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oakland a's logoToday, the Oakland Athletics reportedly agreed to terms with lefty starter Scott Kazmir on a two-year, $22 million deal. It’s a relatively expensive deal for a guy whose career appeared to be over just two years ago (good on Kazmir for coming back – and his performance last year for the Indians is a reminder why those minor league flyer deals are worth making year after year). But the A’s paid an annual premium to keep the deal just two years. It’s an understandable deal, and probably just about right for a guy who was worth 2.5 wins last year, is just 30, and wasn’t tied to draft pick compensation.

The obvious Cubs-related implications here are that (1) Kazmir is off the market for teams looking toward those mid-tier options (the Cubs were never directly connected to Kazmir); and (2) the A’s weren’t going to be in on Jeff Samardzija, so no potential suitors were lost in this signing*.

*(But see the Samardzija point below.)

Having signed Kazmir to theoretically round out their rotation, the cost-conscious A’s may now look to spin-off lefty starter Brett Anderson, who projects to be expensive, oft-injured depth.

To a team like the Cubs, however (and probably a bunch of other teams, too), Anderson looks like an opportunity to take a chance on picking up a stud. First, let’s put the injury stuff out there, since it’s a primary reason he’d be available. Anderson had Tommy John surgery in 2011, coming back for a brief stint in 2012. He was healthy to start the 2013 season, but lasted just six starts before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. He was out until the end of August, when he returned in a relief role. Prior to the Tommy John surgery, he’d had some forearm issues, though it’s logical to suspect that those were all elbow issues that were possibly resolved by the surgery.

So, he might be healthy now. And when Anderson’s been healthy, he’s been very good. A former top ten prospect in all of baseball, Anderson’s career K/BB is a robust 2.98, and his career FIP is 3.56. At just 25, and a lefty, Anderson’s the kind of guy you gladly take a chance on, especially if you’re in a position to take chances (as the Cubs are). If he’s healthy, you may have just landed a front-of-the-rotation lefty in his mid-20s on the cheap.

The rub with Anderson – other than the injury history – is that he’s set to make $8 million in 2014, which isn’t inexpensive for a guy who hasn’t thrown more than 83.1 big league innings since 2010. He comes with a team option for 2015, which is nice, but it’s $12 million and includes a $1.5 million buyout. So, if you trade for Anderson and he becomes a pumpkin, you’re on the hook for 9.5 million sunk dollars.

How do you value a guy like that in trade? It’s hard to imagine giving up a top 100 type prospect for Anderson, even with all the promise. Beyond that, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with the Cubs giving up a couple top 15 organization guys, even, given the current strength and depth of the system. A top 15 and a back-end top 30? Maybe. It’s really hard to say.

An additional bit of relevance here for the Cubs? A team like the Blue Jays – who have apparently been interested in Anderson for some time – could view taking a crack at Anderson to be a preferable option to dealing big-time prospects for Jeff Samardzija.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    If we’re going to trade with the A’s for Anderson, kick the tires on a big deal involving Gray. Just to see what happens.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I doubt the A’s have any interest in moving Gray right now.

    • Edwin

      Sonny Gray? I think the A’s would ask the moon for him. They’re going to want at least one of the “Big Four”.

  • North Side Irish

    I think the A’s will want value for him based on his potential and I don’t see the Cubs FO being willing to meet the asking price. He seems like the type of reclamation project the Cubs should be looking for, but I think other teams will be more willing to overpay for him.

    The last bit about the Blue Jays is probably the part most relevant to the Cubs. Having another high ceiling SP on the market could hurt the Cubs leverage.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Looks like TheoJed are “content” with the in-house options to fill out the rotation and/or don’t see any good “flip investments.”

    Kazmir – Oakland
    Johnson – San Diego
    Hudson – San Francisco
    Haren – LA Dodgers
    Hughes – Minnesota
    Nolasco – Minnesota
    Vargas – Kansas City

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Or they’re savings their pennies for Masahiro Tanaka. The FO has been consitently up front with the fan base, and they’ve been consistent in their intent to sign Tanaka.

      • Funn Dave

        If by “sign” you mean “making an effort to at least appear to be at least attempting to sign,” then yes, I’ll agree with you there.

    • cub2014

      theo has been pretty adamant about going after
      starting pitching we shall see what happens.
      I would sign these guys who pitch a ton of innings
      each year even if you over pay a little. because
      when you flip them its like getting a bunch of free
      draft picks. if you only have them for a few months
      it isnt near as hard on the budget.

