I Guess the Cubs Really Want Garza

UPDATE #2: Make it Archer, Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Sam Fuld for Garza, Fernando Perez and and a minor league pitcher. Nothing is official yet according to Morosi.

 

UPDATE: Levine says it's Archer, Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Sam Fuld for Garza, and a minor league outfielder and pitcher. I can't really evaluate the trade till we know the names the Cubs are getting.


Bruce Miles is reporting that the Cubs will send Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos for Matt Garza, with possible other pieces still being involved. I realize as a fan of the Cubs I'm probably a little bias towards their own prospects, but that sounds like as good or better package than what the Royals just got for Zack Greinke.

Now I realize Greinke costs more than Garza at the moment, but in terms of talents, it's not even close. I suppose there's the worries over Greinke's social anxiety issues and whether he would approve a trade to the Cubs, but he seemed to just be interested in trying to win.

On the other hand, they're just prospects and only Archer and maybe Lee have much of a chance of being better than league average players. Folks and myself have freaked out before on trade packages including prospects to eventually discover those prospects end doing nothing. But man, it's quite the stomach punch if they do end up being good.

As for Garza, he'll be 27 and with three years under club control.

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP ERA+ WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2006 22 MIN 3 6 .333 5.76 10 9 0 0 0 50.0 62 33 32 6 23 38 0 78 1.700 4.1 6.8 1.65
2007 23 MIN 5 7 .417 3.69 16 15 1 0 0 83.0 96 44 34 8 32 67 4 117 1.542 3.5 7.3 2.09
2008 24 TBR 11 9 .550 3.70 30 30 0 3 2 184.2 170 83 76 19 59 128 6 119 1.240 2.9 6.2 2.17
2009 25 TBR 8 12 .400 3.95 32 32 0 0 0 203.0 177 93 89 25 79 189 11 110 1.261 3.5 8.4 2.39
2010 26 TBR 15 10 .600 3.91 33 32 1 3 1 204.2 193 94 89 28 63 150 7 101 1.251 2.8 6.6 2.38
5 Seasons 42 44 .488 3.97 121 118 2 6 3 725.1 698 347 320 86 256 572 28 107 1.315 3.2 7.1 2.23
                                             
TBR (3 yrs) 34 31 .523 3.86 95 94 1 6 3 592.1 540 270 254 72 201 467 24 109 1.251 3.1 7.1 2.32
MIN (2 yrs) 8 13 .381 4.47 26 24 1 0 0 133.0 158 77 66 14 55 105 4 98 1.602 3.7 7.1 1.91
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/7/2011.

The numbers don't look as impressive as the name, but the quality of his pitches is raved about and getting out of the AL East should have only a positive effect.

I guess it's a move the Cubs had to make to counter the Brewers getting Greinke and try to catch up to the Reds and Cardinals. But the sticker price shock is a little tough to get over at the moment.

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Comments

Maybe the Angels will hear about it, and jump in at the last minute to snatch that batch of prospects for Weaver.

If it's really those four guys for Garza, it's just a horrendous deal. Garza will be the new Von Hayes.

Von Hayes?

Phillies traded like five guys to Cleveland, including Manny Trillo (who complained about Hendry on the way) for Von Hayes, who didn't exactly turn out to be as good as expected.

Far as the Garza thing, I knew when I saw four names for one that it wasn't everything. No way Hendry would deal four guys for Garza. Would he?

At least I don't think so.

Julio Franco was the best guy traded in that deal.

Bruce Levine just broke in on the "waddle and Silvy Show" and said that the Garza deal is imminent and could be annouced as early as today.

He also indicated that it is a multi-player deal with the Cubs sending top level prospects to the Rays. He said that the Cubs outbid three other teams for Garza.

He reiterated his claim that the Rays wanted a young SS, a young C and a top pitching propsect.

Here is the Levine online link...

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

says it could include up to 8 players which means the Cubs might be getting some bodies back

"The deal could include upwards of eight players"

This list above has five, who are the other three?

Cubs add Aram, Rays add Longoria?

obviously we don't know yet, but I would assume with what the Cubs are offering they'll get a few names back, hopefully they're Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson. :)

The whole point to gather minor league talent is to either have them come up or trade them. We are blocked at SS and C (Castro/Soto) so this is dealing strength for Garza who is still only 26 entering his prime with 2 years to go on a cheap contract. We also have had great experience with getting a pitcher from the AL EAST (lilly). Garza has better stuff than Lilly this could be a great #2 pitcher. I do agree Greinke would have been better but he could have been killed here mentally...look at what our reputation is with people like Letroy Hawkins etc.

Now as long as we don't trade all of our other pitching depth and 1b, 3b, OF we'll be in great shape for being competitive (eventhough we are lacking offensive talent). I hope we can do without giving Archer away.

A starting five of: Zambrano, Dempster, Garza, Cashner and ? isn't bad. A good bullpen. It's a move in the right direction.

Agree.

Pitching prospects traded by Cubs seem to haunt us, position players not so much.

Valid point - and we'd still have like 5 number 5's, right? How nice!

Lee is not blocked by Castro. Many in the Cubs organization and others feel that Castro would make an excellent shortstop, and there are no serious 2B prospects to be beat out.

Well, other than Casey McGhee, who was shown the door instead of David Patton (thanks Hendry), none of the Cubs minor-leaguish players I can think of that they have traded in deals during the past 7-8 years have done much - if anything. Except the total, and epic failure of the Ricky Nolasco trade.

