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The Atlanta Braves, second perhaps only to the Tigers, have been rather loudly in the market for a bullpen arm, preferably a lefty, after a rash of injuries hit the pen. Now they’ve picked up their lefty: today, the Braves traded pitcher Cory Rasmus to the Angels for Scott Downs.

Downs, 37, is in the final year of a relatively big money deal, which pays him $5 million this year. His perhiperals are a bit meh this year (relatively speaking), but he does have an ERA under two. He’s a lefty who can get lefties out, and those guys have value.

Rasmus, 25, is the younger brother of Colby, and has spent most of the year as a AAA closer. He’s the kind of arm you’d expect to see in a deal like this: tons of strikeouts, tons of walks. It looks like he’s got some kind of big league future, but it’s questionable whether the walks will inhibit his ability to be more than a middle reliever, or his ability to stick in the big leagues.

The Braves had previously been connected to James Russell (and here, too), so this likely takes them out of that market. Of course, we still don’t know how interested the Cubs are in moving Russell anyway.

Although Downs is a lefty, and so is Russell, given their ages, abilities, and contract situations, I don’t really see them as all that correlative in terms of this having any impact on the Russell price. Instead, it could set an interesting price for Kevin Gregg (older like Downs, similar peripherals, and a much cheaper contract which probably equalizes their value (in other words, all money equal, Downs is more valuable)). Getting a guy like Rasmus – a possible near-term reliever with a big arm – would be a nice return for Gregg at this point. That’s just an example of the relative value, of course.

  • RizzoCastro

    Cubs should go ahead and trade Shark, Russell, Gregg, Nate, Navarro, Barney, DeJesus, and CV. If all of that happened we would have to call up a few players and use some we have got and will get in return. I think the Cubs need a complete makeover. I would only move Shark if the Cubs can get back a true number 1 and a true number 2 plus a BP arm or 2. DBacks, O’s, Nats, RedSox, A’s, Rangers, Braves, Pirates, Yankees Indians, Dodgers, Cards, Reds, and Tigers could be buyers.

    • On The Farm

      ” I would only move Shark if the Cubs can get back a true number 1 and a true number 2 plus a BP arm or 2″

      Where are you going to find teams that have both a future number 1 and number 2 that they are willing to give up for a guy who isn’t a number 1 right now?

      • RizzoCastro

        Then don’t give him up that simple. Not a true number 1? Really?

        • On The Farm

          Really I think the inconsistencies limit him as true ace. Guys like Verlander, Price, Kershaw go out there and give you 7 IP every time they take the bump and if they go 8 or 9 you aren’t surprised because they are that good.

          Shark struggles with this because he throws a lot of pitches so for him to give you 8 or 9 innings is pretty rare.

          • RizzoCastro

            Shark is a beast and is a true number 1. IDK what info you’re looking at but his numbers back that up100%. Sorry

            • willis

              What? What numbers back that up? Shark is very, very good and can be dominant at times, but he’s not a no brainer number one. And remember, this is only his second full year starting, he can very well grow into a number 1 or close to it, but I’m with on the farm, he is way too inconsistent to be categorized as that.

              And I’m a HUGE Shark fan.

              • RizzoCastro

                Well I guess we agree to disagree.

                • On The Farm

                  Yeah because the guy that says the numbers backs it up is going to disagree with a guy that says the numbers don’t back it up…

                  Well played sir

                • Brent

                  RizzoCastro, you are 100% wrong! Shark is not a true Ace or a true #1. He has # 1 stuff, but is a solid # 2 at best.

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    … because there isn’t potentially a TON of value in a cost-controlled #2 starter who could be a free agent in 2016 at the earliest with the upside of potentially being a #1?

                  • Kyle

                    I’m not sure why “at best” needed to be added there. It’s simply what he is.