      Who’s left? Arroyo,Feldman,Burnett,Colon,Garza
      Jiminez & santana are expensive but out there.
      Ya the opportunities are thinning out.

      Besides once you clear these starters out then
      Sharks value will jump dramatically.

    • http://www.shadowsofwrigley.com TC

      It’s tough to think that they had a serious shot at, or serious interest in, many of the guys listed, though.

      Haren took a below-market deal to go home to Los Angeles. Johnson was looking for a park like Petco to reestablish value in. Nolasco got a bunch of money, and the Cubs already have their version of him in EJax. Hudson is old and probably doesn’t want to sign somewhere just to get flipped in June. Vargas is bad. Hughes has been awful 2 of the last 3 years (and don’t tell me about his peripherals again. Look at the escalating OPS against his fastball – his flat fb has become extremely easy to hit. DIPS doesn’t hold up very well for extremely hittable pitchers).

      Of that group, Kazmir is the only one who looks like the type of guys the Cubs have signed in recent years who also didn’t have an obvious preference to pitch somewhere.

  • Cerambam

    Though Anderson could conceivably be better and potentially long term asset, I doubt many teams see him as a comparable target to samardizja. If you are going for shark, you are looking for at worst, consistent number 3 stuff or at best near ace stuff for the next two years. If you go for Anderson (which I hope the cubs do) I’d bet that they are hoping for a nice rebound year where he is healthy this year (possibly taking it slow) and then an extension for a player long term.

    • Cerambam

      Point being shark has much less risk in the short term, but nearly the same potential reward (again in the short term)

    • Blackhawks1963

      Anderson will be traded away for a premium. This is Billy Beane we are talking about…he’ll want key prospects. Even with Anderson not at the peak of his value obviously. With so many pitching starved teams somebody will surely “overpay” for Anderson. And Billy is licking his chops.

      • Chad

        Why would someone over pay for an injury prone Anderson when they could get Samardzija? It depends on your definition, but I don’t think someone will over pay. They may get more than I think they should for him, but it won’t be a “wowing” haul by any means.

  • Poopy McPeePants

    I don’t believe the Blue Jays would prefer to take a substantial risk on Brett Anderson after such a disappointing season. They need a power arm in its prime and Jeff is that pitcher.

    Of the two most interested teams in Shark, the Dbacks have more depth than the BJays to take that risk on Anderson.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Except that the Blue Jays have said publicly they do not intend to trade away any more blue chip prospects. So that puts them out of the bidding for Samardzija. And probably Anderson too.

    • Drew

      I would have to guess the Blue Jays still have Josh Johnson fresh in their mind and seeing how that worked out, they would not bid high on Anderson if he were available. Also, anyone mention the years of control left on Anderson vs. Shark? The cost seems a bit more as well for Anderson, considering his injury history. Would the Blue Jays really believe he could help them over the course of a full season vs. Shark’s non-injury season. I think speculation is all we can give this Anderson and Blue Jays idea…

  • Griff

    Anderson would be a good guy to get as long as his medicals check out. Bosio coul dwork his magic hopefully and we could have the possibility of two very good LHP in the rotation. As far as Kazmir, I’d be very upset if the Cubs would have made that deal, and I’m surprised the A’s did. But Beane does know what he’s doing. I still want to trade for Kemp, trade Shierholtz for Adam Eaton, trade for Brett Anderson, sign Tanaka, and sign one of the cheaper options for closer (but not a fan of Mujica). That’s all I want!!

    • Chad

      oh that’s all. phew, no biggie.

  • Jon

    Brett Anderson hasn’t had a productive season in three years. he’s worth a marginal prospect at best.

    • Arnold Palmer

      Perhaps you aren’t acquainted with two things.

      1. Billy Beane
      2. The extreme shortage of starting pitching available in the market

      • Chad

        If they won’t overpay for shark why over pay for a little bit of Anderson? The A’s will have to move him, they can’t afford to keep him if their price is not met so they will have to settle for their best offer, which is still likely to be good, just not amazing as a few here think it will be. yes it is billy beane but he’s no Friedman (spelling)

      • Jon

        Perhaps you aren’t acquainted that Anderson hasn’t even thrown over 100 innings since 2010, so trading for him doesn’t even guarantee he fills the role of a starting pitcher for your team.

        Sure he’s intriguing, but I”m not giving up top 100 protect(like Alcantara, laughable) for a lottery ticket.