That said, I would always rather take a high-producing major league player now than a brilliantly producing minor league player.

IT seems Hendry is delusional that the team is "only" 3 or 4 moves away from building a contender in his last contract year.

From all accounts, wasn't Chris Archer "the goods"? The one guy in our system with "ace" potential?

There are many factors here. I am not so doubting with the position players as the team is deep in the minors now with middle infielders - but how many wins is Garza worth, and will it be worth it when the team was/is in rebuilding mode and on a "youth movement'.

Part of this whole scenario of course is that the Cubs like expensive shopping, and there are no more $150MM, NTC contracts available for Hendry to spend.

BTW - can anyone give me a "AL East Factor", compared to the NL Central?

Are we talking a one-run ERA difference here?

One ERA point is actually quite good.

Just using Lilly for example:
Cubs 4 yrs: ERA 3.70
TOR/NY: 6yrs: ERA 4.59

Well it's build for the future too. Because if you solidify Garza as your # 2 and cheap for three years. You can give Z's money to a real ace after this year and have a nice 1-2.

Garza's "cheap" for about one more year. Z is under contract for 2 more seasons and I don't think there's an ace on the FA market next year.

Jim Callis of BA says if the rumored deal is true, it would bump Rays system from #3 to #2.

Says Archer is a year away, possible future closer.

Just heard with my own ears:

Archer, Lee, Guyer, Chirinos, AND FULD

for
Minor league OF and Pitcher

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

Garza, OF and another P coming to Cubs, no names yet

Levine now adds the Cubs also get a minor league pitcher.

Source: Bruce Levine

The Cubs "like Garza more than Grienke, and believe he is a top 10 pitcher in all of baseball".

Compared year-by-year, and Grienke's "head"

Grienke's "head"

I think that's a huge factor, especially after Bradley.

I know they are different problems but still Wrigley is not a good place for mental problems, except for the fans of course.

;-)

yeah, well whatever you have to do to sell the trade to the fans.

Please, don't buy it, dear god, I hope no one buys that.

Pros of trade:

Garza is a solid pitcher who at 27 is just entering his prime. He's under team control for 3 more seasons.

Cons:
Archer is only 21 and is already knocking on the big league door, and AZ Phil praises him.

Reality: I can live with dealing the other 4 guys, but sending Archer is a gamble. But as others point out, our prospects usually have a way of becoming duds, whether for us or other teams, and Garza is an established solid starter who is relatively cheap, at least in Hendry contracts (Now watch Hendry give Garza a $100 million extension).

BUT: are we anything better than an 80 win team with Garza this year? The offense still sucks and has gaping holes at 1b/2b/lf and question marks at 3b/rf. And they play horrible defense. The team is going to tread water at best next year, even with Garza.

probably put 1b and lf under question marks rather than gaping holes.

83 win team now imo, if some of Ramirez, Pena, Z, Soriano can bounce back, could be better.

Hendry and Bush must really like Matt Garza as ROB G alludes to.

The pitching staff DID just become more solid and on a par with the Brewers.

Still, no "ace". Good bullpen I should think.

But still middle of the NL offense. MAybe they will get a 2011 Pat Burell-type guy?

That is the crux of my skepticism of this trade. What does it solve?

Shades of trading Shilling,Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis

I don't think any of those positions are "gaping holes", but this doesn't make us the favorite, it goes against the stated focus of the franchise and now we have no 2B/SS of the future and we've just traded Archer who's probably projected at this point to have a career a lot like Garza's.

Grienke is an ace. Is Garza?

Greinke didn't pitch like one last year. Which is not to say he won't be, coming to the NL and all.

Olney: The general perception of proposed Cubs-Garza deal from rival evaluators: Cubs give up a lot of volume, but no real can't-miss star prospect.

Also: More from the evaluators:Archer is the key to the deal; Lee has high upside, but real questions. Guyer more liked by stats guys than scouts.

Bruce Miles says the OF Cubs are getting is Fernando Perez.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

That can't be right.

"UPDATE: Sources tell me the Cubs will send outfielder Sam Fuld to the Rays and that the Rays will send OF Fernando Perez and another player to Chicago."

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5052

I wasn't saying that you got it wrong, I was saying that Hendry wouldn't trade four of his top 10 prospects for a #2 starter, and swap Fuld for his Latin American twin.

Fuld for Perez. Fuld is out of options. Perez must have atleast one left.

Submitted by QuietMan on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 11:44am.
Fuld for Perez. Fuld is out of options. Perez must have atleast one left.

==================================================

Q-MAN: Fernando Perez has one minor league option left.

He was a good prospect before he hurt his shoulder, but if he can get back to where he was in 2008 he could be an OK MLB 4th OF/PR.

But Fernando looks marvelous, and it's better to look good than to feel good, if you know what I mean.

that's my general optimist feel as well. I don't like the deal ... but I don't absolutely hate it, a la the Pierre deal. I think the Cubs gave up a lot of solid pieces, with the one top piece in Archer. I think Guyer is more of a 2nd tier starter and a 1st tier 4th OF. Lee has a lot of work to do with the bat ... and the glove.

That said, I don't really like the deal right now.

I think Chirinos is a MLB starter, and there's a real possibility that the top two players in the trade are going to Tampa in Lee and Archer.

DRays Bay really likes the trade, though they predict it will be the most unpopular one in franchise history with the common fan. Sounds about right to me. Even if Garza gives three years with an ERA between 3.20 - 3.40, it's still hard to think the Cubs are going to win this trade.