            • SenorGato

              The extremes of fandom are so fun. As someone who never jumped on the “wow this guy is utter trash” wagon when he sucked, I do not buy this for a second.To start with I would expect my “true #1″ to have peaked at more than 176 innings.

              He’s a quality power rotation arm that I would be fine getting a playoff start in a key game. That’s high enough praise…this whole number thing is nonsense and he’s not in that tier of pitchers at all.

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

                I wonder how many “true #1″ they are in MLB today?
                A lot less than what I hear on this message board. Samardzija has 2 complete games for his career, and as stated, hasn’t gone 200 IP.

                And that’s not really much. I’d expect a no. 1 to be 220-230 IP, w/ requisite ratios on K/9 and K/BB and FIP – at least that’s the Clinton/Bush/Obama era standard. (10 guys through 217+ IP in 2012.)

                You’d have to go back to the 1970s to get the workhorse 1 starters – not slighting Maddux or Pedro or 80s guys here – but they did not go usually past 260 IP for 35/38 starts.

                • CubsFaninMS

                  Look at Nolan Ryan. Absolute horse. How did his arm not fall off is beyond me. The year he struck out 362, he pitched around 361 IP!!

                  (I might be a tad off on the numbers, at work so I won’t look them up)

                  • DarthHater

                    He took a lot of Advil.

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

                      ^^^hitting 40, I did too. Maybe I needed to pound Ventura on the head to get out my aches and pains. ;)

                • caryatid62

                  Most of the scouts/scouting media types that I’ve heard (BBProspectus, BBAmerica, Goldstein, Law, Parks, etc.) claim that there aren’t more than 10-12 true number 1s in baseball. That’s probably fair.

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

                    I’d go 8-10 on #1 SP.

                    I didn’t really get to see the really good heyday of the 60-70s, but I did get the backend of the name guys in the 1970s. But then, you had about 15 true #1 SP and about 4-5 guys that could be in the conversation and no one could argue beyond a high 2.

            • cubzfan23

              Sorry but I have to laugh at this post… Dude sorry but stop smoking the shit. I like shark but he’s not even a true number 3.

              • Feeney

                Would you care to define your number system? What makes a “true number 3″ starter?

              • On The Farm

                Yeah calling him worse than a number three is pretty bizarre

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              eh, by your definition, there are probably about 40 #1′s in baseball right now

            • On The Farm

              Please show me the numbers then.

              I did a quick chart on Fangraphs and this is what I found: Not in the top 50 of ERA or FIP, and #34 on xFIP. That doesn’t scream #1 to me. Prove me wrong and don’t let you man crush get in the way. I love Samardzija, but I am trying to be realistic here.

              • Drew7

                Hmm…not sure where the mix-up is, but I get:

                FIP = 43rd
                xFIP = 27th
                K/9 = 16th
                WAR = 38th

                • Drew7

                  Going back to the beginning of ’12:

                  FIP = 27th
                  xFIP = 19th
                  K/9 = 8th
                  WAR = 29th

                  I *despise* the numbering-system with SP, but it’s hard to argue against him being, at the very worst, a #2.

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    Agree that I don’t like the analysts description of #1′s. The number of number ones should equal the number of teams in my opinion.

                    Some teams might have two number ones and other teams no number ones, but I would expect that generally the difference between the 16th and 17th pitcher is not too big and the difference between the number 20 and number 25 best pitcher is also probably pretty small.

                    If they want to give acknowledge of number one with special tools they should just do that.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t like it, but that’s how the numbering system is used by pretty much everyone inside of baseball.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I got
                  FIP = 43
                  xFIP = 27
                  K/9 = 16
                  WAR = 55 (I used FG, apparently you used BR)

                • On The Farm

                  Maybe I accidently added a different filter on, even with my mishap, it appears I was still right. Thank you for the correction though.

          • Feeney

            Shark has gone 7+ innings five times. Verlander? Once. Admittedly Verlander hasn’t been his normal self this season.

