Cubs Get Grabow

Chris DeLuca tweets that the Cubs have acquired left-hander John Grabow from the Pirates. You can read my thoughts about him from earlier today. ESPN confirms that the deal is being finalized. I'll update as details emerge...

UPDATE #1: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette adds Tom Gorzelanny to the trade and the deal is "just about done".  No word yet on the Cubs cost.

UPDATE #2: Sun-Times says deal for Grabow will be announced after the game, no mention of Gorzelanny or the players going to Pittsburgh.

UPDATE #3: The Breaking News banner at ESPN Chicago says it's Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.

UPDATE #4: Make it Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio and infielder Josh Harrison for Grabow and Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny will be assigned to Triple A immediately but could be called up to take the fifth spot in the rotation to replace Kevin Hart for Tuesday's start versus Cincinnati. Other options could be Jeff Samardzija, Aaron Heilman (remember when he was good in spring training as a starter?), Mitch Atkins (6.92 ERA in Iowa), JR. Mathes (happens to be his turn in the rotation today at Iowa) or a mystery 5th pitcher. Hendry says Lou and Larry will figure it out on the plane.

Be sure to vote on the 100-game surveys below....


If you read the comments on the Post-Gazette, Pirates fans want Vitters!!

Espn saying Dodger got Sherrill from Orioles.

Any guesses on the haul going to Pitt?

My guess

Jovan Rosa

Lake or Castro

bunch of arms from AA or AAA, maybe Gaub or Russell

Starlin Castro for John Grabow?

You don't think much of Buddy Bailey's opinion, then.

Daytona Beach News-Journal, July 11th:

Daytona manager Buddy Bailey went about as far as one can go in the high praise department for Castro when filling out mid-season organizational reports.

"The only other player I've ever put on a scouting report that when he plays in the big leagues his team will be a contender to win a championship every year is Derek Jeter, and at the halfway point this season I put that report in on Castro," Bailey said.

what does my comment have to do with my assessment of Starlin Castro or Junior Lake?

Your assessment of the Cubs' assessment. I understood you to say the Cubs would consider trading Castro for Grabow.

grabow is most likely worth more than his numbers.

if i told you there's a lefty out there with a 93-95mph fastball that fools lefties, a great changeup that fools righties, and a slider to mix in...with the downside being control issues...

bet that would sound great. that's grabow.

Sources are saying as part of the deal to take on Gorzelany, the Cubs demand he wears a bag over his head when not pitching.


My guess was Hart, Lake, Gaub and ... crap I forgot, one more arm.

Well, Atkins is pitching right now...

I think we need NAVIGATOR to chime in now with a positive small-sample-size report on what Fukudome's been up to lately.

What's Gorzelanny's story this year? Only 8.2 IP? Looks like he's been used out of the bullpen, but I always thought he was a starter.

Anyway, hard to comment on this trade without knowing what we gave up, but it looks like a move for the sake of making a move. Grabow looks like he has some decent peripherals, but don't we already have enough relief pitchers with control problems?

He's been in AAA

Sweet! We could really use him at DH.

Not a good glove?

Guessing McFail would want Marshall.

I'm not sure that he's a particularly terrible glove, but he's been a LF'er in the past and now he's DH'ing. So with Soriano's gold glove in left, I can't figure out where he'd be playing...especially with Fuk & Brad starting to hit as well. He'd be a damn awesome backup, though.

But, if they'd be willing to take Bradley, I'd take the trade in a second. I don't care where Lou puts everyone, I'd love to see how Scott hits at Wrigley.

But, if they'd be willing to take Bradley,



Hey, I wanted Ibanez for right...I'd be willing to try out Scott in right. I don't think anyone would take Soriano.

Point being, I don't think there's any room for Scott, but I'd be happy to lose Bradley for him.

When the Cards get DeRosa, we get a gun (enthusiast). That's the Chicago way.

Luke Scott is a solid ball player. I don't see the need for him, personally, but I wouldn't at all mind him coming in to PH off the bench.

Sorry if 3/44, but also from the Baltimore Sun link:

MacPhail said the Orioles paid a nominal fee -- and gave up no personnel -- in acquiring Hill. That compensation will not change given the shoulder issue, he said.

I must have missed this. I thought we were still in line for a PTBN.

Speculation was that the deal was closed with the Gathright-Freel trade.

the original deal was contingent on Hill's performance and could be just cash if Hill didn't perform to whatever parameters they set, which doesn't look like he did.

could have been the Gathright/Freel trade or just cash at some other point. I mean, there never was an annoucement that the Pirates sent cash to the Cubs nor a player for Iztruris.

I thought Atkins looked quite good. Nice easy motion, looks like he could throw all day. Nifty slider that earned swinging strikes from both righties and lefties. Lou will appreciate that he throws strikes and gets the team back in the dugout quickly.

I saw him pitch in Memphis earlier this season and he looked really marginal.

88-85 MPH on the 4 seamer and his breaking stuff was mostly in the dirt.

Color my less than excited. I feel like we have five arms in the minors, or in our bullpen, who can do what Grabow can. I guess he's a lefty, and that's what counts? Maybe that's what RobG said, but I confess I didnt click through to read.

Gorzelanny doesn't impress me all that much, even when he was a starter. I'm not sure our organization will be able to convert him to anything close to his 2007 form, which was something like a #3 starter. If they can, its a steal and it wouldnt be the first time the Cubs turned Pirate rough into diamonds...but still I would rather hang on to the prospects even without knowing who we're giving up yet. Unless its Fontenot. Then I'm ok with it.

We have pitchers in the minors, but Grabow is a major league pitcher who has been used in late inning situations...and, I think he closed some last year.

