Lukewarm Stove: Additional Moves, Schierholtz, Russell, Big Contracts, More

stoveA lot of folks ask me what I’m going to do for the BN Blogathon at the Trade Deadline (we’re almost to $12,000 raise for Make-A-Wish!) if the Cubs have already made all of their trades by Tuesday. Well, my initial answer is: I hope they don’t. My secondary answer is: they probably won’t. And my tertiary answer is: at a minimum, lots of other teams will be making deals. In truth, I do expect the Cubs to still have some pieces available come Tuesday and Wednesday, because the guys they’ve got left who are theoretically movable aren’t ones that teams buy early or that the Cubs feel compelled to move. In other words, I tend to think the Cubs won’t make another move until Tuesday or Wednesday. But maybe I’m just being hopeful …

  • Or maybe I’m just listening to the man. Theo Epstein said this week, as the Alfonso Soriano trade was playing out, that the team is fielding lots of calls on other players, but that nothing was close. “We have received some calls on some other potential opportunities, but nothing really concrete yet,” Epstein said, per ESPN. “If we do anything, it will probably be closer to the deadline.” To that end, Epstein said there could still be more on the horizon, even if the front office is happy about how the move-guys-early strategy has played out. “There are some things we’d like to explore, and if we can find the right fit and bring value back to the organization, sure, we would be [interested],” Epstein said, per Cubs.com. “We’ve had a very active July. We set out to be proactive, especially with starting pitching. We wanted to jump the market a little and get the Feldman deal and the Garza deal done before more starting pitchers became available and flooded the market. That part of the strategy felt great.”
  • Nate Schierholtz, whose name is popping up intermittently in rumors, hopes to stay with the Cubs. “I haven’t spent a second thinking about [being traded],” he said Friday, per Cubs.com. “Every year, you hear so many names thrown around …. I can’t control it. If you go a week worrying about it and you don’t get traded, it’s a lot of worry for nothing. I love it here, and I’d like to stay a Cub. Hopefully, I don’t go anywhere.” Of the plausible remaining trade pieces, Schierholtz might have the most trade value, given his production and contract (just $2.25 million this year, and another year of arbitration next year). But, not entirely unrelatedly, he might be the guy I’d most like the Cubs to keep from that group – there’s no obvious replacement in the waiting, he can provide great value again next year, and the Cubs do need to, like, actually try and produce some offense in 2014. That said, of course, if the Pirates are willing to go crazy and part with a top arm for a Schierholtz-headlined package, you make the move.
  • If the Cubs do discuss Schierholtz with the Pirates, they’ll likely have a little competition in the form of Alex Rios, who has seemingly been connected to the Pirates for weeks and weeks. Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are not on Rios’ no-trade list, and they remain interested (as are the Rangers, and a handful of other teams). Although the market is much broader than just Rios and Schierholtz in right field, if you’re strictly comparing the two, Rios gets the advantage of not being a platoon player (but, arguably, Schierholtz can hold his own well-enough against lefties that if you had to start him in that capacity, it wouldn’t kill your team – he still takes good at bats, runs the bases well, and plays good defense). Other than that, it’s Schierholtz all the way. Rios gets you the 2014 year of control, too, but at a much, much steeper price than Schierholtz ($12.5 million in 2013 versus just $2.25 million for Schierholtz; $12.5 million (plus probable $1 million buyout) in 2014 versus, what, $5 or $6 million for Schierholtz?). And then there’s the production: since May 24 – a span of 53 games – Rios is hitting just .246/.289/.332. If a Rios versus Schierholtz competition did develop over the next few days for any teams, it’s not a very close competition.
  • For what it’s worth, Joel Sherman, who hears that the Cubs were indeed prioritizing the moves they’ve already made before moving on to other things, says the Cubs are “definitely listening on Schierholtz.”
  • Speaking of the Pirates, they’re now without closer Jason Grilli for a month or two thanks to a forearm strain, and could look to add a reliever in addition to a bat. They don’t need a closer, per se, with Mark Melancon slotting nicely into the role, but adding a veteran arm for depth in the later innings would probably be nice. Kevin Gregg’s value has taken an obvious hit over the last few weeks, but he’s still a worthwhile reliever for a contending team. Just saying.
  • James Russell – discussed in the Bullets this morning – has been getting a lot of looks, per Bruce Levine, and sources say the Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Braves are among the interested teams (at least five are interested). As a young, cheap, effective lefty in a market barren of those guys, the price tag on Russell figures to be steep, relatively speaking. He won’t net quite what Sean Marshall got the Cubs before 2012, but I reckon the asking price wouldn’t be too much lower. A couple top 10 organizational prospects or maybe even a 80 to 100 overall, perhaps? That may seem like a lot, but Russell has the look of a keeper otherwise. Might as well keep the asking price plenty high.
  • With Tim Hudson out after a gruesome ankle break, the Braves are reportedly now in the market for a starting pitcher, as well as a lefty reliever (which was already a high priority). Russell obviously fits the bill on the latter need, but I’m not sure the Cubs’ one movable starting pitcher – Carlos Villanueva – is going to sufficiently interest the Braves that it would compel the Cubs to move him. Villanueva’s swing ability is a comforting thing heading into 2014, for which he’s still on a reasonable contract.
  • The Indians are also looking for a lefty reliever.
  • After a bench of hemming and hawing, the Phillies are going to listen to offers for Cliff Lee. About that jumping the starting pitching market thing: well done, Cubs.
  • Unrelated to the Deadline, Epstein reiterated to the media, in the wake of moving on from Alfonso Soriano’s mega contract, that he’s not philosophically opposed to getting big names in free agency. “Looking ahead, I think we will acquire impact players through free agency,” he said, per CSN. “We’re just not going to build our plans around that. We’ll know when the time is right, when the fit is right, when the player is right, when the value is right, when the impact of the player is profound for our ballclub. I wouldn’t rule anything out as far as impact free-agent acquisitions. But right now our focus is on building the health of this organization.” I would say the proof is in the pudding on this approach – look at the Edwin Jackson signing this offseason. He was one of the bigger, more expensive free agents on the market, and he was very clearly not going to be the difference between competing and not competing this year. But the Cubs pulled the trigger anyway, because he fit the longer-term plan. Who might that player (or players) be this offseason? Cano? Ellsbury? Choo? I’m not really sure any of them will be a perfect fit this time around. On a lower tier, let me stake my claim now (as I believe I have before): I hope the Cubs go after Phil Hughes. He’s not going to get huge dollars, but I could see him doing well with the Cubs. And he only just turned 27.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

