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lukewarm stoveThe mini-break of Thanksgiving has all but arrived. It’s unlikely that any major moves will happen today or tomorrow, but the rumor mill tends to keep churning throughout the week.

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that, although the Diamondbacks are definitely in on Jeff Samardzija (if the Cubs opt to move him), they are considering other pitching options, as well. Rosenthal adds this interestingly parseable bit: “The D-Backs, sources say, know what it would take to land Samardzija, a pitcher they have targeted since last summer. Their fear is that if they jump too soon, they may miss out on an even better opportunity.” Implication: If the Diamondbacks know what it would take to get Samardzija, and are simply afraid to jump too soon, then they are willing to meet the Cubs’ price. They just don’t necessarily want to do it yet. I find that quite interesting, given that the price on Samardzija right now should be through the roof. It’s still hard to see the D-Backs parting with top pitching prospect Archie Bradley in any deal, but I can’t see the Cubs accepting a package that doesn’t include Bradley unless it was overwhelmingly strong.
  • Rosenthal also notes that there are several teams in on Samardzija, but nothing is imminent.
  • Joel Sherman reports that the meeting yesterday between NPB and MLB officials on the currently-lapsed posting system did not produce a deal, and the talks could continue today. We’re all still expecting that a deal will eventually get done this year, but it could delay the posting of Masahiro Tanaka until January or later.
  • Phil Rogers reminds us that Masahiro Tanaka is not the only Japanese pitcher for whom these posting talks could mean a whole lot. There’s also star pitcher Kenta Maeda, who has been nearly as dominant as Tanaka over his six NPB seasons. His team could decide, like Tanaka’s team presumably will, to post the righty once a deal is in place, and cash in on a huge posting fee. The free agent market in MLB is pretty weak on the pitching side, so that’s certainly a mark in favor of posting Maeda now. Marks against? He’s a year further away from free agency than Tanaka, so his team could wait another year. Plus, posting him now means competing directly with Tanaka. If Maeda’s team waits a year, maybe he’s the only big international player on the market. And, early projections have the free agent market being even weaker next year.
  • The Twins are exploring deeply the free agent starting market, particularly the mid-tier group in which the Cubs will probably also dip. Keep your hands off Phil Hughes, Twinkies. (Ok, the Hughes thing is now becoming a bit of an over-the-top beast of a joke. It’s not like I think he’s the moon and the stars or anything. I just think he’s a good short-term risk for the Cubs (and the Cubs are a good short-term risk for him, too).)
  • Nelson Cruz wants four years and $75 million, per Jon Heyman, which would have been an insane ask even if he wasn’t coming off of a PED suspension. Yes, power is desirable, but we’re talking about a 33-year-old corner outfielder who hasn’t topped 1.5 WAR since 2010, and whose last three OBPs read .312, .319, .327. I’d advocated Cruz on a cheapy prove-it deal, but this is about two stratospheres removed from what I’d envisioned. Woe be to the team that signs him for three years and $45 million, let alone four and $75 million.
  • Cubman

    On Nelson Cruz I would add that hitting in Texas versus most other places is also a big difference. For that and the reasons you mentioned, he would be a very bad signing.

    • ruby2626

      You can keep Nelson Cruz, I’ll forever remember him as the guy who was too wall shy to make a legitmate effort to catch Freeze’s triple giving the Cardinals the World Series. Big pus if you ask me.

  • ssckelley

    I think Nelson Cruz will be on the free agent market for a while. Teams will not go anywhere near him for that price.

  • http://permalink toby taylr

    just a thought process–I like the phil hughes thing its a flyer but worth a 1+1 contract, but in a wild scenario of trading shark for prospects who else do we sign/trade for to slot up the strating rotation? and at what costs

    • Rebuilding

      In a dream scenario? They sign Tanaka and get a MLB ready arm as part of the deal (like a Taylor Jordan) so you have Tanaka/Wood/Jackson/Jordan and then Arrieta/Grimm/Rusin/Hendricks/Cabrera battle it out for the 5th spot. No Tanaka just move everyone up a spot or take a flier on a Hughes type pitcher

  • http://permalink toby taylr

    starting rotation I mean

  • When the Music’s Over

    F7 deals involving quantity in lieu of quality just don’t do it for me.

    • DocPeter Wimsey

      True: but they are very popular in trades proposed by fans! Oddly , it is always we give quantity and they give quality, too….

      • hansman

        No, there are times we give quality and get quantity. Just it seems we get quality with that quantity.

  • Patrick G

    If the Cubs could sign Tanaka and Hughes, I think that would most certainly make room for them to trade Shark. If that’s the case, I hope Arizona comes through with Bradley.

    • Senor Cub

      If you could sign Tanaka and Hughes why in the world would you want to trade Shark???