Russ Ortiz got released right after the game...ouch.


Did Cecil Cooper give him the game ball from today to keep?

4:47pm: ESPN Chicago says the Cubs sent pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio to Pittsburgh for Grabow and Gorzelanny.

Sounds just fine to me.

still not thrilled to have either of these guys, but not a bad tradeoff...especially since they seem dead set on not using ass-can for some reason.

Gozelany goes right into rotation?!?!?


Would guess that Atkins gets the rotation spot.

Or, after just realized after I pulled pens from eyes, Marshall will go into the rotation.

Not that I disagree with that decision, but it would defeat the purpose of the trade.

I thought I heard Gorz to AAA, so it looks like it will be Atkins, or they are buying a few days time with an extra arm in the bullpen. Moving Marshall back to the rotation doesn't make much sense, leaving them with 1 lefty in the pen again. Maybe they look at Gorz as someone to move to the bullpen and want him to get a few appearances at Iowa and it is Marshall going to the rotation.

Who knows. I'm just glad we didn't give up Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry. Those guys are going to be superstars.

I am not happy giving anybody up when we get less than their market value in return. We didn't get a shut down lefty reliever, which is what it seems we wanted. We also lost someone who has capably filled a starting role for us over the last month.

Hart has better stuff than Atkins, so moving Mitch to the rotation while adding a lefty reliever isn't that great of a trade IMO. If we move Marshall to the rotation, I have trouble believing our new LHP will perform anywhere near as well as Marshall. Gorz will help Iowa's staff, so I am sure they are happy in AAA.

Though his last two starts have been nice, Hart hasn't really pitched very well in the majors, and was saved from a 7 run outing today by a strong breeze off the lake. From all reports, the Cubs got the most talented player in the deal, which is generally the way I evaluate trades. Plus, it lowers the chance that Lou blows out Marshall's arm by the end of the season.

I think Atkins is graded as a much better prospect, possible a mid-rotation guy if he matures. Hart was a bottom of the barrel player we got for Freddie Bynum. Hart did look outstanding during the 2007 playoffs, throwing that wicked slider/split finger/fall off the table stuff. But he's never shown any glimpse of that talent again.

Most likely a year from now we'll be talking about Kevin Hart like Matt Bruback, the forgotten throw in starter in the Ramirez trade.

I could see Ascanio becoming a good major leaguer. Hell, in Pittsburgh he could eventually get to close. But he hasn't done much in the majors with us and we have a surplus of RH relievers.

And of course Harrison could become Chone Figgans part deux. But those odds are unlikely.

What's the worst that happens for the Cubs? Gorz does nothing for us, Grabow gets hurt, and Pitt gets possibly one working big league part, or more. But there are no stars going to Pittsburgh.

I do agree that we didn't lose alot. I just felt we lost more than we received.

That said, TRN's comment above about how Hart looks seeing the game live (almost homers, for example) are not something I am seeing watching it on Gamecast. So my analysis of Hart as a serviceable starter (and therefore the most valuable player in the deal) is likely not at all certain, if not definitely untrue.

According to Kevin Goldstein of BP (via MLB Trade Rumors), Jay Jackson (9th rated prospect in system) is part of the trade

Dejan_Kovacevic: Deal done: Grabow/Gorzelanny to Cubs

deal done per Kovacevic

ESPN Chicago has it being Ascanio & Hart in their "Breaking News". No link yet.

Apparently Josh Harrison is part of the deal too.

I don't know anything about Harrison as a prospect, but Hart and Ascanio haven't been very impressive in the majors and have to be less than stellar prospects, so it sounds like a good deal for us.

Hart is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA and has looked great as a starter at Iowa and pretty good as a young starter for the Cubs. He is 26 years old.

Ascaino turned 24 this year and has a 3.52 ERAS with 18K in 15.1 IP in limited work this year.

Unless you are expecting kids to throw 20K games in their initial season, I think your expectations for their performances might be high if you say they have not been very impressive in the majors.

Harrison just turned 22 at Daytona and has .836 OPS between Peoria and Daytona with 26 SBs. I am pretty sure I like his ceiling more than that of Fontenot (and perhaps Tony Thomas), so not sure I like adding him as a throw in.

So we lost pitcher performing well in our rotation (until Lilly returns, and then when Harden gets hurt), a decent middle relief prospect who has had some success in the majors and a prospect whose likely ceiling will be a speedy utility player.

Meanwhile we get Grabow, a good lefty arm in bullpen but one who has not dominated left handed hitters (lefties hitting .275 avg/.715 OPS, righties .234/.699), and Gorzelany, a native Chicagoan (and White Sox fan) who formerly was a decent middle to back of rotation starter and now is in the minors.

Not sure we gave up a huge amount, but it does appear we didn't get much in return. I would've been happier if we brought up Waddell or Gaub rather than make this trade.

"so not sure I like adding him as a throw in".

You can be sure that the Pirates don't make that deal without Harrison. The typical MLB reporter thinks the Cubs farm system consists of first round picks, guys who have been in the majors, and 187 throw ins.

Good point. I do have a tendency to overvalue players, though that wasn't true of Harrison. I am just not sure we received that much value.

I disagree with your pessimism. Hendry definitely sold high on Hart, you're seeing his max upside right now. I'll take Gorzellany's upside over Hart's all day long. He's also only what, six months older than Hart?

Ascanio has nice stuff, he COULD develop into a good ML reliever or even a starter. That is the one significant piece given up here. I liked his upside. But in exchange, Grabow fills a need right now on the ML team, and incredibly, he's a Type A free agent. Wouldn't a supplemental first-rounder likely have the same upside as Ascanio?