        • Jon

          Not to mention, that if he does “figure it out”, you have no cost control for him as he’s a FA in 2015. Giving up a top prospect for that? Not happening. I said in the other thread I’d offer something like Szur and that’s it.

          • hansman

            And the A’s would laugh at you. like just call you laughing maniacally until you hung up laughing at you.

            Right now he’d be fairly cheap. if he figures it out and you can’t extend him, trade him.

  • Rebuilding

    Guys, Brett Anderson broke his foot last year. It WAS NOT arm trouble. He started on Opening Day for a team overflowing with arms. When healthy he has been far more effective than Samardzija and is a 25 yo lefty. Anyone saying it will take a marginal prospec to get him is not paying attention

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      I tend to agree with this. All pitchers come with risk. If it took Alcantara to get it done, straight up, I think you do it. Especially with middle infield as a strength in the system. There is something to be said for taking advantage of a prospect’s best year in the minors, and we may have just seen Alcantara’s.

  • Chad

    I could see the cubs sending a guy like Brett Jackson with Ha, or something like that. I’d be ok with that type of deal.

    One thing to note was his injury last year was not an arm injury which I do think makes his case a bit stronger.

    • Rebuilding

      I bet. Why in the world would the A’s want Jackson and Ha for arguably the best arm on the market?

      • Chad

        It’s a far stretch to say best arm on the market. He has the potential to be the best arm, and yes I realize it was a foot injury last time, but he’s yet to pitch much since his surgery so who really knows. On potential yes, but again he’s risky, a 2 year deal, and he’s not cheap, and the A’s are definitely not throwing in money. I’m sure he’ll bring more than Ha and Jackson, but I don’t think it will be Hendricks and Alcantara either. Somewhere in the middle perhaps. Vogelbach? To me Alcantara and Vogelbach have more value in future trades (if there are to be any), but hey you never know.

      • Eternal pessemist

        I think it is because he will carry a sizeable salary and risk along with the chance he might be very good.

        With the Cubs looking like a bottom of the division team next year I would rather take another chance on baker (cheaper) and spend the savings in 2015 or 2016.

      • On The Farm

        I am usually find myself agreeing with you rebuilding, but I would have to say that I disagree he is the best pitcher on the market. I would much rather trade for Shark and then Price (I might put Price #1 if I had a team looking over his medicals and they were satisfied). I am not sure how is trade value is compared to Price and Shark, but I know if I wanted quality I would put him 3rd right now.

        • Rebuilding

          They are going to cost so much more though. Maybe I should better say the guy on the market with the best cost/benefit who could actually be a #1 or #2

          • Chad

            Why would Shark cost more in 2 years if Anderson turns into an ace. If so he’ll be a high value FA in 2 years. Probably more so than Shark would be.

            • Rebuilding

              So then you pay him. I’m talking about what it would cost a team in trade now

          • On The Farm

            I figured that’s what you might have meant. But considering he is a lefty TOR arm guy and it’s Billy Beane I would think some teams might value that while it might cost a little bit more to trade for Shark, the whole no injury baggage might be worth the uptick in cost. Anderson could be a #1, could pitch only 100 innings, or might not make it out to the mound. Unfortunately he carries that history with him, Shark looks like he brings 2-3 production to the table.

    • Hookers or Cake

      Ha & Jackson are throw ins. What about Villenueva? the forgotten 3B? Hes legit but somewhat expendable behind our 3B glut

  • Eternal pessemist

    If we are considering anderson a potential building piece for the future don’t you really only want to gey him if he is attached to a relatively cheap (considering his high injury/performance risk) that extends into the “window”? Otherwise you just traded away prospects for a guy you will need to bid for on the marketplace when you need his performance most.

    • hansman

      If you’re the cubs you hope to get him, turn him into the stud you hope he can be and if you can’t extend him, trade him for more thaN you paid for him.

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

        ^This.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          That sounds great, but at around $10 million/year it is quite a gamble.

  • Voice of Reason

    The Cubs would want to take on Anderson only to flip him to another team for prospects.

    The Athletics are going to want top prospects from any organization in exchange for Anderson.

    So, why would the Cubs trade prospects to get him and then trade him for prospects next year? It makes no sense.

    The Cubs will show no interest in Anderson for this reason.

    • Chad

      I don’t think your first point is necessarily true. They could extend him. If he is healthy and that good, why not try to extend him after the season, or during the season?

      • Jon

        Well, if they chose to extend him, it’s because he has re-established himself and will be wanting starters money. Sure, the Cubs might get a discount by being on the inside, but they still are in the situation where they have cost uncertainty.,

        This is why I would just rather sign free agents at times, even overpaying, they don’t cost you prospects.