          • Mvandy524

            Look at verlander this year 5 starts with 5+ runs. also an ERA rising close to 4. Hasn’t been to consistent this year. Also price has had plenty of struggles this year even looking past his injuries.

            • RizzoCastro

              I still feel he is a true number 1. I don’t care if you agree with me. He is a power arm with the stuff to dominate a game. The Cubs D hasn’t be the best this year thus more pitches and less innings. He is a K machine. I put him in the top 20 pitchers in the game right now as a starter.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                “He is a power arm with the stuff to dominate a game.”
                Is that all it takes to be a #1? Cuz then Jake Arrieta was a good get…

                • RizzoCastro

                  LOL ok

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

                No, guys like Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Doc Gooden, Steve Carlton, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux, Orel Hershiser, Roger Clemens, Mario Soto, Joaquin Andujar, Jim Palmer, and so on, were true #1 starters on their teams, if only for a couple of seasons in the case of Soto and Andujar.

                I mentioned those last two because the Cards and Reds had them in the early 1980s.

                • CubsFaninMS

                  J.R. Richards, Ron Guidry

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

                    Yep, them too. And some are talking about Samardzija ALREADY being a no. 1???

                    To that: Chill-lax!

                    • CubsFaninMS

                      Ha. I hear ya man. This is my simple take on it…

                      Screw the “he’s a #1″ … “oh no he’s a #3!!” argument.

                      Samardzija is currently about a 7 on the “production” right now with the “upside” of a 9 on a scale of 1-10. His stuff can make him a Verlander and Samardzija has the mental makeup to do it. He may seriously turn some heads next year, but.. he may not.

          • Bric

            Shark’s not even the best pitcher on his own team and he’s going to get VERY expensive in a couple of years. If you look at his friggin’ original deal (thanks Hendry) he’s gonna want that contract times ten. With his age and years of experience he doesn’t exactly strike me as a guy who’s gonna continue to reinvent himself or work on a new pitch to help limit pitch counts or stress and such so we’re seeing right now as good as he’s going to get.

            Trade him now or he’s going to get a contract he’s not worth that’s going to restrict the teams’ ability to pay the younger players developing behind him. Ricketts doesn’t strike me as the type of guy to run the payroll up to 150 mil again so that money 2 years from now could be much better used elsewhere and his trade value’s never going to get higher than it is right now. That’s how the Rays do it.

            • RizzoCastro

              Agree with the second part of this, but def. he is the best pitcher on the team.

              • willis

                He has the filth to be the best pitcher on the team, but the best pitcher on the team has been Wood and Garza was better than Shark as well.

                I don’t think one person is saying he isn’t very good. He just isn’t what you are portraying him to be. Can he get there? Not sure but sure would be nice to have a dominant starter at the top of the rotation.

                • Noah

                  The question with Wood is if he can continue to limit the number of home runs he gives up on fly balls. That’s why there’s such a difference between his FIP and xFIP.

            • Jon

              What are we blaming Hendry now for?

              • Cubbie Blues

                World hunger.

              • Jared

                The economy.

              • DarthHater

                Donut shortage.

              • OregonCubsFan

                Syria

            • Scotti

              “If you look at his friggin’ original deal (thanks Hendry)…”

              His “friggin’ original deal” is the reason he is pitching instead of catching footballs so, yeah, thanks Hendry. Keep, or trade, that is all due to Jim Hendry.

              “With his age and years of experience he doesn’t exactly strike me as a guy who’s gonna continue to reinvent himself…”

              You mean that he doesn’t appear to you to be the kind of guy who would add a new pitch (splitter) or continue to improve? You have the wrong guy.

              “Ricketts doesn’t strike me as the type of guy to run the payroll up to 150 mil again…”

              Ricketts hasn’t struck you right.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Well Skaggs and Bradley, Tallion and Glasnow, Bundy and Gausman, Martinez and Wacha, Bauer and Salazar

    • Tom A.