      • http://deleted cub2014

        if you sign tanaka & (hughes or Kazmir) and you
        have Wood. That leaves: Arrieta, Shark,Jackson
        Rusin,Grimm,Valbuena and eventually Hendricks so
        Arrieta or Shark or Jackson would have to go.

        Best bet after FA signings this winter is to trade Shark
        then if Jackson has a good start to the season then you
        flip him and bring up one of your young guys to be 5th
        starter (Rusin,Ramirez,Beeler,Hendricks)

        • http://deleted cub2014

          oops! meant villanueva

      • Patrick G

        Why wouldn’t you? If you have tanaka, Hughes, wood, Jackson and Arrieta/Grimm/Rusin that leaves room for shark to be expendable for top notch prospects. They are most likely not going to be competitive next year anyway, And with Shark possibly not signing an extension, you’d have to trade him that way the prospects we get in return would be ready when our other top guys are ready.

        • ari gold

          Totally agree with Patrick. In that scenario, the overall talent level of the organization improves by quite a bit.

  • http://permalink toby taylr

    I agree on tanaka- but lets take that out of the equation for a moment and say we don’t land him –who else fills the bill?

  • gocubs

    Sounds like teams (Dbacks for sure) are holding their prospects to see if they can acquire David Price. Once the Price trade is completed the teams that did not get Price will finalize a deal with the Cubs for Shark.

    • On The Farm

      That was my initial reaction too. They know what it costs to trade for Samardzija, but want to hold out in case they could acquire Price, or if someone does trade for Price they don’t want to give up more for Samardzija (relatively) to what it costs to get Price.

      I think they could be waiting to see what the market sets for its Price (pun intended). I am not sure the Dbacks want to trade for Price because I am sure Friedman wants Bradley, Skaggs, Davidson, and another top 15 guy from them. He is so good at generating a good return for his pitchers.

      • CubFan Paul

        “they don’t want to give up more for Samardzija (relatively) to what it costs to get Price…they could be waiting to see what the market sets for its Price”

        That’s what I got from reading between the lines too.

  • jon

    Yeah, wish in one hand Nelson and poop in the other and tell me which fills up faster.

  • Edwin

    I’d disagree slightly Brett, with regards to there not being much pitching in FA. There might not be any “impact” arms (which was probably your point) but there seems to be a decent number of middle-rotation arms available. Looking at Steamer’s projections, I count 15 SP projected to provide 2 or more WAR next season. I’m sure some of these have signed by now, but it’s not like teams have no options in FA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Fair enough. I really just meant the high-end types.

      • Edwin

        Just curious, where do you expect Tanaka to be, in terms of WAR?

        • SenorGato

          Not Brett but I would assume the hope is a 4+ WAR arm.

          • MightyBear

            I’m sure similar to Darvish, approx 4.8 WAR.

            • Isaac

              No, not similar to Darvish. I don’t think much of anybody believes he is of similar caliber to Yu.

              • SenorGato

                Yu is a more physically talented guy but Tanaka stacks just fine in pedigree and performance overseas (IIRC anyway on the performance part). Tanaka seems like he might have better control.

                Someone get Shintaro Fujinami over here.

  • Edwin

    I’m wondering how many teams take a look at the price the Cubs are asking for Samardzija, and then take a look at FA as an alternative.

    • http://deleted cub2014

      right edwin thats why off season trading of a non
      TOR starter before the pitching FA have signed
      isnt as lucrative. Right now there are plenty of options
      to sign starters without trading for one.

      • http://deleted cub2014

        same reason you dont trade barney or
        castro this off season. it would be the worst
        possible outcome in a trade for Chicago.
        We need to give those 2 a chance to
        redeem themselves. Trade when their value
        is high not when it is at its lowest.

  • http://permalink toby taylr

    what about a rotation of wood- ejax-porcello-rusin-and arrieta/grimm

    • On The Farm

      Just curious what we could trade to Detroit to get Porcello? They don’t need Samardzija (not that big of an upgrade to trade Porcello for him) and they don’t need Barney. Not sure Detroit fits as a trade partner.

      • jh03

        I dunno man. They may need Barney to replace Prince’s power numbers.

        • On The Farm

          He has been swinging for the fence more the last few seasons.

      • YourResidentJag

        Why wouldn’t they want Shark? Can you imagine what that rotation would look like? I’d consider if for Porcello, Smyly, and prospect Jake Thompson. I would give the Cubs potentially two MLB starters, since the Tigers want to stretch out Smyly to be a SP.

