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piano-lessons-flyerDon’t forget to check out the latest episode of the BN Podcast, friends. I’ll be out of pocket for a little while this morning as I take The Little Girl on a parent-supervised (look at me, I’m a parent supervisor!) trip to the pumpkin patch.

  • The Dodgers, amid their playoff run, had time to dump an intriguing outfielder this week: Alex Castellanos. Although he’s not related to top prospect Nick, Alex was a solid prospect in his own right a few years ago in the Cardinals’ system. He was traded for Rafael Furcal, and proceeded to destroy the upper levels of the minors out west, as many prospects do. He got the tiniest of look-sees with the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013, but relative struggles in the minors this year probably did him in as far as long-term plans go. To be clear, Castellanos is no longer a traditional prospect, and is very likely not more than a future bench guy (at best). He turned 27 late this year, and hit just .257/.347/.468 for AAA Albuquerque (that isn’t great for that ballpark). When outfielder Mike Baxter popped up on the waiver wire from the Mets this week, the Dodgers preferred Baxter to Castellanos (a quick look reveals that Baxter has a lower ceiling, but has demonstrated that he could be a decent bench bat at the big league level already), and designated the latter for assignment. From here, Castellanos very likely hits the waiver wire.
  • Why did I devote a lengthy first Bullet to Castellanos? Well, he’s the kind of guy I could see the Cubs considering in their early offseason roster shuffling. He costs just a few bucks and a roster spot to grab, and then you have over a month to decide whether he’s worth keeping on the roster all offseason (you could even try to grab him, chat him up like a bar hotty, and then waive him in the hopes that he’ll clear and you can retain him on a minor league deal later in the year). Although his 2013 season was down, he hit .320/.386/.573 in 2011 between AA and AAA, and then .328/.420/.590 at AAA in 2012. He’s got a decent walk rate (9.1%), and doesn’t strike out too much to concern you. He bats righty, which is something the Cubs could actually be lacking in the outfield at the AAA/MLB level. Moreover, he played all over the outfield this year, and played all over the field in 2012. While it doesn’t seem likely, the possibility of a super utility type is there – at least, it’s “there” enough that it might be worth a waiver claim and then a short-term evaluation process in Arizona. It’s a flyer, and it’s one of the cheapest kinds – not unlike the one the Cubs have already taken with Mat Gamel.
  • Jesse Rogers looks at the last two managerial candidates to interview, Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez. Features a cameo from David DeJesus!
  • Patrick Mooney digs into Dave Martinez, who interviewed yesterday, and the way the Tampa Bay Rays have conducted themselves over the past half decade.
  • Arizona Phil discusses the latest Instructional League – and intrasquad – action, featuring appearances from a host of pitchers on whom we all want to have eyes: Arodys Vizcaino, Juan Paniagua, Jefferson Mejia, and Jen-Ho Tseng. Remember: stats from these kinds of games are virtually meaningless. What matters is how the guys look, and the fact that they’re getting experience/innings.
  • BP’s Harry Pavlidis chats on a variety of topics, including Cubs prospect bits (C.J. Edwards remains a mid/back-rotation projection type of guy, Juan Paniagua offers more hope than Dillon Maples, Javier Baez could be good defensively eventually), and his usual fare of PitchF/X and the like.
  • If there were a significant, public-facing contingent of Cubs fans espousing the “we play the game the right way” BS message that Cardinals fans/media are putting out there about their team vis a vis the Dodgers, I’d be utterly embarrassed. Go play golf, Cardinals. On Neptune.
  • cms0101

    I think it makes a ton of sense to grab Castellanos and see what happens in the offseason. With all the lefty outfielders they’re going to have, he could absolutely compete for a right handed spot on the bench that plays against lefties. As it stands right now, Vitters is really the only other competition for him. You have to figure that Schierholtz, Sweeney, and Lake are the starters going into the offseason. Bogusevic, Castellanos, and Vitters are the backups, with Vitters being able to play 1B and maybe 3B in a pinch. Ha and Szczur are also right around the corner. Guess we’ll find out soon enough if they have the same feelings.

