Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3

The same deal as yesterday, keep the rumors flowing and check the twitter box on the right.

The news from the Cubs is that Carlos Pena has declined arbitration, although Levine indicates he may return on a free agent deal. If he signs elsewhere, the Cubs will get a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of the draft. Aramis hasn't formally declined, but obviously very unlikely he would accept since he declined the Cubs $16M option already, unless he misread the market and a multi-year deal isn't really out there, but that seems unlikely. My guess is he goes to the Brewers.

- Talks continue on Ian Stewart with names like Blake DeWitt, Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu being mentioned.

- Albert Pujols had 10-year offers from the Marlins and Cardinals and it appears he's headed back to the Cardinals. The Cubs were in the mix somehow, but don't appear to be a real threat to land him. Marlins may move on to Fielder or focus their dollars on pitching.

Comments

Maybe he is over 28? Oh, and, then you would only be paying for past performance I guess - instead of future imminent failure.

Fuck that trade.

Ditto, Rush.

CHIPs signed James Loney to an impressive DUI. Sideswiped a Mini, Prius, and a Benz before/after/while passed out in the fast lane of a freeway. Then he tried to leave.

and he spit on an arresting officer (allegedly)...

if milton bradley keeps it up the LA penal system softball league is gonna get really awesome.

also, alcohol/drugs not involved...at least ones they test for (ha)

Before he blew out his elbow in the AFL post-2008 (and I think I might have been at that game), Casey Weathers was one of the Rockies Top 5 prospects, and one of the top closer prospects in baseball. He was the closer for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, and was a college teammate of ex-Cub Ryan Flaherty at Vanderbilt.

Unfortunately, he has taken longer than normal to come back from the TJS (he missed all of the 2009 season and most of the 2010 season, and could not throw strikes this past season at AA or in the AFL post-2011), so he is a big question mark at this point.

I like this move a lot more than the Dejesus signing. That being said, Fielder, Darvish or Cespedes are hopefully part of this plan.

I thought I read the Cubs were supposedly higher on Soler than Cespedes? But I agree, Darvish please.

[EDIT] Ne'ermind, just having page update probs.

No you're not. Our big move at the Winter Meetings was to trade for someone who got out-hit by Tyler Colvin last year.

The funny thing is if both Fielder and Pujols end up out of the NL Central, those would be the 2 biggest deals the Cubs didn't make this winter to improve their chances. And you guys thought HoyStein don't have mind control powers.

Agreed. That would vastly improve the chances of earning the right to be swept out of the first round of the playoffs. Fingers crossed!! Though, I'm still hoping for Fielder.

Cubs are pretty damn good at earning the right to be swept out of the first round.

mlb.com's article on the colvin-stewart trade plus an embedded mlb network interview with Hoyer

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Bruce Miles tweet...

GM Hoyer calls Stewart a "gifted third baseman" and hopes change of scenery will help offense.

http://twitter.com/BruceMiles2112

---------------------------------
--will Stewart's defense at 3B be an upgrade from ARam?
--will Stewart be able to draw more walks than Colvin?
--will Stewart's improvement be Pena-like, meaning it's a good season if he hits .225?

are the Cubs the tallest midget in the NL Central?

yes x 3, no on the last one...Brewers will still be good and Cards get Wainwright back. Reds are poised for a comeback season if they can deal for a starter or two.

Here is a 5/9/11 fangraphs article on Stewart during his early 2011 season struggles. Some interesting discussion regarding who would be a trade partner for Stewart at that point considering his struggles.
---------
Stewart’s pre-season 2011 ZiPS projection (.248/.332/.462, .341 wOBA, 10.1% walk rate, 30.1% strikeout rate)

Stewart’s plate discipline hasn’t completely broken down. His walk rate is about the same as his career rate, he’s swinging less than usual (and only slightly more at pitches outside the zone, according to BIS), and he’s making the same amount of contact. If professional scouts see something in his approach that means he isn’t the same, approximately league-average hitter he’s been in the recent past, I will cede to them. Statistically, this looks like the same guy: a 26-year old hitter with some contact issues, but a good walk rate, and above-average power. Stewart’s window for stardom is just about shut, but given his ZiPS RoS projection and the fact that he plays at least an average third base, he’s still good enough to be at least an average player in terms of his true talent.