Does management really care?

When was the last time the Cubs were in the series?

It seems like they know what they are doing there even if their attendance is 5K a game.

Was ranked as the Rays #4 hitting prospect in 2009 by one of the Rays' prospects web sites.

Here is the link...

http://www.raysprospects.com/2009/01/top-15-h...

That's the guy I linked to below. He's 28 in April and has a minor league career line of .279 .362 .387

Speedy switch-hitter with a good eye and a little power. Sounds like a 4th/5th OF.

Seems to be just organizational filler to take Fuld's spot. I wonder if Perez has any options left.

does very little for me in that, his SB ratios have never been great and his K rates are high. He's basically being brought over to be given a shot as a pinch runner, IMO, unless he has a sudden improvement in ability.

We have acquired a poet.

I like the trade, but only because I don't really care about the d-bags being traded away and Matt Garza is a good pitcher.

HAHA

Ata boy Ryno!

I like the trade, but only because I don't really carea bout the d-bags being traded away and Juan Pierre is a good leadoff hitter.

It will be interesting to learn what other teams were willing to trade to get him - not that it matters much.

Isn't this the type of trade a GM makes when their team is close to winning a Division or Championship?

That's the only thing that has me scratching my head.

I agree E-Man, this makes sense if we are Matt Garza away from the playoffs. Personally, I really wanted the Cubs, for once, to let the minor leaguers develop and see if we can develop a strong core. Archer looks like he could be Matt Garza (as TRN stated above), Guyer could be a faster Reed Johnson (or better), Lee had potential to be a speedy lead-off hitter (and part of a daily double with Starlin at 2b and batting second) and Chirinos was at least a backup catcher potentially.

I unquestionably overvalue minor leaguers and overproject what they can do. But trading the #1, 4, 10 and 16 players from a highly rated minor league system for someone who had his best year ever at 15-10 last year seems to be rational only if that person will get you a championship. I just cannot rationally project that happening.

Careful, using W-L as a way to evaluate a pitcher makes you a candidate for banning around here.

Yep, if Garza keeps up his current pace for 14 more years, people will want him in the Hall of Fame.

I mentioned it the other day - but without Guyer. I would have been very hesitant to trade the other three guys for Garza at this point. Why not give the team a couple of months, see if Soriano, Ramirez, Soto, Pena and Colvin are going to hit, before blowing your wad on a guy? It's entirely possible we just went from a 78 win team to an 81 win team, while crippling our chances for 2012-2016.

I think our chances in 2012-2016 will depend more on how we replace the contract that are coming off the books than if Archer or Guyer turn out.

So if in 2013 we pay Garza $10 million, a free agent second basemen $7 million and the Rays get the same production out of Archer and Lee for $400K each, you don't think that will have any effect on the big league team?

To me this trade seems like the Cubs are trading a higher risk higher reward situation for what they preceive to be a surer thing. Similar to what they did when they traded for ARam and Lee.

Not sure it is what I would have done, at least not now.

There's two bad things about the trade. The first is that they gave up too much, unless this 2nd pitcher back is a real prospect, which wouldn't make much sense.

The second thing is that the Cubs, right now, should be licking their wounds, not making "go for it" trades. They go from favored to be 4th, to favored to be 4th, while weakening the system and increasing payroll. Maybe it jumps then from 4% chance to make the playoffs to a 5% chance.

Agreed, there was little reason to make this kind of trade now.

I tend to agree with you on this. If you are going to rebuild, rebuild. If you are going to go for it, go for it. Shit or get off the pot, as they say.

I do think Garza makes the team stronger (duh), but if you are trying to build a playoff contender, there's a lot of other work to do.

Very true. Of course, if, in 2013, we pay Garza $10 million for a year that ranks in the pitching top ten and pay 7 million for an excellent free agent second baseman while Archer and Lee both struggle in AAA, that will also affect the big league team.

fwiw, and all subject to change depending on how Garza does, but if he pitches as well as the Cubs are expecting, my guess at arb figures would be

2011 - $6M
2012 - $9-10M
2013 - 12-14M

". . . crippling our chances for 2012-2016"

I feel funny defending this trade, but you're overlooking the depth in the Cubs' system. Chirinos won't be missed, unless they were going to trade Soto. And the system is stocked with catchers and will continue to be. Guyer is replaced immediately on the depth chart by Brett Jackson. Maybe I'm alone here, but I think the organization's 2B of the future, right now, is LeMahieu, who is a singles hitter but whose singles produced 73 RBI last year. Can Lee do that? (You like Matt Murton, right? He was a singles hitter.)

As for Archer, I guess we turn around now and hope that his control issues persist. Garza did not have any such issues at 21-22.

Murton's ISO slugging was about twice that of LeMaheiu's when they were at a similar stage in development. RBI's are determined in large part by where you hit in the order - is your plan to hit LeMaheiu 3rd in MLB so he can get 80 RBI's with his no power?

Here's an idea, have a speedy leadoff hitter who gets on base 37% of the time and plays a premium defensive position well - oh shit we just traded that guy away.

I don't think "We had too much talent in the minors, we needed to dump it on some other team" is a very good argument.

Trading Soto even up for Garza would have made more sense than this trade.

ISO slugging is above my pay grade, but Murton never hit 20 doubles in the minors until he was 26-27. LeMahieu hit 24 in his first full season at 21.