        • Rebuilding

          Smyly is better than Shark and you could argue Porcello might be too

          • Rich H

            OK. Here we need some clarification. Smiley TODAY is not better than Shark TODAY. Not even close.
            If you bring in stuff, ceiling, arbitration money and need then maybe you have an argument. But reality is that Smiley and Turner were not good enough for Garza 2012 before he was hurt. Shark is worth closer to Shields last year than Garza 2012.

            • On The Farm

              Not sure about that. Samardjiza posted a 2.8 WAR as a SP and Smyly posted a 1.9 out of the pen. Actually the fact that Smyly was almost a 2 WAR out of the pen puts him tied for 9th among all RPs. Smyly has very high value in the role he is in right now, and could probably be a pretty comparable pitcher today to what Samardzija produces (and he’s left handed).

              • Rich H

                But in that vacuum then you are centering a trade for Shark around a reliever. Again not the same value at all. A 2 WAR starter is worth easily twice as much as a bullpen arm.

                • http://deleted cub2014

                  Ya I think the only scenario you trade
                  Shark is with a team that wants to win
                  in 2014 and has a potential TOR that is
                  about 2+ years away. Otherwise it doesnt
                  make sense to trade him this offseason.

                • On The Farm

                  I guess that is my fault for only listing Smyly’s accolades as a RP. I was just using the fact that he was a 2 WAR RP and Shark was a 3 WAR pitcher, Smyly’s “value” is comparable right now, considering his success in the AL. I was also factoring in the success he showed as a starter his Rookie year, just didn’t mention it.

                  It’s a my bad, but I think Smyly’s value is comparable to Samardzija’s right now.

                  • Rich H

                    OTF I always love you incite on prospects but on this one we will have to disagree.

                    Smileys value right now is Shark pre-2012. As a RP his value is high. As a starter his Floor is unknown. Sound familiar? I like the kid and think he will be atleast decent no matter what role he fills but to center a trade for a 200 inning/200 K starter around him and a number 3? We get better value elsewhere.

                    The kids (both of them) have HUGE upside and value on a team that expects to compete but Smiley is was probably their best bullpen arm and now they are wanting to stretch him out?

                    Porcello is so great a commodity that his battling for a 5 spot in Detriots rotation?

                    Yet people on this board think both of them is too much for Shark?

                    • On The Farm

                      We can disagree, but I will finish with this statement.

                      Smyly posted a 1.8 WAR in 2012. He made 18 starts (appeared in 23 total games) so if you project that over a full season you get 2.6 WAR for a full season of starting. Very similar to Samardzija’s numbers. And when you factor in he did it in the AL it looks even better. I think the fact that Smyly has 175 IPs we no longer need to consider him a prospect, he is entering the known quantity phase of his career. That’s not to say he doesn’t have more upside, but what he showed in a half season is that he could easily be a 3/4 starter.

                      As for Porcello having to battle out his rotation spot. Well anyone that can average almost a 3 WAR for the last three seasons and can’t stay in the rotation is pretty good. We can see that too considering Verlander and Scherzer are Cy Young pitchers. Its pretty hard to be top three in a rotation in which 40% of it have an award for best pitcher in their league. Couple that with the fact that Doug Fister emerged as a SP (5.2, 3.5, 4.6 WARs last three years) and you get an even more clear picture on why its so hard to make the Tigers rotation. Still Porcello is a top 40 SP in terms of WAR in the MLB (39th). That’s actually the best among all teams I think (having 5 of the top 40 pitchers). **

                      So in the end you see why Porcello struggles to make literally the best rotation in baseball, and the fact that he has averaged a better WAR over the last three seasons in a better league than Samardzjia (and he’s younger), if you threw in a top 10 RP in baseball who showed flashes of being a good SP in 2012 it is an overpay. Especially when you consider Porcello and Smyly are both MLB ready. These guys aren’t prospects anymore.

                      But I appreciated the discussion. If you can’t see my side of it, I am okay with it. Hope you have a good Turkey day!

                      **Can’t believe I forgot Anibal Sanchez who ranked 3rd overall in SP WAR. That’s incredible for this team to have such good SP.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Well, Porcello isn’t “battling” to be #5 unless its with Smyly. And behind Scherzer, Verlander, Sanchez and Fister I’m not sure that can be considered a put down.

                      These guys aren’t unproven prospects. Last year Porcello put up a 3.53 FIP in the AL vs. Shark’s 3.77 in the NL. Two years ago Smyly, as a starter, put up a 3.83 FIP in the AL and absolutely dominated out of the pen last year. Given age they are both likely to outperform him as starter THIS YEAR. When you add in age, contract status and league differential it just wouldn’t make sense for them to trade either one for Samardzija straight up

            • On The Farm

              Also its been a year and a half since the 2012 Garza injury when Smyly+ wasn’t enough for Garza. A lot has changed since then.