I like the gamble. We get a league average 26 year old 3rd baseman and a live arm. In exchange for 2 guys who are Utility spare parts.

league average?

which, mexico?

and the Aaron Gleeman linked article calling for the Rocks to trade Stewart.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/09/...

do any ian stewart fans have anything to say about the guy that doesn't involve a number? ...especially since the AAA ones seem to be the only useful ones unless you want to project power and ignore what showed up last year.

what is so nice about his plate approach? the only good thing about this deal is it costs next to nothing both in what was given up and what's being paid...it also leaves dewitt/baker as the main 3rd base backup. well, it's good he can actually field 3rd...that's a good start over a guy like c.mcgehehehehe at least.

i know the guy's minor league numbers looks like a bunch of shiny dimes or some crap, but what about that guy swinging a bat looks like upside to anyone?

"do any ian stewart fans have anything to say about the guy that doesn't involve a number?"

Does anyone have any non-Facts to argue with my biased TV viewing?

not just me.

ian stewart isn't some 19 year old dominican kid.

Are there any Ian Stewart fans?

I saw so few games last year even of the Cubs. Real busy with work, but mostly because I was just so disgusted with the direction of the team, and saw nothing to look forward to even in the future.

So, even tho Stewart had an okay rookie year, I really can't remember even seeing him bat. Ever. I can't imagine he has a lot of fans in Chicago. "HEY! LOOKEE!!! WE GOT IAN STEWART! WOO HOO!!"

Most of us casual fans, and that's what I was last year, don't even know who the guy is.

Brief thumbnail on Ian Stewart & Casey Weathers roster status info:

STEWART: 3+050 MLB Service Time... under club control through 2014 season... eligible for salary arbitration... was also eligible for arbitration post-2010 as a "Super Two" & ended up with a $2.2M+ salary in 2011... has one minor league option left, but he would need to clear Optional Assignment Waivers before he can be sent to minors...

WEATHERS: No MLB Service Time... has two minor league options left...

Underwhelming off season thus far.

Just wait until we bring in James Loney or Kotchman for the other corner. Things will look a lot rosier then.

I'm thinking Daric Barton after he's non-tendered on Monday. Then everything will be coming up roses.

Why wait for the non-tender. Why not trade potential useful parts for him now?

How about just going International? Sign Cespedes, Darvish, Soler, and Concepcion and be happy.

Phil Rogers gives Jaramillo too much credit as a Mr.Fixit, since Bagwell, Biggio and Castro never stumbled in their early careers, while Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Palmeiro were hitting stars well before they met RJ. Tyler Colvin, meanwhile, who had his ticket out of town punched by Rudy, is not mentioned in the article.

But Rogers does make a good point when he says that Stewart may be just a one-year placeholder for Vitters or Lake. The Cubs didn't necessarily want to invest a lot in a 3B this year.

Jaramillo historically has done great work with young hitters, and Starlin Castro’s .304 average in his first two seasons suggests he could be on his way to joining the group of great hitters who cut their teeth working with Jaramillo (most notably Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez).

5 guys suspected of taking 'roids...

Oh Wrongway, never change...

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  • His control is still off with a lot of overthrowing of his fastball. Mariners haven't been able to take advantage of it so far but it still doesn't seen like he's had a start this year where his mechanics have been great start to finish.

    johann 4 min 7 sec ago view
  • Why is that disconcerting, OB?

    Charlie 11 min 45 sec ago view
  • He was a big key to the crazy start, a big key to the end of last year, a big key in not beating the Mets (although lots of help from a tired inexperienced team there), so although the team as a whole can get through a series with a good Jake it will be tough with a bad Jake. I don't think it's realistic to have the insanely great Jake again, but maybe it is. Seeing today's box score it appears maybe it is - but I haven't been able to tune in yet.

    Old and Blue 25 min 14 sec ago view
  • IMO Jake is really the key to winning the World Series, but maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on one player.

    Rob Richardson 56 min 20 sec ago view
  • The reports that they offered EITHER Jimenez or Torres for Chapman are a little disconcerting. I hope 1) Those reports are wrong, and 2) if they are not wrong, that they will hold on to him, as the team could use the outfield depth. I have only seen him in the futures game, but he looks like a keeper.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.

    John Beasley 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick

    Eric S 4 hours 29 min ago view
  • Meanwhile, out West:

    SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.

    billybucks 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.

    Hagsag 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 14 hours 20 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 14 hours 34 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 19 hours 26 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 19 hours 50 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 20 hours 17 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 20 hours 44 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 22 hours 12 min ago view