121 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Additional Moves, Schierholtz, Russell, Big Contracts, More”

  1. waittilthisyear

    been coming to this site for over a year now, and i think this is the first time i disagree with you Brett; not a fan of phil hughes, and never have been. i’d offer reasons, but i would have to have some first…

    1. CubFan Paul

      According to Yanks’ fans & media who watch the games: Hughes is “soft”. He struggles when it gets tough and that’s why he’s available. Sounds a lot like a almost polished version of Volstad.

      1. Rebuilding

        I think Hughes suffers more from giving up HRs than any intangible “softness”. His HR rates the last 2 years are 1.65 and 1.50. Some of that might be the RF porch at Yankee Stadium though

        1. CubFan Paul

          You don’t see “soft” or “softness” is stats.

          TWTW

          1. mudge

            If it doesn’t show up in stats, it must not exist. The only reality is that of our measuring system. Seig Heil.

            1. Rebuilding

              What’s the rule that if you invoke Hitler or the Nazis you’ve already lost the argument? So, you would rather believe third hand anecdotal stories? Ok

              1. Rebuilding

                Godwin’s Law. Anyway, if anyone has any tangible proof that Hughes doesn’t pitch well in critical situations I’m all ears (or eyes). But excuse me if I don’t take it as gospel what a guy says on the Internet, that he heard from some unnamed Yankees fan(s)

        2. YourResidentJag

          I worry about his velocity and control. John Smoltz pointed this out…at times he seems like his aiming the ball.

