Cubs Make A Trade...Oh Man Did They Make a Trade

Who the hell makes trades on July 4th? Iphone posts are my favorites...

So the A's are the lucky winners for Jeff Samardzija AND Jason Hammel. In return, the Cubs get their top prospect Addison Russell, also Billy McKinney (2013 1st round pick), Dan Straily and a PTBNL. No idea where Russell is gonna play but good bet someone is moving to centerfield between Castro, Baez, Alcantara and Russell or someone is getting traded. 

More later, but the days of a poor offense aren't going to last much longer.


I've had two names thrown at me for the PTBNL, the first was Raul Alcantara but that seems unlikely if Keith Law is right, who said that the PTBNL won't change the value of the deal.  A second, unconfirmed name I got was Dustin Driver, who is a power pitcher who can touch 96 but needs a lot of work on everything else.  Good athlete, good arm, but very raw.

From Cubs Den, I was hoping for Jarrod Parker


I don't know if you are joking or not, but I REALLY was fantasizing about it being Parker! Darn.

I guess that was Parker's 2nd TJ surgery, not so exciting now. 

Yeah I thought that's why we'd have a chance -- but you're right -- two TJS's probably isn't a good sign?

McKinney is one of the best pure hitters in the draft, with a mechanically-sweet swing, an eye for the zone, and plenty of bat speed. He'd be a very early pick if the rest of his tools weren't just average, but even without Meadows or Frazier-level tools, he is a legitimate late-first round pick. A 6-1, 190-pound left-handed hitter, he is committed to Texas Christian but is signable here. His plate discipline is considered sharp, which makes sense for an Oakland pick.

core four core five

I thought they were up to magnificent seven.

I'm running out of fingers.

in case you forgot who Dan Straley is:

unfortunately that guy also threw 2+mph harder.

he's been throwing a lot of 88-90mph fastballs this year rather than the 90-92 he was throwing. he's way too young to be showing that kind of velocity drop...especially for a HR-prone guy.

Think he's headed for surgery?

no idea/doubt it.

he's been lingering in the minors since his very slow start, but he's not been seeing rest in AAA. he's playing, but something isn't right with his stuff compared to years past.

i dunno what caused it. for all i know it could be the As forcing him to throw differently to avoid injury and he can't get as much on his pitches...or he might be nursing an injury...or he's having a hard time getting his stuff going because of something he did (or didn't do) during the off-season.

Heard there's something going on with his release point - not being able to maintain a consistant one. The thought was that was effecting his velocity.

Bosio will fix him right up, and he'll have a 1.01 WHIP for the Cubs.

And all of the talk by AZPhil about July 2nd and trading International Signing Bonus Pool Signing Bonus Values; that doesn't seem to have come into play in this at all.

The Cubs made three trades on July 2nd of last season (first day of the 2013-14 ISP) involving ISBP SBV (Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and a BAL SBV, Carlos Marmol and a Cubs SBV to LAD for Matt Guerrier, and Roni Torreyes to the Astros for a HOU SBV), so I think it was reasonable to predict that if the Cubs traded Hammel and/or Samardzija on or about July 2nd that one or more Cubs SBVs might be used to "sweeten" the deal. 

As it turned out, the Oakland A's are one of the few MLB clubs that have not signed any IFA so far in the 2014-15 ISP that started on July 2nd, so they would have had no use for the Cubs ISBP SBVs. In fact the A's probably would like to trade some if their own SBVs (and in fact the A's have already traded one of their SBVs to MIL).  

It would have been a different story if the Cubs had made the trade with the Blue Jays or Yankees instead of with the A's, because (unlike OAK) both TOR and NYY have been active signing 2014-15 IFAs. 


Do you still expect we will try and trade those slots in lesser deals?


The Cubs have (reportedly) spent about $700K so far signing four IFAs outside the "Top 30" (because they went way over their ISBP limit last season, the Cubs can't sign any IFAs subject to ISBP rules for more than a $250K bonus in the 2014-15 ISP), but they still haven't needed to touch any of their four tradeable SBVs, because each MLB club gets a 5th SBV worth $700K that they cannot trade, and that 5th SBV will cover all of the bonuses paid by the Cubs so far.   

The Miami Marlins traded three of their four SBVs (worth $1M+) to Tampa Bay today, and the Cubs could do that, too, and still have their top SBV (worth about $2M) left. If they were given the choice between the three MIA SBVs (2-3-4) and the similar three Cubs SBVs (2-3-4), the Rays would have naturally preferred the three Marlin SBVs, because they are worth slightly more than similar three Cubs SBVs.  

