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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  • I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.

    johann 21 min 33 sec ago view
  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 58 min 19 sec ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 40 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 4 hours 50 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 4 hours 58 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 5 hours 18 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 8 hours 31 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 58 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 19 hours 40 min ago view