        • Jay

          Anderson would not be acquired to be flipped. Cubs would be looking to hold onto him if his health was finally up to snuff. That’s the only reason they’d take the risk in the first place.

    • Rebuilding

      You do realize that one of the advantages to having someone on your roster is that you can negotiate an extension with them right? So, you can actually talk to him over the next 2 years if he performs.

      Look, 25 yo potential TOR arms don’t just fall out of the sky. We have absolutely no one on the horizon that fits that bill. There are no free agents that fit that bill. We would have to trade half of our farm system to get a guy like Price. To get a #1/#2 we are going to have to take a chance – to me Alcantera and Hendricks is worth that chance.

      Please look at Anderson’s 2010 and 2012. The potential is there if he can make it out to the mound every fifth day

      • Jon

        In the sporting world, 2010, is a really long, long time ago. It’s pretty much irrelevant.

        • Rebuilding

          Not really, it shows tha ability is there. And the few starts he made in 2012 were equally as effective. So the last two times he has been healthy he’s pitched about as well as David Price

          • Jon

            oh, geez, now the David Price comparison? Are you related to this guy?

            • Rebuilding

              No. I’m in favor of the Cubs acquiring top-tier talent when it might be available for a discount. And yes, when healthy Anderson has been that good

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

                How many lefties we got that throw 93-95, and have more WAR than Shark has in his career, and is 3 years younger?

                His last injury was an ankle not an arm. If the price is right, it is not that difficult to take the risk. (Price in terms of prospects…)

                • cub2014

                  why are the sox shopping him?

      • Voice of Reason

        Rebuilding,

        Brett Anderson doesn’t qualify as a “Top of the Rotation” Guy!

        In five years he has won 11 games in 2009, then 7, 3, 4 and 1. Those aren’t TOR numbers!

        • On The Farm

          You are going to use Wins to determine TOR guy. You are asking for it.

          • Blublud

            Yeah, even a guy like me who thinks 90% of advanced metrics is absolute BS will tell you that wins has nothing to do with how good a pitcher is, unless you are comparing within the team.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yup the W is the most useless stat in all of baseball and yet people keep bringing it up.

        • Voice of Reason

          Anderson is not a top of the rotation guy. My point with the wins is that he hasn’t stayed healthy enough to prove anything.

          He averages 16 starts a season over 5 years in the bigs.

          • On The Farm

            Starts is a more meaningful stat, IP is a more meaningful stat. Look at it this way in the last three seasons Shark has won 8, 9, 8 games. In those years he pitched 88, 174, 213. Just pointing out you went about pointing out he isn’t a TOR all wrong.

            • Voice of Reason

              You’re correct, I should have went with innings pitched.

              Wins are worthless, I understand.

              • On The Farm

                The number gets even worse though if you look at his last three years. He has had about one season worth of starts/IP since 2011. Ugly.

            • TSB

              I think it’s funny that those that are stat wonks that deride “wins” as a meaningful evaluator of a pitcher (even though it is the only statistic that will get you into the post season), will at the same time go with the near totally subjective “#1,2,3,4,5 starter” idea. Which is better to have a 1 and a 2, and 3 number 5’s, or 4 number 2’s, and one 5, or a number 1 that would be a number 3 with the Cardinals, or etc., etc.

              • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

                Can’t really tell if you’re trolling or not, but I’ll bite,

                Pitcher Wins are not the same as Team Wins.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Well technically for every team win (and loss) a pitcher has to have a W, the stupid part of wins is all it measures is who was on the mound when a lead took place and doesn’t measure a single thing that a pitcher has done expect for appearing at the right time. A pitcher can give up one run strike out 15 and still lose and another pitcher can give up a plethora of runs and still walk away with a win. Stupid useless stat and showed be ignored and thrown away.

                • TSB

                  Team A has 5, count ‘em five Felix Hernandez’s; best starting pitching staff in the majors! Total wins (2013) by starters= 60. So as a fan, you would say “we have the best starting 5 in the majors, who cares that we finished in last place!

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Yes you would have the best staff in baseball (as long as their stats are King Felix stats) but your offense sucks. Know I’m certain your just being silly.

                    • TSB

                      Seriously, it just seems that some get the process confused with the goal. Ghandi was once asked how he would have prevented WW II; he replied that the Poles should have had a sit down strike in front of the invading Germans. When advised that thousands of them would have been killed, his reply was “yes, but their would be no war.” Same principle here; you want pitchers that get you wins, not good stats.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Oh my and I think I’m just taking bait but what the hell…

                      A PITCHER DOES NOT GET YOU WINS A TEAM GETS YOU WINS!