            • Rebuilding

              No clarification needed. Looking at only the games Smyly has started he’s put up much better numbers than Shark and did it in the AL.

              • YourResidentJag

                Considering he did this as a reliever I get your point to a degree. But no one including the Tigers really will know what he can become as a starter. You assume those numbers will translate well, but who knows.

                • Rebuilding

                  I’m not assuming anything. In 2012 Smyly was a starter and put up a 3.83 FIP, 1.268 WHIP and 3:1 K/BB ratio as a rookie 22 yo in the American League. Chances are a year of experience and confidence and a move to the NL would make those numbers even better. I have no reservation in saying that if he were traded to the Cubs this year he would put up better numbers than Shark

                  • YourResidentJag

                    I’m not saying “you” personally. I totally get how great Smyly could be once he translates to a SP. I’m using it more as a general statement. So, if that’s the case it really becomes interesting because there are some on here who would say a trade for Porcello/Smyly is too much for Shark. (Meaning that both for Shark and say Russell/Olt is exactly what Brett is talking about when he says getting “the moon” in return.) Others don’t feel it’s enough. Interesting.

          • YourResidentJag

            Would they do it? For Shark and Russell/Olt.

        • Edwin

          I think if you tried to trade Shark for Porcello straight up, Detroit says no. Shark isn’t that much better than Porcello, if at all. You could easily make the case that Porcello will be the better pitcher next season.

        • DocPeter Wimsey

          The Tigers would do better going with either Porcello or Smyly in the rotation, and using the other in the bullpen or to get a LFer.

          • YourResidentJag

            So you think that either Porcello or Smyly is better in the rotation that Shark? Well, that’s doesn’t sound like you agree with Brett that the Cubs will get “the moon” for Shark, but yes, they still can ask for it.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              The moon in prospects and MLB ready prospects. Not players with a track record that happen to be far younger than Shark. If they struggled, with upside, then maybe. If I am Detroit I laugh at the Cubs.

              • YourResidentJag

                The thing is…if Porcello/Smyly aren’t coming here, then neither is Gioloto and Cole.

                • Rebuilding

                  Why? Giolito and Porcello couldn’t be more different in their situations. Giolito is actually a prospect, has had arm trouble and prob zero chance to help a big league club next year

                  • YourResidentJag

                    Giolito is highly touted prospect, regardless of arm troubles. Those guys tend to remain protected unless traded for an elite player, like Price. If the Cubs are going to obtain someone as a SP prospect, it’s going to be #2 or #3 prospect on a team’s depth chart. So, a centerpiece of a package could be say Cole or Stroman. I have my doubts about Giolito or Sanchez for Shark and definitely then not Giolito and Cole.

                    • On The Farm

                      Giolito is a highly touted prospect. One that just finished his first stint in A- ball. There is a lot that can happen between now and him making his debut. (Between arm issues and yeah he dominated short season ball, but so have a ton of flame outs before him). Trading a prospect for Samardzija is different than trading a guy who has already posted a 3 WAR multiple times.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      Again, it depends on how the other team values the projectability of Shark. Also, like I’ve said Giolito could be packaged with more to add Price to the Nats rotation. If they could afford to do that, why would the Nats trade him for Shark.

                    • On The Farm

                      Oh the Nats could go for Price, they probably have the package to do it. I was just trying to get my view across that trading prospects for Shark makes more sense than MLB arms. If they can get Price it would be a good move for them.

                • On The Farm

                  “The thing is…if Porcello/Smyly aren’t coming here, then neither is Gioloto and Cole.”

                  Completely different. Porcello has multiple seasons of experience and could be slotted into a rotation right away and Smyly has 175 IP and could probably be put into a rotation right away and know what you are getting from him. The National prospects need more minor league experience.

        • On The Farm

          What they all said. Basically I don’t think Samardzija is that big of an upgrade for Porcello to even do a one-for-one trade it would be like trading for a player of similar values. Detroit trading Porcello and Smyly would be insane return for Samardzija. Detroit would probably feel more comfortable with their in house options than dealing them for someone else.

          • YourResidentJag

            Except they’ll non-tender Coke because he can’t get LH out and once they move Smyly to the SP rotation I don’t think they have much in the bullpen on that side. That’s a huge problem for them. Yeah, they’ll probably bring in a FA, but I wouldn’t say in house options would be all that great.

            • On The Farm

              I meant acquiring Samardzjia wouldn’t make sense based on in house options. Porcello is comparable value to Jeff, and they could even move Smyly if they need another SP. I am just saying they have depth among their in house options, they don’t need to trade one of their in house options for Samardzija. I agree Detroit’s bullpen is a mess, especially if they do have to remove Smyly, but I am strictly speaking about SPers since that’s what they would be doing to get Samardzija.

