Red Sox and Yankees Latest to C***block Cubs
The Cubs went from hording minor league pitchers to hording minor league shortstops when they hired Tim Wilken as scouting director. One target was Cuban defector Jose Iglesias, who defected back in July of 2008 when the team was in Edmonton and then signed with the Boston Red Sox in September of 2009 for 4/8.25M. He played some in the Arizona Fall League and his defense is considered "special", but at just 20 years old he still has some time to grow into his bat.
Rumor has it though that the Cubs were actually the top bidders, but Iglesias chose the Red Sox because they were his favorite team growing up. Curse you childhood allegiances!!!
For what it's worth, BP has him as 3-star prospect and #6 in the Red Sox stocked system.
Then there's the tale of Chan Ho Park, who has been rumored as a target for the Cubs for most of the offseason. The reports from Bruce Levine were that he wanted $3-4M and it was too high for the Cubs. The reality is that the Yankees came knocking and they got the rings(translated from The Korea Times).
"I was deliberating on the Chicago Cubs and the Yankees, but their history and championship contention resulted in me picking the Yankees,'' Park said. "Until last night, I was leaning toward the Cubs."
Park, who said he agreed to a one-year, $1.2 million deal, said the Cubs offered him a chance to compete for a berth in the starting rotation. With the Yankees, he will come out of the bullpen, as he did last season with the Phillies.
"I wanted to play for a champion-caliber team this year again," Park said. "I am not certain how much longer I will play baseball, but it will be huge experience and memory to play with the Yankees.''
C'est la vie.
If the Cubs are looking for another guy that could start or move to the pen(a swingman as they call it), there's Glendon Rusch (chuckle), John Smoltz (don't see it), and that's about it. It might mean they try to talk to Kiko Calero again as well and just go for a reliever.
*Thanks to "Sweet Lou" for the link on Iglesias spurning the Cubs.
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
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.