matt garza chinIn case the Bullets are your first stop in the morning when you check in at BN, I should tell you that there’s a Jeff Samardzija/Diamondbacks rumor you should check out. You should also check out Luke’s Minor League Daily, which, as the name implies, is something you should be checking out every weekday as well.

  • Matt Garza was immediately pounded with trade rumor questions yesterday after his fantastic start against the Brewers – his third great start in a row (over a lesser team) – in front of a dozen scouts or more. He answered those questions as he always does, with a canned response about focusing on his next start. Kudos to Garza for keeping his head about him through the process. It can’t be easy when everyone is talking about you like a piece of meat (not in the sexual way; in the buy-and-sell way), and every question to you (and your catcher) is about being traded. None of which is to say that the questions aren’t legit, or the focus on Garza as a possible trade chip is not legit. That’s the reality of where the Cubs are right now. I’m just saying it’s gotta be hard for Garza.
  • Alfonso Soriano projects to be the Cubs’ regular designated hitter over the next week of interleague games, and he says he’s fine with it. “I like it, especially in a stadium where I can have a batting cage behind the clubhouse and the dugout, that’s good,” Soriano said, per “Between innings, I can work on my swing and be ready with my at-bats.” Unlike Wrigley Field, you’ll note, where there is nowhere for players to warm up their swing in-game (in any meaningful way, that is). I find it interesting that Soriano was given two days off in a row before heading into this DH stretch. He was slumping badly going into that Milwaukee series, and I wonder if there was some … organizational prodding to try and set him up for success during this week-long DH stretch. One week, alone, won’t change any minds as far as trades go, but if Soriano tears it up? Well, maybe it gets him going, and maybe it gets teams wondering just how good he could be if he DH’d half the time.
  • Theo Epstein explained to reporters yesterday (see that Jorge Soler’s shin injury actually first occurred back in Spring Training. It flared up a couple weeks ago, and that’s why it’s been tricky to pin down (it’s truly amazing how little information is readily available about minor league injuries – when Soler’s injury was first reported two weeks ago (not in Spring Training), it was described as a calf strain; I can understand why minor league injury information is heavily protected, though). Stress fractures, as Epstein put it, can be very difficult to see on an MRI, and the symptoms can come and go. Maybe it’s heartening that Soler was playing as well as he was with a stress fracture in his tibia. The Cubs will give him plenty of rest now to try and clear it up for good, with an eye toward Soler returning at some point in August and then playing somewhere this Fall/Winter. Epstein specifically suggested Soler could play in the prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the lost at bats. Soler was probably going to play somewhere this Fall/Winter anyway, though, having played so little over the last two years as he defected from Cuba.
  • A profile on third round pick Jacob Hannemann, the 22-year-old freshman center fielder from BYU whom the Cubs paid well over slot to sign. I always find the adjustment to using a wood bat to be fascinating. Some guys take to it right away like there’s no difference, and others take some time to get used to it.
  • Fourth round pick Tyler Skulina has officially officially signed with the Cubs, the team announced. We discussed his signing a little while ago. Like Hannemann, Skulina, a righty starter out of Kent State, received a healthily over slot bonus.
  • Stevie B

    I have a lot of faith that Jed and theo will assemble a winner for us. It might be painful, but that’s what it takes!

  • Patrick G

    I’ve always liked the Hannemann pick ever since the draft. I was expecting a pitcher, but reading up about him and his athleticism reminds me of Jacoby Ellsbury. I’m not saying thats what he’ll become, but with this front office its hard not too. Been following him ever since he’s been starting in Boise and has had some good games in just a week or two

    • On The Farm

      Really, so he reminds you of a player that experts/analysts have been comparing him to?

      • Patrick G

        Yes, he reminded me of Ellsbury the minute I read his scouting report, as soon as the Cubs drafted him, before any experts/analysts made comparisons

  • Doug S

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard any further details on the status of the Kris Bryant signing… Are there any new details that can be shared? (I will SURE feel much better once he is signed)

    • AD

      Jim Callis says that he believes the deal will get done. Though, he could be the last first round pick to sign.

  • pete

    Out of curiosity, has there been anything in the last couple of months about the Cubs even discussing the possibility an extension with Garza? I presume he will be traded but I would think that would be looked into to some extent.

  • Jay

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Cubs willingness to extend him only goes so far and Garza thinks even with his recent injury history he’s worth more years/dollars than the Cubs are going to offer him.