  • Werner

    Yeah if you want to be depressed about humanity in general, I really recommend you follow Baseball’s Best Fans on Twitter.

  • Ben

    Here’s to a decade of Cardinal-frustrating exuberant celebration by young Cub players. We can only hope.

  • josh ruiter

    Castellanos makes some sense to me. However, He sounds like a 3-4 year older version of a guy we already have in Josh Vitters. I am already a bit confused as to how we are going to get time for all the guys. If Villanueva, Olt, Baez, Alcantara, Gamel, are all gonna be at AAA as well as some other prospect guys, Castellanos feels like a filler we may no longer have room for IMO.

    • CubFan Paul

      …Vitters is a defensive liability, Castellanos is not

    • Jay

      We’re not going to. Most of these low-cost pickups off the trash heap will either 1) not make the team or 2) end up at AAA as insurance. Jed and Theo have already made their strategy clear of stockpiling a bunch of these pieces of coal and seeing if any of them magically turn into a diamond. I mean, it costs basically nothing but Murphy money to invite them to camp and see what they do in the Spring.

      • cubmig

        Yesterday I saw Castellanos’ name highlighted on mlbtraderumors and clicked on him to learn something about him. The thought of nabbing him (if he was put on waivers) hit me too. It seemed to me that the Dodgers never really allowed him the play time to see what he could do, given what his pre-mlb history showed. I say if he can be grabbed without too much sacrificed (mainly roster spot and -maybe-cramping the new manager’s flexibility).

        • cubmig

          ooops……insert “grab him” at end of post ^

    • cms0101

      It can’t hurt to grab him and see what we got. Same thing with Gamel. Worst case, he fights to keep a spot in Iowa. Best case, he’s a late bloomer and plays against lefties in the majors. It costs them nothing to take the chance. As Brett points out, the Cubs are going to be heavily left handed in the OF at the ML level. Finding another right handed bat to play out there isn’t the worst idea.

      • Napercal

        In reviewing the love on this website for Castellanos and the story on the radio and tv rights negotiations, it is easy to see why the Cubs are going to take it in the backside on the media negotiations. The Cubs have subjected us to a roster full of Castellanos clones for the last two seasons which have in fact caused tv and radio audiences to evaporate. If Theo doesn’t identify some more entertaining and competitive players for this season, where does that leave teh Ricketts Plan. We are counting on increased revenues from stadium renovations (delayed until at best 2015) and media rights (likely far less than what they would be worth with a competitve team) to offset the Ricketts debt (which must be the result of completely incompetent advisors) in order to spur a winning team. Realistically only 2 of the big 4 will make it big time and maybe 1 out of 4 of the next 12 highly regarded prospects will develop into impact players. That is 6 impact players to go along with what is already at the major league level. We all must admit that there are at best 6 servicable players on the major league level (Rizzo, Castro, Samardzija, Wood, Schierholtz and Castillo) and 3 hope and pray players (Barney, Strop and Rondon). Projecting forward, I don’t see how even under this best-case scenario the Cubs will compete with St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati in the next 5 years. Get better players now!!

  • MichiganGoat

    [img]http://www.memecreator.org/static/images/memes/1869316.jpg[/img]

    • cubfanbob

      love it M.G. Can I use save these ?

      • MichiganGoat

        Use them freely they belong to all of us

  • MichiganGoat

    [img]http://www.memecreator.org/static/images/memes/1869329.jpg[/img]

    • FFP

      These kinds of slides may be extinguished (indirectly) by the replay. I say this with some degree of sadness as my avatar’s necklace is made from second basemen’s teeth.

  • jt

    I wonder The Cubs are going to have a duel platoon in the OF . That would be Lake and Vitters or Sappelt. I don’t see them still considering Sappelt as an option. Seems Castellanos is a similar type of hitter as Vitters and can steal a base. I’m guessing he plays better OF defense than Vitters. If they don’t get a proven RH bat that plays the OF then it couldn’t hurt to take a flyer on this guy. I agree that it doesn’t seem worth while to send him to Iowa.

