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stoveA Saturday Lukewarm Stove in June. I never thought I’d see the day. The latest in non-Matt Garza rumors (since he’s got his own Watch going on, he’ll get a separate post) …

  • You can rest easy about those Jeff Samardzija Diamondbacks rumors. Buster Olney reports that there actually were conversations between the teams, but the Cubs asked for tip top pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Tyler Skaggs (as they absolutely should have), and the talks ended quickly (as they probably should have). As I said when the rumor first popped up, because of Samardzija’s unique situation and the Cubs’ theoretical march toward competitiveness in 2014/15, trading Samardzija would only make sense if it was a franchise-shifting deal. And that’s rarely going to make sense for the other team.
  • As I mentioned last night, many organizations were in attendance to check out the latest outing from Cuban free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. Danny Knobler reports that the Cubs, specifically, were “heavily represented.” Knobler continues to hear that the price tag could move upwards of $60 million over five years, though some are guessing it could be $40 over four years. Either way, it’s a serious risk and serious investment. The Cubs are going to want to be very confident before making a move, and sending a cadre of scouts to last night’s start was just one piece of that puzzle. The Dodgers are still the favorite here, because, you know, SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS.
  • Theo Epstein wouldn’t quite say whether the Cubs are looking for international pool money when making trades in July. “Maybe,” Epstein said about the possibility of acquiring more space via trade when asked by Sahadev Sharma. “It’s not a huge priority, but we have a strategy with respect to [international free agency], we’ll execute it. It doesn’t necessarily require us adding pool space.” Sounds like the right answer, whatever the approach is actually going to be. Given that pool space is so hard to value, I wouldn’t want the Cubs going out there and intimating that it’s worth more than a low level role player, or as a large deal throw-in.
  • Speaking of which, Ben Badler indicates, in response to a tweet about the Red Sox and Matt Garza (about which, more later), that a trade of international pool space could be implicated. That’s, of course, fine, but if the Cubs are dealing Garza, let’s hope pool space is a mere cherry on the top rather than the bulk of the return.
  • Troy Renck says the Rockies are among the teams interested in Cubs closer Kevin Gregg. The Rockies are still in the “scouting” phase, though, as they gather information before reading to make a move.
  • In a tweet that shocked a lot of folks yesterday, Nick Cafardo reported that three teams have interest in Carlos Marmol. Before you get too excited, that doesn’t necessarily mean that three teams want to trade for Carlos Marmol (let alone trade anything of value). It’s at least as likely that three teams are going to wait for Marmol to clear waivers and become a free agent, and then vie to sign Marmol to a minor league deal. The process will sort out over the next few days, but if the Cubs manage to get anything – I mean anything, including a tiny bit of salary relief – I will be very surprised and impressed. Marmol needs to re-establish himself before he can have real value, and it’s too late for that to happen with the Cubs. Hopefully he latches on somewhere with a little patience, and he can get back on track in a lower leverage role.
  • The Ricky Nolasco waiting game continues, with the Marlins reportedly sitting on a bunch offers, waiting for a team to “step up,” according to Juan C. Rodriguez. I still expect him to be the first (bigger) trade market domino.
  • Speaking of other pitchers on the market, Yovani Gallardo has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block deals this year to the Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, Astros, Angels, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates and Blue Jays. That’s a great list from the Cubs’ perspective, as there are many teams that are looking for starting pitching, and may find the Cubs’ options slightly easier to acquire.
  • Alex Liddi as the next waiver wire pickup? The 24-year-old utility man was just scuttled by the Mariners, and hasn’t done much in the bigs, but the minor league track record is interesting. The rub is that he doesn’t play anywhere in the middle, and the Cubs might not be looking for another corner infield/corner outfield type.
  • The Giants are not only looking for starting pitching, but also a right-handed outfield bat, per Buster Olney. Too bad Alfonso Soriano already blocked a deal to San Francisco last year.
  • Zachary

    Doesn’t Gonzalez go against the salary cap if he signs. Cause if the dodgers spend the money on him and extend Kershaw they will be paying the a huge luxury tax

    • Tim

      No because he is 26 years old. I think the age cutoff is 23 where younger than that he would count towards the cap

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      It’s pretty safe to safe the Dodgers will be paying a huge luxury tax regardless of what happens.

  • Colocubfan

    I figure the Cubs will be all over that Cuban pitcher, especially since he’s had prior arm surgery!

    • Deacon

      Cubs’ Strategy: Sign/Trade For all the Tommy John pitchers!

      • billy

        would that still be a bad philosophy if say…they trade for the tommy johns dylan Bundy?…or can a team not trade an injured player?

  • The Dude Abides

    Brett where is Gerardo Concepción these days is he hurt?

  • Zachary

    That would be the draft pool cap I’m talking about salty cap for the team. Cause he would be signing a major league deal

    • Tim

      The draft and international free agents are completely unrelated. He is signed and added to a roster just like every other free agent. Once he is declared a free agent and approved work visas by the U.S. government

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        He doesn’t count against the international pool cap either, for what it’s worth, because he’s 26.

    • Tobias

      Too bad that teams could not trade for draft pool money.

  • Adam

    Would love to know what the Diamondbacks thought they could propose for Samardzija and get him for…I mean seriously, the dude is about to enter his prime and is under team control.