                      The W is just a stupid reward that is arbitrarily given to whoever is standing on the mound at a very specific time. If you don’t get this then whatever I just wasted my time.

                    • TSB

                      True, the assignment of a Win to a pitcher can be arbitrary; however, any stat to evaluate a player is arbitrary, there are so many variables that can skew the results. A player hits a home-run; was it due to his swing, a bad pitch-call by the catcher, poor location by pitcher, wind direction and speed, etc.? But you have to have something to rate the player, thus he is credited with a home-run.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      You really should look at other pitching stats many of them do a better job of getting rid of stuff you call arbitrary start with FIP. But stop giving any value to the W as a way to measure a pitcher.

              • DarthHater

                I think it’s funny that one would deride stat wonks based on a totally subjective perception that they are connected with the “#1,2,3,4,5 starter” idea.

              • hansman

                Why is it the pitcher gets the W? Why not the catcher or the guy who performed the best or had the most pine tar on his bat?

          • Rebuilding

            Well, he started Opening Day for a team that won its division last year before breaking his foot. In the last 2 years he’s been healthy he’s put up a 3.21 and a 2.72 FIP in the AL. He’s projected for a 3.49 FIP in the AL this year and those projections include using stats from a year when he had TJS. You may question his health, but I don’t think anyone questions he has TOR ability

    • Carew

      He’s only 25-26. They wouldn’t flip him for prospects. That would go against the plan I would think.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Do the Cubs really need to be in on every pitcher that has had Tommy John surgery? That deal for Baker really worked out well LOL. And Viscaino has yet to do anything. I generally approve of the way the FO has handles the minor league portion of this rebuild. And I am excited that we picked up some future studs in Jimenez and Torres with the international signings, But it has been hit or miss on the Cubs roster. Schierholtz and Navaro worked out really good. And Feldman was a good gamble. But look how many guys we used last year. I won’t even attempt to name them. A good outfielder with some pop in his bat and a closer and good TOR type pitcher would go a long way. A guy like Cory Hart would really give some protection to Rizzo in the batting order. Yeah I know his knees were bad, but if we can take a risk on all of these TJ candidates then why not give Hart a shot? If we could sign Tanaka and get a good year from a guy like Hart along with some good work from the bull pen we might be surprised by what happens.

    • Jon

      At least Baker only cost cash.

    • Rebuilding

      TJS is part of the game now. It usually takes 1.5 years to be back to your normal self sometimes a little longer

    • Hookers or Cake

      Two pitchers = every TJS pitcher EVAR!

      Baker was a FA flyer and Villenueva was a former top prospect we traded for a FA flyer in Maholm.
      Oh forgot we did pick up Rondon in the rule 5 – And he pitched really well late last year. Remember Dempster was an old TJS pick up.

      Those flyer pickups cost us nothing, but a few bucks and roster spots. And if Rondon or even Villenueva turn out to be a Dempster its gold.

      • On The Farm

        Vizcaino is the guy we got from the braves for Maholm.

        And of course if one of them turns out like Dempster its gold. Dempster was a really good pitcher. I am just saying they don’t have to put up Dempster level numbers to be a good deal. They could put up less (in terms of numbers) and the Cubs will still come out ahead.

  • Smackafilieyo

    Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that MLB’s proposal to Japanese officials calls for a maximum amount for bids on players exposed to the posting system.
    One report in Japan said that if multiple teams tie with the top bid, the player would go to the team with the worst record, but Brown hears that they would actually be able to vie in negotiations to sign the player. Of course, this is just a proposal, so it’s unclear whether it will actually be put into practice. But it’s something to keep in mind with the much-hyped Masahiro Tanaka expected to be posted this winter.

    CUBS HAVE A CHANCE AT TANAKA!!

    • Rebuilding

      Let’s hope that’s true. If we could get Tanaka and potentially trade for someone like Anderson then I would be for extending Shark at a premium as a great #3. Then you could start talking about not punting 2015 at all

  • ssckelley

    The Cubs are not going to be in on a guy like Anderson who was injured last season and coming back from TJ surgery if he costs more than a back end prospect like Brett Jackson, Szczur, and/or Ha. If you pick up the option year you basically have another Samardzija situation but will be out at least $9.5 million if Anderson does not return to form. After 2015 he is a free agent.