    • Jimbotron

      I hear aaron burr is great for that…;)

      Sorry couldn’t resist XD

  • Cubbies4Life

    Good one, MG. It was all I could do to finish reading that smarmy-ass Cardinals article. MAN I want the Dodgers to stuff it down their throats!! AAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!!

    • MichiganGoat

      Yeah Castro sure has seen the Cardinal Way more than any other player.

      • cubmig

        The lines in that story that got me are these: “”This is St. Louis, we have values here,” said Brian Schwarze, 32. “My grandfather used to always tell me, ‘This is a gentleman’s game. You play the game right.’ ”

        ……talk about them needing a reality check…….dumbshits.

        • MichiganGoat

          MORANS!

  • MichiganGoat

    [img]http://www.memecreator.org/static/images/memes/1869353.jpg[/img]

  • itzscott

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time buying into the tendency of the Cubs to take in what other teams feel is their garbage in order for the Cubs to rebuild a winning team. Equally hard to grasp the notion that the Cubs’ scouts are so much more adept than the scouts from the teams these castoffs came from.

    If things didn’t work out with them, the odds overwhelmingly favor that they won’t work out with the Cubs either.

    • Jay

      They’re not trying to build a WINNING team with these guys. They’re trying to find cheap bodies to put on the field for the next year or two while we wait for the real guys to get here. And with pitching, you just never know when the lights will go back on for somebody, so might as well take a chance now when the stakes are low.

      • Reality Check

        so the tanking of seasons continue; heading into year 3. white sox show some balls and sign Abreu for 68M (while we passed on cespedes, darvish, ryu, puig and soon tanaka, but got the bat wielding minor leaguer for 30 M soler……….yippee!)……

        we sign the injured gamel(shocker) and some guy named alex very long name.

        oh the season tickets are gonna be huge!

        moving forward with year 106 of the biggest laughingstock in all of sports……..YOUR Chicago cubs owned by p.k. McCaskey.

        and I’ve only waited near 40 years on this team……..but at least i’m loyal and sleep well at night; wonder if tommyboy does knowing he’s screwing over the fans with this farce of a Pittsburgh like rebuild.

        gotta go; have to scour the aaa waiver wire………..for the next BIG thing.

        • mjhurdle

          the bitterness is STRONG in this one…

        • Brains

          how is it even possible that Theo came in with bluster and lightning, and managed to put together the two worst years in the history of the worst team in the history of sports? and he’s on track to put together a team even worse than the first two years? someone fire this guy if he doesn’t make at least 2 reasonable signings in the offseason. he’s spending all of his time at morton’s.

          • On The Farm

            I am just curious if you understand the objective of a rebuild, and if you are aware that the Cubs are not the only team and employing this method?

            • Kyle

              Well, us and the Astros, and I’m not crazy about their prospects either. At least not as crazy as their fans are.

              • On The Farm

                Really? There are a few that I would like. Do you know the difference on why our farm system has been able to acquire more depth (especially pitching) than the Astros? Because unlike the Astros, the Cubs sign flippable players. But god forbid the Cubs sign flippable players. And what in the world is that moron Theo and Jed doing? Lets fire them and go out and get some front office management that knows what they are doing and have won a championship before.

                • Kyle

                  I meant “their prospects” as in “their outlook for the future,” not their literal prospects. Although I don’t think Correa will amount to a ton.

                  • On The Farm

                    Ah sorry, I misinterpreted your response. Yeah, I am not suggesting if it were possible I would trade Baez for Correa, no matter what scouts say. And if we had the #1 pick this June I still would have been happy if the FO picked Bryant over Appel. I was just saying that they do have a few players worth liking.

                    But back to the Astro’s future outlook, the reason their rebuild isn’t going that well is because they aren’t as committed to signing flippable pieces. Maybe they would like to, but can’t get any FA to sign with them, or maybe their scouting department has just missed more than ours. All the more reason to be happy with our FO. I don’t get the constant negativity.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t think *our* rebuild is going that well, either.

                      Yes, we’ve got a lot of prospects, but the young major league assets have either taken steps back or failed to step forward. If we don’t have the money for major talent infusions, it could take a lot longer than we envisioned when this started.