    • Jeff

      Well, they might have looked at our Front Office and saw the Marmol disaster, the Ian Stewart debacle, the Edwin Jackson signing, the Scott Baker signing, and all the other bad decision making and might for a second thought that Theo/Jed would be dumb enough to let Samardzija go cheaply. Certainly plausible…

      • Carew

        Doubt it. All GMs try to buy low

        • Carew

          and sell low I guess in certain cases

      • Jed Jam Band

        I feel it necessary to remind you that this FO DID NOT sign the Marmol contract, Edwin Jackson has actually been better than his numbers indicate, and that we ALWAYS knew Scott Baker was going to have to rehab first. Ian Stewart was bad, but really, that was a worthwhile gamble. Honestly, you’re skewing the picture here to make Theo/Jed look bad. Forget about the trade for Travis Wood? That rocked. Getting Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva for Dempster? That looks mighty good right now. Hell, they got a legitimate prospect for Jeff freaking Baker. Not to mention signing DeJesus, signing Schierholtz, picking up Gregg, picking up Valbuena, and picking up Ryan Sweeney. Drafting Albert Almora and Kris Bryant was also pretty cool, as was the signing of Jorge Soler. Oh, and there was that whole getting two actual prospects for Tony Campana thing.

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

          and got two living organisms for Tony Campana.

        • Blublud

          Damn, you know, I never put together a whole picture of what the FO has done since taking ovet. Theo and comp has been very good.

        • Rcleven

          ” Edwin Jackson has actually been better than his numbers indicate”

          Numbers are a funny thing. They are a tool to be used not the the end all be all.
          It’s the end result that matters and Jackson has not been good. Will he revert to the mean, who knows? Expectations were too high for the contract received from Cub Fandom. Watching him pitch for the CWS for the few months he was with them he has reverted to the mean.
          Let’s hope he will be better in the future.

          • Crockett

            I think I take the numbers to mean that we just shouldn’t be freaking out about Jackson yet. He’s had some bad luck, made some poor pitches at exactly the wrong time, etc. But the overall picture says we just need to be a little more patient. I have no issues with that, considering where this team is headed the rest of the year.

        • Reality Check

          travis wood has had 14 good starts; that does not make a trade so hold off on cubs winning that trade. marshall could help the reds win a W.S.
          cashner is looking pretty good right now………better than Rizzo.
          and they do not get credit for taking Bryant; they tanked the season to do so and they could of taken gray……….you know a player who is signed.
          and I’ve not seen Hendricks or villeneuva play for the Cubs so unless they do; then really no value to that trade yet.
          lets not forget Vizcaino who is out his 2nd year.
          hairston who is below .200
          and concepcion who was signed for 6M and has basically been hurt since day one; kinda like Fujikawa for 10M.
          this team is not better since theo took over; it’s worse. drafting almora and Bryant were easy; high picks.
          take your cubby blue blinders off.

          • Crockett

            So much yuck in this post.

            Marshall’s arm has fallen off twice this year. Wood’s value exceeds Marshall’s this year to the tune of 2.6 WAR to 0.1 WAR. So you can say that WAR isn’t the end all, be all, but Wood has 26x the value of Sean Marshall in 2013 so far. Yikes. Innings pitched do matter…who would’ve thought.

            I love how you state that Cashner has more value than Rizzo when Cashner has only made 17 starts TOTAL for the Padres since the deal. Rizzo is still posting a 1.7 WAR and has the 8th highest hard-hit-ball percentage in baseball yet the 118th BaBip. Obviously something has to change there (see Crasnick’s recent article about unlucky players). To say this was a bad trade is foolish.

            Cubs dealt away a rental for 1 top-10 prospect and a pitcher with some upside in Hendricks. That pitcher is showing that upside this year. How is that a poor deal?

            Vizcaino has been a sore spot obviously, but what exactly did the Cubs deal away that they didn’t immediately replace in FA with Feldman/Sweeney.

            You cannot fault any FO for injuries, especially when they were to 1) A young player 2) A veteran with no injury history at all.

          • King Jeff

            Actual reality check: Wood pitched for the Cubs last year too and had 12 or so quality starts, add that to the 14 this year, and I think the Cubs are well on their way to winning a trade for 1 year of control of Sean Marshall.

          • DarthHater

            “they could of taken gray……….you know a player who is signed.”

            Congratulations. Your shitty grammar is only the second stupidest thing about this statement.

            • Jeff

              For someone critiquing someone else’s grammar, stupidest is not a word.

              Congratulations, your just as much of a dumbass!!!

              • Big Joe

                *you’re

                Just sayin…

                • YourResidentJag

                  Oh, it’s a pissing contest. Now there’s something you don’t see very often on here. :)

              • DarthHater

                Stupider and stupidest are in many dictionaries, but not in others.

                In contrast, “could of taken” is just wrong – as is “your” for “you are.”

                Congratulations on displaying your (correct usage) ignorance.

                • Die hard

                  I looked in a Thesaurus and DarthHater was listed under each as alternatives

                  • Internet Random

                    Is that really the best you could come up with?

                    • DarthHater

                      Don’t criticize Diehard. It’s the first time in years he has actually tried to look something up. We should encourage him. Good work, there, buddy.

              • Internet Random

                “For someone critiquing someone else’s grammar, stupidest is not a word.”

                Yes, it is.

            • CubsBuck22

              Since when does a blog need to have perfect grammar? Any time someone doesn’t agree with an opinion they have to rip their spelling or be obnoxious. Find a better way to disagree.