"Is my plan to hit LeMahieu 3rd"--no, I would bat him second, where he batted at Daytona. Until late June, he hit behind Brett Jackson, but after that it was the likes of Jose Valdez, David Macias and Evan Crawford. With Flaherty, Ridling and Burke behind him, only Ridling had more RBI (76 to 73). Ridling is also a good RBI guy, by the way.

"Here's an idea, have a speedy leadoff hitter who gets on base 37% of the time and plays a premium defensive position well." That is a good idea, it's something I had in mind for Brett Jackson.

I like Lee, too, never said otherwise.

I actually like D. J. Lemahieu best at SS. He looks very comfortable there and consistently makes the routine play. So if it turns out that he isn't an everyday 2B, and if he doesn't develop the power needed to play 3B, he should (at the very least) develop into a good MLB utility infielder (SS-2B-3B).

Couldn't they have traded Koyie Hill straight up for Garza?

Why not give the team a couple of months, see if Soriano, Ramirez, Soto, Pena and Colvin are going to hit, before blowing your wad on a guy?

I think the last half of that sentence is illegal in most states.

Thanks :)

I agree that W/L is somewhat meaningless, particularly in the AL East...but his other numbers didn't overwhelm me either.

His WHIP the last 3 years has been consistent and excellent at 1.24-1.26. And he is 27 and should be going into his prime, so he should only get better. From that angle, I do like the trade. Adding a good SP is never a bad move.

Don't quote me on this, but it's my impression that pitchers in general do not get better in their age 26-31 seasons. Our "Ace" is anecdotal evidence of that.

Unless it is Roger Clemmens, of course.

If he was 34 and coming into his contract year yeah that would be a head scratcher.

Cubs just got a # 2 for NL that's 27 years old with 3 years of control.

My God, I have not seen so much hand wringing and tearing of robes over a trade.

You would thought they traded Castro and Soto for Mark Buerhle.

It's the whole "we love our prospects" thing. You can probably go back and find complaints about losing Bobby Hill.

I don't disagree...but with Cubs prospects (and Tito's description of a Cub fans love affair with them), there is always still a chance that they become something special. Garza appears to be a good starter, a number 2 as you state. Archer could be a total bust...or Archer could be a number one. Lee could never see the majors...or he could become a .380 OBP 30 SB leadoff hitter. Guyer could have had a lucky season...or he could have turned the corner and become a .300 hitter with 20 HR and 30 SB each year.

Unless we are in contention, I prefer the retaining the possibility of the "...or"s becoming true rather than adding a known #2.

Maybe they'll do that too!!!

I think the question everyone is missing is, can Matt Garza hit? :)

haha...

Gordo feel feisty:

cst_cubs cst_cubs
Deal for Garza -- first reported as close in Sun-Times Tuesday night -- done pending physicals.

well he got nailed over it and ended up right, deserves to gloat on that one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQjt0Xzb5F8&fe...

I like this Fernando Perez.

h/t to Desipio for that

Hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJiVRo9Yczg&fe...

more awesome from Perez on the basepaths

Fernando needs a second job. Give him a shot at Ron Santo's radio gig. He'd be perfect.

Garza's gonna no-hit the Pirates the first weekend. Call Vegas.

Go Cubs

Yes. He may no-hit the Pirates, but we were still 4-12 against them.

Can't wait!

Oh yeah... why the fuck couldn't we beat the Pirates last year?

-5 VORM

Is that -5 Value Over Retarded Manager?

Remember Andy Hawkins lost a no-hitter.

PRIME TIME! PRIME TIME!

I'd say the difference between Garza and either Silva or Gorz in the rotation has to be at least 2-3 wins.

If it isn't at least 6 - 7 wins, the Cubs got screwed.

some fuzzy math, but Garza's been a 3 wins above replacement pitcher although less than 2 last year. Silva and Gorz are 1-2 wins, although they've been 3 win pitchers before.

I guess it depends on how much Garza improves next year as the Cubs are certainly expecting.

Lilly gained about a win and a half his first season in the NL Central.

If you're looking at Fangraphs that's going to tend to underestimate Garza (who always outperforms his xFIP, by half a run) and overstimate Silva.

Two articles on Fangraphs about the trade.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-...

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-...

Bloomberg, mlblogs

http://bloombergsports.mlblogs.com/archives/2...

FanGraphs compared Garza to Aaron Harang, another pitcher who's eaten innings in the past (Garza's topped 200 frames in each of the past two seasons), owns a strong K/BB rate (2.17, 2.39 and 2.38 in the past three years for Garza) and also endangers his team with high home run rates.

Don't get too caught up with Garza's flashes of brilliance. He'll wield occasional no-hit stuff. But he's more of a #3 or even #4 fantasy starter in standard leagues than anything approaching a #1.

Here is an AL EAST comparison of Marcum and Garza, in a couple of stat categories:

Marcum and Garza are very similar.

In the AL East -

MARCUM: NYY, K-BB = 1.52, OBP=.383 OPS=.883
Red Sox, K-BB=2.50, OBP .296 OPS .770
Rays, K-BB=3.83, OBP=.275 OPS .607

GARZA: NYY,K-BB= 2.00, OBP .316 OPS .731
Red Sox, K-BB=1.92, OBP .309 OPS.716
TOR, K-BB 2.56, OBP .294 OPS .615

In HR allowed, BOTH are exactly at 86 in 5 seasons.

That is only a season or two HR-worth of Glendon Rusch.