Harrison seems like a scrappy kid with speed, nice. He's also a long way from the majors and potentially is blocking more significant prospects along the way. He gets moved for the sake of the organizational big picture if nothing else.

I do agree this trade is not a difference maker, but I'm OK with that. Good risk-reward tradeoff for both teams. I like trades where both sides can feel good about doing the deal.

I agree that the Cubs sold high on Hart and Ascanio.

As for Gorzellany: there are quite a few lefty relievers in the organization, but if you look for a lefty starter beyond Marshall, unless you like Brad Mathes you have to go all the way to Peoria and Jeff Beliveau. Maybe Russell develops into a starter at some point--there's no one else. So Gorzellany could be very useful.

As much as I like Harrison, he has to play second, third or left. Vitters has third, and Soriano still anchors left field for five more years. That leaves second, which is going to be very crowded, and in good hands in any case. The only question with Harrison is whether you could have gotten a lot more a year from now.

josh harrison is a middle IF nothing who doesn't have the footwork for middle IF.

he doesn't have a 3rd baseman's bat, but he's got the arm. he doesn't have the footwork for middle IF...the guy has theriot-power and above-theriot speed.

there's not a lot special about the guy, imo.

if someone can teach him to get his motion at 2nd right he'd have a little more value...then again if anyone could teach either of the guys the cubs just got how to put the ball over the plate more consistantly they'd have more value, too.

[double post]

Kovacevic is saying the Cubs threw in Josh Harrison. I loved the trade till I heard that.

It does explain why Vitters sat out the last two games: Harrison was playing third. So Vitters is safe, at any rate. Jay Jackson, too, I guess.

Josh Harrison is 5'8, 175lbs.

I feel very good about this trade now.

Cubs can not spare any more 'idgets.

Who will play with Esther?

Couple Commments:

1. I would expect Sean Marshall in the rotation now, with Grabow taking his spot in pen. Marshall has certainly been good down there, but I liked him as a starter too.

2. Don't forget on Grabow.....he looks to be a Type-A FA at end of season. Means even if we don't keep him, we get sandwich pick; that alone has as much value as Ascanio

Hart was somewhat useful, I thought Ascanio was OK but he is clearly right-handed surplus right now

I'm confused; if Gorzellany is headed to Iowa, who replaces Hart as #5 starter while Lilly is out? I can't really believe Lou is anxious to take Marshall out of the pen, where he's been terrific.

Surely he wouldn't start Shark, who has been awful (and prolly headed to Iowa as well), so maybe Atkins gets the job? If Kevin Hart can go 3-1 in spot duty, maybe the thinking is he's no better than Atkins, so give the latter a shot and see what happens.

I dunno.

Cubs must not think much of what they've seen from BJ Ryan though, he's already an afterthought.

"I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody," he said. "You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that's about it."

And if a player tests positive for steroids?

"Ban 'em for the whole year," the slugger said.

...david ortiz, pre-season 2009

I love DLee but if Cubs could get Gonzalez I would send everything the Padres want for that guy. He hits to all fields, he would be any easy 40 homer guy at Wrigley every year.

Remember what we talked about offering for Peavy? Double that.

and i want a solid gold toilet.

give it up right now. AG would have had to been a off-season move.

Sounds like a good trade to me. Hart would have been nice to keep around, but you have to give up something to get something and Grabow is a legit bullpen arm. Gorzellllllllllll-any is just gravy. We'll get some mileage out of Gorzelllll-any, maybe not this year, but eventually.

just saw Hendry on CSN. Was not definitve if Marshall is going to rotation.

Ascanio really has had control problems with Braves and us. Hart has truly surprised me and even today I thought we fleeced Mc Fail. But his downfall in the majors has also been control issues.

I know nothing of the Harrison dude. Its an AZ Phil question.

Personally, I would have appreciated Zach Duke as opposed to Gorz. He is terrible at wrigley.

hairrison...good arm, bad middle IF footwork, could/should be 2nd/SS option but a little clumbsy, little/no power, contact hitter, decent speed.

Gorz: 6.32 ERA at Wrigley in 31.1 innings
Duke: 3.19 ERA at Wrigley in 51.9 innings

Quite a difference. But I don't think Duke was available. Here's hoping for a Dempster/Borowski revamp to Gorz's career.

Duke is available.

Hart and Asciano both have good arms with control issues. One of the two could probably turn out to be pretty good for the Pirates, or they both could keep going like they are going and never learn how to throw strikes. I'm glad we got a few decent starts from Hart.

I'm happy with Grabow as an extra arm I expect absolutely nothing from Gorzelanny.

As for Harrison? Meh he's at least 2 years away from the major leagues. I think the team will go on without him.

and i want a solid gold toilet.
if one has a solid gold toilet, does that affect how one prays to the porcelain gods (i.e. with an etoh induced tummy ache)

everyone wants a solid gold toilet...until winter hits.

Someone once told me that Oprah has one. Ask her.

Hart and Ascanio both have good arms with control issues.
at this point they remind me (particularly Ascanio) of the potential that David Aardsma showed. It took a few years and 2-3 organizational changes before he finally figured it out this year. Hopefully this isn't Matt Karchner for Jon Garland...although Garland was a 1st round pick and Ascanio (2001 amateur draft)/Hart (11th round, 2004 draft) didn't have that burden to carry.

Some of these prospects take more time than pennant contenders have to offer especially at trading deadlines...I'm really glad they didn't have to give up any of the Daytona or Tenn Smokies pitching prospects.

Finally, Gorzelanny in 2007 was really good. I couldn't find any injury history so he must have just lost something and maybe the change of scenery with new coaches will be useful.

Gorzelanny has had tons of injuries.