          • nkniacc13

            Read the new CBA understand the spending restrictions and the fact that most teams are signing their stars to long term deals and then you may understand why most every deal they have made has been even or they have won it.

          • caryatid62

            So Wood’s “14 starts” (which are actually 26 starts) “aren’t enough to make a trade,” yet Cashner’s 17 are?

            Gotcha.

          • Jim L

            Pining for the days of The Tribune Co./McPhail/Lynch/Hendry?

        • Big Joe

          Two thoughts:
          First, ” Edwin Jackson has been better than his numbers indicate”.The fact is, he hasn’t been very good…even if you pick and choose the stats of your liking. Even if you grab ahold of the mightiest of sabermetrics…he’s been less than impressive, if not, bad.
          Secondly, a Samardzija trade, or lack thereof, is off limits, due to his age/team control/value, and not the fact that he’s a CY winner in the making. Don’t overvalue his talent. He’s good. Not great. Never will be.

      • scorecardpaul

        diehard?

  • mudge

    Maybe the Giants would take Hairston.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Depends on how well you could convince them that his bad line is just a ridiculously unsustainably low BABIP that will normalize.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Anybody else see that Logan Watkins played SS last night for Iowa and went 4/5 ?Think it may be a precursor to his promotion?
    Cubs should be talking to Nats on Garza and asking for RHP Giolito, RHP Jordan, and LHP Krol a relief pitcher from Hinsdale who is on the current big league roster. We can throw in Russell for this to work.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Not really. I think they want him to get reps there so that he is more valuable when he does come up to the majors, but right now he’d be sitting on the bench more than playing and I think they’d rather see him get regular at-bats.

    • nkniacc13

      No way should cubs have to add to add Russell to that deal

  • Timmy

    Trade them all. All this talk about how we’re winners with bad luck is fantasy baseball. There’s not one mature leader or stable hitter on the club.

    The lack of protection in the middle has led to agressive pitching to young bats and consequent poor development by our future stars. This is GM 101: anchor the middle or the rest of the team suffers.

    It’ll be years and years until we’re better since we’re refusing to sign free agents that might help the team.

    • Jeff

      Well said!! Unfortunately, I don’t think the current owners really give a damn if the team is competitive or not.

      I hope people stop going to the games in record numbers and start hurting their pocket book.

      • Timmy

        Yes, I agree that it’s current ownership that’s sabotaging the team. I also think that Theo has in a strange way been short sighted in his long sighted project. He’s making major mistakes at every turn in youth development.

        • waittilthisyear

          seems to be an influx of negativity lately. although some of the moves of the front office didn’t hit, the strategy behind them has been sound. we knew from the start this was going to take at least a couple years, be patient fellas. if none of these young guys pan out, then we can go gran our torches

        • Kevin

          It’s really Sam Zell’s creative tax evasion scheme which called for the Rickeets to carry high debt. Here’s for a flat tax.

          • Timmy

            Is it George Bush’s fault that Obama conducts drone attacks on civilians without court approval?

            Bad analogy, I know, but at some point they have to take responsibility for dismantling the team and unwillingness to invest in their own investment. They bought a public trust and are treating it as their personal cash cow.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “There’s not one mature leader or stable hitter on the club.”

      Speaking of fantasies, there aren’t any orcs or hobbits, either. There are no correlations between how much better/worse a team does than their base numbers predict and anything. A team that over-performs one year has a 50:50 shot of underperforming the next year: and vice-versa.

      Much like goblins and phlogiston, people see “leadership” and “consistency” when they believe it is there and they do not see them whey they believe that they are absent.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Was Campana small enough to qualify as a hobbit?

        • Die hard

          Are u picking on someone your own size?

          • Carew

            Dude, come on

      • Timmy

        A strong experienced middle lineup hitter improves the hitters around them. That’s the oldest wisdom in baseball. You can’t abstract and then quantify thought processes, you can only account for results with those measures.

        Any person on the street knows that if you have a hitter that a pitcher wants to avoid they’re more likely to pitch to the rookie or 2nd/3rd year player, unless they’re Trout or a young Pujols or something. This gives younger hitters better pitches to practice with, and improves the team all around.

        What you describe sounds a lot to me like gambling with a dose of cynicism. That a strong player may not improve a team isn’t reason not to sign someone who could contribute.

        • YourResidentJag

          Like Cespedes ;)

    • Matt23

      Just out of curiosity, who would you have signed this past offseason? Josh Hamilton was probably the best bat available, and look how that worked out for Anaheim (about as well as Pujols the year previous).

      What specific moves do you feel the front office/ownership should have made the last two years that would make them contenders this season? Genuinely interested to know.

      There is a certain percentage of fans who are going to complain no matter what they try. People are still complaining about the soriano contract, but now other people are complaining that we’re no longer giving out Soriano-like contracts. Go figure.

      • Timmy

        Clear evidence of administrative logic that’s antithetical to baseball. Some contracts go bad but I’d rather see the money in the hands of a hard working player than a conglomeration who’d rather see the team lose than spend revenues dedicated to team improvement. Fantasy baseball mentality has gotten so out of control…

        Stop routing against your own team!