I like this comp, and aside from one more year of control for Garza, the Brewers gave up one 4 star prospect in Lawrie for Marcum, while the Cubs are giving up 1 4 star psospect in Archer and a 3 or 4 star prospect in Lee along with 2 more than useful parts in Guyer and Chirinos. Fuld/Perez meh and cancel each other out.

didn't most folks consider Harang one of the top 5 or at least top 10 NL pitchers when he was doing that though in 2006/2007?

top 10 BP comps are

Bob Welch, Alex Fernandez, Brett Myers, Randy Wolf, Ron Darling, Ian Snell, Jered Weaver, Kerry Wood, Scott Sanderson, Dan Haren

Garza was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round (25th pick) of the 2005 amateur draft.

So it's like trading for a first round pick!

Since you bring it up. This is like redoing the 2005 amateur draft disaster when the Cubs picked Mark Pawelek (20) ahead of Garza(25) (and Jacoby Ellsbury (23) for that matter). It's possible Hendry was high on Garza back then but Pawelek won out.

The Twins took Garza and a couple years later he was traded to the Rays.

With asst. GM Randy Bush coming from the Twins organization and Tim Wilken from the Rays, it's likely one or both were major factors behind Hendry making this deal---even beyond what they usually are.
_________________________________________________

I should add that when Wilken was with the Rays in 2005 neither Pawelek nor Garza were on his radar. Pawelek because he was a Boras client and the Rays don't do Boras and Garza because the Rays were picking high and the Rays figured Garza to go lower but be gone before they picked again.

I don't like this. But I really like Lee. I'm still hoping Garza fails the physical and it all falls through. On the other hand, if Garza has a couple good seasons in Chicago, they could probably trade him for a couple good prospects in 2013 with one year left on his contract (if they want). I was just excited about Lee and Archer, I liked Chirinos, and I even thought Guyer might have a shot as a starter or a 4th outfielder who plays a lot.

I don't like the trade because it's trading potential future talent (and cheap) for a known commodity that is just a #3 starter. But even though most of us overvalue Cubs prospects, I'll try to take an objective view here?

Archer--Control problems. Injury history? With his 3rd organization now. Upside=Garza now?

Lee--No power at all. Can he hit enough to justify a ML job someday? There aren't many modern big-league shortstops that can't at least do a 400 SLG. Still in A-ball.

Guyer--One great season in the minors. Physical talent and speed. Nice. But a starting ML outfielder? Probably not.

Chirinos--Blocked by Soto and Castillo. Soft defense. Great hitting stats in 2010, but if they meant anything, Micah Hoffpauir, Jason Dubois, and Brad Snyder would be ML all-stars. Expendable.

Is that about right on these 4 from a pessimist's perspective?

probably disagree on Lee and that he needs to SLG .400, only 8 SS's that qualified out of 22 last year SLG over .400 with Castro at just .408.

if he's a .380 OBP guy with great speed and a great glove, he can be a singles hitter.

True, but I think you want your SS to at least be one of the 8 best SS's out of 22 in baseball, right? IOW, if you have no power, it is REALLY going to be hard to be an impact big leaguer, and that's all we really care about in the long term, will minor league prospect X be an impact big leaguer.

Because if not, said player is always expendable for a proven big league producer. It's fun to watch the minor leaguers develop, but the only thing that counts are big league wins.

From what little tape I've seen of him, Lee does look like a fun player to watch. A boutique fun player to watch with freakish speed is not in all likelihood a ML all-star though.

This guy has a chance to score 110 runs at the top of the lineup while, preventing 10 runs on defense over the average MLB SS. That's impact.

i wouldn't be handing out impact yet to a guy who hits like juan pierre in A ball...even if his SS D is awesome enough to play in the bigs right now.

he's got time to develop, but even gaining a little weight last year didn't help his power...yet.

This guy has a chance

Juan Pierre would've been a much more desirable player during the peak of his career if he were a solid defensive SS rather than a left fielder playing center.

#3 starter? Don't kid yourself. Over 200IP, 1.19 WHIP, 15 wins, 3.91 AL East ERA, puts him as our Ace....

I like the trade...take a 27 year old, solid major league pitcher over prospects. We don't have a great track record with prospects...

Solid rotation and bullpen gives any team a chance to win the division (if we can beat the NL central powerhouse pirates this year). The Giants scored only 12 more runs than the cubs last year and won the damn world series...not saying we have their rotation...just saying pitching will give us a chance at the central. We played well against the cardinals last year. Cueto and Volquez don't scare me (actually Dempster's numbers match up with Cueto and are better than Volquez).

It will be interesting to see what they do with Wells, Silva, and Gorzellany.

all 3 should be available in a trade right now

if Cashner becomes a rotations stud, and that's a big if, things could get exciting.

If Fernando Llamas and Garza go on the 40 and Fuld, Guyer, Archer and Chineros come off it...there are two spots open, if the pitcher from Tampa, yet to be named, is good enough for a 40-man spot, then one opening.

re: garza for a no-power SS, an overrated chris archer (sorry fans), the cubs extra-extra catcher, and spare OF guyer....

http://dailylolz.net/images/1275836825_127582...

Tell us again how Nelson Cruz is a AAAA hitter, while you're at it, please.

do what now?

the nelson cruz on my fantasy team i traded for and have as a keeper?

Hendry's spin on it, I mean Levine

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Archer/Lee key to deal for Rays
Chirinos was behind Soto/Castillo to Cubs
Guyer behind Jackson of course

To his credit, Hendry sold high (IMO) on Chirinos and Guyer. Neither is truly a kid; cripes, isn't Chirinos slightly OLDER than Matt Garza?