      2. Patrick G

        The only thing I don’t like about Hughes is his fly ball rate. He could definitely benefit from going to a NL team, but needs to pitch in a hitters park. With the winds at Wrigley sometimes blowing out hard, I don’t see him as a fit for the Cubs. Just my opinion though

        1. Patrick G

          Also hasn’t had an ERA under 4 since 2009, when he only started 7 games. And being one of the more known pitchers on the free agent market, I’m sure he’ll want somewhere close to what Edwin Jackson got, which I don’t feel is worth it

  2. willis

    I wouldn’t mind taking a run at Phil Hughes. And to the Russell point, if he really could net a top 8-10 org prospect like you said, then I say you take that and start grooming a couple lefty arms to be bullpen arms next season.

    1. Melrosepad

      Why not see what Raley can do full time in the pen. Russell was a starter his first year and a half in the minors. Might be worthwhile to see what he can do since a full time shot in the rotation doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him.

  3. FullCountTommy

    Russell and Villanueva makes sense for the Braves given they don’t necessarily need a higher end starter like Peavy. I’m with you on Phil Hughes Brett, much cheaper alternative, and he has been a serviceable starter who still has a ton of upside at the age of 27

    1. CubsFaninMS

      Sadly, the Braves farm system is very short on prospects. Gilmartin? Betancourt? Alex Wood looks nice but he’s no longer a prospect. I don’t see the Braves having the farm system to gut it anymore than it already is.

  4. Dustin S

    I think you’re right on Hughes being a strong possibility. I think we’re going to see very similar moves this offseason as last season, with mostly buy-low moderate risk and potentially flippable guys like Feldman. Hughes would be in that mold. If Navarro is dealt, a similar catching pickup would be pretty likely too.

  5. LER

    Hughes had one adequate year, and that was in 2009, when he pitched 86 innings. Homing in on him is like homing in on Jason Marquis three or four years ago.

    1. Rebuilding

      Or like homing in on Feldman or Villanueva. He wouldn’t be available if he had put it all together already

  6. Getty

    Have we gotten any of these PTBNL trades finalized?

    By my count we have
    Andrew Carpenter to Rockies
    Takahashi to Rockies
    Alberto Gonzalez to Yankees
    Brent Lillibridge to Yankees
    Moscoso to Giants
    Garza deal with Rangers

    Anyone else I’m forgetting?

    1. mdavis

      my guess is:

      cash
      cash
      cash
      cash
      cash
      waiting until Ramierz comes of the DL to see how healthy he is.

    2. Steve123

      We do also have one in the Hairston deal

    3. cubsin

      There’s a PTBNL going both ways in the Scott Hairston/Ivan Pinyero deal.

      1. davidalanu

        And considering what Hairston has done since the trade, I doubt that Theo will be the one initiating that conversation.

      2. nkniacc13

        but didn’t Jed say that those 2 ptbn wont affect the deal all?

      3. Blublud

        Pinyero (small sample size) has actually been pretty lights out since that trade. 3 starts,17 innings, .941 WHIP, 2.65 ERA, 14/1 SO/Walks. I think we are currently winning that trade.

    4. Jason P

      Probably will happen after the year. If we can get a useful prospect for Jeff Baker (or at least Marcello Carreno was supposed to be a useful propsect, I have no idea where he went) hopefully we can at least get someone worth watching for a couple of those guys.

    5. Jason P

      Probably will happen after the year. If we can get a useful prospect for Jeff Baker (or at least Marcello Carreno was supposed to be a useful propsect, I have no idea where he went) hopefully we can at least get someone worth watching for a couple of those guys (and an actual, legitimate prospect for Garza like Ramirez)

    6. MichiganGoat

      Regardless if it’s cash or a player it will not amount to anything worth giving it too much observation (outside of Ramirez but that’s a PTBNL due to injury concerns).

    7. ssckelley

      The players we would get back in those deals may not be good enough to be on the Cubs minor league rosters. The only PTBNL I am really interested in is the one (or 2) we are getting back on the Garza deal.

      1. nkniacc13

        true unless they can get someone like what they got for campana a really young kid that is just making his way stateside

  7. Mush

    Does anyone know who the coach in the dugout during games not listed on coaching staff? Brown hair usually near Sveum. Just wondering who he is.

    1. Patrick G

      that’s actually Assman

    2. Spriggs

      He is Mike Borzello. Staff Assistant. This is his second yr in the dugout (and with the Cubs). He’s had similar jobs with other teams (Yankees for sure).