  • Deacon

    Brett, do you think Martin Perez is untouchable now in a Garza trade with the Rangers given how successful Perez has been so far?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t, but I also strongly doubt Garza, alone, could get him. His stock is way down from where it once was, but he’s still a 22-year-old lefty with good stuff. His dominance at AAA this year doesn’t really do much for me – just six starts – but that would also probably be true if those six starts hadn’t been good. He’s still a great prospect, and probably the first guy the Cubs would ask about.

      (Profar is completely, utterly unavailable to the Cubs.)

      • Assman22

        Hoyer has asked for three top 10 prospects for Garza + OF…sticking point is lack of quality SP in Rangers’ farm system…

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          Any idea on who those 3 top ten prospects would be? My guess is the Cubs are asking for Olt, Perez, and Font and the Rangers won’t bite.

          • Crockett

            Olt has been horrid this year and is recovering from significant vision issues. His value, right now, is almost nonexistent. If the package doesn’t include Perez, I don’t see that system offering that much which really screams “gotta do this deal now”.

            • Die hard

              You are talking nonsense… Think before you spout

              • Carew

                That’s a bit hypocritical

              • King Jeff

                Take your own advice. Crockett’s got a good point. Olt is barely hitting 200 at AAA and just had eye surgery, his value is nowhere near where it was last year.

                • chrisfchi

                  after having my eye surgery, i couldnt hit a beachball on a tee. even now, almost 20 years later, still cant hit anything. i used to play on a travel little leauge, and was actually not too bad. all we can hope for is for Olt to have a speedy recovery, and maybe scoop him up then

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Assuming Profar is untouchable, it would almost have to Perez+… Buckel? Alfaro, Gallo, and Sardinas all have plenty of potential, but all are position players that are still pretty raw. Olt, as Crockett mentioned, is striking out a ton in Triple A (although the walk rate is still nice). He’s by no means the sure-fire star some think he is.

            I’m not sure how well the Cubs and Rangers match up. Texas has some nice, high ceiling position types… but so do the Cubs. The Cubs need high ceiling pitching, and so does Texas.

            I wouldn’t rule the Rangers out, but if another team gets heavily involved on Garza I think Texas may have an uphill battle convincing the Cubs to deal with the Rangers.

            • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

              How about Perez, Font, and Luke Jackson? Those are 3 nice arms.

              • Crockett

                That isn’t bad at all, but I just don’t see how Texas deals Perez (who is pitching well) for a rental.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Meh.

                Font is a pure reliever, and the Cubs are stocked there (even assuming Vizcaino comes back as a starter and Cabrera can stay in the rotation).

                Jackson isn’t bad by any means, but I don’t see his ceiling as any higher than 2/3 guy.

                It isn’t a bad package, but it doesn’t excite me at all.

                • Crockett

                  I do not understand why you’re so low on Perez. He’s a legitimate guy…very young…LHP. I agree with you about Meh if it was Olt and those two arms, but Perez immediately goes in the rotation. Easy argument that he’s better than Randall Delgado whom the Cubs almost got for last year’s rental.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    He is young, and he is left handed, but he also has a career Triple A (212 innings) K/BB ratio of 1.60. I agree he could immediately slot into the Cubs rotation, but I’m not sure he’s any better than a 2/3 guy long term either.

                    Like I said, it isn’t a bad deal by any stretch, but it just doesn’t excite me at all. I wouldn’t complain if the Cubs made that move, but I suspect they could do better by dealing with an organization with whom they match up a little better.

                    • Crockett

                      Ok, I like the way you worded this better. I think the Cubs will be hard pressed to get a deal as good as this…and I think they’d have to jump on it.

                • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

                  It’s tough to find a package that fits with Texas. If Hoyer wants 3 top ten prospects and a couple of quality, high upside starters then he may have to look elsewhere.

            • Timmy

              I’m sure Theo would settle for Milton Bradley, a 9th tier prospect, and some popcorn at this point. They’re not going to resign him, he was recently injured, and Theo has blown at least 3 solid trades for him in the past.

            • praying the cubs get ready to win

              I think SD is a very good fit, Hedgesand a strong arm, maybe add Fuentes and give up one of our OF.

        • SenorGato

          Big Martin Perez fan. He needs a couple years to ripen and get better command, but his ceiling is almost cartoonish.

          Luke Jackson reminds me a lot, physically, of Garza. He has that kind of ceiling but ceiling is just ceiling sometimes.

          I don’t know why 2/3 starter is being addressed as if its a bad thing.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            2/3 starter isn’t a bad thing at all. That essentially what Garza is now.

            But that’s also the best the Cubs can get out of Texas no matter what. They have nothing better on the mound to offer, and I think other teams do.

            • SenorGato

              The Cubs aren’t exactly loaded with Garza-like talents right now. Not only that but Perez has all the physical ability to be better. Lefties who hit 95 with a swing and miss changeup don’t grow on trees, and its been said that his curve can also become a plus pitch.

              I cant think of many guys they might land that is more appealing….Skaggs, Biddle, Aaron Sanchez, Porcello if the Tigers popped up…even then they each have their own flaws and might “only” fall into that 2/3 thing.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                That swing and miss change up still only produced a 1.60 K/BB ratio in Triple A. That’s not a great figure.

                By comparison, Chris Rusin, who has never been accused of having great stuff and is a 4/5 starter at best, has career a K/BB of 2.28 at the same level.