            • Brains

              No rebuild has ever gone this poorly in the history of sports going back to the ancient Greeks. We don’t have to purify Chicago with fire in order to gain a few minor leaguers.

              • On The Farm

                “No rebuild has ever gone this poorly in the history of sports ”

                On the contrary the purpose of a rebuild is to gain depth, something the Cubs have been very good at doing.

                “We don’t have to purify Chicago with fire in order to gain a few minor leaguers.”

                A few? please they went from practically no top prospects, to four, and one or two top 100, to maybe having more than any other team in the league.

                The purge wasn’t needed? Have you seen the Cardinals? Have you looked at how young that Pirate roster is? Signing a couple more bats this last offseason wouldn’t have guaranteed us a post season berth.

                • Kyle

                  “A few? please they went from practically no top prospects, to four, and one or two top 100, to maybe having more than any other team in the league.

                  We had two top-50 prospects in the 2011 BA listing, and in the 2012 list we had four, three of which were inherited and one of which was traded for from an existing top young player.

                  • Kyle

                    Edit: four top 100, not four top 50.

                  • On The Farm

                    Okay, by the end of 2012 their top prospects went from Rizzo, Jackson, Szczur, and Baez to Baez, Almora, Soler, and Jackson. So by the end of the year they had replaced two of their top four with their own. By mid 2013 they had 3 of their own in the top four, and of those four they are all top 35ish prospects (depending on the ranking service).

                    At the start of 2012 BA had one Cubs prospect in the 30s.. Brett Jackson. So in about one years time mid 2012 to mid 2013 they added three top 30 prospects all on their own.

                    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2012/2612998.html

                    • Kyle

                      It’s a bit of a cheat to trade a top young pitcher (who has technically a bit too much playing time to make a prospect list) for a top young hitter who has just a bit less and is still technically a prospect, and count it as an advancement in the rebuilding.

                      But regardless, I wasn’t disagreeing that they’ve added a lot of top prospects. I was disagreeing that we had nothing when they got here. It’s perfectly normal for there to be a lot of turnover in the top prospects list in two years.

                      They’ve added three top-30 guys, yes. Two high first-round picks and one guy they paid $30m for. How brilliant of them.

                    • On The Farm

                      Actually I wasn’t even claiming Rizzo as one of their since you are right he was technically traded for another Hendry prospect. I was just pointing out that from 2012 to 2013 they had greatly increased the quality of the top four from the previous regime. Also, most top prospects for a team are in the top 100 anyway so to just act like because they were first round picks they don’t get *that* much credit is misleading. Also Almora is ranked higher on some lists than Gausman and Zimmer who were picked ahead of him in the draft. In retrospect I have seen someone say that Bryant was the top prospect from the 2013 draft. Lets not act like this FO scouting department didn’t do their job.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Oh On The Farm you realize there is no reason to converse, argue, or even attempt logic with his posts. Its pure bait.

                  • Brains

                    Keep eating those tin cans, and take a position for once instead of attacking other posters.

                  • On The Farm

                    Yeah, work is admittedly a little slow this morning.

                    • Brains

                      Those 4 prospects aren’t the pillars of a winning MLB team. Genuine effort needs to be put into the actual team, not all of these smokes and mirrors in a well lit room.

                    • On The Farm

                      Well actually that’s kind of the point with these prospects. They are hoping they can become the foundation in which they build a perennial playoff team with.

              • DarthHater

                I think the Athenian rebuild after the Peloponnesian War might have gone worse.

                • Brains

                  It went much better, they ended up with Alexander in Macedonia and Aristotle as his teacher. We’re going to end up with the Kansas City Royals’ dumpster from three seasons ago while Jed pats himself on the back for resigning Carlos Marmol.

                • hansman

                  Germany post-WWI went pretty poorly as well.

                  • Brains

                    Dude, why in the world would you compare Theo to Hitler? I was talking about what a bad rebuild looks like compared to a good rebuild.