      1. Mush

        Thanks, now I can sleep tonight, ha

        1. Spriggs

          The media guide also says that he is involved with advanced scouting and bullpen catchers. As a player, he was drafted by StL in 1991 and never made it past A ball. SWEET DREAMS!

          1. hookersorcake

            Wow.
            Anyone remember when Sporting news and baseball weekly where the only place to get info. That an the baseball almanacs, magazines, and local newspapers. Still it was tough. Minor league info was only available through smoke signals.

            1. spearman

              Yep, used to go get the Baseball Weekly every week.

  8. cubzfan23

    I would love to see Cano with a Big C on his chest.

    1. Patrick G

      I would too but don’t think the FO will give in to his demands of long term and big money. He’s basically carrying the Yankees this year and could potentially carry the Cubs. What I like most about him is he’s left-handed at a position we could use. All our top prospects are RH except Alcantara(Switch) and Vogelbach. If somehow we magically land Cano, I could see some of the infield prospects be used to trade for a top tier pitcher.

  9. auggie55

    This has nothing to do with the topics covered here, but I just visited WSI, a White Sox blog, and Mark Gonzales sent a message today saying next month he will be switching over to cover the Cubs.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Hey, maybe the Cubs will finally get a solid reporter to add to Bruce Myles.

  10. YourResidentJag

    I would rather us get a like Pelfrey on a one yr deal. We’re far from contention next year, regardless of the regression of other teams in the division.

    1. Patrick G

      I don’t see much regression from other teams next year. Maybe the Brewers but they’ll also have Braun back full season.

  11. Jay

    Aside from Travis Wood, as far as I’m concerned Schierholz has been our best player and a real find. Considering how cheap he is and how much control we still have over him, I’d hate to see him go. I’m fully on board with the rebuild and completely understand what’s going on but at some point you have to keep somebody.

  12. another JP

    Joel Sherman reporting in the NY Post that Cashman didn’t want to trade for Sori but was overruled by ownership, just like when he wanted Russell Martin or Schierholtz and they ended up with Ichiro instead. Nice to see the Yanks have reverted to the Cubs model of the past when evaluating players to acquire.

    1. SenorGato

      That sucks. Cashman takes all those bullets with some fuckin’ clayass too. He’ll forever be underrated because of nonsense like that.

  13. Louie

    Why not trade for Evan Gattis from the Braves for Russell? Too much, too little in return? We could sure use his kind of power next year to score some runs, plus he’s only 26

    1. Jason Powers

      Probably because McCann is going to FA. They will be right back shopping for a catcher.

      1. Jason Powers

        Atlanta that is.

  14. caryatid62

    I think it’s likely that this team is at least 3 years from contention. To think that Baez and Soler are going to come up and be immediate impact players is highly unlikely, and both are at least away. Meanwhile, Almora and Bryant are at least 2 years away, and will spend another year developing as major leaguers. Meanwhile, the team has absolutely no high end pitching prospects, and doesn’t seem all too interested in taking a risk on one that’s available (despite his potential flaws and alleged 2/3 starter ceiling).

    I can’t see much from this team before 2016 unless they start spending like a major market team at the major league level on pieces that will fill their organizational holes (pitching especially).

    (btw-don’t bother with the “they’re finally doing a full rebuild and why are you so impatient?” meme. Spending money and rebuilding are not opposites and should not be considered as such.)

    1. cubzfan23

      Agreed.. You can do both.

    2. SenorGato

      Both Epstein and Hoyer will not be around if this team is still losing in 3 years. Their contracts are up and they’ve clearly failed anyway if it’s taking so long.

    3. Hawkeye

      Very well said.

    4. Ivy Walls

      I disagree, human development does not happen in a linear fashion. At first I thought the same way but a good friend who is a retired coach in another sport reminded me that grouping young highly talented teams often gel faster than expected.

      I think it starts with Lake showing us something this final third of the season. But in the field it is Baez and Alcantara coming up next year. If Baez continues to dominate AA pitching, after going 1/15in his first four games, he is 16/56 (.286/.357/.714 1.071 OPS) over the last 13 games, If he continues with this type of pace over .950 OPS the next 2-3 weeks the Cubs might want to challenge him again in AAA.

