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stoveThe League Championship Series are in full swing, which means the offseason is but a World Series away …

  • There will be another international arm on the market this offseason: Suk-Min Yoon from Korea. A traditional free agent, Yoon has hired Scott Boras to represent him this offseason. The 27-year-old will soon throw for interested MLB teams (it appears), and the market for him will be interesting to see. On the one hand, he’s the right age and doesn’t come with a posting fee. On the other hand, his stats in Korea are good, but not overwhelmingly so. The Cubs always seem to at least explore these types of signings, so we might hear more about Yoon in the coming months.
  • At least one GM is thinking that Brian McCann could get six years and $100 million this offseason. Part of the justification? He’s got a bat that could justify a later move from behind the plate to first base or the DH spot. McCann turns 30 next year, so a six-year deal – viewing him as a catcher – would be an extreme commitment. The Cubs have been connected to free agent catching rumors already this offseason, so it’s at least worth keeping an eye on. But, obviously, if McCann does get six years and $100 million on the basis of a future move from behind the plate, there wouldn’t be much sense in the Cubs going all out on him.
  • Beyond the Box Score looks at trading David Price – the various implications, inputs, value expectations, price, etc. – and concludes that a deal could look fairly similar to the one that landed the Royals James Shields (i.e., an elite prospect (Wil Myers), a back-end top 100 type (Jake Odorizzi), and some other pieces on each side to even things out). Further, Price’s arbitration costs in the next two years could reach upwards of $40 million for two seasons – not much cost savings over market value there. (I don’t see much sense in the part where Jeff Samardzija is suggested as a centerpiece for a Price trade. Each pitcher is two years from free agency, and I can’t see the Cubs swapping one extension possibility for another – just as I can’t see the Rays sacrificing the downgrade from Price to Samardzija for the resultant cost savings (which are uncertain). The Rays will want true prospects for Price.)
  • Speaking of Price, Nick Cafardo reports that the Rays are still trying to figure out a way to keep and extend him, rather than trade him … but it’s a losing battle. Among the possible trading partners, the Cubs once again feature prominently. The reality that fans need to accept, however, as a Price trade is discussed: it is virtually impossible to see the Cubs landing Price without giving up at least one of The Big Four. Moreover, Jorge Soler has a big league contract that pays him quite a bit of money (and arbitration raises, if he earns them), so I can’t see it being Soler. Kris Bryant is untradable until next Summer, so it won’t be him if a deal is made this offseason. That leaves Albert Almora (the front office’s first first-round pick, and a kid they reportedly love) and Javier Baez (broke out as a top 15 prospect in all of baseball). Are you still eager to make a trade?
  • Joel Sherman writes about the qualifying offer decisions facing the Yankees and their free agents, and it’s an interesting read as we approach the offseason. Curtis Granderson, for example, will face a very tough decision: accept the $14.1 million qualifying offer and delay free agency another year (while may rebuilding value in the interim), or decline, knowing that his market will be badly hurt, given his middling standing right now?
  • Brains

    Granderson would be crazy to turn down 14m for one year after last year’s stats. McCann for 100m is a disaster waiting to happen. Cubs gotta sign Cano to 6 years 180m.

    • David

      Cano for 6 years when Arismendy Alcantara/Javier Baez are 1-2 years away? Makes no sense. Cano is not gonna be a Cub and I’m not gonna be upset about it.

      • CubbieBubba

        it only makes “no” sense if the cubs also don’t want to win any games in the next 2 years.

      • Noah_I

        Exactly. Any team signing Cano should be a team that is already in a competitive window, or a team that just signing Cano will put them in a competitive window heading into 2014. Cano won’t do that for the Cubs, and considering his age and the contract required to get him he could really hamper the Cubs’ ability to contend in the back half of a six year contract, when the Cubs should be competing year in and year out.

      • EQ76

        I’m not so sure the Cubs FO really wants to keep sucking for 2 more years. I’m not completely buying that. I’m not saying sign Cano, just don’t think the “plan” ever was to suck for half a decade and hope the prospects pan out.

        • Brains

          I think the only ones who want the Cubs to suck for two more years are the Ricketts and the bleachernation blog posters.

          • Scotti

            The Ricketts family has ZERO incentive for the team to suck for the next couple of years. They would lose money hand-over-fist compared to what they could be bringing in.

          • On The Farm

            I really don’t want the Cubs to suck any more and I highly doubt the owners of a billion dollar business want to continue to produce a poor product, that no one wants to buy, and isn’t generating extra revenue it could be by being an elite product (playoff $$).