      Why trade Shark and Russel ? Type of player needed in future

      Why trade Barney ? Selling when low is not a good idea

      Don’t trade Nate, Navarro or DeJesus unless get something good back, as we need them for a competitive team next season !

      Gregg and CV could go, as neither should be in cards for next season.

      • RizzoCastro

        Only trade any of them if them can bring value. I’m not saying trade players just to trade.

      • Brent

        So you want to keep Navarro, not trade him, and then have him walk away at the end of the year for nothing? That makes a lot of sense.

        • Cubbie Blues

          My problem with getting rid of Navarro is, who do we have to replace him? Castillo can’t catch every game.

          • BT

            Tim Blackwell.

            • Cubbie Blues

              That’s my point, he’s 61 now and his knees can’t even take a complete game. I guess he could pinch hit in the 7th or 8th, but why would you want to?

              • BT

                They say backup catcher is always the toughest spot to fill.

          • Chef Brian

            Barry Foote.

            • OregonCubsFan

              George Mitterand

              • OregonCubsFan

                Mitterwald

      • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

        Navarro wants to start, so he’s not coming back. He needs to be moved if they can get any sort of value whatsoever.

        As for who backs Castilo up, it’s not that big of a concern, but I guess Rafael Lopez would be the top candidate.

    • JulioZuleta

      Just to throw my hat in the ring…Samardzija is not a #1. Doesn’t eat enough innings and is too prone to the bad outing. He’s the definition of a good #2.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Braves get their lefty reliever for free, basically.

  • Cory

    The Indians better get involved to grab Russell and Gregg the relief market could dry up quickly.

  • TDubs

    If the Orioles are really entertaining the thought of trading Bundy, I would love for us to offer Shark. Even with the Tommy John that is a trade I make instantly.

    • Featherstone

      I think you are vastly overvaluing Bundy and undervaluing Samardzija at the same time.

      • willis

        Yep. No thanks on that deal.

    • Jon

      I hope Bundy is not the headliner in that deal

      • JayPaul

        Maybe, maybe you consider this or a deal this caliber at next years deadline if the Cubs are not competitive, with no extension in sight. At present time Samardzijas value is far greater than an injured Bundy.

        As far as Gregg is concerned, i do think he’ ll be moved and it wouldn’t suprise me if the Cubs pull greater value than Rasmus. They don’ t seem to settle for something that doesn’t at the least provide for some excitement. I think the Cubs will add an interesting arm to their Kane County club by trading Gregg.

    • TDubs

      I’m obviously going out on a limb here. Take away the Tommy John and you never even have a chance of acquiring Bundy. Maybe I’m being a pessimistic Cubs fan but I want to trade Shark before the wheels fall off. Even at this juncture I wouldn’t trust him in a big game, only by default would he be my choice. Of course there are other top pitching prospects I’d prefer but you’re not getting a Bradley or Walker for him no matter how much you dream. Ive seen enough Tommy John rehabs go well that I’d take the risk. In all honesty the Orioleswould probably say no, from what I’ve seen of Bundy I think he’s our best shot at trading for a future Ace.

      • Jon

        What is the concept of “wheels falling off”?

        Nothing Shark is doing is fluky, at all. His stuff has been graded as top 5 in the game, and it’s very possible he could get even better. Dude has also never had a major injury in his entire career and thr arrow is pointed upward in that direction as well considering he didn’t have a heavy workload in college and startered his MLB career in the bullpen.

        • caryatid62

          I’m not completely down on Samardzija (I see him as a low #2), but I have never once heard anyone say he’s got top 5 stuff. Do you have a link?