      Alcantara OPS in AA is .821 for a middle infielder, .275/.347/.464 has 429 AB’s in AA, by some time in August he will have 500 AB’s and both could be moved this year to AAA.

      If both can continue to refine and develop in AZ and winter ball they could be in Cubs pinstripes next summer. That is why I think Cubs will be looking to trade Castro for some almost ready pitching over the winter. This is where or whether the Cubs begin to compete in 2014, adding a pitchers like Walker and Hultzen would change the equation quickly. Also things like Soler would have to continue to ascend after his injury and be up next year as well.

      The only question then is how fast can Almora and Bryant ascend, which leaves what to do with Olt if Bryant is what we hope he is? Catching is the only issue which would be nice to find a left handed bat and then a starting staff of power arms.

  15. Lou Brock

    Hughes does not fit the mold of pitchers they are trading for. He gives up more than a HR per start for the last two years. I would think they will stay in house this year for starting pitching with Arrieta, Grimm, Rusin, and Hendricks as your candidates for number 4/5 starting spots.
    I think they like Valbuena in that swing role between the pen and # 5. They should target a C with more power like Saltalamacchia if they move Navarro. They also need a reliable backup for Castro that hits from the left side. Sign Sweeney again for the OF and at least two lefty relievers that are not just Loogys.

    1. SenorGato

      I wouldn’t trade for Hughes, but I would not mind if the Cubs picked him up in FA. Yankee Stadium is an absolute bandbox and he’s the got the fastball/breaking ball for success. Yet another guy who could get better going from the AL East to the NL Central.

      Also pretty interested in Joba Chamberlain in FA…Obviously he has a late inning arm and it’s a matter of keeping him healthy.

      1. mdavis

        please, no chamberlain. he’s a complete punk and not that good.

        1. SenorGato

          What’s so punkish about Chamberlain? He’s probably as physically talented a FA bullpen arm as will be available and in that sense I see no reason to avoid him.

    2. Hawkeye

      If this is all they do I firmly believe they lose 100 games next year. I hope they add at least on very solid SP and a bat.

      1. AlwaysNextYear

        Your laughable just like last night.

        1. Hawkeye

          Easy toughguy, no need to throw around insults simply because I would like to see a little more mlb talent on the 2014 squad. Who that is, I guess is up to the front office but without some pretty heavy acquisitions in the offseason the team will be bad. I guess I didnt think I was going out on a limb there. Is that even really debateable?

          1. AlwaysNextYear

            I said laughable, How did you get tough guy. I asked you last night if you took over this team when this FO did please tell me the moves you would have made in FA and include this upcoming FA as well. I asked a lot of questions to you last night that you never answered actually, you just came back with my mindless dribble.

            1. Hawkeye

              You asked me stupid questions as I have the benefit off hindsight so I choose not to waste time answering them. But here you go FA’s that I would like to have over the past 2 years, Darvish, Puig, R Soriano, Bourne, Re up Garza, Kuroda, Sanchez. Just to name a few. I feel all these guys would help the club. Now you wanted to rule out Gonzalez because he “hadn’t pitched in the minors or majors”, not very insightful IMO.

              1. AlwaysNextYear

                You don’t read very well do you, Go back and see that I wrote he has barely pitched in two years and nobody knows much about him. Bourne now I see your problem your just very clueless. It’s ok I also see you wanna go back to the Hendry days as well and give out big contracts to everybody. How many WS has this team won in 100+ years oh yeah zero. So how about something different like building a young team and implementing FA’s as a supporting cast. Geez something new and different, I’m sure you have the same underwear from 10yrs ago too huh.

                1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                  Do you really want to know about his underwear? Kind of odd.

                  1. AlwaysNextYear

                    Not really. That is odd but it was a point.

                    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      Fair enough. Can’t be too safe these days.

                2. Hawkeye

                  You could make a strong case for the Cubs having more success under Hendry then any FO since the the 1930′s. Do you think that the Cubs have been traditionally known as big free agent spenders? The fundamental difference between myself and you is that is you have a losers mentality “alwaysnextyear” pretty much sums that up. Also this hole building from within thing isn’t know small market teams have been doing forever. Good scouting and assembling MLB talent are not mutually exclusive.

