steve clevengerThank you for the early support with the BN Blogathon fundraiser, for which you have already – incredibly – donated more than $3,000 to Make-A-Wish with the goal of sponsoring the wish of a young Cubs fan. It’s a hell of a great start, but we’ve got a little way to go if you want to see me blog for 30 or 36 straight hours at the Trade Deadline.

  • No one seems to know what’s up with Steve Clevenger – not even Steve Clevenger. The Cubs catcher/utility player has been rehabbing a serious oblique injury, which he suffered earlier this year with the Cubs. From there, he worked his way back in Mesa, and spent a rehab stint at AAA Iowa. That stint ended, but Clevenger had some kind of setback, and was the officially optioned to Iowa. Since then, it’s been a little fuzzy what’s going on, but Clevenger was sent back to the hotel before last night’s Iowa game, according to Tommy Birch. Clevenger says he doesn’t know what’s going on, but it apparently isn’t for a call-up. He says he was told he should await a phone call on what comes next.
  • It’s notable that the international signing period opens up today, and international pool money – which the Cubs may want to acquire, and for which a player like Clevenger could net a small chunk – is officially available to be traded today. Based on the oblique recovery stuff, I would have simply assumed Clevenger was in the process of being sent back to Arizona for more rehab. But maybe it is a trade after all.
  • Carrie Muskat offers a big profile on Cubs hitting coach James Rowson, with discussion of Rowson’s approach, Starlin Castro’s development, and Anthony Rizzo’s adjustments.
  • Kane County Cougars broadcaster Wayne Randazzo interviewed Cubs Director of Player Development Brandon Hyde.
  • Boise Hawks outfielder, and former Cuban defector, Yasiel Balaguert is dominating at short season Low-A, and, as Luke mentioned in the Minor League Daily, he was the Northwest League’s most recent Player of the Week. Balaguert, 20, is hitting .262/.378/.557 so far this year, and you may remember that Balaguert was a well-regarded Cuban prospect when the Cubs signed him a year and a half ago (though not in the same class as a Jorge Soler, however). This is a young man to watch.
  • Javier Baez missed out by something like 1% in the fan vote for the Futures Game (but maybe he’ll be added to the roster as players – like Jorge Soler – drop off due to injury or whatever), losing out to Astros prospect Carlos Correa.
  • In case you missed the late night coverage, the Cubs appear to be on the verge of trading Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers, and there are updates aplenty there. Theo Epstein was on Dave Kaplan’s new show on WGN radio last night, and, although he’s never going to say, “Yeah, we’re trading Marmol to the Dodgers and it’s just getting finalized,” he did say that there might be a deal in the works, but, if it’s finalized, it won’t be a big trade. He said that it’s just about getting Marmol a change of scenery. So … yeah. A trade is coming, barring a last second hiccup (which you can never rule out).
  • I also talked to Baseball Prospectus’s Jason Parks yesterday about a huge range of Cubs topics. The post went up late last night to make it in time for the opening of today’s international signing period, so check it out if you missed it. Jason offered some great stuff.
  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    For the record, I have always liked Steve Clevenger. I thought he never got the opportunity to showcase his talent (except that time he did and then proceeded to hurt himself).

    The Marlins will be a good fit for him, he’ll probably split time between 1B/C there. I remember rumors about the Marlins wanting to deal Logan Morrison last year before his contract got too expense (I guess through arbitration-damn).

  • abe

    Maybe clevenger is part of the Marmol trade..

  • fortyonenorth

    Someone mentioned on the Marmol thread last night that Clevenger and the Cubs had a disagreement over his medical situation. Any word on this, Brett and whether it contributed to the trade?

    • Brett

      I saw the report, and Chris Cotillo – who wrote it – has been right on about many things this year. To me, though, that particular report seemed like it was missing too many details for me to discuss.

      • Luke

        Agreed. As he phrased it that report seemed more bizarre than anything. There is probably more to the story.