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

      I don’t necessarily disagree. If their idea is just to squirrel prospects.

      I don’t think Oakland bites on our failed prospects – Jackson – or not much upside guys. They might just convert Anderson to the pen…or keep him as starter insurance.

      12M team option isn’t that bad. 1.5M buyout is definitely not bad. If he does well in 30 starts, and you get performance, he’s still flippable until July 2015. Then, whatever you gave up, you can replenish if he performs. If not, you lost 2 good prospects or 3 mid-level prospects. Depends on how risk-adverse the Cubs are now.

      The guy is only gonna be 26. And the velocity is there. Injuries yep. It’s all risk/reward.

      • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

        My guess is that Oakland keeps Anderson unless they get at least one real prospect in return. Oakland has showed the propensity to take risks on guys who have injury risks but are very good when healthy. It stands to reason they would do this with a player they already have under control, especially when his value is at his lowest.

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

    I think you take a shot on Anderson. It’s all a matter of risk. The guy had a freaky injury pattern: oblique, stress fracture (wasn’t it Soler that had this), and he’s done the TJ thing. 9.5M + prospects. Depends on what Moneyballer Beane wants.

    Is Beane gonna take crap? Nope. Say he wants Edwards + Vogelbach, you bite?

    The guys velocity is still there (he did relieve later in the year). At his age, he might, no, he is worth a look. Should I worry? Yeah. But we don’t have any in-house lefties that have his stuff. And he is probably as eager to rebound as we are to see him rebound. He wants that payday too, you know in FA.

    Again, its all about risk. If he pitches well, then you got a reasonable 2015 contract, and another extension deal to think of. And he has another season to prove it. IF we gonna be COMPETITIVE, you may fall into a good deal.

    Again, is CJ Edwards a starter or closer? Vogelbach is Giambi type… just spitballing.
    [img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/plot_bytime.php?s_type=2&time=month&player=474463&b_hand=-1&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&startDate=01/01/2013&endDate=01/01/2014&minmax=ci&var=mph[/img]

    • Jon

      CJ Edwards and Vogalbach? oh my it’s getting worse.

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

        I am thinking of it from Beane’s point of view Jon. Beane is not gonna take garbage…or our failed prospects in an offseason. He too has a fan base watching.

        Both of those guys haven’t done it at or above AA, so we might want to take a breath on their assured talent.

        • Jon

          That’s fine, but he can rip someone else off. Even if he comes back from these injuries and reestablishes himself, you have no cost certainty over him. You might get a discount as you have his option and are the only one negotiating, but you aren’t getting him cheap, if he has rebounded and establishes himself as a TOR guy.

          And if he doesn’t establish himself, you just flushed a top 100 prospect(and another knockign on the door) down the toilet.

          Theo is not making that deal.

        • X The Cubs Fan

          Vogelbach, Blackburn and Villanueva for Anderson sounds fair.

          • Scotti

            Villanueva, depending on his medicals, is either worthless (no trade value whatsoever) or worth a decent bit (and thus not included as a throw-in in any trade).

            The notion of giving up a high-end prospect (Vogelbach and/or Edwards) so you can pay a guy $8 million to maybe start/maybe relieve, with the HOPE of flipping him for 1 season if everything goes perfectly, doesn’t sound sound.

            The Cubs don’t NEED what Anderson MAY be able to offer in 2014-2015 and he’s a risk to boot (his injury history–TJS, oblique strain, stress fracture in foot all in three seasons–makes Kerry Wood look as durable as Nolan Ryan). Some guys just fall apart.

    • cub2014

      i dont think you have to give up edwards to get anderson
      nor would you want to. If you could give them our junk
      (Raley,Jackson) plus a couple of higher prospects (black
      or Cabrera, vogelbach) I would do it.

      get a couple low level prospects & anderson in return.

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

        Our junk? If your Beane, do you take Cubs junk?

        A team with 2 times the resources he has? He doesn’t win games out there because he’s dumb horse trader. Not saying he’s always right, but he does have a good track record.

        But I wouldn’t give up Edwards, but if you trade a MLB pitcher, you always get one back. And who really knows what Beane values most in our system, aside from the obvious top 4-5.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    What about J.P Arencibis?? Jays my non tender him…would love the Cubs to go after him

    • bbmoney

      Goodness I hope not. Offensively he’s Kotteras, but with 70 less points of OBP.

    • Professor Snarks

      I thought they were thinking about renaming the Mendoza line after him. He had 21 home runs and an OPS under .600. I did not think that was mathematically possible.