    • BluBlud

      Garza is as good as gone. There is no way he is in Chicago next year. I don’t prefer one choice over the other, but It just doesn’t look like an extension is possible. I’m sure Garza is hoping the Cubs trade him, because there is no compensation attached to him, and he can maximize his contract with having to worry about his new team giving up a draft pick.

      • hansman1982

        I wouldn’t even put it past this FO to re-sign him in the offseason. They may feel his extension demands are close enough to what he would get in FA that they want to try to get prospects and re-sign him this winter.

      • Assman22

        Rangers in on Garza + OF…

        • Luke

          In exchange for…

          • Jim

            Nothing. Goodwill trade. Theo just wants to be the most popular in MLB.

          • TonyP


            What kind of names would you be excited about getting back from the Rangers? I assume Profar is not happening….

        • gocatsgo2003

          Can’t hurt to have two teams (Padres and Rangers) in on Garza so early — could mitigate the early timetable somewhat.

        • Gcheezpuff

          This is too obvious not to be true. The Rangers have loved Garza for years and once again find themselves in contention with a SP need. In addition, with a Cruz suspension possible and him becoming a FA next year anyway, and stop gaps in the other outfield corner, their OF need should be pretty strong too. Plus Berkman has been struggling. I can see them wanting Garza plus schierholtz …. or maybe Soriana as a DH and as insurance if Cruz gets suspended. Either way, I’d imagine the ask is minimum Perez and Olt, plus some lower tier pieces, maybe more if the OFer is schierholtz, who I think nets more then Soriano.

        • someday…2015?

          Since I expect to see Navarro in any Garza deal I would think a trade would have to look something like this…

          Garza, Navarro, and Schierholtz to The Rangers.

          Mike Olt, Martin Perez, Wilmer Font, Luke Jackson, and Roman Mendez(Old Theo signing) to The Cubs.

  • Kramden

    Re: Soler ….. Maybe the stress fracture was why he didn’t hustle down the line and was benched after all

  • Josho

    i know this type of thing doesnt happen very often. However, what if Garza wants to come back to Chicago next year? Say we trade him and he’s a FA after the season and wants to come back. I dont think it’s crazy to think about, as Garza seems to love this team, love this city. He surely has to know we are going to be good in the foreseeable future and wants to win….

    • Cubbie Blues

      The same things were said about Demptster and Marshall.

      • Patrick G

        Although unlikely, I see it more realistically happening with Garza than Marshall and Dempster. Marshall was going to be an expensive bullpen lefty and Dempster is too old for this rebuilding process. Again, most likely will not happen, but would be pretty awesome.

        • Cubbie Blues

          So was K. Wood, but they inked him to a one year deal (that went horribly wrong) and Dempster has his foundation that is based out of Chicago. I’m not trying to argue, just pointing out that there were strong reasons for him coming back as well.

          • Josho

            I just think it is an interesting case with Garza, especially. We have talent on the way. (no guarantees of course). Everyone can see us competing in a year or 2. In the past, it wasn’t so much that way. And in this case, to resign Garza, a NTC wouldn’t be crazy, IMO, as his contract would (hopefully) run thru all or mostly competitive season.

          • hansman1982

            If we do get him back, I don’t expect any sort of discount.

            • Josho

              None. However, market value (in line with Anibal Sanchez) wouldn’t be the worst contract in the world. Especially with his big game experience

      • Rich H

        Dempster wanted to come back but could never come together on a contract was the rumor this winter remember? But you are right there is a lot of time and money to be spent between now and when ever Garza gets to free agency.

        • eternal pessimist

          Garza loses trade value after the deadline. If they are going to sign him they should do it before the deadline, or have a trade lined up, just in case they can’t get the right deal with him.

    • Gcheezpuff

      Doubt it…. Cubs are likely to extend Shark and hopefully Wood too. They already have Ejax under contract as well. I’d imagine they are trying to pick up near ready MLB arms in any deal they make to fill out next years rotation. If things go as planned, they may not need to sign another SP for the rotation next year. Plus if Baker gets his act together and pitches well in the 2nd half, I could see an attempt to extend in in a flippable deal like Feldman and Maholm got.

      • Chad

        The cubs can’t extend everyone or they’ll have half their payroll into 3 or 4 pitchers. Depending on deals that guys get. You have to assume that Samardzija would get at least $15/year since EJax got 13. so there is 28 million. Cub won’t extend Wood for a while, but if they ever did who knows what his value would be $10? $38 for 3 pitchers? Plus another guy like Feldman at $6, and Villanueva at $5 and you are at $50 million of 5 pitchers. Now I don’t have any problems giving Samardzija that kind of money because I think he is an ace, but if you can get a few young controlled cheap arms like Skaggs and Bradley, then hey you have money to sign a different ace on FA, or spend it elsewhere on the team. Cubs are not going to be the Dodgers.