Now that the Marlins have dealt their three SBVs, the Astros and the Cubs would have the next-best SBVs that would be of value to clubs actively signing 2014-15 IFAs. 

The Astros have reportedly signed three of the Top 25 2014-15 IFAs subject to ISBP rules, so they probably won't be inclined to trade their SBVs. That means the Cubs would be the "go to" club for SBVs for the clubs who are signing the Top 30 IFA:

1. NYY 
2. BOS
3. TOR
4. PHI 

Arizona Phil: Since the A's train in Phoenix (and are moving to Mesa next year), I'm hoping you got a chance to see the 3 names in the trade. Can you give us your impressions on Addison Russell and Billy McKinney in particular (but also Straley).

I see marketing genius at work trading for a player named Addison. Can see them getting Clark Brands to pick up sponsorship. Addison Russell brought to you by Clark Brands.

I was hoping for a major league ready outfielder for one of those two. Maybe one can be had another way, though. They seem a bit deep in infielders now.

Well, if the new studs do what the current studs are doing, we will be in good shape. Yesterday in the minors:

Baez 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB
Bryant 3-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI
Schwarber 2-4, 2B, RBI
Zagunis 1-2, 2 BB
Torres 2-4, BB, R
Soler 1-5, 2B, R, RBI
Jimenez 2-5, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI

Some fun years coming folks. At least at the plate!!

A's Nation hates the trade. Good enough for me.

Despite the poor average this year in High-A, McKinney's BB% is up, his SLG% is still OK, and his K% didn't spike. Nice get on a top prospect who might have lost a little sheen off his glint. Plus he can go be teammates with Almora now, which is also a plus for them both.

Strailey is filler.

As for Russell, adding another elite prospect to this system is a little mind-blowing.

Sorry to see the rotation gets torn into tatters again, but I have to say it's pretty good work.

So, the Cubs have the #1 overall farm system now, right?

I fully expect the front office to also trade off Russell, Carlos Villanueva, Ruggiano, and maybe Barney and Schierholtz for some A-ballers, too. And this offseason or next we're going to see one of these SS and guys like Vogelbach, Christian Villanueva, Candelario, Marco Hernandez, etc., get moved to pick up MLB pieces/pitching. (Poor Christian Villanueva seems to always have the whole world in line in front of him.)

yessir. This is gonna be FUN! Who knows if we'll win a WS but there are some bats coming and it's a new experience for me after many years of watching them trade for talent.

ALSO this trade differs from Dempster Garza etc. - when was the last times the cubs acquired a team's clear #1 prospect? (much less #1 & 2)?

I suspect Beane might just use Shark for a World Series run this season and then flip him in the offseason to recoup some of the prospects and due to payroll considerations. Will be curious to see how this nets out for A's nation.

I assume Charlie Newtown is joining the rotation. Dallas Beeler seems likely for the other spot. Bullpen - Wada? Parker? Vizcaino? NVM, guess it's Rusin and TBD. Playing with 24 guys today?

coghlan takes his .159/.224/.205 slash line as a leadoff hitter to the 7 slot...which may or may not be taboo to bring up, but whatever.

j.lake and his .095/.095/.333 slash line in the #1 slot fills in for coghlan.

also, m.olt is playing...and d.barney is playing 2nd...

Now fire sale these guys for whatever you can get and let's start playing some ball:


and these guys less urgent:

E Jackson

"excited to see samardzija back on a football field" - s.doolittle

also, who's left from 2011? castro, d.barney, and russell? i think that's it.

trading away your entire team and almost everyone you sign over a 3 year period sure does a lot for stocking your system when you stack that with sucking so badly you get really high 1st round picks.

Yeah, it's a shame we couldn't have kept that 2010 team together. Fucking juggernaut, that. 75 win juggernaut.

2010 was one pitching injury after another...what a crap time. i wouldn't mind having byrd and aram again, though...even the 2014 versions of them.

i still can't believe carlos silva was a cub...and didn't do that bad of a job considering his skill set.

...checked the cubs stats that year. forgot about the scattering of batting injuries (none huge, but almost everyone took dozens of games off) and also welly + schlitter got into some call-up action in 2010 (welly saw another cup of coffee in 2011 and schlitter didn't appear in the pros again until 2014).

Still 3rd inning, down 5-0, not throwing strikes, complaining about the umps, caught stealing, wild pitches and passed balls, throwing to the wrong base--now these are the Cubs I am used to!!!

Agreed. I think the games after Dempster/Soto were gone and Garza etc the team really looked lost. Today is no exception.

this is making me glad im blacked out today...not really...sigh.