                • Crockett

                  Here’s my issue with you using that 1.60 as a baseline of greater importance than it really is. He was AMAZINGLY young for AAA for all but 36 innings of his 212 innings there. He was 20/21 for 176 innings of his AAA career. This year, when he’s 22…his k/bb was 28/8.

                  I think you need to look at his age/level and see that he was most certainly advanced quickly and when he was a more normal age for a level (see A-AA), his K/BB was much better.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    2.15 in Double A (216 innings)
                    3.18 in Low A (93.2 innings)
                    1.89 in Short Season A (61.2 innings)

                    • SenorGato

                      For reference sake…why you’re ignoring age as a prospect guy I don’t know….he skipped High A altogether….played A ball at 18 and went straight to AA at 18…was in AAA by 20….20 would a special age for AA….details like this are huge when evaluating prospects. To put up a 2:1 K:BB in AA at 18/19 is not unimpressive.

                    • Crockett

                      Gato – you’re 100% correct. Ignoring the age factor is both shortsighted and arbitrary.

                      I have absolutely no issue with Luke’s assertion that he would like the Cubs to do better than a deal with Perez headlining. I would too. I just think that is very unlikely (and it’s unlikely the Rangers deal Perez for a rental anyway).

                    • matty ice

                      Gerrett cole only had a 1.86 k/bb rate at AAA. I guess we wouldn’t want that guy either

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      I’m not ignoring age at all; I’m often accused of making too great of concessions for age (see my comments on Josh Vitters in 2011, for example).

                      And I’m not saying that Perez is a terrible non prospect who should be shunned, or anything of that nature.

                      I’m saying he’s at best a 2/3 starter and that, even with all due consideration for his age, for Texas rushing him at a criminally fast pace, for the new pitches he added to his arsenal this season, for his GO/AO rate (which is nice and we haven’t even gotten into), and for about a dozen other factors that I’m not going to break out, I see red flags. K/BB ratio is one.

                      If the Cubs land Perez I’m not going to complain, but I think they can probably do better. He has a high floor, but I’m not impressed by the ceiling. The peripheral numbers just aren’t there to support him having a very high ceiling. Right now I’d prefer to see the Cubs go after high ceilings in their pitchers, even at the expense of floor.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Cole has fewer minor league innings than Perez has innings in Triple A. I’m not sure any kind of comparison there is relevant.

                    • Crockett

                      So, what you’re saying is that Perez has a floor of a 3 and a ceiling of a 2 and that isn’t enough?

                      I think that while you’re saying you’re acknowledging the age thing, you aren’t actually. When a pitcher is drastically younger than his competition, he’s at a disadvantage unless he’s a super talent like Strasburg, etc. I think the Cubs would be Houdini’s of the year replacing a 2/3 who is 30, right-handed, and about to get an enormous payday with a 2/3 who is just 22, left-handed, and under team control for 5 more years.

                      (I hate how the reply option disappears!)

                    • SenorGato

                      Once again, I do not get why you are talking about a 2/3 starter like that is a bad thing. It really, really, really most definitely is not, especially here. I also believe there’s more ignoring of the age – why bring 26 year old Chris Rusin up to compare a 22 year old who’s been far more relevant in the baseball world for 5 years now – than not going on.

                      You should probably break out the dozen+ red flags. If they’re legit then they would really help. I see stuff like years of good scouting reports, striking out almost a batter per inning in AA at ages 18 and 19 (that’s not quite insane, but it’s waaaaaaaaay more impressive than you imply)…If the biggest knocks are that his ceiling is “only” a 2/3 starter and that he did not put up better K/BB numbers at 20/21 on the West Coast of the PCL then we’re looking pretty good.

                    • Chad

                      Garza is pitching Really well right now. Would he be willing to sign an extension midseason or agree in principle to a team he’s traded too. That would probably up his trade value seeing as he wouldn’t be a rental. Is that so far out of the question to do something like that?

                • SenorGato

                  What Crockett said and also, Chris Rusin? Rusin would sacrafice a newborn kitten to become a 4/5 starter, thats like super best case for him almost, and didn’t even see AAA until he was 24.

                  • Crockett

                    Luke, for better or worse, is much higher on Rusin than maybe anyone else in the world. I mean, that’s fine, I’m just saying…Rusin is not going to be a #4 and would only be a #5 on a team like the 2013 Cubs post-deadline.

                    Remember boys and girls, as late as one month ago, Keith Law considered Travis Wood a #4. We can bicker about him being wrong, but with most people considering Garza a #3…you can see how far off the comparison is.

                    PS – I like Luke and what he brings to this board. It isn’t anything personal, etc. I just happen to disagree with him often in his evaluations. No biggie.

                    • SenorGato

                      Agreed with this whole thing.

                    • Crockett

                      Did we just become best friends?

                • Justin

                  If the Cubs can get Perez and only Perez for Garza I would be ecstatic. If they get more than that I guess I completely underestimated what a couple months of Garza is worth. And would be amazed.

                  • SenorGato

                    Pretty much where I am. I want one premium prospect arm, anything else is gravy.

                    Morseo than Perez, I want the Phillies to go balls in and send Jesse Biddle to the Cubs for Garza. Probably the top LHSP prospect in the minors, and a former Vanderbilt recruit.

                    • Justin

                      Lets say that the Cubs were to get Perez. I would rather him than Archer, Lee, and the other dudes they gave up to get Garza in the first place. Which is pretty crazy to think about. Perez would be a great return for Garza straight up.