        • YourResidentJag

          I don’t think the plan is to suck, but I also don’t think the FO will go more than 4 yrs on any FA deal nor will they automatically trade prospects with the hope that they can sign whomever to a large extension. This may not make the team stink, but it may make it difficult to surpass others in winning the division.

          • SenorGato

            Then those are two things they need to try to not do, not that I buy the first one (won’t go over 4 years – this should have a “yet” condition).

            • YourResidentJag

              Listen to Hoyer speak on WGN regularly and you’re mind will change. :)

              • YourResidentJag

                *your

              • Brain

                I’ve listened a couple times, and I still think that until he stops botching our trades and doing nothing productive whatsoever that Hoyer is the new Steve Bartman.

        • SenorGato

          There seems to be this hilarious, unstated belief that if they just keep on sucking the payoff will be even larger. Possibly because they will have all the prospects, which of course ties in nicely with the internet delusion/obsession with propping up propsects.

          • Brain

            The smartest thing anyone has said here in weeks. The insane blogosphere assumption that sucking is somehow better than winning for morale, development, and profits. None of it makes sense. I agree that Cano for 6 years is unlikely, but I’m speaking more to what needs to be done for the Cubs to stop being the source of nightmares.

      • Rizzo1684

        Cano at 6 years= amazing deal for every team in baseball and the Cubs would jump at that offer in a second BUT Cano is not signing for 6 years and the fewest amount of year Cano signs for is 8 IMO.

      • SenorGato

        Cano is way better than both of those guys and likely to be so for the majority, if not all, of those 6 years.

        Funny how now that Cano is available every Cubs fan and their mom stops fighting the 2B tag on Baez….That was ridiculously unpopular a year ago.

        Alcantara isn’t even a contest between him and Cano.

  • David

    Granderson would be a guy that I think the Cubs could get excited about, especially since we have the protected pick. If I had to choose between Choo and Granderson, I’d take Granderson, and pay the extra cash to get him for 4-6 years. Could be a genuine future piece and a great bat. That being said, if he comes at the wrong price, Choo would be awesome too. A quality OF is a key to the future. Somebody needs to put fans in the stands at Wrigley!

    • Brains

      Just for the record I think Granderson is great, but he’s had a messed up year and isn’t primed for a long strong contract. 14m for one year to build his stats back up is a gift from the Yanks. Ellsbury is super dangerous, I think. I like him but he’s super injury prone, and for a speedster that’s a bad combo as he hits his early mid-30s.

    • Jamie

      Pass on Grandy, for what the cost to bring him would be. He’s only had a small handful of years with OBP above .320 range. Choo’s lifetime OBP is .389. Cubbies have needed a table-setter for years. Choo is the better money spent.

    • Noah_I

      I would not choose Granderson over Choo, and certainly wouldn’t give Granderson a 4 to 6 year contract. Granderson is a year and a half older, and not anywhere near the hitter Choo is. If the Yankees don’t tender a qualifying offer to Granderson, I’d be interested, but only on a shorter, make good contract.

  • Oswego Chris

    I am glad you made the point about the big four in a trade for Price…we have numerous posters who think Alcantera, Vogelbach, and Pierce Johnson would get it done…quality over quantity…you want Price its gonna take Almora or Baez

  • Mdavis

    why do people keep suggesting Cano? I get it, he’s an elite player. but wrong side of 30, $200 mil commitment, and doent fit the window. Lets wait until Baez and Bryant arrive, and some of these other guys, see who pans out, and who doesnt, and THEN I believe this front office will look for the big free agent to fill that hole.

    • Jono

      +1

  • Mark

    You absolutely do not give up any of those prospects! Soler, Almora, Baez and Bryant should be flat out untouchable.

  • Kyle

    I’m not crazy about Price, but I don’t think they’d be hesitant to trade Almora if they loved a guy like Price. They’ve had no problems trading their own first-round picks in Boston.

    • CubFan Paul

      Yeah, if Almora projected to have more than average power i’d keep/protect him but he’s expendable for trade when compared to Baez, Bryant, & Soler.

      • Noah_I

        Honestly, if I had my choice I’d rather keep Almora over Soler because of Almora’s ability to play a very good CF, but I doubt the Rays would want Soler due to the fact that he’s not being paid like a typical prospect.

        • CubFan Paul

          The Cubs are in desperate need of power after the Sori and Ramirez departures. I’ll take any pitching that Almora will bring back in a trade before he slugs .425 at the upper levels.

          • Kyle

            In a few years, power will be the the Cubs’ strength almost regardless. In all likelihood, we will be rolling in power.