0 WAS games shown on any channel from my cable provider, even if i got every extension tier...still blacked out. thanks MLB logic.

0-7 now...the obvious callup for k.hendricks to make his MLB debut chris russin filling in yet again isn't going well.

Does have to be frustrating today for team after winning 4 in a row to lose 40% of the rotation. 

If they still intend to add some vets to the group imagine it'll be outfield and pitching.

k.hendricks has to be coming eventually.

arrietta/t.wood/ejax/straily/hendricks seem to be 2015 locks even if they don't plan on calling hendricks up until later.

...pending trades...because who the hell knows where this will land this early in 2015 predictions.

I could see them making a Nate Schierholtz type signing and adding a #3 sort of pitcher through free agency. Not like they're going to turn around and trade for Price now. *shrug* Maybe Edwards will advance through the minors really quickly once he starts pitching again?

Too bad they didn't unload Schierholtz last season at the All-Star break, when his value couldn't have been higher... let's get Reed Johnson back!!

Wada joining rotation Tuesday, I imagine Hendricks, Villanueva and Strailly are up for the other one.

Could keep Straily at Iowa for a bit and let them work on his mechanics down there. Keep him there long enough to avoid possible super two abitration after 2015?

So, this is going poorly.

(Yes! I knew I'd someday say that in a non-dating situation.)

m.olt playing 1st.

Why is Olt playing first? They just giving Rizzo a rest for the remaining few innings of this alleged game?

pretty much.

it is nice to see olt playing somewhere besides 3rd if they're going to treat him like a part-time player, though.

i wouldn't mind seeing him play a little LF, too...anything to increase his chances of consistent playing time.

i don't know what to expect out of him, but now is a good of a time as any to see if there's much to expect.

Well, he's not going to get much time at first, obviously. I wonder what he'd do out in LF. I suspect a good infielder, and he's pretty good, would do fine in the outfield, too. Hopefully he'll start seeing more ABs the second half of the season, although I honestly don't quite see the point of his not playing every day at third. It's not like Bryant is here yet or that he's blocked. I still think it's weird.

There's really nothing here in this fangraph article that you wont' read in the comments here probably, but it did make me think that this is one of those really, really good trades. Perfect for both teams.

it's a great just surprised the cubs went in this direction.

i think a lot of people were expecting a future possible #1 ace pitcher to come over in some package, not a future 20/20 middle IF'r who should put up a decent avg/ob%. i don't think people expected hammel+ninja to go in a single trade, either.

it takes a lot to get a guy like a.russell...and the cubs paid it. can't complain, though i expected a more in the pitching help department.

The Cubs could probably put together a package centering around Javier Baez, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler (with the Cubs paying Soler's salary above the MLB minimum) to get Giancarlo Stanton from Miami if the Marlins decide to trade him in the off-season. 

And with (at this point) a $55M projected 2015 MLB payroll (and that includes projected arbitration raises), the Cubs could pay Stanton $30M+ a year in 2015 and still have a payroll below where they are this season. 

Addison Russell fits the profile of the type of high-OBP hitter the Cubs would probably prefer to hit in front of Bryant-Rizzo-Castro-Baez-Schwarber, and Russell would almost certainly eventually cause Castro to move to 2B, too (which probably would have happened once Baez was ready, anyway).

The lack of a top-of-the-order instigator/table-setter was the one glaring weakness in the Cubs system prior to the trade, and that issue has pretty much been resolved now that Russell has been acquired.

Excellent trade for the Cubs, altough I do feel bad for the MLB squad that had played 25-19 ball since mid-May before the trade. 

Although I rarely disagree with AZ Phil, I doubt the Cubs front office thinks much about whether or not they have a table-setter in the minors when they have Baez, Bryant, Schwarber, Soler, Almora, Alcantara (etc.) in the minors and Castro and Rizzo in the majors. You don't need an archetypal leadoff hitter if your lineup is potent through-and-through. If they were looking to fill organizational needs, it seems like they would've targeted pitching.

I asked about Stanton trade last week

Cubs can then sign him to long term contract

Just my instinct here . . . but I don't think the Cubs would trade 3 from that bunch for Stanton (though I feel Soler is overhyped at this point). I think it goes against their philosophy of having waves of talented players ready. I think (smartly) they value depth in the organization over any single player who could get injured etc. which is why they aren't stockpiling elite pitching prospects, since pitchers are even more likely to get injured. The Stanton thing will never happen. Cubs wouldn't go there if it cost prospects.

I tend to agree with that. I don't know if Soler is overhyped or not - the dude never plays.