September 24, 2008 Finger injury, 60-day DL.
September 12, 2008 Finger injury, day-to-day.
August 22, 2008 Recalled from Indianapolis (AAA).
July 5, 2008 Optioned to Indianapolis (AAA).
May 10, 2008 Missed 4 games (back injury).
May 6, 2008 Back injury, day-to-day.
March 10, 2008 Re-signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a one-year contract.
August 7, 2007 Missed 5 games (left shoulder injury).
July 31, 2007 Left shoulder injury, day-to-day.
March 7, 2007 Re-signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a one-year contract.
September 16, 2006 Missed 24 games (left elbow tendinitis).
August 28, 2006 Left elbow tendinitis, 15-day DL (retroactive to August 18th).
August 21, 2006 Left elbow injury, day-to-day.
June 29, 2006 Recalled from Indianapolis (AAA).
March 21, 2006 Optioned to Indianapolis (AAA).
February 9, 2006 Re-signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a one-year contract.
September 16, 2005 Contract purchased from Indianapolis (AAA).

That's four in just about 4 years.

Gorzelanny has had tons of injuries I believe.
After more intensive searching, found this from Feb 08...gotta like the last line (please add reverb and echo...)

Gorzelanny, who has been shut down at the end of the past two seasons with arm issues and “fatigue,” reportedly has soreness in his shoulder. The injury is not supposed to be serious and Pirate personnel claims that Gorzelanny would make the start if the injury had occurred in August.

The problem with all of this is that Pirate fans do not trust the Pirates’ training staff or their injury diagnoses....

More on Gorzelanny and injury issues...

I found two interesting articles on Gorzelanny's 2008 vs 2007.

One titled The Rotation: Tom Gorzelanny, using fangraphs data to support the arguments

"I say that Gorzelanny was abused last year by Jim Tracy and if things keep going like this, I'm going to be surprised if he pitches 125 innings this year."

and this analysis titled Gorzelanny's Gruesome Season, from Nov 08, saying Gorzelanny is a victim of the Verducci effect:

The most surprising aspect of Gorzelanny’s 2007 season was the way that he was used/abused down the stretch. Despite being in contention for positively nothing, then-manager Jim Tracy worked his 24 year-old starter unnecessarily hard, perhaps to the point of breaking him. In his article examining Chad Billingsley, Peter referenced the “Verducci Effect“, a concept developed by Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci. Verducci, using research compiled over the past several seasons, theorizes that young pitchers who are subjected to an innings total increase of 30 or more between one season and the next are more prone to injury.

...Unfortunately, the current version of Tom Gorzelanny just doesn’t look anything like the guy in the prospect catalogs. Instead of displaying low-90’s heat and a plus slider, he now showcases a much less appealing high-80’s fastball/low-80’s changeup combo, with flyball tendencies to boot. Perhaps an offseason of rest will do wonders for Gorzelanny’s battered body, but steer clear of this Pirate if he doesn’t regain his velocity, lest your fantasy season go the way of an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia.

Dejan Kovacevic interviews Grabow post trade, (straight out of Bull Durham):

On finally being in a pennant race: "I'm excited about it. I get to play some meaningful games right from the get-go, so that's exciting. And I'm going to a great city in Chicago. I'm excited to get down to Florida and meet my new teammates and get going."

On how his ability to pitch out of jams could help in that race: "I think that, if you prepare yourself before the game and do the things you're supposed to, hitting the weights, going over the hitters, when you get out there in that tight situation, the game's not going to speed up on you."

Freddie Sanchez who? Watch this amazing catch by Delwyn Young. Hope this isn't all 3-44

amazing that they called it a non-catch as well....

how do you mean they called it a non catch?

and did the runner run to the dugout? wouldn't he be out for that?

it's in the video clip, the ump thought the ball hit the ground off the outfielder...

Winn then got caught between first and second for the final out,  a run scored as well on the play.

Reverse-engineered Elias rankings...Harden, Gregg and Grabow all Type A at the moment.

Normally that would be a good thing, but it seems most teams won't sign a Type A now unless it's a superstar. I think Harden would still get signed if he makes it through the season un-injured, but Gregg and Grabow would be better off as Type B's.

Here's how I see it.

No way Marshall is going back to the rotation for 4-5 starts until Lilly returns.

Lou has 4 relievers on his A Team (Gregg, Marmol, Guzman, and Marshall). He's been auditioning Heilman all year and Samardzija since his recall for the 5th and last spot on the A Team. Lou's idea is there are enough innings in winnable games for 5 relievers, but not 6 or 7, so the last two relievers in a 7-man bullpen are cannon fodder.

Grabow sounds a lot like a left-handed version of Heilman--good stuff, too many walks, production not as good as his stuff would indicate. I think Grabow immediately jumps to the head of the tryout list for the 5th spot. If Heilman hadn't sucked so bad so long, then the Cubs might have looked for a strict LOOGY. I anticipate Grabow to get some of the mid- and high-leverage innings that Heilman has gotten, and Lou will then decide as the number of games gets fewer whether he has a 4-man or 5-man relieving A Team.

I don't think it's beyond reason to believe Atkins/Heilman will tag-team a couple of starts (hoping for 4 innings from each) while Heilman stretches out and then takes the rest of Lilly's starts, and then reverts to the cannon fodder section of the 'pen.

Atkins sent down after the game to make room for Sam Fuld. Unless the Cubs are anticipating an injury, that takes him out of the 5th starter lottery (thankfully).

LaRussa batting pitcher 9th...what's that about?

Its a good deal for us, Grabow is a solid LOOGY, which is something we havent had since '04 with regularity in the pen. Hart wasnt that great of an option in the 6th starter role and was lucky teams didnt take advantage of his control problems and I cant see his replacement being that worse. Ascanio is a dime a dozen arm and Harrison is a guy without a postion.

