade clause because he can. Blame Hendry for giving one, not Sori for using it.

        • MichiganGoat

          He has 5/10 rights the NTC no longer matters

          • Ben

            Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. Did he have them last season, or how does this work?

            • MichiganGoat

              He was signed in 2007 so 2011 was his 5th year. I’m not sure if he had 10/5 right last year or if it started this year. He did have a NTC when he was signed so I don’t know if it was that original NTC or the 10/5 right that allowed him to say no to SF last year.

              Can anyone answer if his 10/5 kicked in this year?

              • BT

                His NTC kicked in at the beginning of 2012 (last year), as that was his 6th year of playing for the Cubs, and he had more than 10 years in the majors.

                Furthermore Ben, if you really want to be clear, John McDonough is responsible for the last 2 years of Soriano’s contract, not Hendry. Hendry wanted to go 6 years, McD, Zell wanted marketable assets (that they were not going to be responsible for down the line) to sell the team, so they went over his head and tacked on 2 years to make sure he came to Chicago.

      • CubsFaninMS

        I’m unsure how the theory developed that Ole Grandpa Soriano is teaching Junior Castro the ropes. Although they are both from the Dominican Republic, we clearly have other influences, including the coaching staff, other team leaders, and obviously Castro himself. I’m eager to see Soriano be flipped for a minor league prospect or two as much as anyone, but I just don’t see how we can correlate Castro’s performance to Soriano.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          He lectured him when he first got his new contract and bought a car, he’s the player Castro looks to for advice and he’s not just helping Castro during spring training he took Baez under his wing and showed him the ropes.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      he’s more open to a trade this year if it benefits the team.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Heard that before with Dempster.

        • MichiganGoat

          Bingo… Soriano is giving the right lip service you’d expect from a veteran. He is in control right now and will choose what is best for him.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          Dempster never declined a trade.

          • MichiganGoat

            Maybe not officially but he did balk on the Brave trade and tried to leverage a trade to LA Dodgers.

            BTW – your handle remind me of X The Eliminator from Harvey Birdman
            [img]http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i85/QFishE/X_The_Eliminator.jpg[/img]

            • X the Cubs Fan

              I didn’t even think of that lol. My friends call me X, so it just fit.

              • MichiganGoat

                I really miss the Adult Swim of those days. Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, and Space Ghost Coast to Coast are some of the best cartoons ever made. Thankfully we have Archer to continue the tradition.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I guess that means I need to start watching Archer, because I loved those shows.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Absolutely in fact they had a episode that took place in an underwater research lab and of course Cpt Murphy was in charge. Its done by the same people that did Sealab and Frisky Dingo.

          • BT

            pretty meaningless technicality.

  • http://odu Greenroom

    The sell off seems inevitable at this point minus an amazing run until the all star game. But I am curious how much selling off will happen since we are supposed to be in the time frame of competing again, next year. Soriano, Marmol are no brainers. But is Feldman? Or even Garza? Seems like these guys could be valuable pieces for us next year. Just curious about people’s thoughts about guys like these two, for example. I know the more losses equal a better draft pick but when do we start building and not simply rely on out prospects. I know there is no exact science but I feel we need or Thoyer need to do something about keeping players that can help us next year vs a complete wholesale sell off. Thanks for the comments. Go Cubs-

    • CubsFaninMS

      There’s one factor to the sell off that we cannot know for certain. What is the supply and demand? How many solid starting pitchers will be available? How many DH-type hitters will be available? How many #2-leadoff-type contact hitters will be available? How many teams will want those types? That’s something that us fans won’t know for sure. That being said, here is my short list of players I expect them to shop…

      Matt Garza (duh)
      David Dejesus
      Scott Feldman
      Carlos Villaneuva
      Carlos Marmol (the buy high/sell low situation here is unfavorable though)
      Starlin Castro
      Javier Baez (moreso if we draft Kris Bryant tomorrow)

      I believe Samardzija, Castillo, and Rizzo are centerpieces. I also think they see potential in Scheirholtz but unless they get overwhelmed with an offer (not terribly likely), they’ll keep him around until other outfield talent is acquired or brought up from the minors (i.e. Almora, Soler, Andreoli).

