You Gotta Know When to Fold Them

The Cubs rumor mill is starting to churn and the vultures are circling over the Cubs carcassas.

- Bruce Levine writes that teams are already sendng scouts to follow the Cubs and a bad road trip could mean the Cubs start selling. That might just be wishful thinking by the other teams, but losing 7 of 8 to the Pirates (so far) will send out a bad stench.

- Depending on who you want to believe, the Angels seemed to be interested in some of the Cubs first basemen. Dave Kaplan and Fred Mitchell are saying it's Derrek Lee.  The L.A. Times says it's Xavier Nady and Gordon Wittenmyer agrees. The L.A. Times also lists all the other first basemen in the league that the Angels could go after which includes Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche, Ty Wigginton or Russell Branyan. It'll come down to which teams are quitting their season the first and how little the Angels will have to give up. It should also be noted that the Angels are hoping Morales returns by September, so a more versatile and cheaper option like Nady may make more sense for them. Nady does have no-trade rights until June 15th and Lee has them for the rest of the season of course thanks to 10/5 CBA rights.

- As for other matters, Z will likely pitch some time this weekend, although not necessarily Friday.

- Wednesday night's rainout will be made up on Monday afternoon although both teams have a day off tomorrow. Why such stupidity? Because technically if the Pirates play tomorrow it would be 21 straight games which is against CBA rules, although they didn't play tonight. So now the Cubs will have traveled to Pittsburgh, then to Houston, then back to Pittsburgh on Monday and then to Milwaukee, rather than just take care of all of it tomorrow.

Comments

Matt Spencer acquired in the J. Fox deal hit his 8th HR, tied for the Cubs minor league lead with Ty Wright.

[quibble deleted--you're right, 8 HRs for two teams]

Problem is, this is the worst selling team I can imagine. For one thing, I don't see the Cubs getting much for Lee right now. Nady, it's hard to say, but it's not like teams were lining up at his door during free agency. Soriano is an immovable object. Marlon Byrd is really just an average MLB outfielder so I don't see why anyone would go out of their way to offer much in return. Mr. April is worthless as trade bait with that contract.

That leaves pitching.

They do have some pieces there. Everybody wants pitching.

I have this fantasy that Lou will throw up his hands and resign, saying nobody can get these jerks to play good baseball.

I want this team blown up, but I don't trust Hendry to rebuild it.

Things are pretty much about as bad as a lot of people here were saying they were going to be.

Problem is, this is the worst selling team I can imagine. For one thing, I don't see the Cubs getting much for Lee right now. Nady...

I would agree with you, but when a team is on the bubble and looking for that piece to put them over the top, they'll make irrational moves. No way Soriano is immovable. Get a desperate-enough team and get Soriano with a 280 batting average and you might not even eat any of his contract.

Unfortunately, Lee is the last of the regulars that I want to see traded. I'd prefer Lee retired a Cub in about 5 years. Okay, maybe that's wishful thinking.

I want this team blown up, but I don't trust Hendry to rebuild it.

Word.

Lee is already treading in league average territory now at 35.

Do you really want him blocking 1st base for another 5 years?

I am not trying to be a smart ass, but how can someone say "I don't trust Hendry to rebuild" and follow that up with "But keep Lee around for ol' time's sake"?

I wonder if we had a Logan Morrison or Justin Smoak in the minors, if the Lee sentimentality would remain.

You are mischaracterizing my comments. It's not sentimentality or "ol' time's sake", it's his superior defense. Without Lee we would discover that our infielders don't throw nearly as well as we think they do. And, Aaron B, yes I know 5 years is wishful thinking. Maybe another 3? I don't know, but I want him to retire a Cub.

I just don't have the same sentiment for DLee that you do Ryno.

I'd much rather his spot be filled with Price Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez by 2012.

If you can get a prospect or comp picks for him in the next 6 months. You need to do it and move along. JMHO

I'd much rather his spot be filled with Price Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez by 2012.

Well geez... on this point we agree. Of course. Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez are a couple of the game's best hitters.

Throw out 2009 on Lee's career arc, and tell me what you come up with for the next three years. He better catch a lot of throws to make up for that

I'm not saying Lee would be an RBI source, in fact I expect him to decline at the plate. That doesn't mean he's not a net plus for the team.

