Wednesday Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

I'll keep this brief...

- Jerry Crasnick says the Cubs will be in on Ben Sheets if they lose out on Dempster and Peavy. I suppose that could be an and/or since the Cubs were considering both.

- It seems someone in the mass media has finally gotten around to mentioning that Jake Peavy is a huge injury risk.

- Jeff Passan returns and I mostly ignore everything in it.

- Rosenthal says the Padres now want Single-A catcher Tyler Flowers from the Braves instead of center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. He says the Cubs have given from six to eight names for the Padres to choose from.

- Bruce Miles was apparently on the radio and says Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno aren't of that much interest to the Padres and they're more interested in Josh Vitters, Welington Castillo, Sean Marshall and possibly some others.


say no to sheets - he is just another wood and he isn't as cool

i'm anti-sheets as well...

For anti-Sheets, I'd recommend Immodium.

As long as it is a 1 year incentive laden deal for Sheets fine, if its anything that requires a big commitment in terms of dollars and years, no.

Lou wins manager of the year.

If the Padres ask for Gorkys Zycotic Minci, the deal's off.


Not to save the internet or anything, but I was intrigued by this line in your summary--"Bruce Miles was apparently on the radio and says Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno aren't of that much interest to the Padres and they're more interested in Josh Vitters, Welington Castillo, Sean Marshall"--because Miles doesn't usually have first-hand information or insider knowledge. He's more of a paid blogger than a reporter. So I checked your link, and it says that Jim Memolo was on the radio saying these things about Pie and Cedeno. Miles threw around the other names on his blog of 11/7:

Young major-league pitcher Sean Marshall is likely in the offer as is Felix Pie, who has bounced up and down. Believe it or not, the Cubs do have several other minor-leaguers they can offer. Among them:

--Catcher Welington Castillo, who played in the Futures Game this year. He hit .298 at Class AA Tennessee before getting a promotion to Class AAA Iowa. He was at big-league camp this past February, and if he's not traded, he'll be there again in '09.

--Third baseman Josh Vitters, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in 2007. He played at Boise (A) and Peoria (A) this year, hitting .328 with a .365 OBP at Boise.

Just some players the Cubs "can offer," not "have offered," and nothing about who the Padres are interested in.

In spite of all the gossip, I'm going to assume that Jim Hendry would not mention Josh Vitters in a conversation about Peavy.

way to cite a 5-day old story that's already been on here, suffice to say things can change.

I didn't hear the interview, but from that link it does seem that it is Memolo that was saying those things about Pie and Cedeno. Once again, apologies to the Internet.

As for offers, no one really knows as Hendry keeps things close to the vest. Cubs might not trade Vitters and I hope they don't, but saying the Padres are interested (as a few other reporters have) isn't much of a reach. They seem to like some Flowers kid in Atlanta which means catching is also on their mind, so Castillo makes sense too.

If Samardzija is out of the picture, I can't imagine a deal getting done with the Cubs that doesn't involve Vitters unless Towers is absolutely forced to dump Peavy and the Braves fall out of the picture.

Maybe Hendry can just send them Vittles and hope Towers doesn't notice. I mean the guy bit on Michael Barrett didn't he?

If San Diego wanted Flowers, they want him more tonight: he hit three home runs this afternoon for our Mesa Solar Sox. The last one was his tenth.

Tommy Hanson, another guy the Padres wanted but won't get, is 4-0 for the Solar Sox. Today he struck out nine in five innings.

This is a strong Mesa squad, not much thanks to the Cubs. Colvin is on sick leave, and Clevenger and Spears seem to have retreated to the end of the bench. Darwin Barney usually plays short, though, and has raised his average to .375 after about 65 at bats.

If San Diego wanted Flowers, they want him more tonight:

Something tells me that the Padres are smart enough to not base their player analysis on one game.

which is exactly why we couldn't flip Tuffy Rhodes for Barry Larkin.

i know, i was there. That's the one game i was referencing.

BTW, we booed the shit out of Hildog that day.

tyler flowers could be a real 20-30HR/30+ doubles hitter if he projects properly. he's still so young. dude is a batting practice is ryan harvey, but well...yeah...tyler seems to be able to do it with 90mph fastballs, too.

still some D questions for him, though. if he doesn't play catcher his value isn't as high.

And last year Mighty Sam Fuld hit .402 in the AFL and was named MVP. Didn't he have a great 2008. . . .

the list of AFL MVP's

2002 - Ken Harvey, 2003 -  Jason Dubois, 2004 - Chris Shelton, 2005 - Eric Duncan, 2006 - Chip Cannon, 2007 - Sam Fuld

you almost don't want to win the award...

a lot of good players do play in it, but success in the AFL, which is a very friendly hitting environment, doesn't mean a whole lot...

Has Theriot passed Dubois in OPS+ yet?

Well, that's one list. Here are a couple others.

In the AFL top ten in BA, 2005: Matt Kemp, Howie Kendrick, Brendan Harris, Andre Ethier, Andy LaRoche. Also hitting .300 or above: Stephen Drew, Nick Markakis, Ryan Garko, Dan Uggla.

AFL hitters with BA above .320, 2006: Yunel Escobar, Kevin Frandsen, Ben Zobrist, Hunter Pence, Troy Tulowitzki, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Braun.

It's a little soon to look at 2007, but Longoria and DeWitt were in there.