      • TDubs

        I admitted I was going out on a limb. I said I was being a pessimist when I said I worry the wheels might fall off I.E. Shark already peaking. I do not subscribe to the Shark will be an ace theory. If we were to trade him , with Bundy allegedly available , that’s where I’d start. To a mid level team right now is the peak of his trade value with two more years control. If they could find a trading partner with a healthier/stronger prospect then great. I think Bundy has the highest ceiling of a prospect that we could hope to obtain. If we could sign Shark to a team friendly contract great, I just don’t think he’s worth top of the rotation money.

    • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

      So would I. TJ or not Bundy will be much better then Samardzija. Should be able to getting more back as well.

      • Jon

        “Bundy will be much better then Samardzija”

        I love statements like this, based on absolutely nothing.

        • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

          I love comments from dipshits like the one above

          • SirCub

            Whoa nelly, don’t troll so hard, or you might hurt yourself.

            • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

              Who’ Trolling?

          • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

            If you think Samardzija will have a better career then Bundy then your absolutely a fool.

            • Jon

              Great thought…

            • gocatsgo2003

              Whose absolutely a fool?

              • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

                You are faggot

                • TWC

                  Hey, you. Go the fuck away. No one wants to see that sort of crap here.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Me, Caveman. You, Jane.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Love the bigotry mixed in with a poor sentence structure.

                • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

                  Go back to the ESPN boards.

                • willis

                  LOL…this came off the hinges quickly. Holy crap dude, suck down a couple Xanex and relax.

                  • Chef Brian

                    Wow, that escalated quickly. Brick even killed someone with a trident…

                • RoughRiider

                  Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
                  Abraham Lincoln

                  If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t be able to sit for a month.
                  Teddy Roosevelt

                • DarthHater

                  [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3702/9393035057_0485871432_n.jpg[/img]

            • Jon

              And considering Shark has already produced 5.4 wins in his career, Bundy and his bad shoulder has some catching up to do.

            • Cubbie Blues

              If you feel that strongly about it, you should have no problem backing up that statement with facts then.

            • Drew7

              Do you have anything to support your claim?

      • mjhurdle

        i love the idea that a prospect that has looked good in less than half a full year between all levels in the minors is now a sure fire MLB ace even before he returns from TJ surgery.

        • willis

          Yeah that’s a ridiculous statement. Number 1 or not, stating a dude with a blown elbow will be absolutely better than Shark is simply out there. Nothing to base it on other than some minor league results that ended in a terrible surgery. Interesting stuff…..

          • caryatid62

            It’s a bit reductionist to say it’s only about “some minor league results.” I’d be skeptical about a 1:1 Bundy for Samardzija deal, too (due to the TJ surgery), but I also know that a hell of a lot of scouts who know a lot about the game were incredibly high on Bundy–it’s not like they saw him once and thought “wow, he’s an ace!”

            • Cubbie Blues

              Or, did they say ace potential? Big difference.

  • Josh t

    The James Russell market is shrinking by the hour. Seems pretty likely he won’t get dealt now…i thought the braves were his best fit

    • willis

      Well that and with the bullpen additions his role has shrunk to nearly LOOGY status. I don’t see a team giving up anything worth a crap for that.

      • Josh t

        I agree Russell is approaching LOOGY status. I think teams would a decent piece for him but not the haul the cubs are asking for. I think Theo/Jed are probably way overvaluing Russell. I doubt he gets dealt bc the asking price is substantially high

        • gocatsgo2003

          … as it should be for a young, cost-controlled lefty that has shown at least some ability to perform against both righties and lefties.

  • another JP

    The Braves are a virtual lock to win their division so it didn’t make much sense for a massive move on their part… and they wouldn’t have given anything really worthwhile for Russell anyway.

    The way things are shaping up it looks like the most motivated trading partners for the Cubs to target approaching the trade deadline will be Boston, Pitt, and perhaps AZ. With the desire to avoid the WC and a one game playoff, the Red Sox and Pirates have a huge incentive to make those deals that will put them over the top. With the Cardinals talking to the White Sox about acquiring Peavy & Ramirez, Pittsburgh would need a good haul to overcome that move, so we could get Taillon with Schierholtz, Russell, Gregg, or even Shark as players they might want. The end of the trade deadline could get very interesting this year.