          • D-Rock

            To me it seems obvious what Theo and Jed are doing at the major league level in these first few years of taking over: trying to have one of the worst records in baseball to ensure top draft picks for multiple years in a row, and clearing salary room to sign the top picks that pan out. Here’s to hoping that being really bad for several years actually pays off sometime soon!

    • cms0101

      It’s really more a case of other teams have better depth than the Cubs do, and picking up some of these guys improves a team that was less talented. The Cubs clearly don’t have the major league team that the Dodgers do. Castellanos was never going to get playing time with that OF, so they cut him to pick up a guy who was a better fit as a bench player. For whatever reason, sometimes change of scenery works. Plus given a real opportunity, maybe he can be a player. Valbuena was a similarly cast off guy that have filled a clear gap. While it would be great to grab a guy like Theo once did with David Ortiz, I don’t think it needs to be that lopsided to help. And if they are able to pick up better players a different route, you waive him and let the next guy take a chance on him. Who knows, maybe the Cubs scouts hate this guy and nothing ever comes of it. They’re close to the top of the list for claiming him, so we should find out pretty quickly if they have interest, unless he’s claimed by the Astros or Marlins.

      • jt

        “It’s really more a case of other teams have better depth than the Cubs do,”
        –cms101
        ..well said

    • Senor Cub

      itzscott – I agree. This rebuild plan is now looking more like 2016-2017 at this rate.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    Grabbng Castellanos makes sense to me. Do the Marlins get first choice, then us?

  • Cedlandrum

    Is there a doucheier organization then the Cardinals?

    • Jono

      nope. They’re the biggest assholes in sports

      • Brains

        hear hear! and they’re posting here daily about destroying wrigley field and not signing players to help the team. something is fishy here.

        • Jono

          destroying wrigley? Nope, just moving to a place that’s more conducive to hosting a professional sports team. We like wrigley, we just like the team more

          Not signing players to help the team? Some people don’t want to get into medium-long term trouble for short term gains.

          • Brains

            dude you were born in st louis. ive never heard such malarchy from someone born in the city.

            • Jono

              HAHAHA, what?

            • DarthHater

              I think you mean malarkey. “Malarchy” sounds like it would refer to our form of government.

  • Cedlandrum

    i guess i could see grabbing Castellanos, but if the Dodgers are buy all the players, then we have to be grab all the spare parts. I don’t see any upside for him over Thomas Neal if he is healthy.

  • Big Joe

    Please. Leave another team’s garbage on the curb. Thanks.

    • King Jeff

      Kevin Gregg was also Dodger garbage and he turned out to be a pretty good addition.

  • Brains

    More waiver line signings, which usually means 2m here, 3m there down the toilet. In sum we could just hire a game changer. Jed Bartman wastes too much money without building MLB-level infrastructure.

    • BT

      Riiiiight. Because there are so many “game changers” just lying around. And waiver wire pickups routinely cost 3 million dollars. And I’m tired of having sex with Mila Kunis.

  • Stevie B

    When I hear waiver wire claim, it makes me have to poop.

    • On The Farm

      You might want to have that looked at by a medical professional. That does not sound healthy.

    • Brains

      It definitely makes me cringe.

  • David

    Seeing a few Internet rumors with regards to Gonzo from COL on the trading block. Just invisioning a 2015 lineup of:

    1. Szczur. Center
    2. Alcantara. 2nd
    3. Gonzo. Right field
    4. Bryant. Left field
    5. Rizzo. 1st
    6. Baez. 3rd
    7. Castro. Short
    8. Castillo. Catch

    I think that’s really really really good. If Szczur can come up big & and be a table setter and play awesome defense… Almora & Vogleburger as the centerpieces of the gonzo deal. Lots more ifs, but I don’t think this is too far from being a reality. Thoughts from the crew???? Who needs pitching with a lineup like that???

    • Voice of Reason

      Great, let’s trade for an outfielder who has never stayed healthy for an entire season.

      Not only can he not stay healthy, but he is making a ton of money. In the last year of his deal he will make $20 million alone.

      On top of it, his numbers are inflated by that nice, thin air in Colorado.

      Let’s stay away from the Prices and Gonzalez’ and trade for and sign players who can stay healthy.