              • YourResidentJag

                So you don’t think they would value a 200 IP, 200 SO guy with Shark’s metrics above their in house SP options as their 4th starter? Curious statement.

                • On The Farm

                  Considering Porcello put up a 3.2 WAR in the AL, Shark has never posted above a 3WAR in the NL and Shark is entering his expensive years of arbitration, I don’t think it would make sense to swap one for one. Porcello has posted better numbers over the last three years in the AL, I think he is the better option and they don’t have to give anything to acquire his 3 WAR value that they would have to do to get Sharks 200 IP 200 Ks.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    But they have 5 rotation spots essentially for 6 guys. Do you believe that Shark won’t be a guy to post 3 WAR next year or the year after? Because if other teams feel that way, this package could be underwhelming that the Cubs get.

                    • Rebuilding

                      So why would they trade a pitcher for another pitcher who is older and has underperformed him?

                    • On The Farm

                      “But they have 5 rotation spots essentially for 6 guys.”

                      That’s one way to look at it. They could be content to leave Smyly in the pen for now considering the 5 guys they had in the rotation last year posted a top 40 WAR in all of baseball for SPs. Why would the Tigers trade a younger proven pitcher in the AL central for an older pitcher who has never posted a WAR as high as they pitcher they sending. And no way would it make sense to send two cost controlled pitchers who are major league contributors already for one major league contributor. The difference between asking for the moon for a prospect hauls is that they are prospects. I.e. unproven in the MLB and you are still hoping they will become something. Shark IS worth two good pitching prospect. Shark is NOT worth two pitchers who have a good amount of MLB experience. Especially when one has put up the same numbers. It would be like trading in a 2007 Impala for a 2005 Impala if they run the same. The difference is you already own the 2007 Impala.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      @Rebuilding.and @OntheFarm…they would based on the fact that Shark has had only two seasons of MLB play. You both have to remember teams still see Shark as a TOR potential guy. His arm is as fresh as Porcello or Smyly’s as well. I’m not sure either of these guys are TOR SP. So, you’re both using past performance solely here. Actually, it may be like trading a 2007 Impala for a 2005 Volvo, which isn’t the same.

                    • On The Farm

                      I used the Impala reference because they have put up consistently similar numbers over the past few seasons so they would be a similar model. Maybe the do see Shark as being even better than his past three years performance has shown, but the fact that they already have a pitcher who is younger and has put up better numbers in a tougher league makes me believe they wouldn’t trade him. Its not like he is Jake Arrieta and his stuff hasn’t translated to the MLB. Porcello is a very good SP and having to give up two MLB impact arms is something Shark may not be worth. If Detroit wants to do the deal, awesome, the Cubs are getting away with robbery. The only reason its multiple prospects is because they will have little to no MLB impact in the immediate future. Right now the value Porcello and Smyly produce in their roles is worth more than Shark has shown he has produce. I don’t know many GMs that would gamble that one SP is going to produce 5 WAR after never putting up more than a 3. I just don’t see how its a good DET trade.

      • SenorGato

        I think/hope they find guys like Alcantara interesting (that’s the only name that came to mind, though Kyle Hendricks also…yah), but I also hope the Cubs/Blue Jays/Tigers get together and try something big.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The longer the negotiations continue for the new posting criteria the better off it is for the Cubs. This not only puts the Yankees and Dodgers in a holding pattern, but I would think that it affects some of the bigger name FA’s too. If the Dodgers and Yankees wait too long and if this process drags into next year then the pool of FA’s dwindles and those who are counting on getting Tanaka are stuck without a plan B option if they fail to secure the bid. As for Samardzija I think he will be traded. I think he is frustrated by the length of the rebuilding process. Let’s face it he and Wood too, could have easily had a winning record last year with a different team. It has to be frustrating to play on two 90+ loss teams and be looking at more of the same for 2014. The delay of the rebuild and the renovations in my opinion have effectively removed Shark from that “core” group of players. He will be entering free agency by the time the cubs are even close to contending. Don’t forget that he was upset with the FO for trading Feldman . I don’t think Samardzija is a big fan of some of the moves thay have been made. Better that he moves on. Whoever he goes to I just hope it isn’t a division rival i.e. Pirates. I think that Samardzija has a home down in Arizona and that would be a good place to land. If they make Bradley available then I say go for it.

    • DocPeter Wimsey

      The problem with this scenario is that no team is going to be countng on getting Tanaka. There are teams planning to make a strong bid: but those teams also are smart enough to be assuming that at least 2 or 3 other teams are going to make strong bids. As the bidding is blind, they have to guess: and that means they ALL know that they probably will not land negotiating rights.

      As such, everybody is going to work under the assumption that Tanaka is pitching for some other team next year.