Chirinos will be 27 in June

that's certainly a fair way to look at it. I'm not huge on the deal, but Guyer is still more of a 4th OF who can be a starter on a 2nd tier club, and Chirinos' offense is still questioned by some (although his defensive rep is regarded as legit and fair). It's possible that the end result of this deal is that we traded a good pen arm, 2 bench assets, and a decent shortstop.

It's possible that he's selling high on Archer, too. The kid was among the players we got for DeRosa, back when we all said, we traded DeRosa for whom?! Now he's our top(ish) prospect. A year of bad control could raise a bunch of question marks again. On the other hand, if he goes on to be an ace I (like many others) will be very angry. I just don't see the Cubs going anywhere this year, so I guess it better turn out that Hendry really is selling these guys at their peak value.

only thing i'll miss about archer is not seeing his unreal high-80s slider in action.

as little as the guy gets hit (and as few HR he gives up with his pitching) he could be deadly if his control tightens a bit.

I think it was MannyTrillo who was hyper ventilating about how we got nothing for DeRosa.....and since we got nothing that = he was worthless.

DeRosa = Archer = Matt Garza....Manny wrong again! Wooooo. That shouldn't surprise many people though.

Not completely disagreeing here, but that is some fuzzy math; many pundits are saying that Lee is really the best part going to the Rays.

Well, Archer is the biggest piece from the DeRosa trade and by general consensus (whether that's right or not...) he's the biggest piece in this trade - but he's only one piece. Also we are getting three years of Garza compared to a year of DeRosa.

Though I liked the trade at the time - at this point it looks like the relievers have pretty much washed out, and it was a poor one.

After trading Brandon Guyer, I wouldn't be surprised if Hendry makes Matt Szczur an offer he can't refuse, maybe a Jeff Samardzija-type deal to give up football, with the $500K bonus he was set to get for promising to give up football, a multi-year MLB contract, and a spot on the 40-man roster.

I would describe Szczur as a younger version of Brandon Guyer, very similar skill-set, except Szczur is very raw and would need time to hone his skills.

Szczur will be playing in the Senior Bowl later this month where NFL scouts will get a chance to watch him play against some BCS competition, and how he performs in that game will quite possibly have a major influence in determining his ultimate decision.

I'm not at all sold on Szczur being a Top 10 prospect, and (as I said) he's still VERY raw, but that doesn't mean he can't develop into a good MLB player. Ricketts has said that the Cubs will commit a larger percentage of their budget to scouting & player development, and convincing Szczur to give up his dream of playing in the NFL would be consistent with that philosophy.

Phil,

With Hak-Ju gone, isn't there another young Korean SS in the Cubs' low minors that has some promise? I seem to recall you talking up another kid, but I don't remember the name or the details...or the position obviously, lulz.

I also wonder whether you have any insight regarding whether trading Lee signals any kind of lack of faith in his ultimate upside on the part of the Cubs minor league staff. Watkins, Lake, DJ et al., there seem to be plenty of middle infield options for the Cubs in the low to mid minors. Perhaps the Cubs are really getting positive on DJ at this point? (Hope so, I like him....)

lee was probably what it took to get things done rather than him being expendable, imo.

even with a pitiful display of power, he's still young and very advanced defensively at SS. castro might have the range advantage, but lee has the polish.

I can't think of a Korean SS in the system. There was Kyung-Min Na in CF, Dong-Yub Kim in the OF, and Jae-Hoon Ha. There was Taiwanese kid Ping-Chieh Chen who played middle infield. Maybe that's who you are thinking of.

Yes, there is a Taiwanese middle infielder in the Cubs organization named Pin-Chieh Chen, but after struggling at SS he has been moved to 2B.

Ha and Na, that is the name I was thinking of, which is actually two names, which is why I was certainly confused. :-)

Now, they are all young, are any of them any good?

Ha is the more intriguing of the two. He's sort of ... Brandon Guyer-ish. Not big time power, but decent-solid power. Has to develop discipline, though.

Na is a very strong defensive centerfielder, but his offense is lacking.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 9:14pm.
Ha and Na, that is the name I was thinking of, which is actually two names, which is why I was certainly confused. :-)

Now, they are all young, are any of them any good?

======================================================

JIM H: I rated Jae-Hoon Ha the Cubs #11 prospect last October, and with Archer, Guyer, and Lee getting traded, I guess Ha is now #8. A righthanded hitter and thrower, Ha just turned 20 in October.

Ha hit 350/378/575 at EXST, 317/334/468 at Peoria, and 313/303/563 at Instructs, with a combined 10 HR and 58 RBI, 19 doubles, six triples, 20 SB (6 CS), and 13/54 BB/K in 309 PA over exactly 100 games (EXST, Peoria, and Instructs).

He was a catcher in HS, but the Cubs moved him to RF after they signed him, before moving him back to catcher in Instructs 2009 (continuing the experiment through Minor League Camp and the first six weeks of EXST 2010). The move was a fiasco, however, and he was moved back to RF the last week of Instructs before getting promoted to Peoria. He was moved to CF at Instructs 2010, and showed he could handle the position, making several outstanding defensive plays and throws. Like Brandon Guyer, Ha is an athletic defender who lays his body out to make plays, he has the speed and arm to play all three OF positions, and he ia an aggressive baserunner with good instincts.