                  1. AlwaysNextYear

                    Hey you finally made a valid point. Look at the A’s and Rays please tell me their big free agent signings as they both are in first place, I’ll wait……. Losers mentality LOL the name is a joke not a true feeling. God you just keep me laughing.

                    1. AlwaysNextYear

                      Now that I think of it, If your a Hendry fan then who exactly has the losers mentality.

                    2. Hawkeye

                      Um, the A’s haven’t one a World Series in almost 30 years and the Rays have never one one. Must be a big coincidence the Red Sox and the Yankees are in the postseason every year and the Royals and Pirates aren’t. Your the type of guy that would have let Maddux walk aren’t you? Probably still holding on to your Todd Van Poppel rookie card, cause he’s a cant miss prospect.

                    3. Hawkeye

                      Not really a Hendry fan but did enjoy winning back to back divisions.

                    4. AlwaysNextYear

                      Your so clueless that your contradicting yourself in your own statement. A’s and Rays have won how many World Series and then being content with back to back divisions. Geez this is to easy. Cubs are building like a small market team but unlike the small markets when the team comes together they can actually spend the money to get the players to put them over the top. You agreed with me without even knowing it. Thanks buddy this is priceless

                    5. AlwaysNextYear

                      Also Won and One are two different meanings. I get it even better now, Your not exactly book smart.

                  2. Hawkeye

                    You seem to use the A’s and Rays as the picture of MLB success, I simply pointed out that I can come up with more successful franchises and yes winning divisions is more fun then losing 95 games You still haven’t told me anyone you would add to this team. Your answer is just wait for the prospects and hope. At this point I will stop going back in forth with you because I’m pretty sure your a child. A pretty dopey child at that.

                    1. Hawkeye

                      Yep, you got me. A typo shows I’m not book smart. Also, since were helping each other out you don’t need to capitalize after a comma.

                    2. AlwaysNextYear

                      Again I said last night who I would add grandpa. Sorry if your memory sucks. But in some cases when debating there comes a point where the debate just turns to pure embarrassment, Well were there so I feel it’s just right to stop humiliating you and award you with your participation ribbon for the day. Don’t get to excited everybody gets one.

                    3. AlwaysNextYear

                      Thanks for the comma help, Typo’s happen not sure about a W and O since they are no where close to each other but hey it happens.

                    4. MichiganGoat

                      Please tell me this is over, both of you have just wasted space bickering about nothing.

                    5. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      For some reason it wouldn’t let me reply to AlwaysNextYear…

                      “Also Won and One are two different meanings. I get it even better now, Your not exactly book smart.”

                      You can’t exactly say, “Your not exactly book smart.”

                      YOU’RE… You are… Not your…

                    6. AlwaysNextYear

                      Never claimed to be book smart, Finished college but that’s not saying much either. And yes it’s over Goat. I agree it was a waste.

  16. Joe

    Brett – who do you think brings more in return, Russell or Schierholtz?

  17. Kevin

    4 out of the 5 starting pitchers on the Rays (including Archer) are 18-1 since June 23rd. The Rays not only understand talent but also know how to coach them too. How would you rate the Cubs FO and coaching staff against the Rays?

    1. YourResidentJag

      This is why when anyone says the Cubs should get behind big FAs, or even buying low with FAs that aren’t looked at as trade pieces, I say they should be more clear on what they on the farm. The Rays have to do this because of their budget. Since Theo and Co have a strident adherence to this future plan, they should stick to it. Prematurely signing FAs does makes sense right now.

  18. Jason Powers

    I like Brett’s Hughes idea. I’d hear the soft stories, so it was not a name I wanted to throw out for addition. The contract would be short – but I think he’ll want a 4/5 year deal – and the money to go with.

    There is no true impact pitchers on the market – unless we are in Garza debate again. (After he goes to the playoffs, and WS, how’s the $$$ on that gonna play?)

    Cano will be too rich for Chicago and he’s gonna be 32. Didn’t we just trade a guy with New York pedigree? (Do we want NYC players at the moment?)