  • http://deleted cub2014

    Woody you nailed it! Maybe, dare I say it,
    its LUCKY for the Cubs to have this posting
    delay.

  • Cubfan Budman

    Shark and his nickname
    Samardzija: It all started my freshman year. I was new on the baseball team. I showed up, didn’t know anyone. I was a talking to (former Irish pitcher Chris) Niesel, and out of nowhere they called me `Shark’ because they said I looked like the shark on Finding Nemo. It started during a game while I was pitching and they yelled at me from the dugout. Then Coach (Paul) Mainieri picked it up and it just snowballed from there. I guess I look like a shark.

  • itzscott

    Seems like 3 teams are in on Shark…. DBacks, BJays and Nats.

    I’d like to believe Epstein/Hoyer are telling them that they can have Shark only if Bradley/Sanchez/Gioliti are included.

    3 teams needing a starting pitcher, only so many available…. would seem like one of those teams will include one of those pitching prospects leaving the other two to come up with a Plan B.

    • Jim

      Didn’t Pittsburgh and Baltimore have some level of interest as well?

    • cubmig

      “3 teams needing a starting pitcher, only so many available…. ”

      According to Bosio, our pitcher situation qualifies our team as another needing arms. This from rotoworld.com:

      “…Cubs figure to be an appealing destination for relief pitchers available via free agency. “We need more pitching,” Bosio said. “And as soon as we acquire four or five guys, we’re going to need more after that. … We need arms. We’ve got to find or develop those arms, and if you’re not signing them, you better develop them. And if you can’t develop them, then Theo and Jed (Hoyer) and everyone are trying to do the next best thing, which is to acquire them.”

      and this:
      “Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio would like to see Kyle Hendricks in the starting rotation next season.
      Hendricks went 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 27 starts between Double- and Triple-A this past season. Hendricks was acquired from the Rangers on the trade deadline in 2012 along with fellow prospect Christian Villanueva for Ryan Dempster. “Who’s to say he couldn’t start for us?” Bosio asked. “I saw a 22-year-old starter (Michael Wacha) for the St. Louis Cardinals pitch in the World Series. Why can’t we take a kid that’s just had a couple years in the minor leagues and put him in our rotation? … What’s to say he couldn’t be a fourth or fifth starter? … I’ll be talking to Theo, Jed and Rick about giving this guy ample opportunity to be that guy for us. Maybe we don’t have to make a lot of moves. Maybe those young guys we have now can be the answer.”

      ….meanwhile the FO is acting to move Samardzija?

  • http://permalink toby taylr

    what about a small package starting with j Russell for procello? and a low level prospect like say vogelbomb

    • Rebuilding

      I think Detroit would deal Porcello because they want to move Smyly to the rotation. But they can do a whole lot better than James Russell and a prospect

    • Edwin

      I think Detroit will probably want the same for Porcello that the Cubs want for Samardzija. They have pretty similar trade value.

  • http://deleted cub2014

    if the yankees dont get tanaka I think they might
    be in on a trade they are going to be pretty desperate
    for starters, they need 2-3 starters.

    I dont know what their prospects look like though.

    • Rebuilding

      Not very good. They don’t have the specs to get much in the trade market

  • Edwin

    Are the D-backs so close to competing in 2014 and 2015 that they’re willing to part with Bradley? Unless they get very desperate, I’m confused why they would do that move.

    • Rebuilding

      Regardless of their competitive window it makes no sense. It is very likely that Bradley will outperform Shark this year. I keep repeating myself, but Skaggs was the #10 prospect in all of baseball going into last year. He struggled a bit as a 21 yo in the PCL (as do most pitchers). It’s the only reason he *might* be available. Skaggs and another piece would be a nice return on Shark

      • CubFan Paul

        “Regardless of their competitive window it makes no sense”

        The DBacks GM disagrees wholeheartedly.

        • Rebuilding

          Why is this? Has he traded Bradley?

      • SenorGato

        Very likely seems optimistic, as highly ranked as Bradley may be. Finished product he is not.

        • CubFan Paul

          Almost a haiku.

  • SenorGato

    The Cubs need to hurry up and trade for Porcello.

  • Rich H

    After over a year of hearing about Detriot trades lets just let it go.

    Porcello is the type of pitcher that can make a front office look brilliant or insane. His advanced numbers look great but his baseball card numbers are blah. If he improves on his approach and a team gets a good defense behind him he MIGHT be a decent 3/4 arm. I think we got enough of those.

    Any idea of trading Shark to Detriot with Porcello in the deal is too much risk at this point. Team Theo looks for value. That is not going to happen with Detriot.