The Cubs mgmt have clearly now built some redundancy into the talent pool. It would seem that of the big 5 (Baez, Russell, Bryant, Almora, Soler), and pretty-big 3 (Schwarber, Alcantara, and McKinney), we (me, anyways)could reasonably hope for two regular All-Stars, a couple of solid guys and some filler along with a bust or two. I think, after this year's further sell-off, Cubs mgmt will pull back for a bit and see what they have. I agree that there very well may be movement of second-tier guys (Vogelbomb, 3B Villanueva). If the Cubs do a prospect blockbuster trade (e.g Stanton) it would have to be for a very short list of guys who are (1) young, (2)stud, and (3) have the right "make up". Stanton might be the only guy on such a list. Regarding pitching, I wonder if the Cubs think they have enough of a track record with reclamation projects that they intend to keep going forward just picking up scraps and then keeping them once they are contenders rather than flipping them. And then that the Feldmans and the Hammels and the Arrietas will be playoff-caliber if they pitch in front of Baez-Bryant-Castro-Rizzo-Soler-Almora-Russell.

The Cubs have too many shortstop prospects.

That's not possible.

But seriously, prediction time- I think Hammel will be way more valuable to the 2014 A's than Shark. Just a hunch based on the fact that Hammel has pitched in the AL already.

Mark Gonzales/Trib writes in the Sunday edition:

The player to be named in the deal with the A's is expected to join the Cubs in late November.

and in a separate article, he writes:

The Cubs will add a reliever Sunday.

(probably Blake Parker?)

I as well was surprised no #1 pitching prospect came back. But if Theo is being truthful on other teams not ofdering the goods - I get it.

After looking at Russel's highliight and recruiting videos even from high school, he is a stud. From what my non-scout eye saw he certainly could surplant Castro at the ss position and would be a plus-WAR player for the Cubs on his D alone. Then, add his bat...Whoa.

Pitching for this team right now still is concerning. I hope there is someone in the minors that is coming fast who can even be a #2 pitcher. It sure isn't "Soil Myself in the Majors" Rusin.

It sounds like it was just too good to pass up on Russell and it really just amounted to that. I actually prefer the idea of stocking up on lots of different pitchers than worrying about getting a number one prospect, because pitchers these days are about as likely to get TMJ surgery as they are to win 15 games a year. In fact, I'd guess more likely. Going out and getting a number one pitching prospect is way overrated these days. Example: That Rizzo trade is looking mighty good. Go get those position players, and stock up like crazy on pitchers and bank on some of them developing into studs. I am very on board with this strategy.

Blake Parker call up confirmed by Judd Sirott

Jason Parks on 87.7/The Game FM with Jordan Bernfield in just a few minutes

Jason Parks updates their ranking on top prospects (he was making radio rounds on both WSCR and ESPN 1000):

Bryant #3, Baez #5, Russell #6, Alcantara #18

BP comes out with their revised top 50 prospects list tomorrow.

In defense of Mike Olt and the concept of regular playing time:

-- Alfonso Soriano:

Soriano was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left three men on base. He's in a 5-for-32 slump and hasn't hit a homer since May 17 - a stretch of 73 at-bats. He's currently batting just .221 with six homers and 23 RBI. He was given the start because manager Joe Girardi rested Brett Gardner. He had been splitting time in right field with Ichiro Suzuki and playing mainly against left-handers.

Therein, said the 38-year-old Soriano, lies the problem.

“That’s tough because you don’t play for two days and you play today and you don’t have rhythm,” said Soriano after the Yankees' 2-1 loss in 11 innings to the Twins. “So it’s hard for me to make adjustments. If I sit today and I maybe not see another pitcher for two days, it’s very hard to make an adjustment and get my rhythm.”

-- Darwin Barney:

"Having an opportunity to play every day and get in that routine allows you that chance for success."

Also apparently Soriano has been DFA'd by Yanks. Corey Black starting today for Smokies with 2.83 era and still throwing heat.

m.olt playing 3rd and batting 5th today...

hahaha j/k...not. yeah right...

valbuena 3rd, barney 2nd

Ricky, Valbuena, and Barney can all go f&ck themselves - Valbuena with a hearty 22 RBI batting behind Rizzo and Castro most of the year. So crappy. I cannot wait for the trading deadline. Because if this shit with Sureoutz Barney and Luis isn't just to shop them I'll stop watching until next year when things get interesting. This lineup is a shit show and it doesn't have to be. Btw on the positive side Ruggiano is earning his keep.