    But simply, we’ll have at least $40-45 mil in 2014 to play with to hold a 2013 budget of $106 million. Who we take on – now that many teams lock up the young talent for cheap before Free Agency kicks in – will undoubtedly be vets for 2-4 years.

    1. Jason Powers

      Vets over 30 – as most of the FA are right at 30 or way over. So We are buying a BRIDGE to when all these prospects start to sort themselves out by 2015/6.

      1. X the Cubs fan

        Curtis Granderson would be nice on a 2 year contract but he’ll probably accept the qualifying offer from the Yankees.

  19. turn two

    Brett, if the cubs have already made all of their moves by the deadline, you could always write a piece about how the cubs are neat.

  20. Blublud

    Most of these prospect are closer than 15 and much closer than 16. Baez and Alcantara are less than a year away. I could see a Daytona start with a quick promotion for Almora to Tennessee next year if he hits like he has this year. Johnson will more than likely start in Tennessee next year. Soler may get a AA start next year. His AFL and ST play will tell the tale. Once any of those guys are in AA, then they all become a phone call from the bigs.

    I don’t think this FO has the luxury they had in Boston to slow roll prospect. In Boston, they were always winning and always deep in the system, so the top prospects were allowed to develop at AAA. Right now, that not really an option.

  21. Josh t

    Brett,
    Why do you wanna keep Schierholtz? Do you think the cubs will make the playoffs next yr? I personally don’t. Sell high with the extra yr of control on Schierholtz.

    1. Josh t

      Just bc a player is cost controlled for one yr doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell high on a guy. He’s not in the core either

      1. nkniacc13

        Id look to move him now as his value is about as high as it will get. You have Lake and if you don’t trade Dejesus as 2 OF spots for next year. Id think you could get Sweeney back as well as sign someone for as much as Schierholtz would cost you

    2. Jason Powers

      I think you keep Scheirholtz if you plan to dump DeJesus. DeJesus is gonna be 34, got hurt, and while that shouldn’t be the deciding factor, his production will likely decline hereafter.

      DeJesus can be let go for 1.5 M or kept for 6.5M for 2014. $5 million saved + the Soriano’s total savings of $6.8 million gets you nearly 1 year of a better option in 2014. Add 3-4 more years, and that’s a deal.

      I think Cubs can upgrade on CF – younger, better OBP, faster, better defense (DeJesus has been negative Runs saved above avg). And we know Ellsbury was drafted 1st round by Boston/Theo.

      Gotta be a possibility for the right contract.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/ellsbja01.shtml

      1. nkniacc13

        I think they keep Dejesus as much for a team leader as anything. I would play Lake in Center more than not so Dejesus as a corner OF works for me.

        1. Jason Powers

          Ellsbury will be 30 in Sept. I think he’s at the right age for even a 4 year deal.

          IDK, I think Theo probably has enough of a relationship – bringing Jacoby up for the 2nd championship in 2007, his .438BA against Colorado, that I think Ellsbury would undoubtedly listen to the guy who drafted him. (Relationships do matter. And FO guys typically like who they drafted or traded for – they are human. Bias does creep in. Hopefully good biases.)

          And Ellsbury has always been in a pennant race – performed well enough. Has DeJesus? And to say DeJesus is a leader – why, because he’s older? Outspoken?

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            If it takes a draft pick and a 5yr contract to sign Ellsbury, no thanks. Speed is his main asset and he’s already 30. Speed is the first skill to decline for players. 3yr deal sure. Keep the seat warm for Almora and trade Ellsbury with a yr left in his deal and you’ll be able to recoup the 2nd round talent we lost to sign him and probably more

            1. MichiganGoat

              I agree five (unless it’s a good dollar amount) is to much. Maybe three plus an incentive 4th year option and a team 5th year option.

            2. Jason Powers

              We agree to disagree.

    3. Jeremy

      Mostly because our OF situation is incredibly thin for next season and he’s a good, cost-controlled player that we don’t have to trade unless we something back for him that we like.

      As of now our OF for next season barring trades looks like

      Lake/Dejesus/Schierholtz/Sappelt (I think Gillespie and Bogesevic may be as well but there OF you stash in AAA)

      The OF market in the offseason this year has talent in it but guys that are on the wrong side of thirty and don’t fit into building a contender year in and year out.