    • YourResidentJag

      Why? Porcello has the ability to garner 3 WAR easy especially coming over to the NL. This is a trade that SHOULD be considered with Smyly. It should be considered especially with Price out there. Porcello’s metrics look like he’s on the upswing. Really disagree with you.

      • Rich H

        I am not saying Porcello is bad. I am saying there is no value there.
        We have a rotation full of 3/4/5/6 caliber arms with Shark being the guy that we can possibly upgrade those ceilings with. If they do not hit a HR with a trade he will still be shopped at the deadline.
        Teams know this already which is why we see teams that have a huge need to improve being the most vocal trade partners.
        Some one is going to overpay for Samardzija or the Cubs will hold him and keep working towards an extension.
        In that context taking a chance that the stars align with Porcello and Smiley does not make sense.

        • YourResidentJag

          Still don’t get the argument you’re making.

          • http://deleted cub2014

            Jag I think the point is of all the prospects in
            the minors Shark has as good or better chance
            at being a TOR then any prospects. So you
            have to get a potential TOR (thats close to the
            bigs) in the deal otherwise you just re sign Shark.

            • YourResidentJag

              But others are saying that Porcello and Smyly are TOO MUCH for Detroit to give up. So which is it? And then others are saying that Stroman, or like myself, Skaggs aren’t TOR. Interesting.

              • Rich H

                I think prospects value has inflated to serious overkill with some people and some ball clubs as well. No one wants to trade the next Pedro or Johnson(I know old references).

                Not saying they are wrong or right but “can help us today” verses “could help us soon” has always been part of the balance for healthy organizations. Just look at the talent Boston has traded and kept over the last ten years.

                • SenorGato

                  Couldn’t agree more on the prospect thing…It’s been absolutely cartoonish the past couple of seasons.

                  • Rebuilding

                    There have been a lot of big time prospects moved in the last few years to win now. Wil Myers, Trevor Baur, Didi Gregorious and others. People are valuing prospects a bit more because of the new CBA which is a smart move

                • YourResidentJag

                  So, that’s almost like you’re saying we should get a MLB ready starter like Porcello in return.

                  • Rich H

                    I have not approached any of the discussion today from a “what I would do” point of veiw. More of a where the FO sees value thing. In that context they will do what good front offices do and fleese whoever for all they can get. If they are going to go after the most value or return it probably will not be with Detriot.

            • Rich H

              Yes I think that would have to be Team Theo’s mindset.

        • SenorGato

          I’m still wholly unconvinced that the Cubs have this sudden surplus of #3 starters. I don’t see it.

          My main worry with trading for Porcello is that the Cubs kind of matchup poorly. Guys like Alcantara and Hendricks might be appealing but no doubt they can aim higher. I’d like a three way.

          • FullCountTommy

            I’d like a three way too but I don’t think my girlfriend would go for that (sorry I had to)

          • Matty Ice

            “I’d like a three way.”

            What you do on your own time should be private, good sir.

    • SenorGato

      I don’t see the sense in dealing Samardzija for Porcello. Now dealing Samardzija and maybe using some of those guys to help replace him in the rotation with Porcello? That sounds way more appealing to me.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Back of his baseball card numbers? Oh boy.

    • http://deleted cub2014

      If Cubs are or arent going to try and win this
      year they still need to sign a couple of these
      flippable starters. The last 2 years these starters
      have helped re stock our farm system. They
      dont cost much because you dont hold the contract
      very long. I think ejax could be a flip candidate
      this summer.

  • jj

    Under the old posting system was there a set date for posting a player? Could Maeda be posted after the winning bid on Tanaka is announced – meaning Maeda is no longer competing with Tanaka?

  • North Side Irish

    Danny Ecker ‏@DannyEcker 7m
    Cubs say their season-ticket renewal rate is up y/y to the mid-80% range after a decrease last year: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131127/BLOGS04/131129800/cubs-season-ticket-renewals-ahead-of-last-years-pace

    This would be a surprise to me…

    • JB88

      The Cubs are doing a pretty good job at selling hope these days. Would you want to bail ship when you think that you are about to add a couple very talented pieces to the puzzle in Baez and Bryant?

      • North Side Irish

        I’m probably just basing it off my own experiences, but I really thought renewals were going to be way down this year. I had multiple friends not renew their tickets and we had two people drop out of our group as well. And people who have not renewed have been called by the team to reconsider or to offer them more time to make a decision.

        I also saw far more posts/Tweets about people getting the call from the Cubs that their number was picked from the Waiting List. And people I know on the Waiting List have said they’ve moved up 20K spots over last year. So like I said, I was surprised based off what I’ve seen/heard.

        • JB88

          I hadn’t read the article when I first responded, but it seems as though you and I collectively nailed the reasons why. As reported in Ecker’s piece:

          “The Cubs restructured the ticket sales department after the renewal decrease to dedicate more personnel to season-ticket holder retention.