  • Mush

    If the Cubs don’t make another trade, I still think very successful at trade deadline. Gregg has cost them nothing, Russell under control, Schierholtz and DeJesus can start next year in OF.

    • gocatsgo2003

      “Gregg has cost them nothing” is pretty much exactly why he SHOULD be traded — turn a short-term asset into a long-term asset. It probably won’t be much given his recent performance, but I think the front office has to at least get SOMETHING for him to improve our long-term situation.

      • mush

        I totally agree with that. I am commenting to the butt wipes that want to turn over complete roster and be stuck watching Sappelt, Dolis, Mateo guys like that for next two months.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Well, that’s pretty much what we are stuck with if the front office chooses to turn every short-term asset into a longer-term asset. It could get quite ugly for the remainder of 2013, but it would also be in the service of the longer-term plan.

  • Mush

    Do not trade Shark! You cannot deflate the positive momentum gained by weekend sweep. Young players need to see light and end of tunnel. You lose 90-100 games a year, you become Pittsburgh for 17 years.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Except, like, the front office probably WANTS to deflate the positive momentum for draft positioning. Paraphrasing here, but the whole idea of “there’s not a whole lot of value in finishing five games under .500.” The young players currently turning in pretty decent performances might have different plans, but we shall see.

      • mush

        The draft is so subjective you can draft well from 1-60 if you get a good or bad break. I don’t think they can get as bad as top 3 this year. I guess as a fan I am sick of losing already. This team has been fun to watch over the last 10 days more than since Lou was managing. That’s all I am saying.

        • gocatsgo2003

          I would credit some of that to Junior Lake bringing an actually exciting style of play to the table — he’s exciting to watch just because of his athleticism and the potential for a play to blow up on him at any instant. Also helps that Starlin is looking kind of like Starlin again (.295/.340/.364 over the past two weeks) and Schierholtz is on a tear (.357/.438/.821 over those same two weeks).

        • Cubbie Blues

          Actually the success rate does not bare out your thesis.
          [img]http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii193/kuma32478/picture3.jpg[/img]
          But, who needs facts.

          • cubchymyst

            11-15 wouldn’t be bad, but if the Cubs fall into that range they likely will not sign any free agent with a draft pick compensation tied to them.

            • Cubbie Blues

              That’s still a far cry off of the stated “The draft is so subjective you can draft well from 1-60″. You may luck out with your #60, but your odds are much better the further you move up that draft board.

              • cubchymyst

                I completely agree, but its nice to see that 6-15 are very similar, and where the Cubs are currently they will likely fall into that range for a draft pick.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  Yeah, puts it into perspective that it isn’t worth just tanking it to move up a little.

                  On the other hand, you get both the trade piece for dealing the expiring contract player, plus a slightly improved draft position.

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

                About 5 times as likely from top to bottom.
                Course, if you are picking 1-5 for five straight years, you must have not converted much. Like being the Detroit Lions under Matt Millen.

              • cubchymyst

                Impressed by Hendry’s percentage of being successful in the draft, definitely happy Wilkens was kept by the front office.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I don’t think a lot of Hendry’s decision were of his own doing. He was told to purchase a lot of players (or at least spend a lot of money).

          • RoughRiider

            From 1990 to 2006 the Cubs had 4 players drafted in the 1-5 range. 2 were good 2 weren’t so good. 50%
            6-10 1 pick, Harvey (6) not so good. 0%
            11- 15 3 picks. 1 good 33%
            16 -20 2 picks 0 %
            21- 25 3 picks 33 %
            26 -30 1 beanball pitcher 0 %

        • willis

          Yep, I like seeing wins. If that f’s up a draft position, so the hell what? Winning is good, winning is fun, and winning is a positive for these guys going out there working their asses off.