            The Cubs could be a fun dark horse in a “next NL team to hit 200 HRs” betting pool.

    • ssckelley

      I would rather they traded Baez over Almora. I love all the home runs but that SO and Walk rate worry me.

      • Professor Snarks

        Almora is going to be an above avg. regular. Baez has a chance to be a superstar. Yes, Baez has a high ‘bust’ potential, but you keep the higher ceiling prospect, especially if he has a skill that is fairly rare in today’s game.(playable power).

        • Voice of Reason

          You have no clue what is going to happen with Almora or Baez.
          There are so many variables.
          Just have to be patient and see what happens.

          • Professor Snarks

            I was just stating an opinion, utilizing the plethora of rankings by prospect gurus, that I would not trade away the prospect that has a possibility to be a game changer to keep a prospect who’s ceiling is above avg regular. If I KNEW what each prospect in the minor leagues would turn into, I’d be in pretty high demand for a GM position.

        • ssckelley

          I would argue that Almora being a regular starter is his floor and also has a chance to being an all star type player (ie superstar). You are right in that Baez also has a chance to be a “superstar”, but like you said he has the highest bust potential. I think the only thing stopping Almora is injuries. Baez may some day hit a wall with that SO and Walk ratio, if he hits it in the majors it might be a slippery slope to pick himself back up. As Castro found out this season it is not easy to learn pitch selection at the MLB level. The encouraging thing about Baez is that his SO rate did improve at each level and he is young enough to learn. But if I had to trade 1 to get a #1 type starter I would trade the riskier player in Baez before I would trade Almora. As others have said Soler is not really an option and Bryant cannot be traded.

          • Kyle

            His floor is to die in a bus crash and his ceiling is to surprise everyone and become the greatest player who ever lived.

            Floor/ceiling talk is silly.

            • ssckelley

              Explain that to all the scouts and FO personal who use these types of projections to place values on players. If you have a better way I am sure they will listen.

              Defensively Almora is ready to play at the MLB level, his bat is what needs developing and it is coming along nicely. On the other hand he is not looking like the 2nd coming of Ken Griffey Jr, the projections I have seen on his power is 15-20 homers per year. Baez’s floor is much lower because you cannot say his defense can carry him all the way to the MLB level, the big question is his SO/W rate.

              • On The Farm

                Agreed, if floor/ceiling is silly, why do a majority of scouts use it.

                • bbmoney

                  Disagreed. I don’t think scouts use it besides to answer fans questions. In the same way most don’t really use comps…unless someone asks them for a comparable player.

                  I think they’re looking at likeliest outcome and not really at floor/ceiling which is usually such a broad range it isn’t helpful.

                  • On The Farm

                    No saying he could get hit by a bus or be the greatest player of all time, that is a broad outcome. Saying Albert Alomra could be between David DeJesus (everyday OFer) and Jacoby Ellsbury (All Star candidate) is helpful. It is also a most likely outcome.

                    • bbmoney

                      What you suggest is not his floor (DeJesus) or his ceiling (all-star candidate). Nor do I believe that’s what a scout would say in their player analysis unless it’s to answer a fan’s question, so I stand by my statement.

                    • On The Farm

                      I threw out the name DeJesus who right now is an everyday OFer and Ellsbury an all start, because they were two really easy names that came to my head. I am not saying they are perfect comparisons. Take out the names of players people look at a player and say, “That kid could be an All-Star someday, he has the potential, but I would say bare minimum he makes the majors.” That is much more useful in describing a player than saying well technically he could bottom out or he could be the next Babe Ruth. Yeah that makes for some great discussions.

                    • Kyle

                      “I threw out the name DeJesus who right now is an everyday OFer and Ellsbury an all start, because they were two really easy names that came to my head. I am not saying they are perfect comparisons. Take out the names of players people look at a player and say, “That kid could be an All-Star someday, he has the potential, but I would say bare minimum he makes the majors.” That is much more useful in describing a player than saying well technically he could bottom out or he could be the next Babe Ruth. Yeah that makes for some great discussions.”

                      But that’s where we’re disagreeing. Because it’s better than that, sure, but it’s not much better. It’s the same basic flawed description. The whole “could be this” but “might be this” is just meaningless handwaving.

                      The fact that a professional ballplayer who is *much* better than Almora is right now as the bare minimum is why this sort of talk isn’t useful.

                • Kyle

                  They don’t.

                  The standard scouting forms have two columns: Current and future projection.

              • Kyle

                They don’t. As someone mentioned above, floors and ceilings are fan-talk, for the most part. Or if scouts do talk about it, it’s not as serious. They talk in present abilities and projected future.