          “We’ve focused on being proactive with season-ticket holders, reaching out during the season to see how things are going,” he said.

          He also said the state-of-the-team sessions held this month for season-ticket holders that featured President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein candidly discussing the team’s future have been effective in getting fans to stick with the program.

          “We’re hearing that (fans) believe in the plan and the future of where we’re going,” he said.”

          So your point about more phone calls seems to be a deliberate attempt to facilitate better customer service and my point about selling the future seems to doubly be resonating with season ticket holders.

  • Blackhawks1963

    1. Tanaka to the Cubs isn’t happening. He’ll be with the Yankees. Period.

    2. I do think Samardzija will be traded, but it will be for blue chip pitching prospects. Certainly NOT a Porcello type commodity.

    • http://deleted cub2014

      blackhawk who has said the Cubs are definitely getting
      Tanaka? No one. Most on this site, sports journalists
      and the FO have all said that the Cubs are in on Tanaka
      So their is a chance though the probabilty isnt great. But dont
      dismiss it. I think everyone on this site knows the odds
      are against the Cubs getting him.

  • splatstrike

    It sounds like the nationals are offering the best package right now (per assman), and I’m guessing it includes Giolito.
    But if he’s as good as advertised (or could be), who would the nats package along with him?
    Could it be Giolito, Cole, Karns/Jordan/Ray, or is that too much?

    • Voice of Reason

      Don’t want a pitcher who has had tommy John surgery.

      • Professor Snarks

        Would you turn down Strasburg?

        • MightyBear

          I’d be surprised if it was Giolito and Cole and one of the others. I would be happy with that but I don’t think the Nats would be.

          • Professor Snarks

            I think Giolito and a 5-10 ranked prospect would be good. There are no sure things, but Giolito probably has the highest ceiling of any pitching prospect in baseball, including Bradley. Close anyway. I’m not sure you pass up the chance to get that guy if all it cost you is Shark. I am sure you don’t pass up Giolito, Cole and a +one. That’s a haul.

  • Jim

    I have no issue with trading Shark now, even if we don’t get any major league ready talent back for him. I think a rotation of Wood, EJax, Rusin, Arrieta, and whoever wins that 5th spot is okay for 2014. We know we have Villanueva there, and guys like Hendricks, Edwards, Grimm, and others that are getting close. I think it would be good if we are saying 2015 is the year, that we take a real good look at the young talent in 2014 and then next off season go out and fill some holes.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    If you look at this past year when the Cubs went all in to get Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres it to me is an indication that this FO values those first two ot three rounds of draft picks very much. And when they are in a position to acquire a top player without sacrificing the the mission to restock the minor league clubs. Theo was very shrewd in the way he got slot money from other teams to get the top two players in that pool. Now you say what does that have to do with Shark? First the money that has been allocated to resign Shark would go a long way towards a contract with Tanaka who is 4 years younger. I know 75 or 80 million dollars is a lot of dough for the posting price, but if the Cubs can lock this guy up for 6 years or more at the rate premium pitchers prices are going up it would look like chump change in a couple of years. And again I say this FO is not afraid to roll the dice if it is not to the detriment of the plan. Theo is not opposed to giving long term contracts to guys that meet the criteria he sets forth. All these rumor of Jacoby Ellsbury are crazy in my opinion. If the cubs are going to pop a big deal it will be for pitching.

  • Voice of Reason

    Michael young is calling teams to say he’s available.

    He is a perfect sign for cubs if he finds no other takers. Plug him in at second and flip him if he does well.

    That’s a no brainer

    • Napercal

      Could not agree more.

  • Chuck24

    As an alternative to Nelson Cruz, the overpriced, overrated PED star that he is, I would suggest the Cubs make a move on Twins’ OF Josh Willingham. Good righthanded power bat, who would be affordable since he’s coming off a down year and would be a nice short term option for the Northsiders…and the team needs a righthanded power bat to offset all the lefties in the lineup.

  • Dan G.

    How about signing Rafael Furcal to a 1 yr. prove it deal if he’s healthy and put him at 2 nd base? Lightning in a bottle in my opinion

    • Dan G.

      Furcal could provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse and we could flip him for a solid prospect midseason if he plays well. I’m thinking he would cost too much and we could offer him a starting role and the chance to up his value playing everyday. I know he’s coming back from injury so we might be able to get him on the cheap on a 1yr deal which would be great for a “sign and flip” trade midseason. We got nothing to lose bc Barney is terrible . Maybe the FO wants to up Barney’s value and are hoping he’ll hit at decent clip in the first half and try to flip him for prospects but I think if Furcal is healthy then we should go that route

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