Throw out 2009 on Lee's career arc, and tell me what you come up with for the next three years. He better catch a lot of throws to make up for that - or are you expecting Fountainout and Castro to combine for 60 HR's next year?

On the 21 games thing, they showed up at the park on time, did their workouts, sat around for three hours waiting for a game to start, probably started to warm up again around 8:00, so they probably feel a lot like they played a game even though they didn't.

I may be misremembering, but I believe I've heard in the past that teams can vote and overrule this provision. In other words, it may have been the case that the Cubs approached the Pirates about making it up on tomorrow's off-day, but the Pirates, within their rights, declined. And it makes sense. They are at home the entire time anyway, and they may get a Cubs team jet lagged from traveling.

my guesses are that lee will not be traded [or re-signed], lilly will be & soriano/zombie, alas, cannot be...fukodome could be movable given the duration of his deal

MLB at least considering reversing call, although think that would make for a bad precedent they don't want to get into.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basebal...

Yikes.

Seriously, though, what bullshit. I could understand if it was REALLY close, but it was only kind of close.

Muskat says all the trade talk is B.S.

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/153273...

Z will start tomorrow.

I wonder if the Rangers would trade Justin Smoak for DLee and Lilly if the Cubs paid the difference in Salary? To me that is the kind of deals Hendry needs to be aiming for.

Rangers would have huge improvement this year, and two type A free agents at seasons end.

Cubs get a blue chip prospect to plug a huge organizational hole.

Type A free agents aren't really that valuable if you are afraid to offer them arbitration.

I wonder if the Rangers would trade Justin Smoak for DLee and Lilly if the Cubs paid the difference in Salary?

so that would be all the salary?

and no, they wouldn't trade him, maybe Chris Davis

I'd trade DLee for Chris Davis if I were the Cubs brass.

what's the point?

25 homers and 200Ks. dude can't even run. it's singles, deep doubles no one catches, and a few homers.

we got jason dubois who can do that.

right after that, they should resign Ryan Harvey.

What purpose does DLee serve after 2010?

If you can take a chance on a 24 year old Lefty slugger that can play 3rd or 1st. You should seriously think about it. Davis is WAY too young to give up on as a prospect. Especially if DLee isn't going to get an arbitration offer after this year.

What purpose does DLee serve after 2010?

about the same as Chris Davis will

I wouldn't be against offering Lee arbitration myself, just not a multi-year deal.

Most of Lee's peripherals are decent, he's certainly not been the .230 hitter that the results show.

That 24% strikeout rate doesn't look too decent to me, nor does the 6 HR's in 227 PA's.

23% for his career and in 20% range the last few years. Doesn't look alarming to me, looks like a slump.

Aramis K rate is alarming.

I could live with 25 HR's out of him myself and is HR/FB% is a bit down. His line drive rate isn't bad either.

He's slumped, he doesn't look lost imo. I don't want to sign him for 5 years or anything, but I don't think he's a lost cause either.

OldHossRadbourn: I just thought I'd tweet in advance about how angry I am over B. Selig's decision, no matter what that decision actually is.

if selig reverses that call it will be a headache for all of baseball, imo.

it's open season on everything from the important (games that rely on a call) to the un-important (like a call that won't effect a win/loss).

it's already "crazy" enough when official scoring errors/hits get reversed both on the batter and pitcher.

ps- how the george brett pine-tar incident was handled by MLB was total crap, imo.

I don't know the rules about playing a game under protest, but it seems to me that if they could have, the Tiger should have made such a declaration last night after the play. It would be very weird, and I agree a bad precedent, for MLB to come in and change the outcome of a game based on what the replays showed on one play, but MLB has to rule on any games played under protest. In that case, the could have made them replay starting from that batter at a later date like in the Brett game. Not sure I would like that either, but would at least be more procedurally fair than MLB reacting to cameras and acting unilaterally.

Gallaraga ought to just live with the 1-hitter that *everyone* knows should have been a perfect game. May get him more attention in the long run than if there hadn't been a blown call.

I hear more from milt pappas then len barker and tom browning combined.

The way he handled the blown call will go down in history. He acted very professional.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/artic...

sell some land and raise the bed tax

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 39 min 12 sec ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 47 min 55 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 47 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 7 hours 59 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 23 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 28 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 15 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 13 hours 49 min ago view