                • On The Farm

                  So they talk about present abilities (like his glove could play in the bigs right now *cough floor *cough) and projected future…kinda like where they think he will end up…or a ceiling?

                  Sounds like semantics to me.

                  • Kyle

                    It’s really not. Words mean what they mean.

                    Projection is what you think will happen on average.

                    Ceiling is what you think is the best case.

                    Those are two very different things, and the second one is mostly meaningless, because the extremely small chance of in insane breakout is always present.

                    • ssckelley

                      hell Kyle if they all have the same ceilings and floors perhaps the Rays will take Ty Wright for Price. After all based on your floors/ceilings his floor is also to be hit by a bus or turn into a surprise best baseball player.

                      Floors and ceilings are not just something fans use. Teams have been measuring prospects this way for a long time, it is about the only means they have to determine prospects value.

                    • Kyle

                      They all have the same ceilings and floors, which is why you don’t base trades on ceilings and floors. You base them on projections.

                    • On The Farm

                      Okay well I guess I should have phrased my argument like this. As fans we don’t have the insights that FO’s have. I think the average BNer when they post floor/ceiling talk, they are referring to where the player is now is their floor. People talk about Almora’s glove or you even talking about Baez’s power playing in the bigs, we are discussing what we would minimally expect from Baez/Almora correct? When fans use the word ‘ceiling’ its the fan’s realistic best case scenario. Obviously every player has a chance to be the next Mike Trout, but no one says every prospect is the next Mike Trout. I think you are trying to be too technical when really there is no need. This is a forum for discussion and everyone already has a pretty good understanding of what a poster means when they give their floor/ceiling projections. Maybe I am way off base, but if you can think of a better way to put it and everyone can start conforming to that method I am open for suggestions.

                      I know I for one hate calling a pitcher a #1, or a #2 etc. Maybe this is just one of your bug-a-boos.

                    • ssckelley

                      Kyle, we are talking about the same damn thing just using different words. The “current” projections are the “floor” and “future” is the “ceiling”. My gawd, you couldn’t take me up on the Baez or Almora for Price debate instead you chose to change the whole argument to something stupid and irrelevant.

                    • On The Farm

                      “Kyle, we are talking about the same damn thing just using different words”

                      This is why I said its semantics. Different words, same intentions.

                    • Kyle

                      It is totally one of my bugaboos. That’s the problem: It’s really hard to narrow down what people mean by “floor” and “ceiling.”

                      It clearly doesn’t just mean “present” and “future” (the two columns for grades on a scouting report). Floor tends to be higher than “ceiling” (because the fan is talking about how he thinks the player will develop) and ceiling is always better than “future.”

                      That’s *why* the scouting reports talk about present and future. Because it’s so hard to nail down what’s meant by “floor” and “ceiling” and it’s too easy to lead yourself to overly optimistic. Projection (which falls between ceiling and floor) is much more accurate in the long run.

                      It’s sort of like how fans tend to focus on what a pitcher’s top velocity is, but scouts will note that but be more interested in where the *majority *of his pitches are. The difference between “touches” and “works”.

                    • Kyle

                      “Kyle, we are talking about the same damn thing just using different words. The “current” projections are the “floor” and “future” is the “ceiling”. My gawd, you couldn’t take me up on the Baez or Almora for Price debate instead you chose to change the whole argument to something stupid and irrelevant.

                      So if “floor” and “current” are the same thing, then when you said Almora’s floor was a regular major leaguer, you meant he should currently be a major leaguer?

                    • Kyle

                      “This is why I said its semantics. Different words, same intentions.”

                      It’s not, though. If it was, people would say “Almora’s floor is a pretty good A-ball centerfielder,” because that’s what he is at present.

                    • Kyle

                      “This is why I said its semantics. Different words, same intentions.”

                      Same question for you: If “floor” and “current” mean the same thing, do you think that Albert Almora is currently capable of the same thing in the major leagues as David DeJesus, for whom you listed as his floor?

                    • ssckelley

                      Yes, currently Almora has the skills to play at the MLB level. If they started him at CF in Chicago next season he would probably be one of the better defensive center fielders and would probably hit around .700-.750 OPS. If they allow for his bat to develop in the minors he could project to be a +.800 OPS hitter in the majors.

                      Getting back on topic, this is why if I was forced to chose between Baez or Almora to trade for anybody I would trade Baez.

                    • Kyle

                      “Yes, currently Almora has the skills to play at the MLB level. If they started him at CF in Chicago next season he would probably be one of the better defensive center fielders and would probably hit around .700-.750 OPS. If they allow for his bat to develop in the minors he could project to be a +.800 OPS hitter in the majors.