I sometimes wonder where you guys think ballplayers come from. Free agency? Or maybe the stork brings them?

When Fuld was MVP in 2007, nobody had more than six home runs. Flowers has 10 in 62 at bats.

And other than the fact that Lou will never play a guy in the outfield who has 3-home-run power, what's wrong with Sam Fuld? He says his hand was injured in the first half last season. Give him a break. He got it going in August: 325/424/445.

I'm a Cub fan, he's a Cub, so I like him.

apparently you missed this...

a lot of good players do play in it, but success in the AFL, which is a
very friendly hitting environment, doesn't mean a whole lot...

on the other hand, you did list a a virtual who's who of top prospects the last few years. I think Dan Uggla is the only one who really used the AFL as a springboard.

My point being, AFL numbers don't mean much, the good players that come out of there were already considered good players before they got there 99% of the time. Flowers is already a pretty high-end prospect, the Padres aren't going to see 3 HR's in an AFL game and suddenly decide he's the one they need to get a Peavy deal done.

You saved the internets anyway, hurrah!

Vitters I think is probably the closest thing to untouchable on Hendry's list now that Pie has done nothing significant in the big leagues.

I'm getting more tired of this than the Braves are. I do not want another Brian Roberts saga. Grrrr.

I bet this is over tomorrow or Friday at the latest. And I bet he goes to the Braves.

So the Cubs were just the other bitch meant to make the girlfriend jealous??

Naw, I think they digged our personality and all, but in the end the Braves have a bigger rack and a sweet ass.

At this point, I think its up to Peavy. The Braves have and are willing it seems to give up more talent than the Cubs. Peavy is likely just torn between playing for the hometown team who might compete by 2010 or the 2nd best team in the NL right now. If this was a baseball move, then a Braves deal would be done by now.

No Peavy, no Sheets, just sign Dempster and Wood. And I know this factor is overplayed, but what's the key stat to discern offensive differentials between the Padres' stadium and Wrigley?

Park Factors?

Wrigley had about 7% more run scoring than the average ballpark in 2007. Petco had an amazing 20% less. I'm too lazy to try to calculate how that would affect Peavy's innings, but just straight calculation puts him at a about a 3.21 ERA had he pitched for the Cubs last year. I did round a .49 run up to a run, because he would have pitched fewer innings in Wrigley, than he had in Petco.

Sheets bad - stay away from more injury prone people

Dempster - offer arbitration and cut bait take the sandwich picks....he's over rated he had a great contract year and is going to cash in...stay away...seriously going to pay him over 10mil a year. Get Peavy and give up the prospects that you will be drafting from dumping dempster.

Wood - would be nice to keep him but will ask a lot on the market and we have capable closers.

Peavy - if you can convince peavy to demand a trade to the Cubs that would be ideal...if you can get him get him...we are in it to win it NOW...not in five years.

Pie - put him in center and the 8th hole or 9th and let him play, let him work it out, if the organization thinks he's good then commit to it. If not trade him away and get some one you can put in CF that is a no doubt leadoff man that forces Soriano down in the order.

Marquis - 10 mil a year what a terrible contract! Good luck getting rid of that to anyone unless we eat the money.

Roberts- give up on it all ready...we have nothing to give up and they are trying to sign big name players this off season they need something.

From the Yahoo Free Agent Tracker:

152) Corey Patterson, OF: He turned in one of the truly awful seasons in history for a full-time outfielder. Safe to say greatness isn’t in the stars.

Those of you who heard Andy Mazur (former Cubs 6th inning break guy, now with Padres) on WSCR 670 - Murph asked him in football terms to describe the chances of Peavy to Cubs or Braves. He said, "Cubs are 3rd and long. Braves, 3rd and short."

says they'll ask Peavy to waive his NTC soon

Escobar, Hernandez, Morton or Reyes, Boyer or other prospect

maybe Peavy will turn them down :)

Thanks for the analysis, Real Neal; I have no idea how you compare the parks - how many games does the wind blow in vs. blow out? Do you take April/May/early June and balance that out with the rest of the year (until late Sept?). Only Fergie knows for sure.

Why would the Cubs be very interested in Jeremy Hermida? Seems like a younger version of Jeromy Burnitz to me. Talk about your low expectations.

Stick to Dunn or Abreu pursuit for RF, please.

Burnitz did hit 315 career HR's...not too shabby considering he got a bit of a late start. I'm not aaying he was great or anything, but he had a really good stretch from 1997-2001, averaging 32HR and 102 RBI.

I'd love Dunn's bat, but can he play RF? He seems like a mediocre LF at best. Abreu I like too, but he'll be 35 before the start of the season. I'd hate to see a 4 year deal for Abreu or something like that.

I would have to believe Dunn set his "glove" on fire after the last game in 2008.

His whole demeanor in the outfield is like a drunk stumbling through his home late at night trying not to wake the family.

From '97 - '01 32HRs was what your average scrappy middle-infielder put up.

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 8 hours 25 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 8 hours 46 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 8 hours 48 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 8 hours 57 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 9 hours 24 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 9 hours 40 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 10 hours 11 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?


    jacos 10 hours 25 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 14 hours 41 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 15 hours 23 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 15 hours 27 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 17 hours 21 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 19 hours 9 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 19 hours 44 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 19 hours 57 min ago view