Well Valbuena still has a .775 OPS and he has been slumping terribly lately--he was at .861 just two weeks ago. Beyond Rizzo and Castro he's been the only decent hitter on the team this year. Ruggiano has been doing well as of late, but as recently as June 23 he was hitting .220 with a .672 OPS--I'm hoping he keeps things up going forward and this is not just a crazy 2-week hot streak and he'll go back to sucking.

Yes, Valbuena is our future. Not.

That said, here is my preferred lineup with current roster:

Valbuena 2B
Ruggiano LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Castillo C
Sweeney CF
Lake/Sureout/Whoever RF

Hell put Valbuena in RF and play Barney once in a while. Put Bonifacio in at 2B or CF. Just quit batting Valbuena 5th and play Olt every day in the 5/6 slot. Given what's gonna happen next year with SS/3B/2B, I'd REALLY like to see him a little now.

Valbuena is a nice piece if you have a contending team. He works the count pretty well most days, has occasional pop, and is obviously very versatile in the field. He is a waste of space on a team trying to work in younger players. The Cubs ought to move him and bring up Alcantara, and give Olt 30 days in a row at third. It's ridiculous to let that kind of thunder sit on the bench. I can't tell if Olt is gonna be any good or not. Sometimes he really looks awful out there, Brett Jackson like where he just can't hit a thing. Other times though he shows power to all fields. I don't understand sitting him in favor of a Luis Valbuena unless Valbuena is being showcased, but even that seems ludicrous. The league knows what Valbuena can and can't do. His skill set isn't a secret to anybody.

I like Valbuena. I just don't think he belongs on a rebuilding club if it means blocking younger players who don't have a very large evaluation window.

I think Olt's future is to be Russell Branyan, except he'll be a Russell Branyan who is actually a good 3B defender. And finding out if he can even do that is worth giving him consistent playing time over the likes of Valbuena, Barney, and Bonifacio, at least two of whom should be on their way out. With Bryant, Baez, Alcantara, and Russell all on their way, Olt needs to play. If they are playing Barney etc. to build trade value, they are vastly overlooking the trade value Olt could have with 20+ HRs and some optimism on his side when the others push him out of 3B in Chicago.

Exactly. Thank you. The only area of disagreement I may have is that I think Olt projects as at least a 30+ HR guy - he's already got 11 and he hardly plays. Playing him sporadically is just really poor decision making for a major league team trying to evaluate young talent. It's been said by countless hitters - timing is hard when you can't get in there every day. If their idea is to turn Olt into a great pinch hitter, let's call that experiment over cuz it's not gonna happen. There's a reason not many players excel at pinch hitting.

cubs are down 2 starters...double header coming up early this week...wada coming in to fill some space (for some reason).

this could get ugly.

seriously, though...they pretty much have to bring up k.hendricks at some point this season. he's not on the 40-man, but it seems like he's going to be counted on next year and quite honestly is the only legit minor league pitcher in the system that's close to ready.

he may only project as a middle rotation starter at best, but that's not trash.

I've read some scouting-related stories that think Hendricks could be a lot more than middle rotation. He'll be up soon, I'm sure.

At the very least, as an Ivy Leaguer, he should always be able to find work.

Shark is pitching a gem (2 hits into the 6th). With his style and look, they're gonna love him in Oakland!

Edit: if he performs well I predict a "Shark Tank" at Oakland home games within a month! By that I mean a bunch of A's fans with shark outfits when he pitches. He might be the new Bay Area freak!

im surprised he already doesn't have a section and a 1/2 dozen signs.

they go nuts out in oakland with their fandom. great fans...crap ballpark.

Exactly. Their fans are amazing that way.

Soler sighting today at Tennessee. Two for four with a solo jack.

Here's to hoping he stays healthy for more than a day or two and has the chance to show what he can do with the bat.

He did hit that home run today. He probably injured himself doing it.

This Russell business is a little awkward for Almora (isn't it?) since the Cubs could have just taken Russell at #6 in 2012.

Would they trade Samardzija for Almora today?

Every prospect has his own pace of development. I don't think there's a Las Vegas pool on which first rounder gets to the majors first. I take that back. There probably is.

Samardzija all star...but no

Elected to NL team (sad horn)

Bryant has his 8th PCL homerun and he's batting .373 at this moment in AAA. Does he start the AAA all-star game too?

Bryant AAA HR #8 in the 2nd, avg up to .373.

So, what's the going rate for three time All Star short stops?

Rizzo makes vote in for final spot

I don't understand: Freddie Freeman was named reserve at 1B. He is having quite a year too...

Rizzo on the list of 5 NL players fans get to vote onto the team vs McGehee, Morneau, Rendon and J. Upton

Nick Cafardo's Sunday (Cub related) notes...he's the first person to say that the Shark trade will bring a ptbnl that will be a significant player.