                      Getting back on topic, this is why if I was forced to chose between Baez or Almora to trade for anybody I would trade Baez.”

                      You are crazybuckets on Almora’s bat. He’d struggle to put up a .600 OPS in the majors right now.

                    • ssckelley

                      You know this how? He is already playing in the AFL against AA pitching and doing well. It is not any more “crazybuckets” than you suggesting Baez bat can play in the major league right now.

                  • Kyle

                    Because we have his minor league numbers in front of us and a history of how minor league numbers tend to translate into the majors. It’s a *long* way from Kane County to the majors.

                    The AFL is an absurdly hitter-friendly league. Everybody hits in the AFL. Just ask 2007 AFL MVP Sam Fuld.

                    Baez’s minor league numbers have a direct projection to MLB adequacy. Almora’s do not.

                    • Kyle

                      Checking in on the ol’ handy dandy MLE Calculator, Almora’s line at Kane County this offseason is the equivalent of hitting 220/252/301 in the majors.

                    • Norm

                      Not sure how ‘handy dandy’ that is.
                      Baez’s MLE from Daytona is 219/254/403 and from AA it’s closer to a 290 OBP and 500 SLG.

                    • ssckelley

                      The AFL is a hitter friendly league but the pitchers Almora is facing is AA level, not the best of AA level but certainly much better than what he is seeing in the Midwest League. The guy he ripped a double off of yesterday is considered a top 10 prospect in the Braves organization.

                      I get it, you like the sexy home run number of Baez, I know another frequent poster here that will agree with you. I would not be surprised to see Baez continue his power hitting up through AAA and into the majors, I like Baez as a prospect. My only concern is if he can keep doing it at the rate he swings and misses. You do not see many hitters at the MLB level have sustained success while striking out over 30% of the time.

                    • Kyle

                      Precisely. Daytona Baez would not have projected to be a current major leaguer, but Tennessee Baez sure did. And since that was more recent and at a higher level, that’s what I’m going with.

                • On The Farm

                  “do you think that Albert Almora is currently capable of the same thing in the major leagues as David DeJesus, for whom you listed as his floor?”

                  I threw DeJesus’s name out there just as a reference, which I probably shouldn’t have done, but I was trying to make a point that if someone was having a discussion if they told you that the player has a chance to be Ellsbury, but will probably be more like DeJesus, it is way more helpful than saying “well he could get hit by a bus or be the next star of the league”. Do I think he could provide the same production of DeJesus? Probably not, but I think with his high contact skills, pretty good batting eye, and great defense would make him an everyday CFer.

                  • Norm

                    Albert Almora is the next Kirby Puckett.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Or Doug Dascenzo.

              • Kyle

                Baez’s bat could play in the Major Leagues right now.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  If he wasn’t K’ing at a 45% clip.

                  • Kyle

                    He’d be homering in the other 55%.

                    • hansman

                      BUT HE K’S ALMOST 300 TIMES A YEAR!!!! HE’S A BUST1!!!1!!11!!11!!!!!

          • http://It'searly Mike F

            People keep trying to compare Baez to Castro. Castro never has displayed power, the lack of power was always there. He didn’t K nearly as much as Baez, but he’s never had a huge OBP because he doesn’t like BB. Baez is an entirely different player. He does K a lot, most big bats do, but he is off the charts in terms of power. Take away the k’S from Baez and he is close to can’t miss. Almora is very intriguing to me. The absolute only way I would trade for Price is if the deal included Castro and none, zero of the big 3 and only Soler would I even consider. Price makes little sense given where they are, unless it’s a now thing.

            • ssckelley

              But I was not comparing Castro to Baez, I just hope that Baez does not have to learn pitch selection at the MLB level like they tried to do with Castro this season.

              • http://It'searly Mike F

                But they didn’t do it to do it. They did it because he doesn’t fit what they do. And blunt, Castro resisted strongly in 2012 and then flopped when they didn’t learn their lesson. If indeed Theo now sees what he has fine. There seems to be some suggestion the real key is Rizzo and that’s why Renteria figures so prominently. But to continue to pin Caatro off on Sveum in my view is incorrect. I am a Thep guy but think he should have either accepted Castro warts in approach or traded him. He is not going to add power and he will never be a smart hitter.

      • YourResidentJag

        Me too. I want a leadoff guy with a high OBP to get on base in front of all that power. The Cubs are overdue for that.

    • YourResidentJag

      I like Scherzer but he comes literally with the same issues as Price.

  • jeff1969

    What about Castro, Almora & Wellington Castillo for Price? Too much? Too little?