                  • nkniacc13

                    I know Garza is a FA after the year but its tough to look at a texas deal knowing that if he weren’t hurt you could have had Perez and Olt and then a year later when Garza is the best pitcher available more than likely that all they can get is Perez even at 22 and his 2/3 ceiling

                    • SenorGato

                      I’ve never really gotten the Mike Olt love. The glove is actually leaning towards the scouting reports – very good – but I am just not a fan of his offensive game and never have been.

                    • Crockett

                      Oh, I would’ve taken the pre-eye issue Olt in a heartbeat. High K/high BB guy with power and a plus glove? Umm…yes.

                      With the eye issues, etc…I’d still take him, but his value is somewhere at a B prospect or less to me.

                    • SenorGato

                      Texas League is pretty offense friendly, he was a little old for AA especially as a supposed top prospect and college player, and I am not a fan of corner defense guys who pile up the Ks in the minors.

                      He’s invited to be a throw in in a deal, but otherwise meh. I like Villanueva more, and that’s not saying much at this point.

                    • Crockett

                      I think we’re basically on the same page now. I think our pre-eye issue evaluation is a little different though.

                      High K doesn’t bother me if it’s offset with High BB, and it isn’t like his contact/K rates were in Adam Dunn territory anyway. A .250/.350/.480+ slash for a guy with a plus glove works just fine at 3B

                    • SenorGato

                      High Ks for a 23 year old college trained top prospect in AA to me is a pretty big red flag. I don’t blame the eyes for hismeh hit tool so much as I just think he has a meh hit tool. That much swing and miss in his game is going to make it hard to put up high walk totals. Adam Dunn the prospect was very different from Adam Dun the pro…more Wil Myers than Mike Olt.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    On trading Feldman we should deal him to the Giants with Soriano and cash for RHP Agosto, LHP Escobar, and C Susac.

    • Tim

      If the giants would agree to that, and Soriano decides to accept that trade (he refused a trade to San Francisco last year,) then absolutely.

  • Dustin S

    The whole trade posturing thing is odd sometimes. I’m sure Arizona is a highly professional front office, so why would they even contact the Cubs about Samardzija and not go in knowing the price would be at least that high? That type of situation seems to pop up a lot. At times it feels like a guy walking into a new Cadillac car dealer with $5,000 and saying let’s make a deal. I’m sure it’s just posturing for later negotiations, but overall just seems to be a waste of both sides time. I can’t imagine they’ll get lucky and just happen to catch Theo at a time when he’s going to give up Samardzija for that far below value. He wouldn’t have a job in the big leagues for long if he did.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well put. There is no way they didn’t know the Cubs’ first two words would be “Bradley, Skaggs.” Why even ask?

      Maybe they wanted to try and get additional info, as you say. Like trying to figure out what other prospects the Cubs value, for example.

      • Abe Froman

        Or its not over and they think the Cubs call back and ask for a significant package that only includes one of them. Nice analogy with the car dealership, it also at times feels like those jackasses in fantasy leagues that constantly propose ridiculous trades hoping you have been sniffing airplane glue all day and accidentally accept it.

        This one may not be over, you know how much posturing goes on, maybe Arizona wants to play tough because they already knew they had to include both but are hoping to minimize any other piece, “OK we can do Skaggs and Bradley but that is the absolute Max you will get.”

    • Bric

      It might seem ridiculous but it never hurts to ask. Sometimes there are hidden issues that nobody knows about (like Thedstein thinks they can’t resign Shark next year). You never know, it doesn’t hurt to ask. I’m probably the only one here that thinks this but I’ve said before and say again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shark gets traded. Three players for one is really hard to pass up when you have so many holes to fill.

  • Die hard

    Maybe Yanks would take Valbuena?

    • Crockett

      Ugh. That’s just what I’m going to reply to all of your comments from now on. Troll elsewhere.

    • Die hard

      Eh? They are going after Stewart as need 3B… Valbuena better at this point… Hide your weakness so we will think better of you

    • chrisfchi

      yeah and we will take A-Rod. horrible idea

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Rangers deal only works for Garza & Soriano if we get Perez, RHP Edwards, RHP Font, & LHP Claudio.

    • Crockett

      I’d be stunned if the OF Texas wants is Soriano, but I don’t see them dealing Perez at all. And if they don’t, I struggle to see where the value comes from out of their system.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Nelson Cruz soon to be suspended will create a power outage for Texas. Soriano provides that from the right side. Have you checked the numbers on Claudio or Edwards ? Those guys have been dominating at the levels they have gone thru.

        • Crockett

          I think it’s far from certain that Cruz will be suspended, and while those two guys are nice prospects, I struggle to believe the Cubs couldn’t get more elsewhere.

        • Big Joe

          “Soriano provides that (power) from the right side”.

          Umm, yeah. In Bizzaro world. Where have you seen that from Alf this year? Tell him to come back. The team needs him.

      • SenorGato

        I could see them moving Perez. Hes got a hot hand and is definitely a real talent barring injury, but they want to win and hes still extremely young.

        His stuff is good enough to get ML hitters out now but he needs more polish to be where he can be.

  • Melrosepad

    I think Liddi might be a nice pick up to see if he could possibly replace Ransom if he gets added to a pitcher to sweeten a deal.

  • Zorag

    Maybe the DBs want someone to bite on Nolasco. If they show interest in Samardzja, who knows who else they’d want. Or maybe they have an interest in Nolasco.