    • Brains

      so basically a really good AAA team

    • On The Farm

      “Szczur. Center” – Doesn’t exactly make me jump for joy.
      “Bryant. Left field” – Actually I have seen more scouts say Bryant could move to RF if he doesn’t end up at 3B. It would make more sense to have him in right and CarGo in Left.
      ” Gonzo. Right field. ” – Yeah, I really don’t even want to trade for this guy, especially if it cost me Vogelbach and Alomra. There has to be a better trade target for these two.

      “I think that’s really really really good. ” – considering half of the lineup your put out there hasn’t even recorded a AAA at bat, I am not sure how you think that could be three reallys worth of good. I think that is good enough to finish behind the Cards and Pirates, maybe we can overtake the 2015 Reds.

      • David

        Ha! Szczur in center- cant have a superstar at every position! Especially an offensive superstar. If he can get on base like a mad man, be a “scrappy table setter” and play awesome defse, I’ll take it.

        I really really really want the group (and the FO) to agree with my logic!

        • Kyle

          He probably can’t get on base all that often, nor is his defense *that* great.

    • Brains

      this IS a great lineup, assuming that these players make it out of the minors, in 2020.

  • Josh Collins

    Soler?

  • Jono

    Cardinals fans are no better than any other fanbase. They don’t know the game more than any other team’s fans. They just think they do. And that’s what makes them the worst fans

    • mjhurdle

      exactly.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    This LA “garbage” may be better than 3-4 currently on our 40 man roster.

  • ssckelley

    I think the Cubs could do just as good resigning Thomas Neal (did he clear waivers?). It was a shame he got hurt as I would have liked to have seen more of him instead of Darnell McDonald.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    What is stopping Castro from wearing a special “knee pad” on his right knee, and following through with it into a Cardinals players’ face on one of those Cardinal Way slides? Sometimes you have to sucker-punch a bully in the junk to keep him from fighting dirty.

    • Jono

      ^like^

  • DarthHater

    I don’t think Neptune has a solid planetary surface suitable for playing golf.

  • Stinky Pete

    Does anyone know when and/or why Nick Castellanos became Edmundo Castellanos?

  • Pat

    Well, once we finish rebuilding the “right way”, and have a team full of players playing the “Cubs Way”, we will no longer have to deal with uninformed fans thinking their team does things the “right way”.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Anytime I hear a team referring to itself with a “Way” I think douche bags.

  • LER

    Neptune isn’t far enough away.

  • Josh

    No group that self proclaims themselves as the best and superior to all others can be the best. Every team has good and bad fans and to try to compare and say one is superior is just idiotic. Cardinal fans are awful and living in St Louis as a Cub fan makes it so much worse… Once even had a girl once tell me she “could never date a Cub fan because she would question their morals as a person.” What the___!?!?!? There was another group of people that liked to proclaim their superiority over all others… They were led by some guy named Hitler. I know that might be a bit extreme of a comparison but I think you guys can smell what I’m stepping in. Go Dodgers!!

  • cubfanincardinalland

    You can’t believe how the natives are whipped into a frenzy down here. But the local media and the fans think all the Cardinal hate is just jealousy. Thanks Brett, that made my week about Stan Musial’s grandson almost getting his ass kicked by Dodger fans. Priceless.
    What amazes me is the hypocrisy of Cardinal fans. You could not get more unsportsmanlike and disrespectful to your opponents. than Chris Carpenter. One of the biggest punks in the game. But he was just a hard nosed competitor in Cardinal fantasy world. And Pujols didn’t flip his bat and stare down his homeruns?
    If there is justice in the world, Kershaw no hits them tonight, and they lose on a 3 run 9th inning Puig homer on Saturday.

  • chrisfchi

    The last bullet is a real hole-in-one

  • Die hard

    Should look at FA Morse first

    • TWC

      “No more FA signings for 5 years until we see what kids can do,” said Die hard as recently as last week.

      • DarthHater

        And here’s a recent photo of him, contemplating his next comment:
        [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7374/10349067436_65eedfa35c_m.jpg[/img]

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