1. Addison Russell, SS, Cubs — Why would the Cubs obtain another shortstop in the Jeff Samardzija deal to go with Starlin Castro and Xavier Baez? Because Russell is a former first-round pick who is going to change positions, likely to third or the outfield, anyway. The Cubs got two former first-round picks (outfielder Billy McKinney the other), righthander Dan Straily, a Rookie of the Year candidate last season with Oakland, and what will be a significant player to be named. The Cubs are hoping to turn Straily into their next Jake Arrieta, who nearly no-hit the Red Sox last week.

Do Bahstanians spells Javier with an X?

1. Cubs assistant GM Jason McLeod sees a more athletic version of Troy Glaus when he watches prospect Kris Bryant. “Definitely 40-home run power,” McLeod said. “There’ll be some strikeouts, but he has a great eye at the plate. He’ll take his share of walks and work the count.” Bryant, the second overall pick in last year’s draft, is hitting .339 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 59 at-bats with Triple A Iowa. He hit .355 with 22 homers and 58 RBIs for a 1.160 OPS in 248 at-bats for Double A Tennessee. The Cubs see the 6-foot-5-inch, 215-pound Bryant, currently at third base, as a corner infielder. Righthanded power is so scarce in the minors that Bryant really stands out.

2. Manny Ramirez can roll out of bed after two years of inactivity and hit. He smacked a two-run homer and had three hits in his second game as a player-coach for the Iowa Cubs, but has gone 0 for 8 in two other games. Could he tear it up well enough to actually hook on with a major league team?

I stand by my original comment- The Cubs have too many shortstop prospects. I think the only way this makes sense is if somebody is traded (or flipped). They aren't going to go out and start moving guys around like musical chairs- Baez to 3, Bryant to OF.... No no. I think the regime has a serious anti-Hendry player bias and may move Baez.

They signed Castro and they'll keep anyone that helps them win.

I don't think they know what they are going to do yet ... but they are smart to take elite talent over filling needs.

I think they will watch over the next year and a half, factor in performance, injuries and general development and decide as they need to. Addison was a slightly bulky 3B in high school. These guys really may end up in different positions.

But my feeling is they do not have a strategy about how to deal with the SS backlog right now. I do agree that they will not be throwing people in the OF willy nilly ... but they may not have to once we factor in attrition, injury and performance.

I would argue not to focus on players acquired that are currently shortstops. What I believe Theo/Jed are doing is acquiring the best position prospects (bat and glove). Shortstops tend to be the best and versatile athletes on the field. They can play 2B, 3B, & corner OF with minimal adjustments.

I truly believe one or more of Top 8 will get moved in the next 12 months for young, MLB-ready starting pitchers. This plan is coming together but it's not going to include Olt, Lake and Ricky is very iffy.

Your tin foil hat might not be too tight. When they brought in Manny I felt that was for Baez and if he doesn't show plate discipline after that they will flip him.

I would trade him and package for GStanton in a heart beat.

"and what will be a significant player to be named"

that part sounds nice.

"Because Russell is a former first-round pick who is going to change positions, likely to third or the outfield, anyway"

The only problem with that comment is that reading Theo's comments somewhere - can't remember where I saw them so no link - he loves Russell as a shortstop. The scouting reports on him also seem to suggest he's outstanding there. As others are saying, they'll probably keep things as they are and let Castro finish the season at short and see how all the others do in their respective positions. The other interesting thing is an article somebody posted here a couple days ago indicating that Bryant is surprisingly good at third.

It's true that you can move shortstops around the field pretty much at will - they're always the most skilled baseball players out there - but I wouldn't be shocked if we saw a Castro trade. Not because he isn't liked by TheoCorp - they've worked really hard with him and showed belief in him as well, but because he's a proven major leaguer now, playing like a high end impact player and still on a relatively cheap contract, and the chances of him not being replaceable by either Russell or Baez seems remote at this point. And, they need outfielders almost as much as they need pitching, unless Soler somehow learns to avoid the DL and gets on a fast track. All their outfield talent is a ways off in the minors.

The bottom line for me at this point is that Theo is pushing away some of the doubts I felt creeping in a bit - mostly due to my impatience but also my frustration with his not fielding a real team at the major league level. The grand plan looks pretty masterful and he seems to have as good a handle on the new realities of roster development as any GM in baseball (I know I know he's not technically the GM but in my mind he is).

I'm really looking forward to his next move. He's pretty unpredictable, so it really could be just about anything.