      AAA emergency guy, sure. Not worth more than that.

  • http://gameagame Brandon

    Quick question, what is the outcome if the Cubs non-tender players that are on the 40 man in relation to the rule 5 draft(with 40 man being set…and trades,free agent singings, etc. Moving to Tennesse this week and don’t have time to look it up. Thanks.

  • Mike F

    What the hell is wrong with this picture? Beane clearly as intelligent as Theo opts Kazmir over Anderson and you guys are willing to part with some of the supposed depth like Edwards and Vogelbach? Are you kidding?

    Wow they seem content with the idea at the moment of losing more than 100 games and we keep discussing Tanaka who looks more and more like a 150M plus all in pitcher on one extreme and wild trades for excess parts like this? Wow……

    • Rebuilding

      In this division you need at least 2 TOR arms to come close to competing. Arguably the Cardinals have 4 or 5. So, setting aside your indignation, how exactly do you propose we get one of those arms w/o trading prospects or spending big money?

      • Voice of Reason

        I’m not arguing that we need top of the rotation guys.

        I’m arguing that Anderson is not a TOR guy. He is not in that category.

        Why do you want someone who can’t stay healthy? Let’s sign Ellsbury and trade for Carlos Gonzalez and then we’ll add Brett Anderson. We’ll still lose a ton of games because none of those three can stay healthy, period!

        • Rebuilding

          The guy had a broken foot last year. He’s only 25. Not sure what else to tell you. You are eventually going to have to take a chance to get his kind of ability

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

      Not willing at all….its a hypothetical given where Beane is likely to come from at worst. We heap praise on Samardzija, saying we need 2 TOR arms back for him. Anderson is much younger, and produced more WAR (5.5) to (3.1) if you look at Baseball reference or Fangraphs (8.2) to (6.1). Even with his recent setbacks – remind you of anyone (Kazmir) – Anderson might be the change of scenery dude. Arrieta – we seem to like that type….

      And his replacement, Scott Kazmir, just turned his reclamation year into a nice payday. And BEANE paid it.

      Beane undoubtedly got frustrated with Anderson’s injuries – and sometimes – you move on. Chances given…but who knows? Beane will pick whatever gets him close…

      ****Sure, Samardzija is a sell-high guy. And Anderson is a buy-low guy. We get it that picture.

      But while we set OUR price at 2 best pitching prospects in a system, we expect Beane to take our sloppy seconds and thirds? Yep, that’s not gonna happen.

      No telling what his plan is…but to think we’ll nab him for garbage is pretty remote, if highly unlikely.

      • YourResidentJag

        I’d rather have Porcello.

      • Rich H

        For some reason you seem to forget that Beane has a very short attention span when it comes to injured players. This will not be the first guy he sold low on because of fustration.

        Not saying he will give Anderson away but a Vogelburg and a pitcher close to the majors with some upside might get the talks going.
        Keep in mind the new standard as far as money. The A’s are not going to send cash meaning NO TEAM is going to give a top 50 prospect for him let alone a TOR arm.

      • Mike F

        Olt that’s the simplest I can make it and 25 to 40 in the org, thats a buy low situation. Actually Olt for Anderson is a swap of talent not fulfilled.

  • Carew

    Man, I hope the FO can make a good package for Anderson!
    If they do that, they should keep Samardzija.

    I’d take a rotation of Samardzija, Anderson, Wood, Jackson, and Arrieta.
    With a possibility of Tanaka? Yes.

  • AdamAE24

    Thats a goofy amount for Scott Kazmir. The dude literally sucked at baseball for the past 3 years and through up a 4.00 ERA this year.

    I no longer understand baseball contracts. It seems like if you suck but could be kind of average you’re worth $10 million a year.

  • Kirbs414

    So, just going off of Brett’s guess for what it would take to land him (a top 15 and a late top 30 prospect), and using Luke’s midseason top 40 rankings, which I’m sure have changed by then, we could end up with a package looking like one of Candelario, Watkins, or Ha, plus one of Szczur, Vitters, Jackson, or Geiger. Would you do a deal like that?

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      I think it’s worth the risk. None of those prospects are stars. My guess is that Oakland would look for the better prospect to be a better than Watkins or closer to the majors than Candelario.

      • Kirbs414

        Hendricks, Amaya, and Lake probably fit that bill…they probably have more of the upside that the A’s will look for but will be harder to part with from the Cubs standpoint.