Stats definitely do not uphold Grabow as a solid LOOGY.

I will argue that Hart is better than most teams 6th starter based on stats, but I am in NY and have not seen many Hart games this year on anything bug Gamecast.

Saying Ascaino is a dime a dozen arm is not true. Harrison likely would be utility, looks like he hits/runs without much else (if he reached his ceiling, I probably prefer him to Jeff Baker/Mike Fontenot/Andres Blanco/Aaron Miles, but that isn't saying much).

But we didn't get much. Trades are not good just because the guys throw with their left arms. I would have been a much bigger fan had we gotten a lefty who specialized in getting lefties out.

8 games over .500, high water mark so far for the season!

Had to be a real bummer for Hart: "Nice game kid. Real nice. Just what we needed. Now, here's your ticket to oblivion."

One thing I have always wondered -- what happens when a player gets traded in the middle of a road trip? How does he get his stuff?

A very "blah" trade -- had the trade been made before today's game, no one would be worrying about Hart.

A most disturbing fact -- the Cards have 3 starters with sub-3.00 ERAs. Ugh.

one of them is Joel Pineiro and his 4 K/9 rate...not gonna last.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Dave Duncan?

I'm amazed at how he got a decent year out of Wellemeyer and how he reshaped Piniero.

The Cubs had two, one of whom was Kevin Hart.

I like the deal for the Cubs. I think it's decent for the Pirates. We add some arm depth in Tom G and hope Grabow finds his form. It's worth the gamble, considering the cost. I'm not broken up about the loss - Hart was somehow overhyped by Cubs fans after his first fall. Decent rubber arm, he needs innings to find his groove. Ascanio might develop into a late inning arm. I don't buy him as a starter in the bigs. That said, we have other hard throwing arms to develop, and I'm not broken over that. Harrison, well, he's intriguing, but he doesn't have a position. Cubs were grooming him as a utility guy basically. I mean, best case scenario is he becomes a starting 2nd baseman that can hit in the 2 hole. The way I describe Josh is a dash of Sam Fuld (speed), a dash of Mike Fontenot (some pop, plus pop for his size probably), and some Mark DeRosa versatility, with a a good baseball IQ. I'm not trying to downgrade Josh ... he's intriguing, but the Cubs have been moving him around. We still have 2nd base options in the system, granted, top guys in the low levels, but 2nd base can be found. We still have a utility type in Kemp.

All in all, I like the gamble for us. It's not a huge haul for the Pirates, but it's not bad, considering Grabow wasn't lighting it up and Gorzelanny was in the minors.

It's pretty nice that the Cubs have taken the beatdown bus to Wrigley two games in a row. All the pieces seem to finally be fitting.

Some fitting better than others, of course, but it's nice to see Aramis crushing the ball. Nice to see Bradley producing. Nice to see Soriano producing.

Cards up 2-1 in the 7th, thanks for nothing Dodgers.

Not so fast Dodgers up 3-2. Do the Dodgers have Sherril yet? Doesn't seem like Torre likes his bullpen.

Good trade Jimbo! Well played sir.

Now, just be sure to offer arbitration to Gregg and Grabow.

I'd give it better than 50% that Gozo is in the rotation next year.

Amazing how different you and I look at the deal. I assume you are saying offer arbitration and hopefully they leave -- I personally hope Harden leaves as well and we get 6 comp picks.

I give it better than 50% that even if Gorzy is in rotation some time next year that he will be in minors/another team (or at best in the bullpen) by September; Gorzy is a pitcher that will get crushed at Wrigley.

offering Grabow arbitration just means he'll be a Cub next year, Gregg is probably 50/50 that someone would still sign him and give up a first round pick.

-edit- comment #82 has a link to the unofficial list of Elias rankings at the moment

fwiw, Huntington says they'll develop Harrison as a 2B

1 out, guy on 3rd, Kuo fans Ludwick. Torre IBB's Pujols and Holliday to load the bases. Kuo gets Ankiel to swing through three straight. 3-3 going into the 9th in STL.

Jay Jackson and Chris Carpenter swap places: Carpenter to Tennessee, Jackson back to Daytona (where he struck out 9 tonight in 5.2).

Still no sign of Vitters. Opitz at third tonight for Daytona.

Daytona has lost the scoring touch, but eked out a 2-1 12-inning victory on an RBI single by Guyer.

why is Jackson back in Hi-A?

You'll recall that he had a brief successful tour at Daytona late last season and that, like Casey Coleman, Brandon Guyer and also his Peoria manager, Jackson skipped over Daytona on the way to Tennessee to start this season. Guyer fell back to Daytona a month ago. Jackson has been spotty at Tennessee. His WHIP is 1.355, where last year it was 1.06 spread over three teams. So maybe they think they've rushed him a bit.

Coleman is 10-5 at Tenn. with a better ERA than Jackson (3.26 to 3.70) but a similar WHIP.

The assignment to Daytona was dated 7/30, which makes me wonder whether Jackson was involved originally in yesterday's trade--there was a report to that effect out of Pittsburgh--and the Cubs didn't want to demote him until the trade was done.

There is a fantasy baseball website that has published the "Rumored 2003 Steroid List." Of course the list is unconfirmed, but has a laundry list of current Cubs, as well as a good few Cubs from 2003.