      As is my opinion above, anything us fans say is pure speculation at this point and something in between a guess and informed prediction.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        they wouldn’t “shop” Castro or Baez, they would however listen to offers like they would with any other player. Schierholtz and Castillo are center pieces but Castro isn’t? I think you have a very very biased opinion, why would that make any sense to you?

        • CubsFaninMS

          Opinions are biased? I did not know.

          Your opinion is that they would not shop Castro or Baez. Mine is that they would.

          It makes sense to me because Baez’s plate discipline generally does not fit with the new front office’s approach to hitting. If they draft Bryant, there’s a potential +power infield bat and Baez becomes more of a trade piece. Also, he was drafted by the previous front office. They’ve generally shown partiality towards players they’ve drafted/acquired. Certainly they wouldn’t shop Castro and Baez at the same time, but Castro is also a product of the previous front office. Yes, so is Samardzija, but Samardzija has flashed true top-flight talent at the major league level.

          Why does it NOT make sense to you?

          When the sell-off does begin (which I believe at this point is inevitable pending a major turn around), we can discuss the actual trades. I’ll be happy to discuss my biased opinions (oxymoron?) with you when those trades occur. Whether my predictions (very very biased opinions) are right or wrong, I hope our front office maximizes the value of those trades.

  • Darian

    If the Brewers shop Gallardo, that will only HELP the Cubs, as it makes any of their (Cubs) starters available seem that much better – Gallardo has been gawdawful bad this year, worse than Lincecum even. He is worth nothing to anyone in contention.

  • Die hard

    Strasburg and Garza joined at hip in terms of poor mechanics and injury prone– Garza to follow Strasburg to DL soon as predicted by moi month ago … Mark this post too

    • DarthHater

      Yea, that prediction of “Sandberg will be managing the Phillies by the end of the weekend” that you made a month-and-a-half ago has been working out great, hasn’t it, Kreskin?

      • MichiganGoat

        Oh Darth
        [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/38459867.jpg[/img]

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://thegoatthatwrotedotnet.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/disgruntled_goat.jpg[/img]

          • DarthHater

            Baaaaaaah![img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vVvWqWdTGuM/Tk3UtoOVE-I/AAAAAAAAAz0/yy3cj4xnAFc/s320/Animales+en+Los+Simpsons+-+Disgruntled+Goat.jpg[/img]

      • Die hard

        Didn’t count on him turning it down

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1370486407501521321.jpg[/img]

  • http://www.bairsdenuni.wordpress.com BAIRSDEN

    Sign Cano if it’s 5 years. (maybe w/an option too)

    Leave Jeffrey Loria a message about what he thinks of Stanton and a prospect for Castro.

    Call Cashman about Soriano and a mid/lower level propsect for Joba and a catching prospect.

    Package Barney with either Garza or Feldman to sweeten a return/open a spot for a Lillibridge/Watkins/Valbuena (Lake playing at 3rd) 2nd base situation.

    DeJesus with the remaining of Garza/Feldman. Re-kick the tires on Smyly & Castellonas conversation….

    Schierholtz, Vitters, Gregg, Ransom, Navarro all feel like open season for inquiring teams given adequate returns. If Theo and Jed are looking to keep turning this roster further and further over from it’s previous handlers this is a realistic scene. Buckle up.

  • Andrew

    Can anyone provide a quick snapshot scouting report of Arismendy Alcantara? He continues to put up eye popping numbers. Does he project to an everyday major leaguer ? He’s proving this year that last year wasn’t a fluke. Could he be a sept call up?

  • Greenroom

    Draft day!

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