  • caryatid62

    Either an Anderson trade (or a trade for Sale, per the other post) would be an interesting complement to a signing splurge that would include Tanaka. That’s at least an improvement of 10 WAR right there, minimum. It would also make a signing like Ellsbury more prescient, as you’d likely be better in the short-term and his contributions would be useful on a .500 or better team.

    Imagine a rotation of Sale, Tanaka, Samardzija, Wood, and Jackson, with an improved bullpen and a lineup including Ellsbury, along with a hopefully rebounded Castro and continued improvement from Rizzo. Even if Ellsbury and Tanaka were both given $20 million AAV deals, the payroll would likely remain near $100-$110 million for next season.

    This is likely a .500 team in 2014 and a real playoff contender in 2015 with Bryant and Baez on the way, and $18 million coming off the books. The renovation money would then be arriving after that, and off they go.

    If only they weren’t a small market team.

  • Kramden

    Someone enlighten me…..

    Neil Ramirez was the major league ready pitcher the Cubs got in the Garza trade. Yet nobody is giving any credence to him joining the starting staff and are seem to be focused on trading for projects, has-beens and pitchers no other teams want.

    What gives with that??

    How about plugging Ramirez in, giving him his shot, seeing what happens and letting him sink or swim at this stage of his career?

    • MichiganGoat

      Isn’t he considered a reliever and not really MLB ready? Justin Grimm might be who you are thinking of since he did start last year and he is in the conversation.

      • Mike F

        Ramirez is a starter. He had a great 2011 and was a top prospect in baseball. He scuffled in 2012 was demoted to AA and had some arm issues during the season. But he is high velocity very good prospect when healthy. People have speculated bullpen, but he’s a starter. Much better prospect even now than Grimm.

        • Kyle

          “a top prospect in baseball” is overstating it. He was a good prospect, but let’s not go crazy.

    • Kirbs414

      Given that he is just coming off a year in AA and we already have a serviceable rotation in the majors, why not let him develop a little more in AAA before throwing him out there?

      • MichiganGoat

        I really think he’s got Ramirez and Grimm confused.

  • Kramden

    No, I’m pretty sure it was Ramirez who the Rangers promoted as a starter and then developed a shoulder injury which the Cubs were waiting to see if it was serious before agreeing to take him as opposed to two other prospects.

  • Kramden

    Just slid over to the Cubs Top 20 prospects and sure enough, Ramirez is ranked #12 and is projected as a mid-rotation starter.

  • Mike F

    Make no mistake about it, the two real prospects in the Garza trade were Edwards and Ramirez. Olt and Grimm were throw ins.

  • 26.2Cubs Fan

    What I’m most interested in this Kazmir signing is the ramifications for a Shark extension. I wonder if Shark looks at this signing and expects to be worth WAY more than $11m aav on the FA market and plans on waiting out the next 2 years and testing the market. Why sign a 5/55 extension or even a 5/65 extension if you think you can get $18m+ per year on the FA market. With the inflation of pitcher $/WAR over the last 2 offseasons, I think this is a realistic expectation for him. It’s taking a HUGE risk that he might plateau or get hurt, or continue to be inconsistent, but I think Shark’s confidence/arrogance is high enough that he’ll take that risk. If that’s the case, I think the Cubs are smart to trade him.

    Why are they smart to make the trade? Across the last 2 years, according to fangraphs, Samardzija has been the 33rd best pitcher in baseball by WAR. We talk projection, we talk potential, and we make assumptions about his ability and athleticism. But at a certain point, you have to take a calculated look at facts and evidence, and both of those indicate that there is a decent chance that Samardzija is overvaluing his talent in these negotiations. He’s nowhere near a top 10 or top 15 pitcher in baseball, and I don’t think he should be paid like one simply because Hendry drafted him away from the NFL. (That’s another point, I think Thoyer and crew aren’t attached to him because he’s not one of “their guys.”) And I’m not sure you want to be on the hook for a pitcher on the wrong side of 30 (by the time he reaches FA) for huge $ when he’s no better than a #3 on a contending team.

    Among pitchers who have been better than Shark in those two years by WAR (ignoring the obvious ones like Kershaw and Verlander):

    Gio Gonzalez
    Doug Fister
    Hiroki Kuroda
    Jon Lester
    Mat Latos
    AJ Burnett
    Jordan Zimmerman
    Wade Miley
    Derek Holland
    Bartolo Colon
    Homer Bailey
    Lance Lynn

    Are any of those guys good for 5/80? Because I think that’s what it would take to talk Samardzija out of testing FA.

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