On the negative side, Ha is a first-ball fastball hacker who rarely takes a walk, and he sometimes will double-clutch throws (same problem he had when he was catching). But he is a good hitter with above-average XBH potential (likely capable of 20/30/10 HR/2B/3B) and 500+ SLG power potential, and with the ability to rack up 30 SB.

Lefty hitting & throwing Kyung-Min Na is a little guy, and was supposedly the fastest HS player in South Korea when the Cubs signed him in 2009. And while he is indeed very fast and an outstanding defender with a plus-arm, he has yet to learn the finer points of hitting and baserunning. He's only 18, so there is time for him to develop.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 6:51pm.
Phil,

With Hak-Ju gone, isn't there another young Korean SS in the Cubs' low minors that has some promise? I seem to recall you talking up another kid, but I don't remember the name or the details...or the position obviously, lulz.

I also wonder whether you have any insight regarding whether trading Lee signals any kind of lack of faith in his ultimate upside on the part of the Cubs minor league staff. Watkins, Lake, DJ et al., there seem to be plenty of middle infield options for the Cubs in the low to mid minors. Perhaps the Cubs are really getting positive on DJ at this point? (Hope so, I like him....)

==================================================

JIM H: I don't think the Cubs had any particular doubts about Hak-Ju Lee, other than that he has yet to prove himself at Daytona, much less at AA or AAA. But he showed improvement with his defense at Instructs (no errors), and has been working with a personal trainer to improve his strength this off-season in South Korea. If Lee continues to develop, the MLB player he would probably most likely be like is Rafael Furcal.

As for other shortstops in the minors with MLB potential, there aren't any other Korean ones, but Junior Lake should be at AA in 2011 and could still develop into an MLB shortstop (although I think he would be more likely to morph into a Bill Hall-type IF-OF supersub), and switch-hitting Dominican Arismendy Alcantara has some upside and should be the #1 SS at Peoria in 2011. And Wes Darvill (who is participating in the so-called "Club Colvin" off season strength & conditioning program at Fitch Park) should have a better chance to both remain at SS and move more quickly through the pipeline with HJ Lee not blocking his way.

And as I mentioned, Logan Watkins (probably at Daytona in 201l) and D. J. Lemahieu (probably at Tennessee in 2011) can play SS and both could get some PT there with HJ Lee no longer in the organization.

But I would doubt that any other SS presently in the Cubs organization would be able to push Castro to another position, as HJ Lee might have been able to do in a couple of years.

So this would leave Fernando Perez or Brad Snyder for 5th outfielder?

Carlos Zambrano actually

or lahair or bobby scales...

would that mean Bobby Scales will finally be free?

Submitted by Old and Blue on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 5:33pm.
would that mean Bobby Scales will finally be free?

=========================================

O&B: Bobby Scales will very likely be a player-coach at Iowa in 2011 as he begins a transition to his post-playing career, likely following Mark Johnson and Jason Dubois into the Cubs minor league player development staff.

The Cubs really like Bobby Scales a lot as a mentor to the younger players, and it's a slam-dunk that he will be a minor league manager or full-time coach within the next year or two.

Submitted by rokfish on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 5:02pm.
So this would leave Fernando Perez or Brad Snyder for 5th outfielder?

=======================================

ROKFISH: It could be Brad Snyder IF he can prove that he can hit off the bench and won't be negatively-impacted by a lack of everyday playing time.

But Fernando Perez is the protypical late-inning defensive replacement, pinch-runner, and PH when you need a bunt. Mike Quade might prefer that over Snyder's raw power and RF arm.

Brad Snyder can run, too, he has all-around game. I can't believe he didn't look at the landscape this fall and decided to re-up with the Cubs because he thinks he can win that ML bench job. And he should, he has the talent and the game.

Based on the numbers at least, this Perez looks like a total stiff. He's no comparison to Snyder.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 9:17pm.
Brad Snyder can run, too, he has all-around game. I can't believe he didn't look at the landscape this fall and decided to re-up with the Cubs because he thinks he can win that ML bench job. And he should, he has the talent and the game.

Based on the numbers at least, this Perez looks like a total stiff. He's no comparison to Snyder.

============================================

JIM H: Fernando Perez was a good prospect until he injured his shoulder and broke his wrist. If he can't come back to where he was in 2008, then he is worthless. But if he can find his game he could be an OK MLB 4th outfielder.

Forgot about Bobby.

Maybe Quade will free Bobby from Iowa.

hopefully quade will have coached him enough to realize he can't field any position worth a damn.

...and hopefully quade won't bury soto in the 8 slot or hit m.byrd 3rd...both of which seem likely.

aram 5th, soriano 6th...meh. i like byrd the hitter, but i see him as more of a #2 or #5/6 hitter type. that said it doesn't seem likely pena, aram, or sori will be hitting 3rd.

I suspect the pitcher the Cubs get back from the Rays will come from this list:

Nick Barnese
Matt Gorgen
Devin Fuller
David Newmann
Zachary Quate
Scott Shuman

im putting my loot on a once-cub-favorite darin downs.

TB has such a surplus of middle-road/prospect+ pitching...good stuff.

Submitted by crunch on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 5:20pm.
im putting my loot on a once-cub-favorite darin downs.

==============================

CRUNCH: Darin Downs was a Rule 55 minor league FA post-2010, and he signed with the Florida Marlins last month.

ah...

i remember him coming on board in TB and doing a decent job.

he's still young enough to make a mlb impact (most likely as a reliever in his current body state and role).