    • dash

      It wasn’t a case of negative momentum for 17 years. The Pirates were what they were because the ownership had little interest in putting a winning team on the field.

  • Jon

    If people want to get serious about trading Shark, let’s start with Gausman and go from there.

  • The Show

    Schierholtz and Gregg for Kingham/Glasnow

    • Jon

      No way the Pirates do that.

    • The Show

      Just to be clear I’m saying one of Kingham and Glasnow, not both.

  • B_Scwared

    Scott Baker – It won’t be by 7/31, but the Cubs can put Baker on waivers while he is still rehabbing (no one will take him) and if they can get him up and somewhat established by 8/31 he could still be dealt.

    • Noah

      I’m not sure no one would take Baker. He’s being paid very little, and let’s say your 5th starter goes down and your other options aren’t good, would you pay a couple million to take a shot on a guy with Baker’s track record? I might if I were a GM.

  • mudge

    How many true #1 starters can dance on the head of a pin?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I give up, how many true #1 startes can dance on the head of a pin? :lol:

      • mudge

        this isn’t an argument….

        • Cubbie Blues

          Oh, I that was the first line to a joke. I was doing the polite response to feed your next line.

  • JulioZuleta

    Not sure if this was mentioned yet but in his chat, Callis just said Bryant is the #10 prospect in baseball, Baez is #11, Olt is #50 and Almora and Soler are somewhere in between 13 and 47 (with Almora ahead of Soler). Five top 50s in his book. He admits that he’s about as bullish as anyone on Olt.

    • Noah

      I like Alcantara more than Olt. While he doesn’t have the big power potential Olt does, he can play up the middle and doesn’t have the huge flaw in his offensive game that Olt does.

      • Kyle

        I like about 10 or 11 guys more than Olt.

        • JulioZuleta

          I think I’d probably put Olt right at #10. That could change by the end of the year though. Also, after #5 there’s a group of about 10 guys that are all very close: I’d probably go Edwards and then the group of Johnson, Olt, Vogelbach, Zastryzny, JCP, Blackburn, Lake (if you still count him), several others… I still think Olt can be a solid starting 3B. Above average D and some good pop. Third base isn’t the kind of power position that it used to be. The fact that he has a good glove and is at a higher level is keeping him in the top 10 mix for me. No doubt Edwards was the main piece in that deal, though.

        • Danny Ballgame

          I can still see Olt getting back to the level that he was at in AA. His eyes were obviously messed up earlier this year and he appears to be coming around. Either way, I dig ‘Mendy and hope that he is wearing a big league uniform next season.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Potential tricks up our front office’s sleave include…

    1) Asking a VERY high price on Samardzija this trade deadline. If they don’t get that, wait until next year. They may not be selling high on Samardzija right now. He may provide just as good of a return next year at the trade deadline if he gets closer to his potential in the next year.

    2) Racking up on tall power pitchers in the draft. These types are in high demand and, as you’ve seen from out debates so far with Corey Black and Dylan Bundy, make a more tradeable piece. Have a few of those guys hit your Top 20 and trade them off for a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher (or higher) in a year or two when our window of contention is much closer.

    3) Racking up on power bats. These types are in as high of demand as tall power pitchers.

    4) The massive hoarding of international draft picks this year will be part of the “long term sustainability” of the club in 2017-2020 time frame in the second wave of talen. It’s highly likely that at least one or more of those will pan out in the major leagues, even likelier that a handful will be good chips to trade to other teams to acquire MLB players to make a run for the playoffs.

    You start to see a plan here if you look close. I like it.

    • Jono

      I like it, too. They won’t have to rely on free agency heavily. And if they use their farm system depth to trade for a true ace, they might not need any significant free agent signing to form a world series caliber team

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    A left handed pitcher or Loogey is a valuable asset to the Cubs look at Scott Downs 37
    We could get a lot more use out of Russell for the next 10 years

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