Gameday Open Thread/Angels @ Cubs; Bullpen Rumors
The Angels show up in Mesa today sending prospect Nick Adenhart to the mound - Sean Marshall will go for the Cubs. Here is the lineup according to Muskat:
LF Alfonso Soriano, CF Kosuke Fukudome, 1B Lee, RF Micah Hoffpauir, 3B
Aramis Ramirez, 2B Mike Fontenot, C Geovany Soto, SS Ryan Theriot, P
Other than Hoffpauir in there for Bradley, it's pretty much what we should expect to see on Opening Day.
On the rumor mill, Paul Sullivan says that Chad Fox will head down to Iowa after the Cubs vs. Yankees series which leaves Patton, Gaudin, Guzman and Samardzija for the final two spots in the bullpen. Sullivan says a trade would have to go down by Wednesday and it looks like the Cubs are trying to move Gaudin or Guzman. Also, Lou said, "There will either be a trade, an option.... anything but (putting one of them through) waivers."
So with Fox going to Iowa and Samardzija with options, that leaves three players (Patton, Guzman and Gaudin) with two spots left. The article says the Cubs would like to keep Patton which leaves one spot left for Guzman or Gaudin. Before we get to that, Hendry could try and work a trade with the Rockies, but Patton would first have to go through waivers and be passed on by the other 29 teams. Considering the spring training he's had, that probably wouldn't happen. So it would be best to have Patton make the team, see if he can make it in the big leagues and if he shows he's not ready - but the Cubs would like to keep him - then put him through waivers. Most clubs by that point probably won't take a chance on Patton and then Hendry could work out a deal with the Rockies to try and keep Patton in the Cubs' system.
As for Guzman or Gaudin, if Lou is serious about not putting any of them through waivers, the Cubs are going to have to accept pretty much anything a team offers and chanes are they'll get more for Guzman who doesn't have a $2 million price tag next to his name and possesses a more dynamic pitching repertoire and all-important "upside". Gaudin though has been kinds of awful all spring and for much of last year with the Cubs, so I would think they just might as well release Gaudin (unless they can of course actually get something for him) and raise the beer prices by a dollar to cover whatever they lose. I mean if you're dumb enough to buy an Old Style for $9, you'll buy one at $10.
UPDATE: Bruce Miles makes it clear that the Cubs will not put Patton or Guzman through waivers, preferring to trade Chad Gaudin and that the competition will go through the weekend.