TB's favorite minor leaguer for me (and it has nothing to do with value or upside) is matt "i'm matt f'n bush" bush...there now as a pitcher rather than an alcoholic failed SS.

speaking of screw ups...

greg "toe" nash is STILL in prison on that sex-with-a-minor thing he got into back in 01 and convicted of in 02.

his maximum sentence was 7 years so he must be screwing up in jail to keep adding time.

damn.

the cubs do, too, crunch. Hendry has his faults but one thing he has done well is develop pitching talent.

it was a Zachary, but Rosscup is the last name

I actually find it gratifying that the Cubs have prospects other teams are fucking finally interested in.

It does seems like a tough trade but whatever.

I'm not a fan of the trade. Everyone knows this roster isn't going anywhere this season. Why trade two talented prospects in Lee and Archer for Garza, when those guys could be part of an up-and-coming team a few years down the road?

I really hope Cubs management has a long-term plan for this roster and that the Garza trade is part of it. I see Garza's impact for us coming in 2012 and 2013 when we start getting rid of the dead wood and bringing on better players. His impact in 2011 will be bringing Project .500 up to Project .505.

I can be convinced either way. I guess ultimately we'll see how it pans out but giving up Lee, based on AZ's reports, seems tough. But Castro is in solid at SS and so maybe deal with your strong hand.

One possible by-product of trading Hak-Ju Lee might be that the Cubs will move Matt Cerda to 2B from 3B and Logan Watkins to SS from 2B.

Cerda is a younger version of Blake DeWitt, and if he makes it to the big leagues as an everyday player, he will probably have to play 2B.

the dead wood
----

Kerry no likee this phrase.

Maybe the plan for Hendry is to now turn around and flip one or two of the extra starters he seems to have (Gorz or Wells make the most sense) and try and get some prospects back. Ah, shit, what am I saying? Hendry with a plan? Who am I kidding?

I'm trying to think back - who was last position player the Cubs developed internally that ended up being great, ala Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder? Do we have to go all the way back to Grace and Palmeiro? That's sad...

There's no chance that at least one of Wells, Silva or Gorzo isn't gone before camp opens in Mesa. I'm hoping it's Silva, but I bet it's Wells. Gorzo likely gets to stay because he's the only lefty starter on the Cubs. However, he also seems to have the most trade interest. Detroit seems to love him, for example.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Sat, 01/08/2011 - 6:24am.
There's no chance that at least one of Wells, Silva or Gorzo isn't gone before camp opens in Mesa. I'm hoping it's Silva, but I bet it's Wells. Gorzo likely gets to stay because he's the only lefty starter on the Cubs. However, he also seems to have the most trade interest. Detroit seems to love him, for example.

========================================

JIM H: Despite the fact that he is the only lefty in the rotation, I think the Cubs will trade Gorzelanny. He is eligible for salary arbitration and the Cubs could save about $2M+ by trading him, he actually has trade value, and the Cubs have other candidates ready to fill his slot (most-likely Cashner or Coleman, maybe J. Jackson, or even Silva if he is healthy).

Ideally the Cubs would trade Gorzelanny for an auto-renewal MLB RHRP who can replace Cashner in the bullpen, but if that isn't possible then I would think they will probably accept a decent prospect back regardless of position.

Desipio! Cubs add to all time Nuthouse Rotation

http://www.desipio.com/?p=3320

also has the cool Fernando YouTube video at the end.

here's a sentence about what's going on. here's a sentence with profanity. here's a sentence with a pop culture reference. here's a sentence with profanity linking back to the sentence explaining what's going. here's a sentence with profanity.

repeat with 20 paragraphs of indignant ranting about how Team A/Player A fucked up.

...ah desipio

Now he tells us...Keith Law loves Hak-Ju Lee!

Article titled: Cubs Improve, but the price is steep. (subscription required)

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=law_...

Hak-Ju is the star of the deal for the Rays, a potential monster at shortstop who can run and throw and shows good feel for the strike zone. He performed very well as a 19-year-old in full-season ball and should remain at shortstop long-term because of his athleticism and feel for the position. He's a potential four-tool player who will probably top out with just average power. Even though he should be fairly big for a shortstop by the time he fills out, it's not a swing path that's going to generate a lot of long fly balls, but he should hit for average and get on base while adding value through baserunning and defense. He was my No. 1 prospect in the Cubs' system.

I actually think Lee and Chirinos were the targets and Archer and Guyer were the "OK, what else can we get off this dope?" guys.

archer had to be key. he's got great stuff even if his numbers aren't cute. he owned Cuba recently...

You know what pisses me off about trading Chirinos? Not moving him for his own right--I understand catching is a position of strength in the Cubs system, and it makes more sense to trade Chirinos than it does to trade Castillo or Brenly. No, what irks me is that Hendry won't move on from Koyie Freaking Hill. That Judy-hitting zero is a waste of space, I don't care if the pitchers DO like throwing to him, he gets 150 ABs a year and those ABs are wasted.

I can't believe that if the Cubs used a backup catcher that you know, can actually hit, that it wouldn't help them win a couple of extra games per year. And those two games could be damn valuable in the standings come September.

Hendry sucks.

Had Ronnie been alive, would Hendry have dared to put Sam Fuld in the deal?

Santo was a great Cub color man, but I highly doubt that the Cub management cared much about his view on player values.

Maybe they'll do that too!!!!

Not Lee!

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