    • Carew

      too much. A young shortstop who still has promise, a solid young catcher, and a youngster who is supposed to be a super-stud for an aging, expensive pitcher? I like Price, but I would not do that

      • Die hard

        Castro Barney Sweeney and Jackson for Price — done deal

        • Sveum claim- no shame in game, he tame the flame

          What a worst possible time to consider trading Castro! Following his first shotty season in the bigs, one in which flail svuem and ROB DEER were trying to fix that swing that got him 200 hits as a 21 yr old, and who at 21 or 22 was already a 2 time all star as well! I don’t get the reasoning behind the widespread panic over Castro’s off year! He made huge strides defensively last year and I’m sure he remembers how to hit, and will be pumped to have a new manager who appreciates his talented bat and also has common sense. Castro’s contract will end up being an absolute steal for the Cubs.

          • DarthHater

            Lame. :-P

          • http://It'searly Mike F

            you completely over value Castro. You blame Sveum when clearly Theo was in at a minimum on changing Castro’s approach, and then instead of giving Sveum and his staff any credit for the defensive improvement, hand it all to Starlin. Blame scapegoating is certainly in vogue. Castro resists the Cub Way and if you and apologists are wrong, this time next year his value will be completely in the toilet. No I think moving Castro makes more sense than hiring a personal valet manager to tell him do as you please.

        • Fitz

          The Cubs can get Price without giving up any prospects; in 2 years when he’s a free agent. Their not going to be ready to win until then anyways!

          • Voice of Reason

            But, the team that ultimately trades for him would be off their rocker to let him enter free agency.

            If you think he is that good of a pitcher (I personally would never trade for a man who missed games this year with arm trouble) then you should be ready to trade for him now and lock him up long term.

            • Jono

              exactly

      • jeff1969

        Price just turned 28 so he’s not that old, but Garza is 29 going on 30 and I think most view Garza as much older than Price, especially more than that. Eeek. You’re probably right. I actually think the Rangers are going to be the ones to get Price. Even though I’ll get condemned for bringing it up, Jose Quintana is over there on the south side, 24 years old, lefty, had a sneaky excellent season setting a record for most non-decisions in a season, and could probably be had for a couple of prospects like Alcantara, Villanueva, and/or Szczur.

        • Voice of Reason

          Don’t you think the White Sox know what they have in Quintana? A 24 year old lefty with a sneaky, excellent season under his belt most likely isn’t going to be moved for just anything.

          • Jono

            exactly, again

    • Noah_I

      The Rays will want prospects, not MLB players. Plus, the Cubs shouldn’t trade Castillo, who was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball last year. It would just create a new hole for them.

      • Jono

        is it me, or is this text green? I think I need to step away from my computer

  • aaronb

    I’m not sold on Almora at this point. I’d have no problem parting with him for Price.

    Doesn’t make sense unless they plan on making other MAJOR upgrades at the MLB level. Price alone isn’t going to make this a contender.

    Price, Granderson and Chase Headley or Aramis Ramirez might be enough of an offseason upgrade to make the 2014 club a fringe contender.

    • Voice of Reason

      I’m glad you’re not making trades for the Cubs. I’m more than sold on Almora’s ability. The very early question on him is if he can stay healthy.

  • waittilthisyear

    i fully oppose any and all the realistic trades that are talked about here. hold on to these kids. patience. nothing would be worse than watching david price’s arm fall off while baez/almora become perennial all stars down in tampa.

  • BD

    Is it impossible to offer something like Alcantara/Vogelbach/pitcher/other for Price? I guess it would depend on what TB thinks of those players. I can dream, right?

    • Noah_I

      No. One of the Big 4 would have to be included to make the Rays bite.

    • Voice of Reason

      Why would you want to even trade for Price for a bag of balls?

      You trade for him AND THEN you have to SIGN HIM! This guy is going to want BIGGGG bucks.

      He missed starts this year with arm trouble.

      There will be other starters out there when we are ready to compete.

      The Cubs aren’t going to trade for a pitcher with a bad pitching arm that they would then have to lock up for around $18 million dollars a year for 5-7 years.

      • BWA

        Because Paying Big Bucks to great players is necessary to field a great team. If price is cheap enough, and guarantees he will sign an extension, who cares what we are paying. Everyone here acts like its there own money they have to pay these guys with.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Granderson – Yankees will tag him, meaning the Cubs will lose 2nd round pick if they sign him. 200 strikeout guy at this point. Huge benefactor of the short right field porch at Yankee stadium. Turning 33. Coming off an injury plagued year. Will command 3 year contract according to most.