    I love following the trade rumors and then seeing what deals actually get done.

  • King Jeff

    I’ve seen a few tweets that say Baltimore is close to trading for a starting pitcher. I think the rumor started from a basketball writer who says he has a reliable source. Probably just someone trying to get site hits, but I’ve seen it a few places now, so there could be something there.

    • nkniacc13

      I think they maybe ready the ? is do they have enough to get something done at this time. Balts got a couple of roster ? coming here by the all start break with players coming off DL so it will be interesting

    • Rcleven

      Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 3h

      #orioles are interested in garza now after being lukewarm earlier, but so far they believe price is 2 high. #cubs

      Something to think about.

      • nkniacc13

        well with the O’s farm system cubs would want Bundy (inj) or Gausmen so I can see why the o’s think its to high

        • Carew

          I wonder if Britton could be an add-in. Young lefty that the O’s have no room for.

  • Kevin

    I went to Safeco Field last night for the 1st time. The Jumbotron is 11,425 sq ft and doesn’t look too big at all, it fits the stadium quite well. The Cubs want 6,000 sq ft and are having trouble getting it approved.

  • SenorGato

    I notice that Blake Swihart is turning into a nice catching prospect.

    The Yankees have one I like in JR Murphy as well.

    The Cubs’ system could use a solid catching prospect. I am not a Castillo fan, and the org depth in general sucks.

    • nkniacc13

      I agree they could use a solid catching prospect thou kane has a couple interesting ones but the Cubs cant make that the top player in a Garza deal because they have more of a need for impact arms

      • SenorGato

        Hedges can headline a Garza deal for sure.

        • Crockett

          I drool at the thought.

          • SenorGato

            Yeah, Hedges is way high up on the list of prospects I would want.

            I really like that Swihart is a switch hitter…Another guy I want the Red Sox to give to the Cubs is Andrew Miller, who the Cubs immediately start transitioning back into the rotation.

        • nkniacc13

          Yeah he maybe the only one

      • Rcleven

        Yanks have no interest in acquiring pitching. Wound need something else. Still need big bat but Al, I doubt would be enough to get it done.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    How about Garza & Feldman to the RedSox for LHP Owens, RHP Ranaudo, INF Cecchini, & C Swihart ?

    • David

      Massive overpay for the Red Sox, and I doubt they want to trade for TWO rental pitchers. All four of those prospects could be top 100s, with Cecchini and Owens probably in a lot of top 50s. You aren’t getting that for anything outside of Shark, Rizzo, or Castro.

  • Ryan

    So, just to join the armchair GM fun (why not?) here’s what I’d like to see (today anyway =):

    – Shift Gregg and Russell (+ mid-tier prospect if necessary) to Detroit for Castellanos. Detroit’s in terrible need of bullpen arms and Castellanos could start at the MLB level, freeing up DeJesus and Schierholtz for possible trades (though I do like the idea of keeping Schierholtz)

    – Trade Garza (and Navarro?) for an almost-MLB ready starter (Perez or similar) + prospect(s). Cubs aren’t going to re-sign Garza but getting someone they could shift into the rotation ASAP would be good

    – Trade Feldman for mid-tier pitching prospects (or Feldman + DeJesus/Schierholtz for better prospects).

    Then sign Bryant and I’d feel really, really good about the Cubs starting lineup in 2015 onwards. Then draft Rodon (because face it, you’re gonna suck the rest of this year anyway) and tie up Shark and Wood – and fill in the rotation/pen positions as they emerge.

    Just my two cents, but it’s fun to think about. Cheers Brett for all the good work – really enjoy the site.

    • SenorGato

      If Russell + Gregg could get Castellanos then this FO would have made that deal the second it becomes available.

      • Ryan

        Yeah true enough. Although given Detroit’s terrible need for ‘pen help I wonder what could be packaged with Gregg/Russell that could pry Castellanos. Would love to see that guy on the Cubs roster come late July..

        • David

          There really isn’t anyone. Sure they are desperate for bullpen help, but Castellanos is the type of prospect you trade for an all start SP or bat that has 2+ years of team control left. Think if we were competing and needed bullpen help, would you really trade Soler for a rental closer and two years of a lefty reliever? No, you’re looking to include him for the Yovanni Gallardo-type SP.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Why not go big or go home? Shark and Garza for Bradley/Skaggs/and 2 high upside lottery tickets. Or Shark and Baez for Bradley/Skaggs/and a lottery ticket? We need pitching, and they really need position players in their system. I personally think the Shark and Baez deal could atleast get them to consider. Unless, they go Shark for Skaggs/Delgado/ and 2 low level lottery tickets. I wouldn’t like that, but the FO seems enamored for Delgado. Last year we tried for him. He could be a solid 2nd piece. I would atleast want 2 high end upside pitchers in return for Shark that are advanced. Shark will be a Cub, imo, for a couple more years. The FO did what they should do.

    • nkniacc13

      why when Shark should be able to get you 2 top pitching prospects like Skaggs and Bradley by himself

      • Big Joe

        Is that why Arizona hung up the phone when the Cubs asked for those exact to players?
        No. No he’s not worth those to guys, or any other two comparable players.
        He’s good. Not great. Never will be.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          I do think both handled the call or situation the right way though. Our FO would be dumb not to ask for what they did because Shark is far more important to us than them. That said, if their FO wanted to consider something close to that, I think we have the players to make it happen. I would love it if we got atleast 2 players close or at the major league level with that upside. Until we can come close to that, there isn’t a trade I want to see us in with Shark.