I wouldn't be so sure Castro will be moved, and I wouldn't be convinced yet that "the chances of him not being replaceable by either Russell or Baez seems remote at this point." Castro is a 3-time All-Star, Baez is still hitting .240 in AAA and K-ing in over a third of his at-bats, and Russell has all of 50 AA at-bats on his resume.

I didn't say I was sure he'd be moved, I said I wouldn't be shocked. Signing him to the contract they did was pretty gutsy, and so would trading him. I prefer they keep him - I'm pretty convinced he hasn't touched the ceiling yet, but I think anything could happen at this point.

Remember these are the same guys who traded Nomar.

But of course, he was on the downward trajectory, and Starlin's ceiling is still unknown. He's filling out, getting a bit more power. Still, that was also a gutsy choice.

Can someone comment (AZ Phil?) on the reasoning behind the PTBNL in a deal like this? Is it typically one of those things where there are two players and one of the teams decides later which it will be? Is it contract related? Is it a player the A's need right now that they are happy to pass along after the season (contract included)? I heard November thrown around. Anyone care to speculate or elucidate?

Ps - I STILL want it to be TJS x 2 (you may know him by Jarrod Parker).

Can we call him TJ2?

Yes. We must.

CARLITO: Generally speaking, there are three reasons why a PTBNL is included in a trade.

1. The player was signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) and so he cannot be traded until the 1st anniversary of signing the contract. 

2. The trade is made after July 31st (where Trade Assignment Waivers are required) and the PTBNL is on on an MLB Disabled List and is not healthy enough to be reinstated. (An injured player on an MLB DL cannot be placed on waivers until he is healthy enough to be reinstated, but there would be no such restriction on trading a player on an MLB DL prior to August). 

3. The two clubs cannot agree on a player and so one club provides a list of players to the other club that is acceptable to both clubs, and then the club owed the PTBNL scouts the players on the list before making decision. 

A cash option (usually $50,000) is typically stipulated at the time the trade is made in case the clubs cannot agree on the PTBNL within six months (a PTBNL must be decided within six months).  

A PTBNL cannot be on an MLB Active List (25-man roster) at any time between when the trade is made and when the PTBNL is announced, so the PTBNL is positively not a player on the A's 25-man roster, although it could be a player on the A's MLB 15-day or 60-day DL (except there would be no restriction on trading the player prior to August, so why make him a PTBNL?).   

Thanks Phil. So we can almost certainly exclude Jarrod Parker as a possibility? You can call him TJ2 as well if you'd like! ;)

CARLITO: Jarrod Parker could be the PTBNL, but he does not have to be a PTBNL since the deal was made prior to August. (He would have had to be a PTBNL if the deal had been made in August or September because Trade Assignment Waivers would have been required, and an injured player on an MLB DL cannot be placed on Trade Assignment Waivers until he is healthy enough to be reinstated).

And I doubt that the Cubs would find out much more about Parker and his rehab over the next six months that isn't already known now, anyway, since he probably won't be back on the mound again until the 2015 season. Same goes for Raul Alcantara, BTW. 

So if I had to guess, I would say the PTBNL is either a 2013 A's draft pick who signed at or close to the mid-the July Rule 4 Draft signing deadline (so the Cubs & A's are just waiting for the 1st anniversary to complete the deal), or the Cubs were given a list of players from which to select the PTBNL, and they are in the process of scouting the players as we speak. 


Az Phil, regarding Alfonso Soriano, with him being DFA, how much money are the Cubs on the hook for now? Thanks.

That shouldn't affect the Cubs at all. His contract is guaranteed and the Cubs and Yankees agreed on their share of it during the trade. The Cubs are paying $13 million of his salary this year and the Yankees are paying $5 million. The Cubs aren't on the hook for any more now that the Yankee's DFAed him.

HAGSAG: If Alfonso Soriano is released and then he signs with another MLB club, the signing club would have to pay Soriano the pro-rated MLB minimum salary (which would be about $225K at this point in the season), and the Cubs and Yankees wiould subtract that amount from what Soriano would have been owed if he had not been released. 

Since the Cubs are paying $13M of Soriano's $18M 2014 salary (about 72%), they would be relieved of having to pay 72% of the $225K the signing club would have to pay (the pro-rated MLB salary), which would be about $160K. 

Of course that's presuming Soriano gets released and then subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club. The amount the Cubs would save would continue to decline the longer Soriano takes to sign a major league contract with another club (presuming he is released).


Fujikawa sighting: Pitched the 1st inning of the Arizona Cubs game, a clean inning with one K.

Jesse Rogers: Hendricks to start against Reds Wednesday or Thursday.