Current Cubs on this "Unconfirmed" list:

Milton Bradley
Derrek Lee
Carlos Zambrano
Aramis Ramirez
Alfonso Soriano

2003 Cubs listed:

Aramis Ramirez
Moises Alou
Sammy Sosa
Corey Patterson
Carlos Zambrano
Mark Prior
Kerry Wood
Matt Clement
Antonio Alfonseca
Juan Cruz

The whole list is available at

Also, Jose Canseco says that there is a PED User in the Hall... And we thought Rickey could outrun the bus...

juan cruz in 2003 weighed about 80lbs. soaking wet.

it's a very suspicious looking list. it's nothing but marquee and "breakout/soon breakout" names....there's not even much filler/fodder.

yeah, duh, if you do steroids you'll succeed, you know.

juan cruz in 2003 weighed about 80lbs. soaking wet.

Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he took PEDs. So I am not really sure what your point is.

That list is a bit old, anyway. Came out several weeks ago, and no one picked it up because it it doesn't really add up.

true, but juan cruz in street clothes literally looks like a crackhead.

he seems the type to not hit the weight room except to keep tone, especially around that time.

that list has been debunked more than a few times...


Did a Cardinal fan make up this list? Seems like every significant Cub player from 2003.

And no Jason Grimsley on that list? Jim Parque was he retired by 03?

or did Bartman make it up so we'd conclude that the '03 Cubs were all a bunch of cheats and didn't deserve to win anyway?

Nolan Ryan

reggie jackson what?

guess he was the FSL player of the week last week...

Bout damned time!

Maybe broxton won't f this up

manny being manny is almost inexcusable in the field.

at least soriano being soriano isn't this ugly even though both shouldn't be allowed to do what they've been allowed to do most of their careers out there.

When did Manny start holding the ball for 5 seconds after every catch? That's a new one to me. Can't wait to take advantage of that in the playoffs.

First place!

Made the mistake of watching the end of Sox and Yanks game.
Hawk mutters to himself like Bill Murray watching the women golf in "Caddyshack".

"Dont help him out here"
"Keyhole him"
"Get foul"


Also the Sox have "THE CATCH" painted on the wall from the Dewayne "Hey,Hey,Hey" Wise catch from the perfect game.

Not sure if it will surpass this in most sports fan's minds

video of the Hendry post trade press conference

well Dave Littlefield endorses Tom Gorzelanny, I know I feel better...

Iowa Cubs won 6-1 tonight

BJ Ryan pitched 1.2 innings, 0 Hits, 0 Runs, 1 BB, 1 K

pitched the 8th and two outs into the 9th in a non save situation.

K (7 pitches, 3 balls), G 5-3 (4 pitches, 2 balls), F9 (1 pitch)

G 5-3 (4 pitches, 2 balls), F8 (5 pitches, 3 balls), BB (4 pitches).

25 pitches, 16 balls, 9 strikes

CUBSTER: Thanks! Any speeds? Did he touch 90?

looks like Gorzelanny will start next Tuesday in Cincy
The trip starts Friday night in Florida before heading to Cincinnati and Colorado. It also will start with recently acquired reliever John Grabow and, very soon, starter Tom Gorzelanny, who is expected to take Hart's place in the rotation.
(I'm assuming that Stevens will go to Iowa when they call up Gorzelanny)

well good luck with that...not like atkins is some miracle option himself, though. might as well...

Outfielder Reed Johnson was put on the disabled list before the game because of a non-displaced fracture in his left foot. Though initial projections had Johnson missing a month after he fouled a ball off his foot Wednesday, Hendry said that projection was adjusted.

''I talked to the doctors today, and I don't think anybody thinks it's going to be 30 days now,'' Hendry said. ''Maybe 15, we're hoping for.''

also Soto update, rehab assignment this weekend:

Geovany Soto, who has been on the disabled list since July 7 because of a left oblique strain, will begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment this weekend and could return to the Cubs by Wednesday, general manager Jim Hendry said.

''Optimistically, we hope he's back in the lineup no later than Colorado,'' Hendry said of a series that opens against the Rockies next Friday in Denver. ''Maybe a chance a little before that.''

Good news. Then he and Hill can duke it out to see how many points above the Mendoza line they each can stay. At least Lou will bat Soto 7th or 8th now.

Submitted by Cubster on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 11:06pm.
looks like Gorzelanny will start next Tuesday in Cincy
The trip starts Friday night in Florida before heading to Cincinnati and Colorado. It also will start with recently acquired reliever John Grabow and, very soon, starter Tom Gorzelanny, who is expected to take Hart's place in the rotation.
(I'm assuming that Stevens will go to Iowa when they call up Gorzelanny)


CUBSTER: An interesting issue regarding Gorzelanny is that he had accrued 2.074 MLB Service Time coming into the 2009 season, and he was up with the Pirates for 24 days earlier this year, so if he spends the last two months of the season in the big leagues with the Cubs, he will have accrued 2.160+ days of MLB ST, easily making him eligible to qualify for salary arbitation after the season as a "Super Two."

HOWEVER, if Gorzelanny were to to spend just another TEN DAYS on optional assignment to the minors this season (getting recalled by the Cubs on August 10th, let's say), the most MLB ST he can accrue in 2009 would be 80 days, and a player must accrue at least 86 days of MLB ST in a given season to be eligible as a "Super Two" after that season. So the Cubs could save a substantial chunk of cash in 2010 payroll by sending Gorzelanny to Iowa for ten days (and starting Samardzija on Tuesday), keeping Gorzelanny's MLB ST in 2009 under 86 days and postponing his first year of salary arbitration another year.

Also, Gorzelanny is using up his last minor league option year this season, so he will be out of minor league options starting next season (2010).

Jose Ascanio will be out of minor league options next season, too, BTW.

"The rebuilding Orioles receive third baseman Josh Bell and right-hander Steve Johnson, both of whom were at Double-A Chattanooga."

So - we couldn't offer McFail anything of equal value for Sherril?

yeah, puzzling.

and disappointing.