        • Gcheezpuff

          I think you missed my point. I don’t think the cubs are going to need to sign any FA SPs next year if things go as planned and they pick up some MLB ready arms at the deadline. It is not uncommon for teams to have 3 to 4 guys in their rotation on contracts either as Not everyone has the Rays MiLB pitching depth. I would not be surprised if Shark and Wood get locked up and join Ejax as rotation mainstays. I’d assume 1 or 2 young MLB ready guys are picked up in trades, and Feldman signs another rebuild value year and becomes flippable at the deadline next year. Cubs could wait another year on wood to see if this year is not just a fluke, but if he pitches this well again, hid price will go up. Personally, I’d like to see both shark and wood extended ASAP.

  • Mvandy524

    Is it just me or do you guys hope we hold onto Sweeney. He comes very cheap and has exceeded all expectations. He provides good speed and a little pop I think his value to our team is better than the return we would receive.

    • Rich H

      The reasons you pointed out are the exact reasons that teams will be calling. But with the small sample size alerts I do not know if I would be listening or not.

      • On The Farm

        He has always been a good 4th OF (with some upside to him), in the years he was a full time starter (over 300 PAs) he posted a 2.1 WAR in 2008 (433 PAs), 3.9 in 2009 (534 PAs), and then in 2010 he has a .8 WAR in 331 PA so not really a full time starter. I truly think if he gets an everyday start, especially playing at Wrigley he could be a really good OF for us going forward.

        **Notice I have strong Cedar Rapids hometown bias.

        • Rich H

          Yeah I do agree that in some limited action he has been productive. But when a guy has had limited success and is still a journeyman (now on his 4th team) at such a young age (28) you have to wonder what the general public does not see.

          • On The Farm

            Looking at 2008 and 2009 the thing that sticks out most to me about his time in Oakland were his home/away splits were .281/.291 and in 2009 .257/.326. That suggests to me that his bat didn’t play well in Oakland’s park. His wOBA was .312/.336 and in 2009 it was .294/.367. However after the 2009 season he was never a full time starter anymore. Again I think if he would have gotten a full time shot at somewhere other than Oakland he would be a very serviceable player.

  • Larry Adams

    I believe Garza will be traded soon, if he or the Cubs thought they had a chance for an extended relationship, it would have been on paper sometime ago. Not sure Garza was ever motivated to be a long term Chicago Cub. Think he would be excited to be going to the West Coast, which is basically home for him.
    Hope he continues to pitch well so we can maximize return and reduce the loss of so many prospects we gave up for him.

  • Rebuilding

    Another name to keep an eye on: Courtesy of Rotoworld “Giants prospect RHP Kyle Crick allowed three hits and struck out eight batters over five scoreless innings for High-A San Jose on Thursday. The start was Crick’s second since returning from an oblique injury that sidelined him for two months. Regarded as the Giants’ top prospect, the 20-year-old right-hander has now thrown nine scoreless frames with 18/4 K/BB since rejoining the San Jose rotation. On the season, he’s registered a stellar 0.48 ERA with 30/13 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings. Crick was also recently selected to represent the U.S. squad in the 2013 Futures Game.”

    • Rebuilding

      And another one: “Dodgers prospect SS Corey Seager is batting .345/.387/.655 with four doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI in 15 games this month for Low-A Great Lakes.
      Seager, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2012 draft, turned in an impressive professional debut last season in the rookie-level Pioneer League, batting .309/.383/.520 with 19 extra-base hits and eight stolen bases over 46 games. After a slow start to the 2013 season that saw him spend most of May on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, the 19-year-old shortstop has picked up the pace over the next month.”

  • Die hard

    Consider Garza asking price decreasing after teams show no interest? That would be good for Cubs

    • Rebuilding

      If I knew what that meant I would respond

    • nkniacc13

      There is no chance that Garza’s asking price would drop unless he were injured.

  • fromthemitten

    Soler was a high A ball All Star despite playing on half a leg in his first full season of baseball in years. Damn I can’t wait to see him in the Majors at 100%

    • Die hard

      His injury is going to hinder him forever because he is prone to this condition … He will not be stealing any bases and defense and run production to be affected forever

  • Die hard

    Cost 110 million to sign Darvish — don’t think any team would make that mistake again