Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Granderson, Padilla & TCR Friday Notes
a lot of ground to cover here, let's get to it...
UPDATE: Muskat previews the Winter Meetings and says up to three teams are interested in Bradley. Talks have happened with the Tigers for Granderson but not looking good at the moment. Reed Johnson is welcome back and Mark DeRosa is out of the Cubs price range.
- Mlive.com has a pretty detailed report on the negotiations between the Cubs and Tigers so far for Curtis Granderson. The Tigers wanted Carlos Marmol or Starlin Castro as the headliner in a trade and they've been deemed untouchable (that always works out well for the Cubs). They did do some previous scouting on Jake Fox last season and he could of been of interest as part of the package, but they'll have to get him from the A's now. Names like Josh Vitters, Jay Jackson, Andrew Cashner and Hak-Ju Lee are thrown around, but they don't quite bring the right mixture of major league readiness and prospectdom that the Tigers are craving.
- A very sketchy rumor of the Cubs having interest in Vicente Padilla.
- Chone Figgins to the Mariners for 4/36 according to Rosenthal. A bit pricey, but such is the cost of dabbling in free agency.
- My favorite article of the last 48 hours over at NESN.com proclaims, "Cubs May Be Primed to Throw Loads of Cash at Jason Bay". You see that headline in your Google Reader and immediately start wondering how did everyone miss the scoop on that one? Then you click the link written by Evans Clinchy, who graduated from Tufts University with a degree in English and you start to wonder if Tufts University must be some online diploma factory.
Mr. Clinchy goes on about how the Cubs would be some good fit for Bay because they've thrown money at outfielders before, without offering any type of inside source or made-up source or even a guy that looked like Jim Hendry at the coffee shop saying the Cubs have any interest in Bay. He completely ignored or just didn't bother to research that the Cubs have very little payroll flexibility this offseason, want to move Fukudome to right and are having a hard time getting anyone to take Bradley without paying most of his contract.
- Here's Arizona Phil's take on Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer from the comments.
Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2010.
I have seen quite a bit of Morla out here over the past three years(he was at Extended Spring Training 2007-09), because the Cubs play mostly the A's, Giants, and Angels in Minor League Spring Training, EXST, and Instructs. He is somewhat comparable to Robert Hernandez, a bit raw but with some upside.
And I saw Spencer play quite a bit in his college days at Arizona State and then a little bit in Minor League Camp (ST), and I would compare him to Micah Hoffpauir (1B-LF-RF). While Hoffpauir is the better defender at 1B, Spencer has a stronger arm and is a better corner OF, although he can play 1B, too.
If Hoffpauir spends the entire 2010 season in the big leagues, he will almost certainly qualify for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2010, so the Cubs may be thinking about Spencer as a possible replacement for Hoffpauir in 2011.
He also says Jeff Gray has one minor league option left. With the Cubs swapping Miles and Fox for Gray on the 40-man roster, they have 3 open spots at the moment.
I know there's a lot of hand-wringing going on over losing Fox or more appropriately having to move Fox to get the A's to take on $1.7M of Miles and his contract. I think the Cubs did okay on their prospect haul - of course I thought the same thing when they traded Michael Wuertz to the A's - and no matter what you believe in Jake Fox's talents, they for some reason were under-appreciated and not going to be utlized by our four million dollar manager. Better to get something, than nothing for a guy who was out of options.
Speaking of, a good time to mention that I completed entering all the transactions between the Cubs and the rest of the league at Wiklifield. You can find the link on the top menu bar under Wiklified and "Transactions by Teams" which takes you to the current 30 major league franchises. On each page is the Cubs record vs the team, broken out by decade as well and then the transactions and some other tidbits. The A's and Cubs have hooked up quite a bit over the last six years as you can see. Starting with Michael Barrett for Damien Miller in 2003 and so far 3 trades already in 2009 (Wuertz, Roquet and now the Fox/Miles trades)
- The folks at Cubscast are pushing a "Dawson4thehall hashtag blitz" for this Tuesday. I think that means it involves Twitter, and you can support the cause by following their instructions. And then explain to me what the hell hashtag means.
- I was slow on getting this link up, but our pal Tim at Cubby-Blues put together a get-well card for Ted Lilly, including get well wishes from some fans.
Please be Noah Syndergaard and Andrew McCutchen...
Joking. I really like Andrew McCutchen. ...
Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.
"OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"
Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.