Submitted by The E-Man on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 5:12pm.

Ascanio really has had control problems with Braves and us. Hart has truly surprised me and even today I thought we fleeced Mc Fail. But his downfall in the majors has also been control issues.

I know nothing of the Harrison dude. Its an AZ Phil question.


E-MAN: I had Jose Ascanio rated as the Cubs #7 prospect prior to the trade. I think he'll do well in Pittsburgh, if they use him as an 8th inning set-up man (like the Cubs use Carlos Marmol).

As for Josh Harrison, he is an offensive-first guy with the athleticism and versaliity to play 3B-2B-LF-RF, but he's below average at 2B and just average on the corners... He has above-average speed, but he is not a good base-stealer (yet)... His bat should take him to the bigs eventually... He was Tony Campana's teammate at the U. of Cincinnati (Campana hit lead-of, and Harrison hit 3rd)... I like Harrison better than Tony Thomas, because at least Harrison has the chops to play multiple-positions, while T. Thomas is strictly a 2B...

From a stats view, Thomas has more power but I don't think he will ever be as consistent of a hitter as Harrison. I also don't think Thomas' improved defense made him a true 2B (though that is just opinion on written reports, so it is not more than opinion).

Overall I think the Pirates did pretty well here, even excluding Harrison. They gave up Gorz, who was removed from the rotation from a last place team. Hart will more than make up for him, though Gorz has higher upside for the Cubs. Ascaino's ceiling is at least as high as Grabow. Harrison could become a .290 hitter who fits well at the top of the order and is more than just a singles hitter.

Overall I think the Cubs wanted a lefty, Grabow was the best option they could find and didn't really care if they got the worse of the deal. The Cubs didn't give up anything that will undermine the future; I personally would have been more worried about giving up Stevens or Blake Parker than Ascaino and Hart's projections are not much higher IMO, if at all, than a few other decent starters at AA and AAA (Casey Coleman, for example).

That said, as we came out on the downside of the deal (IMO) and Grabow is not a true lefty specialist or a true shut down reliever (again, based on stats -- I haven't scouted him), I am not sure I would've made the deal.

Guess I don't hate this deal. I'm not the biggest Gorzelanny fan, but he's been pitching exceptionally well at Indianapolis.

I see him scouting pitches in the stands every few days when I'm at the game, and he's been nice enough to talk to me a few times. I actually sat in between him and Kei Igawa a couple weeks ago when Scranton Wilkes-Barre was in town. I don't think Gorzelanny thought he was going to be traded. He had been pitching well the last couple times I'd seen him - so much so that I'd say he's been throwing the ball better than I had ever seen him throw it at any point in his big league career. Maybe he can contribute, and maybe he can't. He's a really nice kid, but I just don't think he's got a place on a contending ballclub.

I like Grabow a lot. The rate stats aren't particularly great, but he finds a way to get guys out. In my head, he becomes that sixth inning guy that can make your game over after the fifth. Grabow, Guzman, Marmol, Gregg and goodnight. When you've got guys like Z, Harden, and Dempster on the roster who can occasionally put up a high pitch count in a hurry, having a guy like Grabow around can be a very good thing.

since i don't know any better, wouldn't it be a better idea to get gorzelanny a start in florida than in cincinnati? isn't cincy an awful place for a fly ball pitcher? and if he stinks, send him to iowa before the cubs arrive in colorado.

the addition of grabow makes heilman discardable (i hope). wonder what hendry might obtain for him? feel free to insert obligatory silent towel list of used parts here.

I would hope Shark or Atkins would get a ticket to Des Moines before Heilman gets DFA'd. He's not high-pressure material, but it's not fair to say he's without purpose. Like many relievers, he has his good days and bad, and his good days are actually very serviceable.

How can a team that currently features one catcher, four SPs and no good two-way second baseman possibly have a roster crunch? Oh yeah, a GM with donuts for brains.

It's hard to believe that Atkins or Samardijsia could be the cause for a roster crunch. Send them down, they're both pretty much useless unless starting and are not going to get enough work in the majors to continue their development.

its when the bad days outnumber the good - that's when I have a problem wirh Hurlman.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 8:50am.
It's hard to believe that Atkins or Samardijsia could be the cause for a roster crunch. Send them down, they're both pretty much useless unless starting and are not going to get enough work in the majors to continue their development.


REAL NEAL: Also, the Cubs have to bring B. J. Ryan up from Iowa by August 12th, or he can be a FA (player option). I suspect Casey Fossum has a similar opt-out deal that would allow him to be a FA after 30 days (which would be this coming Monday).

I had forgot about how this affects Ryan. Hopefully he recovers his missing 5 MPH and gives the Cubs a challenging decision to make. Odds are, though, that he's just the left handed Chad Fox.

Wouldn't it be fun though to have a healthy Ryan and a decent control Marmol glowering from the bullpen at the opposition in the 6th inning of 1 run games?

Oh no...we can't lose CASEY FOSSUM!!!!!!!!

Lol..sorry Az Phil....hehehe

Submitted by dc60124 on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 7:58am.
since i don't know any better, wouldn't it be a better idea to get gorzelanny a start in florida than in cincinnati? isn't cincy an awful place for a fly ball pitcher? and if he stinks, send him to iowa before the cubs arrive in colorado.


DC60124: Gorzelanny last started for Indianapolis last Monday, so his next scheduled AAA start was going to be either tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday. So if the Cubs intend to put him in the rotation immediately, he really should start this weekend versus Florida rather than Tuesday in Cincinnati.

BTW, Gorzelanny has pitched very well in June & July at Indianapolis: 8 GS, 1.17 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 46.1 IP, 33 H, 10 R (6 ER), 14 BB, 49 K, 1 HR.