Saw the BP mid-season 50 came out today, but don't have a subscription. Anyone willing to post the Cubs and their ranks?

And from my understanding they don't include 2014 draftees by rule in the mid-season report, so Schwarber can't be on it?

Alcantara - bring him up!!!!

Just heard Hoyer on the radio. Doesn't sound like that's going to happen right away. He said they wanted to get him more time in CF. They had been using him like 1 in 3 games in CF. They're upping that to more like 2 of 3.

That makes sense.

3. Kris Bryant
5. Javier Baez
6. Addison Russell
18. Arismendy Alcantara
37. Albert Almora


2. Kris Bryant
5. Addison Russell
7. Javier Baez
33. Arismendy Alcantara


Well that's impressive.

Who the hell is in front of Bryant?

OF Byron Buxton (MIN) is #1 for both BP and BA, SS Carlos Correa (HOU) is #2 for BP and #3 for BA, SS Francisco Lindor (CLE) is #4 for BP and #6 for BA, and 3B Joey Gallo (TEX) is #4 for BA. 

Cubs EXST MVP "five-tool" OF Jeffrey Baez is hitting 240/318/500 (341/413/732 over last ten games) in 108 PA and 23 games at Boise. He leads the NWL in HR, is tied for the league-lead in OF assists, is 2nd in SB (86% success rate), is tied for 3rd in triples, and is 6th in SLG. He also is 3rd in K (27% K rate), however.  

The 20-year old Baez hit 322/408/511 with 14 SB (0 CS) in 103 PA (23 games) at EXST, and led the team in triples and SB, and was tied for the team-lead in HR. He tied for the team lead in HR at EXST and led the AZL in SB in 2013.  

How's that 18 year old big kid doing?


JACOS: If you mean Eloy Jimenez, he's hitting very well (so far) in the AZL, but he has had a sore elbow off & on since Minor League Camp that has limited his playing time in the outfield. 

He went back to the Dominican Republic for five days at the end of May, but then he returned to Mesa to work with player-coach Manny Ramirez throughout the month of June.

BTW, Ramirez was like a "big brother" to both Jimenez and Soler when all three of them were down here. The kids really like ManRam. 

That's him.

Thanks AZ Phil!

per mlbtr...The Cubs #1 on the board and #1 pick overall, Brady Aiken, has what seems to be an Ulnar collateral iigament issue which is holding up his contract agreement with the Astros.

Cubbery bullet dodged? Random pitcher event? I thought it was Tyler Kolek (#2 pick) that had everyone worried.

Barney continues to start. Olt continues to sit. I continue to wonder why they don't just send Olt down to Iowa if he's just going to ride the bench in Chicago.

ruggs called out on strikes 2 AB in a row that weren't strikes.

ump = worse than hitler.

Tony tater!

Olt went 2-35 in June. How much of that are you guys going to continue to blame on the manager?


I wouldn't mind just trying to get his shit together in real-game situations in Iowa. This is just truly fucked up. He will guess right once every 30 times and hit a HR. That's great. Figure out what is with his eyes, or head, and move on - or let him re-develop confidence like Rizzo had to do. I think his days as a Cub may be numbered anyway - unless one of the Fabulous Five gets traded - as you can bet one of them will be switching to 3B.

Valbuena is 11 last 61 and that's playing every day and batting 5th. Full support of manager. Olt's 35 AB in June were scattershot and almost never 2 games in a row. 35 AB in a month if it were regular would be about 1.4 AB per game.

Most of us would rather see him getting AB in the minors than the current pattern. I don't think anyone disputes he is struggling - but the way he's been handled is what is being debAted. Also the manager almost by definition is assigning blame as for the month of June he was hand picking games which were designed to help Olt succeed. Which of course is beyond absurd. But that's what he says ...

This is beyond a dead horse. A dead horse could also probably hit better than Olt at this point.

A dead horse would also make a slightly less predictable troll than you. Anything original to say or you just sitting in wait?

Oh please. I've been around this site a lot longer than you have, and with a lot less stupid attitude than you.


Not worth the effort.

I'm gonna be totally stoked when the front office brings in some live horses for us to talk about.

Will they play more than Olt?

I just want to acknowledge that this was a nice touch at the end of a much too long thread. Well done, sir.

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 10 hours 41 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 10 hours 42 min ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 10 hours 54 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 10 hours 55 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 10 hours 55 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 11 hours 16 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 11 hours 49 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 12 hours 5 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 12 hours 24 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 12 hours 44 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 12 hours 46 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 15 hours 45 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 15 hours 58 min ago view