          • Big Joe

            I can agree with that.

    • Kevin B

      You think Shark/Baez would get the Diamondbacks to at least consider that deal? Like they would be doing us a favor? Then what would you do? Offer them more? Terrible trade for the Cubs.

      Why do you say the Cubs are enamored with Delgado? Just because they tried to trade Dempster (a rental) last year for him? Delgado has done nothing since then but get traded and demoted to the minors. One reason AZ is looking for pitching is Delgado has been useless.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        1. Yep.
        2. Yep.
        3. Nope.
        4. Because where we are as organizations is different and what is useful to one team may not be to another.
        5. Who cares. They are a contender. We are not. Again, not hard to see why he would be more useful to us than them.
        6. Good, then lets get him at a low price. Maybe he could be the 3rd player in a deal?

        In any trade you are going to give up something to get something. Hopefully both sides would be happy. Sorry, you can’t see a hypothetical that I said probably wouldn’t happen for what it was.

  • #1lahairfan

    Since we might trade a few of our outfielders at the deadline I think Grady Sizemore should be an option on a split minor league deal for 2 years.

    He was one of my favorite players before the injury. I think we should take a chance on him.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    All this conversation is about markets. Cubs have valuable pieces, to someone.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/06/quick-hits-konerko-garza-gonzalez-yankees.html

    Seems we have a high price to be fulfilled. Which is fine at this point. But if we are serious about trading 2 SPs, I assume we do one deal in the NL and the other in AL. Unless 2 GMs in the Al East/NL West are going to battle for the pieces they like for our benefit. Which would be ideal, but I can’t see it. (But baseball never ceases to surprise.)

    The FO being in the midst of a Stalin 5-year plan, has July 2013 as their moment to turn this team into a long-term contender. No excuses. You have 2-3 legit SPs that are trade bait for the right price. A slew of corner OFs to sort out. A cheap closer…shouldn’t be hard to get 4-8 top prospects back. So if this next month, they don’t get it done, they likely won’t ever.

    This is ‘their opportunity’ to prove they can turn this team around. At very least, the Cubs should rate as the best minors system (prospect wise) going into 2014 – with some crops making headlines/intros late in 2014. 2015: The potentials should be converted to kinetics.

    At the end of this season, it will be 2 years since Theo’s hiring. 2 more years to get a team to contend/put on display a squad that will by 2016. Else, you probably are not the leadership method needed.

    Presidents of the United States get actually less time, thanks to elections. (So, there is a comparison of graver importance – as the Prez CEOs the American Democratic System (Attention Deficit Syndrome).)

    Get Busy Theo/Jed Child!

    • nkniacc13

      I wont say the Cubs have to have top farm system but they should be around the top 5.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Scouting Book places the Cubs at #7.

        Seattle has Franklin, Miller, Carter Capps up. So, there not prospects anymore. (IMHO)
        St. Louis Miller up, Rosenthal up
        Texas Profar up
        Tampa Wil Myers up

        If we do indeed hall in 3 top prospects (25 through 200) and 3-4 middle road (200-500), I feel we should move up in overall talent to #2, or #1.

        Whatever Scouting book’s rating paradigm or Baseball America uses to calculate to through the minutia, the Cubs should be in the conversation for #1 hereafter.

        • Crockett

          Not to mention Cubs add Kris Bryant…none of those teams add top 2 draft pick.

          • nkniacc13

            Oh I agree they have added some pieces but until they get upper level pitching prospects its just seems tough for a team to be ranked in the top 3.

            • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

              Which is why we should be hoping we pull in at least 3-4 top SP prospects (at least 1 LHP) , switch hitting or lefty Catcher, maybe even a SS too (just in case). To go with Bryant (who I am awaiting his contract), Baez, Almora, et. al. This team has to rock this July’s trades. Make impact that will reverberate into 2016,17,18…

              • nkniacc13

                I agree but outside of Garza I doubt we can get a top AA or better pitching prospect unless Shark gets moved which I don’t see happening. I think they go pitching hard but I just think they will have to take upside young starters High A or lower in most other deals

                • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                  Here’s hoping tight races in NLWest/AL East/AL West puts pressure on FOs to trade for more than usual. They have fan bases too…

                  Arizona lost to ATL as their pitching exploded all day.

                  Maybe JJ Putz has a set back (he came back today)…Gregg & Shark…met AZ.

                  AZ, pony up Skaggs, Bradley, C Stryker Trahan, LHP Eury De La Rosa if you want to address your immediate problem for NL race.

                  But that door is closed – neither side could live with the consequences of a bust/or bad performances.

  • http://None Cubbieblue29

    Any updates on how Bryan Lahair is performing in Japan?

  • Die hard

    Unless Cubs ate half of Hairston and Jackson salaries in trade to contender

  • toot

    Cubs need a Clint Hudrle manager. The guy knows what he is doing. Sveum is AA manager at best.

  • Die hard

    I touched on this a few days ago … More details… Sori to Yankees … Chamberlain and Hughes to San Diego ….. Erlin to Cubs…. Cubs pay 95% of Sori salary and Yankees pay 50% of salaries of 2 pitchers….

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