AZ Phil, any idea why Chad Fox isn't on the 60-day DL?

they haven't needed his 40-man roster spot yet....

Submitted by John Beasley on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 9:28am.
AZ Phil, any idea why Chad Fox isn't on the 60-day DL?


JOHN B: Players are placed on the 60-day DL only when the 40-man roster (MLB Reserve List) is full. Since the Cubs 40-man roster presently has only 38 players on it, there is no need to move anybody to the 60-day DL at this time.

However, if the Cubs later were to add additional players to the 40 (like maybe B. J. Ryan by 8/12, and/or Chris Robinson as a 3rd catcher, Brad Snyder as a LH hitting RF, or So Taguchi as an extra OF in September), then they would have to move somebody from the 15-day DL to the 60.

Also, look for the Cubs to recall Neal Cotts (out for the season after undergoing TJS) from his Optional Assignment on August 31st (as they did with Rich Hill last year), and then immediately place him on their MLB 15-day DL, making Cotts (along with Chad Fox) a potential roster-exemption for the post-season.

The Cubs also might opt to keep RHP David Patton on the DL for the rest of the season, even after he completes his 30-day "rehab" assignment at AA Tennessee. That would give the Cubs three post-season roster exemptions (C. Fox, Cotts, and Patton), allowing them to add up to three players to a post-season roster (LDS, LCS, and WS) who were not on the 25-man roster or 15-day or 60-day DL on August 31st. 

Since Patton has accrued 90+ days on the 25-man roster in 2009, his Rule 5 status will be lifted for the 2010 season even if he remains on the DL for the rest of the season, so that he can be optioned back & forth to the minors without any restrictions next season.

I completely forgot about Cotts. That's great news that we might have so much flexibility for a potential postseason roster.

I though cotta had tjs?

How about giving Cashner a start on Tuesday - he's been dominating in AA (albeit in only 5 games) and it would be 4 days rest for him, I believe. They would obviously be worried about hurting his confidence if he gets hit hard, but it would also be a huge boost if he does well. Given it's likely to be a one time start for someone - I say give it to Cashner!

A few problems with that. You start his MLB service clock. You have to add him to the 40 man. The best you could hope for, given his pitch count restrictions is 5 innings, but 3 or 4 is more likely against ML hitters. I wouldn't rule out Cashner being in the majors this year, but I think it's more likely to be as a reliever like David Price was used last year.

Cashner's been on 60-65 pitch count limit, which they're boosting to 80-85 in his next start. He's not the fill-in you're looking for...

Recent comments

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  • Kershaw gets hurt by his defense and gave up 2 more runs. Blach has 8 shutout innings.

    Mets already won as did Cards.

    tomorrow is gonna be helluva fun if Giants hold on. We're all rooting for a 3-way tie I presume.

    Rob G. 18 min 59 sec ago view
  • good news is now 5 K's for Lester through 4 (in a quest for 200 for season). Bad news is he's already at 86 pitches.

    Rob G. 49 min 23 sec ago view
  • be curious how long Maddon sticks with Lester to try and let offense get back into it and get him the win (4-2 as I type, was 4-0)

    Fwiw, he needed 2.1 IP to cross 200 for season so he got that at least. He also needs 9 K's for 200K's on season and he has 4 through 3.

    Rob G. 55 min 12 sec ago view
  • cubs score 2 runs thanks to predictable reds pitching and horrible CIN defense...cubs only down by 1 now. heyward even got a gift 2rbi double out of an easy popout. neat.

    crunch 55 min 30 sec ago view
  • something named Ty Blach has outpitched Clayton Kershaw through 6 innings (1-0 Giants).


    Rob G. 57 min 51 sec ago view
  • not that finishing 2nd place will matter much nor did this game, but have to think if Hendricks pitches well tomorrow, he could leapfrog Lester in Cy Young voting. Don't see anyway Scherzer doesn't win it regardless and it doesnt' look like Lester has any incentive clauses that matter. Also might give Cueto some votes.

    Rather remarkable how many teams have really good 1-2 options this year.

    Nats: Scherzer and Roark (and Strasburg was great before injuries)

    Cubs: Lester and Hendricks (and Arrietta is still damn good just not as consistently lately)

    Rob G. 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • pretty much what I'm gathering from this thread is that it doesn't matter who you play in  5-game series, but no one wants to have to deal with Cardinal fans if we end up losing.

    I can respect that.

    Rob G. 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • first game for lester giving up more than 2 runs since july 24th. hell of a run.

    crunch 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • doh, yes...dunno what happened there. jake arrieta is all "bro wut?"

    crunch 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • lester going for #20...cubs haven't had a LH (thanks jpep for the correction) 20 game winner since d.ellsworth in 1963.

    crunch 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • fwiw, all the games are free on

    crunch 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Short rest for MadBum would be 2 days. WC game is Wed., Games 1 & 2 are Friday/Saturday.

    billybucks 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • A left-handed one...

    JoePepitone 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.

    If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...

    The E-Man 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • Giants scare me. I think you're wrong about Bumgarner, he would pitch on short rest for Game 2 and then full rest for Game 5. Cueto would go Game 1, then short rest in game 4. Add in some really tough outs in that lineup and I want nothing to do with them. With that rotation they can easily steal a series.

    Cards are a tough matchup. The rivalry evens out their comparable lack of talent. And like someone said, they love HRs, which is how to beat the Cubs. The upside is that I would feel really good about Lester twice against STL.

    John Beasley 9 hours 10 sec ago view
  • j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er

    zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8

    heyward 0-4 :(

    crunch 21 hours 35 sec ago view