    Ellsbury – Boras intends to break the bank. Ellsbury should get at least $125 M. Entering his 30’s. Injury plagued. His game is predicated on his legs being healthy.

    Choo – 32 years old. Going to command $90 M plus. Doesn’t hit left handed pitching well. Not really a credible center fielder.

    McCann – Going to command $80-100 M. Lots of teams looking for a big catcher, so market demand will be nuts. A born leader. Well respected. Just entering his 30’s.

  • jayrig5

    If I thought the Cubs were one ace SP away from contending, I’d trade a prospect like Baez. I think a trade like that makes a lot more sense after next offseason, or even after 2015, when hopefully the roster looks better with players the Cubs have graduated, and they’ve maintained decent prospect depth to trade from to fill holes.

    I’m also just not sold on Price going forward.

    All that said, if the FO thinks the team is closer to contending (as in definitely contending in 2015) and they think Price is a perfect fit, I’d be okay trading a guy like Soler (the highest risk guy, IMO) for a proven MLB player, assuming they could make the salary work. I do think prospects are overvalued, and in a vacuum it can make a lot of sense to trade them for prime-year MLB talent, but the Cubs aren’t the vacuum; I just don’t see that it’s a great fit at the moment. Much more likely to overspend with FA dollars than prospects, as we saw last offseason. (Although the Anibal deal wouldn’t have been overspending at all, in retrospect.)

    • macpete22

      And that’s when Kershaw, hopefully, becomes a free agent

      • Andrew

        I highly doubt kershaw reaches free agency. I think it’s more likely that he becomes a 250 million dollar pitcher than him reaching free agency

    • Noah_I

      The problem is that you can’t count on players like this being available when you’re ready to contend. This isn’t saying that the Cubs necessarily SHOULD trade for Price. I’d like them to be involved in the discussions, but if the price is too high (pun not intended), they shouldn’t do it.

      • YourResidentJag

        I wonder then if the Cubs should sign John Lackey then to a 3 yr deal?

        • davidalanu

          Not sure if you’re serious, but for one, Lackey is signed through 2014, and Theo got burned badly by signing him once. I doubt he’d go down that road again.

  • Andrew

    I imagine it will be more than what the royals paid for shields based on Price being a higher caliber pitcher but Shields’ price is probably the floor. I would say the price would probably be:

    one of Baez and Almora
    + one of Johnson, Edwards, Alcantara, Vogelbach
    + one or two of Amaya, candelario, Sczcr, Underwood, Maples, Devoss, and a plethora of other random prospects

    I don’t see the cubs doing this kind of deal, but I wouldnt hate it if they did. Maybe wait another year and try to get Price in 2015 to be the last piece in a real contender, if he’s still available of course. That would seem like a great move to me in that even if he’s not extended, he can be traded or at worst get a comp pick to restock the farm somewhat.

    • Noah_I

      Well, you have to remember that the Rays didn’t ONLY send Price to the Royals. But I generally agree with your estimates on what it would take to get it done.

  • http://BN Sacko

    It looks like it’s been established that we won’t pick up Price for 2 years..I agree it doesn’t make sense..I would not be surprised by signing a pitcher to a 4 year deal..and a starting right handed bat in the outfield.

  • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

    If Theo trades any of the big four, he’ll need to invest in a bullet proof car, body guards and a kevlar vest.

    • Professor Snarks

      It may not be that bad (Cubs fans love trading for big name guys), but it sure would hurt their ‘Genius’ standing if they traded away a HoF player.

      • hansman

        They still have the ‘Genius’ standing after trading away Hanley Ramirez.

  • bob

    I wouldn’t trade vaez at all he will be all star third baseman go after Japan pitchers or get Johnson he is free agent rays can keep shields

  • Oswego Chris

    Cano and McCann make zero sense…look at what the Dodgers will be paying in 2017!

    AGonz 23, Kemp 26, Crawford 22, Greinke 25, Eithier 17.5…that’s does not include Kershaw….those numbers are for 4 years from now!

    I don’t care how much their TV deal is worth no team can sustain those crazy numbers…

    Cano and McCann’s numbers will look close to those in 2017….would u want them?

    Tie up your own talent…forget 30 plus free agents

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

    Keeping Sori would have been a better fit compared to signing Granderson!

  • BlameHendry

    Almora for Price? maybe. Baez for Price? Absolutely not.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I don’t see the Cubs making a play for David Price. Which I’m fine with.

