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.
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.