  • Rich H

    I really was high on Clevenger at one time thinking he could blossom into a Mike Redmon Brian Harper type quality catcher/bat on the bench. I still think he can but these injuries the last 2 season certainly have taken there toll.

  • JM

    Me first? Cool.

    Odd thing about Clevenger. I’ve said since the beginning of this regime that all Cubs players should be worried. There is one goal now, and that’s to put a winner on the field. If you are a player of trade value or not pulling your weight, you’re likely gone.

    Tough moves make tough clubs… i.e. the Atlanta Braves…

  • josh2

    seems like the cubs would want to hang onto Clevenger given their lack of depth at catcher in the org.

    • Die hard

      Good thing he wears a catchers mask

  • Timmy

    BREAKING NEWS: Clevenger traded for Carlos Marmol

  • Die hard

    We used to play that game in college… Tell someone to come back to apt cause there is a phone call… Irresistible

  • Die hard

    Real story is who is better looking? Sweeney or Clevenger? Just saying

  • The Dude Abides

    Sounds like Clevenger popped off and forgot he was “Steve Clevenger” around the same time the team was looking for someone to dump for more pool money.

  • Jay

    If the Dodgers are willing to give us even a case of beer for Marmol, that would be a major win.

  • Ben

    In what sense can a .262 avg be “dominating”? I understand advanced metrics, but BA still means something, doesn’t it?

    • jh03

      When you finish that triple slash with .378/.557, that’s pretty freakin good.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Something? Yes. Something much? No. An OPS over 0.900 is pretty dominating at most levels, regardless of the BA attached to it.

  • Timmy

    I hear if we trade Clevenger’s meager salary that the Ricketts will finally have enough money to gold coat the steering wheel of their fourth yacht. To pay for their airplane they’ll further raid Cubs revenues in 2014 so that we have a 60m payroll.

    • TWC

      Keep posting this tedious crap, kid. Maybe one day someone will give a shit.

      • Timmy

        Hey, it’s the return of Al Jourgensen’s internet troll doppelgänger.

      • Internet Random

        “Maybe one day someone will give a shit.”

        Everyone needs a dream.

  • Mike Lillard

    He is one ugly dude.

    • Seamhead

      Looks like his face caught on fire and someone put out the fire with a track shoe…

  • Rcleven

    Dionisio Soldevila ‏@dSoldevila 5m

    Sources say the Rangers bought space from the international cap from the Marlins #July2nd

    Strange twit if Clevenger is going to the tropics.
    How much Space does Miami have?

    • Rcleven

      per Chris Cotillo:

      TUESDAY 9:24 AM: A trade should happen sometime today, a source confirms to MLBDailyDish’s Chris Cotillo. The Houston Astros will not be acquiring Clevenger, and his destination is still unknown. The Cubs seem to be busy finalizing separate deals involving Marmol and Clevenger.

  • Seamhead

    Marmol should hold the Cubs hostage by refusing to go to the Dodgers and hold out for a trade to the Braves…

    • Timmy

      BREAKING NEWS: Theo is trading Rizzo, Castro, and Soler for JD Drew, Carl Crawford, and Ian Stewart

  • Tom

    Are the Cubs looking to be competitive in 2014 or do diehards get another year of obsessing over trivial transactions like Ian Stewart, Carlos Marmol, and Steve Clevenger?

    • nkniacc13

      Id say more competitive in 14 but still rebuild 2015 is the year I think

      • Timmy

        The answer is clear. We’re bout to have another fire sale and unless it’s on the downlow they aren’t going to be signing any quality free agents. We’re rebuilding our rebuild for a 2018 team.

    • Cyranojoe

      It really depends on what rolls of the dice hit and when.

  • LWeb23

    I do love Javier Baez, however I am kind of glad he didn’t make the All-Star Game. I think a little bit of failure isn’t a bad thing for him.

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