      I wouldn’t mind Ellsbury or Choo on the right deal but those two will likely demand $$$ that we aren’t going to spend yet.

      1. Jason Powers

        A 34 year old CF with diminishing skills. I highly doubt will get that much for DeJesus.

        I could be wrong. The OF you project is well – not that exciting.

        Lake/Ellsbury/Scheirholtz/Matt Szczur/Cole Gillespie is at least different. Ellsbury and Lake could be 1 and 2 in the batting order. Plus Speed, Pop, OBP history for Ellsbury. That works.

        1. gocatsgo2003

          I don’t really think The Jesus’ skills are all that diminished, but the reasons the Cubs might keep him are the same ones other teams would want him — reasonable option next season, great clubhouse guy, and pretty remarkably consistent (if not spectacular) performance.

        2. X the Cubs fan

          Lake won’t stay in the 2 hole long term.

          1. Jason Powers

            Don’t disagree. But, if Lake performs, he may make a case to keep him there.

            The whole “great clubhouse guy” would be more important if DeJesus was gonna be here for 3-4 years. He’s got at most 1 1/2 possible seasons. Likely, if the team is not good in 2014, he’s gone by July 31st. So HOW much clubhouse presence did you really get? Is that worth 6.5 million?

            IDK, we can be younger, and better at a key position. Wouldn’t you like 40 steals and .350 OBP out of lead-off guy that might slug 10 homers? That’s Ellsbury. He’s doing it in 2013. And we CAN afford him – on a 4/5 year deal.

      2. Serious Cubs Fan

        I believe in Theo/Jed to find the next Schierholtz (undervalued player). Schierholtz is not going to help us in the future. He could help us for the future if we sold high with the extra yr of control and gain prospects for him in a trade that could possibly help us in the future

  22. X the Cubs fan

    Carlos Rodon just kind of destroyed Cuba 6 2/3 innings, 11 Ks, 2 hits, 0 Runs, 81 pitches.

  23. Brent

    Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs are listening on Samardjiza. Obviously they are “listening” bc you listen on every player, but I could see them actually moving him. D-backs? Would def be getting Skaggs or Bradley back in that deal.

    1. Assman22

      Don’t read into it too much…Cubs just dangling him out there towards the end of the deadline seeing if someone would bite on their heavy asking…doubtful he gets moved in the next few days…

      1. Jason Powers

        Maybe their ask just under Cliff Lee – especially that 25 mil contract, which Philly won’t want to eat too much of. No top end pitching on the FA market either.

    2. Serious Cubs Fan

      If the Dbacks wanted to give up Skaggs and Bradley for The Shark, I’d hate to see him go but I’d pack his bags and drive him to the airport for him. Dbacks aren’t goin give up both. Bradley is going to be a special pitcher.

  24. kubphan82

    I was not on board with any of the CJWilson, Pujols, Hamilton talk… I wanted Fielder under conditions he did not sign. I will be in the “Sign McCann Camp”. The FO mentioned injecting OBP into the lineup and they might have to go get it from outside the organization.

    If the FO wants to make headway: Choo has a skillset that’s not predicated on speed like Ellsbury, and he seems like his skills would not diminish nearly as fast. He’s been consistent and if a 5 year deal is on the table… Take him, anything past and it might not be a go. A leadoff man with his skills is something we haven’t seen since Lofton. Add in McCann, keeping Castillo, and the Cubs look MUCH better just considering those additions. Sign Infante (a lower tiered but consistent producer) and the Cubs have the makings of a mighty fine lineup.

    I’d like to see some effort to sign Mujica, and to a lesser degree Balfour. But this offseason the Cubs CAN MAKE what they want of it because the available pieces to build the team without hurting the future are there. If you sign one player attached to a qualifying offer, you might as well not care and continue that process much like going over international slot money in one season…

  25. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Gausman Schoop plus 1 for Samardjia Schierholtz

    1. DarthHater

      Unless “plus 1″ = Bundy, I think that’s a non-starter for the Cubs.

  26. nkniacc

    Not enough

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