    • auggie55

      I agree. I mean really people! Do you think Theo is going to undo everything he’s spent the past couple of years working on just to get Price? Sure, as Kyle has stated he didn’t hesitate to trade a top prospect when he was with the Red Sox. With the Sox often times they needed help at one position. But with the Cubs, it’s a whole different situation. Theo has had to rebuild the whole minor league system and has repeatedly told Cub fans to be patient.

      When guys like Baez and Bryant are with the Cubs and they are only a SP away then I can see the Cubs giving up prospects for a SP, but until then it doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Jono

    If price had no arm issues, then maaaaaybe with a lean towards no. With his arm problems and uncheapness (wow, my spellcheck let that one pass), I assertively side with no

  • Funn Dave

    Hmm, a Boras client with unimpressive stats? Everything’s worth looking into, but I would probably look elsewhere.

  • CubFan Paul

    I don’t remember any connections or rumors in 2011 connecting the Cubs to Wei-Yen Chen, which was disappointing at the time because Chen signed for only 3yrs/$11.4M and his age.

    Ryu got more last offseason but Suk-Min Yoon looks like he’ll get less but no more than Ryu.

  • Funn Dave

    If Soler were a plausible option for Price, I’d say go for it. But Baez or Almora? I’d rather keep future awesomeness over two years of Price.

    • Spriggs

      Agree.

    • hansman

      I don’t know that we have seen the ‘real’ Soler yet. He may end up being more valuable than Almora.

  • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

    Why trade the farm for any of the free agents on the market when you have a bunch on the verge of coming up? Very few free agents fully live up to their big contracts anyway.

    • Jon

      How many prospects fully live up to their expected potential?

      • Kyle

        Expectations or potential? Those are two different things.

        I’d say about half of prospects live up to their expectations, but the expectation for most of them is that they’ll flame out in AA or AAA. I couldn’t put a number on how many live up to their potential, but it’s small.

        • Jon

          Well in this case I think the expectation(reasonable fans, and the Cubs front office) is that all of the big 4 have the ceiling to be a consistent 4-5 win player in the major leagues.

      • Scotti

        Depends on who is doing the expecting.

      • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

        Which would you rather have:
        Minor leaguer with potential that flames out.
        Free agent with 7 year 100 mil contract that doesn’t live up to their contract.

        • Edwin

          It depends. Does the FA flame out instantly, or do they have at least 2-3 solid years early in the contract? How far away from MLB is the minor league player? What other talent is available in FA? What talent projects to be available in FA in future years? How is the rest of the farm system looking? What kind of talent is on the current team? What age level/development stage is the talent level on the current MLB team?

  • ken vercelli

    we need to look for other free agents this year- not the most expensive ones.
    no one was excited about feldman, yet he played well and would have been good enough to keep, but we traded him for better value for the future.
    no one was excited about signing a backup catcher- yet he was still a great piece.
    i’d look for more reclamation projects on the mound– josh johnson, kazmir, etc….
    and possibly more sweeney types– that’s what we need an article about– not more pie in the sky old guys( over 30) who are gonna be the next franchise albatross in 2016-2018 when they’re too old to justify their pay–like so many other prior cubs even before Sori.

  • kscubfan

    Price is a stud and people want studs on their team. I get that, but 2013 Starting Pitching wasn’t the real problem with this team. So, getting Price could help but it doesn’t fix any current holes and may actually create more down the road.

    To me it makes more sense to look in on Yoon and maybe Tanaka and build up a surplus of good starting pitching to help bridge the gap with Edwards, Blackburn, and Johnson coming up. Maybe that way you never have to worry about trading for a number 1.

  • Jon

    Interesting, the ResidentJagoff lambasted be yesterday when I suggested Soler’s contract could be a turnoff for the Rays.

    • YourResidentJag

      Except that if you further read my comments I felt in the end that the Cubs couldn’t part with him over the Rays intentions of acquiring. So, nice try on that one, huh?

  • When the Music’s Over

    If Almora continues to smoke the AFL, there’s almost no way he doesn’t start at Daytona. If he smokes Daytona, which is a good bet if he smokes the AFL, he’ll see AA by June/July. I’m not one to usually stress holding onto minor leaguers at all costs, but I don’t trade that for a very expensive pitcher with declining velocity on a team that’s really not expected to compete until 2015 or so.

    At this point, I’d ride out this offseason without a blockbuster trade involving the top 4 guys. Just my take.

  • Melrosepad

    Wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs look at Alexander Guerrero. He could take over for Barney right away, and in 1.5 to 2 years we could possibly trade him for more talent when the likes of Baez/Alcantara are ready. If we could get him for the 4 years that he is wanting it would seem ideal. We get an improvement on the field and flip-ability down the road if needed.

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